Thursday, May 10, 2018
5:10 a.m. More on the nature of the present moment?
We are sketching the present moment as trance, remember. It is real, it exists, but it isn’t what it appears to be. And the deeper one sees into its nature, the more the picture changes.
Any present moment has its own inertia
So many contrasting qualities being thrown up for simultaneous consideration, I realized I’d have to stop and recalibrate. Take a breath, in other words, and slow way down.
It is always possible to slow down, and advantageous. Better, of course, if one has speed to slow down from. Very difficult it can be [Channeling Yoda here, apparently!], to gain speed if one is not naturally gifted with it. That is the purpose of many a spiritual discipline – to help people gain speed. And then there are other disciplines to slow them down, depending upon need.
The complementary attributes of any given present moment are inertia and plasticity. For the moment, we will consider only these two. As you saw, or anyway felt, the number of attributes could be multiplied beyond the possibility of coherent consideration. Slow and steady wins the race.
Plasticity is how the individual chooses among potential realities. Inertia is the quality that presents a coherent reality in the first place. That’s enough for you to explicate, so do that briefly and we will expand upon it.
Well, I get that we’re back to Castaneda’s tonal and nagual, or my own distinction between the world of the living present moment and of the dead present moment, in other words between reality as experienced directly and the same reality experienced 1/30th of a second later by the senses. The first is plastic and may be affected – chosen – by the individual will. The second is fixed and is there to be accepted by the individual will. I am sure it isn’t that simple, though, and even as I write it I get that it isn’t correct.
No, but it advances the argument, so it isn’t a waste of time. Do not allow yourself to forget – this is addressed to whomever should read this – that in describing reality as experienced by intuition and by the senses, we nonetheless describe the same reality. It’s easy, in dealing with abstractions, to allow them to sort out in your mind so that certain attributes are here, contradictory or complementary aspects are there, and in practice you are considering one thing as if it were several. Reality has plasticity and inertia, and that must be remembered, or the picture resulting will be distorted.
Let us consider the inertia of any given present moment, bearing in mind that although we have to consider any given present moment as if it were separate from the rest of reality, in fact there is only one moment, one present living moment, experienced in different circumstances.
I do know that, and after I realized it, I realized equally that it can’t be explained logically – at least, not in any way I know of – but only intuited. Once we realize that it is all one living present moment, many logical difficulties vanish – like how I in the 1990s could affect Joe Smallwood’s life at a moment in the 1860s, and vice versa. But our 3D circumstances argue strongly against the realization.
That is why mathematicians and other scientists who dwell in the realms of the abstract are closer to you than are those whose logical structures are based in sensory investigation. But we would rather not go down this side-trail, contenting ourselves with notching a tree to mark the place.
The present moment as you encounter it in any one instant of time has considerable inertia whether considered from the intuitive or the sensory. Inertia from the sensory you should well understand; you experience it all your lives. It is a prime function of 3D to provide that persistence, that drag. Slowing events down, slowing causality so that it may be experienced and lived, is one prime purpose of the 3D world. If you want things to happen in conformity to your will, just come out of 3D – but don’t expect to have it both ways. The increased freedom you experience will be exercised not upon a stable platform as in 3D, but in a wilderness (or playground) of unbounded freedom. It isn’t the same experience as you might expect.
I think you just said, we might think we’re going to get to exercise unlimited freedom of will, but it won’t be exercised against a stable background, so there won’t be the Superman effect of vast powers relative to the environment.
Now, we said the living present moment – the living present as experienced directly through the intuitions, which of course means also through your non-3D extensions – has its own inertia. What do we mean by that? Clearly we don’t mean that physical structures or forces or events act as drag upon non-3D forces. So, what do we refer to?
Well, I get that you mean that every mind that participates in that version of the present moment has a presence, a weight, so that any one of us is always vastly outnumbered. We can’t reshape the world mentally any more than we can physically. Or, to be more careful, we can’t reshape it instantly, without effort, without weighing our force against the force of everything else.
In other words, mentally, spiritually, psychically – however you wish to phrase it – the world has a solidity in the same way it does physically. This ought to be obvious, but is often lost sight of.
I get, “In fact, mental and physical aren’t even different things.”
They are different aspects of one thing, so how could they be different things? But that’s how they appear because of the difference in your intuitive and sensory input, and in your mental structures derived from the experience of living that way.
Now, you know that every moment of historical time has its own persistent realty. You all have lived your lives in just that way, having no choice. So couple your experience to your concepts, and realize that although life is not exactly what it seems to be, neither is it entirely different than what it seems to be.
In other words, do the work of thinking these things through as you give us new concepts or new connectors.
That’s the only way you will make it yours. You can’t blindly accept or blindly reject and make any progress. You have to do the work. If the people listening to Jesus or Gautama went away saying, “cute story,” and did no thinking, no absorbing, what did they gain from being there?
So, the inertia of the present moment. You will always have to deal with the reality presented – held – by other people’s minds. It is like the continuity provided by mountains that do not move.
“Minds” wasn’t the expression you wanted, but I couldn’t find it, and decided not to fish for it lest I lose the thread of the statement.
Yes, it’s not an accustomed association for you. Sink into it.
Difficult. I’m getting a sense of people participating in a magical ritual.
If you had a group – a village, say – all performing the same ritual, you would in effect have a persistent temporary group mind.
That’s right. And –?
What they held would be in effect a magical creation.
Continue. We know it is slippery so far, but it will firm up.
The spell would somehow amount to the total of what (not who) they all were.
It would consist of all the properties contained in all the individuals – functioning as a group – in all their extensions. A very complex mixture, you see, rife with possibilities and contradictions and tensions creative and destructive.
Just like the life we experience here.
Not like it, it. This is one way of describing what your life is. Or, let’s say, a way of describing one aspect of your life. It is why external life (for that is how it seems to you, external) is so intractable. You can’t just will a thing into existence. If you bring it into existence, you do so by exerting effort against this inertia. You oppose or you steer or you manipulate or whatever, but you do not create against no background, any more than you jump into the air without kicking against the floor.
Think on this, and next time we’ll return to the plasticity aspect of the same unbroken living present moment.
You always go off somewhere unexpected. I can’t tell you how satisfying that is to me, even though I recognize it as, after all, my own accustomed mental life.
And that is a point we need to make now and again: Everything we point out is familiar to you in other contexts. You all are as much experts on life as we are, and you have as much access to what we know as we do. How could we succeed in reminding you, if it were not so?
Well, our thanks, as always.