Tuesday, September 11, 2018
4:45 a.m. I spent so much time recently on other things. I feel like I am out of touch internally – and it occurs to me, this is going to be a problem for others, as well, and so if I can find a way to deal with it, it will have wider applications than for me only.
So, guys, the issue of staying in contact. It’s more complicated than I have been thinking of it, isn’t it? It isn’t clear-cut.
Let’s say it isn’t on/off. When you are reading a book like Trask, there are multiple layers of attention. In so far as the story includes the element of a man needing to learn to get into touch with his deeper self, your absorption in the story may actually deepen your own connection. But in so far as it involves an outer set of events – as of course it must – you may forget yourself in the interest of the story, which isn’t the same thing at all.
Now, this isn’t black/white either. Reading a story is somewhere between experiencing the outer world (usually as something “objectively” there) and dreaming (usually experienced as “merely” internal, “merely” subjective.
As Paul Brunton well points out.
Yes, only he didn’t happen to discuss the function of story in his exploration of the roots of consciousness and the nature of reality. At least, he didn’t in what you have read so far.
Yes, that was going to be my caveat.
Sometimes it is just as well for us to show you that we know. If not for you, for your eventual readers.
I was thinking this would be private.
You will find that a less clear-cut distinction, too. Anyway, as you read – as one reads – a story, one balances awarenesses, simultaneously.
That’s very interesting. I get it as I write your words, of course, so we’re ahead of ourselves as usual. But it is very interesting. I hadn’t been thinking of stacking levels of awareness, so to speak.
Well, we said it was more complex than it first appeared. That is true of pretty nearly everything: Consciousness, life itself. Anything is more intricate, the closer you look at it. But
Yes, I heard you. You were going to say, “but you’ve got to slow down.”
Yes, and do you see why?
Only that it’s very intricate, and if I try to say everything at once, I will slur over important distinctions, and may garble it entirely.
And not just you, of course. Anybody whose vice is speed rather than sloth.
So let’s look slowly at this question of how a non-3D mind in a 3D body experiences the world. And, you see, in this case it is not only a question of “which you” but of “which world,” or rather, which elements of the world should be included.
I’m getting a sense of it, as you proceed.
There is the world of apparently objective, apparently external reality, the world of things that are out there. There is the world of 3D-plus-non-3D, that requires more attention in order to be perceived that way. There is the world of one’s own body and immediate life, seeming equally objective and (in a way) external. And there is the world of one’s relation to the rest of it – to the outer world; to the perceived greater outer world when one is able to perceive the non-3D as part of the same whole; to one’s own body and life perceived as if external.
You as observer of it all are actually observing and participating both, and to the extent that you are aware of this, you add yet another layer of complexity to the total.
So now, “you” read a novel like Trask. What is happening? Your body sits in a chair, or walks around, or lies down, or whatever it does as you send your eyesight sequentially absorbing the words that are to form pictures in your mind. To any third party observing you, you are just sitting there with your nose in a book, withdrawn from the world.
True enough. but at the next level, the level of 3D-plus-non-3D, your bodily actions are background allowing you to rise from the level of “exterior, objective” reality and experience whatever it is that the author paints (plus whatever associations are called forth out of your own experience, of course). You are aware of your body holding the book; you are aware of your eyes reading the words, but you are more aware of the dream you are reading. The dream you are reading, that is, with your own inevitable additions and corrections to the minutes. All your prior life goes into the reading of a book. No two people ever read the same book, nor does anyone ever re-read the same book, you see. At this level, reading the book changes you in the way that any other “external” experience changes you. You bring yourself, as you are, to the experience of reading, as you do to going to the grocery store or talking to someone or doing anything in the world. There isn’t the difference that people sometimes think there is.
So, reading a novel is experience of life in a different way. Slow down.
All right, I can feel the difference [when I speed up or slow down], it is true.
Reading a novel is experiencing “first hand” seemingly, what you can never experience first-hand in ordinary 3D life, that is, another person’s life from the inside, or even a third-party description of that other person’s inner life. That’s the fascination of it, and the potential reward. A novel can take you places you could never go in person. So can a movie, of course, or many other forms of story-telling, but let’s stick closer to Trask as example.
When you read a novel, it is a case of “which you” reading about “which world.” Only, it isn’t any one, of either, but of all, at once, only rarely perceived that way.
Let me try to tease that out, as I get that it would be easier. I hear you saying all the various levels of our psyche experience reading, each in its own way, and in fact that is true of everything we do.
And I get that a novel is closer to a set of cues, or sparks, than to the logical exposition of one idea or story that we might think it.
True; depending, though, upon the kind of story. A story that is about a man’s discovering other dimensions of himself is going to have a different effect (usually) than a story about a detective investigating a crime – at least, it will, depending upon how the writer of the detective story draws his characters. It may lead the reader into deep waters by his suggestions along the way, or it may merely take the world for granted. In any case, you can see, there is a difference, even if the exact degree may be shades of grey. Then, as you move down the scale, you may have formulaic exactly-what-you-expected stories like romance novels, designed not to bring the reader into unexpected territory. Or horror or pornography or other genres that implicitly take the 3D world for granted in that they depart from them in an attempt to shock or titillate, but not transform.
So if you have multiple “you”s reading multiple levels of story in any given story, you can see the complexity, and this is a good thing. It offers potential for free-will choosing. Only, some forms of novels are bounded differently from others.
Richard Bach and John D. MacDonald aren’t describing the same world.
That’s right, and neither one was Don Berry [author of Trask], though perhaps Bach is closer to Berry in some ways, and MacDonald in others. But just as every reader is a different world, so, obviously, is every writer.
We have wandered, here, seems to me.
The theme is this: Reading per se will not lead you away from your non-3D self nor per se keep you in touch with it. The variable is how you are as you do the reading.
Not much of a conclusion.
The conclusion by itself would not have carried conviction. The important part was the setting out of the conditions of life as you read. When you remember that multiple layers of you are engaged in the same activity at any given time, you may remember that life is much more inward than it often appears. The practical point of this, though, is this: Whatever you do, you may do with greater or lesser awareness. As you increase awareness, at first some confusion may arise, in that you are aware of cross-currents, and it makes a distraction. But as you accustom yourself to remembering your multiple layers of experiencing reality, instead of confusion there is a clearer perception of the structure within the chaos.
But what you read may help or hinder the process. A novel like Trask, too, may be read in a superficial external way, slurring over what is said between the lines, or in a deeper internal way, taking the external story more for granted and the suggestions more seriously, as the point of the novel.
Thus, one reason for re-reading.
Of course. In re-reading, you can’t help be less taken with the plot and more with the characters; and more, too, with what the author says mostly between the lines.
It’s a cliché, really. What you do, do consciously, and its inner nature will be revealed to you. More to the point, your inner nature will be revealed to you. If you don’t block it, that is.
Okay, well, thanks for all this.
If you remember who you are, what you do matters less. Of course, what you do may assist or hamper your remembering.
Got it. Okay, till next time.