Hemingway’s worlds

Sunday, October 25, 2015
F: All right, Papa.


EH: I experienced the world as directly as a kid with a new BB gun on a camping trip, or like you with a new camera that time. Because I knew not to go to college but to take the world as my college, I didn’t have my world “sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.” I got it direct, and added my thought to it. Maybe that needs interpreting?
F: These days, I never know. It is clear enough to me, and I think it would be clear even if our minds weren’t linked.
EH: Well, let us assume it, and proceed. If you will keep firmly in mind this distinction I just drew by implication, many things about my life will become clear.
I didn’t have college, and occasionally I felt it as a lack, although I spent my life educating myself in the classics and in anything I interested myself in.

I experienced the world vividly and directly, without the veils people often put between themselves and their experience of the world by their beliefs, their habits, and their lack of attention or perhaps lack of sharp focus.
I had to report that world. I had to experience it, but I also had to report on it. It was a deep, deep drive.
So – when I was in the presence of men who had been to college, sometimes it didn’t matter between us – as with Dos, say – and sometimes I had more or less a sense of contempt for the difference between the theoretical opportunity they had had and what they had done with it – any number of the arty Paris crowd of the 1920s – and sometimes I felt acutely inferior and intimidated by them, or what they represented, and I can’t think of a specific representative but in general biographers and scholarly critics. And, once in a while, somebody I really respected and looked up to, but that kind of person, it didn’t have anything to do with their going to college, it was what they were. Max, say, or Archie MacLeish.
Now, I can feel you wanting to pose a series of names and asking for how they fit in – Ezra, say – but that becomes a parlor game. You got the idea, let’s move on.
You can see that the perceived lack in my background would be particularly thorny when I was dealing with (or even thinking about) guys who had had the background, but who hadn’t had my background of directly experiencing the world. I don’t mean, here, that they hadn’t driven ambulances in the war, or hadn’t learned deep-sea fishing. I mean, they didn’t seem to have my direct sensory connection with the flesh-and-blood world, so that anything they did or said was just chasing shadows. They had credentials but they didn’t have the essentials of the trade.
F: In that, you weren’t necessarily fair to them, of course.
EH: Oh hell no, but I’m explaining the basis for that particular reaction. When I call the Transcendentalists bloodless, that’s sort of what I’m getting at. They were spiritual enough; they were clear-sighted enough. They were even revolutionary in their way, because they were pulling against the drag of the idea that the world is the heavy dead thing that it can appear to be – but they were still somewhat crippled by the idea that there was the real world and the ideal world.
F: I’m with you, but we probably just threw off a couple of people. Few people today are as educated as you were, Papa. The distinction between real and ideal is elementary if you’ve explored the world of the transcendentalists, but not so much if you haven’t.
EH: Go ahead, then, only it isn’t the critical point here.
F: No I see that. Well, let’s keep going, then. I’ll just say the real, or actual, is what is apparent and the ideal is what is behind, underlying, the world of appearance.
EH: Yes, good enough. We don’t have time enough to be explaining Plato and all his children. My present point is that the transcendentalists were as enmeshed in that distinction as the materialists around then, only they were on the other side of the tug of war between matter and spirit. But to me, matter and spirit were the same thing.
F: Very modern of you.
EH: That isn’t what my contemporaries thought. Especially the college-educated ones, they thought I was only a physical man, and believe me, they would have underlined the “only.” And that was true, but not in the way they meant it. And because they couldn’t see the world as all one thing, I had a certain contempt for their blindness, even if a part of me wondered if they really did know things I didn’t.
F: Never too comfortable being out there on your own, is it?
EH: It has its moments. But I always had plenty of friends.
F: Say, that just illuminated something! But maybe less than meets the eye. I was going to say, that’s why you were always assembling a “mob” and planning your elaborate fun – you were always fighting loneliness.
EH: Don’t carry that too far. There is a germ of truth to it, but only that. Mostly I enjoyed having friends around me and doing things with them that I particularly enjoyed. Some of life’s great pleasures are essentially solitary, like sitting in the Prado for half an hour looking at one of my favorite paintings, or listening to music. Others, though, are communal, like eating and drinking and doing things in a mingled competition and cooperation. As in most things, I spanned the extremes. I liked both, and I didn’t see any reason to cut off either end.
F: Conceding all that –
EH: Well, all right, sure I needed company. Do you know what it is to go so far into unknown territory all the time and be unable to report any but the slightest echo?
F: Say some more about that.
EH: You can’t make me out to be an inner explorer, and you can’t make me only an outer voyager. I was both.
F: Teddy Roosevelt’s attitude toward life came to mind just then, either from you or from me.
EH: Or from the lamppost, and what difference does it make? TR is not understood as well as he might be, because people tend to get caught up in his external career, but that amounts to chronicling his reaction to events.
F: Henry Thoreau said our thoughts are the epic of our lives, “all else is like a journal of the winds that blew while we were here.” (More or less, that’s the sense of it. I may not have it exact.)
[I was close: The exact quote is: “our thoughts are the epochs in our lives: all else is but as a journal of the winds that blew while we were here.”]
EH: That’s it. Roosevelt’s inner life is somewhat on display in his writings and in people’s record of his conversations, but yes, a record of the winds that blew. There was a hell of a lot of Teddy Roosevelt in me. If he hadn’t spent so much of his life in legislative chambers and then acting as president, his life and mine might be more obviously similar.
F: “A delight in life” is what comes to mind.
EH: You could go farther, too. We sharply experienced life. Did it ever strike you that he and I both came to life with impaired vision, but we saw more clearly and sharply than most?
F: It hadn’t, no. Anyway, you needed friends around you.
EH: I also needed solitude. Don’t forget that. What I had, though people couldn’t see it somehow, was balance.
F: All right. Backing up, now. What’s the theme of the day we have been pursuing?
EH: I experienced the world unfiltered by thought and preconception, and then I was able to apply thought and analysis and reconstruction to express what I had experienced. This direct perception – hard to know what else to call it – made me essentially different from most of the writers of my day. I was reporting a different world they didn’t know and often thought I must be making up. And at the same time, the world I shared with fishermen and the poor and sportsmen and others who saw things direct did not include conceptualizing about it, writing about it. Carlos could see what I could see, and more, but he couldn’t write about it. Couldn’t even talk about it, and wouldn’t even have thought to.
F: You were bridging worlds.
EH: But not by my writing, so much; by my living. The writing was the necessary offshoot of the living.
F: May I?
EH: Go ahead.
F: I think you just said, the process of writing was as essential to you as the process of experiencing, but the publishing of it wasn’t as essential except as a way of making money to live as you wished.
EH: I didn’t say that, but it’s true.
F: And there’s our ten pages. Till next time, then.
EH: See you then.

7 thoughts on “Hemingway’s worlds

  1. Frank,
    EH has been hitting that distinction between ‘direct perception’ and ‘thought and preconception’ pretty hard. It is particularly interesting as his exposition is a microcosm of history, mimicking the flow and tensions between Vedic traditions, Buddhism, Chinese culture, Zen, and Japanese ‘spirituality’.

    When a thousand years of Buddhist erudite thought and ‘scholarship’ came from India into China (fifth century), there was tremendous pushback (speaking dramatically and metaphorically) from the practical Chinese. One result was Chan, which evolved (through Japan) into Zen; Japanese teachers then began bringing it into the West during the early part of the twentieth century. Basically Zen is a practice that points one toward breaking through ‘thought and preconception’ (seemingly orders of magnitude greater now than EH’s day!) to ‘direct experience’.

    Since it’s been made clear that ‘more that Hemmingway’ is communicating here, one suspects that TGU considers it important for us 3D’ers to learn to see ‘reality’ through all of today’s ‘stuff’!?

      1. Frank and Jim…

        ONE thing to have realized throughout the years (at least up until now); after all the reading and study: Every”time” when I have some “deduction/evaluation” about what I have learned, eventually coming into a sort of”conclusion,” THEN, (you can be certain of it), always something “else” occurs, raising another question to be”uncovered.”

        Is it not said somewhere that we can only grasp “bit and pieces” of “the whole picture”?

        Here the other day watching the neighbours’ children play outdoors, and from time to time listening to them.
        At first all went out playful and fine among them…. But all of a sudden two of them started shouting at each others, in “whose FAULT” it was when the ball (playing with a ball), hitting too hard upon the head (nearly hitting his face) to one of the other boys (the boys are from 7,8,9, and 11 years old).
        “It is not my fault”, shouted the one who was kicking the ball upon the head of the other… YOU did not grasp the ball and stood in the way” (or something similar).

        AND then, after another “episode” between my husband and myself yesterday where some minor dispute about “who`s GUILTY” in what to have done. It was about what to do with “a part of the housework”.
        I started it with telling my husband to do more”of the cleaning” together with me indoors.
        AND then, his “reaction” obviously was being “accused,” or rather(supposedly), felt GUILTY in not doing it. My husband’s reaction was “to be accused” in not doing it (he is always working hard outdoors instead) He is absolutely NOT “lazy”!

        AND here comes the moment of realization on my behalf:
        It IS our difference “in the background” …how each of us has been “raised up” within a family situation…it is “imprinted” from the childhood circumstances.
        HMM, it took me 53 years in the marriage of realizing it !
        My husbands` childhood background were FAR DIFFERENT from mine, even within the very same country. He was raised within a very strict protestant religious family (to follow what was written in the Bible to the last word)…EVERYTHING was “a sin”…we were all sinners from the beginning to the end (born as sinners).
        GUILT was indoctrinated from his childhood, but also the distinction between men and women of course.
        My husband was a REBEL to it, strong willed as he is. He was “breaking out” of the religious fanatic and indoctrinated, religious fanaticism, as he calls it, when he was 19 years old and joined the Air Force.
        He was born with “a very strong” free will by no doubt.

        How could I, with my FREE (non-religious) upbringing, ever understand (before now, in the age of 70) my husband’s childhood?

        We ARE “to wear” the clothings from our childhood all the way, if not to realize it is “a CAMOUFLAGE reality.”

        GUILT is “the burden” of the world…likewise with “the construction” about death (supposedly).

        Thanks again Frank.
        TGU is a fantastic Team….It is “time” to awaken.
        Heartily, Inger Lise.

        1. Inger Lise: Over the last few days, we realized that one of our customers deceived us and stole a small amount of merchandise. My partner’s reaction was a New Age variation on the theme of guilt and retribution. He said “karma’s a boomerang x3”. I thought about that and decided that a better belief might be that she realizes the error in her intention and sends us a check. Yes, it’s time for us all to awaken.

          1. Hi Helen, thank you,interesting as always.

            A few days ago received a “used book” printed in 1991 (the one edition I have got) by an author called Chet Snow, and he was a colleague of Dr. Helen Wambach(1925-85). Mostly the book gives the research by Dr.Helen Wambach.

            The title is:”Dreams of The Future”….and quote from the book:
            “I remember that when I began my own journey toward self-awareness, initially everything in my life became more difficult. Then, slowly, almost imperceptibly, I began “to catch myself” in the process of reacting when my old emotional “buttons” were pushed. And I am a rather emotional person!
            Often the old negative reaction would erupt before that “still, small voice” reminded me of what was really going on. That still happens sometimes! But more and more frequently I found myself stopping in mid-reaction and realizing how I was replaying “old tapes”instead of employing my new awareness.
            I was faced with a conscious choice. Would I apply my self-determined Ideal or remain stuck in my past?
            I`d be dishonest if I said I`ve always made the right decision, even today some old patterns are very stubborn.
            I still need linear Time`s buffer between my first thought and what I ultimately choose to do. But change has taken place and now it has become unusual for me to react blindly, the same change has taken place in other areas of my life”, etc. etc., told in the book.

            And yes, further down the same page it says: “Even though it may take months or even years to achieve an “inner knowing” that real change has occurred, any effort made in this direction helps provide a basis for future spiritual progress.
            MY priority is to be aware of what I need within(as opposed to what my ego desires), and then to act on that knowledge.

            Moreover, because our being is multidimensional, existing outside Space-Time, what appears as our “past” from the current personality`s perspective may not yet have been added to our soul`s repertory. Similarly, “the future” we now perceive may have already been lived before. If Einstein is right, that`s how it would appear to an Alpha Centaurian!
            This is why all comparisons of the soul`s spiritual “progress” along a strictly linear Time line are merely superficial. The underlaying ALL THAT IS really exists in a Timeless present, accessible only to the deepest levels of our minds, but it is natural home for souls.

            Nonetheless, difficult as this concept is for the conscious mind to grasp, “consistency and persistence” in whatever spiritual practice best meets one`s individual needs always brings us closer to the ultimate self-reunion (it must “the Value-fulfillment” as Seth says) that is our birthright and life`s final goal.

            It is only then that we can wake up from our ageless dream and claim past,present and future as one and the same experience. The knowledge as old as the Creation itself.”

            The book Featuring hypnotic future-life progressions by Helen Wambach, much in the same way as Dolores Cannon`s books.
            Other Galaxies and Space travels as well.

            I have no doubt about it, because I have experienced some of the same myself.
            ….and all lived happily ever after (smiles) Inger Lise.

          2. Thanks, John. I think this kind of cross-fertilization of ideas is extremely valuable. It is what my friend Charles Sides does so well, and is why i am looking forward to his summary of the Rita material. What you have said here is striking in that Rita’s beginning point last December was, there is ONE world and all parts of our nature participate.

          3. Oooops, sorry Martha, of course. I have a very good old friend in Canada, whose name is Helen: She must have been here with us this morning!
            LOL, Inger Lise.

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