Sunday, July 4, 2010
4 AM. Going to bed ever earlier, anticipating this exchange, and getting up earlier as well. I’ll lap the day if I’m not careful.
So we’re a long way before daylight, and the fruit stand is open early. Who and why?
Nothing. All right, let’s talk, papa. What is the rule, here? Sometimes I can scarcely get a word in and somebody’s off and running. Other times, as now, there’s a blankness, a waiting for me to decide what to broach.
Your question contains your answer. That is what’s going on, a gradual transfer of the initiative. And that’s worth a few words.
Suppose we on this side want to get a message across. We have to have willing hands, and we have to have hands that are aware, not merely willing. And it’s better yet if the person is knowledgeable — they make a better implement for us to use.
Three levels of qualification, you see: willingness, awareness, prepared ground. Given willingness, we can proceed however strong the difficulties. Given willingness and awareness — that is, given that the willing soul is actually aware that we’re trying to come through — we can do far more, far more easily. And given a willing person whose awareness has grown to the extent that they’re conscious of our presence, and our intent maybe, we can do even more if that person’s background knowledge has some special mass of material that we can use for our purposes, if only to furnish us with material for analogy.
Now, given all that, the material we attempt to bring across is somewhat shaped, somewhat limited, you can see, by the person we are working with. For one person we can come through only as through a blank screen — Edgar Cayce and Jane Roberts went into trance to allow us to dictate chapter and verse. For others, we provide the material in a more or less ordered sequence and the willing scribe records — and wrestles with, and sometimes resists — the material. Neale Donald Walsch, for instance. For still others, we suggest connections and the artist on the other end shapes them into music or paintings or whatever form, and although the material does not have intellectual content, necessarily, it does have the ability to move people in certain ways, neither the artist nor the audience knowing the source or intent of the inspiring force. Jackson Pollock is an example of that, by the way, or Gustav Mahler: thousands more, known or unknown. For still others, Carl Jung for example, a lifetime’s intellectual work may be so shaped by intuitive direction as to be said to be continuously inspired, but not particularly consciously in terms of concept. That is, the concept may be that he is thinking and digesting experience, while the underlying reality of continuous inspiration may go unnoticed and even (depending on the individual’s conscious beliefs) unsuspected.
You understand, we intend for all who read these words to apply them to their own lives. The text for the sermon is, “you shall be your own interpreters, and rely upon authority no more.” And this has interesting ramifications.
For one, if everybody lives listening to this still small voice, no one’s outside authority can be accepted until verified by an inner knowing. Isn’t that what we have been saying? Don’t accept it unless it resonates within you?
For another, if everybody else is listening, your own knowings are to be given in a spirit of humility, no matter how sure you are of your message, for you are one among equals, not one exalted.
For yet another, if your source of information is thus as high as you can reach, you have a responsibility to live the truth you have been entrusted with. You may or may not be called upon to share it in words, but you will certainly be called upon to live it in deeds. “Knowledge not lived is sin,” Cayce said, and we can only agree, sin meaning “missing the mark.”
And for another, you must listen carefully and with discernment, for greater abilities imply greater responsibility. Adopting any stray thought as if it were the gospel may prove more dangerous and self-defeating than remaining deaf to inspiration. Beware Psychic’s Disease.
And the greatest, or should we say the most widespread, difficulty is to not fall into excessive humility and passivity on one hand, or psychic inflation and arrogance on the other. In every way, you should be able to remain balanced. In this as in so many things, Jesus’ words may guide you: As he said, you can know the inner nature of a thing by the fruit it bears. If it comes labeled Messages From Heaven and bears fruit like pride, deceit, hardness of heart, isolation from your fellows — that tells you all you need to know. Conversely if it comes wrapped in labels that say Danger! Extreme Weirdness but yields the seven virtues lived out, again, that tells you what you need to know.
Now in this we are ignoring the necessity for discerning true messages in eccentric packages, or rather we are blinking the occasional difficulty of taking the true kernel and leaving the eccentric husk without inadvertently distorting or mutilating or truncating the essence — for sometimes what appears foolishness is an integral part of the wisdom, as the psychological wisdom Carl Jung rediscovered came wrapped in Alchemy.
That’s all very clear. I think you begin by saying that you’re undertaking a gradual transfer of the initiative.
Yes. Once a certain amount of intellectual groundwork has been laid down, a certain type of person is able to move forward in ways he or she couldn’t in the absence of a clarifying concept. It is for them that you are writing, of course. Other types are addressed by other willing servants, in other forms of message.
There is a large number of what we might term the intelligent unanchored, of which you are one. We do not mean ungrounded, for the ungrounded cannot do the work we refer to here. You are unanchored in that you have no body of authority that you recognize as absolute or even as compelling. Indeed, you are so made that you actively resist the idea that there could be such an authority. It amounts to a resistance to codes. The only authority you will accept is what publishes itself to you personally, just like Henry Thoreau, and even more than Emerson.
I see that. I scarcely read a chapter of Walden and I was Thoreau’s man emotionally and intellectually and spiritually, though I wouldn’t have used that word. That was 40 years ago this coming fall, and nothing has changed about that instinctive acceptance, indeed delight, this although years go by in which I do not read his words. He became part of me, or probably I should say he activated part of me which I forever associate with his person and mind.
Thoreau was unanchored, you see. So was Hemingway. So was Lincoln. You will scarcely find a major influence in your life who had a central authority and clung to it. Thus Thomas Merton, for all the instinctive sympathy you feel for his honest explorations, remains quite a secondary figure, not part of your personal pantheon, precisely — though you have thought for other reasons — because he willingly and by his nature accepted the authority of Holy Mother the Church. It isn’t that he was born to it — like Hemingway he was a convert — but that his nature required a spiritual anchor, as his previous rootless unsatisfying life demonstrated to him.
Oddly, Chesterton, too, I suppose. I hadn’t thought of him in this way until now, but suddenly it is obvious, and I can see why he too converted to Catholicism, with all its deep unpopularity in the English society he flourished in.
Yes. He had an instinctive anchor, and in time he found its external correlate. There’s a reason for churches, after all: Certain types require them, and it isn’t merely what you call sheep-itude. GK Chesterton wasn’t exactly a sheep, nor was Thomas Merton. However, they are not you, and their needs and opportunities are not yours.
You and your friends and your fellow unanchored friends known and unknown to you require something different, for you are not unanchored — as Chesterton and Merton were — only because you have not found your anchor. You are unanchored because you are sailing.
You’ve said the like before: Ships are safe in the harbor but that’s not what ships are for.
Well, more than that. Ships are meant to anchor safely at the end of any voyage. Anchoring safely is not a sign of defeat or of lack of enterprise, but only an external sign of what stage of its life that particular ship happens to be in. It is no particular virtue, no particular vice, to exist at anchor or with anchors hoisted. Everything depends upon your stage in life, so to speak.
But you want me to speak primarily to those whose anchors are up, or who can find no anchorage.
Who else would listen? Who else would you know from experience how to speak to? Who else could profitably hear what message you have to pass along?
In passing it occurs to me, I think I have misinterpreted the past messages to assume that every new birth is a new soul, whereas it isn’t quite that way.
Not quite that way, but although you have been going great guns, as you say, probably you should leave that for another day.
All right. So — to return before we lose sight of it — a gradual transfer of the initiative?
Surely it is implied in what we have been saying. You and those who resemble you cannot follow; therefore you must have been shaped to lead, or to go your own way. If you are to do so safely, productively, you need to assure a proper reliable connection to what you call Guidance.
And you’re encouraging us to redefine our relations with you.
Another time. You must mind your health and your energy.
This wasn’t particularly Papa, I recognize, but my thanks to all of you.
And ours to you, as we have said many times — and to all who do or will do this work.