Monroe Institute Black Box session May 25, 2004

Edited transcript of a PREP session in the Bob Monroe Lab at TMI held Tuesday morning, May 25, 2004, Skip Atwater at the controls, Rita Warren at the microphone, Frank in the black box.

Rita: Good morning, Gentlemen.

Frank: Big smile.

Rita: This morning we’d  when Frank is ready we’d like to move ahead with Frank’s list of other lives. Would you like a little more relaxation time first?

Frank: I would be okay except I can hear that surf [Hemi-Sync] in the background.

Rita: It will be gone in a very short time.

Frank: Yeah, we’ll be fine then. [yawns] [laughs] You may recognize that sound.

Rita: Yes, seems familiar.

Frank: [yawns several times] All right, we’re ready.

Rita: Very good. In our last session, we asked questions about the life of Bertram. Frank has some anxiety about this process that I’d like to talk a little bit about. He is concerned about identifying time markers or place markers and the possibility that he’s wrong about some facts. What’s the best way for him to deal with this?

Frank: Well, let us redefine the problem a little, if you don’t mind. It’s not so much that he minds being wrong, but he’s afraid that if we’re wrong, it means we don’t exist. [laughs]– in other words, that we’re a figment of the imagination. So when we give opinions he’s fine with that, and he can let it go through, because it’s just an opinion and nobody can verify or counter-verify it. But when we give a fact, and we say, “well, England is actually an island off Portugal,” and he knows that it’s not an island off Portugal, then he says, “well, okay, that proves –” you know.

He knows, intellectually, that the best psychics are 80 percent accurate, which means 20 percent inaccurate, but he still worries about the implications when we get something wrong – if we get something wrong. Therefore he tenses up when it comes time for something – as you’ve noticed in the beginning of a session when we’re dealing with facts – he tenses up and it makes it very hard to reach for what he wants, and then when he forgets about tensing up, when he just flows with it, then it comes easier. Like Cirencester, for instance, the town in England where Bertram was born.  He could get it eventually. He couldn’t get it right away. [pause]

You’re asking, what can be done. Just do the session. You may have to sometimes redundantly ask in different parts of a session, because sometimes what’s not available at one time will be available when he loosens up at another time.

Rita: Yes, we’ve observed that. So in general are we going about this the right way, with the goal of trying to get more information about other lives that will be helpful to Frank to know about, or simply satisfy his curiosity?

Frank: Well, there’s not just one way to do it, but the way you’re working is fine. Interestingly, the most productive way is going to be the hardest, in that you’re going to need to get verifiable details which, once he sees them — once he holds something in his hand, so to speak — will relax a lot of things, you know? So, the part that you’re doing very easily and almost in passing, in terms of the emotional significance of a life or what it shows, or whatever, that’s coming easily, because it does not run up against that anxiety. So you have a choice of going around the anxiety or going through it, and that is really your choice; there isn’t any one way. The type of questions that you ask will determine whether you’re going around it or through it, of course.

Rita: And you aren’t making any recommendations on which of those paths is better?

Frank: [pause] Well, we would say most of the time it has worked out better when you push a little.

Rita: Okay.

Frank: By that we mean most of the realities, you know. We’re not talking about your past history, we’re talking about “in most of the variants of the session, it works better to push a little.”

Rita: Okay.

Frank: [yawns]

Rita: Frank feels that he has some connection with about seven other lives. We assume there are many more than that. He has explained to himself the reason that he’s been able to touch into some of these is that they are relatively recent in time. The others I don’t know.

Frank: Not recent in time. Closer in civilization and time. In other words, less cultural difference.

Rita: All right. [pause] Is it most useful for us to try to deal with these first seven that he’s come up with?

Frank: Well, there are many ways to proceed. If you go through ones he’s already identified, you have the ability to get greater level of detail and more fleshing out, because you’re not beginning from scratch.

Rita: There’s one other question in this general area. He has talked about his connection with Columba, and I wasn’t clear: What is his connection with Columba?

Frank: Yes. To give you this answer almost requires that we answer the question that you and he were talking about before the session, about the structure of past lives, so to speak. In other words, the difference between following a thread and being shined [sic] through a lens. Because that’s very germane to the question of Columba.

He was able to contact the man and almost feel the weight of responsibility that Columba had borne, and also feel the faith that Columba leaned on, that allowed him to bear that responsibility weightlessly. The strength of his connection with him made him suspect that this was another life, but on the other hand the fearing the psychic inflation that people have where everyone is King Tut, or Cleopatra, you know, made him back away from it. And so he’s – he’s mostly persuaded that in fact it was a life, and it certainly would make sense in terms of Bertram having the same instinctive resonance, and he’s just a little worried about not only what others would think but also what he himself would think if he begins claiming famous lives.

But it should be clear, if you look at the pattern between Joseph and Bertram, that Columba certainly does fit right in there as a life devoted to the living out in three dimensions of the eternal resonance on the other side, as you call it.

We will give you a – Hmm, how shall we say this?

Within the limitations of what we have said in the past, about past lives, yes this is true. This is  a past life of his. But it is within those limitations. Now what we mean by that is that it’s not as [pause]

When we refer to a life as a bundle of threads, and we say that you may follow a thread and at the end of the thread will be others who share that thread, you can see that there might be 15 people (just to keep it simple) on a thread. Each of them is a part of that same resonance; they all share that thing in common, or you might say, that thing shares them, or that thing manifests them.

Well, supposing you had 50 threads – just to make a number up – and there were x number of individuals who shared all 50 threads. You can see that the continuity among them would be much greater than if they only shared one thread and each of them had other threads in all directions.

Okay. He’s got it pretty clearly in his mind now, but now we’re going to go back. We’re going to artificially put in numbers to tell you what we mean, to try to give you the concept clearly, but we want to say right up front, these are obviously vastly oversimplified examples. But there’s nothing else to be done

So let’s assume that every individual comprises exactly 100 threads. And those 100 threads extend to others who share that thread, unpredictably. So you might have a million people on that thread. There’s no numerical or any other kind of limitation to the number of people who may share that particular thread. But there are 100 [different threads] in the total bundle. Now if you have a person who has one thread that’s a healing thread, let’s call it; another thread that’s an assassin thread, a third thread that is a farming thread, a fourth thread that is a manipulation-of-others thread—each of those threads go off toward other [individuals]; each of those threads in others are part of a bundle that contains different threads than the bundle that you started from. Obviously.

So you can see that in a way these threads are connecting everything together. If you start from the point of view of the individual, these threads connect everything together, and all of you together. But if you only share one thread with another individual, that may or may not be a meaningful thing; it may or may not be anything that allows you to really resonate with that other one, because all their other values and experiences may be radically different. You might even be opposed to each other. Just because two people have the ability to persuade, let’s say, doesn’t mean they have anything at all in common beyond that talent.

Now of those 100 threads, there might be a case in which 33 of those threads, one third of those threads, are all shared among several individuals. They’re going to have a very strong bond, and they’re going to have a very strong ability to flow information back and forth. (Not just concepts, but emotions, memories, — life experience in general.) Were you to have two individuals who both had all 100 threads together — you would not, because it would be the same individual, in a way – but if you did, they would be—

Hmm. [pause] You have sometimes identical twins, and those identical twins may share 90 threads out of 100, and to all extents and purposes they’re one person in two bodies. That’s the sense we’re trying to give you.

Now, we know this is elaborate, but we had to do this. Now, go back to Frank, specifically, and Columba, specifically. Now, Frank and Bertram and Columba and Joseph certainly share a bundle of bundles of threads, connected around healing and spiritual development and on-going connection with the other side. In other words, if you have someone who has a strong interest in healing, that particular thread may be associated with threads of connection with the other side, as in Frank’s case, in which case you have someone who becomes a spiritual healer. Or that thread may be connected with ambition and with mechanical ability and with intellectual acuity and other things, and you may have someone who becomes a surgeon. We’re not saying at all that surgeons and faith-healers and energy-workers and general practitioners, and, oh, dentists or whatever are in any way contradictory. We’re saying they each have in common certain threads, and those threads are bundled with other threads which make them very different. So your threads that run through your lives both connect and by combinations of them, differentiate.

So, — when you look at Columba and you look at Frank, you haven’t the data, and needn’t have the data, as to who else shares the threads that are the most active in their lives, but at some point you have enough of a commonality that, for all extents and purposes, they could be regarded as one being an incarnation, sharing the – [pause]

There’s not really good words for this. All right, it will seem to you they share a good deal of the essence of the other, which is why it looks like a reincarnated being. So that you may have someone who shares significant bundles that were in a different person. They will resemble that person in many ways and yet have differences. Sometimes perplexingly so. It’s very difficult to discuss this topic, because everything we say is not only a little bit unavoidably distorted, but it is also tempting us to go off in other directions, as for instance to talk about physical heredity and the transmission of bundles that way. But we would rather not, because that’s not your main interest here. We’ll stop and ask you for more feedback on where you want us to go with this.

Rita: We really appreciated getting this overview again, and–

Frank: Was it helpful, then?

Rita: Very helpful, and it’s supportive of the way that we have been thinking about it. But it also clarifies a number of points. Could I—

Frank: He should paint this! He could paint this idea, or draw it.

Rita: All right. That’s—we’ll ask for that. [pause] I realize from what you’re saying, there’s no magic number, 33 out of a hundred or whatever, but is there some proportion of similarity that would lead us to say, “yes, that’s enough of a connection that that’s worth following through,” or does that depend on the trait that we’re talking about.

Frank: Well, we would say just follow the feel of it, because remember, we always say to you that individuals are like a convenient fiction. Thinking of yourselves now as hollow spools full of threads – if you thought of yourself as a hollow spool packed with threads, each thread of which leads off to other spools that are similarly put together, you see why we don’t see that question in the same way that you see it. So the simple answer to your question becomes, just follow the ones that seem most appropriate. There’s a reason why they will seem most appropriate. In other words, you needn’t worry much about it, you can just go follow your interest and it will be fine. If there weren’t an underlying connection, your interest wouldn’t be there.

Rita: So, by and large what we’re doing here is waiting for Frank to come up with a suggested individual to follow

Frank: Well, there’s no reason you can’t do it either. We didn’t mean him or you, we meant, in general, in pursuing connections along other threads to other lives, the obvious connections will be the ones that are by definition ripe for being pursued.

Rita: All right, and we’ll just have faith that that’s what will happen.

Frank: It’s another example of the fact that what to do is always right there. You never have to go across the world to find what’s to do next, it’s always right there for you.

Rita: All right, and I had suggested earlier that Frank had some thoughts about why these particular seven lives – or some of those seven – came up for him. Do you have other dimensions that you would suggest would relate these lives?

Frank: Well, we sort of smile because what he’s describing as his ideas are things that he’s been told over the past sessions – the past few years, you know – and that’s fine, [laughs] absorbing is what he’s supposed to do, but our understanding of it very remarkably is the same as his, given that he [laughs] was absorbing what we were saying.

Rita: The source is the same.

Frank: Not only is the source the same, but the source told him, and he transcribed it  and thought about it and there you are, you know. [laughs] But now it’s his.

The closer you are in resonance to something else, the easier it is to get it. Now, if we go back to our analogy of hollow spools holding threads, you can see that if there is a whole bundle that goes off in a certain direction –

It will be easier for you to follow 40 threads rather than one thread, if the 40 all go to the same place. Well, if you’re living in the same civilization, more or less in the same times, and you have all of your cultural background in common, and much of your intellectual background–. You see what we’re saying? There are two ways to be close, and one way is your external circumstance. You grew up in America in the 20th century, you know things about each other; you share certain – well, let’s call them threads – that you won’t share with someone who grew up in the 19th century, or who grew up in 20th century Japan. One of the things your culture does, although you never think of it in that way, is that it provides you common threads.

So one easily accessible kind of life will be one that has been lived relatively nearby in time and space. The other one is that which has the most what you might call internal characteristics, or perhaps life-purpose characteristics. Threads such as closeness to the other side, an interest in sainthood (not in terms of being exalted [by others] but in terms of what a saint actually is) or an interest in art, or an interest in mathematics. A highly scientific, artistic mathematician today might find many more resonances with the life of Christopher Wren, say, or Roger Bacon, than with someone much closer in time and space. So there’s two ways the resonances may appear. What we have been calling resonances you might profitably think about as clusters or bundles of threads, manifesting as areas of similarity.

Rita: Similarity in interests or in —

Frank: Could be interests, could be temperament, could be experience, could be many of those things. Could be aspirations.

Rita: It seemed, when we talk about Bertram, that the connections there were with the church, with the healing theme. Are those–?

Frank: Well, Bertram’s prime motivator was a desire to be a saint. Not to be sainted externally, but to he wanted to live a holy life. He wanted to come as close as he could while in a body to living everyday life, as he would put it, “with God or in the presence of God”; as you might put it, “with an active awareness of the other side, and the parts of himself that extend to the other side.” An awareness and a willingness to do the work.

Now, within that there were specific threads, of course, that are culturally related. But as well as that, the healing – he was not primarily interested in being a healer. He was primarily interested in being a monk, in being a –. You hardly have words for it today. He wanted to live a holy life, we’ll just come back to that again. That was the biggest bundle of threads, let’s put it that way. Therefore, anything that he touched, such as healing, or such as the priesthood or such as counseling people, — anything he did, you know, had he been a builder – would have stemmed from that primary orientation toward holiness. Bertram never would have considered himself a healer. Anyone that he healed, he said to himself, “not me, but Christ in me,” meaning, he brought forth the energy; he acted as a conduit for the energy, for the grace. He never confused himself with the source of the energy, the source of the grace.

It’s a way of being you can hardly conceive of in your time.

Rita: Just briefly, he has mentioned two others who are not in this fairly recent time sequence. One, Joseph the Egyptian, and one, Clio. Can you mention what kinds of connections might be there.

Frank: Sure. That would be very good, in fact. In the Egyptian monk — whose name, you must realize, is not Joseph, but it means Joseph, and that’s easier for you as English-speakers — that monk had an entire structure. He lived in a unitary society. Unitary, by which we mean integral. There was no contradiction in that society. It all flowed together. Therefore he had a space, the others had a space. Their lives were like a  ballet in a way that you can’t imagine, because they all functioned harmoniously. They functioned harmoniously because they were functioning out of what can only be called a common consciousness, although they didn’t share group mind; we don’t mean that at all. But they had a – trying to think if we can say this in terms of threads and bundles – [pause]

The awareness of themselves as individuals that were not part of a social matrix was almost non-existent, whereas your civilization is almost at the other end of that spectrum. They primarily saw themselves as a part of an uninterrupted wholeness. Joseph as a priest lived his life without contradiction, so that his everydayness was a connection with the eternal. This of course is very good reinforcement for Bertram and Columba and Frank and others on those same bundles of threads. The theological opinions of Joseph would no more agree with Bertram or Frank than either of those with each other. But the experience was basically the same experience, and the differences in those experiences – the different threads – were primarily cultural, involving not only usage, practice, ritual, but also the differences in a person that are the result of that person growing up in a society and taking that as his primary reality. Don’t know a better way to put that.

There was Clio. The reason he shares the thread; this was a young boy who was trained to be a diviner in fire. Now, this was in Rome at the time of Pompeii, at the time of the explosion, the Vesuvius explosion at Pompeii. This boy had the natural ability – the threads that he had were a certain purity of person and of intent, but all of the cultural threads of course were different, and the – what you might call threads of opinion – were different from any of them. He had not the religious—. He was not a Christian, nor was he as Joseph was nor as Frank is. (And by the way the Christian-ness of Columba and the Christian-ness of Bertram were not identical either, again because of cultural threads.) But, letting that go, Clio lived in a society almost more like modern America than like medieval England, or Egypt. [It was essentially secular.] The divining in fire had its obeisances to the gods, but it was primarily a secular, utilitarian pursuit, and it was only his own mystical inclinations that made his life as transparent as it became.

We would remind you, and Frank, who had forgotten, of the monk in Japan in the 1500s, who spent his entire life following empty ritual, not knowing the internal reality of that ritual because those who taught him had forgotten the internal reality. Here was a man who lived his whole life and died assuming that he had wasted his life, and assuming there was nothing, and was pleasantly surprised to wake up and to find that what he had been taught was true, but the meat of the matter did not resemble the empty shell. When he woke up he realized that he had been taught everything from a deadness rather than from the livingness. That served as a very good reminder and counterpoint. (He sometimes thinks of it as a joke, in a way.) The threads that he shares with them, you see, are the same aspiration. The threads that he does not share with them is, he had no knowledge, really. He had no one to give him knowledge. And therefore he had no on-going experience, because he couldn’t get the experience. What he did, and the way that he profited, was, he did try. Until he finally gave up in his early fifties, and died. But he did try, and that was where the benefit came. But he didn’t know anything. It’s a good counterpoint to these others who do know something, you see?

And the reason he is one of the threads of Frank’s bundle is that Frank is more in the sense of someone who didn’t know anything who’s learning it again, and that’s what he has in common with the monk. Don’t ask us his name. Names are very difficult. His name is—[pause] Well, maybe later. Shin-ray, Shin-ro, something like that.

Perhaps we can use this as a teaching example. Now, take again Frank as the current hollow spool holding threads. You can perhaps see now how we use the combinations of the threads to produce what looks to you to be an individual. Everything within you is being held together momentarily by your body and psyche. But you don’t own it; you are a collection of it! And those threads proceed beyond you, as well, and others will use this and that thread. You see? (And of course the threads move backwards and forwards. In other words, you mustn’t think of it as a progression in time.) This is one of the ways in which you serve the wholeness of things, is, you add your own conscious awareness to what happens when you mix all these threads. That conscious awareness is then available for others. So now someone can look and say, “well, what happens when we use plan 3214? Oh yeah, that’s this collection of bundles over here. Well, let’s look.” And that collection says, “well, here’s what my life looks like, to me.” Now, this is only one thing, but it is one thing.

Rita: Can I ask, in connection with that, when we talk about when the individual represented by these current threads becomes crystallized, what’s the relationship between that and threads moving up and down in time.

Frank: Yes, we said the threads move, and that wasn’t what we should have said at all. What we mean is, you can move along the thread and find someone earlier and someone later (the way you look at it). It isn’t that the threads move, it’s that you may move along any thread to anywhere that thread connects to. And then beyond that – how’s this for a game? – you can move along a thread to a different individual, that is a different bundle; you can jump threads and move to other places you couldn’t get to because you don’t connect to that thread originally until you go by way of that other bundle. When you’re doing that, that is as if – or it in another analogy for – what you have been more typically concerned with saying “talking to that completed individual and following his life.” You see? It’s the same thing, it’s just a totally different analogy.

If for hollow spools filled with threads, you now substitute our previous analogy of crystals, it’s the same thing. And you may remember that a long time ago in your time, we talked to you about how everything  is a crystal and there’s no movement. You might say the whole thing is one big pattern of woven threads and there’s no movement. But your movement of consciousness along it depends on what you experience.

It’s vastly more complicated than this, but you know we’re trying to give you something that’s in your four dimensions plus in every different reality plus every different possibility, and the complexity of it can’t be portrayed, because there is no physical analogy that could be drawn that would be complex enough. We’re doing our best, but you’re really pressing us, because we can hold the –

Like, for instance, Frank can hold this picture in his head, but he can’t articulate it. I mean, we can’t articulate it either. You see what we’re saying? There’s too many things where when you try to say it, the words lead you astray accidentally, because they have too many connotations. So if we use the word spool, it sends your mind spinning in about 14 directions, 13 of which we probably don’t want it going to. [laughs] And so if we say spool and crystal together, then we’ve narrowed them down a lot, because there aren’t a whole lot of connections that put the spool and the crystal in the same one, you see. That’s actually a purpose of creating an analogy, is to eliminate all the useless side-trails. It never works entirely, but it does to some degree.

Rita: Okay, we’re also doing our best trying to understand this as you go.

Frank: Indeed you are.

Rita: Let me ask, in this process that you’ve just described — let’s go back to the spools and the thread – what happens when the physical body dies? Is this process stopped, is it changed in some way? What happens at that point?

Frank: Well, that’s what we would call crystallization in a way. In other words, your physical body has died, your consciousness is then unable to continue to hold these threads together within space-time. Therefore what has been, is, but it’s no longer in space-time. You obviously understand all this very well, this is what you live. The bundle doesn’t cease to be bundled, it’s true. But it doesn’t manifest in space-time anymore, because the body that held it together is dead. Now, someone could, if they wished, create another bundle with more or less the same threads, and that might look like a reincarnation of the previous bundle. But you can see now that it really is not, it’s more like a recreation than a reincarnation. We’re hoping those words have the right connotations for you.

Rita: So the recreation would have the same elements in it.

Frank: Well, we’re saying, if you did choose the same elements, it would be more a recreation —to would be more like trying to copy a picture than it would be paining a new picture. Occasionally it’s done. And, we’ll give you an example, in fact. Supposing you took all of the physical, mental, spiritual, and intellectual characteristics of a given bundle. Let’s say you took Columba, and you took everything that one could take, and pulled all those same threads together in a bundle, but you put that bundle elsewhere in time and space. By definition it’s going to be different, because it’s elsewhere in time and space. It will have threads in it that were not and could not have been in Columba’s bundle. And conversely there will be threads of his that will not be able to be brought to you, primarily the cultural ones. So there’s an example of how –

You could look at Frank as a reincarnation of Columba in that limited sense of the word. That many of Columba’s traits, aspirations, abilities, interests, were put –

[change sides of tape]

Frank: — more like echoing, perhaps. Now, is that reincarnation, or is that a re-creation according to thread? It depends on how you care to look at it.

You can see, by the say – perhaps you can’t see, but you will as soon as we say it – someone else may also use the same bundles of threads from Columba. Now, has he then reincarnated twice? Well, yes. And are the two of them perhaps in the same town in the same day on the same day, so to speak? Yes, sure, why not? So this explains perhaps to you why someone can seem to have reincarnations that are simultaneous. Many people have been perplexed by that. What we’re saying to you is, in the first place it is not a re-using of physical material, there’s plenty to go around, but in the second place, what you are doing is recreating conditions, in a much stronger way than you might be said to be passing on something as you would pass it on genetically.

Rita: Okay, I can understand that. Now —

Frank: One last thing. Again, the major thing that is unavoidably distorting everyone’s view of reincarnation is that you come to it from the point of view of individuals as being integral, rather than constructs. That’s the single biggest thing that distorts your understanding of the process.

Rita: I want to follow up a little bit more on what happens at the death of the physical body. What is the nature of the bundle that is carried on, on the other side?

Frank: [pause] Well, we don’t know that we understand the question. What do you mean, carried on? The bundle exists, as it always does exist outside of time. It is the completed—

You know, you could look at it like you wired together this bundle with all these threads and as soon as you did that, everything that was in it was manifest, because any possibilities that could be manifested, are manifested, and from outside of time and space, it looks like, it just is. When you in time and space go through it, you go through it a time-slice at a time, and it looks to you like it becomes, and because you don’t see the alternate choices, you feel like it’s a choice that either becomes this or becomes that. Well, intellectually you know that in fact it becomes both. Now we’re asking you to expand a little farther and realize, it didn’t become anything, nothing became. The universe was and the universe is. And in the creation of those bundles was the creation of all the possibilities. That’s why we say to you that nothing moves. We know that your experience of it is that everything moves from past to future. But in actual fact, everything is, and you’re moving your consciousness up and down and around, and exploring things, and that’s fine. That’s what you should be doing. But that isn’t the same as saying that things really move just because they seem to move.

Rita: Okay, that’s a good reminder. I think I’m not finished with questions on that area, but I’m going to stop that for now.

Frank: Well you’re not straining our patience, if that’s what worries you. [laughs]

Rita: I’m straining for better ways to formulate a question to get at what I’m trying to do here. So I think I will just ask–. One very specific thing that came up last time had to do with the presence in the group to which we’re speaking of all of these energies represented by the past lives of Frank. All of these are represented in the group of guys, as I understood you.

Frank: Mm-hmm. Well, maybe, at any given moment. It just depends on what threads we follow, you know.

Rita: Okay, well, I had initially been conceiving that in a very limited way; those individuals that Frank had felt particular connections with. But are you saying that all the many hundreds, thousands, whatever there were, of other lifetimes are also represented?

Frank: No, we’re saying that you’re still attempting to understand this as if all these individuals that you’re talking about were real, and we’re saying that they’re not. If you will look at this as a network, a lattice, of interconnected hollow spools that hold together threads, you will see that everything that’s connected to Frank – and of course that’s ultimately everything, but some are closer than others – is on tap, so to speak, whenever you want to activate it. So if you ask a question and the question involves modern art, you can get an answer about modern art. If you—if he – if we—

Hold on a minute. See, there are some other things coming up and we’re trying to decide whether to talk about them or not. One of the things is –


Heh! Rita, I’m sitting here by myself now! [laughs] All of a sudden the whole crew went away. Maybe they’re in a funk.

Rita: Or maybe they’re making decisions, who knows?

Frank: Well, but they’re not in time, why should they need any time to think?

Rita: [laughs]

Frank: I’m not entirely joking about that.

Rita: Yeah, well, just relax there for a moment.

Frank: Yeah, I will, but it was really funny, like all of a sudden, nobody home. [yawns] [pause]

Rita: We’re changing the sounds here a little bit, to see if that helps.

Frank: Can you bring us up to 21, or more?

Rita: All right, that will take a little while, but we’ll move in that direction.

Frank: I think it will bring me up a little closer. I think in fact we ought to do a lot of this in 21. I never think of that.

Rita: Okay, we’re moving there right now.

Frank: What they have been saying. Oh, wait a minute, they’re close enough, let’s –

[pause] Okay, I think if you ask the last question again, I think we’ll get them back. Or whatever question is appropriate.

Rita: [pause] You had been reminding us that when we look at the energy once it’s moved out of the physical, out of time and space, that we still have the process going on of the spool and thread analogy….

Frank: Well, we were just saying it’s a mistake – it’s not entirely a mistake, but it’s not very productive, to think of it as, your life (whoever is the subject at the moment) is connected to x number of other lives, and you want to know is there 17 or 750 or 7500 or whatever. But since you are really connected by way of your threads ultimately to everything, in practical terms it becomes a question more of, how many nearby –

Okay, well wait. [pause]

The productive thing is for you to follow threads. They can be complicated or simple, whichever you wish, but don’t as you’re doing that assume –

Well, sorry, that’s not right either. Wait a minute.

All right. You’re looking at the connection between Frank and Bertram, and there are several very thick cables, like, of threads that connect the two. And others that go off in other directions for each of them. This is true for everybody that you’ll ever encounter, so when you say, “okay Frank, we want to talk to the guys,” the subject matter that you want to talk about will determine who is or isn’t talking, and who is or isn’t talking will change unpredictably, and usually undetectably to you, as the session proceeds. Because, it’s not a matter of a person at a microphone. It’s more a matter of Frank reaching out, feeling toward—

It’s like going down a thread, and getting what’s on that thread, and then the next question, there’s down a different thread. This is terribly wrong, but that might give you a little idea of it. So when you say, “are all past lives that he’s aware of connected to the guys,” the answer is “yes obviously,” because in fact it’s not a question of past lives in the way that you tend to think of them at all anyway.

If you are in connection with other threads, if you have followed other threads to other spools, they will by definition, if the threads are strong enough, appear to be past lives, and for all extents and purposes can be regarded as that. But it’s only one way of looking at it. So it isn’t like Frank has a particular connection to Columba because Columba left the body and reincarnated as Frank. It really doesn’t quite work that way. Although it could be seen that way, and it’s not entirely wrong to see it that way, but we’re trying to explain to you that where you begin in your conceptualization of the process has a tremendous effect on where you wind up.

Rita: I can see that and what I’m struggling with is the best way to ask the questions.

Frank: Oh, we know that, and all of this is sort of clearing obstacles out of the way, not just for you but for a lot of other people and so it’s not a wasted effort, and it’s not even a detour. Do continue, and we will get to the answer as best we can.

Rita: All right. One of the things we wanted to do is return to Bertram a little bit. We’ve thought a lot about what we received about him last time, and are wondering if there are some other paths around his threads that connect him and Frank that would be useful for us to know about. One of these areas that Frank is interested in has to do with the structure of the church in the days in which Bertram was at Canterbury. Can you say something about, for example, was there an archbishop there? What role did Bertram play during the time he was there, and anything else you can say about the structure of the church in that time.

Frank: Yes. By the way, the monk in Japan was named Senji.

Now, you realize that Bertram left Salisbury (he went elsewhere very briefly – not long enough to worry about) and then went to Canterbury, and at Canterbury was installed as a bishop. He was not the archbishop of Canterbury. There were times in which archbishops served also as the bishop of the diocese. There were [other] times in which the archbishop, particularly the important ones, had bishops serving underneath them, in order to do the more administrative tasks, and this was one of those times. The Archbishop of Canterbury was one of the three or four most important English clerics. Therefore he had three bishops serving beneath him. they in turn had parish priests and they also were responsibly for the maintenance of the institutions such as cloi—such as convents, and – hmm, cloisters. Using the word “cloisters” threw Frank out a little because he’s accustomed to thinking of cloisters as a hollow square with grass in the middle, but in fact cloisters were also a term used in the sense you use it today, as a cloistered society. So anyway the bishops were responsible for the cloistered societies as well as administering to the laity.

Rita: [pause] So within that structure, were there particular assignments that Bertram had?

Frank: Well, part of his punishment – if you choose to look at it as punishment – is they took a man of great intellectual achievement, and great –. He was not a scholar in that sense, but the work that he was doing in the scriptorium was particularly suited for him. The translation and understanding of documents. They took a man with that particular talent and put him into a position in which he administered a parish. Had he been the type to be frustrated, he’s have been very frustrated. As it was, he just took it as, “all right, this is what I do now.” But he did miss the more intellectual work. He wound up doing – running —

You know, in those days the church authorities were more involved in the actual day to day maintenance of a town that you would be today. (Today you’d have none, of course.) Not in the sense of being responsible for sweeping the streets, but in the sense of being consulted on a pretty regular basis, in terms of “how do we deal with this or that problem?” 

Rita: And was he acting as a consultant with individual people?

Frank: Do you mean, did he counsel?

Rita: In the community, yes.

Frank: Well, [pause] there was no such formal structure, exactly. It would be much more an informal giving people advice. But you must bear in mind that he wasn’t exactly comfortable with the – well, by that time he understood the language, actually, but he wasn’t –. Well, wait, let’s think.

[pause] Our immediate response was going to be to say, “he didn’t really understand the language well enough to talk to the people,” but then we realized we weren’t really looking at the right place. By the time he was at that place in his life—

(By the way, a little resonance of this that you’ll notice every so often. Have you ever noticed that Frank says “where are we?” when he’s asking about time? If not, you might notice it. This is sort of left over. [laughs] Not that he ever knew it)

He was seen as the good bishop who was regarded as a little unworldly, a little not-quite-in-touch but who had good heart and could be trusted to give counsel, and so they tended to use him for that, and he often just rubber-stamped what they asked his advice on, when it was things that both he and they knew that he didn’t really know, and it was just a matter of courtesy.

We don’t mean to make it sound like he was either a fool or out of his depth. It was that his primary task was to be the representative of the church in all matters for his people, and no one ever assumed that he would necessarily know practical details, but it was like if you went to your grandfather for wisdom. In a way, that’s what it was. It was just, “here, here’s what we’re going to do, what do you think?” “Oh, that’s fine,” or, “well, you might want to think about this.” There’s no real equivalent in your day. Not structured.

Rita: Are there – I don’t know what the right word would be – leftovers or components of that life of Bertram that are reflected as issues for Frank?

Frank: Well – now, that’s an interesting way to put it. We wouldn’t look at it that way. We would say – however, this isn’t really much different, is it? We would say, if there were 35 threads that together comprised a bundle, and that bundle was common to Bertram and to Frank, that whatever contradictions there were within that bundle are still within the bundle except insofar as Bertram’s own consciousness increased or decreased the contradictions, or changed them, or altered things.

Now, you’re getting into a much more complicated and fruitful subject here. This explains why as you live your life moment by moment you really have a sense that it seems to matter, and you really have a sense that you can make a difference, according to what you do. Well, within this relatively static schema of threads connected into bundles, here’s why you have that sense. You live your life. Let’s call you spools, it’s an easy word to use, but in this case meaning a hollow drum filled with threads that are laid down in parallel. It’s just a word. You live your life as a spool and your life presents you with problems. By the nature of what you are and what you experience, where you were put and when, you experience certain tensions, contradictions, growth, regression, mistakes, all of that – you know, you experience life. At the end of that life, when one looks outside of time and space, there is an accumulated experience. There is a something that has lived that life and formed as a result of it. Now the “something” that made certain choices is qualitatively different than the “something” that made different choices. That’s the reason to choose.

All of those exist, but they don’t exist within time and space, except one at a time to you. That is, as we’ve said, you can choose one or the other. Whichever one you choose seems to you the only real one. All right? Now, outside of time and space, your completed self is not only your length of years, but it’s also your length of years in every possibility, in every dimension.

Now, what holds that together could be considered to be the crystal, and each facet of the crystal could be considered to be one set of choices. Now, given that you have choices all the time, you can see how phenomenally complicated it is, but after all, the world is complicated.

When you in your present-day bundle, move your consciousness down a thread to whatever you share in common with a different bundle, you then have a choice of facets through which to experience it. And you may experience that through a given life that made very bad use of opportunities, or through another that made very good use, of through a third that made very good use but was very opportunistic and not loving, or through a fourth that was or wasn’t opportunistic but was loving—

You see, what we’re saying, you have all those possibilities and you will experience them from your side depending on which one of those aspects you go through. And guess what? Which one you experience it though is interconnected with where you are today. Have we lost you on that, or should we go through it again?

Rita: Go through it again.

Frank: All right, yes. In fact, we’ll do it a different way. But bearing in mind, it’s the same thing.

All right, we’ll make it concrete. Frank as a bundle is connected by a certain number of threads to Bertram, who is a bundle. Now, there are various replicas of Bertram and various replicas of Frank. That is to say, each one made different choices: They’re all in different realities. Even though you in your lives can only experience one at a time, when you’re outside of your life you realize that your full completed being is all of your possible realities.

Well, this means, if Bertram has some realities in which he sulked and did not make use of his opportunities once he was forced to leave Salisbury, and others in which he made the best use, and still others in which he made some good use and some not good use, Frank has the choice of which of those he’ll interact with, which of those he’ll experience. But part of his choice is [present-time] choice – and that’s how you choose your reality. Another part of his choice is what he has chosen in the past. In other words, who he is. If you have 14 versions of yourself and you can only pick one, what you’ve  chosen in the past is where you are right now. Now you can make a conversion experience, you can make a real choice and say, “no, I’m going to be like this,” that that is then your path. Or you can make smaller choices that move you there. So your choice today as to what you’re going to be also chooses what else you have on the other end of all those threads.

A simpler, much simpler example is, people say “you choose your reality and the people around you change.” And that’s true enough, that’s how it appears. But it’s much more profound when you realize that everything in you can be experienced by different handles, and what you choose to be now determines which handles seem most real at the ends of all those threads.

Did that help at all?

Rita: Okay, and —

Frank: [laughs] That sounds like “no.”

Rita: Well, I want to move it back to where we started with this question, which is, are there kind of leftovers from Bertram–

Frank: We had totally forgotten your question, that’s true.

Rita: –that present issues for Frank’s life.

Frank: [pause] Well, hmm. There is certainly the contrast between Bertram’s external existence and Frank’s, which in itself presents a problem of longing, in a way, you know. But we understand your question to be somewhat different from that: Did Bertram fail to resolve issues — or did issues arise because of his living – that are now still presented to be dealt with by Frank.

Rita: Mm. I’m asking that question in specifics, but I’d be interested in generalities from one bundle to the next, how much that process is an on-going process through the various —

Frank: Well, see again, we’re a little bit familiar with where your particular segment of society comes from in talking about this, and again we think that where you start tends to distort your understanding of it. It isn’t so much that there’s a psychological problem that exists that has to be corrected before the person can become perfect and return to God. Which is the way it’s sometimes phrased, not necessarily in those terms. We know that’s how it looks; like your lives are a succession of lives tending toward perfection hopefully, or losing ground sometimes.

[pause] Another way of looking at that same experience though is that every life is a gift of freedom, and that freedom more than any other thing is the freedom to decide what you value and who you are and who you are going to be. Therefore, it’s true in one sense and not true in another sense. Let’s say Bertram had a problem with anger. Now, as it happens, that wasn’t Bertram’s problem particularly, but say it had been. And say that his lifetimes end, and when you look at the completed Bertram, you find that in most versions of his life, that problem was not successfully resolved. It isn’t like that’s an unfinished business that has to be taken care of. That’s just what is. When you mix these elements into one life in this time and place, this is what you get. You get x number where it worked this way, and x number where it worked this way, and a third number where it worked a different way. It’s just what is.

However, Frank, connecting to that life and having strong connections with a life that among other things has an unresolved problem of anger, then taps into that, and it affects his ongoing life. Now, if he taps into one of the versions in which that problem was resolved, it’s not a problem for him. If he taps into a version in which it is— [pause]

We don’t know if we said that right or not, but we think you got the idea. Frank tapping into Bertram will either get a resolved or an unresolved issue, depending on which version he taps into. The version that he taps into depends partly on Frank’s resolve, and partly on what he has done with himself in the past. In other words, he could either just happen to be in the right place, or he could resolve to be in the right place to get the right resonance. When he does that, it’s as though the problem doesn’t exist and never did exist, because it doesn’t exist in him; that’s not what he’s tapping into.

So you see, Bertram still is Bertram. That crystal is still unchanged. And there’s no reason to change it. It is what it is. But the way that Frank taps into it makes it appear differently, and it’s as thought there was a problem and Frank was set the problem of resolving it and he resolved it. That is a perfectly valid way to look at it, it’s just not the way that we think is as valid as saying, “he changed, and in changing that’s no longer a problem. He walked himself to a different version of himself.”

[pause] Still not an answer, huh?

Rita: Well, I think it is. You had used the example at one time of Bertram’s being moved as punishment and he had a choice of how to deal with that.

Frank: Yes.

Rita: And that the same issues arise for Frank.

Frank: Yes. That’s right. That’s right. And depending on where Frank is with that particular issue, it’s either a non-issue or it’s a big issue. Or anywhere in between. But it doesn’t depend on something that happened to Bertram, because all things happened to Bertram. And it doesn’t depend on what has happened to Frank in the past, because all things have happened to Frank in the past. It’s a matter of which version of which one are you going to look at. And if you’re in your own version in which you are harmonious, you are going to magnetize yourself to other versions of others that are harmonious. It’s not hard. It’s straightforward. [pause]

In other words, it’s literally true, you life should be—

[pause] Well, we can’t say anything that has the words “should be” in the middle of it, but we’re going to do it just this once anyway [laughs] and that is, your lives are perfect. It’s just a matter of you seeing the perfection of them and – agreeing to the perfection of them. Of realizing how perfect things are.

Rita: Except that we are still faced with choice after choice.

Frank: Well, but that’s not an “except.” That’s the perfection of it. I mean, you’re here to choose, that’s what you’re here to do. That’s your fun. But it can be fun. It doesn’t have to be painful. It doesn’t have to be sacrifice. It doesn’t have to be strife, any of those things. It can be fun. [pause] If you want it to be.

Rita: And the times when it isn’t fun for Frank are just his choice?

Frank: Well, choice is sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious, but anything in your lives is choice. [pause] If you have an accident, so called, and you lose your arm, on a relatively superficial emotional basis you can say, “I’m going to sulk for the rest of my life because I’ve lost my arm,” or “I’m going to ask what the purpose of this is, that I lost my arm,” or “I’m going to resolve that I’ll be more careful in the future”…. In other words, your reaction to that misfortune is in your choice. But say you’re the Dalai Lama and you have seen your whole country overrun, and millions of your people killed, and your culture that you loved destroyed, it is still your choice as to how you are to live your life, and how you are to respond to those events. You may life your life in joy in a concentration camp. You may be miserable in a palace. It’s up to you. [pause] This is a great freedom. This is great news you’re hearing, if you can believe it.

Rita: Yes. We appreciate that discussion very much. There is a little more time a few more minutes, if Frank would like to just use that time relaxing….

Frank: No, we want to say a couple of things here. You’ve gotten us into very deep water today. Or, another way of looking at it is, we’ve gotten you into very deep water today. And it’s good because you don’t get from one port to another without going through deep water. Do you see what we’re saying? This has much more implications that just talking about one person. And you were speculating a while ago about the purpose of these sessions, and you still don’t have the sense of them, but one part of it is, you – you, yourself, Rita – are equipped for the rigorous intellectual discussion and analysis of a way of seeing the world which would be useful to people. So, just by coincidence you’re here doing it.

Do you see what we’re saying here? You’re not at the end of anything, you’re at the middle of something at the end of this session. This is only session three, in other words.

Rita: Yes, we’re very much aware of that.

Frank: And again, as always, we appreciate what you’re doing. Not everyone will do this.[pause] Many people would regard what you’re doing as torture.

Rita: Well, it’s very interesting and we want to keep up with the discussion and further it if we can.

[End transcript]


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