This entry continues where the previous one left off. It was still Wednesday, January 18, 2006.
(9 a.m.) Beautiful day, and not only because of this splendid contact. All right, friends, so what is your proposed model.
The elements of this model have been given to you in bits and pieces over the past five years and more. Now we propose to put them together in a way much of which will be familiar to you (now) and some not.
We begin by moving your point of reference. Much of what is wrong with current models –when we say “wrong” in this context we mean that they do not serve you, they do not lead to larger understandings; there is nothing morally wrong with a point of view any more than with red hair or left-handedness or a taste of marmalade instead of peanut butter – much of what is wrong with current models stems from beginning with the idea that the physical body is primary. This stems from the idea that the physical, itself, is primary. It is not.
Bear in mind, in the course of this argument we are going to ignore or merely deny certain points of view that would otherwise entangle us in argument to no purpose. Let those who wish to deny the existence of the non-physical do so. It is not necessary, in order to put out another point of view, that everyone subscribe to it. Indeed, if everyone did, what could be new in it? So we will not worry ourselves or you about how to “prove” that the physical is not primary, or, indeed, that the non-physical exists. Those unable to entertain our point of view will go elsewhere – will remain elsewhere – and no harm will be done.
The physical is dependent for its existence upon a deeper level of reality that by definition is not physical. It is not subject to time and space, in short. Please try not to jump to religious categories of thought as soon as you find yourselves considering the non-physical. It is true that religious thought attempts to convey that reality, but it is equally true that it fails. It fails, as we shall fail, because “three into two doesn’t go,” as the old saying is. That is, translating the greater into terms of the lesser must necessarily result in serious distortion. Symbols distort less than precise language, but distortion cannot be avoided.
We prefer to deal with this fact by using a couple of strategies. One is to create analogies and then different analogies, so that the only point shared by the two may be better intuited. It cannot be said and conveyed, or we would do so. We would in fact not need to do so: It would have been said long since. Another strategy is to set up a viewpoint, then set up a competing viewpoint, so that the unsayable truth may be somewhat perceived between the lines. Of course “two analogies” or “two viewpoints” is much the same thing, for our most careful statement must yet be an analogy, just from the nature of things.
So. The physical realm is defined by certain characteristics. It is your job to attempt to imagine the reality of our world which does not share those characteristics. We will do what we can do to suggest; we tell you in advance, again, that unavoidably we cannot give you an undistorted version of the truth. The very structure of your language necessarily contains the assumption of the reality of forces and conditions that (in our view, from “where” we are) do not exist, or do not anyway much resemble your experience of them or your conclusions from your experience.
Among the characteristics that condition the physical realm and not the non-physical:
Time divided into slices
Space divided into slices
From those two conditions flow separation and delayed consequences.
Let us begin simply with these. The relevance of all of this to your – and our – model of reality will “in time” become more apparent.
Time divided into slices. You experience the world as past, present, future. How you experience these three varies by culture, by language, by mental state, by emotional state. (Mental and emotional are by the way less separate than they appear to you.) Still, past, present and future seem to you to be real conditions within which you must live. Examine your language and see if you could express a thought – we know that we can not! – that the structure of language does not insist on structuring into a sense of time passing. The exact structure may and will vary, but it will be there.
These innate physical-existence characteristics determine how you experience your world, of course. As we said, you experience delayed consequences – separation in time – and what might be called delayed connection – separation in space.
Because you experience your lives this way, certain realities are fundamentally distorted.
Because of separation in space, you experience yourself as one body and others as other bodies. If you are aware of energetic transfers this sense of separation will be somewhat modified, but it cannot be eliminated. If you are aware of your non-physical connections, again, your sense of separation will be somewhat modified – your ideas, your theoretical life, will be changed – but your sense of yourself will continue to be of a separate body functioning in a world that is primarily “other.”
Now, if you lose an arm or a leg in an accident, your sense of yourself is truncated – it isn’t like a part of you goes on to experience life apart from you. That arm, that leg, has become part of the “other” – and if you were to regenerate a new limb to replace the one lost, the new arm or leg would not be considered something “other” that had joined you but just – you. Inconsistently, you say “you are what you eat,” which logically means that the “other” becomes part of you and what part of you you excrete becomes “other” again. If you look at this closely you will see how arbitrary are the distinctions between self and other.
Again, as a reminder, different abilities to perceive lead to different definitions of reality. If you perceive that the heart gives off electrical impulses that interact at a distance of as much as ten feet, this changes your definition of separation – it modifies it so that for, instance, some might now say that no two people within a few feet of each other function entirely separately. This is true as far as it goes but it will make no difference in the fact that people will go on considering themselves to be separate even so. They may admit to being influenced by many subtle forces, but they cannot experience themselves as other than separate beings. They may believe, they may conceptualize, they may emotionally experience unity but in fact and everyday, they feel themselves separate and cannot help but do so. It is in the design of the physical world and therefore there is nothing wrong with this. But it does not define ultimate reality, either.
This bias must be taken into consideration. It cannot be eliminated, and will sneak in behind every discussion. You experience yourself as a “you” – as a person – as an individual. How else could you experience yourself? So long as you are separated in space – that is, so long as you are in physical matter – you cannot experience yourself in any other way. Once more: This is how it was set up to work, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it works this way.
Now we invite you to convey yourself beyond what your physical life convinces you is real. To do so – given your surroundings, which most emphatically includes your language! – requires thought-experiments. First we will set up the experiment. Then, do the experiment! Try. You will not succeed, perhaps, but the effort will help you to understand and appreciate and see beyond the analogy we will suggest beyond the experiment.
So – here is the first experiment. Assume that you are in actual literal fact part of everyone and every thing else; that only your spatial environment is convincing you that separation is reality. How could you conceive of that in a way that you would find intellectually respectable? Perhaps you can’t feel that lack of separation; how could you theoretically imagine it?
Do the experiment.
No, we mean really, do the experiment. The printed words aren’t going anywhere, but this is the only time you will be able to do the experiment with exactly these mental and physical conditions surrounding you. Do the experiment. If you were to imagine yourself and all the “other” as part of one thing, what could you imagine as the situation and connections that hold it all together.
Last chance. Did you do the experiment?
Perhaps you will do the next one.
All right, here is what we would say to you. You are all assembled from the same huge table of ingredients. You all contain the same chemicals, the same materials; you are assembled according to the same diagrams and schematics; you have similar mental emotional and energetic structures. Well and good; nobody would quarrel with this. But this is not wherein your unity resides, and your diversity. And the key to your unity – and diversity – is hidden from you superficially by separation in space and to a lesser degree in the examples we will use to begin with, by separation in time. We call this key the concept of threads.
And that is enough for now. We appreciate the willingness but you are tired to a degree you do not yet realize. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Just come to the work each morning early and it will get done. Other things like making notes or even typing this may be done later in the day.
Okay. This is wonderful. Thanks.