Choice and forced choice

[I have had to fill in some blanks here, connections not necessarily clear to those on the outside of the “me-and-my-guys” loop, which I have done with comments in brackets.]

Thursday, July 12, 2018

4 a.m. I wake up aching, neck stiff and actually cracking as I move it, and I wonder why, and I think, too, this is what makes people think their health is beyond their control. Then I remember spending so much time desperately gasping for my next breath, convinced that I could make the asthma attack – by then a condition, not an attack – correct itself by somehow getting hold of it, and fighting – and going on and on, to exhaustion and beyond, never thinking to go to a hospital –

Valiant in its way, I suppose, but to no degree sensible.

4:30 a.m. Perhaps the assist I got at the Discovery program is wearing off. [I was wondering if the difficulties with my body reflected a lessening of the mental or call it spiritual level I have been living on since then.] Guys?

You will always find others to compare yourself with, and the results will always be unsatisfactory – but this includes other versions of you and the life you live. You might have done this and that much better; you might have done them much worse. Comparisons are futile and indeed can be harmful.

I understand that, though perhaps I never thought to extend it to other versions of my own dealing with living.


Well, yes, but. [Basically, “But what can I do that is useful?”] But – oh, I get it. Continue to trust.

Your friends ___ and ___ show you the futility of living without faith. Valiant, but not sensible.

Interesting analogy.

Why not use the help that is available? [Non-3D help, in this case.]

I see. Even help to be employed against a part of our own psyche, so to speak.

It is easy, in 3D-constricted circumstances, to be tempted to give up to what seem to be external circumstances. But that is a choice, not a forced choice.

“Forced choice” as in chess, where your opponent has maneuvered you into an impossible or anyway undesirable situation?

Life is not chess, and it is not a matter of rigid rules and fixed places and a built-in zero-sum situation featuring an active opponent. Instead, it is a free-form dance in which many people (seen and unseen) participate, skilled and clumsy, deft and clueless, not so much in antagonism as in competition for shared space at the same time. Rules are provisional and are different for everyone, in that one is bound only by the rules one cannot disbelieve in.

[I particularly like this: “Rules are provisional and are different for everyone, in that one is bound only by the rules one cannot disbelieve in.” That explains a lot about life, it seems to me]

One attempting to apply chessboard rules to a free-form dance is going to be subject to frustrations and anger.

I can see that.

When things get worst, the greatest potential for redefinition is manifesting. What you do with it, of course, is up to you.

I think of defeated Germany in 1945. That situation would qualify as a worst-case situation for them, I would imagine.

And they were only a few years from resurrection as a vibrant democratic state rather than as a moribund state in the clutches of a determined group of pirates.

But how would their way forward be said to be up to them? East Germans had a quite different experience of postwar life than West Germans, as it depended upon which countries had conquered and occupied them.

We never said nor implied that one consciously chooses one’s circumstances (other than in the ways that common sense and experience tell you that one does).

But – it seems to me you just did say exactly that.

Everyone chooses his or her reaction to circumstances shaping (constantly) the life they lead. There is a difference.

Okay, I see that, and sure, big difference.

That’s all you need, a choice of attitude. Or, as we said, live in faith. If it was good enough for Abraham Lincoln, it will be no less good for you. Not that one person’s trials and burdens are comparable to another’s, but still it is illustrative. Life in its detail is far too complex for anyone in 3D or out of it to comprehend, but life in its motivations and ground rules is relatively simple. Get those right and you have, not a road map, but a sure orientation as you proceed upon what is necessarily an unmarked trail.

This is helpful and I will put it out, minus the two specific names.

That [deletion] will be helpful in its own way, in that it may cause some to wonder, “Are they talking about me?” – and the answer to that is, yes, to some extent probably we are, for discouragement is a pandemic temptation in 3D circumstances.

I certainly have found it so, although not recently. Our thanks for this.


5 thoughts on “Choice and forced choice

  1. “Are they talking about me?” Well, yeah! And talking TO me also.

    There are days when I don’t have the sense or strength or where-with-all to remember faith, much less live by it. And for me, it’s more like trust — being in the present moment and trusting that whatever’s going on is just fine, and I have all that I need to cope.

    I’ve just spent the last two days railing against my physical limitations. Today I’m feeling better and have some perspective. It’s darn hard to do that in the middle of not feeling well. My TGU continues to remind me that I will always have what I need, to do exactly what I really want to do. I can let my limitations be an easy excuse to say “no” to anything I don’t really care to do.

    Comparing myself to earlier versions of myself is VERY unsatisfactory. I am wasting my time longing for the “good old days,” which had their issues that I have conveniently forgotten. It takes me out of being here now. For me, it’s being in the moment, embracing and not resisting what’s there When I do that, I move into a state of joy and gratitude even for the poop that’s in my life. And poop (excrement), in the right context, has it’s value.

    Life is a free form dance, and one is only bound by the rules one cannot disbelieve in. I like that. A lot to consider there.

  2. More very useful stuff to meditate on.
    I particularly like the comparison between
    life and chess.

    Thanks again Frank.

  3. After 50 the body seems to bring in more challenges. And many seem to be struggling with body-related things now. 4 weeks ago I sprained an ankle right before the start of weekend dance workshop. I drove to the venue on my adrenaline, hobbled on one foot to the dancefloor, danced lying on my back (free-form dance) while the adrenaline evaporated to let in the weeping-in pain level pain. A lot of compassion opened for me. The 2 days mostly dancing lying on the floor or sitting, on Sunday a little bit upright, too, but not walking. The foot still hurts while walking, even now. I have learned to walk slowly, because that way there is no pain. A genuine meditative walk that enhances the feeling of being present. Could not call sick for the dance workshop, because the theme was belonging. My pet self-pity has been not belonging here. Wrong planet, wrong people etc. And normally I move a lot in space when dancing. Foot forced on me a different perspective. A complete teaching itself. Belonging and not belonging researched in the dance as perspectives. Do differently and you get a completely different perspective. No way any of this would have happened without the ankle. I find it a bit rich to be grateful for a sprained ankle, but the frustration, hobbling and pain were a moderate price to pay what I got. A good deal. I would take it again if I had to choose. And a part of me is yelling: you’re mad! Bonkers! Its pain, sickness, negative, baaad! Ha! So what? It is a gift of a strange shape that turns out very useful. Thank you for yet another spark that got me going in formulating seeings and experiences a bit further. I was thinking about this as I was driving to work, and then work interfered, and now I see how parts of what came while driving already has evaporated. The momentariness, the dream-like wispy quality that points to completely new knowing (meaning not easily attached to old memory structures – that is how long-term memory functions, by attaching to old memories). Should write immediately – and then go back and read again, so the new structures in the brain get strengthened.

  4. Thank you, Kristiina, for sharing your experience. I understand your feeling of not belonging. As a kid, I would look up at the night sky and get so forlorn. I used to wish that Star Trek’s Scotty would beam me up and take me where I belonged. I see your courage. I am brought to tears.

    Getting old really isn’t for sissies. I’ve decided to write myself a letter. I’ll write it during the days when I’m feeling good, when I’m connected to my All That Is, and when I can see the big picture. I’ll encourage my self that can’t see past the present situation, who might be tired or ill, who’s doing her best to put one foot in front of the other. I’ll include the practices that usually help me break my malaise. And I’ll cheer her on, reminding her that we are all here for her.

    1. The body and the infirmities it is heir to! Old story to me, given that I have been very prone to illness all my life, specifically asthma, which may not seem like much, but does remind one periodically (like the slave some Roman conqueror employed to whisper into his ear, to remind him), “Remember, man, you are mortal.”
      Well, we’re all going to die, sooner or later, and go on to other things. When one is young and healthy this may seem tragic. As one ages, and especially as one succumbs to illness, and one’s loved one depart, and as the things of this world lose their luster, it may come to seem more like a splendid promise of better times to come.
      You kids will have to trust me on this! (I turn 72 in a couple of weeks. Time to get a cane and grow a long beard.)
      As to feeling like we are orphans who were born into a royal family and either abducted or sent for safekeeping into a family of peasants — well, maybe we all feel that way. But it’s a lovely life, take one thing and another, and one we may later remember with nostalgia. I sometimes imagine myself finally on my deathbed, going, “Wait! Wait! I’m just getting the hang of it!”

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