Preview of coming attractions?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

5:45 a.m. I made a note in the middle of the night to ask for an outline of the precis that might serve as an intro to this new way of seeing the world. But perhaps you have other plans?

We can give you general orienting ideas, but the specifics must be done on your end, if they are to be done at all. You are not Jane Roberts and we are not Seth, and our communication is of a different order than theirs.

Understood. It took me several days’ work to outline the existing contents of the book of Nathaniel, as I have been thinking of it, or Only Somewhat Real, as I may call it. And that is merely putting a structure of chapter headings and subheads in an existing transcript. It wasn’t shaped from my end.

Still, you can do this. The resulting structure will resemble Muddy Tracks or Imagine Yourself Well more than your books of transcripts.

Okay, so –

It is no more than what you thought of 20 years ago and were calling The Copernican Shift, only your understanding of it has broadened and revolutionized several times since then. So, hold to the intent but use a different technique.


There are at least two ways you could do it, each with its own virtues and disadvantages. You could try to tell it as it happened – in other words, relate the succession of mental revolutions – or you could present the picture as you currently understand it.

Another interim report.

Everything is necessarily an interim report. Nobody writes anything else – only, some think it’s a final report because for them, that’s as far as they’re going. But nobody ever has the final word on anything, except by arbitrarily calling it that.

So the advantages of a trip summary are that it begins from the familiar and delivers the goods in a series of steps that may help the reader to stay oriented. The disadvantages are that it may be longer, more episodic, more

Well, the real substantial disadvantage is that you can’t count on the reader getting what is only implicit.

I thought you said words are sparks, not signposts.

You – anybody writing anything – need every bit of clarity and precision you can bring to the job, not because your A students can’t follow you, but because you want your B students and if possible your C students to benefit as well. So, what is enough of a hint for one may say nothing at all to another, and what is overkill for one may be just barely enough for another. Mix it up.

The way Thoreau wrote, you mean.

Well, look at the difference between his impact and Emerson’s.

We’re going to have to spell it out, I guess. They’re getting a bit far away from the present moment, let alone the days to come. I remember reading Thoreau and there would be two sentences, one following the next, that at first seemed to have nothing to do with each other. I would have to think, or maybe I should say pause and intuit, before I could see the thing he had said between the lines. Emerson is more straightforward – that is, his strategy is – but sometimes his underlying thought is more obscure because he doesn’t help you tease it out the way Thoreau does. And of course Emerson’s prose is half a generation older than Thoreau’s, and so strikes us as more English, more stilted, although it did not seem so to his contemporaries.

So where does this leave us?

You need to write it as plainly as you can – as both of them did, realize – as concisely and invitingly as you can.

But that isn’t any help, really. I know it’s true, but I already knew it.

Had you made the comparison to Thoreau and Emerson? It is in such comparisons of style and technique and writing strategy that you can intuit what cannot be plainly said. And certainly you will have as much need of any such technique as they did, for your world to reveal is as strange to your contemporaries as theirs was to theirs.

That’s fine, but it isn’t specific.

The specifics you already know. The way to sort them out in your mind is to list them and juggle them until they sort out into the order most easily comprehended by the reader.

I’m going to have to think of the reader more than ever before. Always difficult.

You don’t need to be able to envision their starting point, nor their mental processes, nor imagine the path that leads them to you. All you need to do is keep firmly in mind that your accustomed world is strange to them, and explain. What explanation one doesn’t need, another may, and nothing wasted in providing it.

So, here are some geese to juggle:

  • 3D conditions – separation in time and in place, delayed consequences, one ever-moving present-moment.
  • The things these conditions allow (and require).
  • The non-3D, by contrast.
  • The fact that 3D and non-3D are not separate realms but are separately conceived of, but interpenetrate, being indivisible.
  • So, the All-D
  • Non-locality in time as well as space, and its consequences, namely, it’s-all-one-thing, even though (deliberately) not perceived that way commonly in 3D.
  • As above, so below as an organizing principle.
  • Community, seen one way; individual, seen another way.
  • A consequently different way to see “past lives.”
  • The world is constructed of consciousness.
  • Sam as creator, as opposed to the unknowable God with its unknowable attributes.
  • Scripture in different forms – scripture, poetry, channeling, aspiration, intense visualization.
  • Miracles and impossibilities that have been reported and are inexplicable in conventional terms but look different when seen differently.
  • ESP in all its forms in light of the world being constructed of consciousness rather than lumps of stuff separated by emptiness but affecting each other at a distance.
  • Healing, panaceas, miracle cures, faith, etc. in light of this view.

All right, I begin to get it. Maybe two parts? One setting it out, the second setting out consequences?

Way too early to being structuring, but consider an initial chapter setting out some of the conundrums of the world as commonly seen. Maybe a fast survey of some of the proposed answers that don’t do the job. In other words, set out the problem. Then the reader knows what you want to accomplish.

But what you did in Muddy Tracks was to let the reader accompany you through certain transformative experiences and then present your interim report. What you did in Imagine Yourself Well was far less of a trip report, far more of a distilled here’s-what-I-know,-here’s-what-I-think-you-may-be-able-to-do. Very different strategies, very different result.

Well, I knew more by the time I came to write the latter book. I was living in a different mental space.

Precisely the point. You will be writing from a new place; remember to help readers take the step that will allow them to overcome the difference from wherever they are to where you are. This is no longer a matter of saying, “I know where you are because that’s where I started” (although that should come into play here and there), but of “Look at the world this way, and see if it doesn’t work better for you.” Big difference.

Getting me out of the way.

Well – that depends on how you want to look at it. In a way Thoreau was much more evident in his writings than was Emerson. The reader cannot forget his assertive presence, and it adds punch to his statements. But in a way it is true that he and his life were there merely as illustrative background. You had to intuit Emerson’s presence more; his writing was more like overhearing a man thinking, while his friend Henry’s was like watching a man living in the world. So – stay in the picture, but yes, obviously if you are in the picture it is as a body-and-flesh [I think they meant flesh-and-blood] illustration more than as, God forbid, role model or idol to be venerated. You are just setting out what you have learned, nothing more.

And maybe afterward it will be time to disappear and get out of the way.

There’s no way for you to know that, unless you can predict all the ways your life could go.

Nor will I try to. All right, more?

What we give you is not units of information but access to more whenever you need it and remember to put yourself into a position to receive it.

And I know that statement is meant for everybody, not just for me. So now it is on the record.

Your temptation is always to rest on your oars after bringing in information. This will require a different kind of response, more active, more proactive. But it isn’t like you haven’t written novels; all the construction had to be done at your end, so you have the experience under your belt.

Okay, thanks.




3 thoughts on “Preview of coming attractions?

  1. I particularly enjoyed today’s post as a way of seeing behind the mysterious (to me) curtain of how a writer goes about bringing forth a concept. ‘Setting the problem’ put me in mind of one of my design school textbooks – Problem Seeking. It was just one of the many required books which included more concrete topics (such as the massive Architectural Graphic Standards) which were fairly obvious as to how they fit into our education. At the time I remember wondering why we didn’t have a book on Problem SOLVING. It was only later that I developed a fuller appreciation for the need to sculpt the problem itself which, of course, sets the stage for how the development of solution is approached.

  2. Who is the stream here (today)? Is this Nathaniel? It feels / sounds like Nathaniel (with some intermediaries helping out).

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