My old friend Ed Carter — Bob Monroe’s age, Bob Monroe’s friend before I met either man — was author of the remarkable novel Living is Forever, which we published, then partner in Hampton Roads Publishing Co., and friend, and mentor, and psychic co-conspirator. He died in December, 2006, after scarcely half a dozen years of friendship, and i thought it was far too soon. But as is evident here, he still has a surprise or two up his sleeve.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
F: 4:40 a.m. Ed Carter’s 100th birthday tomorrow.
[Unusually, I was very much aware that I should be careful not to structure our interaction by any particular question or comment.]
Ed, are you available for a Happy Birthday greeting? Seem s like a long time since we’ve chatted. I’d be glad to hear anything you have in mind.
Ed: Time moves along and carries you with it, and everything changes. I don’t know if it has occurred to you yet, but that means that every time you contact one of us on this side, the relationships are different. Even if we here were unchanged, we’re continually dealing with a progressively changing entity on your side. So in that way alone the relationship will have changed. It’s not like in life when you all change but you change at the same rate.
F: It’s very interesting, Ed, I take down your words and behind every phrase of every sentence I hear the possibilities for misinterpretation by anyone reading your words and taking them in one literal meaning. For instance, I know what you are meaning in what you just said; you mean that the 3D world moves continually under the ever-changing present moment and the non-3D world does not, and therefore you who may be unchanged by the passing of the years are then dealing with the same persons at different stages in their lives. And that is what you did say; and yet some might read “you change at the same rate” to mean – what you did not mean – that everyone here changes, develops, progresses, at the same rate.
Ed: It seems to be part of your life work to point out just such areas of slippage in the process, and if so, it won’t matter, ultimately, whether you reach many or only a few. Any one communication makes it easier for the same material to be communicated again, in other ways and other times through other people.
F: So you were saying –
Ed: My last sight of you was when you were 50. Now you are nearly 70, and it’s going to make a difference in what you can understand about my day-to-day life then.
F: Yes, I do see that.
Ed: Well, it is one more example of the special circumstances presented by any given moment. Even when you are talking to the dead, you are doing so from a moving platform. It isn’t like you are the unchanged and unchanging observer.
I always said genius is when somebody says something and it is immediately obvious but you never would have thought it. This is one example.
Ed: Now I want you to do one thing for me, and that is, say hello to our friend John Nelson.
F: Gladly. Any particular message?
Ed: Merely tell him this. Any emotional connection between individuals not only serves as a further link between them; it serves as a clue that there was something more there in the first place than one might have suspected.
F: I remember that when I announced to the Hampton Roads staff that I had the sad duty to tell them that you had died, John burst into tears and had to leave the room.
Ed: Well, that is just like our impulsive warm-hearted friend, is it not?
F: Yes it is – but you are saying, I take it, that it is also a sign that you and he were connected in ways perhaps unsuspected by any of us.
Ed: That’s exactly right – and John has been moving along with the years just like you, of course, and is nearly half again as old as he was then. Remembering who he was then will be of value to him.
F: Okay, I’ll tell him, by way of sending this. And — ?
Ed: And my friend Bob Monroe and I have continued to be friends here, or that’s one way to look at it, anyway, but the fact that I outlived him by nearly two years also changed our relationship slightly. Can you see that?
F: I’m willing to hear more.
Ed: Take you and your old friend David. He died when you were 24. Suppose you die today, one level of your new interactions will be that of a 69-year-old man with a 23 year old. You are old enough now to have been his grandfather then. It is a different relationship from the peer relationship of two schoolboys. This is something people don’t take into consideration when they think about reunions after death.
F: But you can choose to be whatever age you like best, can you not?
Ed: Yes – but you can’t, not while still being carried along in bodies.
F: This is slipping. I can feel that you are trying to get something across that is important, but I’m missing it.
[One thought that ran through my mind, that I remembered, typing this, was that “appearing to be” or even “choosing to be” a certain age is not the same as having experienced that age in 3D.]
Ed: Your father died at age 70. You were not yet 40. But next year you will have caught up with him. Does it not change the possibilities inherent in the relationship? Similarly, you are catching up with me. Every years you live adds possibilities of new relationship between us. Not that I am changing, necessarily, but that you change, necessarily.
Nor is that the end of it. Your friend David and you were connected by strands of yours and strands of his that had interacted long before, in a different kind of relationship, in which he was the elder instructor and you were the prized pupil. That relationship played out in your present life – it colored your interaction without either of you knowing it – and it was reciprocally affected by your new interaction – and is still being affected, and changed, as you continue to live your life and bring a changed perspective to it.
F: This, regardless of whether he and I are in contact?
Ed: Regardless whether you are aware of such contact. It continues all the time. Life is far more complex than you suspect even yet.
F: It’s a lot to try to grasp.
Ed: I know, and it will repay thought. So let me put it this way. Everybody on earth at any time is a window into the world for those who are no longer active. But just because we are no longer active – by which I mean, no longer moving through the years being carried by bodies – that doesn’t mean we are not actively participating in many relationships.
F: Your strands all continue to interact.
Ed: Not all at any one time necessarily. Those with connections to those people presently embodied. Not necessarily all, but, as you can imagine, quite a lot.
F: It makes my head spin. I have gotten used to the idea of us all remaining alive and available for interaction. It hadn’t occurred to me that of course this means that all the strands in all the people who ever lived are available for continual interaction with everybody they connect to. There’s no end to it. It is all one vast interconnected tapestry, and it changes all the time.
Ed: That’s right. But look at how many things you had to learn before you were ready for another turn of the kaleidoscope.
F: Wow. And I thought I was merely saying hello to an old friend on his non-quite birthday.
Ed: By now you must be used to being surprised by the difference between intent and what happens. That amounts to the difference between conscious awareness and all the rest of you.
F: So – well, enough for one day, I suppose. I was going to ask about your relations with your daughter but I get the sense that some things are too private for public display.
Ed: Not the way that sounds. It isn’t a cause for secrecy, and it isn’t even that she would necessarily object to being mentioned here. But that is between her and her mother and me, and this is going far and wide to people who didn’t know and won’t know any of us, and there’s no point. We’ve already said the essence of it, which is that continuing to live changes your relationship with those who have gone before you by adding layers of experience on the one side and therefore adding to your contribution to the relationship. And perhaps we should have mentioned that in any interaction, all ages of both sides may come into play, not merely the age that you happen to be observing from. Right now you are in 2015. That isn’t any more or less important than when you were in 2014 or 2000. Like those earlier dates, you will pass it, and it will be one more reference point, no more, no less.
F: My goodness. Well, Ed, see if I ever drop by again! A lot to chew on, and thank you.
Ed: You’re welcome and didn’t I tell you I had a feeling it would be worthwhile for us to do Lifeline together?
F: You certainly did, and if you had not paid my way I couldn’t have done it, and wouldn’t have met Rich and Joyce or gone down this particular path in this particular way.
Ed: Give my regards to Richard as well. Although he isn’t likely to realize it, I’ve been interacting with him over the years too, as our strands have held us in connection from other times.
F: I sure wish I were a better thinker or had different training. There is so much here to be deduced and elaborated!
Ed: You bring it across; others can systematically make sense of it.
F: “Whoever isn’t skinning can hold a leg,” as Mr. Lincoln said.
Ed: There’s enough work for everybody, and it is rewarding work.
F: I am loathe to let you go, but my hour is up and anyway I don’t know where I’d go next.
Ed: If I’m not going anywhere, why should you go somewhere? There’s always time; it’s just that every time is a different distinct opportunity. I’ll use your sign-off line: Be well.
F: And you. And Happy Birthday, tomorrow, and maybe we we’ll talk some more another time. Till then.