[In going back over 11 years of this work, I find this 4700-word (!) set of sessions pretty early on. It goes to show, you never know what might be just around the corner, waiting for your attention.]
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Let us talk a little about guidance.
Our lives are much less under our conscious control than we usually realize. We are upheld from “the other side” in every breath we take.
No, I need to speak first to this journal and then perhaps I can pick up the threads. I awoke knowing that it was time to go back to work, and knowing how to begin. But I had thought I could just begin writing and it would flow. Not so. There is something different, something I haven’t pinned down but nonetheless something real that is different in the process. It is the difference between speaking to oneself and speaking to others, or perhaps the difference between speaking and orating. I could hear it as I wrote those few lines. How long since I have had to cross out a paragraph here?
I want to tell people how to get into touch with guidance. That means having some idea of the pluses and minuses of the process, at least as I personally have understood and experienced it. We don’t necessarily want them all doing automatic writing, and I shudder to think of beginning an epidemic of Psychic’s Disease. But it is no less dangerous for people to rely on external authority when they may have no access to it – and when they will be in the position of having to choose the proper authority, not having any basis to do so! In other words – depending on their guidance to find a source of external guidance. Perhaps not so bad a plan, but not without its eccentric points.
F: So – friends – I don’t know quite what has been going on this past week – is it just a funk, or what? For whatever reason, I certainly haven’t done much work. I did note, yesterday, a decision point early on, when I picked up a John Sandford novel to finish re-reading it, rather than buckling down. And I suppose there was another, later in the day, when I picked up Chamberlain’s The Passing of the Armies rather than work. A lot of reading as in the old days. I don’t much like it, thought: It is as if I have a bad choice, of wasting time reading, or reading what may be worthwhile (Robert Johnson) but it’s still a diversion, or in any way killing time – or doing work that has lost its savor. I suppose the easy obvious answer is just to do the work – yet it can’t be that simple emotionally, or I would do it, ever if after some hesitation and delay.
TGU: That is right. People don’t do things without reasons – as we have often reminded you. But the reasons may be obscure to them; they may be contradictory, or self-defeating. Still, to turn the machine, find its mainspring.
F: Terrible metaphor.
TGU: You aren’t all that focused, for one thing.
F: Well – you know why. But then why is she in my mind? [However, at this point, I have no idea who that was.]
TGU: It is an example of how little your lives are in your consciousness. You will recall that Albert Einstein complained late in life that he could no longer think on many levels at one time – and his hearer did not know from experience what Einstein meant. He thought he did; he thought it was an ability of Einstein’s that he did not share. He was partly right. But it would be more nearly accurate to say that Einstein was more aware of, more connected to, the process. You all have many strains flowing at the same time. You are relatively unconscious of most of them.
Take, for instance, the drunken monkey, or the disk jockey. Two examples (though they seem one, to you) of processes going on within you that proceed on their own rules, occasionally interact with consciousness, and continue to proceed regardless whether you are in contact with them.
Let us re-state that. We are saying something very different. Try to actually hear what we mean.
Your model or consciousness is wrong, and so you understand things wrong. Of course, your model is wrong because you understand things wrong, too – it is a feedback loop, and models reflect understandings from experience, while distorting or at least molding understandings from experience, which means, in practice, in effect limiting possible experience.
But never mind that. The point is that your model of consciousness is wrong. We will give you another model (if your fear of contradicting authority does not disable you as intermediary) and you will see things differently. That is, — the new model will enable you to see things differently, by freeing you from exclusive reliance on the old inadequate models.
Get some coffee and we will proceed, and – by the way – you will see that your past week was not wasted. Faithfulness is all – but it is all.
F: All right. It is just seven a.m.
TGU: Begin with the image we gave you, of the individual being actually a container of many threads. Now, don’t get nervous about all this. If it doesn’t work out you can scrap it! It isn’t that big a deal!
F: Sure. Go ahead.
TGU: You are not a unit, except seen a certain way. The less you see of your situation, the more you seem to be a unit. The more clearly you see, the cleared various divisions and amalgamations become to you.
You have a body. You are confined physically to the time and space that your body occupies. If you think that neither soul nor mind exists, you think that the physical conditions surrounding the body determine what seem to be mental and spiritual processes. This is the extreme position – you are only a body; anything you think is the result of what your body experiences. If you could know everything it experiences, you would account for everything you think you think; everything you seem to feel; everything you seem to intuit.
We will reserve argument about the various levels, merely saying that any argument, even the most ridiculous, has at its base some kernel of truth, as people call it, some grounding in a true principle. However, that same true principle, that same kernel of truth, may serve to construct very different appearances, when seen from different viewpoints. Viewpoint, like faithfulness, is all. And there is a sense in which viewpoint is faithfulness. We leave you this cryptic gem to examine for yourself.
Now, people who are unable to subscribe to the idea that the body accounts for everything split into two camps. At least, it may be seen that way. One camp adds mind, another adds mind and spirit. We are not aware of – cannot conceive of – a camp that would in theory add spirit and not also mind, but in practice this does occur, as we shall see.
Well, mind. Seeing the individual as body and mind is in theory a difficult position to maintain, as it implies a dualism that wonders which is master, which is servant. Someone who believes in body and mind – only – does not really believe this, but only deceives himself – herself – that s/he thinks this. Because in a two-fold scheme, one is primary and one secondary; there can be no equality of being in any mixture. So one is driven to the position of saying one is primarily a body, upon which mind has grown, or one is primarily a mind that has manifested a body. Historically both ways of seeing it are represented.
Either way of seeing things tends to unconsciously assume that two things are being discussed – a body and a mind – even though in more analytical moments the same person thinking about it recognizes that the body is actually a collection of cooperating systems and the mind is —
Well, actually, this gives too much credit for discernment that in fact is not all that common. For the moment let us leave it at this: the points of view that see only body and mind tend to see a body and a mind, and they differ as to which is primary.
Psychological experience convinces others that the scheme is inadequate. Not form theory but from life they say that they are composed of body and mind and spirit. In your society they very loosely mix the terms spirit and soul, not knowing the difference, hence not knowing how to distinguish between them. But this anticipates. The third level is body and mind and what is termed either spirit or soul.
By spirit (or soul in this mistaken view) is understood something primary, something that precedes or at least is co-equal with the body and mind. We are not aware of a tradition or even a thought-form that considers spirit to be the result of body and mind – or either one by itself. Anyone who would be temperamentally liable to think spirit the creation of body and mind would – is it not obvious? – be more liable to discard the concept of spirit entirely. And indeed this is only sense. Spirit dependent upon body and mind is a contradiction; it is a –
Well, in short it is a misunderstanding of the difference between sprit and soul. But before we discuss the soul, let us say briefly that there are those who think the spirit is created at the same time as body and mind. This, too, is a misunderstanding of the distinction between spirit and mind, to which we now proceed.
Those who perceive spirit as one of the elements of a human being see it as an immaterial “something” that is necessary to life. No spirit, no life. Extinguish life, destroy the bond between body and spirit.
We have no quarrel with that view. In practical terms, “it works.”
There is a difference between spirit and soul. The spirit is the “something” that gives life; for the moment leave it at that. No one shapes spirit; nor – it may be said – does spirit shape our lives. Spirit animates us, it provides – it is – the vital link that “keeps body and soul together,” as the old saying is. But it is not particular to us in any detail. Like the wind, to which it is often compared, spirit blows where it wants to blow, according to its own laws of being. There is nothing personal about spirit. Yet – you must hold the contradiction – spirit is a closer part of you than anything else, and so may equally justly be described as entirely personal in the way we experience it. To put it again, because we are part of spirit, we experience it entirely personally; because spirit is so vast and apparently animates everything, it is in its essence far beyond personality.
So – personal and impersonal. The breath of life – how often have you heard it called that, and not really heard what was being said – and yet the animation of worlds. This is stuff of the gods. We will return to it.
Where the spirit animates, the soul personifies. Those who perceive body and mind and spirit and soul see now (at least) a four-fold being, not nearly as simple and unitary as first appeared.
What is a person’s soul? You might look upon it as the flower you create in the living of your life. All your life, you choose what you are going to be. You learn this, you bypass that, you encourage these threads of behavior, you choose (deliberately or otherwise) not to encourage others. You do, and so you be. You choose, continually, from the many choices presented to you – for any situation presents choices, if no more than a choice of how to react to the inevitable. As you continually choose, you continually shape your soul.
Now you must not think that this “soul” you shape is something concerned with heaven or hell. That is but superstition compounded of misunderstandings of what was believed. Look at it this way: the soul is the photograph of your being. It is not a static photograph, because it changes as you, by living, change it. But it is who you are. It is the template by which you could be recreated if one had sufficient skill, materials and tools.
Where the spirit is impersonal in that it cannot be shaped by your life, the soul is entirely personal, and is entirely shaped by your living of its potentials.
The body holds you in one time and place at a time, and drags you (kicking and screaming sometimes!) to the next moment, and the next.
The mind observes, participates, directs, learns, reacts, concludes, resolves – and in short provides the awareness needed for the body to function in its surroundings.
The sprit provides the energy that fuels body and mind moment by moment. Unseen, unfelt, unfailing, it is the background that is unseen because it is the universal support. Being universal, its presence in has to be inferred, practically, for in time-space there is no place where it is not.
The soul is the local manager of the body-mind-spirit combination. It is the universal record of this particular expression of life. It records every moment – perhaps we shouldn’t say records, as much as incorporates every moment first to last. This is not merely what you may have heard, or heard about, church doctrine. Hear us: We are describing something real, not something deduced or invented. We have no agenda provided by a church or religion. (Indeed, they will likely regard us as illegitimately poaching on their privatized soil.) Your soul has as much to do with the color of your hair and your taste in paintings and the kind of jokes you prefer as it does how “good” or “evil” you are. It concerns your weight, your talents, your amusements, your illnesses, your irrational preoccupations. It incorporates the effects of your home life, your commuting to an office, your paying taxes, your playing games. It includes your best and worst moments, your pets, your car, your house –as they interact with you – and, in short, your life.
Your life is not (as Shaw once said) a moral gymnasium. Life is about living. It is about choosing whoa and what you want to be. All of this becomes the soul, so that it might be said, truly enough (from one viewpoint) that a lifetime begins with spirit and body, adds mind, and grows soul. True enough for rough estimates.
But now, having come this far, have we come to the limit of differentiating among the pieces of what to some seemed a monolith, comprising body alone, with all else subordinate or illusory? We have not.
The model – we repeat – is wrong. This model we just sketched is entirely wrong (from our viewpoint) because it assumes solidity where there is only flow, and identity where there is only community.
A little more and we will stop for a while to let you get more coffee.
Take the body. You have learned to separate it conceptually into four – physical, energetic, mental, emotional. As working definitions these work well enough. The more closely they are examined, however, the less they will seem separate or, indeed, existent as separable entities.
The physical body is made up of a huge number of sub-systems, each of which functions autonomously and well. Is it one body with subsystems or many intelligences cooperating to produce a functioning whole? Either view is true enough. Hold the thought a while.
The energetic body is really a subsystem of the physical body – looked at that way, anyway; that is, this is one permissible view. It is a subsystem large enough, autonomous enough, that it is worth considering separately for specific purposes. But of course by definition it has no purpose but to provide the energetic superstructure of the physical body. It is true that without the energetic body the physical body could not function; it is equally true that without the physical body the energetic body would have no reason for being.
The mental body actually maps where in the physical body certain –
No, try again.
The mental body is a representation of an interaction between “mind” and “body” that is more or less unsuspected by the culture at large – even though body-workers for instance are well aware of the connection. Touch a spot inside the brain with an instrument, and a memory appears, as fresh as the day it was imprinted. Whether the spot is actually the carrier of the memory or the gateway to storage elsewhere is immaterial. For practical purposes the brain could be mapped, if one knew how to do it – so that the memories were located and labeled. Well, similarly, the body. Traumas of all sorts are located at different parts of the body, so that a massage therapist may press on a calf muscle and find that the client responds by breaking into tears at the strength of a suddenly remembered even from long before. Thus conceptually one might map the body’s stored areas of trauma and other experience.
The emotional body, similarly, is a representation of where the body stores emotional memory.
Now, all these substructures, these subsystems, are what we might call logical derivations of function. In a way they do not exist except as useful abstractions. In a way they do exist in that as conceptualizations they offer a way to work with the underlying reality. And what do you want beyond something that works? The trick is to prevent useful tools from becoming superstitions.
Again, before we stop to let you catch your breath – you have been doing this 90 minutes, somewhat longer than usual but we wanted to get this all out in a breath, so to speak, so that it would have the same feel — remember that this entire model even with the sophistications and the nuances we have just provided, is in our view not a good model for what humans are. It is true enough but now you will require better tools, better models, and this we propose to give you.
F: Whew! Wow. I’m drained. Thank you for this. I want to be used, and I hate to feel like I’m just wasting time. I was building steam again, wasn’t I?
TGU: Go have some coffee and a light breakfast.
(9 a.m.) Beautiful day, and not only because of this splendid contact. All right, friends, so what is your proposed model.
TGU: The elements of this model have been given to you in bits and pieces over the past five years and more. Now we propose to put them together in a way much of which will be familiar to you (now) and some not.
We begin by moving your point of reference. Much of what is wrong with current models –when we say “wrong” in this context we mean that they do not serve you, they do not lead to larger understandings; there is nothing morally wrong with a point of view nay more than with red hair or left-handedness or a taste of marmalade instead of peanut butter – much of what is wrong with current models stems from beginning with the idea that the physical body is primary. This stems from the idea that the physical, itself, is primary. It is not.
Bear in mind, in the course of this argument we are going to ignore or merely deny certain points of view that would otherwise entangle us in argument to no purpose. Let those who wish to deny the existence of the non-physical do so. It is not necessary, in order to put out another point of view, that everyone subscribe to it. Indeed, if everyone did, what could be new in it? So we will not worry ourselves or you about how to “prove” that the physical is not primary, or, indeed, that the non-physical exists. Those unable to entertain our point of view will go elsewhere – will remain elsewhere – and no harm will be done.
The physical is dependent for its existence upon a deeper level of reality that by definition is not physical. It is not subject to time and space, in short. Please try not to jump to religious categories of thought as soon as you find yourselves considering the non-physical. It is true that religious thought attempts to convey that reality, but it is equally true that it fails. It fails, as we shall fail, because “three into two doesn’t go,” as the old saying is. That is, translating the greater into terms of the lesser must necessarily result in serious distortion. Symbols distort less than precise language, but distortion cannot be avoided. We prefer to deal with this fact by using a couple of strategies. One is to create analogies and then alternate, quite different analogies, so that the only point shared by the two may be better intuited. It cannot be said and conveyed, or we would do so. We would in fact not need to do so: It would have been said long since. Another strategy is to set up a viewpoint, then set up a competing viewpoint, so that, again, the unsayable truth may be somewhat perceived between the lines. Of course two analogies or two viewpoints is saying much the same thing, for our most careful statement must yet be an analogy, just from the nature of things.
So. The physical realm is defined by certain characteristics. It is your job to attempt to imagine the reality of our world which does not share those characteristics. We will do what we can do to suggest; we tell you in advance, again, that unavoidably we cannot give you an undistorted version of the truth. The very structure of your language necessarily contains the assumption of the reality of forces and conditions that (in our view, from “where” we are) do not exist, or do not anyway much resemble your experience of them or your conclusions from your experience.
Among the characteristics that condition the physical realm and not the non-physical:
Time divided into slices
Space divided into slices
From those two conditions flow the experience of separation and of delayed consequences.
Let us begin simply with these. The relevance of all of this to your – and our – model of reality will “in time” become more apparent.
Time divided into slices. You experience the world as past, present, future. How you experience these three varies by culture, by language, by mental state, by emotional state (mental and emotional are by the way less separate than they appear to you). Still, past, present and future seem to you to be real conditions within which you must live. Examine your language and see if you could express a thought – we know that we can not! – that the structure of language does not insist on structuring into a sense of time passing. The exact structure may and will vary, but it will be there.
These innate physical-existence characteristics determine how you experience your world, of course. As we said, you experience delayed consequences – separation in time – and what might be called delayed connection – separation in space.
Because you experience your lives this way, certain realities are fundamentally distorted.
Because of separation in space, you experience yourself as one body and others as other bodies. If you are aware of energetic transfers this sense of separation will be somewhat modified, but it cannot be eliminated. If you are aware of your non-physical connections, again, your sense of separation will be somewhat modified – your ideas, your theoretical life, will be changed – but still your sense of yourself will continue to be of a separate body functioning in a world that is primarily “other.” Now, if you lose an arm or a leg in an accident, your sense of yourself is truncated – it isn’t like a part of you goes on to experience life apart from you. That arm, that leg, has become part of the “other” – and if you were to regenerate a new limb to replace the one lost, the new arm or leg would not be considered something “other” that had joined you but just – you. Inconsistently, you say “you are what you eat,” which logically means that the “other” becomes part of you and what part of you you excrete becomes “other” again. If you look at this closely you will see how arbitrary are the distinctions between self and other.
Again, as a reminder, different abilities to perceive lead to different definitions of reality. If you perceive that the heart gives off electrical impulses that interact at a distance of as much as ten feet, this changes your definition of separation – it modifies it so that for, instance, some might now say that no two people within a few feet of each other function entirely separately. This is true as far as it goes but it will make no difference in the fact that people will go on considering themselves to be separate even so. They may admit to being influenced by many subtle forces, but they cannot experience themselves as other than separate beings. They may believe, they may conceptualize, they may emotionally experience unity but in fact and everyday, they feel themselves separate and cannot help but do so. It is in the design of the physical world and therefore there is nothing wrong with this. But it does not define ultimate reality, either.
This bias must be taken into consideration. It cannot be eliminated, and will sneak in behind every discussion. You experience yourself as a “you” – as a person – as an individual. How else could you experience yourself? So long as you are separated in space – that is, so long as you are in physical matter – you cannot experience yourself in any other way. Once more: This is how it was set up to work, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it works this way.
Now we invite you to convey yourself beyond what your physical life convinces you is real. To do so – given your surroundings, which most emphatically includes your language! – requires thought-experiments. First we will set up the experiment. Then, do the experiment! Try. You will not succeed, perhaps, but the effort will help you to understand and appreciate and see beyond the analogy we will suggest beyond the experiment.
So – here is the first experiment. Assume that you are in actual literal fact part of everyone and every thing else; that only your spatial environment is convincing you that separation is reality. How could you conceive of that in a way that you would find intellectually respectable? Perhaps you can’t feel that lack of separation; how could you theoretically imagine it?
Do the experiment.
No, we mean really, do the experiment. The printed words aren’t going anywhere, but this is the only time you will be able to do the experiment with exactly these mental and physical conditions surrounding you. Do the experiment. If you were to imagine yourself and all the “other” as part of one thing, what could you imagine as the situation and connections that hold it all together.
Last chance. Did you do the experiment?
Perhaps you will do the next one.
All right, here is what we would say to you. You are all assembled from the same huge table of ingredients. You all contain the same chemicals, the same materials; you are assembled according to the same diagrams and schematics; you have similar mental emotional and energetic structures. Well and good; nobody would quarrel with this. But this is not wherein your unity resides, and your diversity. And the key to your unity – and diversity – is hidden from you superficially by separation in space and to a lesser degree in the examples we will use to begin with, by separation in time. We call this key the concept of threads.
And that is enough for now. We appreciate the willingness but you are tired to a degree you do not yet realize. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Just come to the work each morning early and it will get done. Other things like making notes or even typing this may be done later in the day.
F: Okay. This is wonderful. Thanks.