Wednesday February 25, 2015
F: 3:20 a.m. Okay, Miss Rita, you’re on. The questions keep getting more interesting, I think, including ones we probably won’t get to for a while. What a nice sense of community!
Where would you like to start?
R: We may as well go down the new list in order.
[Charles: Stephen Hawkins was quoted yesterday as saying that our most immediate threat is human behavior. “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression” he said… It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.” Would Rita please comment on this?]
F: I think that is a slander on cave man, myself, but I’ll be interested in your take on it. I remember so well your down-the-line liberal views when you were in the body.
R: Without getting into ideology, and certainly not into politics, let me say that of course everything looks different from here. How could it not? Context is all, or nearly all. Our 3D lives are a long effort to express what is within us, which requires and presupposes a decision – a continuing decision, you might say – as to what we want to express, what we want to be. You may have contradictory values included in your 3D soul – well, your task is to judge which ones you wish to express and encourage, and which you wish to repress and discourage. And of course there are productive and destructive ways of going about all this, but if you don’t realize that we are by nature compound beings, the task is going to be misunderstood.
To answer the question succinctly, let me say this. Hawkins is correct and also not.
F: Yes but no. Seems like we’ve heard that before.
R: And it is quite possible you’ll hear it again. The only alternative is oversimplification, sometimes.
Hawkins is right that aggression as a trait threatens destruction, although I would now judge that the danger is substantially less in 2015 than it was 50 years before. But he is making an unnoticed error in attributing it to human nature. It would be closer to the truth to say that humans are living with aggression (as with all values and the behaviors arising from them) that are brought forth from the non-3D and are expressed more clearly in 3D circumstances. Life is a conflict of values, both in 3D and in non-3D. Behavior is a little different in different terrain, but the originating forces are, of course, the same.
F: I’m torn between wanting you to go on with this and wanting you to go on to the next question.
R: There isn’t any point in hurrying through things to get to tomorrow. Tomorrow will always be tomorrow. The time is always now, as Ram Das reminded us.
F: All right. That has always been a fault of mine, hurrying forward. So, pray continue.
R: Dawkins says the human failing he would like to correct. Is it specifically human, though? Is it a failing? And even if either or both, is it meaningful to talk of correcting it?
The statement could be rephrased several ways. One would be: “I don’t like aggression and would like to see it eliminated.” Another would be: “There is something defective in human nature, and I would like to see it altered and therefore cured.” Another would be: “I’m tired of war and the causes of war and I dream of a world without them.” And yet another would be
F: Lost it.
R: Well, even this many is enough not to invalidate the statement but to illuminate the tacit assumptions it incorporates. The additional rephrasing dealt with the assumption of individuals acting in mutual isolation, but you have enough to see my point here.
I would argue that it is not aggression but selfishness that threatens life as you are living it. That is, most people are not malign or even hostile, particularly, but a civilization that fosters a sense of isolation, of lack of mutual interdependence, is not only profoundly inhuman, it is also profoundly unscientific, because interdependence is perhaps the first law of nature, recognized or not. What is the much-quoted “survival of the fittest” but a statement that the most successful species is the one that best fits in to the existing order of things? It is not – who is the most ruthless. Anything that overreaches risks pulling the temple down around his ears.
F: That last sentence sounds more like me than like you!
R: Well, it is a joint mind, you know. No reason your own flavor wouldn’t get into the teacup. It often does.
Here is my point. Aggression flows from a sense of isolation, which may result in fear, in ruthlessness, in a sense that it is dog-eat-dog, sauve qui peut. But without that sense of isolation – in non-3D, in other words — the values still exist, and still have their vigorous proponents. It is just that we in non-3D do not experience the world as you do, so of course everything expresses differently. So I’d say it isn’t aggression that threatens you, it is the belief that you each exist in isolation – in isolation from non-3D, from each other, from your pasts and futures. But that is not what Dawkins is saying, because he is concentrating on effects and not causes. This is not to criticize his work, only to clarify. Now, I suggest that we move on to something else until questions and comments proceed from this, for we have not begun to exhaust the subject.
F: If I hear you right, you’re saying, again, let this marinate for a while.
R: Too big a chunk of unfamiliar material may prove indigestible, for two reasons. One, the temptation will be to embrace it but then move on, leaving it as a cyst rather than incorporating it. Two, the implications of new material only reveal themselves in connection with various facets of reality. Look at life through new lenses and each day illumines different things, as happened to us in 2001 and 2002 when we lived with the material the guys provided us week by week.
F: Yes, I well remember, and it’s true, the continuing nature of the tutorial, combined with the somewhat random barrage of questions from the Voyagers Mailing List and others, did result in our being presented new aspects of what might have been glossed over otherwise.
R: Glossed over, encapsulated, and in essence disregarded. Okay, next question.
[Charles: “I’m wrestling with `what the person is, is right, regardless of whether what the person specifically does in any given circumstance is right or not.’ I understand that no being is “created” wrong, but from this comment it seems to indicate there is a `right’ choice. Would Rita please comment?]
R: Charles has the first part, which is more difficult for many people than you might suspect. Not only do people criticize what others (and they themselves) do, they often criticize what others (and they themselves) are. Perhaps they do not think of it that way, but that’s the effect. When you say, “I love x” – whether friend, lover, or only someone you have read about or seen – “but I only wish he or she weren’t so [whatever]” – you are in effect saying, “that person is imperfect as is.”
Well, there are two ways of saying the same thing. Either everybody is imperfect, because everybody has the defect of their qualities, or everybody is perfect, because they are as they were created and they are living that problem as best they can. This isn’t even two statements, both true, but one statement.
As I say, Charles has that part, or seems to by this question. Now let us look at the second part of this, thinking as we do.
A right choice? There are so many ways to examine this. Right absolutely? Right for the individual> And, if the latter, what does that mean? Right as in, best expressing the person’s qualities at the moment? Or, as offering the most productive path forward (however that would be defined, and whoever would be the ones to define it)?
Given that, one way or another, all choices are taken from the view of the absolute, it still remains true that on any one pathway, only one choice is made. You don’t come to a crossroads and take every fork in the road. You take one, regardless what happens in other versions of reality. And often enough the various options are, shall we say, ethically neutral. That is, taking one path or another won’t affect or won’t much affect your on-going process of living your values. Whether you go east or west may make no difference ethically though it may make a huge difference (or may not, but may) in the future choices you will be faced with. But whether you can call a given choice “right” or not depends on where you stand relative to the person choosing.
You see? My point was that a person is as he or she was created; they do as they are moved to do, and the results of their choices can be argued, but the nature of the community that is functioning as an individual cannot.
F: And, as to pole stars, do we have time enough to squeeze in question three?
[Charles: “Further, if everyone has a `pole star,’ is that referring to a preference of choices that would be beneficial to the person in 3D, meaning some choices have better 3D results; i.e. maybe less suffering? Or, if that is misunderstood, what does Rita mean by a `pole star’?]
R: When I say pole star, here, I mean the constant unvarying orientation that any 3D life cannot avoid having, consciously or (usually) not. What you are is hugely determinative of what you believe, what you value, what you choose. That’s all.
F: And enough for today?
R: Enough for today. Allow me to extend my thanks for the questions, which assist greatly in elucidating the material.
F: And, of course, our thanks to you. Tell next time, then.