Saturday May 16, 2015
F: 4:45 a.m. So, Rita, as you no doubt know, I’ve been talking with people about the material – turning it into a book, publishing it in its present form
Let’s try that again. The coffee hasn’t yet kicked in. I’ve been talking with Charles about the book this material could become, and the central theme of the book is–? Bob Friedman posed the question and suggested I pose it to you. I posed it to Charles and he quoted you [from past sessions], but, how about it we take it from the top? Granted it is about life after the change that is taking place, how would you describe the center that a book would coalesce around? I mean, it would be possible to stop anywhere, if these transcripts came to a natural stopping point.
Boy, do I feel fuzzy. I hope you feel sharper than I do. I thought I was ready to go. Maybe not?
R: You could always just go back to sleep.
F: Boy, there’s the title for a book about our lives! You could always go back to sleep. Except, probably we can’t.
R: Sleeping and waking, in the larger sense you mean, is an alternation like day and night, winter and summer. It isn’t an aberration or a mistake, let alone a tragedy. There isn’t a time schedule for these things.
F: Not even a don’t-miss-the-bus time schedule?
R: Not even a don’t miss the bus – how can there be, if you can’t miss the bus? There is always another schedule somewhen else, some other reality. The nice thing about the real universe is that there’s no pressure, no failure, no tragedy, no missed chances – unless that’s what you want to experience for the moment. There is always another timeline to jump to, whenever you get tired of the current programming.
So, to work. The theme of the book is pretty simple: Life is more open, more simple, more filled with possibilities, than you commonly think. Seth pointed that out for us, long ago.
Call it Living the Change.
F: I kind of liked Charles and the Dogs: Reality – What a Bitch.
R: You can try that one, if you prefer. It has the advantage of piquing the reader’s curiosity.
F: No doubt. Okay, Living the Change. And –?
R: Well, it is a reciprocating process, you understand. You broaden your understanding, and you experience the world differently. Different experience leads you to live differently, to change. Living differently leads to still greater difference in experience, and so forth and so on.
This Change that you and so many have been waiting for, hoping for, comes not as an external but as every person’s internal experience. Thus, for one person the change is yet to come, for another it is taking place, for a third it is yesterday’s news. They all live in the same world and in different worlds, depending on how you count and depending on who is doing the counting.
So this book is meant as a crib sheet for those who can feel themselves changing, and a set of hints and provocative statements for those who are ready to be tempted into a new life, and a formulation of basics for those who are already living in a new world but have not yet fully gotten onto their feet, or are not yet fully confident about it.
In a way, that is why you are experiencing some difficulty in seeing a theme. It is really three different books, at three different levels of understanding simultaneously. The same words mean different things at different times, in different contexts, to different people.
F: Living the change?
R: It doesn’t have to be that title; that’s for your publisher and you to decide. But that is the theme. Can you see it now?
F: You want me to summarize my understanding, I take it.
R: I do. It will be easier.
F: I suppose it is a bit like my life these past couple of months. I was living in one place, and became dissatisfied with it for lack of space, I went looking for another place to live, and found it, and went through the massive dislocation involved in uprooting and re-rooting myself, and I began to settle in, and now I am again at home.
R: A good analogy on many levels.
F: Don’t think I don’t know it was suggested.
R: In a larger sense, that process of moving to a more satisfactory place – with all its attendant experience of dislocation and readjustment – describes your life, and not yours alone.
Now, consider. Does everyone on Earth change houses on the same day? Would it be a good thing if they did, or could? Is everyone at the same stage of contentment or discontentment about their current home? There is no more reason to expect everyone to be in sync about The Change than there is to expect them to play Musical Chairs about their houses all on the same day.
F: Obvious, when you put it that way.
R: Is there some big external event that causes everyone to move? Or is there a continuing slow-motion tsunami that sweeps them along? Or a sort of ebb and flow that carries them gently? Or a basic stability that is occasionally interrupted? The short answer is, yes, and no, and you ain’t seen the half of it.
Reality is experienced one person at a time, and the reality I experienced in World War II was very different from [her second husband] Martin’s, or a soldier’s, or a factory worker’s, or a teacher’s, or a grandmother’s, or a schoolchild’s. There were common orienting themes but they all played out according to individual natures, then, and always.
F: In other words, in a sense what we experience as “external” reality is a fiction.
R: Well, that needs to be looked at. You can’t talk World War II away. It happened. It affected everyone on Earth, more as time went on, so that, for instance, given that 1980 would have been unrecognizably different if the war hadn’t happened, you can see that major events utterly transform the field of possibilities. But that doesn’t mean that any two people experienced the war – or anything – the same way. Similarly in so far as they themselves were similar; totally differently in so far as they differed from each other.
F: I once met a man who said he carried a volume of Thoreau all through the campaign in Europe in 1944-45.
R: And you talked to many men, and all their wars were different, of course, as was your friend’s experience of growing up in a world in which there were no men of a certain age range because they were off to war.
F: I remember the man in Scotland, too, who grew up in Glasgow and saw it filled with Americans racing around in jeeps and trucks and all, and then one day they went away and never came back – and nobody thought to explain to a four- or five-year-old boy about D-Day and all.
R: You yourself could remember probably a hundred people’s second-hand glimpses of the war. It should be enough to show you the interaction between individuals and social reality.
So, yes, there is a big The Change going on, and yes, it is experienced one individual at a time, but yes, given that “individuals” are themselves communities interacting along threads, you go right back to “we’re all in this together,” but yes, each individual community is at a different stage of development, so experiences something a little different.
F: Huh! I don’t know if it is in the actual words, but I certainly have the sense, from this, that it really does depend on your point of view how it looks. In a way, you could say it depends on how we choose to look at it.
R: Of course. That’s what “create your own reality” is!
F: I beg your pardon?
R: Your life is what you make it. You can’t wish away what you don’t like, but you can change things, at many levels. The more levels you are able to change, the greater your command of your life. The ironic thing, as I realize now, is that you can all change everything or anything and it is merely a matter of coming to the point of realizing it. However, that’s a pretty big “merely.”
F: The sky is lightening and the hour is up. Did we get what we need?
R: You tell me. I’d say so.
F: I guess I’ll see as I type it up. Thanks as always, Rita.