Conversations September 17, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

5 AM. Up, I guess, since my nose filled and made unconscious breathing impossible. Not an impossible night but a disturbed one. Thank God –thank Ed Carter! — for his recliner, which makes everything easier.

I had a couple of things surface but I can’t remember them at the moment.

Yesterday I re-read Shadow Dancing In The USA, a book by Michael Ventura that I discovered in 1986 and reviewed for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. That was when I discovered him, and for a long time it was the only thing of his I had. I was surprised to see that his first essay concerned how we are not unitary individuals, but communities.

You shouldn’t take that as license to convince yourself that our exposition is mere rehashing of things you’ve read. It isn’t like he had told you everything we are telling you, and it isn’t like he

Lost the thread.

The process of creating the successor culture to Western materialism-as-paradigm is not in the hands of any one person, and therefore the same bits of truth will be found by more than one, and will be combined differently in accordance with material from the rest of their experience. So, to find that a new discovery via the guys upstairs reinforces or even repeats material obtained elsewhere, else-when, does not mean that we are plagiarizing. If anything it may mean that the initial seed — the earlier exposure to the idea — has prepared the soil for further development. The you of 2010 is not the same perhaps as it would have been if the you of 1986 had not read that idea — that collection of ideas — and contemplated.

All right.

Think of yourselves as not only being members of your own wagon train, but scouts for other wagon trains, as well. Not quite mapmakers, perhaps, but sketching the terrain for your comrades.

Well, there is a tremendous lot in that book that I think of as my knowledge, that I see now I probably adopted from him.

Nothing wrong with the process. The only concept of “ownership of ideas” that makes sense is not “I invented it and it’s mine,” but “this resonates, and I hereby annex it.” Unlike material objects, ideas may be equally owned by unlimited numbers, and will be found to be different for each because the person possessing it will find it relevant to other ideas and experiences each in its own way. Even within a person-group, one strand-mind may glom onto an idea and another reject it, or one may associate it with one set of beliefs and another associate it with another, each changing it, perhaps unrecognizably, in the process. Ideas, perceptions, mental constraints, are no more individual and unitary than anything else.

It has taken nearly half an hour to write these three journal pages, and I can’t understand where the time went. Normally in half an hour I write four or five pages unless I — or you — get stuck. But I’ve written right along and yet have so little. It is as if I had gone elsewhere, or had spaced out, and had come back needing to find a cover story for why I hadn’t done more.

“Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

Great, I’m talking to Groucho Marx now. That is just a joke! That’s one conversation I will skip. Time out while I make some coffee. [Small pause while I did so.]

I got from the Hemingway Collection in the Kennedy Library xeroxes of some pages from Ernest’s sub-hunting log, and his report of one possible sighting, and other notes in his handwriting. Well, might as well stop talking to myself. Ernest, now that I have this material, what direction should I go with it?

You have different things there, but the main use to you is to show that we were serious about sub-hunting. It wasn’t just make-believe and it certainly wasn’t doing as we wished when and where we wished.

But I already believed that.

Sensory evidence is always worth something to persuade other layers of yourself that may otherwise be holding back. Besides, you have now taken a first step, and the French say it’s only the first step that counts.

I won’t ask — first step to what? Time will tell.

Time will tell and your inclination and capability and actual decision will determine.

I just thought — I could travel to Boston by train (instead of airplane or car) and not only have the trip I’d enjoy but could then go to the library and touch the materials.

It isn’t something to do, as research, without preparation. But sure, you could. You might find the travel more tiring than you anticipate.

Would there be something up there for me?

A better question would be, is this the best thing I can do as an allocation of my resources? That answer will come — for you — by a knowing following an assessment. Others would decide using a different process.

So what should we be talking about today?

There isn’t any “should” about it. But we might talk about the sub-chasing material. Read the Submarine Manual that ONI put out during the war. You aren’t memorizing it, but read it. You will get something out of it, but hard to describe what or how. After you read it, we can talk. You’ve already read my typed account of our seeing the Spanish ship and the sub, and I remain firmly convinced that we gave them something of value, there, that they never used. The handwritten notes are more for you to read in a daydream state to get a sense of me. There is one nugget of information in the material starting Finca Vigia San Francisco de Paulo Cuba. So read it over. And then the logbook pages are mostly to let you look over my shoulder and see the changes over time. You don’t have any history-changing information there; that isn’t the purpose of the exercise. But it can change you, or start to. And of course there’s no use telling you what life will show you.

All right. I’m still getting that this period in your life is important somehow in a way not yet realized.

Keep your eye on one thing. You are looking for the corrective to the Myth. To that purpose, everything you find that shows you me as opposed to the Myth of me, or your own ideas of me, serves the purpose.

And how does your material tie in with all the other material I’ve been getting? Or — does it?

The only way for you to see the outline of the thing is to outline it. Get a clearer sense of what has been given to you, and you will see; it will be clear, of its own nature, and what remains will be your own decisions. In other words, you will have a lot of choices, but not an infinite number. Among the possible choices will be some that appeal to you more than others. A few strategic decisions on your part will lead to more detail, and ultimately to tactical decisions and you will be done.

Just like that.

Just like that, the way Men At War was just like that, or any major exercise in compiling and choosing. I didn’t say it would be easy, and you may not even do it. Who’s going to force you? But if you’re going to do it, that’s the way. You have to start from an overview.

An hour now, and only these few pages. I can’t understand it. It would be one thing if I were sitting here blank, but as far as I know that isn’t what I’ve been doing. The only break was a couple of minutes, no more, to fill the coffeemaker and get it going. Oh well.

I feel like this whole week has been a diversion from the exposition of the physical, mental, and spiritual influences on our lives.

In a way that is just what it has been, and for a reason. Sometimes we have to mark time until a propitious moment comes along.

And meanwhile you can let me wrestle with asthma, huh?

It hasn’t really interfered with anything. Does it ever?

Certainly feels to me that it has shaped my entire life by what it has rendered impossible or unlikely.

Another way to say that is that it has been a persistent bias, inclining your external life in a direction you otherwise would’ve had to find another excuse to follow, or might never have found.

Well, can’t we be done with it yet?

You can, provided you do one of two things: understand what it makes possible and give up that relationship, or understand it and find a more acceptable substitute. And this is true of one and all “problems” in your or anybody’s life.

Yes, say some more about that. It rings true immediately.

Anything that manifests — illness, poverty, discrimination, handicaps physical or mental or emotional or social, lack of opportunity, etc. — anything — is going to have physical logical clauses. That is, nothing is going to look placed in your life against the grain. Everything will look like the result of something. This makes it harder to see that because it follows a line of opportunity, does not mean it is a necessary result.

I’m with you, but rephrase, please, for the studio audience.

You know them, you do it.

It’s like you said about genetics. Genetics never determines what is going to be produced, it only determines the outer ranges of what can be produced (by omission of factors that would be necessary to produce something beyond those limits). Or, a person-group in an environment is not determined, but its limits are determined by whatever isn’t there.

Yes. So, if you’re in a family whose physical heredity provides the opportunity for you to contract asthma, that doesn’t mean you will — any more than your brothers or sisters did — unless you choose it. It means only that asthma is one of the opportunities in your heredity. But perhaps schizophrenia or alcoholism or kleptomania or cancer or whatever (for they all look equivalent to us) are not.

Therefore, the fact that your condition, whatever it is, has antecedent causes does not mean that it was really caused by those factors. It means those factors allowed it to manifest upon your choice. And by now it should be unnecessary for us to add, “choice” is by definition not conscious choice if you do not have control over it.

Therefore, whatever condition in your life oppresses you — or, to put it more neutrally, affects you in a way that you do not want — it can be eliminated by your effectively choosing not to accept it any more. This, regardless of “causes.” Everything always has “causes,” though we see them not as causes so much as permitting factors.

Put not your faith in nostrums, nor in physical or mental or spiritual or emotional cure-alls. Put your faith, instead, in vision and consciousness.

Now what do we mean by that?

It’s simple enough, and here is the point of your robot work in connection with your own health, Frank, and, much more importantly, everyone’s potential to reshape their limits.

First you must see what is really going on. If you have conditions, what is the nature of them? How do they actually function in your life? What do they enable you to do, using enable in the conventional sense as well as in the mental-health sense. How have they gotten you to where you are?

Then, what do you really want? It isn’t enough to say, “I don’t like X and such, I want to be rid of it.” Do you want to be rid of it badly enough to give up the associated benefits? Do you know what various members of your person-group are getting out of it, and do you know what they want and need? Can you fashion an acceptable alternative that will provide the needs as well as eliminate or reinforce (depending on which you want) the bias?

Once you bring it all into consciousness — once you acquaint the strands associated with a given condition with the analysis of costs and benefits, you can decide — in the only “place” you can decide anything, the conscious present — what you want to do and how you want various components to function from then on. In other words, how you want them to chart your course, or provide your bias, or however you’d like to put it.

If you can accomplish this — and what it requires is mostly sincerity — your life will change to conform to what you want. It always does. The joker, as always, is who is “you.” Get your components of you working together, and all these limitations change.

I can feel it, just writing it out.

Yes, because your component cells overhear. But you still have work to do; more analysis, because you strongly want certain lines of approach to remain open to you; you must therefore provide for them in some other way, if it is going to be other than what you already have, that functions.

And for the purposes of illustration it has been handy to have me have a physical problem I couldn’t will away.

Correct. And who saddled you with that unfair burden?

Very funny. Well, an extremely unusual session. Nothing, nothing, and then blam, and now it is nearly 6:45 and we’ve suddenly written 14 pages, when it took an hour to produce the first eight. Strange. It would be easier to understand if I thought that the first part of the session I wasn’t particularly on the beam, but that isn’t the case. All right, in any case, I’m pleased. Thanks and till next time.

6:45 PM. So — analysis needed. Very well. Help me to discover what aspects of myself — what strand-minds, I guess — are getting what payoffs from what situations.

Certainly you can see that asthma is a good excuse for not doing things you don’t want to do. Regardless whether you do use it, you always could use it.

An ace in the hole, an arrow in reserve.

Yes. Earlier in your life you found it much harder to say no. Now that you could say no, you don’t need this in reserve.

Does it make a difference if it’s there, if I never use it?

Sure! Because the theoretical chance that you might, persuades that particular robot that it is essential to its mission that asthma be in reserve. So, how can it let you or anyone cure it? It would lose its ability to perform as programmed.

Interesting. Fascinating, even. I can see that. So any half-forgotten or even never-conscious robots we have might be enough to prevent an effective consensus to change the rules. How do we get all the robots? Put out an APB?

Why not? That’s exactly what you do want. Only, maybe a staff meeting. Lay out the situation, say that you propose to change the rules, ask who will be affected, hear any objections or problems, work out problems and leave with everyone on board.

Very interesting approach. It may even work.

Of course it will work. There isn’t any magic in any of this — except maybe in the results. There isn’t any one preferred format. Just accomplish a few stated things:

  • Identify what you want to be rid of, or what you want to acquire.
  • Get rooted in the feeling associated with the old pattern, so it isn’t just words.
  • Find out what you can about where the patterns came from, what the payoff is.
  • Update people’s files. Bring all aspects into a shared present-time mental space.
  • Reiterate your clear intent and check to see who drag their heels.
  • Address those problems, embracing the element itself.
  • Go forth changed and see what surfaces next.

It isn’t complicated, unless you make it complicated.

I like the idea that maybe we don’t even need to know every element that entered into the old situation, but can cover the situation in a blanket matter.

Hey, we’re practical, here. You’ve heard and used the statement, “the best is the enemy of the good,” and “a thing worth doing is worth doing badly,” and “good enough for government work.” They are all saying the same thing: Good enough is good enough, and seeking for perfection may not only not be worth it, but may prevent real progress.

Well, I and my other friends thank you.

You thank us best when you apply what you know and whatever you have recently, theoretically, learned. That means we are not wasting our time.

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