Nathaniel on dealing with guidance

Saturday, October 21, 2017

6:30 a.m. You’re up. [Meaning, “you’re at bat.”] I have no idea where we’re going, and we left no bread crumbs.

Working on yourselves. That’s the theme. What the situation is. That’s the theme too. You can’t understand one without the other.

I do understand that. It is the specific application I don’t always know.

No, but that’s our job.

Isn’t that what I just said?

Yes, in a sense. Very well, look again at the situation we are describing. You, shaped souls continually reshaping yourselves in the face of on-coming circumstances seemingly external, seemingly unconnected to your own needs and opportunities. An unending sweep of animating force, varying in intensity from one moment to the next, vast and impersonal, as we keep stressing. The interaction of the two – spirit and soul – in 3D constricted circumstances produces the potential for change and, in context, produces the necessity of change either by your decision or by default, in that nothing ever stands still.

Thousands of years’ worth of scripture and philosophy have left you a legacy of instruction on effective ways to cope with your possibilities and dangers. All we are doing is alerting you to a way to reinterpret words that may have gone dead on you for lack of context. That context mostly involves redefining what a human existence includes, and what the 3D and non-3D world adds up to.

Only that.

Yes, you smile, but, “only that.” It is a big job, and obviously no one in 3D could live long enough nor work hard enough to convey what needs to be conveyed. That’s why we remind you, again and again, that the needed material exists. You don’t have to live your lives waiting for it to be written or spoken, or sung or whistled or hinted at. It is there, and you have your own inner guidance system to help you stumble over it; it is mostly a matter of feeling the hunger, having faith that where there is a hunger there is what is hungered for, and keeping your eyes open for it. That isn’t more than anybody can do. Whenever a task seems too extensive, whenever it is so extensive as to be daunting, we advise this: Narrow it down. You can’t do everything; that is not the same as saying you can’t do anything. You don’t read Sanskrit, or Assyrian, or whatever: Why assume that whatever you need has not been translated for you somewhere? You don’t know where to look: Does that mean your non-3D assistance doesn’t either?

Rhetorical questions, but you see our point.

Stumble along with integrity and faith, and you’ll do all right.

Well? Can you with your experience deny it?

Can’t, and wouldn’t dream of doing so. This is what I tell people myself.

Maybe we’re making you up.

All right, that got an actual chuckle, not just a smile. Maybe you are. I can see that my best hope is that I am Charlie McCarthy and not Mortimer Snerd. (Dating myself there, I realize. Will anybody remember Edgar Bergen?)

To illustrate how life works, we will guarantee that everybody old enough just got side-tracked for a moment.

Is that a reason not to make such allusions? Alternatively, do they serve a purpose?

You might say it is like telling a joke in the middle of a serious disquisition. It may help to seat in the material with the rest of one’s mental life, or it may distract. There is no way to know, and it isn’t anything to worry about. People will remember the Mortimer Snerd allusion when they have forgotten the context.

That’s what I’m afraid of!

Yes, but, you see, you don’t want people trying to hold the material in their conscious mind continually. It isn’t possible anyway, but in any case it wouldn’t be desirable. The purpose of instruction is to change the person’s ground rules and observation posts (to mix metaphors), not to be encapsulated and set aside. In fact, perhaps you should underline that, because that is one of the dangers of over-reverencing scripture or anything.

Expand on that, maybe?

If you come across something new and you think about it, wrestle with it, test it on your own truth-detector, your own assaying apparatus, by the time you have done so, you will have gotten from it whatever it has to say to you now. Perhaps later you will look at it again and it will or won’t tell you something new, but right now, whenever that “now” is, you will be changed not by it, not by encountering it, but by your struggle with it.

I know you don’t mean that quite in the way it sounds. For instance, if we hear something and it immediately resonates, we don’t necessarily need to struggle; it is as though it drops into a slot pre-fitted for it.

Yes, we don’t mean by “struggle” or “wrestle” that it will necessarily feel alien or antagonistic. But even when it goes “clunk” and drops into place, still you benefit by testing it. Not everything that immediately fits into place deserves to be accepted without question. Or rather, put it this way, if it is important, it deserves to be questioned, examined, wrestled with, so as to seat it in to your mental world more firmly.

Conversely, memorizing bible verses and citing them at whatever occasion calls them forth may be productive or may be a form of superstition, depending upon how the material has been dealt with by you. Did you wrestle with it? Do you know whether it rings true for you? Do you see how it illumines or fails to illumine your own difficulties and opportunities in life? It doesn’t matter if sixteen angels swear “this is the inspired word of God” if it doesn’t resonate with you. Nor was it sent to you in order that you should worship it.

I have said that fundamentalists set out to worship the Word and wind up worshipping the Page.

And you as a publisher had a problem with that?

Funny. But yeah, I as a publisher had a pretty good sense of the difference between the message and the conveying of the message, or, let’s say, the limits of translation.

And of course that is our point. If you begin to think of words as pointers rather than as landmarks, you will begin to see that their function – unsuspected by many, obvious to a few – is not to convey meaning (which cannot be done), but to provide sparks to allow the reader’s guidance system to nudge them in the appropriate direction.

And that’s the function of poetry!

Of course it is. And of scripture.

My, my. If I have had this insight before, I had forgotten it. I don’t think I have had, actually.

So you see the futility of memorizing scripture as a way of absorbing its purport. Memorization as a means of having it on tap, fine. As a means of argument – that is, bible verses as ammunition – not so fine. And in either case, it is never enough to passively (or even eagerly, which can still be passively) accept. It must be encountered. It must be made a part of you either by connection with other things you believe, or by contrast with them. Memorization and idolatry does nothing to help you along, and that is always the touchstone.

And I get, two complementary errors: worshipping the word, and ignoring it.

Bearing in mind, always, that your minds will bring you to what you need, if you don’t persuade yourselves not to drink.

There’s a joke there somewhere. You can lead a human to inspiration, but you can’t make him think. Something like that.

And, people are more likely to remember that, because it is pithy, than the words of the extended argument. And that is as it should be.

So, that rounds it off for today. The message is, you can trust that inspiration will always be made available to you, but it is up to you to trust the process, keep your eyes open, and then work with what has been freely provided. And in the working, guidance will continue to be freely available, of course.

It’s a very freeing sense. Thanks for this, and see you next time.

 

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