Thursday, November 16, 2017
3:40 a.m. Yesterday may turn out to have been a big day. I’m thinking that my session with psychic / healer Jane Mullen is continuing to show results. That was October 30, and it seems to me it was a turning point. Certainly, a lot has happened, mostly but not entirely internal, in the two weeks since then. And, as we know, “internal” is probably a meaningless distinction from “external.”
And you, my friends, seem to have been an integral part of the process of change, or development, and I am grateful.
The theme at the moment, you will recall, is the practical application of so much investigation. Naturally, practice is going to result in change, or did you do so much work over so much time with the idea of manifesting no more than you already were?
We both know better than that. John Nelson pointed out in one of his novels that so many people want to “change without changing.” I know better than that. I feel better than that, let’s say. But of course change always involves moving into the unknown.
It does and it doesn’t. Let’s talk for a moment about the “doesn’t,” for in a time when sweeping comprehensive change is all about you (“you” plural, you understand), it is well that people be reassured that they are not being swept away by a tornado of unbound and unbounded forces. To change metaphor, they are not wandering, lost in the desert, or adrift on the sea. They are, and they aren’t, depending entirely upon their connection to their larger self which they experience.
It strikes me, that is what this whole long story is about, in a way. Muddy Tracks, first draft written in 1997-98, had as its theme my own stumbling efforts to conceptualize life as connection to what I was calling the larger being. Everything in the time since – and before, of course, given that I wasn’t writing theory but trying to make sense of experience – is variations on a theme. Connection, expansion, reorientation, exploration, consolidation – it has been going on a good long time now.
And finally you are at another culmination point. You as an individual, Frank, and you as a part of a small open-but-closed society, and you as a part of a civilization spanning the globe. These are times of gathering and manifestation. They aren’t the end; there is never a “the end,” but they are a pause for
I can’t find the right word. Not “consolidation,” not “reorientation.”
Call it rolling readjustment, maybe. Not the end of the line, not the end of movement. Not a pause, even. More a moment of recognition, a reorienting.
And, I know, not just me. I do know that.
So. for those who are ready to make such preoccupation practical, we have been providing the specific tools. For those who are not yet ready (including those who will never be ready in this lifetime), nothing wasted; no one can know what seed will germinate at what time, in what circumstance. And it takes many iterations, sometimes, for a given statement to suddenly (or gradually) penetrate layers of dullness or misinterpretation or resistance. But for those who are ready when they read this, or re-read it, or think about it later, our theme-song has been, “You are not alone, you are not lost, you are not damned, or forsaken, or stymied.” You have not foreclosed your future by your past action or inaction.
Some scripture says “though your sins be as scarlet,” you can be lifted above them not so much by divine grace (in the sense of an external agency that offers you a lift) as by your divine nature (in the sense of an innate part of yourself that you can at any time choose to identify with). Can’t remember if it is a Hindu or Buddhist or Sufi scripture. It doesn’t sound Christian on the face of it, although if we take “repentance” to be turning our face resolutely toward another path, I suppose it could be.
[To my surprise I find (courtesy of duckduckgo.com), it is neither Hindu nor Buddhist nor Sufi nor Christian, but is from Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” I would have bet it was from the Upanishads. If I properly understand the sense of the chapter, Isaiah, who was a prophet, not a lawgiver, was saying, in effect, that God told him that God wasn’t interested in sacrifices or externals, but in repentance – that is, in voluntary individual reform.]
A difficulty of scripture is that it is words rather than someone’s presence; hence the words may be taken out of context; their meaning may be seen only one way; they may be used as law rather than as assistance. But remember, everyone who reads a book is directly connected to the author, hence to everyone else who ever reads it. This is as true of scripture as of any book else.
A two-edged sword, there, isn’t it? I can see why not only literalism but sheepitude are dangers there. the sense of being one of a huge number visible and invisible, living and departed, may convey a sense of certainty, and that sense (correct enough as far as it goes) may extend to a self-righteous exclusionary cult mentality.
You know full well that you cannot have a tool sharp enough to do your work without it being sharp enough to cut the unwary.
I used to tell my kids that.
Scripture is a very powerful tool, and therefore it gets misused and injures the unwary. Is that reason to discard it, or to post warnings for the unwary to have more care?
Not that they are likely to listen, being unwary.
(1) You never know. (2) The point is that you don’t want to deprive yourselves and others of that powerful assistance because the unwary may misuse it. And yet that is exactly what has happened among seekers who are intelligent, and independent, and sincere – often enough, desperate – yet so afraid of becoming sheep that they dare not take the food that will feed their life.
Not a new idea to me. Hard to apply, sometimes. I see it in my friends (or seem to; perhaps I misjudge them). If I mention God or cite scripture, it is as if I betray that I am childish or superstitious or, let’s say, had not overcome the difficulties of my childhood. I saw it in Colin Wilson, for one.
The touchstone always is a person’s sincerity and perseverance, not his conclusions or his walled-off areas. You yourself are not particularly open to scientific arguments that might tend to “prove” a meaningless or contingent universe. And, why should you be? That isn’t the “you” that it is your job and joy to express.
Yes, I know that. Obviously I am well aware of the value of Colin’s work in opening a space for seekers who are of a certain background and disposition – as I myself was.
Wouldn’t it be a reproach to a teacher if his students never went beyond his limits to their limits?
That’s a good way to think of it. I like that.
We return one last time (for now!) to the point. It is time to make all this dedication and inquiry and good intent and exploration and resolve practical. That is what we have been sketching out, not the way but anyway a way. This is not the time to leave your castles in the air.
A la Thoreau: “If you have built your castles in the air, your work need not be lost. Now put the foundations under them.”
Exactly. So, not two worlds but one world. Not spiritual or physical, but both human and divine. Not predestined or free, but both and neither. Not stuck and lost and hopeless, only thinking one is.
As a man thinks in his heart, so he is?
That’s one sense of it, surely.
And, like Daniel Boone, never been lost in the woods but once confused for three days?
Very reinforcing and encouraging, as usual. Our thanks, also as usual.