Wednesday, June 15, 2016
F: 4 a.m. I had thought, maybe I’ll skip today, but here I am. I started a painting yesterday but I have no idea if I’ll be able to get the soap bubble idea. I’ll have to remember to let the guys work through me, the way I later realized I painted that picture explaining about rings and threads.
So, friend, off we go?
TGU: If you are up to it.
F: I brewed the coffee, I have to be up to it now.
TGU: Well, we’re smiling. No you don’t have to be. Cold coffee is acceptable on a Virginia Spring morning if you want to rest a little.
F: Well, it’s weird. Once again, I read the clock wrong, reading 5 a.m. when it turned out to be 4 a.m. Why is that?
TGU: Don’t blame it on us. But do take a few minutes if you think it would help.
F: Perhaps I shall.
4:30 a.m. Interesting to feel that shift into quietness as I lay there. Okay, let’s go.
TGU: You understand, this all follows from your willingness to go beyond the definitions and understandings you had attained and settled for. Any understanding is only a stage in an unending journey, so there can be no thought of arriving at a final resting place, yet there need be no thought of “having to” push on until you get there. Go as long as you wish to go, stop whenever you wish to stop, or feel unable to continue. What could be freer than that?
F: So are we just wasting our time, trying to come to the truth?
TGU: It is the process of seeking, not the goal of an arrival, that will be your entertainment and your schooling and your exercise program. In no way is it a waste of time; in no way is it a mandatory activity. If it doesn’t interest you at any given time, why pursue it? If it does, why let anything less compelling push it aside?
F: Free will all around, which is the way I seem to experience life. Why do others experience it differently? Or – I can feel that isn’t quite the right question, so answer what you want to answer, even if I didn’t quite ask it.
TGU: Everybody is a combination of elements that is different. At any given time, some will experience life in one way, others in another way. Life changes, your ruminations change you, your “external” situation changes – and affects your conclusions about the world. Today you believe in free will, tomorrow you feel constricted by external realities that you cannot change by willing it, the next day you consider that you are being guided, and one or another aspect of that situation seems to you more important, or less. Fluctuations, pretty continuous.
You will remember times in your lives when you felt freer, or more constricted; more in charge of things or more at the mercy of various elements beyond your control; more conscious of what and who you are, or less. It changes, you change. That is life, and life is change.
F: So just because I feel I can trust you guys today, it doesn’t mean I can trust that it will always feel that way.
TGU: Did you know, 25 years ago, what you would be 25 years in the future? Inertia aside, did you – do you – see 25 minutes into the future?
F: No, but I trust that all will be well.
TGU: Tell about the moment of death.
F: Yes, I wound up telling this to a couple of people at TMI one day. I realized one day, like many people I wasn’t afraid to die, but I did have some fear about the dying process. Then it occurred to me, I trust life otherwise, why shouldn’t I trust life right up to the end – including whatever my final moments would be? I could see that it was a new thought to them. Sometimes I think, I must be awfully slack; but then I reflect that the opposite of slack is taut, and that is too tense for me. Been there!
TGU: Well, you see, your position of trust – living in faith, as you sometimes put it – is not something inevitable. It was partly provided you as an opportunity, and partly grasped by you as a decision. The combination of factors is always present.
F: I think I’d better unpack that. If I get it right, you mean, I am a particular bundle of strands and the composition of those strands – of the bundle – allows me the possibility of living in faith. A different combination might not have that possibility. That’s half of it. The other half is, it was (is) my choice as to whether to make the possibility real or not.
TGU: We use this as an entry-point to the further consideration of your positions in the world. Always you are a combination of determined elements (your jumping-off point at any given moment) and free-will possibilities (what you choose to do, to become, starting at that present-moment point).
This is not new. Obviously this is ground that has been traversed in argument (if only within oneself) many times. The very fact that it cannot be settled, only abandoned, should tell you it is a real co-existence of two factors.
F: By “abandoned,” I take it you mean we say, “to hell with arguing about it, this is my experience.”
TGU: One way to argue is to live your beliefs, of course, and you do not (could not) defer living until you first figure out what you are going to believe.
Now. Start with the thought that who and what you are is more or less as we have been sketching it these few years. Now walk with us as we change perspective, no longer considering you as if you were a unit (however much larger a unit than you had thought before; still, a unit) but now remembering that you are equally a part of something larger than human size.
F: “Have you not heard it said, `ye are gods’?”
TGU: Of course you are. You are human, which means, 3D-experiencing-creatures from one perspective, creator gods from another. Not one or the other, but unavoidably both, as you are both body and soul, only it would be clearer (and fuzzier) to say body-soul.
You are human, with the responsibility of being human. That means living what you are; it means a process of choosing among your possibilities and expressing the choice by what you live. It is not a matter of opinion in the sense of playing with ideas. You express your opinions by living them.
But whereas until recently we have been sketching the composition and potential of humans as individuals, now we move to your composition and potential as creator gods. It is not a change in definition. It is a change in perspective.
Creator gods – the phrase is internally redundant – have potential and responsibility beyond the awareness of the individual who defines himself as only creature, rather than as creature and creator, or – a little closer – creature and therefore creator.
F: This is getting muddy.
TGU: It is only a first pass.
TGU: We are going to talk about sin, among many theological concerns. In fact, we are going to address every issue you know yourself incompetent to discuss.
F: Splendid. As if I couldn’t make a fool of myself unassisted.
TGU: The fool does all right in the tarot.
F: I’d like his opinion of that. But go ahead, you know I’m with you.
TGU: Every theological concern involves the question of the human relation to the divine. All the answers may be different, or may seem contradictory, or may be contradictory from a certain level, but the question will always be about that relationship even when it appears to be concerned with, say, relations between individuals, or an individual’s relation to society. At any rate, that is one way of seeing it, and that is the point of view we are going to pursue.
Understand first off – we’re not saying you don’t, we’re merely underlining – everything you see depends upon the definitions you bring to it.
F: Reality ain’t WYSIWYG, huh?
TGU: Reality is closer to the converse – what you get is what you see. That is, how you see things determines what you think they mean. Tell about your insight.
F: My friend Jim Marion, ex-priest, author of Putting On the Mind of Christ that we published (which was about different religious beliefs according to people’s place on Ken Wilber’s scale), was staying at Rita’s house overnight before speaking to the Charlottesville Unity. It occurred to me to ask him – because he is a scholar – if my thought was correct. It had occurred to me that maybe the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (in the Garden of Eden story) was a misunderstanding. What if the intended meaning was the Tree of the Perception of [things as] Good and Evil.
Jim thought for a moment and said, “Hebrew has very few abstract words. That is a very permissible translation.”
TGU: It is just such insights we will be nudging your community toward, as we proceed. Re-translating that one word showed you that words that seemed to mean one thing may have been intended to mean something else, with radically different results, or we should say, leading down radically different pathways.
And that will do for today.
F: Our thanks, as always.