Conversations July 5, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

5 AM. Bad night, though again not asthma. (Did need to use the spray, though, twice.) Up regardless, like clockwork, having no idea of the time.

Talked a good bit about this process, to several people. Wanting to add people to the list, maybe a couple I have forgotten. Ate just a little too much — not much too much, just a little. Not too bad.

All right, ready again. Your words yesterday struck several of my friends, as I thought they would. One said she had tears in her eyes — the tears of those finally being seen and validated.

Yes, and you’ll notice that more than one person asked you the theme of the emerging book. You gave it as more or less that everyone should become conscious of their connection, but that isn’t really the theme. Neither is it that everyone should know how much more they are than they think — desirable though both these things may be.

But rather –?

You have a place in the scheme of things; you are not lost in space and time. Once knowing the proper place, you can know the proper restrictions and possibilities.

I’m a little fuzzy this morning, I think.

Well, even the hard night you’ve had is an example of something.

Oh?[Empty pause]

I seem to have lost the connection. Let’s go back to you, Papa. Someone asked, why did I call you Ernest at the end of the session, then go back to Papa at the beginning of the next? As I really didn’t know, I couldn’t say. Can you?

You are facing another transition, in your work. Talking enough about it has the effect of making you a little self-conscious as you come to it — that is mostly what is going on that makes it harder for you to do this in the way that has become habit. Not the first time you’ve made a transition, nor the last. And it should teach you something of the nature of writer’s block, especially if an initial effort has met a huge success, such as Scott’s, or if in a relatively short time your work gets better known, as mine did. It is that awareness of readers looking over your shoulder at the blank page in front of you. It’s that, more than the blank page itself, that is the pressure. But you get used to it.

And by the way, this awareness of an audience has nothing to do with fame or lack of it, with a platform or lack of it. It isn’t about Success or commercial success. It’s just about performance anxiety. Of course, if you’re performing for a New York publishing house, and you feel like you’re continually auditioning so they don’t drop your act, that is so much the more pressure. And if your bread depends upon it, or you’re young enough to be ambitious for the kind of career that depends upon time and cumulative effect to build — well, it’s the difference between squirrel-hunting and a military campaign. You have been spared all that, though once upon a time you have been easily enough lured by it all, if you’d seen away in.

As to Papa versus Ernest, surely that is simple enough. It depends on the way you’re feeling the relationship at the given moment. When it is you in obscurity writing to the shade of a famous author, that’s one thing. When it’s you as live mind writing to another living mind, it’s another, for there are no distinctions of fame or achievement in the inner world — what you call the afterlife — except in so far as they are objective attributes of a given mind, like the ability to write verse, or an affinity for color, or the non-physical part of athletic ability.

You refer to Lincoln as Mr. Lincoln almost exclusively because of your reverence for the character of the man who lived that life. You called me Papa because it seemed an appropriately close and non-obsequious yet also non-competitive relationship to assume. But in both cases it is Unknown Frank talking to Famous Mr. Lincoln, or Famous Ernest Hemingway. There is an exterior component to it, you see, a taking into account of biographical externals.

Now, this is not inappropriate so long as you are still at a psychological distance. It provides a comfortable place for you to stand while you get used to relationship. Europeans never got used to the American habit of first-naming each other after only a few minutes acquaintance, and this is something like that, an initial warming-up period. There is, you know, something European about you even in your intense American-ness. How could it be otherwise, with David Poynter so active within you for so much of your life. [Poynter, a Welsh journalist who lived about 60 years centering on 1900, I have identified in the past as the source of my journalistic ability and interest, as well as my interest in psychic exploration.]

But when you stand mind to mind, or soul to soul, say it how you wish, such distinctions drop away, as between old friends it is no longer Mr. Wilson but just Wilson, or whatever, or Colin.

And then besides that, if you are communicating easily with someone, that is a pretty sure sign that you share a thick cord of commonalities. And that is the same as saying you’ve had “past lives” together. The biographical story may or may not be true, depending on how clear your connection, but resonance is always clear enough on its own. If you’re in close harmony, “Papa” may seem no longer appropriate, and “Ernest” may seem more so.

Now this isn’t just about whether it is okay for you and whoever reads this to consider yourselves equal colleagues rather than members of a fan club. The answer to that of course is of course yes. It’s part of a much larger question: Given what we’ve been spelling out as the nature of your life in the world, what is your proper place and attitude; where is your appropriate task and opportunity?

If we are all equals in the world beyond the physical, as in a sense we are, and if anything in the non-physical has its correlate in the physical, as it certainly does, then perhaps you can see that how you see us, how you experience us, fluctuates according to which handle you pick us up with. There is still the psychic equivalent of the external man (or woman); there is still the equivalent of the internal man or woman. You can come to us, or be led to us, along either route.

Many people who talk to us come to us along the external route, so experience us as dead people still mysteriously living. This imbues us in their minds as being unable to know anything we “shouldn’t” have known, and unable to experience anything too new for the chronology. You understand. This is not an invalid way to experience us, but it has its limitations, and can result in story-weaving that may amount to unconscious fakery. Even when it does not do that, it results in a sort of stiffness, as though the living person were talking to a book. It is just as easy, and far more fluent and comfortable, to experience us as an extension of your own minds — which is certainly no less true than seeing us as separate.

So — sometimes it is more appropriate for you to think of me as Papa, an older, more experienced friend and mentor. Sometimes when the link feels different it will seem easier to call me Ernest. The difference won’t be a result of any fluctuation in attitude on my end. It will depend, more, on which end of the bull you’re

That analogy was getting out of hand, but I get the idea — Private Ernest or Public Papa. Or, internal versus external. But neither of these is quite right.

No, because your emphasis is in the wrong place. The difference is between private Frank, interior Frank, dealing soul-to-soul, or public Frank, exterior conditioned Frank, dealing still soul-to-soul but aware of social ranks and distinctions. Neither is an absolute: you’ll never come at it entirely soul to soul, perhaps, if only for fear of making it up. You have enough trouble with that worry when you’re dealing with past lives or anonymous TGU, let alone named others with a reputation. And you’ll never come to it entirely exterior to exterior, for that doesn’t even happen when you meet in the body (interior is always meeting interior, perceived or not) and could hardly happen in this kind of communication, given that you could hardly forget that you are communicating via the non-physical part of yourself. But in either case, the difference is on the end that is still in the physical. We don’t stand on ceremony here — unless you prefer us to stand on it, or sometimes need us to.

All right, that’s very clear. To return to the question of the general theme of these conversations — I realize there could be more than one, or one only very loosely coupled. What’s the Hemingway part of it?

I’m not going to answer that for the very simple reason that definitions are cages. If I told you what we thought we were doing, that outline would tempt you to put a cage around this experience and unconsciously try to steer it. We don’t want that and you don’t either. It’s always easier to let things develop. You know that a part of it is to correct The Hemingway Myth not only for my sake — for as I have shown you, it does continue to affect me — but mostly for the sake of a culture that could use a different model and could have had it. The very redefinition after the fact will have its striking aspect that will be useful.

For the same reason, we are not giving you an outline as Seth might have, but are playing take-this-down, now take-this-down, now take-this-down as we assemble the building-blocks so that you don’t make it harder for yourself to get where we’re going because you guess wrongly at where it is we do want to go to.

All right. Feels like we are about done for now. I don’t think I’d have the energy for another topic at the moment. Till next time, thanks.

And ours to you.

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