Saturday, October 13, 2018
4:15 a.m. A question via email from Ernie Rockwell
“If you are still taking questions, do TGU have anything to say to those of us who took Gateway [The Monroe Institute’s initial program] but nothing special happened? No wow moments, no people we seemed destined to meet. Pleasant and informative and met interesting people however so was still worthwhile.”
So, guys, any response to that?
The way the question is stated, in itself, says that the questioner is at a certain level of development. Not every motor requires kick-starting; not every new process begins with a jolt.
Meaning, that isn’t what he needed? Helen Warring, TMI’s longtime registrar (or whatever her title was) used to say, “People get what they need from Gateway,” meaning much the same thing.
More or less. We would hesitate to suggest any place or thing or process as a panacea, being somewhat more cautious than you are. And we would remind you – and others – that the long-term effect of any experience is not necessarily obvious, not necessarily predictable. But the salient point in your lives is, as always, this: Things do not happen (nor, for that matter, fail to happen) without reason. Therefore, you may count upon the fact that any experience, pleasant or unpleasant, bears within it some service to you, which may or may not be evident or even discoverable.
In the sense of, all problems are by nature opportunities. So, to address Ernie’s question directly –?
We just did, only we addressed a much wider question as well.
Expectations? As in, be in a state of expectation but without expectations?
While that is a positive, productive attitude to take toward life, bear in mind that to suggest it in this specific context would be to imply that those who do not receive dramatic or even discernable results are somehow at fault. Instead, we offer reassurance to those who have done Gateway and those whose financial obligations assure that they will never be able to afford to do a Gateway or equivalent: The universe is not experiencing shortage of funds that requires it to provide only inadequate opportunity. “Ask, and it shall be given” is still the way it works. Only, it doesn’t work if you allow yourselves to be hypnotized into a sense of helplessness and lack.
All right, I’m going to segue that, possibly at your prompting. I do experience quite an active sense of lack of resources, helplessness, in one specific area of my life, and I know many others are experiencing it too, though it seems to configure differently. I refer to the loss of my country.
You might sketch out your premises, lest people jump to conclusions.
Yes, because as usual I am not with any herd or flock or whatever, but am at the edge.
The events of the past 24 years, in particular – ever since a cadre of hard-core government-hating Republicans took over the House of Representatives – have divided the country. The stolen election of 2000, the entire divisive presidencies since, the obviously rigged Democratic primary season of 2016 and the stolen general election, all of it. (My brother said, “The bad news is that Trump won. The good news is that Clinton lost.”)
You need to slow down and state your assessment clearly. Whose fault?
Okay, that’s right. The more closely I look at things, the more I see that the question of “whose fault” depends entirely on who you are, what you think, what values you uphold, what blindnesses you contain, what intolerances, superstitions, fears you embody. I don’t suppose there is much use in itemizing blame by ideology or party, but a couple of things have become blindingly clear.
First, the role of fear. People don’t do their best, or act their best, when they perceive an opposition in terms of fear.
That isn’t yet clear.
Politics may divide people, but when they fear, their ability to discern the common humanity of others diminishes. They forget the things that are held in common, and see (and magnify) only the things that fit their fear-driven definitions.
They can’t see straight.
Yes. They think – to the degree that they do think – in clichés; they perceive stereotypes; they confuse nightmares with reality.
Your point here is that both “sides” are caught in the same psychological trap.
Yes, and it is a vicious cycle. And neither side sees that its own view of reality is warped. It sees only the absurd distortions that blind the other side.
Which carries worrisome echoes, for you.
Yes. It is America in the 1850s all over again, only this time not divided neatly into contiguous geographical sections. But the inability to communicate is similar; the fear-blinded hatreds are there. the ascendency of men of ill-will is there.
Let us make your point for you, here.
I wish you would.
A process of hatred reciprocally added to is toxic, self-sustaining, and must be lethal.
I’m not sure I even comprehend that latter part.
Your underlying question was, can it be justified, your sense of on-rushing social doom?
Yes, I guess that is it exactly. In my personal life, I proceed day by day and trust what comes. In the larger scheme of things, well, I’m watching a slow-motion tidal wave that is going to sweep everything away. It has gotten bigger, more encompassing, all my life. Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, all the immediate after-effects of the 1963 coup – but they’re almost trivial in extent compared to the tsunami Bill Clinton triggered.
You are still not saying it. It will sound political.
I know! I can’t figure out how to say it.
That’s a bad affirmation.
Right. I haven’t yet figured out how to say it. What I’m seeing is far beyond political, but it expresses in political terms.
But if you accept that framing, you cannot get beneath it.
I know. It’s ideology, but really it is beneath ideology, too.
Yes it is. Keep digging, but slower, calmer, more casual, almost.
That’s asking a lot.
It is providing a reminder of the only condition that allows you to see beneath the superficial roiling of the water.
Recalibrate. I get it.
I believe I have been watching – all of my life, ever more clearly – the systematic disappearance of the America I knew, good and bad both, and the substitution of something very different.
And it is the uneasy awareness of that same process that is fueling hatred and desperation in the country, on a graduated accelerated basis.
Everybody perceives it, and everybody blames somebody else. Like the stuff I got with Hemingway a few years ago.
You might dig it out – you don’t have to do it today – and lay it out for people. It may give them a new perspective. But meanwhile your hour is about up and we have barely scratched the surface of this important topic. Fortunately there is always another day.
Until there isn’t.
Worried about an accidental termination, now?
No, I guess not. Just a bad habit.
Notice that that bad habit is not particularly connected to your personal life per se, only to your – what shall we call it? – your conceptual life as it interacts with the not-obviously-personal.
Isn’t that fundamental, though? We feel we have a certain control over our own lives, and next to none over our lives as citizens.
We will address that if you will continue to bring the issue to the table.
All right. I hope you can help me phrase what I see so strongly but cannot seem to express at all clearly.
Perhaps that is a sign that you aren’t seeing as clearly as you think; that unseen internal contradictions are interfering with your expression.
Well, any assistance will be gratefully received.
Even if you don’t like what we say? We smile. Till next time, as you say.