Black Box Session May 16, 2004

Perhaps we should call this session 2 ½ because it was done at Rita’s house, without the black box and without Hemi-Sync, but in the midst of the ten-session series.

Edited transcript of a session at Rita Warren’s house, afternoon of Sunday May 16, 2004.

Rita: This is May 16th, 04, and we’re doing a session at the house.

I’d like to start by asking about the gentlemen. It seemed as though initially we were asking quite general questions about the composition of the group and the nature of the group, and the information we received at that time was quite general and more aimed it seemed at getting some distortions out of our minds about what the group was.

I’d like to know if there’s anything now that you can say about the group that would give us more information. We did get the information that Bernard was part of the gentlemen group. Are what seems to Frank like other lifetimes or other resonances also represented there?

Frank: [pause] Sure, because remember you’re connected to everything else by way of your completed being, and the closer the resonance to you, the easier it is for you to bring it back. These resonances can come because they’re of a similar composition, either emotionally or vocationally or whatever, or they can come because you have a particular history, let’s say, with them. Those two usually go together, but not always.

So that you will be by one means or another connected to everything else in the world, but some routes are longer than other. You will have lifetimes in which you were part of a bundle that had markedly different composition, and will seem somewhat alien to you, and it might even seem antagonistic to you. Some of its values and some of yours will directly clash.

Rita: When you use “yours” in that sense, what are you referring to?

Frank: Well, we’re taking “you” as the bundle, as the point of reference.

Rita: The part of us that’s now operating in a physical body?

Frank: Sure, because you’re the part that’s asking the questions, and is going to be interpreting the questions. Not only you yourself, but anyone who reads or hears this.

Rita: Are those bundles represented in the – do we call them bundles once they have been completed? What’s the best language here?

Frank: Well, remember we made a distinction between crystallized and non-crystallized?

Rita: Yes, I do.

Frank: This will give you another viewpoint on the same situation which may clarify it. If the bundle is worth keeping, we keep it as a crystal. If it’s not particularly instructive, then it’s just a set of strings. Okay? Now, you’ll remember we also said you could look at it as a cloudy lens, because the record of the life is there, but if you’re not going to learn anything by looking through that lifetime, what’s the point?

If it’s not productive, you see. So that in one sense, it’s true that all lives, having been lived – Anything that has been, is. But in another sense, in terms of being active or being called into the mass mind, so to speak, the only things that are used are those that have value for one reason or another, that have been – well, we used the word “crystallized.” We realize it makes a false impression, because it gives an impression of being hard and solid, where the other would be either mushy or dissolved. What we mean is, the node of experience that was a given lifetime can either be productive or not, and if it is productive, we think of it as crystallized. We use that personality and that set of experiences as a lens, whereas with others, the only reason we don’t use them is, there are better ones. There are —

Okay, all right, we can do this.

If you have – you have to bear in mind that anything we say here is going to be vastly oversimplified; it can’t be helped – if you have six people who are born, they grow up, they get a job, they have a family, they die, and they have nothing special about them at all, nothing special internally, nothing special externally, and you have a seventh, who is more or less in their same situations and can reflect the same life experiences, but has a greater degree of clarity, of introspection, say. All right? Just as your poets give you a clearer view of the world than you would get from someone who was not a poet, so these crystallized beings give us in one condensed form a sort of representation of all of those we don’t bother to crystallize. You se? They have the common experience, but they have more. They have more cohesion for some reason or another, usually introspection and work on themselves.

Rita: And is it the same thing to say a crystallized being and to say a completed being?

Frank: No. No, everyone who dies has a completed being, and of course if you hear that sentence, once you’re outside of time, it means everyone has a completed being, because you don’t have to wait to die to have a completed being, the completed being exists outside of time, you remember. Counter-intuitive though it is. “The completed being” only means, this is a person who lived. But “a crystallized being” means, this is one who lived and had enough – well, we can’t think of a better word than crystallizing tendency.

That’s a representative of a lot of people who were born and lived in the Great Depression, you know. This is a representative of people who went on the Crusades. This one is a representative of saints in the middle ages. And of course, much more than that, but you understand where we’re going. You couldn’t usefully have six million representatives of everyday-ness who had nothing special among themselves. There’d be nothing to gain from it, if you have one who has that, but has a little more that brings it into focus.

Now, we want to point out, you cannot tell while you’re in a body – you can guess but you’re not necessarily right – you cannot tell which person is just a non-crystallized person and which one is not. You can’t say “well, this one didn’t do anything special, they’re probably nobody,” or, “this person doesn’t make a strong personality impression on me, they’re probably not crystallized.” It’s not obvious at all externally. Some people are –

After all — to give you an example that may not seem obvious to you – it is as worthwhile for us to have a crystallized representation of someone living their life with Down’s Syndrome or mental retardation as it is to have Einstein. And the question is, which life lived under those circumstances is going to be the most – (difficult to find a word for it) productive, the most useful, the most informational example.

Rita: Informational in the sense that it’s bringing information to you.

Frank: Yes, that’s right.

Rita: Well now, when we talked the other day with Bertram, we talked about Frank in the same sense. It was said that we were talking to the completed Bertram and we had to talk about the completed Frank. Now that’s what we’re talking to rather than thinking of them as crystallized?

Frank: No. No, no, no. Some of the completed selves are the completed selves of crystallized beings. Some of the completed selves are the completed selves of non-crystallized beings. It’s two different aspects of the same situation.

Rita: Okay, I get that, but I’m asking about who we talked to. If we talk to a member of the gentlemen, is it appropriate to say we are talking to completed being?

Frank: Yes.

Rita: To crystallized beings?

Frank: Well–

Rita: Aren’t they all crystallized?

Frank: Ah! Yes. Well, as it happens, yes. (I suppose it could happen – hard to imagine, though. In practical terms it really couldn’t happen.) Yes, they’ll all be crystallized. Because there’d have to be some very special reason–. Hard to imagine what it would be. Because the point of it is that with a crystallized being you get all that you could get from the uncrystallized ones, and more, so why go to – you know? No, no there would be no–

Rita: When one thinks of guidance, representatives for other individuals, is this usually true there, or always true there, that what they’re in touch with are crystallized beings?

Frank: Yes, crystallized, completed beings. However, don’t assume that that means necessarily what you would call good, or what you would call altruistic, or even simpatico. They might be quite – you know, evil spirits as well as good spirits, you see what we’re saying? Just because something has brought itself to a point of crystallization doesn’t mean it’s something that you will find, necessarily, compatible or even agreeable.

Rita: How about the issue of accuracy? Would we expect to find crystallized beings always giving accurate information?

Frank: [laughs] Well, you can expect it! [laughs] But I wouldn’t bet on it. Again, it depends on who you’re dealing with. Just because you have completed your lifetime doesn’t mean you’re then omniscient, although Frank used to think so. Just because you have completed your lifetime doesn’t mean that your character is perfect. You could be a liar, or you could be a fantasizer, or you could be a – You understand what we’re saying? For many reasons, you yourself as a completed being dealing with another completed being who has an aspect in a body, your interaction cannot predictably come out of altruism or omniscience, or even knowing when you do or don’t know what you’re talking about.

Rita: Okay, I had asked about crystallized beings and you responded in terms of completed beings. I want to ask you again now about if we assume accuracy from crystallized beings.

Frank: But you’re making a distinction that doesn’t exist. Perhaps we’ve never said this. If you’re talking to anyone, you’re talking at least by way of their completed being, because the non-completed being is not outside of time, any more than you are. There’s a part of you that’s outside of time; that part of you that is outside of time is part of your completed being. It is you, talking through your completed being through another completed being to another person in a body that makes it seem like you’re talking to them. You see. Perhaps we’ve never mentioned that. So to say that you’re going to talk to a crystal and not a completed being is – let’s see, is that impossible? We think it is.

Rita: Yes, but – but I was really asking the other way. Since all completed beings are not crystallized,

Frank: right

Rita: can we assume accuracy from those that are crystallized?

Frank: No! No, everything we just said was about crystallized, completed beings. You probably won’t even encounter non-crystallized beings. [pause] You could if you had some special reason and wanted to go looking for them. But how would you know even who they were?

Rita: All right,  now what seem to Frank like other lifetimes, other resonances, however awkwardly we refer to them —

Frank: We don’t object to your calling them other lifetimes, as long as you now know in the back of your mind it isn’t quite that simple. We just didn’t want to let it slide as though it were one person going into another person, you know. But we know that.

Rita: Okay, I appreciate that, because it’s much easier to talk about it if we use that language of lifetimes.

Frank: We will reinterpret it only when it’s necessary for clarity, for false ideas not to sneak in through the back door.

Rita: Good. Thank you.

Frank: [laughs] Which in practice will probably be continually. [they laugh]

Rita: That’s my experience with you. [pause]

So. Frank has a number of lifetimes that he has some contact with.  We heard from Bertram the other day when we talked about healing. Is it possible for us to get any information about the lifetimes in body of some of these individuals that Frank feels contact with, resonance with?

Frank: Sure. Let us first say a couple of things about why it hasn’t been too easy so far. The first is glamour. To give someone life stories of others and say “these are your past lives” can carry a great danger of psychic inflation, or even of just being en-glamored by it, you know. Living more in that life than in the life you’re really living. And so it’s just as well to be sure that those lives are experienced within the proper context, emotionally as well as intellectually. So we’ve sort of dragged our feet on that, in the same way that we dragged our feet with you in terms of, “are you an individual or are you a multiple of individuals?” And the answer was always yes.

Well, really there are pedagogical reasons for that and the main reason is it’s not that simple.

Now, beyond that, you will wind up talking to the completed being, but it may sometimes seem to you as though you’re talking to the being in a body. But from your point of view, it doesn’t matter, does it?

Rita: No. On this topic is seems like it wouldn’t matter. Except perhaps at the level of asking for interpretation of meaning of the lifetime; that might better come from a completed being.

Frank: Our point would be, you can’t get anything from a being in process that you can’t get from the completed being. And with better perspective.

Rita: Is there one of these resonances that would be best to start with?

Frank: One of these lifetimes?

Rita: Yes.

Frank: [pause] Well, best for who? Best how?

Rita: Easiest for Frank to bring through.

Frank: [pause] Well we should say that another problem involves doubt and resistance.

When we do this process, we will be involved in the process of overcoming his own doubts about the material and his own feeling that he’s making it up as he goes along. This is a difficulty that is peculiar to people who are doing this while they themselves are conscious. If he were able to put his consciousness to the side — in other words not consciously hear what he was saying — we would come through pretty easily, but –

And this is not peculiar to him. This is a problem that many people who are going to learn to do this are going to have to overcome. They’re going to sort of have to learn the technique.

So, having said all of that, let’s talk about – well, he wants to hear about Bertram, even though he’s afraid that he won’t get the right answers. [laughs] Let’s talk about Bertram.

Rita: Can you assist Frank in laying aside as much of the conscious process as possible while he’s reporting?

Frank: Well, no, not really. He needs just only to be willing to be wrong, you see. If he’s willing to be wrong and just says it as it comes up, then he won’t block it out. That’s what we’re getting at. It’s not so much a question in his case of putting aside his consciousness – that isn’t going to happen – but of putting aside his judging the material as it comes through. If he’s willing to be wrong, and it comes through pretty quickly, then he’ll see. It’s just a matter of learning confidence.

Rita: Our experience with this is that it seems as though once he gets into the material, there’s not so much tendency to screen.

Frank: That’s right.

Rita: At the beginning there’s a worry about this.

Frank: That’s right. It’s sort of misplaced conscientiousness. [laughs]

Rita: Bertram, all right. I guess we perhaps just start with some factual things about him.

Frank: 1146.

Rita: 1146? And where?

Frank: Cis-cester, or Circen-ster, or something like that. C-i-r-c-something or other-t-e-r.

Rita: Chichester?

Frank: No, no no. No, it’s definitely a c-i-r. It’s not a chi- It’s a c-i-r – circen—Can’t get it. But it’s close enough. It’s in England.

Rita: And into what kind of family?

Frank: [sigh] Well, they were Normans, and as Normans we were the rulers, still a little bit uneasily, but mostly not. When he was born, we had already had a good deal of time to consolidate the kingdom. Being Normans, we were landowners. We took over the land, parceled it among ourselves. His father Sir – Sir John or Sir Henry? Sir – John, I think. [pause] Wouldn’t you think I’d know the name?

Rita: Yes, are you struggling with the last name?

Frank: Uh-huh. Let it go for the moment. Names. But you’d think you’d know the name. Sir John, anyway, and the mother was – Elise or something like that. Elise, Elizabeth, a French form something like Elise. There were – he was a younger son. Henry was the brother, the older brother, who became the next – I wanted to say Duke, but I doubt it was a Duke. Well, whatever it was, he became the next one. In other words, he inherited.

Rita: The title, so to speak.

Frank: Not “so to speak” at all. He inherited it. He was the third I think or maybe the fourth Baron, maybe? And there was Henry and there were girls, there were two I think, or three sisters and Bertram was the youngest son.

Rita: Bertram was the youngest son and he had at least one brother and one sister?

Frank: No, at least two sisters, maybe three sisters.

Rita: All right, and did his parents live through his childhood?

Frank: [laughs] His parents – how shall we say this? Shouldn’t say interfered, exactly – they stage-managed his life. Not entirely to his disservice, but they had very different ideas about his life than he did. They put him into the church and as a younger son of nobility, a church career does not mean an obscure parish, you know. A church career means you wind up as a bishop, as he did. But his ideas were so mystical and his experience was so mystical, and they had no understanding of that at all; that was taking it too far, you know?

Rita: They still were active in the church but just, when you say–

Frank: They weren’t active in the church at all. They were active in society, and the church was a form of social – well, the church was another form of government in a way. So that as John was in the House of Lords, and his son became in the House of Lords, so Bertram was in the church arm, you see. And of course, as a bishop would wind up in the House of Lords as well. It was not an alternate, but a supplementary means of rising in society.

Bertram very much did not have a common working-your-way-up-through-the-ranks, you know? More like, becoming a bishop as soon as it’s possible. The idea was for him to be almost a boy-bishop, but plans got changed because he wound up almost in disgrace in a way, and fortunately had his family’s connections. He became part of a circle within the church in Salisbury that was a secret circle within the church that was experimenting directly with consciousness. Does this sound familiar?

And the ways of including this increase in consciousness, the –

Well, we should back up. You know – perhaps you don’t know. There are two people in his life now that were integrally connected with this. His brother Paul, being a lay brother who was the gardener, who knew herbs, and his friend Kelly, who was the head of the scriptorium, who was the one who inculcated him into the circle. Because he had his scholastic abilities, and his mental acuity, he rose to the top quickly just on that, but then beyond that he had this mystical understanding that led him into this circle.

Ancel himself was half Norman, but he was a bastard, so it was – he didn’t have the possibilities open to him that Bertram did, you know. Nonetheless there was not the social divide between that you might think there would be.

Rita: Who is Ancel?

Frank: Ancel is the head of the scriptorium, who brought him into the circle. This was Kelly now. This is her resonance now.

Well, they learned a lot and they did a lot, and they were basically caught by authorities and were in some danger of – it could have been quite severe punishment, actually. One of the bonds between Frank and Paul is that they agreed to stick together. To just — No one would say anything. Do you see, they were able to trust each other.

Well, Ancel was not destroyed, but he was somewhat punished. But Bertram was far too well connected to be punished. What was done instead is, he was kicked upstairs and he was moved from Salisbury to Canterbury. However, being the son of a Duke [there it is again; the brother was a baron until he took over his father’s dukedom. I wonder, duke of what? I don’t know if I be–]

Well, anyway, being the son of a highly placed nobleman, going to Canterbury, could not be perceived as being demoted, and therefore he became a bishop. You’d think that was unlikely and odd that a person who was – not exactly in disgrace, but would have been had he been nobody – would be moved up to a bishop, but it was more common than you might think, given the – remember the smallness of the circles. The decision-makers all knew each other and they were mostly related to each other. So it was much more of a family affair than you can almost envision in your time.

Well, we can give you a good example. It would be a much larger version of the relations you see at the Monroe Institute, in which people know each other or know of each other, regardless how geographically spread they are. You already have more people than know all of each other, but in an organized fashion it would have been quite easy to have the same thing. Anyway, that’s a good example for you.

In fact, it’s a very good example. It implies shared experiences, shared understandings, things that can’t be explained to others not because they’re secret but because they’re the products of experience, you know, and the experience is not easily explained.

[I think they drifted here, in mid-explanation, from an analogy of society in general to one of the secret society within the church.]

Anyway, for all of that reason he became a bishop despite the fact that he was able to perform miracles. [pause] And we say “despite.”

Rita: Mm-hmm. I want to ask about that in a minute, but just to be clear here, when you’re talking about the circle of mystics and the total picture there of the various people connected to the church, how much is the church focus group an isolated operation and how much is it tied to the rest of the church through Europe?

Frank: Well, it was very much centered in Britain, England, and the reason why is that it was very much a secret society within the church. It was not a known circle. It would not have been approved. It skated on heretical. And it was right on the verge of being in conflict with Roman authority. Okay? Anything that seeks direct knowledge of the divine is in conflict with any institution that wants to structure that. Well, the western church had a very different experience than all of continental Europe. The Irish, the Scot and the Welsh and the English church all came out of the tradition from which Columba was a part. It’s not remembered too much today, but the Celtic church was quite different than the Roman church, and England was more or less the meeting ground of the two. So therefore—

The Celtic church was more based on monasteries, and on individual groups of – well, the best way to say it is that they were communities of people who were attempting to interface with the divine on a regular basis. The church in the Roman model was a government, a spiritual government with different centers. There’s quite a difference in approach between the two. The Latin model eventually overcame the Celtic model, but in England there were still the echoes of that earlier time. Where Bertram was, was no longer a Celtic church, but there was the left over effects of past history.

In fact, this is an unsuspected strain in English history today, but that’s another story.

Anyway, that’s a long answer to your simple question. There may have been, for all we knew, isolated groups in other parts of Europe, and we probably could go find them. It’s not something we’ve ever – I mean, we would have to do the research, in other words, we’d have to go feel for that, but probably there was. The Eastern Orthodox was much – the East and the west were more mystic and the middle was more organizational. That might be a way to look at it. It’s superficial, but —

Rita: So at what level of this church structure were the decisions made about what happened to Bertram?

Frank: Well, when a representative of the Roman church discovered what was going on (through indiscretion within this church) Salisbury being much tied to France (of course, everything was, but Salisbury was particularly close; it was easy for them to get to) when it was discovered, a formal complaint was made, obviously to the head of the church but then beyond that – this being the Roman model – it had to go up through the archbishops, you know, up through the English as well as the Roman hierarchy. It couldn’t just be dictated from Rome. The English hierarchy was, as we indicated, all interwoven with the English nobility. We still thought of them as Norman then, but – English, you understand. And so people like Bertram’s parents were in the decision-making chain, and they certainly knew and influenced those who were directly making that decision. As we say, he was quite protected. His intervention helped save Ancel and his friends, as well, because he put it to his parents, bluntly. (This hadn’t come out before.) He refused individual salvation, if you understand what we mean by that. And – he had to – it was a political situation and he had to cut the best deal that he could. He couldn’t get for everyone what he necessarily would have wanted, but he was able to protect them from being punished.

Rita: And in his case he was rewarded.

Frank: He did not regard it as a reward. Nor was it a reward. It was, in fact, payment to his family. “If we do this, you will now begin to give us what we expect,” and that’s what he did. It was seemingly a reward in that he got increased social status, promotion, increased responsibilities. He became a bishop. But what it cost him was the essence of what he had been doing, and in which he had found his deepest satisfaction. He was not only separated from his friends, he was separated from these practices that provided his life, in a way. However, in not too long a time, he learned to look at it in a different way, and he learned to look at it as, “all right, I had this gift given to me, now it’s time to serve.” Not his family, but his people. So he did make good use of this –

What his life became, he didn’t sulk, he just made the best of it.

Rita: At what point in his life did these changes occur? Was he a young adult, or middle aged, or –?

Frank: Well, he was in his early thirties, but that was later than it would be to you.

Rita: Because of length of life generally.

Frank: Yes. Well, because of the – we resist the word crystallization, because in context it will mislead, but – people became more concrete, earlier. They formed earlier. They hardened, in the way that concrete does. The mold set earlier. One might live to be 70 years old; one would still have crystallized, or concretized, or whatever the word would be, much earlier than most people would today.

Rita: You were talking about his ability to perform miracles. Can you talk some about what areas? Are you talking about physical–?

Frank: We’re talking about healing. Healing of soul, healing of body. Same thing, as he came to understand very quickly. And that is why –

You understand now, if you will look at his life through Frank’s life, you’ll understand things that you find hard to understand in Franks’ life without the context.

That absolute conviction that one does not need medicines.

That one does not need doctors.

That one can find the way to do it and just do it.

That the knowledge is available to all.

That the expectation is there that it should just happen.

All of that is from personal experience bleeding through, that has been with him from the beginning, so that at this point in his life, he can look back and say, “yes, I knew that when I was six, I knew that when I was 12.” The main purpose of that is to remove the doubt from him, so that he doesn’t say to himself, “this is only because I read about it.” Because this is long before he even dreamed of it. He knew he could cure his sickness, although he didn’t know how to do it. It was very frustrating to him. So all he could think of to do was to walk away from the things that he knew shouldn’t be necessary.

And that’s not necessarily such a bad decision, either., because it prevented him from becoming a believer in them being necessary. In other words, if they had fixed him, or if they had let him lead a more comfortable life, he might have found himself dependent upon them. That’s one reason why he did that. People don’t do things without reason.

Bertram’s focus and his experience were both that we are souls in bodies, and that the cure of the body involved first the cure of the soul, and that if you could do the one, you could do the other. He knew to bring forth the infusion of life, he knew to purify his own life, he was – he was a flame!

Rita: A flame?

Frank: A flame, you know, his intensity and aspiration and – He was fortunate enough to find himself with people who understood and brought it out, rather than those who would have stifled it. And then when he lost that circle, he still had had the experience of being in a circle. He had been an honored member – we don’t mean a pre-eminent member, but an honored member – of a group of initiates, and having had that acceptance and having had those experiences, he couldn’t then go back to never having had them. It gave him a place to stand, as we’ve mentioned in other contexts.

So he became – In those

You see, it’s curious how people think –

[Change sides of tape]

Frank: It’s curious how people think. Bertram was a cleric, and was supposed to be holy, and was supposed to be able to bring down the grace of God and the saints to individuals and heal them. And so when he and others did that, it was fully accepted. However, it is curious, there is a line beyond which people have a hard time moving. And when he brought back someone from the dead, it was thoroughly within Christian theology – Jesus had said, “everything I’ve done, you’ll do more of.” It was known to have happened in Biblical times, but it still blew people’s circuits. And in fact, although he didn’t really suspect it at the time, when word of this spread, it began the investigation process that eventually opened up the whole –

Rome learned a little bit of what they had been doing. If Rome had learned what they really had been doing, they would have perhaps been – well, it would have been gruesome. Might have been executions, in fact. What they were really doing was – superceding the church and even the Christian theology entirely, and going directly to an experience of oneness that could be put in Christian terms, but doesn’t need to be put in Christian terms. They were experiencing the oneness that Jesus experienced. And he was no Christian, either. Obviously.

Rita: So this was not lost when the circle was broken up? What happened? Was this carried by members of the group out into other settings?

Frank: You know, it was a little boy. It was a little 14-year-old boy, not so little, but –

Bertram really did like this boy. He liked something about his energy. He saw him as a pure soul. And it was because he was a pure soul that he was able to bring him back. He actually, using techniques that you know yourselves, he actually went out and in a way you could say talked to the boy and persuaded him to come back. And –

The boy was nobody special. He wasn’t the son of an aristocrat or anything, he was one of the parish. Bertram couldn’t even really speak to them; he didn’t speak their language very well. But he could read soul, and in his own way he loved that little boy. Not a little boy, but you know how you see a young boy or a girl, and they’re still innocent, and yet you see them beginning to get their strength? That was what the deal was. Nicholas, or something like that.

Your question –

Everybody who had the experience could bring it wherever he went next, but that doesn’t mean he was always free to use it, beyond certain limits, or disseminate it. They were all under enough suspicion that they were quite circumspect. But that doesn’t mean that they were the ones to originally have found it, and doesn’t mean that it was lost after them. It just means they – the people you’re talking about specifically—used what they knew, but they used it in a disguised way, often. And they couldn’t, they did not, teach more. They weren’t able to do that.

Perhaps you could say that in each of their lives — there were how many of them? 27 is the word that came, that seems a lot – but, this was the high point of their life, really, and when they went out into the cold from the warmth of that association and that joint work, they were dying, to a degree. They died to a certain part of their life. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly a tragedy, but it means that – well, when a fine thing is over, it’s over.

[pause] Nicholas. I think the boy was named Nicholas.

Rita: Did Bertram keep in touch with Nicholas?

Frank: Oh no! Oh no, he was —  Canterbury was as far away from Salisbury as – as Chicago would be from you, or more.

Rita: And so this is something that happened in Salisbury?

Frank: Oh yes. See, as we said, the bringing Nicholas back from the dead attracted attention, of course. Now, they couldn’t persecute him for it, and of course the natives [heh, the natives!] the people took it as a sign of his saintliness. But a reputation for saintliness is not a good thing in an aristocratic society and a church that don’t believe in saintliness. For one thing, it’s threatening.

But, as we say, that is the incident that called the attention to the authorities a little too much and began the investigation that led to breaking up the entire group of them. Then he was moved to Canterbury.

Rita: So when he was moved to Canterbury, was he able to continue in any way these kinds of healing practices?

Frank: Well, as an individual he could heal people, provided that they understood—provided that it was –

You may find this hard to believe. He kind of had to live down the fact that he had brought someone back from the dead. It was almost disgraceful. He had to try to appear ordinary. This was part of the price that he paid to save his friends, in a way. That’s one way of looking at it. It’s only one way of looking at it. But it is a valid way.

He was then a Bishop. As a bishop he had a position of authority. He had to be a reliable transmitter of orders, for one thing. He was an officer on a ship, and he had to serve in a certain way.

Rita: And was that where his career ended?

Frank: Yes, he died in Canterbury. He was forty-something. Forty-six came to mind, but that may not be right.

Rita: And he didn’t become Archbishop?

Frank: [pause lasting 52 seconds, which seemed an eternity] No. No! He did not. No, he was one of the under-bishops, that’s right. But what was the–? No, there was some–? He somehow almost became the archbishop. There was some –

When the archbishop died, he was not only in contention but was sort of like the obvious choice, but his past caught up with him, and because of that – they were afraid he was something of a loose cannon. And so another – He may have been like acting archbishop or something. There was a real – [pause] I still don’t –

I think that’s what it was. I think there were – I don’t even know if Canterbury has underbishops or whatever they call them, sub-bishops, but that’s the impression that I get. He was one of – how could he be?

He wasn’t the bishop of Salisbury, he was a bishop under the archdiocese of Salisbury. But he was in Salisbury itself, I think. That’s what’s confusing.

[pause] I think.

I’m saying Salisbury, but I mean Canterbury.

Rita: When I asked you that question, was there any emotional content around that?

Frank: Well, there was perplexity, because I couldn’t – I was getting both and neither, and that’s sort of where it is. So like, if you are the bishop of Kent, say, you may serve in Canterbury without being the Archbishop of Canterbury. And of course in my life, I’m thinking, wait a minute, Archbishop of Canterbury—and I was trying to leave out everything I thought I knew, and that can be difficult. Not because of emotional resistances, but – it’s difficult. Because when I’m doing it, I’m trying to feel toward the right thing, and if the right thing is something that I don’t have any sense of at all, it can mask as something else. Sort of like jumping to conclusions, really.

He was – [pause]

I’m not sure about that. We’ll have to go back to look at that again. But I do have the sense that he was not –

I wonder if there’s something between a bishop and an archbishop? That would maybe explain the perplexity. [pause]

Rita: If it’s all right with you we’ll leave that for now and ask some questions about him. He had a family?

Frank: I was just thinking of Mary when you said that. Mary was the sister closest to him in age the next oldest. [pause] I don’t know what about Mary, but the name just came up just before you asked the question.

Rita: Did he ever marry?

Frank: Oh no!

Rita: Wouldn’t be possible in his position.

Frank: Well, this was not the Protestant Church, this was the Catholic Church! This is clergy!

Rita: Those rules haven’t changed.

Frank: Well, [laughs] we’ll avoid a whole subject about whether they’ve changed or not, and just say that he was not allowed to marry. And it never would have been dreamed of. [pause] Which is not to say that clerics didn’t have illegitimate children, but they certainly did not marry.

Rita: [pause] Can you say anything about the purpose this life served, either to him and his development or to the world at large, or a smaller world?

Frank: Well it’s always well for the world when any individual is able to decrease his own internal barriers to the divine. It really is what keeps the world on track – to the degree that it is on track. Bertram as a younger son of nobility could have looked forward to a life of – certainly ease and privilege, and undoubted status – and that might have been fine, and might have been a useful way to live. But having the extra connection, shall we say,–

Well, he had an extraordinary intellect and an extraordinary soul, and those are not so commonly matched. You don’t see them under every tree. So given his ability to translate, that brought him into – perhaps you can see this easily – that brought him into another world, because the world of writing is an abstract life, and it is a world of abstract thought, and this by itself takes one away from the world in a way that is not experienced by those whose lives are sensory, like hunting. You understand what we mean?

So, the intellectual component took him away, apart from the world that way. The clerical surroundings separated him in another way, and cloistered his life. And then to be a part of a society of friends who on a basis of equality and acceptance brought him into yet a third world – all of those things really separated him from the world he grew up in. But he retained the values of the world that he grew up in; that is, he retained the advantages of it.

When he learned to really connect to the other side, not as hearsay, not as rules to be followed, but as a reality, he then changed. He became a force to be reckoned with, because – you know, just because you’re a second son doesn’t mean you have an inferiority complex. If your father is a lord, you know he’s a lord. And you’re a lord, so to speak, regardless whether you actually have a title.

When you combine that external social standing place with a real sense of standing in the other world, then you have someone who has no internal indecisions holding him. When he then performed what seemed to others to be miracles, he was preserved from what you would call psychic inflation because he saw they were not miracles, they were merely extrapolations, they were merely natural.

The fellowship he was a part of prevented him from losing himself to any of the seven sins. Thus this become an even deeper gain for him, rather than a gain that was balanced by a loss in humility, or a loss of common sense, or whatever.

Then when he paid the price of saving his friends – and of course saving himself, but he was going to be saved regardless – when he found himself, as he regarded it, in exile, and had a choice of either doing it grudgingly or doing it willingly, and remained firm to his principles and said, “no, this is what the lord has sent me, this is what I will do,” that was more a gain.

So, from a social level, it was a tremendous gain because you had an individual connecting and serving as anchor, same as you’re to do. From an individual level, it gained him in direct experience, in the experience of various forms of gain and loss of love and of pain, of willing stewardship – many things. And you can see that all of this, as it has been fed into Frank’s life, has fed just those same threads, so that he has been called to things that would seemingly not be a part of a 20th century American’s life.  

Rita: Did he leave any contributions in written form?

Frank: [laughs] Heretical ones? No. Um, there would be records of his life, but it wouldn’t be under the name Bertram and it wouldn’t be under his name of de—de-something. I want to say “deQ” but then I’m thinking deQuincey, and so I’m thinking I’m making that up. And I don’t mean that as a judgment on myself, but when you’re reaching for something, it’s too easy to reach for things that are familiar. Like 1146. That popped right up, but I was born in 1946, and I don’t know. I’m not sure that’s true at all. [pause] Same thing with him dying at 46.

Rita: You’ve been talking about contributions his life made, so I was wondering if we can name any of the forms in which his message is carried through, either written or handed down to others.

Frank: Well, isn’t that interesting. See, we just gave it to you, but you didn’t hear it because of the difference between our starting point and yours. Isn’t that interesting?

His contribution was made entirely in what he was, which led –

Him being an anchor was his contribution. And it’s an invisible one, but it’s a strong one. There were no external manuscripts by him, or hymns attributed to him, or secret teachings to others. No, that’s not there. But what was there was his – and this is true of all of you; your strongest legacy is your life regardless what you do externally. This is not metaphor.

Rita: Yes, I was recognizing the contributions that you’d talked about. The issue with many people and with trying to find out about the meaning in Bertram’s life – how was that carried on? Is it primarily his impact on the church, primarily his impact on those individuals with whom he came into close contact?

Frank: No. No, it doesn’t work that way. It’s a different way. This is a good thing to talk about, actually.

What you just said is a good representation of the way your society looks at the transmission of either information or values, but that isn’t what happens. It looks like it happens that way, but what really happens is, it is transmitted by way of what you call the other side. If you as an individual living your life, have an impact, it is because your being, your essence, transmitted to the other side, is retransmitted to this side. Now, it may look to everyone like you have an impact because you wrote something and someone else read it, and that is true. The “how” of it is true. But the real thing is, the person who read it, in reading it, connected through the other side to you on the other side. Or, a better way of saying it would be, you each connected to something on the other side which connected you.

Do you see? Remember, we told you a long time ago that anyone who ever reads a book connects directly with the author of that book, and connects directly to everyone else who ever reads that book. Now, if you stop and think about that, that’s a phenomenal amount of influence that one writer might have.

So if you take Plato, for example. Everyone has read Plato. [laughs] We smile at “everyone,” but you know what we mean. Plato has been read for 2,000 years, in many cultures. That is a tremendous anchoring force, right there, Plato’s works, because it holds all those people together, relative to each other. Although they don’t ever suspect it.

Well, it’s not just with books. You, yourself, by what you are, transmit to the other side. You can’t help it. You all do. Others, who are either in the body now or at other times, — others who are of a certain resonance reach forth and get sustenance, and give sustenance, from the fact that you’re there on the other side, that the resonance is there.

Sorry that it sounds so vague, but it’s —

Rita: I’m hearing you say that by just being who we are, we are making our biggest mark.

Frank: That’s right. Now, by being who you are you make the biggest mark, and then if you leave a tangible cultural contribution like a book or a painting or a song, or anything, that’s sort of a tool, that gives you more leverage, in a way. So that if there were two people of identical states of being, and one wrote a book and one did not, the one who wrote the book would probably be considered to be more influential because, their states of being being equal, the other one also has a power tool. But if one has a deep state of being and the other writes books but does not have a deep state of being, the one who writes books may be famous but not be at all influential, next to the other one who’s never heard of.

Rita: Toward the end of his life, how did Bertram feel about his life, and roles he had played?

Frank: You mean, judging himself?

Rita: Yes, evaluation himself in terms of what he wanted to do.

Frank: We wouldn’t say that he ever did that. His evaluation was always in terms of “how far was he from what he could still become?” We don’t mean that in terms of external ambitions. He had none.

Rita: This was then in terms of what kind of person he could become?

Frank: Sure. Bertram was the kind of person who is a saint, and it is inherent in a saint to be dissatisfied with where he is next to where he could be – not in the sense of saying “I’m great, I could be greater,” but of saying, —

Well, it’s more like, “I should be this, what a pity that I’m not.” No, that’s not right, it’s not a “should” exactly, it’s a —

“By the grace of God I’ve been allowed to become this good, but there’s such an infinite distance between what I am, and good, that I’ve hardly even begun.” Hard to put that without having incorrect resonances of measuring and “shoulds” and stuff, but if a saint is ambitious, the saint is ambitious only to become a better person, not to get recognition for it, or even to say to himself he’s a better person. If he says he’s a better person, he’s likely to say to himself in the next breath, “whoops, there’s pride.” [laughs]

Rita: I’m wondering was there a certain dissatisfaction, then, that he had with what he had–

Frank: Well, only a dissatisfaction in the sense of knowledge of how far he was from being perfect, you know. But anyone with sense would feel that.

Rita: At the end of his life, was his belief system coherent with the church, or were there parts where he had some personal disagreements?

Frank: Well, that’s an interesting question. The answer is yes and no, because –

He had quiet dissatisfaction with the entire idea of hierarchy and of the implied hierarchy of conscience, because conscience was primary. Primary. At the same time, he was part of that hierarchy, and he understood the necessity for it. You see?

It isn’t so much that he objected to anything that the church did in terms of rules, it’s that he could see that it was only a practical necessity and not an absolute. Now, if there was church theology – Well, let’s see.

You must look at the church in two different ways. One is the theology that says “this is how one achieves salvation and helps others achieve salvation. This is how one does the Lord’s will,” on the one hand. And on the other hand, “this is what will be done to preserve the authority and influence of the church and to maintain an ordered society.”

Those are conceptually different kinds of authority, and he had no difficulty with the theological end at all, although he saw deeper. And he had no particular difficulty with the regulatory mechanisms, because, you know, something was going to happen, and if it wasn’t that it would be something else and it might not be any better. He was sort of laissez-faire about his church politics. The differences that he had with the church stemmed from his seeing deeper, rather than seeing “other.” He knew, from first hand experience, that some of what the church thought was necessary, wasn’t, and some of what they thought was dangerous, wasn’t. But he also knew that this was not an argument that he could win, and there was no particular need to fight the argument.

Rita: Did he live in a period when the church accepted the idea of reincarnation?

Frank: No.

Rita: So that wasn’t part of his belief system.

Frank: That’s not the same question. You asked whether the church believed. The church had had it laid down that it did not exist, but Bertram and others from first hand experience, had the experience of those other — presences within their soul, let’s put it that way – and had to then decide among themselves what it meant. They had enough education among them to know that others had believed in reincarnation. So, in other words, when they began investigating, they didn’t start with a blank state, but they didn’t begin with a bias toward reincarnation at all, they began with a bias against it. But as they experienced certain things, they found that as they followed threads, reincarnation would be a way to understand that. They didn’t bother to make  – they weren’t really capable of making  – a formal structure. Like yourselves they were at the beginning of something, they weren’t at the end of a long elaborated structure of understanding.

So the short answer is, they didn’t exactly believe in reincarnation, but they knew that the statement that “reincarnation didn’t exist” was at least not quite right, and might be entirely wrong. From their experience, not from their speculations.

Rita: Are there other things that it would be helpful to Frank to know about Bertram’s life?

Frank: [pause] Bertram quietly made the most of his situation wherever he was, and learned that it doesn’t make much difference what your external situation is, really. That your internal situation doesn’t come by accident and therefore you’re always in the right place, regardless what your preference might be. Your preference might be wrong. And this lesson has been learned. It’s been slow, but we’d say it’s more or less been learned.  The thing that will now help is to be in ever-closer touch with the later version, rather than the earlier version, of Bertram. Frank has until now identified with the mystic and the healer. But it may soon be time to identify with the bishop. They’re still the same person.

[pause]  And, we may say, although it may give you a smile, his work with Hampton Roads has brought him closer to the bishop than he has ever suspected.

Rita: The aspect that had to do with taking on administrative responsibilities?

Frank: Yes. Of dealing with people. Of being in a position of kindly authority. [pause] Not natural to him, ordinarily. [pause] We would point out that so many threads of his life extend from this life that we haven’t even talked about, but a little introspection will bring to bear so many of them. [pause] When we talk about Joseph, some others will emerge.

Rita: Is there anything else there that we should mention before we finish?

Frank: Remember that David and Bertram and Joseph at the moment are always very strongly there. That the relative closeness and influence of one or another will alter according to external physical circumstances, but it’s like a friendship. The friendship remains even if you are separated by time and circumstance, even if your temperament changes somewhat. You may have friendships that span long periods of time, and they are [pause] they are a part of you that can always be relied upon, and can always be called upon, but they’re not necessarily the same as you, and therefore may not always have the same point of view, may not have the same values, may not always approve of everything you’re doing. You may not approve of everything they did. But there is the underlying continuing reliability of the bond. Not, obviously, just him. This is part of the human condition, that, as you learn to lean upon it, will make your lives more joyous and more flexible and more trusting.

[pause] All this project, as you well know, is meant to go to others, and to go unpredictably to those who will take encouragement from it. It hasn’t much to do with the two of you except as sort of a gift to the world, and as an amusement.

Rita: Yes, it’s a satisfying thing to do, in that regard.

Frank: Mm-hmm. You may regard it as dessert.

Rita: All right, if that’s it for today–

Frank: Enough for today. You have our thanks as always.

Rita: And our thanks to you.

[End transcript]

 

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