You are not alone
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
5 a.m. Shall we dance?
“You are not alone.” You will remember that sentence, your moment of liberation from the sense of isolation that had plagued your life?
Oh yes! It was a message in a Monroe exercise at Gateway, 26 years ago this month. I’ll never forget it.
Well, that same message is what we have been repeating here. It is the subtext of our discussion of the individual and society. You are not alone because you comprise multiple strands connecting you in all directions, and you are not alone because you interconnect in so many invisible ways with others, directly and indirectly.
The message is simple and powerful, and is stated in many ways, not always recognizable as the same message. All is one. God is love. You see? Spell it out a little.
If love is expansion (and fear contraction), then it ought to be obvious that concentrating on love is concentrating on expansion. That is, it is overcoming barriers, and strengthening a sense of interconnection. We are all one thing; the universe (that is, reality) is undivided; resist not evil: It all amounts to the same pointer.
Yes. There is nothing sentimental or soft-hearted or soft-headed about it; merely, it is a road-sign: This way to the exit.
Now, you function as individuals in relative isolation and relative interconnection. This isn’t telling you anything you don’t live every moment of your lives. What is sex, in its positive forms, but an overcoming of the sense of isolation? What is friendship, or professional association, or any dual or joint endeavor? What is absorption in a novel or a movie but a merging of your mind with another world? But of course all these are temporary. They may last seconds, or days, or decades, but they pass, for all things pass in 3D life. Only, the third-tier effect need not pass, and that is what you live your 3D lives for.
Interesting always when I observe my own reactions to something unexpected. I have to continue, rather than to examine. It’s like being a lawyer defending a cause he doesn’t believe in.
No, not quite that. A better analogy?
A teacher setting forth a mathematical model he doesn’t understand.
Yes. That’s how you bring forth anything you don’t already know.
Okay. Perhaps I shouldn’t have interrupted, but I wanted to make note of it, it was so striking. Pray continue.
A 3D life might be seen as an unending succession of first-tier experiences, cumulating and interacting, ultimately producing third-tier effects.
First-tier being the event itself, second-tier being one’s reaction to it, and third-tier being one’s considered reaction to it, in the form of a change of character or a confirmation of character, depending.
Yes. It is, in a sense, the conversion of a 3D moment to a non-3D tendency. However, this should not be carried too far. At the moment our focus is on the fact that the sense of isolation individuals may feel is always true and always illusory, or, at least, misleading. You are not isolated, nor helpless, nor lost, nor ignorant. The fact that your life may appear to be any or all of these things is a sure sign that you are not seeing things as they truly are, but as they appear superficially – that is, as they appear to the senses and logic when lived without intuition and its certainty.
This is one sense of Maya, illusion, yes. Not that the world does not exist, but that it is not what it appears to be if one looks at it only as external, unconnected, accidental, unjust, fragile – you name the ways people have experienced the world as a harsh place.
When a person moves from isolation to connection, from chance to interconnection, from injustice to the connection underlying appearances, the world remains what it was, but the individual’s eyes open.
So at the moment we are focused on one tiny and superficial aspect of that awakening, the connection of the individual to the society s/he lives in. This is superficial in that it looks at physical, 3D, manifestations as if they were not themselves manifestation of something deeper, but not everyone can see those deeper connections, and so they would have to believe in them, which many cannot do. So we will skate the surface for the moment, and hope to entice you all into deeper exploration on your own.
An individual exists in a web of relationships, and of course the extent of the web is different for everyone. Some live in a rich and nourishing web of family and extended family and a supportive well-known community that functions as a tribe. Others may be orphans in a hostile environment; nonetheless they too function within a web of relationships. There is no other way one can be. The relationships may be hostile, threatening, brutalizing – life in a gulag or prison or in a gang, say – but nonetheless they are relationships.
And the individual’s reaction to circumstances determines his third-tier result of even so brutalizing a life. Viktor Frankl’s example, again.
Frankl, or any criminal who ever repented, for any reason. Any person whose eyes ever opened to a new way of seeing life. Any [religious] convert, say.
These would seem to be unrelated examples. Interesting how even the mere juxtaposition of the innocent victim, the repenting criminal, and the religious convert shows what they have in common.
Yes. Now, returning to our theme of how the individual affects society. Think of each person as the center of a ring – the rings that result from dropping a pebble into a pond – and the sense you get is of the crossing and mutual interference of so many pebbles, so continually dropping as to be endless. Not a very encouraging picture.
But think of each individual as a thread on a loom (or, if that image is too static, as – well –
I know what you are searching for. Nothing comes to mind.
Perhaps if you describe the effect in words, an illustrative image will surface.
We’re looking for some kind of matrix to hold individuals in defined relationship but with freedom of movement. Not so easy to find. The stones dropped in a pond are each dropped in a different place, causing cross-currents and interference. We experience that, certainly. But we want an analogy to the cooperative and cumulative effects we also live. I think of the keys on a piano, but that is too fixed. I have a vague sense of marbles in a fluid, but that doesn’t quite work.
Perhaps a less subtle analogy will serve. This isn’t right, but is closer. Suppose a densely-packed mass of individuals on a field. One person nudges a neighbor, purposely or inadvertently. The neighbor, being slightly or greatly disturbed (physically, not emotionally), winds up transmitting the nudge, which continues to be transmitted until it dies out by being diffused.
Not a very good analogy, I agree. I get a sense of Russian soldiers on parade ground, tightly packed, in heavy winter gear. Can’t tell if that image is meaningful or not, but that is what came. In any case, I don’t think it serves.
It may, if not carried too far. It includes a sense of close interconnection, of inadvertent impulse being transmitted, of a retained formation. But of course the sense of stiffness is uncomfortable, but is not 3D life often uncomfortable?
The immediate point is that you are never alone and you cannot fail to affect those around you, but we have not here established that second point. Coming attractions.
Okay. Thanks for this, as always.
[And as I check my blog prior to transmitting this, I find this comment on a previous post, from Kristiina, in Finland:
[“Getting a very nice picture of a wave of an impulse traveling through the neuronal system. Like when you shake a long and narrow mat and the movement wave travels through the length of the mat. But brain connections are more like a fan, so one impulse will fan out into a lovely fan-like pattern and I imagine points of light at the ending-points of an impulse. The pattern of ending-points is the “realization” of something in consciousness, be it “I need to do laundry” or “the philosophical significance of connectome (the collection of connections in a brain). The brain (and we) have a society of connections that can create wellness or unwellness depending on the way the impulses are routed in the system. And the impulse in itself may be neutral but the result can be a war, a sickness, an invention, art or something else? ? Hmm, I am making new connections, thank you! I should write more about how this relates to current brain research but don’t have the time now.”]
Let’s hope she does.