Saturday, May 12, 2018
10:55 a.m. Shall we go again? It’s easier than trying to do the work I find runs so counter to my grain. Notes and logical analysis and all that – necessary to do what you want done, and I hope it will be done by somebody for whom it is as easy as these conversations are for me. Why can’t we each stick to our specialty?
In any case – more?
We can’t do this together all day, but we can do more if you wish, bearing in mind that you won’t be doing it next weekend. [My AIG weekend course runs from next Friday to Sunday.]
We ended somewhat abruptly, I felt. Maybe that was me, looking at the clock and seeing that our usual hour had elapsed.
Or that you were at the end of a page? No, such things might enter into a breaking of a connection, but at other times you might go 70 or 80 minutes. No need to assume that you abandoned ship. If we ended abruptly, perhaps that has as much to do with the deep waters we are about to plunge into as with the lapse of time.
You were at the end of a section, you mean?
It was a reasonable place to pause, put it that way.
Initially you said you wanted to discuss vast impersonal forces, vast personal forces, and the trance of the living present moment.
Nor will we do more than begin on any of the three topics, of course. But, as a way of providing an initial orienting view, fine. So let us leave off the topic of impersonal forces for the moment, and touch on the subject of the vast personal forces that frame and influence and even animate your 3D lives.
I’m getting the sense that there’s less difference between the two than the adjectives would suggest.
It’s always more a matter of perspective than of any absolute relation. If you look at any two things from one angle, you see the ways in which they are connected. Look at them from a different angle, and the differences are accented. So long as you remember this, you won’t go making absolute (and therefore arbitrary) distinctions that in their absoluteness become unreal.
Why do religions stress the personal relation between the individual and the divine, do you suppose?
Can we take that as a given? Animism? Buddhism, for that matter? Pantheism?
Good reservation, but look slowly. Even if we take Buddhism to be a religion, does it not center on each person? If we take animism or pantheism to be religions in the same way as what are called “the higher religions,” do they not center on the relation of the person to All That Is? For this moment, we are centering our discussion not on any religion’s idea of God or gods or any formulation, but instead on the believer. We maintain that all religions stress that the person is not stranded among uncaring forces that take no notice of him. Is that a clearer way to state it?
It is clearer; I don’t know still if I can agree with it – and you did ask if I did.
By implication, yes we did. Very well, let us drop the implication and return to making flat statements subject to your later examination.
That might be easier.
“Jesus loves me.” Powerful statement. “God is love”: In some ways a less powerful statement, or a more powerful, depending entirely upon whether the soil the seed falls on is fertile or stony.
I am feeling that you would like to give other examples, but I’m not familiar enough with them.
It needn’t be confined to what you (any of you) call religion. The work of Emoto demonstrates what we might call oneness in compassion. Any way of seeing the unbroken oneness of creation sooner or later comes to the oneness of that creation with its creator – and when it does, who cares (in a sense) how that creator is conceptualized? Now, you do care, obviously, because if that creator is seen as The God of Wrath, or as a tyrant in the image of an ancient Near Eastern king, or of Thomas Hardy’s conception –
“Like flies to boys are we to the gods, They kill us for their sport.”
[Incorrectly remembered. The actual lines, from King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, They kill us for their sport.”]
It makes a difference. The Good Shepherd is a radically different concept. But even a god conceptualized as a vengeful demanding tyrant may still embody (so to speak) the personal element. “You’d better follow his commandments or he’ll clap you into hell when you die, and maybe torment you while you’re still alive.” You see? It isn’t pleasant, it isn’t even entirely sane, but it is a personal relation, as if you were living with a vitriolic unpredictable father. Even that may be in some ways preferable to being an orphan whom no one cares for.
Obviously – we hope it is obviously! – we aren’t advocating any of these conceptualizations as the only accurate way to see it. Instead, we are saying, people have always felt that personal relation to forces that otherwise seem entirely not personal. It is not as simple as saying your ancestors were stupid cowardly superstitious people who personified impersonal manifestations so that they would feel more comfortable. In fact, you could very nearly make the opposite accusation against your contemporary dyed-in-the-wool materialists, and say that they ignore all evidence of teleology in nature, all evidence of non-sensory interaction, all evidence of the created-ness of creation, solely because they find it more comfortable to believe in a mostly dead universe without meaning.
No, people sense these vast personal forces, they just don’t have any commonly agreed upon way of looking at them.
So I take it you are going to suggest such a way?
That’s what we’re doing, right along, of course. Sure. Only, as always, absorb the idea, then wrestle with it. What you reject and reconfigure may be an advance in everybody’s understanding. But – again as always – you can’t get anywhere by refusing to consider a thing except in so far as it agrees with what you already think. How can you experience the clarifying shock of unrecognition if you refuse to look at things you have previously rejected, or refuse to look at things in a new context?
You might think of the vast personal forces in your life as local variants of the vast impersonal forces.
That needs translating. The image that comes to mind is electrical, transformers stepping down current.
A serviceable analogy, if a bit impersonal
Well, a dialect as opposed to a language.
Let’s say, speakers of a dialect, as opposed to speakers of a larger language. Yes, that’s getting there. or families as opposed to clans as opposed to nations as opposed to all humanity as opposed to all mammals, etc. You do have the basic idea there. Unlike the vast impersonal forces that are like the weather, products of forces beyond you, the vast personal forces we refer to are very much the byproduct of human mental and emotional activity. That activity usually results in physical activity, but it is the mental field itself that concerns us at the moment.
But this is enough for now. In the first place, we’d just as soon end on a suggestive rather than a definitive note, and in the second place, this is as much as a usual session, and enough is enough. Don’t come back for another bite of the apple today. If you do, we can’t stop you, but why should you ignore counsel given for your benefit?
I know, remember what happened to Edgar Cayce when he refused to listen.
Remember what happens to Frank DeMarco when he refuses to listen!
Smiling. Got it. Okay, till next time.