Tuesday, April 10, 2018
5:10 a.m. I awoke from some dream hearing, in effect, the sentence saying that it is the great temptation, changing other people and other people’s lives. I presume that is today’s continuation of yesterday’s theme.
You remember what 65-year-old Mark Twain inscribed to 25-year-old Winston Churchill?
“To do good is noble. To teach others to do good is nobler – and no trouble.”
That is the root of many troubles in the 3D world. Not so much, in the non-3D, because you can’t get away with the necessary self-deception. But of course, people living in 3D consciousness who have shut out the voice from the non-3D – their own voice – are not troubled by what the non-3D knows and they do not. However, recalibrate before beginning this. As so often, we will have to go slowly.
There is every difference in the world between changing people and changing how they see themselves. Every difference between changing people’s lives and changing their ideas of how they want their lives to be. But it is a fine distinction, easily lost sight of.
I can feel it slipping as you try to express it, or maybe the slippage is in my trying to phrase what I’m feeling you mean.
A little of both. Talk briefly about Around the Bend, that just by suspicious coincidence you were led to begin re-reading again yesterday.
Suspicious is right. I wasn’t connecting it with yesterday’s discussion of third-tier effects of third-tier effects.
But you see from our mention of it in the context of the sentences from your dream, the relevance.
I do. Very well. Around the Bend is one of Nevil Shute’s best novels – and he had a lot of fine ones. The story is about a man who becomes friends at a young age with another young man who is interested in all religions. Living in Asia, he teaches his fellow ground engineers – airplane maintenance mechanics – that there is a way of doing their work that amounts to continual prayer. His teachings spread like wildfire among Asian g.e.’s, because that way of thinking restores to their lives something important that education in western mechanistic materialism (absorbed by osmosis in their technical training) had deprived them of. Connie (Constantine) Shaklin, the half-Chinese half-Russian g.e., is considered by most Westerners to have gone “around the bend,” unbalanced by a religious mania. But Tom Cutter, the narrator, is not so sure of that, and it is the interplay between Cutter’s life and Connie’s example and teachings that is the thematic spine of the book.
The action of the book will demonstrate both our point and the slipperiness of our point, because Connie Shaklin, or Shak Lin, as the Asians call him, does preach change, but he also embodies change. He does try to change people’s lives, but not by changing their circumstances but by changing their understanding of themselves and therefore their world. He does teach others to do good, but he does it by being good.
We’re out to annoy some people today.
Those who are annoyed may be thereby demonstrating that they get the point, even if they don’t like it. Those who are not annoyed may be demonstrating that they are not applying what they read to their own lives. You can’t tell.
Still, the message couldn’t be more timely in today’s insane political atmosphere.
Yet it is not as simple as you are tempted to make it. You are thinking of the people who are out to change the world rather than first changing themselves, which is harder. But where would you put Bernie Sanders, whose activism you liked?
I guess you’re out to annoy me, as well as other people? I don’t know, I read Sanders as genuine, idealistic, informed, passionate.
Yes, but what about his internal life?
We get that from others only by reflection; we’re always having to guess. But my sense is that he is genuine. Doesn’t that imply, in touch with himself?
Again, go slow. And this goes for your readers, too. the temptation to speed up in impatience should be viewed with suspicion whenever it pops up: It often manifests an internal uneasiness that your conscious bias would rather not acknowledge.
Didn’t I bungle that last sentence.
We did between us, let’s say. A better phrasing would be, It often masks an internal uneasiness caused by your conscious mood seeking to suppress an uncomfortable contradictory awareness.
At any rate, think of Bernie Sanders, or John F. Kennedy, or Abraham Lincoln, who for you, Frank, will stand for politicians at their best, men seeking to express in action their clearest and most altruistic understanding. Others will have other models, and of course they need not be from the world of public action, but politics is convenient here because the men’s lives are well known, their effect on others is well known, and of course politics is, at one level, the art of persuading people to change their lives, as well as the art of changing people’s live around them by more direct action.
So, Sanders, Kennedy, Lincoln. We are looking at them not as historical figures nor as proponents of any particular policies. Nor can we really compare their internal awareness – you can’t know that either. What can you know?
Third-tier effects of their actions.
Correct. In fact, third-tier effects of what they are as well as who they are. Or, better, third-tier effects of what they are as well as what they do. You may have an entirely wrong idea, or no idea at all, of their internal worlds, their private struggles, their very private first- and even second-tier experiences. If you do have such an idea, it will be correct to the extent that you intuitively experience the resonance of their second-tier experiences, but of course you will have no way to judge your perceptions. But it is in third-tier effects that people leave their mark in the 3D portion of the world.
So, if Lincoln has to overcome lifelong emotional anguish, and Kennedy has to overcome lifelong physical suffering, and Sanders has to overcome whatever he had had to overcome – only the passage of time will make that clearer to the world – these are first- and second-tier events that have shaped them as they go forward to produce third-tier effects. You see? People influence as much by what they are as by what they do, if only because what they are determines what they want to do and how they are able to do it.
But this is only preliminary to our point. There is no meaningful distinction to be made between private and public life, nor between changing others and changing oneself, nor between one’s private emotions and one’s public attitudes. We would italicize that sentence for emphasis, but if you don’t want to, fine. The point is, it’s all one world, and many of the 3D world’s troubles arise from people treating it as if it were not.
So, you can’t change the world while remaining unchanged yourself. In fact, the only way to change the world is to first change yourself. And the only way to know what you want to change is to know what you want to be.
I thought this was going to go off in a different direction.
It still may, depending upon time, energy, and attention.
Let’s try, anyway. I may not be in the same place tomorrow.
Good you recognize that now. It takes two hands to tie a knot, or hold a jump rope, or – fill in your own analogy. We and you cooperate across the invisible but unavoidable ever-changing moment of present-time as it manifests in your life.
The point you were expecting is that people find it easier to imagine changing the world than to actually change themselves, and of course this is true. Similarly, they find it easier to remove the mote from their neighbor’s eye – perhaps with the best intention – than to remove the beam from their own. And of course when such externally oriented people confront equally externally oriented people attempting to change the world in some different direction, they are outraged, since the others “clearly” are doing evil.
It’s certainly obvious today. People who have been calling for “change” for 40 years and more are outraged and puzzled that the change they are getting is actually push-back from their own pressure.
That’s certainly one way of looking at it. So we will add – for the moment – only this. In this you observe the third-tier effects of the vast impersonal forces blowing through your lives, animating what you are and thus animating so many conflicts and
Enough for the moment. Go in peace.
As if we could! Odd for you to put it that way.
One more way of stitching together things you are experiencing as separate.
Interesting. Okay, see you next time. Thanks for this.