Thursday, July 27, 12017
7 a.m. Well, Miss Rita, here I am at 71, who would have thought. I guess it may be true what somebody said, the best way to a long life is to have a great task to accomplish. Either that, or great stretches of boredom are good for you! Do you have somewhere you want to go, or should we deal with Bob’s questions? If they’re on his mind, presumably they are on other people’s, though they aren’t so much proceeding from what you said as merely suggested by it. It took me a little back-and-forth before I realized that.
As you say, what bothers one may bother others. And, as always, any sincere question will help illustrate some line of thought.
[RF: This does prompt a question. All of us have killed numerous living creatures, some inadvertently like stepping on ants, or washing spiders down the drain in the shower. First do no harm. Does that mean we can’t kill a Black Widow in the bathroom where the five-year-old goes to use the toilet; or mosquitoes bent on taking your blood or giving you a disease; or poisonous snakes in the yard; or roaches taking over the kitchen. We are certainly harming them. Do we meet all these creatures in non-3D? Where does their consciousness go upon being squashed? Lots of questions, actually.
[FD: “First, do no harm” doesn’t mean anything at all like that. It was Galen, a physician, giving advice to physicians. But I can ask Rita, if you wish. Let me know.
[RF: I know it was about physicians, but it would seem to apply to all of us, all the time, as Rita may have indicated.
[FD: But that isn’t what it meant! If it isn’t what it meant, how can what it didn’t mean apply to all of us?
[RF: I would think that “first, do no harm” would work for everyone on the planet, not just physicians. Didn’t mean to imply that Rita said that, just that it applies to everyone IMHO. I’m talking about harming other conscious beings like snakes, spiders, mosquitoes, etc. Does that fall under the “do no harm” thing?]
[Rita:] You have noted, in your own life, that with the best will in the world it seems to be impossible to live a life that never hurts people. Sometimes it is inadvertent, in the sense of collateral damage. Sometimes it is the result of inter-personal conflict. Sometimes it results from your doing something for reasons entirely opaque to you, which you later decide were you filling a role in a drama for the other person’s benefit. (Somebody has to wear the black hat.) Sometimes it is the result of their being in the way, so to speak, while you act out your own conflicts. (Somebody has to play the role of innocent or not-so-innocent bystander.)
It is very good to have an active conscience. It is not so good to have an over-scrupulous one. Forever wincing about what was not intended or could not be helped is actually no improvement over lack of conscience. Even in such things, moderation is better than the extreme, because flexibility is to be preferred over rigidity.
Did I get that last part right? It has the feeling of an over-generalization.
You keep getting better [at noticing] as you practice. No, not quite right. But I’m hesitating as to whether to go this way or that way, and that small correction could involve us in a long discussion on what is after all a small point. Let’s just say this: Anything that leaves you stuck in the past moment, as opposed to living in the present moment, is not desirable in itself, though like everything else it will have its compensations. Too much scrupulosity may continually entangle you in your past, fruitlessly ruing this or that, without allowing you to choose better in your future (which means, in future present moments). Lack of conscience implies lack of awareness (deliberate or otherwise) of the consequences of your actions, again a less than desirable state of mind.
I have come across the concept of scrupulosity from time to time, and I never understood why it was considered undesirable. Now I do. Thanks.
Maximum awareness means you live your life, rather than coasting through it half-asleep. But, we’re not here to propose rules for people to live. They will find their own. This is a side-trail this morning, but it was worth saying, if it could be said only in passing.
So, to Bob’s questions. You all know that some people carry too far the idea of not harming other creatures, even inadvertently but certainly deliberately. The only small question is – and of course I’m smiling here – how far is too far? [In typing this, I realize that some might not get that she was smiling over the word “small.”]
Exactly. Here too, we have to make our own rules, don’t we?
It’s less a “making your own rules” than a “discovering your own rules.,” and I see that you immediately know what I mean by that.
You mean, I think, what we are determines what we think, how we feel, what is or isn’t possible or desirable for us.
That’s right. As I’ve said before, where you find yourself at any given moment is the determined part of your life. Where you go when parts of that existing platform conflict with other parts (as they always do) is the free-will part of your life. So yes, in any given moment you will be impelled to act in a certain way; you will be held by certain values. Yet, conversely, at that same “any given moment,” you will have the ability to decide what you want to do – hence, what you want to uphold, what you want to move toward – to the degree that you are awake and functioning.
Robots don’t make choices, they follow programming.
Exactly. So long as you leave your robots to follow previous instructions, they will do so unless it becomes impossible. But your free will easily overrides automatons, that is how it, and they, were designed to interact. Only, how can you exert freewill if you aren’t present? How can you choose if you aren’t at the bridge?
Sure, clear enough. Not always so easy in practice, of course.
Not always so easy, no. but as with most things in life, greater obstacles lead to greater achievements (and I mean internal achievements, not necessarily external ones) if confronted and not shirked. So, ingrained habits may require you to discover and reprogram layer after layer of interconnecting robots before you can make that part of your life responsive to consciousness again, but none of that work will have been wasted even if you never succeed in getting to the core of it. Any increase is conscious awareness is always to the good.
All this is a way of saying, it is up to each person to decide how he or she wishes to be in the world. It is useless to make rules for others to follow. Suggesting rules, fine. Insisting on them, trying to enforce them, judging others even internally on whether or not they follow rules that are valid for you, is all unnecessary and a waste of effort. So, to answer Bob’s first set of questions, you have to follow your own nature, which you would do anyway even if I said otherwise, for how can somebody else dictate to your conscience? (Others may enforce rules by bringing you to fear the consequences of not following them; that is not the same as making you see a thing as right or wrong. That comes only from within.) Spiders, mosquitos, snakes, etc. are safer in some people’s neighborhoods than others! And try not to judge people for following the rules of their nature.
As to the next questions, they are almost fanciful but they do point out a fundamental error people make, in assuming a continuity of consciousness among different levels.
I get that you mean, a cockroach is at different level of consciousness, is a different kind of consciousness, than humans (except perhaps some congressmen). Just as a dead blood cell, though it was alive and though it had its own form of consciousness, is not going to rise up and confront us after 3D life.
Yes. And there is another aspect to the question which we won’t go into at the moment, but merely note, and that is that most consciousness of any class of being – animal, vegetable or mineral – is mostly collective and very little individual. So, not an individual maple tree so much as one living cell of the universal maple tree.
Like Plato’s archetypes.
That is what he was trying to express, yes, only without all this background explanation which made the insight well-nigh incomprehensible. And it should but doesn’t go without saying, this goes for humans as well. You are far more collective and less individual than any individual realizes.
Thanks, Rita. A productive session as usual. Till next time.