On the process of interpretation and on traits

Sunday, September 24, 2017

6:15 a.m. I’d like to get something straight before we go on any farther. I get a firm idea of what I’m being told, but other people reading the same words get another idea that is clearly different, and to my mind is confused. Is it my job to rephrase your words to make them clearer in such cases, or is it every man for himself, interpreting them, or what? I mean, it’s one thing when I bring through something that is susceptible to more than one interpretation in my view, but I think it is quite another when it seems clear to me and is read differently by others. On the one hand we don’t need a Pope. On the other hand we don’t want to be putting things to a vote. My question amounts to this: When I, as scribe, feel that others are misinterpreting what came to me essence to essence, what can we reliably do to clean up the confusion? If we say, “ask you,” well, that just comes back in the same hole we went out. And of course, here I am, asking you.

And here – as, ironically, you well know – you see the dilemma faced by any people attempting to bring information through. Any body of information must be conveyed through human instruments. The transmission, the reception, the process of assimilation, the process of mutual understanding – all steps in the process are subject to the difficulties of communication among people who are having to rely partly on sensory data, partly on communication mind-to-mind that does not depend on data, and partly on each mind’s prepared reception.

Oh, I understand the problem, all right! But what is the indicated solution?

If we understand you correctly (this is sarcasm, you understand), you are asking how you can overcome the difficulties that caused the Protestant revolution, the controversies over heresy before that, wars between different religions, hostility between religions and secular orientations, wars within the scientific and mental worlds between, again, orthodoxy and heresy –

I get the point. But in practical terms?

You know the answer. You quote it every so often.

“You do the best you can.”

What else is there? As misunderstandings arise, you clarify your prior statements. But process and result are two different things, in all forms of cooperative thought. You can do your best to clarify. You can’t depend upon others seeing it your way.

Seems to me we are providing people with a lot of opportunities to mislead themselves – and to be misled by others.

We are. That is true whenever one brings any information through. But the alternative is silence, and the corrective is always at hand: It is for each person to wrestle with the material and make of it what s/he can, remembering that vehemence is no proof of truth (and is often an indication of suppressed doubt) and that sincerity of purpose combined with humility will lead you right, over time.

Okay. Specifically in this case, my understanding is that the impersonal forces we are talking about are not the strands but something entirely different. Can we at least clear that up?

You say “clear that up.” No, we can’t clear up anything, in any absolute sense, because the words carry ambiguity, and people bring to the interpretation of words their own mindset, which is never a blank neutral platform, but always includes all sorts of bias and distortion unsuspected by the person consciously. You’ve seen it all your lives, all of you – and you’ve exemplified it, not usually realizing it, all your lives. It is the source of much exasperation among you.

But, we know what you mean, and we will try to provide a clearer statement. By the way, this is one reason why “the better the question, the better the answer”; questions tend to reveal past ambiguities of expression, and thus reduce the extent of material productive of controversy as to fact (as opposed to controversy as to implication).

Strands and forces. Compound beings, as we have said, comprise “past lives” as strands, and comprise, as well, traits, characteristics.

Now, we haven’t needed to go into this until now, but let’s look at traits. You could look at a trait as a tendency. But this is going to have to be said carefully. There are physical traits, like red hair. That is not a tendency, although tendencies may be associate with it. In fact, it may better be considered as a physical indicator of a tendency, such as, perhaps, a hot temper, or impulsiveness. Red hair does not cause either; it does not guarantee the presence of either; but it may be a signpost saying, “they’re likely to be where it is.” You see? A physical trait like an open countenance or red hair or height or shortness or thinness or stoutness – any of the characteristics of appearance that are often used as signposts of mental or temperamental characteristics may in fact be signposts. They are not the thing itself.

Beyond physical traits, there are traits of temperamental characteristic. So, maybe the person is impulsive, does have a hot temper. Regardless of signposts, these traits do exist. But what are they? They are not the forces we are talking about. They are the relative susceptibility or insusceptibility to these forces.

I am grasping for analogies.

Better not use analogies in a contested meaning, unless there is no better alternative. Unwanted associations to a given metaphor may only cloud the picture further.

Your composition leaves you more susceptible to some forces and less so to others. You are a poor conductor of some energies and a good conductor of others, by your nature. This has nothing to do with what you do with these energies as they flow through you, it merely addresses the fact that your initial composition inclines you toward some things and away from others. This is no different than what you have been told for all these years, except that it is now being said explicitly, with emphasis on other aspects of the situation. First you had to be led to see yourselves as the communities you are: Until you saw that, none of this could be understood.

And bear in mind, none of this is new in the sense of never having been seen or said before [in history]. What is new is the context. So, [people throughout] millennia have talked about choleric or sanguine dispositions. What is that but a recognition and codification of the observed fact that people’s dispositions are not identical, and that they can be made to fall into categories?

Choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and something else I cannot remember. [Melancholic.]

Or, astrological or alchemical or any number of systems of categorizations. It all boils down to this: People are mixtures of traits that express elementary forces; they express them in different degrees, rather than uniformly; they may be categorized for belter understanding. But what is central for our purposes, for the moment, is that humans are conduits of vast forces that flow through them in varying strengths according to the nature of the individual, and it is the individual’s task (opportunity; fate; problem) to choose moment by moment to express or resist or divert the various forces as they arise in everyday life.

You are not the forces that express through you (and everybody else). Your particular makeup is unique, necessarily, because your comprising characteristics are a unique mixture. Your decisions during your lifetime help determine the flow of these forces. (The fact that all versions considered together make all choices is not relevant here, because each version’s world may be considered as if it were the only “the” world, as in practice you usually do.)

As to what those forces are, what it all means – stay tuned.

All right. Well, thanks for all this. It will clear up some things, I hope.


2 thoughts on “On the process of interpretation and on traits

  1. (Now I’m afraid to comment! Am I one of the really “confused” ones? I’d be the last to know. LoL. Don’t answer that!)
    Still loving the material. The only analogy that came to mind was a colander (the device we use to drain the pasta)–that we’re each a unique colander created by each strand’s traits/tendencies, and the forces flow through this, for us to then “express or resist or divert.” Maybe that can work as a visual.
    One question: We are affected by the forces as they come through. Do we affect the forces in any way, other than by how we express or channel them? In other words, you could say they hone us. Do we hone them? Or is it just about honing us?

    1. You weren’t the person I was referring to, but OTOH wrestling with the material is what we’re supposed to be doing, so if I were you I wouldn’t worry about it. Re your question, I don’t know but at some point will ask.

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