Monday, August 7, 2017
4:50 a.m. All right, Rita, I’m ready if you are.
The new metaphor – whatever it may prove to be – is required in order to shift people’s thought, their images, from one physical world here and another nonphysical world there. Instead, we want something that will remind them continually that there is one world, one set of dimensions (recognizing that dimensions are themselves abstractions), one larger-than-you-realize reality you live in. It is in the separation into “this world and then the next” or “the physical on the one hand, the spiritual on the other,” or “life on earth and the afterlife” that so much confusion arises. All those distinctions are relatively real, but absolutely unreal.
Yes, I gather that is the theme you’re pursuing these days.
But you see, to give a concept in words only is to leave it abstract and tenuous, without much traction. An image would be so useful.
Well, what about fractals? That was suggested.
Fractals as infinitely repeating in larger and smaller scale represent a part of what I want to get across, but only a part. The discontinuity between 3D and non-3D cannot really be intuited from that.
So where do we go?
We throw out some more theory, some more context, some more comparisons, and hope that something catches fire for a given individual.
That implies that this has never been expressed before, and I can’t believe that.
No, it implies that it has never been expressed in words that are alive to your generation. Every new civilization requires things to be rephrased to its ability to understand, as we have discussed.
So we go back again to trying to decode the meanings of past expressions of other societies’ understandings.
You have known it for decades, and it is a true knowing. But it isn’t for you to do it. It requires specialized knowledge, in a way. It is for you to point the way to the possibilities included. Joseph Campbell and Laurens van der Post are two explorers you are familiar with, two examples of a possible path. Campbell examines myths for their underlying psychological realities. Van der Post examines the stories of the bushmen and decodes their symbols to make sense of them in the way one might decode dream symbols.
The rock rabbit and the rainbow. I have the book but I never really put the attention to it that perhaps it warranted.
Again, that work is not yours. You are doing your work. Everybody has a different tiny part of the task, always.
Well, I can see that what van der Post was doing would have been difficult for a conventionally educated man who grew up in Europe, say, because the bushman stories don’t make any visual sense. How can any creature marry the rainbow? But when he decoded it – this creature’s characteristics interacting with the rainbow’s characteristics – an underlying psychological truth did emerge. On the other hand, Joseph Campbell’s examination of myths appeared to center on human imperatives within life more than a description of life in its larger context.
Again, everybody has his or her own part in the whole. And, by the way, nobody knows how important his or her own contribution may be, nor how much injury one may do by withholding it.
Well, I’ve tried to encourage people to come forth with their own knowings.
Continue to do so. That may be as important as anything else you do. And what is needed right now is everybody’s attention on a new way of seeing things that will smooth the transition into your new civilization.
It almost seems that the on-going destruction of the older one leaves people stunned and heart-sick.
That is a stage of the process. It is natural to grieve one’s losses. But it is not natural, and certainly not healthy, to remain stuck in grief and helplessness rather than remember that every day is a new day. Romans in the 400s were not particularly excited at their prospects either, but the fall of the Roman Empire was a necessary clearing of the ground. Those who could see the new possibilities were living in the same world but (in a sense) in a very different reality.
So part of the task is to remind people that “All is well. All is always well.” I remember what a leap that was for you, Rita, after your lifelong political and ideological orientation. Liberals are not usually inclined to say “all is well,” in my experience, seeing clearly the injustices and stupidities around them on all sides and, if I may say so, underrating the working-out of things over time. But you did come to accept it.
Those were good times to hear that message, given the radical transformation of the mental atmosphere that occurred five weeks after we began our sessions.
Sept. 11, yes. Our session that night opened the way to many things.
What good would it have done for the guys to fill us with discouragement and fear? They easily could have done so by reciting certain facts and sliding over others. But instead they guided us to monitor our attitudes toward what was going on around us. And that affects you to this day, only you probably don’t really see it, because it is so accustomed.
Possibly so. Certainly I regard the ongoing transformation of the biological and physical world with interest rather than dread. I can see that we are in the midst of another Great Extinction event and what looks to be a pretty fundamental change in the conditions of the earth we live in, but I am utterly unable to lose faith that all is well. I am not under the illusion that I know better than the world, nor that we are on our own in the universe.
All the more reason, then, for others to find reason for hope and even expectation as things change. Such reasons can never be arbitrary or seized upon – at least, beliefs that are seized upon or adopted arbitrarily are brittle and lead to fanaticisms and despair. Rather, people need to come to beliefs because the evidence is compelling and because their own internal compass tells them, not “I need to believe this,” but “This is the truest thing I know.” Two people believing the same thing for different reasons may be very different not only in the mental reality they inhabit but also in their social manifestation. It is the religious fanatic versus the person centered in faith.
Still a little funny to hear you talking of faith.
Different terrain, different perspectives.
So if I understand the necessity correctly, our job – anybody reading these discussions – is to come to an active coherent believable model of the All-D world that will lead us from despair to hope, not as an act of desperation but as, you might say, a logical development.
Yes, in a way. Faith clung to may serve for emergencies, but faith clutched at as a life-raft isn’t likely to. There is a difference.
And faith stems from understanding.
Yes provided that you remember that understanding does not necessarily proceed from logic or even data. Logic and data are stepping-stones to bring you to the truth you can grasp, but in themselves they are not adequate to do the job. You advance by making leaps; logic and data may prepare you to do so.
A little different, this session.
But still aimed at providing new clarity.
Okay. Thanks as always. Next time.