Monroe Institute Black Box session August 10, 2004

Edited transcript of a PREP session in the Bob Monroe Lab at TMI held Tuesday morning, August 10, 2004, Skip Atwater at the controls, Rita Warren at the microphone, Frank in the black box.

[resonant tuning]

[long pause]

Rita: We’re moving slowly up the focus levels, now. And when you’re ready, we have a few questions to ask.

Frank: [pause] Okay.

Rita: How are you feeling?

Frank: Very relaxed.

Rita: Good. [pause] Last week, as you remember, we had a different kind of session from the first in this series, and Frank was simply asked to relax into the experience and report anything he wished. We’d like to get your reactions to that, and if possible indicate the value in that kind of an experience for Frank.

Frank: My reaction is, it made it very easy to transcribe. Let’s see what their reaction is.

Rita: In other words, there wasn’t a lot of content.

Frank: [laughs] Exactly. [pause]

That kind of contact from the beginning has been a form of connection that has been invaluable in preserving morale if nothing else, a taste of home. There can be too much imbalance in a life, and it makes it hard to live, and this shall we call it, free-floating contact with the other side is a correction of the imbalance, it’s a – well, anyway, it’s very helpful.

Rita: So it isn’t important that the reporting occur at all, or is minimal?

Frank: Well, that’s not quite what we meant. The contact itself is very important. Contact with retrieval of content would be even better. But it would be better because it would deepen the memory of contact, in a way. Or it would provide an additional context around the contact, you see. [pause] You don’t see? If–

Rita: Yes.

Frank: Okay.

Rita: There was also some unusual things happening with respect to measurement on the equipment.

Frank: Mm-hmm.

Rita: And at the time you weren’t really able to put content with that. Thinking about it now, can you identify some content that went along with those changes?

Frank: Well, now – it occurs to us that nobody noticed the difference in that session. You were in a session essentially with Frank and no active wired connection with the guys. You see? It was experiential as you would experience it from a Downstairs perspective. You in your remarks just then just indicated that no one noticed the difference. Hmm. Which actually surprises us.

You know how we have always said that we’re always there and he’s always here, and vice versa? And that it becomes a matter of percentages as to which portion of the extended being is reported? If the in-time-and-space portion is predominantly reporting, your experience is of Frank. If the outside-of-time-and-space portion is predominantly reporting, your experience is of the guys. And recently we have been insisting and underlining the fact that it’s one being, not different beings, but that perhaps has the ultimate misleading factor of underestimating the difference between the two ends of the same continuum.

When you have a situation of Frank in the box and not being asked questions, he’s working from his Downstairs perspective, experiencing as things are given to him, and we are more or less observers. When you have Frank in the box and you’re asking questions specifically of us, even though he’s still hearing the questions and still helping to phrase the answers, we are not so much observers as active participants.

So just as in your normal life we don’t take over your experience of life — although we do experience it, we don’t shape it for you – so in this instance we didn’t shape the experience, we experienced it with him. So now we can add the overlay onto it that says to you, starting from your place,  holding one spot in the present in time and space, you can experience – we hardly know whether to say inward or outward – you can experience the non-physical dimension of life in this way (there are other ways to experience it, but this is one way you can experience it.) And if we remain in observer mode, you experience it as yourself expanding, or as receiving input from unexpected places.

You’re referring to the fact that his electronic measurement shifted so far in such a large scale as to be very unusual, and you had a certain curiosity as to what went on in that “dive,” as you call it. [pause]

Rita: Yes, we were definitely interested in that, and wondered if you could tell us more about that.

Frank: [pause] Well, you know it isn’t exactly as though –

I don’t know where we are here, but I’m having a real hard time phrasing things, finding words, sort of like yesterday [meaning last session], and the tones in my right ear are interrupting every so often. There’ll be a gap and then they start again. Not a long gap, just like a clip; that’s just –  [tones are lowered]

That’s better, but it wasn’t even that they were too loud, there would be a moment’s not being there.

Let me go back here. I sort of know what they’re going to try to say here, but I don’t know how to say it. Let’s see.

We have a tendency, they’re saying, to think that if we go into something on the other side and don’t bring it back, that they know what went on and we’ve forgotten it, but that’s not exactly the case. It’s more like, if we perceive and don’t interpret –

This does not make any sense to me, but I’ll –

If we perceive and don’t interpret, they don’t interpret either, so it isn’t like they’re resting up and at the end of our life we’ll look at it and say “oh, that’s what went on!” It’s more like, it doesn’t get perceived unless it gets perceived. No, that’s not right. What? [pause] It doesn’t get translated, so it never can get translated.

That’s what I get, but as I say, that doesn’t make any sense to me.

Rita: So that in the observer role you’re not getting a different kind of experience, in a way, or a different interpretation than Frank is getting on the Downstairs level?

Frank: [pause] Things are all messed up now. I was hearing that as addressed to me, Downstairs, and so I’m sitting here listening to it. How about if we – hard to know what to do here. If we’re not at 21, let’s go to 21 and try it from there. It seems to be easier to talk to them there.

Rita: All right, we will do that. [pause]

Let’s go back to that last question.

Frank: Yes. Yes, here’s what I’m getting. They’re saying, think of yourselves as cameras. If a phenomenon occurs, and the camera is there and takes the picture of the phenomenon, then you have a picture. If there’s not a camera, the phenomenon occurred, but there’s no picture. Now, if we experience – we being [pause] — I don’t know, at first I thought it meant “we” being people in bodies, but then that’s also them. I don’t know. Let me bail out of that. You probe it and we’ll see.

Rita: [pause] Yes, we had been making some assumptions that apparently aren’t true, that when Frank is having an experience not only are you observing it from the Upstairs level, but that you have also some understanding of it that we don’t have. And I hear you saying, “not necessarily.”

Frank: Well, that’s not exactly what we mean. It’s true that we’ll have an understanding that you may not have, merely because we come from a different point of view, so that would give a different understanding. No, we’re saying it’s more like you assume that any experience that you have with the other side, we will have the full knowledge of what went on because it’s on our side. But given that it’s actually through you, we don’t—

Okay, here’s a way to look at it.

Given that we’re experiencing the earth through your eyes, as we do, we may know that it is sunrise in Japan while it is not in Virginia, but that does not allow us, seeing through Frank’s eyes, to see sunrise while it is sunrise in Japan. We’ll see what he sees through his eyes, you see? [pause] Or don’t see?

Rita: Yes, I understand that.

Frank: Well, this experience, though it’s an experience over on the other side, you’re thinking, when you have an experience and don’t bring it back, that therefore we who live on this other side know what it is but you had a failure of memory. But it wasn’t a failure of memory, it was a failure of reintegration. Can you follow that? You have an experience, and then something changes and you’re called back, and your experience then is in a different mental state and you can’t retrieve it. And you think, “well, it’s there if I could just move my mental state to find it.”


That’s –

Gosh, I don’t know, that sounds right to me, but – for some reason that seems to them evidently false. And to me it seems evidently true. [laughs] So I don’t know what to do here. I can’t find a thread to follow, you know what I mean?

Rita: Well, let me say that when something unusual happens, as indicated on the equipment in the control room – something rather dramatic happens – we wonder if we can attach some content to it, and so we were specifically asking if this was possible with the last session. The content wasn’t available to Frank in his reporting, and perhaps it’s not available to you either.

Frank: What I’m experiencing is, you’re talking to me Downstairs at the moment. I don’t know what’s—

I think this contradiction between what I’m hearing and what I’m believing is making a problem, here. Do you know what I’m saying? They’re saying with their usual great certainty something that to me seems self-evidently not true, and it’s breaking the connection somehow. [pause] I don’t think we’re hurt their feelings [laughs] but for some reason I’m very much Downstairs-here.

Rita: Well, can you move – “move” of course is the wrong word, but —

Frank: Yeah.

Rita: — [chuckles] forgive me, but can you go to the state where they are more —

Frank: [laughs] “go to” is of course much more neutral than “move.” [laughs]

Rita: Yes. They leave us no path.

Frank: No, they take no prisoners. Well I don’t know. I’ll try. [pause]

I think we’re going to have to work from here and see what happens. I don’t know what else to do.

Rita: Well then, perhaps it’s an inappropriate question. What I was trying to get is an overview of what happened in the session last week, where there was rather little content reported and the content that was reported was rather fragmentary and hard to get any meaning because of the lack of connections.

Frank: I think it has something to do with passivity as opposed to receptivity. I’m not quite sure that what mean.

Rita: It means you aren’t trying.

Frank: [Missing the joke] Well, that might be worth looking into. How do you try while staying receptive? What’s the element of passivity as opposed to active receptivity?

Rita: Well, I don’t know. Do you have different feelings in those two conditions, or present yourself in two different ways?

Frank: I don’t know. I was asking them, kind of hoping they’d have an answer. [long pause] Let’s go on to something else, if that’s all right.

Rita: All right, we’ll do that. [pause] Because this is the last in this series of sessions in the booth, my questions are intending to be kind of overview or summary type questions. I’d like to ask generally about Frank’s work in the booth. He sometimes seems to have a feeling that he’s still making things up. We had an experience with David in which he was reporting on David’s life and then quit because it felt like too much of this was coming from the here-and-now level. What can we say about that?

Frank: [pause] About–?

Rita: About the fact that Frank is still challenging the information he’s getting, feeling that Downstairs is making it up.

Frank: Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what he is. It’s a matter of balance, like anything else. If you accept everything that comes as gospel, then you’re liable to be too credulous, and you’re liable to waste a good deal of time in fanaticizing, and if you doubt too much, then you cut off the flow and you get nothing to doubt, so – it just comes with the territory. Everybody has a different line where they start saying “maybe I’m just making this up.” You’re thinking perhaps that he should be well beyond that by now, but it’s always just as well to even doubt your not-doubting, if you know what we mean. So, it isn’t like he’s choking things off so much as that he’s having to feel for where his comfort level is.

Rita: He’s still afraid of being too credulous?

Frank: Well, that’s one way of looking at it, but another way of looking at it is, he’s still maintaining discernment, or attempting to, in a place where there’s very few milestones. And so it’s very much walking in terrain without any guideposts. Mixed metaphor, but you get the idea.

Rita: Mm-hmm. Okay.

Frank: Many a person who first experiences this proceeds to walk off the cliff, because they throw out any discernment at all, and that’s not productive.

Rita: I was wondering if we could go back to the topic of the connection between Frank and David, and think about it in terms of the characteristics of the main cables that Frank and David had in common. Would that be an easier way to try to describe David, or the relationship between Frank and David?

Frank: Only one way to find out. [pause] In other words, sure, let’s try.

Rita: Good.

Frank: [pause] Did we miss a question here?

Rita: The question was, what are the main cables that Frank and David have in common?

Frank: Oh, well, you know, we spoke of this years ago already now. The journalistic ability to experience and then using the thread of one’s own experiences, write or communicate something of larger interest. That is, to illustrate the large by means of the small; in indicate the horizon by describing what’s right at hand.

That, combined with an interest in exploring and a wish to experience, larger psychic horizons, combined with, in turn,

A certain skepticism that doesn’t want to be fooled by either what is wishes or what everyone else says, combined with, in turn,

A certain resistance to taking the word of authority for anything, combined with, in turn,

A certain aesthetic sensibility that enjoys the world as if the world were a painting, or were a symphony, you know. That enjoys the – we shouldn’t say “spectacle” of the world, but the – this is the major source of pleasure. Some find it in many things; they find it primarily in a deep visual aesthetic communication. It’s well beyond seeing. It’s a communication.

Anyway, all of that.  Then, there are other traits that might seem incidental, but it’s really hard to tell in a matter like this what’s incidental and what’s essential, because it depends so much on circumstances, you know. But the feeling of being an outsider in their own country, of – well, if you know Frank you know David, in a large degree. There are some elements that are different, but they’re more –

It’s another way of achieving the same thing in a different country, in a different time. So that to be Welsh in England might be the equivalent of being Italian in America. You see what we’re saying?

Rita: Yes.

Frank: But this cable has been described long ago. But it was described before we used the concept of cables, it’s true.

Rita: Yes, that seems to be important that we put that back into the cable terminology.

Frank: Yes, and this may have given you a better understanding of what we mean by cables, too.

Rita: Mm-hmm. And because we’re being very careful to think about it in terms of spools and cables. Do you have an example of what threads might be going through Frank or David that aren’t connected to each other?

Frank: That aren’t connected to each other. Before we do that, we want to make one other point, and that is, one of the cables that runs from the Egyptian and Bertram and David and Frank is the spiritual-investigation cable, the getting nurturance from a spiritual reality regardless of religious content. Okay?

Rita: Mm-hmm.

Frank: And you see, that’s an example of a cable that passes through repeated incarnations – and not just theirs, obviously – and when you’re on that cable, it will appear that this is a straight-line incarnation, one, one, one, one. And that’s how it appeared at first. However, by following that cable to another individual who doesn’t have that much in common with them, you could then branch off and, as we say, you could get to anywhere from anywhere. It’s just a matter of switching from one bundle to another.

A major cable that’s not shared by the two of them. Or cables, anyway. [pause] Well, David, for instance, being a member of an esoteric society is somewhat different because Frank would be somewhat less – he’d be interested in them, but unwilling to commit to them. In fact, as close as he would come would be the [Monroe] Institute itself. David was living in a different time, with different resources and different problems. He was more inclined to find validation in common pursuits and common understandings. It may not even seem different to you, but the difference is – a society that has, you know, to put it flippantly, passwords and counter-signs and even costumes, on the one hand, and Frank would be totally unable emotionally to do that. Well, — nothing’s predictable, but it’s not his normal way of going, okay?

Another difference would be, for instance, Frank really thinking at one point that he was going to become a statesman, or even that he was going to become a soldier. And those are just not at all the kind of traits that would be anywhere near active in David. [pause] There are probably thousands of others, but it’s not worth pursuing.

Rita: No, that’s useful to get that distinction. As you know, Frank has been somewhat uncomfortable with this idea that our original perception of reincarnation is different from the way it really is. Do you think this explanation now satisfies Frank? Is he clear about this, or is he still saying, “that doesn’t sound the same to me as my ideas”?

Frank: Well, we don’t think he’s ever made it very clear what his discomfort level is. The discomfort stems from on the one hand feeling that in fact there is an essence that goes into a lifetime and comes out and then goes into another lifetime for reasons partly of unfinished business from the previous lifetime – on the one hand – and on the other hand the way we’re describing things as the other half of that same process. Both halves of that process are true, and we’re only talking about one because everyone talks about the other.

But again I think we did leave a clue somewhere telling you that if you will examine Peter Novak’s works it will give a sense of the how you are among other things a meeting of soul and spirit in one bundle. Not that Novak thinks of it quite that way, but the point is, it is accurate to see those two seemingly contradictory descriptions of reality. It’s accurate to see that both of them are a part of the whole reality. The traditional sense of the spirit going in, coming out, going in and coming out, going in and coming out, learning lessons, being shaped, changing, having to pay debts, that kind of thing, could fit pretty closely in the sense of spirit, whereas the uniquely formed bundle that comes with many other threads and [word missing here] other places is closer to being what traditionally would have been thought of as the soul.

Probably Frank hadn’t quite gotten to that point until just now, but you see this is –

what’s going on is a sense that our explanation is not so much wrong as incomplete, and we freely agree with that. But as we say, everyone else has been describing the repetitive dipping of spirit into matter; we have been describing the creation of soul from pre-existent threads. It is the meeting of soul and spirit in the bundle that makes the bundle. But we’re not going to go into that at the moment. Unless you want us to, we can.


Rita: Well, I just think that much is very helpful, to put that together, and I just don’t want Frank coming out again and saying “I don’t see why they don’t see it the same way I do.”

Frank: We’re not going to answer for anything Frank might do. [they laugh]

Rita: I feel like this ought to be satisfying to him. I don’t know if it is or not.

Frank: [yawns]

Rita: One other thing along this line that I wanted to check out. And that has to do with Bertram.

Frank: Mm-hmm.

Rita: Frank has been having a chest pain. He thinks it might be something that Bertram also experienced, and he’s wondering about that connection.

Frank: [chuckles] Notice the cough as you mention Bertram.

Rita: Yes.

Frank: Well, we would not say that’s exactly what he was seeing. [chuckles] You will remember that the last time, when he got cold in the booth, he put his hand over the center of his chest to try to warm the chest, and he told you that that is where he felt what he calls that “foggy feeling” in Bertram’s chest. That he thinks that Bertram lived with this miasma and may have had tuberculosis, but had in any case something organically wrong with his lungs.

Rita: So you think this was possibly a shared cable.

Frank: Oh, it’s definitely a shared cable! They share many — Okay, all right, now here’s something we may never have talked about, or maybe we did. You can have – gosh.

There could be two traits in an individual. Say Bertam has two different sets of traits, and they make a big cable and a little cable. And the big cable goes here and there and eventually hooks up to Frank, and that is the same cable that’s shared with David and the Egyptian, and that is the deep nourishment from the spiritual world. But there could also be a smaller cable in this case lung trouble, you see? And that lung trouble is shared with others, and it is also shared with Frank. That doesn’t mean that David has to have lung trouble. It doesn’t mean the Egyptian had to have lung trouble. You see. And it doesn’t mean they had to have anything in common at all, but this is an example of something that can happen, where there are two –

Well, it’s almost too simple to talk about. Two cables left and two cables came into the same person, but they don’t have anything in common otherwise necessarily. That’s all. This is a strong link between them. This is a link they share, for instance, with Henry Thoreau. It is a lowering of the physical vitality as a means of preserving a sensitivity to the spiritual side, which either can be outgrown or not be outgrown, but it is used as a – convenience.

Rita: All right. One of the things you said a bit ago leads me to another question. When we think about all the cables represented in a particular individual, and some of them shared – there’s some point at which the sharing becomes a sense to the person of the reincarnation idea, that somehow there was a real connection to another person.

Frank: Mm-hmm.

Rita: That obviously doesn’t happen with a lot of individuals, even though from your description many cables are shared with many individuals.

Frank: Well yes, but supposing you have 50 incoming cables, and they come from 50 different people, you’re not going to have the same sense of real strong connection as if 25 of them came from the same person. You see? Obviously these numbers are made up, but at some point you share a major enough cable with another individual, you’re going to feel a particular pull to that person, and if you happen to learn about them historically, or whatever, or if you have an altered-state experience that brings you down that cable, it’s going to be such that you will feel that it persuades you of the reality of your link to that person. You may then jump to conclusions about that link, but you will have known the link. Whereas if it’s 25 different threads, 25 different people, it may never occur to you – in fact, it may seem counter-intuitive – to hook yourself to other beings. You may feel much more strongly the pull of the spirit rather than the soul, saying “I am an individual – I have nothing to do with other lifetimes.”

Rita: As you were saying that, you first said something about the number of cables shared, and then switched to the nature of some cables, as I understood you.

Frank: Well what we mean is, if you have enough shared traits, it can be considered a large cable, but we’re just shifting the metaphor in the middle; it hardly matters. If you have 50 incoming traits, and 25 of them come through the same other person, are shared with that other person, then if you begin to explore that, you’re going to feel like you have been that person. But if the 25 come from all different places, then there’s nowhere to go to where you’ll feel like –

In other words, if there’s no one major cable from somewhere else, there’s no reason for you necessarily to feel like you did incarnate other times.

Rita: Okay, with that statement then we’re back to the number of cables shared.

Frank: Well, it’s just an analogy.

Rita: Let me ask the other side of that. And that is, is there a cable more important than the others that makes this linkage? Is there somehow an essence of the person or some particular dimension that in addition to numbers of cables, particular ones that make this connection stronger?

Frank: Well, to do this you’ve got to get into another dimensions. If you look at the cables and threads all as one plane? If you go at right angles to that plane, then you’re going to find what you’re looking for. And we began trying to give a picture of that, but have been unable so far to get it through.

The continuity comes on the spirit level, not on the soul level. The spirit level could be looked at as at right angles – metaphorically, of course – from the plane that is the soul level. Your soul level is a choosing of threads and a gathering of traits and a sharing of experience, but your continuity of experience as an individual spirit –


You’re going to require a lot more sessions to get that across. You can’t do that in one –. We can’t even begin to think where we would start, at this point. It’s a right angles to the other, is the best we can do.

Rita: Could I ask a question that –

Frank: We’ll quarrel with it anyway.

Rita: It’s about definitions, I guess, here. Are you defining spirit as the part of the individual that never leaves God, versus –

[change sides of tape]

Frank: — and you’d be using a paring knife on it forever, to try and scrape off all the incrustations. Because, I mean, for instance, just on one level. What ever leaves God?

Now, we know what you’re saying, sort of. But the whole way that that is expressed brings in through the back door a sense that there is that which is God and that which is not God; that which is with God and that which is outside of God; that which is God and that which has been God. You know, or whatever, and it’s just –

To discuss it in those terms is to discuss non-realities in such a way as to make them seem real. We know what you’re doing, we’re not arguing with what you’re doing, but we can’t think of a way – [pause]

Maybe if we think about it long enough, we can. [pause] We really do know what you’re trying to do, but we can’t think of a non-confusing way to respond to any of that, because we’d have to quarrel with every definition.

Rita: Well, assuming we can somehow move close without really getting there, Peter Novak’s work is relevant to this. Can we think of this in terms of conscious-unconscious differences, or right-brain/left-brain?

Frank: If you keep remembering that it is an analogy, always, yes, you can do that. In other words, even the best scientific description of a phenomenon is still only an analogy, from our point of view, because it all is so en-rooted in definitions. In what seems to us to be arbitrary gatherings of this and leavings of that. Okay? But, having said that, [pause] his definitions of spirit, his close association of the word sprit and the word consciousness; and the word soul and the word unconscious, or subconscious, does seem to us to be useful to you to help bring you to a point of intuitively understanding something that can’t be said in words. It really can’t. But you can intuitively get it, and it’s not predictable among individuals what will help you to get it. It will be an experience, but sometimes it can be an experience that’s only gotten in reflection, you know.

 Rita: All right, I think this discussion has been very helpful.

Frank: Well, we hope so.

Rita: Not that we have a total understanding, of course.

Frank: Not that we have a total understanding, either, of course.

Rita: [pause] That always is a shocker for us, as you know.

Frank: [laughs] This is why we brought it up

Rita: I guess there are two more things I want to ask about today. One is, we’ve talked quite a bit about Planes A and B, and the relationships that occur there. Is there anything more you can tell us about the relationship between those planes that would be helpful to us? Or have we gotten as much help in understanding as is available?

Frank: Well, you may have gotten as much as can be given until it’s digested. And we really will help it to digest it. But just as Seth’s material required 30 years before it got digested on a wide enough scale that we though that this would be worthwhile to bring more, so this will take a while. Doesn’t necessarily mean 30 years, though. Because everything’s moving faster, plus, things accelerate as you begin going down a path.

The only thing we’ll say today is that we’ve talked of Plane A and Plane B, and unfortunately have been unable to make clear that the relationship – if there is a cable snaking from Plane A to Plane B, it is of a different nature than the cables that extend between places in Plane B. In other words, an interaction between one plane and a plane beneath it is qualitatively different from the interactions among any given plane. We’re not going to go any farther than that at the moment., but bear that in mind. You saw Frank’s initial attempt at a painting to make the interaction between A and B, and we have been unable to [laughs] persuade him to change his –

He’s tried to extend –

One reason the painting’s not working, he’s trying to do it logically instead of letting it flow. So things that are counter-intuitive he’s not painting, and therefore we’re not getting anywhere?

Rita: Yes, that’s really part of the question. Is there help available to him? Something more specific about how to proceed with the painting that might give us a better–

Frank: No. No no no. It goes just the opposite way around. As it clarifies in his mind, then he’ll know how to paint it. [pause] It isn’t like his painting will teach him something. It’s that as he gets an impression inside of his head and tries to paint it, and the paining changes the impression and all, back and forth, that’s a way that we can help him to clarify something to himself, which then can be passed right-brain to right-brain to someone else. But it isn’t like we can tell him something that will allow him –

It isn’t like we can give you a left-brain instruction that will allow you to make a right-brain painting. Do you see?

Rita: Yes. I was wondering. You’ve suggested things like – in moving to spirit, that we have to move in a ninety-degree turn or something like that. Those kinds of ideas, I suppose, are part of the helping in formulating the painting.

Frank: Not so much the idea. What we did, when we talked about that, we gave him a sense of laser beams going from A down to B, rather than the snaking kind of cables that he has attempted to paint, and because that was outside of his reference, that wouldn’t have occurred to him. He would have thought that was extraneous. He would have thought it was misled. Okay? He’s very likely to want to have to start another painting, to try again, but don’t worry about that, that’s just canvas. The important part is that his life will teach him what to paint, not words. Words can help point him in a certain direction but –

That’s true of everybody.

Rita: [pause] All right. I wondered if we could get from you your feeling about the whole ten sessions here again in the booth, these last ten sessions. An overview of what he has learned, or the usefulness of this material as a whole?

Frank: Well, the major thing is that this 10 sessions, with the three of you, has been a continued act of investigation, and it’s been a continued sort of dedication of your time and attention, and such things always lead to –

Do you see what we’re saying? Any act of work is an act of work. As they used to say in the middle ages, they used to say in Latin that to work is to pray. [Laborare est orare.] Okay. So in that sense this whole sense this whole series of explorations has been your group and individual offering to – to what? To the human race? To your friends? To whoever reads the transcripts? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s been an offering from you, you see. The “to” doesn’t matter as much as the “from.”

Now, we know where you’re actually heading, which wasn’t this way. You were thinking in terms of the sessions in 2000, where at the 10th session we pointed out to him that he now had a place to stand. Which is true, and which became obviously true. You will remember, however, that he got that experientially, not by words.  So if you will give us some moments to silence and – you see, we’ll put him in a position of expectation, and we’ll see what happens. All right?

Rita: Very good.

Frank: We’re making no guarantees. [Silence for half a minute.] I feel like an astronaut in a chair right now. In one of those inclined couches they use.

Rita: Ready to take off, or you ahve taken off?

Frank: I don’t know, but it was a very clear sense of that. [pause] Bring me somewhere to 25 or thereabouts. I don’t know why, but presumably they do.

Rita: All right, we will do that.

Frank: [silence for 75 seconds] Again a sense of weight on my chest. Like a definite something, pushing down on my–

Rita: See if you can find out more about that.

Frank: [pause] The elephant’s foot on your chest. That’s what they talk about. They say that sometimes when people have a heart attack. It feels – in fact, I get the sense of a round – just like an elephant’s foot, pressing down on me. Not any sense of danger or malign intent or anything, just that’s what it feels like. A very firm pressure. Like a circle maybe six inches around or so. It goes from the middle of my sternum to about my navel or so, and it’s just pressure.

Oh. I’m being pinned there. I’m being held. It’s like something – well, what is it? It’s huge, it’s non-human, it’s irresistible, and it’s holding me, it’s pinning me. Sort of like a definition of how we’re held in life.

Rita: Is that its purpose?

Frank: Well, you know, who knows what an elephant’s purpose is? And I don’t mean that flippantly. It’s doing what it’s doing – well, now it’s going away. Now what? Let’s see, hold on. [pause] Oh, that’s because I got the sense of it, that it does what it does without our having to understand it. All right. Now what?

Rita: It’s of some value to you, but you don’t need to understand it? Is that what you’re getting?

Frank: No, not quite, just “it is what it is.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s of value to you or not, you’re pinned, and if you’re pinned, you’re pinned.

Rita: Do you want to look at that any more?

Frank: No, give me a few minutes in silence here. I need to have nothing coming in so they can give me something.

Rita: All right. Very good.

Frank: [pause] [silence for about a minute] I used to come into these sessions looking for an escape, without really realizing it. And the point is not to escape but to transcend, which is often confused with escaping. When you transcend, you remain in your original situation, but become different, by not only what the situation does to you, and you do to it, but by your sort of willing participation in it, which transforms the nature of it.

I don’t want to analyze that yet, I’ll have to think about that, but that’s the sense of [pause]

When you have been pinned, if the pressure increases a little it’s as though it’s going through you, but it may interpenetrate you in a way which makes you and the situation the same thing. No, that’s not exactly right. By living your situation with an active curiosity and willingness, instead of being pinned you’re being held, you’re being supported, sort of. In other words, how you look at it affects how it affects you. [chuckles] That’s terrible, but you know what I mean.

Life pins you into a situation, just by your being born into that situation and then developing, and you make your choices around it and whatever choices you make, whatever version you live, you’re still pinned at any given moment at that place. Now, the analogy breaks down because “pinned” sounds static and “choices” sound dynamic. They’re both true, but the –

Well, —

If you hold in mind that one of the things we’re here to do is to choose – which they’ve told us more than once – and that choosing implies movement, in other words that movement – the perception of movement, anyway — is a  condition of our lives, the other half of the condition is being pinned to the present moment. Freedom is in the present moment. The more we live there without resisting it, the more – the more what?

The less –

Well, you don’t feel trapped, pinned, you know. You’re still pinned, but you’re not –

It’s a matter of how you see things, how you experience them. If something is holding you right on the moment, you can look at that as being trapped on the moment or you can look at it as being supported so you can stay on the moment. It isn’t like one or the other way is wrong, it’s one or the other way is a choice as to how to experience it. And there isn’t like one or the other choice is wrong, it isn’t even like either choice [of how to experience things] is permanent: you can go back and forth. You can go back and forth all the time, if you want. But it is a choice and not a – I don’t even know how to finish the sentence.

You know, we’ve often said people are looking for out-of-body experiences before they’ve been in the body. It could easily be said that people are looking to escape the moment or escape their lives or escape their circumstances or escape what seems to them to be a trap, or a destiny, or – whether it has good or bad words, doesn’t matter – and it looks to me now as if what we’re saying is, all of that is movement in the wrong direction. Experience it first, and then it changes what it is, rather than try to make it something else.

Now see, words are a problem, because part of being in the moment can be to try to make the moment something else. There’s nothing wrong with that. [pause]

Well, I’m going to have to give up on that. It’s too tangled verbally. Like many other things, it’s such a simple concept, but to try and express it tangles it up.

Rita: Bit I heard in that the pinning is also a support system —

Frank: That’s right.

Rita: fro maintaining life in the present? Life in–

Frank: In the moment.

Rita: In the moment.

Frank: That’s right. You can look at it either way, and either way is true. You are pinned. You can’t in last Thursday. But it’s also true that this is helping you live now. So it is a limitation, but life is limitation. And one of the limitations is, that we make up too many limitations by not being right at the moment. The moment is where the magic is, and by trying to move off that moment, or by moving our [sigh]

Rita: Moving our focus of attention?

Frank: Again we’re here with words again. You know just where I was going with that, and it’s the right idea but the wrong words. But it is the right idea. [pause]

When we try to live in the future, or when we’re stuck with living in the past, it’s not the same as living in the present, at the moment, and that’s –

You can be at the moment remembering the past, and you can be at the moment thinking about the future. Those are not the same things as being lost in the past or the future. At the moment is where the freedom is, and we’re being pinned there and we’re always fighting – or not always, but several of us are often fighting the pin. But being pinned is also a – it’s more than a gift, it’s a precondition, really. Anyway, that’s enough of that.

Rita: Sometimes I get into feeling a strong wish to move on, to move out of the physical existence. Is there anything we can say about that that would be helpful in getting out of that state of despair?

Frank: Well, you don’t need to. You can look at it is, “this is how I feel at the moment.” I don’t mean “at the moment” meaning “I won’t feel that way in ten seconds,” I mean, “where I am now is `I really have had enough of this and I want to get out of here.’” Recognizing that is a very different thing from forgetting the present because you want to get out of there.  [pause] Is that clear, or –?

Rita: Yes, I can see that.

Frank: Just as someone who has memories of the past — say they were in a war or something – that they can’t escape, can regain their present-ness even though the memories do not leave them, and they can take those memories as a condition of their being in the present, and it will transform everything, emotionally. That sounds way too easy, but in fact it’s true. By remembering who they are and where they are in the present, while they’re dealing with this overwhelming memory, is not the same thing as being overwhelmed and knocked off their feet by the memory and forgetting that they’re in the present.

Rita: [pause] I’d like to go back, if this is good timing, to looking again at this overview of the last ten sessions, because, is there a suggestion for Frank’s  looking at this in terms of “what next” or is this a stopping point – a change in approach to the material?

Frank: [pause] This is a good time for summing up, with the caveat that the summing-up doesn’t need to end with that day’s work. A summing up that began in 2000, with the sessions then, and stopped somewhere before these sessions might be more satisfyingly rounded off. But with that caveat, this is a good time for some summing up – which means the reliving and the restructuring of what has happened.

In other words, this is a place to go back to 2000, look at four years worth of work, and see. And there’s no good substitute for the conscious revisioning of it. Remembering of it, reworking it. It’s in the bringing it into consciousness from a present perspective that the work is accomplished.

Rita: So you’re talking about a review of all the material that has been brought together.

Frank: Not only the material, but also a review of the experiences. A review of the life during that time. For instance, a trip to Iona in this context is not extrinsic just because he wasn’t in the black box or wasn’t lying on a couch with a tape recorder.

Rita: [pause] Frank’s reaction to that worthy goal sometimes is “and how do I do that?”

Frank: [pause] There are some things said privately – us to him – that aren’t for public consumption.

Rita: Very good. [long pause]

Frank: Something’s going on with my hands, but I can’t figure it out yet. It’s like they’re holding something. [pause] Something very solid, heavy, like stone or metal. Stone, maybe. Like a bowl. Like a sphere, maybe. Maybe like a bowl with a top, so it looks like a sphere. [pause] I don’t know what that was all about.

Rita: Do you still have the image of the bowl?

Frank: It wasn’t so much an image as a feel. I had a non-visual image of my hands holding this. My hands felt like they were holding this thing, whether it was a bowl or sphere. It might even have been a cube – not a cube, like an oblong box. But I don’t think so, it didn’t have corners.

Rita: And was there something in the bowl or the box?

Frank: Don’t know. All I know is that feel of it was heavy, and I think stone.

Rita: Was the weight of it similar to the weight on your chest that pinned you?

Frank: I wouldn’t have put those two together. Oh, and I was holding it down by my left, it was like just above my waist and on the left hand side of my body, for whatever that’s worth.

Rita: Is it close to the area where you were feeling the pain?

Frank: No. No, I don’t think they go along together.

Rita: Okay. [pause] Is there something healing about the bowl?

Frank: I don’t get anything except that it was just being held. And it was really more the sense of my hands holding something than the sense of something being held. I’ve moved my hands since then, and that’s all gone. I moved them after it went away. Have them on my chest now, crossed over, parallel to each other. [pause] And as it happens, that’s a place I’ve never held them before. Feels almost ceremonial.

Rita: We have about five minutes left. Is there something specific you would like to do?

Frank: Let’s go find out. [pause]

That’s interesting, I’m seeing this whole computer setup: a computer, and a printer and a keyboard and stuff, and it’s on the other side, and it was made by someone’s thoughts, and you can work it. And in working it, the working of it connects you to this side by habits. You know, it puts you into an accustomed mental spot. It’s got some nuance of laboratory or hospital. Very white, very sterile looking.


Rita: We’re going to be bringing you back shortly. I’d like to express our gratitude to Frank and the guys for this whole series of experiences in the lab.

Frank: Sounds like a rock group: Frank and The Guys.

Rita: Yeah. [chuckles]

Frank: Well, I got a real sense that you and Skip and I are in this together, so —

Rita: Very good. We’re ready now for the countdown back from focus 10.

[counts me back]

 [end transcript]


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