Saturday, June 26, 2010
5:15 AM. Early mornings with the windows all open (as they have been all night to cool the house), my morning is set to the alternating calls of various songbirds, going back and forth. One more feature of the early morning I wouldn’t gladly do without. A simple thing, really.
Okay, here we are, coffee is brewing, I just added Wayne to our Papa list, what’s our topic today? Papa?
Nobody? Well, I’ll start something, maybe. I woke up thinking about some Civil War soldier’s comment, probably — almost certainly — in Bruce Catton’s classic work The Army of the Potomac. Probably — it would have to be — from A Stillness At Appomattox. The soldiers saw something, I forget what, and it made them realize that they’d come to a turning point, either of a battle or possibly that they were getting Lee’s army surrounded. He said, right then the men “saw daylight.” Retaining not one of the relevant details, still I remember the emotional points, as is my way.
Was there any particular reason why I woke up remembering that?
You are thinking of the thought that sent you to the computer looking for the words to “Marching Through Georgia,” in December of 2005, that in short order sent you to looking for regiments and then to direct contact with Joseph Smallwood — and so much that followed.
It certainly was a productive impulse. This that we are engaged in is a direct follow-up on that.
You also had a stray thought that you almost forgot, that maybe “Joseph” was and is Story that you wrapped around your Perception, and this is why it is emotionally right and factually very much not in evidence.
Not a new thought, particularly.
New in that our recent discussion of the factors that go into an incarnation, showing you that the concept of reincarnation is more a matter of how you look at it than something that can be settled one way or the other — because it rests on an inadequate definition of who and what is re-incarnating, and who or what results from such an event. If in your make up are Civil-War-soldier material, and pioneer material, and Japanese monk material, and journalist material, and so much else — calling those threads “material” for convenience here — you can see now as you couldn’t have seen earlier that these very real resonances would express in you in whatever their characteristic way, and you, becoming aware of them, might easily sort them into life-stories, separating them or combining them according to what seems right to you. This would be an act of fiction as much as of research, for it would be superimposing a story — Story — upon recognized traits the perception of which — Perception — was in itself accurate. Perception versus Story again, you see. The real thing, sensed or intuited, and then what your mind makes of it.
I understand the concept and it makes sense to me as a possibility — but what of people who can read other people’s past lives? What of Edgar Cayce? What of James Leininger, the boy who remembered being James Houston and, in fact, remembered scads of details about that life?
Again, we aren’t saying that there isn’t continuity between lives — we are saying that your definition — most of the common definitions — of reincarnation rests without thinking upon the concept of individuals as units rather than as communities — person-groups, as we are calling them for convenience.
If a community is mistaken for a unit, is natural to assume that that unit either reincarnates or doesn’t reincarnate as a unit. And if it doesn’t, then that’s it — one life and no more. If it does then that’s it — life after life after life.
And if it was never a unit in the first place? If there isn’t any unit to move forward because the only unity was an artificial unity created by the coexistence of chosen elements within a body that served to contain them by limiting their on-going experiences to the same time and place for the duration of that body’s lifetime?
Now, bear in mind — as we do — that anything that has been reported must be considered true at least for the purpose of the discussion, or, if discarded either as untrue or as unworthy of inclusion or as not helpful because too vague or two confused or for whatever reason (except because it is too troublesome to the concept!), must be discarded for a reason —
Pretty long sentence. I was afraid to try to continue it! Proceed, friend.
If reincarnations have been reported in such numbers by people with no obvious ax to grind there must be a reason. That is, we should take the evidence as evidence for something. But the interpretation needn’t be the accepted one; what is necessary is to see if the explanation takes in the salient features of the reported experiences.
In short, if what has been reported can be explained better by looking at us as communities rather than as individuals.
More or less. Yesterday we got across the fact that any new birth is going to involve a significant change in composition, if only at the physical level. This by the way is why talent may run in families (the Bach family of musicians, say). Reincarnation into the same family drastically reduces the number of new factors that the new mind has to accommodate itself to.
Now we are adding to that. Into the new container goes, not the contents of an old container, but perhaps parts of many, and each of these parts — strands, you have sometimes called them — brings its own unbroken but unconscious connection to its previous associations, and this goes forth forever.
That’s a lot to absorb. We’ll say it again differently, with slight apologies to those who got it the first time.
I keep feeling that a diagram would help.
You have already been given the diagram, and have used it in your [public] talks although not quite in these talks.
[First diagram] This is a very simplified view. You as “individuals” contain various threads (traits, call them) that connect you to the other side. That’s a view taking your life as snapshot.
[Second diagram] This view is a view of the process through time, rather than a snapshot. Each ring, each container, contains threads it shares with other containers. (A complication that we are going to ignore is that many contemporaneous containers may share a given thread. It isn’t exclusive. Think how many people may have red hair, or be left-handed, at the same time on the earth.)
[Third diagram] This, again of course drastically simplified, points out that each thread in an incarnation amounts to a resonance with specific aspects on the other side. This is your access, and (subject to qualifications we aren’t going to make here) is in fact the scope of your access. More or less, you can access what any part of you resonates to, and what that in turn connects to, and nothing more. But just remember that this is a very loose statement that will need to be qualified.
Well, if two “individuals” — two-person-groups — in the earth share the same thread, this may provide them with a source of direct connection. You may say they resonate with each other, perhaps only on that one wave-length. That isn’t the same point we’re making here, but try not to forget it. It’s a source of what you sometimes call psychic links, or karmic ties.
Perhaps you can see that the very concept of “individuals” is useful but artificial — as we have said, a convenient fiction. When anything is so tied in with everything else in time, in space, and (outside of time-space) in various resonances to other minds that themselves are containers of various threads, where did the individual go to? It doesn’t really exist. And yet of course it does exist as a functioning unit in effect. You each have one body, you experience your minds mostly as separate, your various component parts experience time-space at the same time, in the same place, throughout a lifetime, and hence develop a teamwork and an accustomed unity that seems to you in life to be your nature, and that serves in the afterlife as the enduring result of that life.
So — you are individual in a sense. You are all part of all-that-exists in another sense. It’s mostly in how you want to see it, how you concentrate on this aspect rather than that aspect of your existence.
We need to speak of strands and cables — your conceptions, but maybe yours more from good listening than from original thought — but we’ll need you fresh, for it will take some explanation. So this is as good a place to stop as any.
All right, thanks. And here I thought I was going to have a nice simple chat with Papa Hemingway! Instead, I have to figure out how to scan and include those sketches. Thanks as always.
Nearly 8 AM. Tempted to come back for a second bite of the apple, having sent out what we got earlier.
We can try. Cables. You have sensed that associations of traits may come to have an autonomous existence — moving as a unit, so to speak. And this provides the bridge you have been looking for between individual traits and the person-group that people call an “individual.”
Although the entire discussion is repeatedly in danger of falling into the trap of misplaced concreteness of image, we proceed.
Suppose the simplest of traits. Red hair, say. Such may be considered a unit. Hair-trigger temper, another. Each to be considered an element in the chemistry analogy — neither reducible to a simpler form.
Now suppose that red-hair and a hair-trigger temperament come to be associated so often, in so many people over time, that anyone observing red hair is tempted to suspect the presence of a hair-triggered temper. That red hair/hair-trigger may be considered to have a life of its own as what you might call a secondary layer of traits, or — what? — a compound element, perhaps. Not everyone with red hair has this temper; not everyone with this temper has red hair. Therefore the combination cannot be considered primary, in a way that either can be. And yet you may say that it has a life of its own — it may be considered as a unit.
We have no intention of trying to work our way up the scale toward ever-more-complex units, but the idea should be clearer. You can see that the physical, emotional and mental traits that get passed down through physical families may be simple or complex (some are simple, some not) but even the complex ones could be analyzed into simpler parts; however, from long usage together, they function as units. That is, over time, combinations such as red hair/temper become fused so that one often presupposes the other.
Remember, though, that although each may suggest the other, that is hardly the only link that either will suggest. Red hair may for instance suggest great sensitivity. Temper may suggest high-strong life internal or external. And any of these connections is as valid as any other.
When you move up the scale somewhat, to more complex associations, you may find, for instance, “the military mind” or “the artistic disposition” or “the wastrel” or “the workaholic.” Although you tend to encounter any of these in the context of a given person (and tend to consider that person a unit rather than a community), it will be instructive for you to consider them as building-blocks. That is, although a given person-group may exhibit some of these — what shall we call them? — perhaps building-blocks is as good a term as any — someone exhibiting them didn’t invent them and doesn’t have exclusive use of them, any more than anyone can patent and license left-handedness.
Well, perhaps our point becomes obvious. A person-group consists of many building-blocks, as well as they do individual traits. Those building-blocks may be regarded as strings made from many threads always in the same connection. And the next layer of association and greater combination perhaps we should call rope — made of many strings, and then cables made of many ropes. The ultimate cable might be everything (or less than everything, depending) that went into the fashioning of the life of another person-group. Or rather, it might include everything or many things that came out of that particular person-group. That is to say, what the person-group did with that life will be different from what it began that life with, and presumably the result will be more useful than the preparation.
Remember: any new incarnation must by the nature of things be limited by the physical heredity of the parents. Given that this obviously extends to farthest antiquity (each generation having its inheritance from the previous ones) the potential material pool thus is vast. However, in practical terms it is not unlimited. We won’t go into that now. What matters at the moment is that in the forming of any new incarnation, the properties of the cable — whatever is being brought forth — must interact with the properties of the new body, in other words its inheritance, and so there may be — will be — conflict. This conflict enlarges the scope of your expression of free-will in determining what you wish to become, and at the same time doesn’t make your internal or external lives any easier.
Enough for now?
Well, I’m wanting to know about the transmission of memories and perhaps personal karma.
Another time. There’s always another time.
Until there isn’t.
You don’t need to feel like you’re pursued by wolves. There’s time for what you want to do, subject to your own decisions, or else there is chance. You choose.
You know which I believe. All right; next time.