Loosening the reins

Friday, September 14, 2018

6:25 a.m. Again watching movies, in a way. In the middle of the night I woke up from one and thought, “How intricate!” Maybe not in so many words, but that was the meaning. Such an elaborate story, having nothing in particular to do with me, as far as I could see or feel. Netflix in the night, only I don’t get to choose the features. Nor do I think this is unconnected with yesterday’s topic, and presumably today’s.

So, guys, you want me to loosen the reins of imagination. How?

First –

I know. Recalibrate, slow down.

Well, you’re seeing the effects in many contexts, aren’t you?

I am. When Michael and I were talking the other night, he noticed the differences.

And when you observe yourself, you too notice. So now, only an occasional reminder is necessary.

A word to the wise, or anyway to the hurried. Okay. So –

It is less a matter of learning new good habits than of unlearning old unhelpful ones. We are talking of your loosening the reins, you see: That implies that the horses are already in harness, and it is up to you to steer rather than rein in.

A pun comes to me, without much point: “Long may he rein.”

A useful play on words, at that. Use a longer rein. We aren’t saying take the horses out of harness – far from it. Only, they know how to work the trail better than you do. You have picked (or will pick) the trail; let them see to their own footing.

But – the “how” of it?

Learn to go slowly enough that you have time to observe. Keep your attention where it should be, though it vary at any given moment.

You mean, I think, pay attention in the appropriate way, no matter what subject matter may be appropriate at any given time.

That’s right. Sometimes inward, sometimes outward, sometimes both, sometimes (in deep meditation, say) neither. This is not about narrowing your mental world, but about sharpening your focus on whatever you observe.

That seems a bit contradictory. I should sharpen focus yet loosen the reins.

The difficulty here actually illustrates the tendency [that is] to be overcome. The same character traits that enabled you to function well with ILC rather than with channeling or with ordinary 3D logic and reasoning are the traits getting in the way here.

My putting in my oar too vigorously?

Your trying to steer, unconsciously. You have in mind that the theme is how you loosen the reins, and you sort of surreptitiously – behind your own back, as you say – keep trying to keep us to the point. You do this much less when you don’t know where we’re going.

I can sort of feel that. Any helpful hints how to not do that, or at least become aware of my doing it (beyond your telling me)?

It is a fine point, but you are able to discern it and learn from it: When you want to steer, either just don’t, or say so explicitly, which will make it conscious or rather overt, you see, where it can be handled, as we are doing now.

I keep telling people, “until you make it conscious, it runs you.”

And this is a lesson that you truly have learned, but there are always deeper levels to integrate. Don’t worry about it, but don’t forget it, either.

All right, then – steer away.

Well, a little carefully, here. You steer in the larger sense, only keep a looser hand on the reins.

Terribly mixed metaphor, between boats and stagecoaches.

Shall we discuss metaphor, or shall we stick to the point?

You’ve got me smiling. Proceed.

You imagine your life. You all do. Only, in 3D, the land of delayed consequences, what you imagine does not materialize – interesting word – immediately. And by the time it begins to materialize, you may be imagining something entirely or partially contradictory, as in assuring yourself that your deepest intuitions or most cherished dreams are impractical, pipe dreams, stupid, childish, escapist – you name the epithet, somebody is even now cancelling their dreams by using it.

We are talking here of third-tier consequences, and we’re going to recapitulate them for those who may not have been privy to that discussion.

First-tier. What you actually experienced in a 3D moment, whether that moment was an instant or years or a lifetime. This is Viktor Frankl in the concentration camp.

Second-tier. What you decided to make of that experience, a decision that may be made consciously or unconsciously. This is Frankl deciding he will not succumb to hatred and futility.

Third-tier. How your character changes over time. That is, the cumulative effect of so many decisions (which may contradict each other, or mutually reinforce, or some alternation of the two). This is Frankl after the fact, living with his pain, transmuting grief into understanding and hopefully into pity.

So, you see, day by day you decide what you will or will not allow into your definition of reality. Day by day, first-time experiences offer you the chance to reaffirm or modify or contradict. Regardless of the strength or nature of first-time experience, second-tier effects are always within your choice, and you are at least peripherally aware of the fact, though you may choose to choke off that awareness.

A couple of comments come to mind. I remember George Ritchie’s description of the Polish lawyer and POW that the GI’s named Bill Cody because of his mustache and because they couldn’t pronounce his name. He had survived a full six years in the camps, after having seen his wife and children lined up and shot, and had survived not only whole and physically healthy, but the personification of love, the man all the other prisoners trusted to be fair. Cody told George that when his family was shot in front of his eyes, he realized in a flash that he had to decide whether or not he was going to be consumed by hatred, and instead chose love.

The other example is from my own life, and I see now – well, I have seen for quite a while – that I might have reacted well to bad situations, and a little spark well inside knew I could and should, only I didn’t usually listen. Instead, I listened to the resentments and the fear and the anger of the moment.

In the second instance, we would say that your third-tier effects contradict your first- and second-tier effects, which is all to the good. On the one hand, you could call it learning from experience; or you could call it metanoia; or you could say with the Sufis that a moment of true awareness of who and what you are will allow you to soar over your sins even though your sins be like scarlet.

Now, this may seem far removed from the announced topic of “how you loosen the reins,” but – do you still think so? Could we have gotten here if you had insisted on sticking to what was more obviously germane?

I get your point. There isn’t any point in asking for guidance and then rejecting it as it comes because it seems to be answering a different question.

That’s loosening the reins.

Got it. Okay, thanks for all this.


One thought on “Loosening the reins

  1. Frank,
    I’m delighted to read these last two posts, as guidance has been pushing me to ‘open up’ (‘widen’ Elias would say) for a while … these ‘hints’ from TGU help a lot!

    This is the ‘hard work’ I alluded to: rewarding, difficult, satisfying, frustrating, and hard … “You know it don’t come easy” Ringo would say. And one of the most exhilarating, scary, exciting adventures of my life … count me as one of your “acolytes / aspirers!” 🙂

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