Sunday, June 27, 2010
5 AM. Watching “Michael Collins” last night, it was so obvious what a dead-end street political violence is — and yet in the absence of that violence, nothing changed, no power adjustments were made, for centuries. And it isn’t like those centuries weren’t filled with violence of their own. It wasn’t until the English people were sick of it — in the wake of World War I — and broke, and unable to steel themselves to further effort, that it finally stopped, and then as soon as it did, the Irish started killing each other. And when that stopped they had 40 years to get their breath and started all over again in the 60s and kept on till the 90s, and probably we haven’t really seen the end of it yet. Seems like there’s always a next round being called.
All right, my friends, here we are again. You’ve got non-physical life and I’ve got coffee and we’ll see who’s happier. So — the topic for today?
Have you ever thought about the connection between politics and psychic exploration?
Not sure what you mean, so proceed.
The external world’s affairs in general — the various businesses of life — take up most of people’s attention, and not wrongly. How else are you to live in the world but to live in it? But the definition of what life is, what is to be done, to be experienced, in other words
Well, let’s try it this way. You recognize who this is?
I have a “feeling” but I can’t say I recognize your feel, exactly. Is it really you?
It is, and although the difference between 1995 and 2010 seems long enough to you, on this side it’s a step across, no more.
And so, was it watching the movie about Ireland that drew you, or was our watching the movie a setup like my buying all those Fitzgerald books that I’m slowly struggling through?
That’s merely a point of view, no more. Now, your readers will not be understanding what is between you and me, so you might mention the circumstances in which you and I got — reacquainted, let’s call it. It has the gist of many things within it, our relationship — and most of them you don’t know.
All right. Unless I’m making it up, I’m talking to the shade of William Butler Yeats, one of the world’s great poets, perhaps the greatest poet in Irish history. But I realize this morning that his importance to us is that he was not merely a poet, but was playwright, scholar, propagandist, organizer — he brought into being so many of the things like the national theater, and various anthologies of Irish folk tales, etc., that prepared the Irish national mind for a renewed struggle for their independence. At the same time, like Upton Sinclair, he mixed his political activism of the mind with active exploration of our links with the other side — with fairies and elves, with spirits and ghosts, with psychic and occult powers and practices.
In 1995 I took the Lifeline course at The Monroe Institute that taught how to communicate with spirits on the other side who had perhaps not recognized that they were dead, or had known they were dead but hadn’t known how to move on from a sort of state of limbo. The process, TMI calls retrievals. In doing one of the altered-state experiences one day, I met Yeats, to my surprise, and as a result of that meeting he realized that it was time for him to move along from the sort of daydream he had been suspended in since he died in 1939. I wrote something about this in Muddy Tracks; I should go back and re-read it. Maybe later today.
And it has not occurred to you but it was only after I re-engaged with life that a further impulse helped reconcile Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
You mean the peace process. Are you saying that you assisted?
Those of us on the other side are continually involved in the affairs of our earth — using the term earth broadly —
Not the only thing you do, surely?
You forget, just the fact of not having physical existence does not alone separate us from the rest of us that is in form. We are all part of each other, you know that now, or should know it. What is this long discussion you are having about, if it is not about the inter-action of the worlds? What, if not about the inter-penetration of souls, and the inadequacy of your definitions of what it is to be human, or to be a spirit, for that matter. If the division of things is between material and non-material existence, recognize that we who are part of the rest of you in physical existence are between the two extremes. That is, not having bodies, we are not precisely within physical existence, but being tied to those who are, we are not precisely entirely non-physical. You (for your minds, your thoughts, the non-physical parts of you all live beyond material form) and we (for our intimate connection with minds that are linked to shape and to time) form different parts of one thing. What you think of as the spirit world cannot go its way disregarding the physical world, nor the physical world the non-physical, because this definition too is a mistake.
“The physical world” strictly speaking does not exist separate from or in any way independent of “the non-physical world.” Your thought may hold them in separate categories; nonetheless they are as inseparable as two sides of a coin. Any definition of either that does not recognize this is inadequate and potentially misleading.
My old friend, I have a million questions. For one, you were mentor and inspiration — according to the story I have constructed, anyway — to David Cornwell, or whatever his name is.
Peterson, you mean, named Peters professionally.
Cornwell came to you as unconscious transference from the writer John LeCarre. In your earlier explorations you didn’t well recognize how often you were filling in the blanks as you went along, plugging in Story whenever you had a gap in Perception to be filled. Nothing wrong with the technique as an aid to your learning your trade, but it gave you some guesses rather than knowings, so of course you have gaps you have been unable to plug.
Like Joseph Smallwood’s right name.
Names and numbers are among the hardest data to retrieve because in a sense they are arbitrary. In another sense they are deeply meaningful, but that level of meaning doesn’t lend itself to retrieval as part of your process of fishing for information.
So your habit of proceeding without dotting “I”s and crossing “T”s has served you. Otherwise you might have run dry at the very beginning, before you had had practiced enough to develop your set of skills. It would be like not practicing painting until you could begin as a master. How well would that have worked out, do you think?
All right, well, whatever David’s real name was, and I well remember him saying to you, when we met non-physically, “it’s Owen”
Stop. You heard that? What you just said, not realizing until you’d written it?
Yes. Here I said he said to you. I have been thinking I said to you. I mean, I was the one doing the retrieval.
The retrieval process is not yet well understood either. What the Institute thinks it does, and what it does in fact, are not really the same.
In the first place, as has been explained to you, souls don’t really get “stuck” after death. There isn’t any “place” they are trying to move to; there is no movement necessary or possible. They are as connected to the rest of their non-physical selves as ever, so how can they become lost? Nevertheless, a mind obsessed is a mind unable to move, and that is all that happens. Being free is of no use unless you know you are free. Being part of something grand is only theoretical to the mind that hasn’t experienced it and hence made it instantly real.
Just as your minds may be considered as habit-systems, so the mind in the absence of physical stimulations but also in the absence of awareness of its true nature may experience itself as essentially disconnected, purposeless and adrift. It is merely a matter of the mind being for some reason unable to awaken from the dreaming of life.
So here is what really happened, in terms you can better understand today than you could have done 15 years ago. (Really, it would be better phrased “than the you of 15 years ago could have done,” for it is as valid to see every changed version of your life — every age — as separate as it is to pretend that your life is one continuing experience that fluctuates.)
You — Frank in 1995 — moved into an altered-state experience, much of it contaminated, as such early experience tends to be, with personal interference that you thought helping. That is, your limited conscious mind, not yet used to sharing control, found it impossible to give over. It therefore had to be continually surprised, and so non-programmed experience, or shall I say experience primarily directed by other parts of yourself, had to come in between the lines, whenever you were sufficiently unguarded and relaxed yet had your attention fixed on the experience (so that you could retain at least some memory of it later).
So, you don’t at the moment remember what you were thinking or doing before, but you vividly remember that sense that was as if a hand had grasped you around the chin and turned your head to the left and changed the experience.
Yes, and there was the sense of a map of Ireland, or I should say an aerial view, and I was drawn to Sligo, which I had visited 19 years earlier, and there you were, walking along the beach, happily enough.
And you said “it’s Owen,” and didn’t even notice, but later in reviewing your notes, you noticed but were concerned with trying to decide if maybe that was David’s “real” name; at any rate it was the name Willie knew him as. It didn’t occur to you — not then nor when you wrote it up for your book three years later — to ask why you would say that.
Well, you know, when you begin doing retrievals, you get used to doing things out of instinct, and finding out that you did just the right thing (not knowing why). We’ve come to see that we are prompted; led into scenarios, nudged into place, fed our lines, often enough, and in general function as stand-ins. So nothing we do or say surprises us particularly.
Yes, of course. But there was a clue here, for it wasn’t you as Frank who interacted with David’s old friend Willie Yeats. It was Frank and Owen functioning together that did. And this you have no concept for.
But I expect you’re going to provide one.
Certainly. But, another time. You’ve had your 75 or 80 minutes.
All right, and I take it that we are to enter a big enough topic that we want a fresh run. Very well. Thank you, old friend. I’ll be very glad to talk to you again.
[Pages 209-10 and 238-40 of the paperback edition of Muddy Tracks.]