Conversations June 6, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

All right, it’s about 5 AM. Anybody up besides me? What shall we talk about?

You’ll notice that the first question, being rhetorical, couldn’t receive response, and the second, being direct and pointed, can. This is so in general, communicating between the worlds as people say, or between the sides as you sometimes say. Now, many times an implied question lies between two people, or a continuation of a previously begun topic has the floor, but when nothing is next, blankness may follow until something is next. All this, of course, unless it is we on the other side who are setting the agenda.

Our work is showing ever more clearly that on either side of the physical/non-physical boundary, we are not individuals but communities of individuals.

It has certainly become clear to me, although I suspect that some of our dialogue has been too elliptical, with too much understood between us and therefore left unstated, or sketched out only vaguely, approximately, so that what is clear to me is perhaps less clear to others.

This is a frequent consequence among those who bring messages across: If their connection is too attenuated, they have difficulty presenting a clear picture, but if it is too accustomed, too taken-for-granted, they may forget or never realize the need to explain.

So you need to find Goldilocks interpreters, not too close, not too far, but just right.

Well, only for this kind of work. You could make the analogy — not so far a stretch, at that — to those who translate from one language to another. Everybody learns one language. Not everybody learns two or more. But the analogy breaks down beyond this point. Our only point here is that we may need someone who has had to learn, so that others who are as yet not bilingual may learn from the example and the direct instruction of one who still remembers what it is like not to know, yet knows what it is to know — and remembers how to get from the former state to the latter.

I think I’m going back to bed for a bit. More when I’m less mazy.

6:45 AM. Okay, let’s go.

It will be important to remember, as we go along, that we are talking on two levels — how people perceive their lives from a 3-D-sensory perspective, what is frequently called conscious, and how they perceive it from a non-3-D, intuitive perspective — a non-physical perspective, if they only knew it — frequently called unconscious.

Yes. I think we’ve touched on this before.

Our method is recursive. What one hears at one point may not be the same when heard again when one is “in a different place,” as people say, and hence [one] is different. Another way to say that is, when a different mixture of the community that they are is in the ascendant. You are not the same in different circumstances until you learn to identify and hold one mixture — one “you” more or less regardless of external circumstance. Until then, you are blown with the winds.

So, yesterday we say x. When we say x again — perhaps today, perhaps not for years — you are likely to have an entirely different understanding of, experience of, view of, x. This, even if x is presented in exactly the same way each time.

That’s very clear to me.

Yes, because it is not a new thought, but one familiar to you over decades. You will look back in your journals from 40 years ago, perhaps, and find the same thought, but it didn’t mean quite the same thing to you, because in many ways you weren’t the same “you.”

It must be curious, to observe us in time, changing and not changing.

We have less danger than you of translation error, merely because we are not being moved and changed in the way you are.

Many people would like to have a better idea of non-physical existence.

And that is what we are providing. The best foundation for that understanding is to come to a better understanding, first, of physical existence: what and how you are in the world.

All right. Where do we go specifically this morning?

[EH] We could go many ways, but let’s stick with me for the moment.

Gladly, Papa. And I can hear people now: “Oh, so he’s one of your guys upstairs too, now?” No matter how I explain it, I can’t seem to get the idea across. People seem to want to have “my” guys and “their” guys, or else an undifferentiated mass, or else only individuals, and somehow the structure that has become so clear to me is not clear to them and nothing I say makes it clearer.

Well, so what? Given time and their own experience, they will evolve their own scheme that may or may not resemble yours but will work for them. The question isn’t so much, “what’s the right concept” as “can I make this work for me?” Any concept is going to have translation errors, because any explanation is an analogy and how can any analogy be a tautology? So you could say that anything you or anybody has to work with is an approximation, a working model — but the thing is, to work it.

So if your friend Colin Wilson consistently read your material and nonetheless consistently referred to your talking of “the Man upstairs,” this showed you that he hadn’t grasped important parts of your experience, but had instead heard what he assumed you meant. It’s common. You do it too. Everyone does, because the alternative takes too much work, requires too much attention. It means listening.

Everybody remarks on what a tape-recorder-quality listener you were. Your inputs were open.

Well, to quote your friends, “yes, but no.” I watched, listened, felt, smelled, tasted everything going on. I read incessantly and I thought about things — although from here, I must say, I did a hell of a lot more associating of thoughts than I did thinking things through. All of that was to the good. What I couldn’t do, though, was put equal attention to my mental and spiritual environment, and this hurt me and those around me. And this is worth considerable exploration, because like everything else we are talking about, it isn’t a matter of doing an extensive post-mortem on a famous writer, but of using pretty well known facets of that writer’s emotional life to illustrate your lives from a new perspective.

We talked about screens and filters and scripts and robots. That was to set the stage — or to show the behind-the-scenes mechanisms, rather. Because if you look closely at my life — or at yours — you’ll see how so many cross-currents kept the seas so choppy. Clumsy metaphor, but anyway.

If I could have observed my own inner weather with the skill and attention and detachment and deduction I brought to observing weather at sea, how different my life would have been! Or, another view, if I hadn’t lived within a physical manic-depressive cycle, how much less turbulent it would have been. My life would have had problems — what good is a life without problems? It’s a filled-in crossword puzzle — but they would have been an entirely different set of problems.

This is difficult to express clearly and twice as difficult to be heard clearly. I don’t have time enough, you don’t have paper enough, to list everything I don’t mean and don’t want to be heard as saying. So — reader — try to read this slowly enough to really hear me. The faster you read, the more you skate across the surface of what you’re reading, and the less chance you have to absorb what always must remain between the lines.

As I aged, my mood-swings got more violent. We could call this my internal weather, what Jimmy Durante would call “the conditions that prevail.” If I was up, if I was down, either way I was in the middle of a mood taking it as objectively, obviously, an accurate reflection of the world. This shouldn’t be new to anybody. Everybody has moods; everybody remembers the feeling, once out of a remembered mood, that it was really a different person living that mood.

Well, using concepts like “moods” disguises and distorts what’s really happening. It makes it sound like there’s this one person, this unit, who goes into changing sets of feelings, either periodically (mania to depression and back again) or according to circumstance (in reaction to being in love, or because of a car accident, or anxiety over something or other).

That’s one way to see it, but from here it just looks like an epicycle, saving the appearances by supporting an incorrect model. Look at it starting from the assumption that you are a community, and what does it look like?

Suppose we use numbers to describe emotional downs and ups. Let’s say a one is when you’re too depressed to get out of bed, and a 10 is when you’re so revved up that you can’t sleep. (There are other ways to cut the pie, but let’s start with this one.) If you look at yourself as an individual, you say you move from 3 to 6, say. But if you start to see that you are a community, how does it look? You have certain subgroups that add up to three, others that add up to six. It isn’t [so much] that you moved as that this or that group surfaced. Analogy, but a closer, more useful, analogy. Those subgroups may be ad hoc, a bunch of threads coming together (so to speak) from one specific cause and maybe never coming together in just that way ever again. Or they can be recurrent, even chronic, and this is what plagued me.

If you look at my life story, you will see that certain situations evoked a certain response. You could say — “they brought out his mean streak” or “they brought out his paranoia” and putting it that way gets the job done, in that it’s a way of describing behavior and pinning it in a cause-effect matrix. But if you really look at these metaphors — because they are metaphors, it’s just that common use has made them seem realer than they are — what does it mean to say someone has a streak or even a complex; what does it mean to say that an event brings out a recurrent character trait? We know what is meant, and we even think we know what the specific words mean, but when you really look at it —

If you see yourself as a loose (or tighter, but let’s start where most people are, a loose) community, you can see that a perceived threat is likely to bring out the army, just as they would in the larger community that consists of “individuals.” You don’t — when you are speaking of your external community — speak of it responding to a perceived threat by getting into a mood — but you easily could. It shows you that the differences between internal community and external community aren’t very large. There is more commonality there then there is difference between a “community” of individuals on the one hand and “individuals” in the body on the other.

Does that need to be made clearer?

Perhaps. As I understand it, you’re saying that what we think of as our moods are actually the activation of certain groups within us.

Yes. And if the same groups keep showing up in similar circumstances, they might be called a mood.

Now there’s plenty of work to do here, showing how robots and screens and filters affect to that community’s perception of its environment, and maybe skew it terribly — but this is enough for a while.

Yes. I always regret when I run out of gas, but it’s nearly 8 AM. Thanks Papa. More another time.

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