Monday May 23, 2016
F: 5:25 a.m. Charles sends a reminder of an earlier follow-up question Rita had invited. Let’s start with that.
At the end of Rita’s last session she mentioned questions:
This is one that has been following me:
She said: “So – see it how you please. No I didn’t go through a life review process in the sense of a tutorial. Yes I received the understanding that would result from a life review process, merely by regaining access. Another thread to follow up on at another time: how we build in meaning as we go along, in the same way and as part of the same process as we shape ourselves by choosing.”
And in The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher, William James said, p. 120: “I can also ‘see’ my own life in the same way, in its entirety as I knew it, but also in ways that were unfamiliar to me then. The events of my own life appear open-ended to me; I see what I did, but also what I might have done, and can perceive the energy I sent out in directions that I did not take consciously. I can track my own influence then, see the thousands—no, millions—of people I affected, as each of you affects the earth and its populace in far greater terms that you realize. Each contact, direct or not, counts and ripples outward so that each person’s life sends out lines of contact intersecting with others on a psychic level, but quite practically in psychological terms. So after death, watching the tracks of one’s own influence is perhaps the most fascinating of endeavors.”
I would like to know what Rita meant by building “in meaning as we go along” and how that fits with William James’s comment, “but also what I might have done.”
I keep thinking of [P.D.] Ouspensky’s book, The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, in which Ivan relives his life but does everything the same. When someone who has died sees what he might have done, can he step back into that life and “feel” as if he’s actually living it? Is that how meaning would be added? Since all time exists, could we, in essence, keep stepping back into all the possibilities of one life and live each version or wouldn’t that be necessary since all versions would appear as real in beyond 3D?
F: Well, I don’t see where Rita said it, offhand, paging back through the book. I suppose I could look through the binder of printed transcripts, but after all, if Rita said it, she knows what she meant – why not just ask?
R: Let’s start with your understanding of the sentence.
F: I take it to mean, as we choose we affirm certain traits in ourselves and deny or downplay others, and the cumulative process determines what we wish to be – or, anyway, wind up being – by the time our 3D experience is over, and that this shaping is the meaning of our lives. Not the process, but the result. [That is, it isn’t the process that is the meaning of our lives, but the choices we make.]
R: That’s enough to start with. You will remember that I once asked you, rhetorically, what is the meaning of a sunset.
F: I do. Part of a general discussion that said, basically, that things are their own meaning, and don’t need to be justified by their utility or, in fact, by any measure.
R: Interesting that you read that as the particular moral of the story. But, good enough. Well, let’s see what we can do.
The idea of meaning being tacked on after the fact is a natural result of the sequential thinking one learns in 3D, that is, learns by living in 3D conditions of consciousness, shaped and distorted and constructed and channeled (four ways to say the same thing) by the ever-moving present moment.
F: Sure. Like the physicists’ idea of every decision splitting the universe.
R: That’s right. If you see life as a sequence, you see it as coming into being one moment at a time, rather than as a cloud of possibilities that exist all along and are chosen moment by moment. Either way of seeing “saves the phenomena” – that is, takes into account the data and explains it all, just as heliocentric or geocentric concepts both saved the phenomena of celestial movement. You’ll find, as you go along, that no theory ever holds “the truth” of a situation. At best it explains more of the truth than alternative theories do. But it is always subject to being revolutionized. Changing the field of observation can make a discarded theory’s explanations more cogent, and a dominant theory’s less satisfactory.
F: All that describes the scientific mind-set and process, right?
R: At best, yes. But in science as elsewhere, theory easily becomes dogma. People don’t like continual revision of things they think they know, no matter what their theoretical attitude toward ever-greater truth may be.
So, if you realize that your life choices simultaneously determine the “you” you will wind up presenting to the non-3D as your legacy, and sketch the meaning of your life in context, it will be clear enough.
F: A little more on the last point, I think.
R: The path you take through the possibilities that are your life is your legacy, in that it includes all your interactions with others, and therefore includes or implies all further consequences as those affected live their lives. All the clouds of possibilities exist. By your choices, you make some realer than others (in effect), with all the consequences that follow. What if John F. Kennedy had decided that his ill-health excused him from the burden of competitive exertion expected as standard-bearer for his family? Or what if his brother Joe had lived, so that Jack had been able to remain an irresponsible second son? You can see that in the probabilities where either of these things happened, your own list of possibilities and influences would be vastly different. Well, that degree of influence is highly unusual, of course – but as Charles’ other quotation points out, everyone’s influence is vastly greater than anyone suspects.
F: To sum up, then, you would say that our meaning – that is, the meaning of our lives to the world – is the same as our choices, because the choices determine which of the cloud of possibilities we make real.
R: Which ones we experience as real. Yes. The reason “all is well” – or, one reason, anyway – is because you are always on your self-selected path (even if that path is invisible to you and is being chosen step by step, stumbling along). Therefore everything that comes with those choices “comes with the territory.”
F: Even, say, the results of the murder of JFK and the perpetrators getting away with it.
R: The murder and cover-up affected your life no less than his life did. You grew up in this set of possibilities. Are you willing to say, now, that this was an accident, that you meant to choose another path where he died of old age? Did you happen to wander into your particular reality by mistake?
F: I get the point.
R: You have been told that for Lincoln and Kennedy both, their manner of leaving the 3D greatly amplified the effect of their character upon the world, and neither would change it.
F: So in those versions of reality where they did in fact die of old age?
R: Obviously, things played out differently. But that isn’t your concern.
F: “One world at a time,” Thoreau said, in a different context.
R: Well, one world at a time – but one aspect of the world, or of reality, at a time. It is always a prime tension in this kind of work, to hold the focus without constricting it unduly, and to widen it without losing one’s grounding.
F: I take your answer to cover Charles’ question about William James – he in non-3D can see all the cloud, not just the one path he carved out. What about Ivan Osokin?
R: Ouspensky was making the point that unless one changes his substance, changes his emphasis, say, by his decisions –
No, let’s try that again. Ouspensky meant, an unchanged individual will not be able to live any life but the one his character lays out for him. Without outside intervention, no one has any freedom at all. However, he personified the outside intervention as the magician. One might much more realistically personify it by one’s own non-3D self.
F: Without guidance, we would be robots?
R: Let’s say, without guidance you couldn’t live at all, for that would imply that your 3D self could live without its non-3D components, which is impossible. It is true enough, one may live a 3D life entirely unaware of the non-3D, or of guidance, but that non-awareness is not the same as non-existence of the thing of which the 3D portion is unaware.
The rest of Charles’ question is rooted in a misunderstanding of time, as should be (or should become) evident upon a few minutes’ reflection.
F: I see. Well, thanks for all this, and maybe we’ll get a few more questions, as we did with our previous series of conversations.
R: They are always welcome as aids to understanding.
F: I know – “the better the question, the better the answer.” Till next time.