Friday, June 24, 2016
F: 6 a.m. Late start today, but off we go, then. You were going to give examples of afterlife schemes that included visions of the departed not as individuals continuing an individual life somehow but as individuals as part of something larger. And even as I write that, I can feel that I am distorting either what you said or what you meant.
TGU: So you are, but it is not your own distortion – that is, it is not the result of your hearing wrong, or expressing badly, or of misremembering – but is the distortion of your times. That is, it expresses what your times would make of the question.
F: Not clear yet.
TGU: One might say, your environment took the meaning and reshaped it around you, result being that you phrased things in the way that it was used to, rather than in the way that is required if you are to reshape your categories of thinking.
F: I must be slow, this morning.
TGU: It is a point that will be very subtle for some, obvious to a few. Until you work it, your thinking much more closely follows the accustomed grooves of your time and society than it does your own individual pattern.
F: You are referring to what Dana Redfield called “hive mind” – and this isn’t a diversion at all, is it?
TGU: Indeed not. Just as your individuality in 3D is less individual than you might think, so it is in your life beyond 3D – “beyond” in this use of the word meaning both beyond while you are in 3D and beyond the time in which you are in 3D. Right now you aren’t as solitary as you may think yourselves, and when you have dropped the body you will go right on being you and being less solitary than you now think.
F: So that any conception of afterlife we may have
TGU: Now, look, don’t let yourselves slip back into thinking in terms of “life” and “afterlife.” It’s all life. The next act succeeds the previous act; it is built upon the previous act, but it is not necessarily any more important than the previous act. Nor is it, for that matter, necessarily the final act. Work against falling back into that language, not because we particularly care what language you use, but because it leads you away from remembering that your life is always now. Speculating upon, or even visiting, past or future is not a problem and may be a valuable extension of the present moment you live in – but they must not become a substitute for being now, and they must not tempt you into resuming your slumbers by thinking past, present, future as if they had any real existence.
F: Come again?
TGU: The three words are abstractions referring to navigation from whatever point your perpetual “now” happens to be at. Therefore none of them ever means precisely the same thing from one moment to the net. Therefore they are cover words, place-holders, not geographical markers denoting anything specific. All that exists is “now.” What you think of and experience as past or future are elements of “now” that are presently inaccessible to you because you are elsewhere. But just as Paris always exists even if you live in San Francisco, and just as neither of the two exists primarily in relation to the other, rather than in its own right, so the moments of the perpetual “now.” You see?
F: I do now. And I imagine you’ve used something of the same analogy in the past.
TGU: In the –? Sorry, didn’t catch the word.
F: Very funny. (Well, it was sort of funny, actually.) But it is hard to talk without a new language.
TGU: Yes, it is. So, provide it, word by word as your understandings change. As we substituted 3D and non-3D and All-D, for instance, to embody new understandings without adding unnecessarily complicated jargon.
So, to return to the point. Your condition in 3D seems more independent than it is. It is somewhat independent in that you are continually presented with the opportunity and necessity to choose what to do and what to be, but it is only somewhat independent, because the circumstances of choice are always hedged about with limitations – your “past,” your extensions to other lives, your times (though we haven’t said much about this yet). Why would you think it would be any different in the non-3D when you live there?
F: Now that you have called my attention to it again, I can hear all the temporal allusions, explicit and implicit, forced on us by the language.
TGU: Nothing to be done about it, but nothing that need be done about it, provided that you remain aware of it. You won’t, of course – fluctuation is practically a definition of consciousness – but you can build the habit of coming back to that awareness.
All right, now think of the very simple Christian vision of “the afterlife” that features sitting on clouds playing harps. That is a simplification and adaptation of an earlier vision of people as part of a community (not as a collection of individuals) expressing continuous spontaneous joy in being. Not quite the same thing, is it?
F: My Catholic background tempts me to say that particular simplification and distortion is very Protestant.
TGU: It is that emphasis on the individual rather than the corporate aspect of existence that was the Protestant contribution to human thought, for better and for worse.
F: You say “corporate” and it is jarring to our ears. In our time we are accustomed to that word referring to businesses.
TGU: Yet you in-corporate – that is, you take on a body – in coming to the 3D orientation. Your cities are municipal corporations. You invented the word as a marker for the merger of many smaller identities into something larger. You might profitably look at your 3D identities as corporations in that sense, shedding the commercial or governmental associations and holding to the sense of e pluribus unum, from many, one. [Typing this, I want to add that there is not the sense of many becoming one and ceasing to be many, any more than there was in the forming of the United States from many individual states.]
F: I was going to add, earlier, “Protestant, but then I remember that Swedenborg was Protestant.”
TGU: And that may help clarify your thought. Swedenborg was Protestant, but he was also far closer to the medieval than you are, and this affected what he was able to bring across in his visions.
F: And this is bringing us back to your earlier point, isn’t it?
TGU: It is. You, reader, are no less influenced in what you think and even can think than a great mind like Swedenborg’s was. You are influenced by your times, by your contemporaries. You are all plugged into the osmic internet long before there was a physical internet to match. The present-day social media merely make plain what has always been.
F: Well, they amplify it too, I expect.
TGU: Not exactly. They make it more accessible to consciousness, by mirroring it, but it isn’t really any more powerful or omniscient, no.
The lives you lead are not as you think them because you are (still!) not what you think yourselves. So it is not possible to give you any very clear idea of what your lives will be (those terms again) when you don’t see what they have been, and are.
F: Thus what seem like endless digressions.
TGU: Precisely. In the process of redirecting your attention, we assist you to see things with new eyes, and then those newer eyes see a little more differently still, and so on. It isn’t a process that ever ends, although it has common intermediate stages, let us say.
So when we mention the simple vision of sitting on clouds playing harps, with thought and intention (which means, with a lot of help!) you begin to see that this is a corruption of a far more sophisticated but stranger vision, or understanding, that requires a different viewing-place to be seen and appreciated. No use trying to show you a Rembrandt if you don’t even see perspective because you eye hasn’t been trained to it. It becomes not a matter of lack of sophistication being unable to appreciate Rembrandt’s individual contribution, but of lack of elementary knowledge, leaving one unable to understand the meaning of painting as painting. But it isn’t all that easy to stand in front of the Rembrandt an having to explain the concept of representing three dimensions in two, and color theory, and cultural conventions and so on, with the audience impatiently waiting to be told why “The Night Watch,” say, is important. And that’s our position here, continually.
F: They pay you for it.
TGU: In our turn, “very funny.”
F: “You hired on to be tough, didn’t you?”
TGU: We’ll take that as a hint that our time is up – or your patience is, anyway – for the day.
F: Well, it has been an hour. But it seemed you were rounding things off for the day.
TGU: And so we were. Till next time, then.
F: Yes. Thanks for all your work. I don’t know how you do get paid, but I notice that good deeds usually bring their own reward.
TGU: Some things are enjoyable in their own right, and communication is one.
F: Okay. Till next time.