Thursday, October 15, 2015
F: 4:15 a.m. Having devoted Tuesday night, into Wednesday morning, watching the Democratic debate, then Wednesday recuperating and spending a good deal of time examining news feeds—
I knew not to try this yesterday morning, but I figured you wouldn’t be going anywhere. Shall we dance, Papa? Even glancing over Monday’s material I can’t quite remember where we were going. But I assume that you do.
EH: Not a lot of TV news over here, so I wasn’t distracted. By the way, do you find it interesting that you were being encouraged to re-engage with the world some months ago, in time for you to be caught by the Sanders phenomenon?
F: It strikes me, sure. That isn’t the same as knowing why.
EH: “Why” is always a question most easily answered later, looking backwards.
F: I know. So, anyway—
EH: This time perhaps you should re-read several of our past transcripts.
F: All right, back in a few. (4:22)
(4:30) Well, I just read the past three, I sort of see it. Enough to feel things, I hope.
EH: Here is the key. No matter what connections to other times we bring into life via the strands that comprise us, we are creatures of the time we are born into. We may know much of what is going on around us – like me reading all the time, and absorbing from everybody around me – or little, like peasants who don’t know and don’t care about anything transitory, or I should say abstract. They may not know how to read, may know nothing of their history or of contemporary affairs. You can see, one or the other attitude will put you in a very different world. In a sense, it doesn’t matter: You are going to be living in the world you were born into, and much of it is going to affect you by what seem like external events.
F: Another statement to be unpacked.
EH: Oh, yes. You see how it is that going slower changes the nature of what you perceive? It is because it allows connections to appear more clearly – you would say you get time to think things over and see connections you hadn’t seen before. I am aware, that sentence looks redundant. It isn’t, or isn’t for everybody, put it that way.
Your life in 3D seems to you a combination of internal and external events.
F: This isn’t Hemingway, is it?
EH: Not entirely, but stay paying attention to the material, not the source. It is aimed in the same direction. Your life must appear to be partly external – that is an effect of 3D connections, to exteriorize your perceptions so that your own substance appears to come at you from “outside” as if there is an outside. That is an effect of having your perceptions centered on one continuous point of non-moving (or ever-moving) time, combined with perception of separation in space and time. You see? Remove these constrictions of perception, and you realize that your life is inextricably part of the web of life at the flowing moment. We aren’t talking of “the web of life” in ecological terms, here, nor as metaphor. What we mean is that all life is one, but in 3D conditions it is made to experience itself in different slivers, the better to enhance the perception of difference and thus sharpen and polish it. Remember, if you can, that 3D is meant not as end in itself so much as a workshop for the self-construction of additional windows on reality.
F: So outside 3D we experience life as having always been an expression of what we are, and within 3D we experience it as our own inner versus an external “other.”
EH: That’s right.
F: Papa again. At least, that’s how it feels.
EH: Bearing always in mind that what you experience as Papa isn’t necessarily what somebody else would experience, but yes. So, as I was saying, when we come into the world, we come into a specific time, and we represent, we embody, that time, and this has nothing to do with current affairs necessarily. We live the times; we don’t necessarily know that we live them.
So, the Hemingway that came to Pamplona for the first time was a Hemingway who had been in the process of shaping for 24 years. Had I been born ten years earlier, my experience would have been different not only because I would have been 34 instead of 24 but because I would have been shaped by entirely different times. I would have been embodying those times, not the times I did.
F: This is going to be difficult for some people to get a handle on, I think.
EH: New material always is. If they will try to let it resonate rather than trying to think it through, they may get it. Other temperaments will need to get it by thinking it through, of course. It is merely a difference in how people process things.
The point to be remembered is this: I came to any experience as a child of my times in the astrological sense, and so does anyone. The “external” forces shaping my time were the same for Spanish peasants and Hindu nobles and Philippine or Chinese poor or – anybody. All the vast differences between classes, races, nations are superimposed over the basic identity of the time they were born into.
Let that go. This isn’t a treatise on metaphysics, or, not primarily, anyway. But the point must be borne in mind if you are going to see the inner meaning of what happened to me. “Happened to me” is itself a peculiar way of seeing things, of course. It would be equally accurate to say “the things I happened to,” or “the things that my existence caused to manifest around me.” And I hope that you will know enough by now to see that that isn’t meant as a bit of Hemingway arrogance but as a straight description of everybody’s experience, though they may not – indeed, probably will not – recognize it.
So, the Hemingway whose eyes were opened by – no, that’s too abstract. You have the sense of it, you say it, slowly, and we’ll see where we are.
F: Slowly. Meaning, I take it, carefully. All right.
You were formed in 1899, and further shaped by life in middle-class mille America. This is what you were at your core.
EH: At my personality core, say, not my essence core.
F: Yes, all right. I’ll try to explain that. The personality could be seen as you as you manifest in relation to others. The essence could be seen as you as you manifest to yourself.
EH: Not bad. Continue, then.
F: That personality was further developed at the Kansas City Star and then in Europe and then back in American as you recuperated and then again as you were living in Paris as a newly married man. And what you were then is what you brought to Pamplona in 1923.
EH: Yes, as long as you remember that I was also something not dependent on or shaped by my times, as we are all in 3D life. I was also what I was in my strands connecting to other lives and times. That’s a little awkward to express, but you must get that idea across, or people may miss it.
F: And it isn’t quite right to draw the distinction between personality and essence as between external and internal shaping.
EH: That would be a way to think of it, and wouldn’t be so bad, as long as you remembered
EH: No matter. Continue.
F: The Hemingway shaped by Oak Park came to Pamplona – came to Spain in general, but to a week-long festival in particular – and found itself shaken to the core.
EH: No! No, that isn’t it. But you did all right up to that point. I wasn’t shaken to my core. I was
I was present, the born-in-1899 core was present, and many hitherto dormant strands of that core were awakened, just as had happened in July, 1918, only in a different way.
When our strands awaken, we may feel different to ourselves. It may feel like an awakening, or like a transformation, or merely like a source of new possibilities.
Did it ever occur to you to wonder why my life was so speeded-up? Mature as an artist so early, secure in myself as a man so early, aging and then aged so early?
F: I’d noticed it but I hadn’t tried to deduce why. I assumed the stress of your way of living had something to do with it – the accidents, the drinking, the over-exertion (if it was over-exertion, given what you were), but no.
EH: Well, think about it in this context. Continual awareness and frequent readjustment burns the candle. Next time, let’s start with that same image, of me as the product of Oak Park coming to the festival of San Fermin and suddenly becoming alien to myself, almost, as so many things inside me work up with a bang. Now, I hardly noticed what a different awakening this was, because of course life in Europe seemed a continual redefinition of what we were. We felt very much the young Americans learning to live like Europeans. That was true but relatively superficial. The out-of-body-experience-equivalent that was Spain in 1923 was something I had difficulty getting across to people, like you and your Monroe experience. You think, if they get the experience, it will change them as it changed me, but of course that isn’t possible. It may or may not change them, but if it does it will be in accordance with what they bring to it. And that is going to differ every time, just as your own life would differ if it were possible for you to experience the same “external” events in a different order.
As I say, let’s start here next time.
F: Okay. Thanks, Papa. Be well. (5:30)
Thursday, October 15, 2015