Tuesday February 17, 2015
F: 4 a.m. Okay, Miss Rita, you’re on – should you choose to be. Context, in judging life?
R: The point should be evident. Nothing seen out of context is going to make sense, and why should anyone expect it to? Logically it amounts to a tautology: Things only make sense when seen in a way that lets them make sense. If for some reason you were to have a vested interest in “proving” that life is unfair, you could do so easily, unanswerably, merely by narrowing your focus and selecting your data. But “proving” that it is not unfair, though it involves widening your focus and broadening your selection criteria, is not as easy as that, which is why so many theological and philosophical efforts to do so are so unsatisfactory and, often enough, forced and unconvincing.
The fact is, the context that is critical is not selection of data in time and space – historical examples – but specifically the broadening of the process to move beyond time and space, to move deeper than time and space, because it is specifically in assuming that life is what it appears that the underlying errors of interpretation sneak in and lead to outrage and despair.
F: Somebody wrote somewhere that if, in the Middle Ages, a man had known that he was the last man on earth, it wouldn’t necessarily have produced the despair that it would have in the 20th century. In fact, it might not have bothered him much at all, if he was working from the assumption that God knew what He was doing. The external facts would have been the same, but the assumptions and interpretations would have produced an entirely different effect.
R: Without glorifying the Middle Ages unduly, that’s exactly right – yet even your capitalizing the word “He” in referring to God reminds you – or ought to – that that way of seeing things can not be re-introduced nor, lightly disguised, enter in the back door. I know that isn’t what you’re doing, Frank, but it is important that others know explicitly that this isn’t what either one of us is doing.
F: No, and I’m not introducing Divine Providence by calling it Evolution, either.
R: In any case, (not to get off on a tangent) the point is, the “modern” way of seeing the world led to several dead-ends because they seemed logically incontestable but morally repugnant and practically without a way forward.
Life begins at birth (or conception; choose one) and ends at death, and that’s the end of it.
There is no “supernatural” world to relate to. No God, no angels, certainly no humans-become-dwellers-in-heaven (i.e., saints). We are alone on earth, and that’s the end of that.
We are alone in a pretty meaningless universe, and any attempt to see meaning – any teleology – is self-deluding weak-mindedness.
Most of our surroundings are dead. We living (who, remember, are here by accident) are a few exceptions to an overwhelmingly dead universe.
Because of the foregoing predicaments, you must put your hope (if you insist on having hope) in the future, in science, in social evolution, in what does not exist, because it does not exist.
By reaction against this, some move to want to destroy the entire intellectual, social, economic edifice that left them stranded, and so they become glorifiers of anything primitive, even while continuing to remain dependent upon the same infrastructure derived from the worldview they reject.
Similarly, others (sometimes the same people at different times, confusingly enough to themselves and to others) accept the description of the world but reject it at the same time, or anyway reject its consequences. They accept the premise but hope to reform the effects.
F: Wanting to build “a better world.”
R: No reason to mock the impulse. I felt it myself, especially before Bob Monroe turned what I thought I knew upside down! But it is true, you can’t build a better world merely by wanting to. You need to know the roots of what’s wrong with it.
Now, look at those few underpinnings of the dead-end view of the world. Remove them and what do you have?
Eternal life. Perpetual interaction with the other dimensions, the rest of life. Inherent meaning. A living universe. And there is no need to invest your hope in social movements, or the inevitable “progress” that time will no doubt provide, nor some sort of mental split that will allow you to have your materialist cake and eat your non-materialist values too.
F: That metaphor kind of fell down, there.
R: So it did, but the point should be clear. B considering the universe – by re-considering it – you have already half escaped the mental / spiritual trap set by your times. But of course it isn’t possible to remain in the doorway forever. Either you will move out into freedom or the trap will close around you again. In short, you will let this and other material change your life, or you won’t. You can’t both change and non-change, not ultimately. You can waver for a while, but sooner or later that will amount to deciding by default.
F: I don’t know if this is the time – I assume it is, since it came to mind – but somebody asked how “all is well” can square with free will. I didn’t understand the question, but I imagine you will.
R: No need to say much about it. Find the question and quote it.
[Jude McElroy’s question: “If all is well, and all is always well, does this not preclude free will? I easily see that each of us has predator threads and prey threads, it would seem if all is well, it does not matter which one we focus on and exhibit. If I can’t screw things up do I really have free will? As below….one of my cells can screw up the system by becoming cancerous. As above…?”]
The logical confusion lies in thinking that the free will is somehow dependent upon the result of the choice, rather than in the nature of the choice as affirming a set of values in the person choosing.
It is true that each version of reality stems from choices made. But –
Hmm, maybe a longer subject than it appears at first, so let’s go into it a bit.
Every possible choice exists, and creates its own universe, so to speak. This is sort of true, though not in the way physicists think, because they are conceiving of things as proceeding in time as they imagine it, things coming into existence decision by decision.
It would be more accurate to say that all these possible universes, the fruits of infinite numbers of choices by infinite numbers of people, inhere in the universe, and therefore of course always have. That’s what inherent means. You make a choice, you don’t create a world, you walk a certain world. You choose and your choice provides you the next step on your path.
Doesn’t that make more sense to you just intuitively? Does it feel right that your every choice should create a version of the answer? Or is it not more intuitively right to say your every choice is a choice among worlds already existing?
Not that I knew any of this in life. I remember being pretty thoroughly confused when the guys tried to explain it.
F: Some of that garble had to be from me trying to make sense of it and getting it wrong. I remember struggling with it myself, and leaving it not quite making sense, but sort of making sense. I must say, this is much clearer.
R: Well, if it is clear that life in 3D is merely a long (or short) walk in the hall of mirrors, or labyrinth or however you wish to see it, then it should be clear that life in 3D is not about creating a better world (or a worse one, either); it is about creating you. It is about using 3D and 3D’s conditions of existence to carefully forge a mind – a soul – that will thereafter function in non-3D as a unique mirror, or touchstone, among the others already existing.
So now come back to your accustomed view of reality, whichever it is, and attempt to see the world through both, alternately, or through both in a stereo view, if you can do that. From the everyday view, pain and suffering, good and evil, still exist. We haven’t defined them away. But the context for life being different, how can the meaning and the very experience of good and evil, and of suffering, not be seen differently?
So that is what I meant by context, and that’s enough for the moment. You and Charles may consult and see where you wish to go next, or if you ask the right open-ended question I’ll go off on my own hook.
F: Okay, will do. Your work continues to meet great response, and it is a pleasure to act as your amanuensis.
R: You just wanted an opportunity to use the word.
F: I did. Till next time.