Nathaniel — Passions, Prince Hamlet, and us

Monday, October 9, 2017

3:40 a.m. Ready if you are. You said we’d start by looking at what 3D life (as we experience it) implies about reality, about “the underlying reality it suggests and mirrors,” you said.

Meaning, merely, that the world you experience is not divorced from or in essence different from the realer world it is based in. In other words, you can extrapolate from your experience, you don’t need to accept a whole new scheme unrelated to your sensory-reported life. But it is extrapolation, it is not straight continuity. Your 3D experience of life is a useful platform for acquiring a deeper understanding; it is not in itself that deeper understanding.

Yes, I get that.

So, as we said, your lives are primarily passions – emotions, feelings, drives, compulsions, shading down to interests, fascinations, vocations, orientations. If you don’t instinctively (now, there’s a word!) understand what these seemingly quite disparate words have in common, a little thought and some internal questioning will repay the effort.

Remember, in all this, you cannot safely (that is, reliably) use the academic habits of thought to understand. Mere associating or classifying is not going to lead you to get what we are saying, it will, on the contrary, prevent you or at any rate interfere with your seeing familiar things in the new context that can revolutionize your understanding. The enemy of expanded comprehension is the habit of seeing things as “nothing but” variations of accustomed categories.

Your lives are drama. They are all forms of drama from morality play to farce. And they are this for the same reason that drama as art form was created within your life. [Within 3D reality, they mean.]

Fiction within the fiction. Hamlet’s play within a play. And I gather that this is another example of “as above, so below.”

Drama always encapsulates in miniature its encompassing reality.

In English, I think that means, drama as an art form shows us life in a condensed form, so that we can see it. A biopic may give us a person’s life and times in a couple of hours, or that same “life and times” may occupy a six-volume set of books, or may be conveyed in a Classics Illustrated comic book, or a children’s book, or in popular legend, or even a TV show.

Yes, that’s what we mean. So, since you are familiar with that process, extrapolate upwards, to see how the dramas you live may be miniature versions of something real. Just as a film is going to differ from the life itself by a huge factor of time and energy – a couple of hours’ worth of attention as opposed to decades of living – so your lives are but an illustrative blip on the record in comparison to what they illustrate.

Even more than ordinarily, I’m having trouble deciding whether what you’re saying will be clear to those who are not sharing the joint mind at the moment of transmission.

You can always expand and interpret. There is no great penalty to over-explaining to some, and there may be great benefit to explaining to those who begin from somewhat farther away, for whatever reason.

I don’t know, maybe it’s simple enough. I hear you saying that just as drama is our way of understanding life by putting it under a microscope, so our lives are the equivalent to the next higher order of reality.

That is accurate, and said perhaps more clearly than we did, so, as we say, potentially a useful exercise.

Well, if this is true – and it is true, as true as we can express given the limits of translation across conditions – you can see the point of your lives, perhaps.

Oh, I can imagine people coming up with all kinds of conclusions, some of which will seem to them to follow, but may not follow at all.

True, with the caveat that as usual, judgment of someone else’s conclusions is risky and not necessarily profitable. You can tell what seems true to you; that isn’t the same thing as saying that what is true to you is true in any absolute sense.

What I hear you saying, or rather, the implications I draw, are that what we get from drama is analogous to what another layer of reality gets from observing our lives.

Yes as long as you remember that it would be more carefully stated if you said something like, “What we ourselves realize at our higher reality by observing ourselves at the 3D level of reality.” That is clumsy, but it is important to try to avoid the “we versus they” polarity that continually sneaks in to the argument. “We versus they” leads straight to a sense of victimization and an attitude of distrust and paranoia. “One level of ourself versus another level of ourself,” though more difficult to envision, avoids that trap.

So do you begin to see your experience of 3D life differently? Do you see why it is only relatively real, why all possible versions of a situation (your life) are explored, why so much of it is inexplicably caused and not easily seen even after the fact? And can you see what is or is not important within the context of your life, and how what is or is not important changes as you change context?

Yes. Hamlet may be prince of Denmark, but he is not owner of a bank account, doesn’t have a refrigerator, doesn’t even use the restroom. In other words, as a character in a play, he is real. As a living person outside of the play, he does not exist except as an idea. Like the play he is a part of, he is relatively real, to us at our level of play-going reality.

Now, that isn’t the whole story, because as you have learned elsewhere, created characters live, just as you (created characters yourselves) do. So it isn’t as if they aren’t real, it’s just that they, like you, are only relatively real, and how real depends upon the level of the observer.

Since our reality can’t really depend upon [the existence of] observers, I take it you mean, how real we appear depends upon who is watching, from what level.

It is not literally, but only metaphorically, true that your reality “can’t really depend upon observers.” But that’s a topic for another time. It will bring us far, and meanwhile people may want to think about it. For now, let us stay with the question of relative reality.

What you experience is real to you, as it should be. But it is a pale shadow of what is real in realer dimensions. (So to speak: “Dimensions” – the very concept of dimensions – is a metaphor, an abstraction. We use the terms because it is widely understood in a certain sense, but as you see, every so often we remind you not to take it literally. There are no dimensions bounding reality, only ways of looking at things.)

Reread what we just said. Another way to say the same thing would be to say, “Passions, emotions, feelings, etc., are more real than you are.” They, like you, are closer to being shadows of a real substance than substances in their own right.

We cannot tell if you are with us, but we are saying, “You want to know why life is so dramatic and often painful, so seemingly unfair and so seemingly arbitrary? You cannot understand it if you look at it only in its own terms, any more than you could understand Hamlet if you were within it rather than viewing it.”

I know you are not explaining away our perplexities and sufferings here, but I don’t know if others will see that or not.

It can’t be calculated; there are too many possibilities. We can only make as clear a statement as possible, and trust people’s own internal compass to bring them to a right understanding.

So, this should explain to some degree why you don’t live in a world that is just as you want it. Be it Macbeth or Hamlet, the king is going to die, or there isn’t any drama. That doesn’t mean that every play is a tragedy, or that everyone within the tragedy is equally affected. It merely means, no story, no drama, and what is a better story than one with high stakes?

I remember my daughter once, when she was very little, saying with a sigh, “You know what I’d like? To have everything my own way.” I laughed and agreed that it would be nice. But I see now that this would limit us to our preconceived ideas of what would be good for us, or would be pleasant.

Prince Hamlet no doubt would have preferred that his father live. Certainly he would have preferred that he continue the life he was leading before the tragedy, and certainly before his father’s ghost laid a burden of obligation on him that he did not know how to fulfill. But it was in living those complications that Hamlet became more than any other person, even any other prince, and became himself a legend.

It is a wrench for people to come to see the pain and suffering of this world as only relatively real. It seems too much like explaining them away, even when you carefully explain that this is not what you are doing.

But, you see, their wrestling with this is itself good and profitable work for them.

It has been 70 minutes. Enough for now?

Enough. Little by little.

Okay, thanks, and we’ll see you next time.

 

One thought on “Nathaniel — Passions, Prince Hamlet, and us

  1. “It is not literally, but only metaphorically, true that your reality “can’t really depend upon observers.” But that’s a topic for another time. ”

    Am looking forward to that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *