TGU on our relation to ideas

Saturday November 25, 2006

Joseph, I miss talking to you. Every once in a while I happen to see our talks — as this morning when I went back a year in my journal — and I miss the connection. So I hope you have something you’d like to talk about — or I hope you will pass me along to someone who does. I do have a question — what was the point of all that information from you and assorted others? Am I not to shape it somehow, or was it to send out on the electronic Internet from the cosmic Internet?

[JS:] Few things here have only one purpose, haven’t you noticed? We like to kill many birds with the same little bookshop. It was good practice for you, it changed your ideas about yourself, it showed you how what you call the cosmic Internet can be used, it got out information and ideas to hundreds of others, one passing it to others without your knowing it. So if nothing else got done with it, what’s so wrong with that?

Remember your regular guys — yes, I’m one of ’em — been telling you for years, “if you want to write, write. If you don’t want to write, who’s going to make you?” There ain’t any contradiction between living something (which means making choices) and having a plan, or a hope, or a direction, to accomplish this or that, big or little. Like you’ve heard how many times – we’re always on plan B., and you’re here to choose.

Free To Choose was the name of that Milton Friedman book that made so deep and impression on me, years ago. That hadn’t struck me.

You mean, we hadn’t floated it by you. Let’s talk a little psychology here. There is a work that you could do and it is not too late for you to do it.

Yes, I know, the Copernicus book.

You cannot write a technical book, nor is it desirable that you do so. Your task is to inspire those who would be delighted to take the ideas you can present — ideas that will resonate within their own mental and intellectual and spiritual “system” one might say, so that they find a life’s work, or a part of a life’s work, in explaining and developing these insights.

And who cares who gets the credit?

Do you care?

No. I don’t. Maybe when I was younger or what I thought that would be how I would make my living.

It is nonsense that anyone tries to take credit for ideas or the development of ideas. No one as an individual can bring ideas to him. Credit may perhaps be earned for doing the actual work involved in turning the idea into a shaped concept.

You say — you experience the reality as — “that idea struck me”, or “that thought occurred to me,” but usually you don’t really think that. Usually you — most people, of course, not just any one person — in practice consider that it is your thought, your idea. Well, yours in that it is given to you for stewardship perhaps. Yours in that you may have done the necessary preparation, perhaps over a span of many years. (And indeed there is a sense in which you may have prepared and been prepared over many lifetimes, strings becoming cables by use and elaboration in practice.) But yours only in the sense that your lungs are yours, or your kidneys. They are a part of a functioning organism and you identify with the organism. But you could not have created them consciously. You grow them, which is something altogether different, and you provide a matrix for them to repair and maintain themselves, but you do not create them.

Now it is true that by your choices you provide a better or worse environment for them. You may nurture or abuse your body, too.

I see where this is going. Proceed.

You can see now why certain concepts have been left vague and why you were content to leave them vague. The lack of false precision was much more productive than its opposite. “The guys” rather than someone named George, rather than a named group that would be defined as part of you or not part of you or a little of each. Precision is the antagonist to new growth. And so on. Any scheme is useful to a point and harmful or at least obstructive beyond that point.

And can be used by various others to suggest a new scheme?

Perhaps it would be better to say a new way to phrase old schemes not currently in favor. Truly there isn’t much new under the sun.

Only the history you haven’t yet read, Harry Truman used to say. So what would you[-all] like me to do?


Yes but what choice would please you most? No, I know the answer to that — I’ll know when I am on the beam or off the beam.

Like everything else. It is mostly a matter of listening.

Joseph, I sent us off on a side trail, I think. Let’s go back to the question of what I can do with the material you began furnishing me nearly a year ago.

You got a tremendous lot of material in your session transcripts, and the stuff you and me got down, and other things here and there. But it won’t get used just on its own. It didn’t get transcribed and sent out over so many years by itself. You had to do it. So either do the grunt work or pay somebody to do it. Either way the next bit is the part hardest for you, and easiest — shaping it. Hardest because it requires activity you don’t like to give it. Easiest because organizing comes easier to you than to most. I can’t help it if that is a contradiction: you are the contradiction. Or rather, you have the contradiction within your ring; you have strings and threads and ropes that pull opposite ways.


2 thoughts on “TGU on our relation to ideas

  1. “Your task is to inspire those who would be delighted to take the ideas you can present — ideas that will resonate within their own mental and intellectual and spiritual ‘system’ … ”

    Interesting to read this 12+ years later, as it pretty well sums up how this information has worked on and for me.

    And I grin at the response to “… but what choice would please you most?” Very similar to what I get to such oft-repeated (now recognized as rhetorical) questions: always something on the order of “Choose … it is mostly a matter of listening.” 🙂

  2. This is so well expressed and so useful to me in understanding my own writing. Your words often inspire and shape and direct mine as I sit in front of the computer. And to think, these are ideas given to us for stewardship and may be the culmination of lifetimes of preparation. It’s a great perspective.

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