Tuesday, March 13, 2018
5:15 a.m. This is the first morning it went like this: I was awakened, couldn’t go back to sleep but wanted to, had the sense of the guys wanting me to get up, still didn’t want to, said “If you want me to get up, just say so,” and all but heard, “We want you to get up,” and still didn’t want to get up. I hope this is worthwhile. What is so important that it couldn’t wait an hour or so?
Some things have their own intersection time, and if the meeting is missed, it is missed.
You mean, I guess, that if I am to intersect a given idea, I need to be at position in time and space X. somehow, I tend to doubt it. And I’m a little stiff-necked about being overruled in my own life.
And there is a good example, in the flesh, of life lived among true externals (as opposed to what only seem to be externals but are really exteriorized internal aspects of oneself). It should be clear from experience that no one’s life is lived as merely a dramatization of what s/he already is. Life is conflict of forces, and if the conflict were only exteriorization of what is there already from the past – well, how did it get there in the past? Again, this is just common sense, but common sense applied in an area often subject to absence of common sense due to the prevalence of speculations, logical conclusions from inadequate premises and data, and unrecognized prejudices and preferences. You have been on a very long guided tour of a way of seeing life that emphasized life as a working-out of existing problems, possibilities, tendencies, etc. We are merely allowing the pendulum to swing to the other extreme, that of the world as you do not exemplify it or animate it.
I can see the polarity, though I can’t say I gave it any thought.
As we say, we were busy rearranging your view of yourselves in the sense of you being your own universe, so to speak. If we now move to discuss your position vis a vis the rest of reality, we beg you not to immediately forget every insight you have learned about yourselves. Instead, fold it all together.
I got an image there of island universes, vast swirling clouds of stars existing in relative isolation, yet – via a change in scale, seen to be part of a vaster whole in which each played a part.
Yes, I feel that. Not yet clear enough. Very well, a minute –
Trying again. We have been described as individuals who are yet communities. We have been told that this is true at every level: “as above, so below.” Thus the collection of strands that is an individual is, in effect, a community learning to function as an individual. That individual, in turn, is part of a larger community, both in terms of being a strand in a later individual and in terms of being only a small part of its Sam. And now you intend to concentrate less on our internal constitution and more on our external interrelation.
Isn’t that a better description of the very clear visual you were given?
It is. Always a continual reminder, to make haste slowly.
So now you see the beginning of the connection of our discussion of the vast impersonal forces that range through the universe, and our previous correction of various ideas about your lives in and out of the 3D world. With so many definitions – mostly not conscious ones, hence not easily corrected – how can anyone expect such understandings to be conveyed by means of a simple logical exposition?
In other words, that’s why understandings of the world are carried by myths rather than textbooks.
Correct. But for those to whom myth is evidence of ignorance and superstition, a lengthy explanation will be necessary, or nothing can be done. But after the explanation, you will find it easier and more productive to remember it in terms of myth.
I am beginning to see it. Myth is a dense collection of symbolic representations, each very dense in itself. Myth holds relations between qualities.
Only, don’t limit your idea of myths to those of the ancient Romans, or the Egyptians, or to the Christian religion. Human intelligence connects via myth; myth expresses and also shapes your reality. So don’t imagine that you are not living by, and amid, myth. It’s only that the myth when still living is so all-encompassing that it is invisible as myth, and appears to be straightforward description of reality. Obvious, evident, description. But only myth, for all that.
What John Anthony West called the Church of Progress, for one.
Well, more what the Church of Progress took – takes – for reality.
I thought maybe we were going to list a few of the contemporary invisible myths, but we aren’t, are we.
No, and it is not myths plural, but myth singular. To make an economic and ideological analogy, capitalism and communism are not separate myths but part of one myth, each choosing different parts to emphasize and exemplify. Both believe in the primacy of economic and material facts and are blind to the larger reality beyond. But taken together, the myth they share is only part of a larger myth outside of which neither could exist, and inside of which both become apparent as alternate choices.
And once a myth loses its quality of appearing self-evident, it loses all power.
That is sort of reversing cause and effect, or rather is seeing only one part of a reciprocating process, but yes.
And I come back to what Carl Jung said: The gods never reinhabit the temples they have once abandoned.
Perhaps now you can see why this must be so. Once a myth has lost its ability to enchant, for whatever reason, it cannot be re-adopted by an act of will. It is gone.
“Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?”
That’s one context. Another, closer to home, would be your own experience of the Catholic church.
Yes. As a boy I experienced it almost in a medieval sense, alive, undoubted, somehow not contradicting the reality around me. Then came a sort of halfway position (the tipoff to it being a halfway position is rebelliousness, I suspect. One doesn’t fight against what one no longer needs to fight against, only that which has one still struggling in its toils). Then, and now, I am entirely outside the myth and could not “recover the gift of faith,” as the good sisters would say, even if I wanted to. What is dead to me is dead to me. Some it will serve nonetheless, perhaps for decades or – who knows? – centuries into the future, as no doubt some families continued the Roman worship well into the Christian era. But when an individual emerges from within the myth, there is no going back.
No, and of course that is a good thing, only there is no need to forget or repudiate the truths told by the discarded myth merely because you are now living in the light of common day, so to speak. Only, you will then consciously or, more probably, unconsciously walk into a new myth to order your life, for no one can life without a myth, even – as [it was for] Sartre – a myth of meaninglessness.
So we proceed to create our own myth.
It cannot be consciously created – constructed, assembled as a sort of do-it-yourself project. It can be only intuited, or, better said, lived into existence. And nobody has more than a small part in something so large and significant. One planet – one moon! – does not a solar system make, much less a galaxy or an island universe. Still, it is not a matter of size or weight but of – color, let’s say, or taste. In other words, one’s contribution to the myth is more a matter of quality than any quantity.
I get that. Columba’s life on Iona helped shape not the central Christian myth, perhaps, but the part of the myth that refers to a human living in it.
That is a serviceable shorthand. We do not pursue it more carefully only because that would be a side-trail, though one of interest. Only, this is enough for now. As a last word, lest we leave a mistaken impression: We are not talking about deliberately creating a new myth for the world. No one could do that. But what is possible is to help others see as clearly as possible, and in the process, the myth will emerge on its own or perhaps we should say will capture us, and free us to be more ourselves.
A little cryptic, but all right. Thanks as always, and hasta el proximo.