[A book with four interlocking themes:
- how to communicate with the dead;
- the life of a 19th-century American;
- the massive task facing us today, and
- the physical world’s place in the scheme of things.]
[Friday April 21, 2006]
(10:15 p.m.) Well, Joseph, what did you think of the biography of William Sherman that I just read today?
[After a minute or two I realized there would be no answer; probably too late in the day.]
Saturday April 22, 2006 (8:45 a.m.) Joseph?
Well, it was interesting, of course. I didn’t know the half of it. I had just the general idea you did of his life after the war, no more, because I was gone by then.
So – do the dead watch what happens – or not?
We don’t watch Huntley-Brinkley, as you would have said. Always when you think of us, think in terms of focus as much as anything else. You are alive, been alive 60 years, but how much did you focus on, say, the politics of Chile? Or the intricacies of brick-laying, or the mysteries of the Kabala? It was all going on around you, but your focus wasn’t there.
It ain’t any different among us on this side. We can focus on events in 3D earth, but pretty much we have to have a reason. A person’s interest in us is a reason; sometimes a plan or a working-out of something is a reason. But otherwise we don’t necessarily care what is going on.
So – Sherman as interpreted by historian Lee Kennett?
It sounds pretty much like the man as we knew him. Didn’t know the psychological reasons, didn’t know any details of his life before the war – knew he’d been to West Point, but that was about it. But we knew the hard-driving nervous, always ready to explode man that book paints. We didn’t know he got depressed – got the blues, we would have said – but we sure knew when that “red-headed old cuss” got mad.
Now one thing the author might have pointed out is that by the end of the march Sherman was very popular with the men, and earlier not, for one simple reason that ought to stick out a mile. Look at all he did – and he did it without getting us slaughtered. That’s kind of important to a soldier, you know! He wants his side to win, sure enough – but he would kind of like to be still there standing at the end of it. At Shiloh he was popular because his men knew that if they had been whipped, the union would have been whipped – that day, I mean, on that field. Of course I don’t mean the whole show would have folded. Working with Grant, all the way to Chattanooga, he was respected as a general that knew his business, but nothing beyond that, far as I know and heard from the boys was with him then. I wasn’t at the battle outside of Chattanooga but I never heard his men criticizing him for it, they just thought they’d been given a hard job to do, attacking uphill, and they were plenty glad to have the other troops get ’em out of their fix by rolling up the Johnnies from the other end. But I didn’t hear anybody blaming Sherman.
Why can’t you tell me the name of that mountain?
Well, now, look at it a minute.
You know the name, even though you will persist in calling it Missionary Ridge – you just read the entire account of it yesterday. If I (who don’t exist, remember) can’t give you the name, and you want to keep the flow going anyway, why don’t you sort of silently provide it and get on with the story?
You’re implying that there’s some sort of blockage there for some reason.
I am. Here’s the thing that is hard for you – but it may be hard for others too, and they’re going to have to get around it somehow – blockages exist, and they are always blocks for some reason, because things don’t happen for no reason! Now, you got Carl Jung to talk about why – but the point is, you can look at those blocks as being inside your mind or you can look at ’em as being between your mind and the other side. You are often tempted to see ’em as existing on the other side, which makes you wonder how that can be, which makes you wonder if you’re making the whole thing up – you know. But your doubts are helpful here, because they’ll lead us clear them up a little. You ain’t the only one to have this trouble.
That’s a little sketch to help you. That’s you on the left side – in the 3D world. You connect through the veil – it’s misleading but it’s useful, and you got to have some analogy. On the other side of the veil you got us.
Now when you are contacting one of us – me, say – that’s you connecting over to A. You’re experiencing me as if I was one person only. That ain’t wrong but it is only one way to see it. At the same time you’re thinking of me as A, you’re really connecting to B – which is a bunch of us, A being one of the bunch. So if A is Joe Smallwood, B is the guys upstairs, you see. Remember – I know I’m beating you to death with all this, telling you time and again, but I’m going to do it a little more – remember, all this is analogy; there just ain’t a way to describe a man on a mountain to a fish at the bottom of the sea. It’s your own figure of speech, there, so you ought to understand it.
Well, sometimes when you’re talking to A or B the logic of the discussion leads to calling in somebody else. That’s C, that’s reached not by A necessarily but maybe by somebody in B, and maybe you don’t even notice that B got involved, and why should you. But maybe the one we need is far enough from our own vibrations that we need an intermediary – then B contacts C who brings in D. And of course there can be a whole chain of intermediaries and you wouldn’t notice, usually. This is a very long subject but I’ll say just this much. Who you are in 3D, the thread you choose to follow, what you aspire to and lean towards, determines what is closest to you. If you pursue a life of steadfast refusal to look inward, how likely is it, do you suppose, that you’ll be able to talk to Carl Jung? Or that he will be able to use you to talk to others? If you whole-heartedly believe in Jeff Davis, how easy will it be for you to sympathize with Abraham Lincoln? And “sympathize with” is more or less what we’re talking about, here. Think of the word “sympathize” as “resonate with” and you’ll get the idea energetically.
(12:35) Joseph? What’s the deal with that battle? And release the name of it, please.
You mean Chickamauga?
I don’t know. That sort of sounds right but I was pretty sure it was a mountain name. not Lookout Mountain, that was to the south of it, but – some other mountain name, and I can’t find it and am temporarily too stubborn to go look it up.
That’s one reason things may not come through, that you’ve experienced but not thought enough about: When you are sure enough about something and yet it won’t come through the way you’re pretty sure it ought to – sometimes it is because you are misremembering, or mis-concluding, and it is a mental-body problem, not emotional on your end or mine of in between (which are thee other possibilities.
I’ll go look.
It was Missionary Ridge, just 100 years to the day before John F. Kennedy’s funeral. Now looking back – earlier this morning, Joseph, you said this: “You know the name, even though you will persist in calling it Missionary Ridge – ” Now what is all that about? Yes, I was calling it Missionary Ridge. It was Missionary Ridge. You had to know that – so what is the point of that little bit of misinformation?
You will remember, you confuse in your mind Seminary Ridge, Cemetery Ridge, and Missionary Ridge. You heard Missionary Ridge, you were for a moment cast back to Gettysburg, you took it as a misidentification and then put it on me to say “not that, something else.”
I don’t know. That doesn’t seem right to me. While having breakfast with Rita the question came up, why should it be a block for you, and she speculated maybe you’d been injured there. I said, but he’d been injured at Gettysburg, then thought, maybe you’d expected another miracle at Missionary Ridge (not being able to name it, though) and I guess fantasized this interaction between us, including your semi-guilty feelings (now) about half-resenting (then) the angel that didn’t show up a second time.
Did get an insight, though. My presence turned anguish to awe, which moved your mental body enough to “heal” your back – and the healing added to the awe and served to hold it long enough for you to recover normally. The pain from the back, added to the anguish heard on all sides, had put you over the top into a sort of jumbled place mixing internal and external; muting the physical pain through moving you mentally had reduced the pressure to the point of allowing you a normal mental existence again.
But what of the misdirection?
It wasn’t intentional. All that explanation of blockage that followed was all to the good, and wouldn’t have come if we hadn’t explored the terrain – but that ain’t the same as saying I deliberately misled you. The best is to say that in this process – as you well know! – you and whoever is on the other end of the line got mixed up, and it can be hard for you to keep the two ends straight, as it becomes a little arbitrary.
Yes, that’s true enough. It comes in sometimes, and changes, as it is coming in, and I have to try to figure out which version to use, and who’s doing the changing (same question, really) and I sort it out as best I can, on the fly, because experience has taught me that too many qualifiers and explanations prevent anything from coming through.
So – what of the insight that came as I talked to Rita? Real? Tentative seeking out of ground? Just imagination?
Sure. Whatever you want.
Well, ain’t you the one has to make sense of things? If I tell you, or anybody tells you – anything – don’t you have to do the sorting out, to see what you can believe or not?
Yes. I see that. It’s 1 p.m. and I’m tired again, though we haven’t gone very long.
Don’t forget nice easy walks. Be good for you.
Let’s go on a bit. You were going to tell me – before we got involved in this long detour! – about how the men felt about Sherman.
Yes I was. It’s simple enough. Some other general – Grant, say – might have just put his head down and butted his way into Atlanta. Not Sherman. He and Johnston – two of a kind, those two – they fought a war of maneuver all the way back to the city, nearly, till that great military man Jeff Davis got impatient and replaced him with Braxton Bragg. Bragg didn’t have any more sense than a jaybird, and he was easy to beat, and then Atlanta was ours. But Sherman took it without getting us slaughtered, and his whole march to the sea was the same. By the time we left Savannah we knew we could count on him to take care of us.
Well, dammit, something is going on! It wasn’t Bragg, it was Hood. I thought so and just confirmed it. There is no way a soldier in that campaign could confuse Bragg and Hood.
This is getting me all tangled. Bragg commanded at Missionary Ridge, as earlier at Chickamauga. He was relieved sometime soon after Missionary Ridge because it was Johnston that Sherman faced till Johnston was replaced, but by Hood, not by Bragg. How could Joseph confuse this? I could easily enough, though not now that I have put my attention to it – but how could he? It all beats me.
Sunday April 23, 2006
(8:45 a.m.) David? I need some help here.
I know. You’re like Daniel Boone, confused for three days. You’re not lost till you give up or you are rescued.
That is about it.
Well, another way to look at it is, if you have a radio and occasionally you get static instead of a program, that doesn’t mean the station doesn’t exist, or the radio.
That’s true. I need to keep reminding myself of that. The thing is, the chief weakness I see in the New Age types and in people trying to live intuitively, in general, is that sometimes they prefer certainty to doubt at times when doubt is appropriate.
Openness can be overdone. So can doubting and certainly so can closed-mindedness. It is a balance, and sometimes you need to be shifting more one way, sometimes more another way, or you lose balance, and down you go.
That’s it, exactly.
Just don’t be discouraged when you need to shift or even when you fall – as long as you get back up again. If you travel a half a mile on your bicycle and then you trip it and fall – was that a failure? A sign you shouldn’t ride bicycles? Or is it just an opportunity to do a little swearing and get up and off you go again.
No, that’s right. Thanks for the pep talk – very efficient.
That’s all right. But maybe the pep talk didn’t exist?
Very funny – but I am smiling. Thanks, David.