Wednesday, April 4, 2018
4:50 a.m. There is an excellent movie, pretty dark, called, “The Missing,” with Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett, that I look at every so often, usually with a friend from TMI. First was Linda Rogers, most recently, Dirk Dunning. Set in the Southwest in the mid 1880s, it is a Western that is about a conflict over not land or cattle or money, but good and evil, and prejudice, and what I can only call spiritual warfare between a brujo, or witch, and the grandfather of a kidnapped child, one of several girls stolen to be sold into sexual slavery in Mexico.
I won’t go into the plot, nor the three-cornered prejudices and alliances among the speakers of English and Spanish and Indian, but what struck me so strongly about the film is that it takes seriously the concept of non-physical contention for a person’s life or health. It is a Ron Howard film, which sort of guarantees quality. I do wonder, though, who it is who knew something. The film writer(s)? The author of the book The Last Ride, Thomas Eidson? (The book is very different from the film, and equally excellent.) Now, I’m not writing a film review here, but I went to bed knowing that this would be an intro into the next part of whatever the guys are giving us.
So, guys, you’re on.
We have several comments, and this time it is easier for us to spell out what you did get from us just now, rather than have you phrase it, to keep it sorted.
First, see what a powerful artifact a book or film (or play or poem) may be. Encasing an understanding, conveying it as much by atmosphere as by any specific words or lines of thought, it can convey the gestalt and not only the detailed exposition.
Second, yes, mutual incomprehension of worldviews, caused not necessarily by difference of language or culture (as between Indian and white, or between one tribe and another, or between Mexican and American), but perhaps by difference in temperament and outlook, as for instance between the healer and her father, or the healer and each of her daughters. It’s no use saying All Is One (though that is also true) and thinking contending forces are thereby conjured out of existence.
Third, you see how culture is a powerful subset of 3D as a whole, producing a unique shared lens defining and constructing a particular way of seeing the world. The fact that a given culture may be logically and practically subdivided again and again into subcultures or even families does not invalidate the concept of cultural conditioning; it merely reminds you that the 3D world is more complicated and interlarded than your concepts of it.
And, fourth, and specifically, this film is an example of portrayal of the intersection in your lives of the prosaic and the superpersonal, the (seemingly) mundane 3D world and the conflicts expressing and stemming from the vast impersonal forces that are the invisible background of your lives. It doesn’t matter whether you are experienced or not, cognizant or not, croyant [believers] or not. All levels of reality exist and intermingle and sometimes conflict with one another, with your lives as the focal point, or, we should say, as one focal point.
Now, you recognize all this when we sketch it out this way – so what does that leave of easy schemes of social progress or conflict, of material “reality” unaffected by “superstitions” be they religions or witchcraft or stubborn social and economic ideas? There is no use thinking that the world is simpler and more – well, mundane – than it is, merely because such a conception is easier, or more seemingly logical, or more widely shared.
But – as you recognized some while ago, Frank – alternative ways of seeing the world usually seem like superstition in whole or in part to whatever reality one lives within. This is one reason why coming to new understandings can be so difficult: It involves what feels like a retrogression. So your readers shouldn’t be too surprised to find themselves pulled up short, from time to time, by this or that element of a new teaching that jars against a strongly held belief conscious or unconscious. That’s just going to happen, and may be used to gain greater understanding of one’s own non-conscious beliefs.
New understandings don’t come free.
Yes, but it isn’t like it is a price exacted by an admission-ticket collector. It is another example of the fact that, to express as a rose, you must suppress not-rose. It isn’t that simple, of course (what ever is?), but true enough, when the main point to be made is in a different direction. At the moment our point is that the world is not a simple place; that your lives are not lived in the absence of contending non-3D forces (we should probably say, in the absences of forces that are only non-3D); that in fact you do and don’t know this, you do and don’t live this. We are merely giving you permission to believe what you already know, and if it were not for the cultural conditioning that denies these knowings, there would be no need for counter-pressure.
But, in a way, that is exactly our point. The world is composed of contending viewpoints and pressures, and each of you (and each of everybody, whether they are interested in such issues or not) make your lives by choosing how you are going to live, choosing among “as if this were the way it is; as if these were the ground rules.”
Such choices have consequences; for the world, for you as 3D individuals, for you as part of All-D individuals; for the worlds beyond the dimensions you can be aware of. We keep pointing it out, because there is so much counter-pressure in the world, and you hear it from all sides at all times. You are not contingent or accidental or inessential or trivial, no matter what logic and habit may say. Else, why would we or anyone bother to try to encourage you to wake up to your true potential and responsibilities?
Good and evil exist, and you know it, and you are influenced by them and tempted by them continually. We say “tempted by good” and you perhaps wonder, but we could say, equally, that you are attracted by them – good and evil – on a continuing basis. The fact that what is not a matter of true good or evil, but only of tastes, is often mistaken for the larger choice does not demonstrate that the larger choice exists or not, as you know from experience. There is no point trying not to know what you have once admitted to your awareness; rather, when you find conflicting truths, the proper course is to find a way to reconcile them. Not compromising, not alternating, not pretending in any way – certainly not disregarding something once realized – but in moving to a higher understanding that sees the consistency in what had appeared irreconcilable. That’s what we have been engaged in doing.
Now, from this point on, we may find ourselves moving from pole to pole, examining one day the very personal, another day the very abstract, so as to stitch the two aspects together conceptually. What you don’t want to do is leave concepts hanging in the air, ungrounded in your very personal struggles; nor to struggle along without hope or meaning or belief that either is justified. That’s where the breakdown of the post-Renaissance Western world has left you. Therefore that is as good as a guarantee that this is where any new and unified view of life will not leave you.
And, enough for now.
Our thanks as always. I can imagine or anticipate that some will say, “Nothing new,” while others say, “That puts things together that I hadn’t associated.”
And that’s as it should be, unless you wish to preach to the converted.
Okay. Till next time. Thanks.