TGU — the present moment as altered state

Monday, May 14, 2018

3:35 a.m. Very good sessions last week. Can we keep it up? Your move. How is our present moment a trance?

Like a trance, we said. It isn’t an exact correlation. More like a trance than like a physically fixed phenomenon. It is, you might say, always an altered state.

Altered from what? Altered in what sense of the word?

Altered in the sense of directed, focused, intended, in a certain direction.

I’m sorry but that isn’t nearly clear to me. It isn’t just that I don’t have words, it is that I don’t know what you mean to express. Oh, and I hear it. Okay, I’ll recalibrate.

Okay, go ahead.

Remember, vast forces are at play, personal and impersonal, and they are always at play, because the moment is always the present moment. There no more exists a dead past or a dead future than there exists dead matter. Everything is alive; everything is in flux continually, — only rather than “in flux” we would say is “alive and growing,” or “alive and choosing,” or “alive and interacting.”

What this means in practice is that instead of you thinking of a stable picture that gets perturbed, you should be thinking of perturbation as the stability. Continual interaction, in other words, is the norm. Change is not interruption or incident; it is the air we breathe.

This means, you see, that any present moment of reality anywhere involves the totality of being. There is no such thing as a local unconnected incident, if you examine things closely enough.

“All is one” again.

Well, we never said it isn’t true, only that it is misinterpreted, and accepted superstitiously rather than intelligently.

Because everything is connected does not mean everything is equally important at any given time-place (as 3D is experienced). But the relative importance of this and that fluctuates not by size or inherent nature or even by what is going on around it: It fluctuates according to intensity. You see?

No, but I am beginning to, maybe. It is different for each of us at any given moment because at any given moment each of us will be lighting up different things. Each of us will be lending this or that some of our own intensity, you might say.

That’s more the idea. What you concentrate on (deliberately or in reaction to some stimulus) acquires greater intensity. In effect, you promote it to greater importance. Not permanently, not for anyone else exactly, but at that moment and for yourself.

I am deliberately going slowly. I feel like I have about a fingertip’s grasp on the material.

Well, take these sessions as an example of just what we are talking about! You intend to hold a conversation with us. That is, it is held as important in your mind. You get up, you make coffee, you sit at your desk, you write with your pen, you even hold your fluorite crystal in your other hand in case it can help you concentrate. This is all intent and what we might call bodily indicators of intent, you see. The bodily indicators by themselves help, because they are habits, and habits encourage the mind to return to a familiar routine – you can’t call it “routine train of thought,” exactly; call it “routine area of interest.” But bodily indicators by themselves do not suffice; they degenerate into rote and superstition unless maintained in connection with active will.

I think of intellectual Thomas Merton – is this your thought prompting me? – praying and knowing the difference between active mental (spiritual?) practice and going through the motions. He must have seen the difference very clearly in his decades in the monastery.

But that [individual] mental intent flickers, if unassisted by habit. This is the origin of, and reason for, so many religious practices, you see. (We know that it is unfashionable to appreciate them, but after all any attitude toward anything not well understood will soon resemble bias more than understanding.) At any given moment, an independent mind may outshine minds in harness to a routine such as prayer, but over time, prayer bounded by – assisted by – routine and by community will attain a higher average level, so to speak, than will the fluctuating individual. One might say it is a function of a spiritually oriented community to provide a continuing average encouragement in a certain direction. This applies whether you look at a Benedictine monastery or a Gurdjieff community or a Zen Buddhist temple or whatever. Islam attempts to make every day a day of habitual prayer (five times a day, and in public) as a way of doing what the medieval church in Europe did.

Got interrupted just now. Continue?

That little aside was to show you that what we are discussing has its practical application in your everyday life. (If it did not, why bother talking about it? Instead we would talk about something that did have practical application.)

Now, as we have said from the beginning, you continually choose what you want to be, and this is one aspect of that process. If you repeatedly fix your intent upon one thing, it in effect acquires a relatively permanent importance in the scheme of things. You “voted” to make it more important (to put it into Ed Carter’s terms). You emphasized one thing and in the process automatically de-emphasized its opposite. You said, “I choose to value this, to be this, and not that.” (You might, of course, have said you choose to be this and that, and in effect not the other; our point is not rejection so much as selection. Even choosing to accept everything would be in effect to reject the option of rejecting something.)

So if I get the point of this, you are describing the mechanism of “create your reality.” We fixate on what we fixate on, and that assumes correspondingly greater importance.

That is a very acceptable way to see it. Now, bear in mind the distinction we are beginning to draw between personal and impersonal forces; between personal and impersonal reality.

Yes, I see it. Although I don’t have a clear idea of what the vast personal forces are, at the moment, I can see that they would be the things that would directly enter into our choice. Seth concentrated on these in order to restore to us our sense of our power. But there are also vast impersonal forces in play that need to be taken into account, if we are to have a more complete picture.

That’s correct. Your intent for the ever-present ever-current living moment is not the whole story – how could you think it is, when your whole lives tell you otherwise? You have to factor in the existence and influence of the vast impersonal forces that create the “weather” in which you do your intending. If you will hold in mind an image of any given present moment being more a trance than an objectively bounded condition, you will be in a place to continue. So let’s pause here.

Okay. See you next time. Thanks as always.


5 thoughts on “TGU — the present moment as altered state

  1. The “trance” concept reminds me of the buffet metaphor. If you look around the table, everyone has a different combination of food on their plate. We all went through the same buffet line, but each person came away with their own plate of food, depending on their preferences, hence focus. If someone particularly likes stuffed grape leaves, they will notice them immediately. Someone who doesn’t care for them may not really register that the grape leaves are there. So we each have our own “filter,” but this is maybe better described as our own “trance” because it is not static but morphs and changes as we interact with what we experience as we are continually guided by our focus.

  2. In this case, the impersonal factors may include such things as 1.) the people who planned the buffet and selected the food to be served, 2.) the traffic on the way to the event that contributed to your being late or on time, 3.) your employer sending you on the business trip which held the buffet, etc.

  3. “You “voted” to make it more important (to put it into Ed Carter’s terms).”

    Hugs to Mr. Carter from one dimension to another. What a great book he wrote – so much concept within concept….and all layered to speak to multiple levels of comprehension.
    : )))

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