Overcoming obstacles in talking to the other side

From an altered-state session with the guys upstairs, Rita Warren asking the questions, on February 26, 2005: 

R: All right, now the practical implications of what we’ve been talking about. When I’m asking questions of you through Frank, is there some stance he can take that will make it easier for him to feel like he’s not getting a blank from you and therefore is just speaking from his own limited perspective. Is there some way he can think about this that will enable him to make those distinctions.

F: Sure, and that’s happening now. It is a matter of changing –

 Let’s look at it this way. It is a form of changing self-definition to say – and we’re not describing these in the order that they occurred, or in the order that they necessarily need to occur, but just one after another:

If you begin by saying, “I’m just making this up” and you learn to say “well I’ll make it up and we’ll see what happens,” that’s one stage. Another stages is, “I’m full of this certainty, so I express it, but I think it ‘s just me with some inexplicable certainty.” That’s another stage.

If you say, “I’m full of this certainty, I think it may be coming from them, rather than me,” that’s a different stage. If you say, “I’m full of this certainty, I’ll express it. I don’t know if it’s me or them and I don’t know if there’s any difference, really, practically, between me and them,” that’s yet a different stage.

Each of those stages of understanding is incomplete. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and we would not at all say that’s a sequence to be followed; those are alternatives. And we’re aiming this, really, as much at the people who will read the transcript as yourselves, because you already understand this. Whenever you have a specific difficulty surface, just change your self-definition to walk around it. It’s quite simple. So simple that it’ll seem too simple.

So if you have a situation where you’re saying “I think I’m just making this up,” then just say, “okay, I’m going to make it up.” If you have one where you say, “I have this intuitive certainty but I think it’s just me, I don’t really think it’s them and I feel a little embarrassed to be such a know-it-all about something I don’t know anything about” – as did happen, as you remember, and you said, “well, that’s practically a definition of being intuitive” – that changed the definition of it, which then allowed it to flow easier, more freely.

If you have a problem that says, “the information is not coming, it’s not there, I have to go get it” – if that becomes the problem, because you can’t go get it, the answer is to say, “no, I can’t get it, so I’ll just have to say, `for whatever reason, there isn’t anything there.’”

All we’re saying is, “whatever the problem is, and whichever aspect that it manifests, if you start with this tactic, that we’re giving you now, of saying, “well I’ll just step around the difficulty,” then  – you will step around the difficulty.

If you have a question, and that question elicits no information, rather than wasting your time with anxiety about “why isn’t the information there,” if you just mentally shrug your shoulders and say “well for whatever reason there’s no information,” and go on to something else, you haven’t lost anything and you’ve avoided large amounts of aggravation. Okay?

You know the old saying – maybe Frank’s never used it on you, but E.F. Schumacher said, “it’s amazing how much theory you can do without when you sit down to do some real work.” And we would say exactly that. Forget the theory – well, don’t forget it, but don’t let it get in your way. If for some reason things dry up, assume to yourself that somewhere, hidden in your assumptions, is an assumption that is closing down the tap. And just walk around it, if you can.

R: All right, that’s very helpful. You gave us a kind of a listing of various interpretations of this, and I’m wondering if there is a most accurate, most truthful statement that you can make about that. I’m asking for an interpretation that encompasses this idea of energies speaking through someone else. 

F: No, we’re not going to do that, and we’ll tell you why.

 Definitions become prisons.

Every definition depends on definitions and the definitions it depends on are usually, when you go back far enough, implicit and invisible. Any description that we gave you would be more or less true from a certain set of assumptions, but since it cannot be said, accurately, that everybody is one thing or everybody is many things, connected –

Since the only accurate statement is between those two statements, that it is both and neither, that it is neither one nor the other—

Given that fact, no accurate definition may be given of anything. There are only working definitions that are helpful or not helpful. Now that’s a pretty flat statement, but we’ll more or less stick with it.

Given that, you see that in a different situation a different definition will be more useful, or more constricting. We’d much rather leave it all fluid, and we’d advise you to leave it fluid, and go with what works, and forget about the absolutes. There are none. And of course, that’s as absolute a statement as you can get, right: “There are none.” And that’s not quite true either, but within the limits of logic, of time-slices, of words – especially – within all of those limits there are no ways to be giving absolutes that are not inherently also partially wrong or distorted. Therefore our personal style is to go much less with theory and much more with what you would call horseback practice.

Now, others may require theory and in that case they will find that their upstairs connection, their intuitive certainties, will lead them that way. The lack of being absolute is no more absolute than anything else. But given that you’re working with –

All right, let’s give a specific example here. Frank as you know has a high tolerance for ambiguity, and for uncertainty, and for open-ended sort of “shrug of the shoulders” continuities. Another person, though, may have none of those characteristics but may have a precision of thought, may have an ability to draw fine distinctions, may have the ability to create great logical structures and maneuver within them. What would be right for him would clearly not be right for them.

There’s no need to put yourselves in strait-jackets. The easiest thing, for you, is the best thing. [Laughs] We know you like to make things hard for yourselves but what is the most natural to you will of course be the easiest. Right? Why do things the hard way?

 We’re not saying that you’re advocating doing things the hard way; we’re making our own point here.

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