Monday August 14, 2017
6:15 a.m. I spent much of yesterday with my friend Simon Hay, who is a psychic and healer from Australia. We have known each other via Facebook for a few years, but only met in person in March 2016 when he came to visit me in Charlottesville. This was his third visit, under inauspicious circumstances as far as the outside world is concerned, but it did not affect his own sessions with his clients, nor our own talks, of course. I had told him of the recent awareness I have been experiencing of the need to fill empty time, and he suggested – turning the tables on me! – that I ask for something different, that I take a different approach. Elementary, my dear Watson.
And, Rita, he suggested that I am beginning to experience other presences in a more conscious way, a related development, I think. He suggested that I say hello more to the spirits surrounding me – that I be more receptive to their presence even when I have not set out to contact them.
You might put that more clearly, for not everybody will understand that in the way you have written it.
Okay. He “sees” presences easily, and gets bits about them that are meant to serve as evidence or clues. So, my mother’s mother was there, and it was not hard to see who it had to be from what he said about her. Similarly a few other relatives, and my old good friend Jim Meissner, who saved my life a few years ago. Simon’s way of perception apparently is that he sees a couple of visual things, gets a couple of associations, tries on names, and in this way it becomes obvious – often, not always, and often not in ways that I would have put together – who he is talking to.
So, with my grandmother, first came the beginnings of a physical description; then the name Ann Marie, then something else – I forget what, now – and gradually Francis, and I pieced it together with my own knowing. Ann Marie [my cousin] was grandmom’s eldest grandchild. Francis was another of my cousins. Et cetera. Mere description of the process would not carry conviction. Being in his presence, participating, is different. But the point of mentioning it is that he said our loved ones are all around, and we might take notice of them now and then.
I told him, when I first became aware of the possibility of communication, I wondered, and never decided, what our attitude toward them should be. One time I contacted my friend Joyce – who I knew only through a week at Lifeline in 1995, but loved dearly – and she said, in effect, “But Frank, you forget about us!” I wondered if we should give them attention in some routinized way, but then I thought, there are so many of them!
It is a new problem for people that will be part of a new way of being, under new circumstances. When you are not aware of the surrounding presence of your family and friends – and not only from this lifetime – you are aware of no obligation to them other than perhaps “prayers for the dead,” which means little or nothing to most people today. but when you become aware of their presence – even conceptually, but above all experientially – the question of relationship takes on new possibility, which means, more complexity.
I mentioned that Shinto may be steeped in just such awareness. We westerners think of it as the Japanese honoring the memory of their ancestors, and maybe it is them honoring the presence of their ancestors.
If not, it certainly could be. And so, as I say, people are going to find themselves having to decide what attitude to adopt. On the one hand, they need not be lonely; on the other hand they may sometimes feel as if they were under surveillance.
Speaking of which, Simon’s mentee Michelle Buss said that just as we experience them as bundles of energy rather than as bodies, so they experience us in the same way. (At least, I think it was her comment. We three talked for several hours.) It isn’t like we’re watching each other in the shower, as I used to say; yet the awareness is there, when we’re open to it.
And that is the nub of it: when you are open to it. As people waken from what might be considered a numbed state, their world expands and they become aware of more elements around them – including more consciousness in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms than they had experienced previously, and, as you say, more human or formerly-human or let’s call them somewhat-human presences, available to them and, perhaps we should say, willing to interact. So what should their new attitude be to these new possibilities?
I imagine you are going to tell us, or anyway leave a few hints strewn around.
I might. Or I might say – as the strongest and most productive hint – that such suggestions are all around you in your religious and psychic traditions, and it is up to you to decide which ones you wish to take up, or alter and adopt.
Between the lines, I hear something that is immediately obvious: Other civilization have been much more open to spirits than ours, and so dealt with them in a matter-of-fact way that we could learn from. The American Indians, for example.
That’s right. You will remember Gurdjieff saying that the 19th century was the darkest century yet.
I’m not sure it was Gurdjieff, but yes, I well remember. And the 20th only began to turn the corner, and the 21st has a long way to go.
But it is not terra incognita, where it is going, only unremembered land. Looking back at history, you will read it differently, having new eyes to bring to it, and new senses to interpret it with.
We have been at this a while, but perhaps we have time for a question?
[Jim Austin: Rita’s line “A human is a herd animal and an individual” reminds me of the tension between structure and freedom. I observe that finding structure that supports and enhances ones search for understanding and freedom is important; could TMI point toward that structure for you?]
[Rita:] The question was aimed for you as an individual.
Yes, I see, re-reading it, that he said TMI. I took it to be TGU, which is a different animal altogether. But, anything worth saying about it for others?
TMI as an institution has one outstanding virtue for a particular kind of explorer that you have long pointed out to people, in that it combines individual exploration with group support, and offers technical assistance in finding new territory without requiring that the experiencer sign on to any particular dogma express or implied. That is a mixture of structure and freedom particularly suited to your temperament, and that of many others, as you have noted.
Well, since we made short work of that one, how about Ellen Malkin’s question.
No, we would be rushed; you would be inclined to skim. It requires and warrants your full attention at the beginning of a session.
Next time, then, perhaps.
That would be fine.