Sunday, May 13, 2018
4:35 a.m. Okay, yesterday you talked about vast forces impersonal and personal. You said you also wanted to talk about the trance of the living present moment.
The trance that is woven by those forces, you see.
Well, I don’t see, not yet, but I imagine you intend to show me.
We do. Remember, this refers to the interface between personal reality and impersonal reality.
Hmm. The first Seth book I ever read was called The Nature of Personal Reality, but it never occurred to me until this moment that it might imply a corresponding impersonal reality.
But now it appears obvious, which tells you something.
Yes. It tells me that I wasn’t very perceptive, and that the very obviousness of the congruence of the two indicates that the perception that it implies is right.
Your very life should have told you that what Seth was saying wasn’t the whole story.
Should have, but didn’t.
Seth was trying to fill out the picture. In the 1970s, the West took for granted that reality was impersonal. He was there to say, “No, you are not flies trapped in amber. You create your reality.” Only, that was a corrective, not a full statement, and was so deliberately, as only an exaggerated emphasis on one end would compensate for the exaggerated emphasis on the other end that was an entire materialist civilization’s assumptions. It was Seth against the world, so to speak. But now you live in the world Seth helped reshape, and it’s time to re-trim the ship again.
What you’re saying makes sense.
Very funny. You know what I mean.
We do. And in a mild way, we mean thank you – thank you for not putting Seth up on a pedestal either. [“Either,” I take it, meaning because I don’t put TGU there anymore either.]
Well, I do regard him as the gold standard in these things.
And that is warranted. What would not be warranted would be to canonize an idea of Seth, or to treat his every word and concept as if sacred and not subject to reconsideration according to context. So, thank you for remembering not to do that. As soon as you regard as final someone’s words (which, realize, will always amount to your understanding of those words), you have lost most of the value of those words. Words are meant to be sparks, remember, not nails in a coffin. Didn’t Seth say that he came in this way – as words rather than as a physical presence – so that people would not be able to turn him into a prophet, and his words into scripture?
It’s a common tendency, though. You know that.
That is why we are thanking you for not succumbing to the temptation.
Now, you may think this is a diversion from our topic, but in fact it is an illustration of it. It is the
Yes, I hear it: Slow down, recalibrate. I notice I get that message usually when you are about to unpack a complicated concept.
That’s when it is usually needed. If it is only a matter of your expressing what we are saying – your finding words for the knowings or feelings that are coming through – you do that fluently, product of long practice at writing plus long practice, by now, of that kind of translation. It is when we come to a bundle of interconnected ideas that we or you have not tried to put into sequential thought – which is what language consists of, sequential thought – that we sometimes need you to change gears, slow way down, reach for the understanding and allow itself to unfold within you.
I have usually experienced that as my being impetuous, and needing to restrain it.
That is true relatively; in those instances, you see, you are overrunning the process. You are moving at your customary pace, but over terrain that doesn’t justify that pace. It isn’t a criticism of you or of your practice; it is a readjustment so you don’t run out of breath on the uphill slope, so to speak.
Okay. That’s an interesting way to think of it. So, you were saying?
[The following came out as one long paragraph, which I went back and reformatted as bullets, for easier understanding.]
The trance of the present moment consists of several elements.
- Every individual’s private world.
- The sum of those private worlds.
- The drag of what was established previously, and
- The drag of what is in process.
- The “weather” provided by the interface of the vast impersonal and personal forces upon these individual private worlds.
That’s a lot of unpacking in prospect.
Yes it is. But as so often, you will see that what you wind up with is a mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar, both more strange and less strange than you might expect. As usual, we’re showing you things you already experience, but from our viewpoint rather than yours, and in a different context. What we are always painting isn’t hard, it’s just different.
So let’s go down the list, annotating, and see what we have.
I’ll put your graf into bullet points when I transcribe this.
Good idea. You might mention (but you didn’t, so we will) that you were tempted to do so as we gave them to you, but didn’t know if there would be enough to warrant it. That is an example of the kind of editing-on-the-fly that the work entails. We mention it lest others be deterred as you were once, when they realize that they are an integral part of the process of deciding how the thought is presented. We are not Seth, dictating.
Yes, I get that. In some ways it would be easier on me if you were.
You wouldn’t stand for it, and anyway that isn’t the need at this point. Very well, the bullets:
- Every individual’s private world. Your life as you experience it. What you are accustomed to calling your subjective life. This is the only inner reality you know.
- The sum of those private worlds. You are not the world. Everyone else has a private world that is the world to them. Reality consists of all these worlds separately and all these worlds considered as one thing.
- The drag of what was established previously. This might be subdivided, because it includes many things often considered individually. Your cultural heritage. The physical reality of whatever has been done: buildings constructed, rivers dredged, hilltops strip-mined, etc. The habits and perceptions that are embedded in experience – hunters’ wisdom, say; skills and trades and accustomed routines.
- The drag of what is in process. This is not so easily seen until described, but call it the tendencies established by whatever is in existence as a result of past actions. The zeitgeist, in a restricted sense. The age’s idea of what is realistic and possible, and of what is fantastic and even unthinkable.
- The weather. This of course requires a lot of discussion, but for now let’s say the aspect of the zeitgeist that is the way any present moment is affected by the vast forces that are not generated by human mental activity but do affect on-going human mental activity.
Your present moment is never as simple and straightforward as it appears.
No, clearly not.
Well, the interaction of so many factors is what we are calling the trance of the present moment.
I haven’t quite worked out what you’re wanting to add, there.
It is a common way to see the present moment that we’re trying to see how to undermine, and it is our hesitation you experience.
Interesting. Your hesitation. I was assuming it was mine.
That’s why we pointed it out, to correct the idea.
Let’s say this. Any given present moment is not simply the addition of a moment of time to a fixed past. We know it looks that way to a certain habit of mind, but it isn’t so. Neither is it tabula rasa, totally malleable to any individual will. (If you think it is, try moving Egypt to Indonesia, or if that’s too hard, try reversing the result of any recent public action, or, for that matter, relocating yourself across the world – or next door! – instantly.) The present moment is always an interface, and it is more plastic than fixed, but fixed in the limits of the boundaries of the factors that surround or inform that plasticity.
Did I get that right? It doesn’t sound right.
We mean, it is fixed but not by physical inertia nor even by mental inertia. Rather, it is more like a trance than a ratio, or the results of a formula.
Some good unpacking, here. Enough for today.
Okay. Thanks as always, and until next time.