Friday, April 5, 2019
All right, friends… Any advice?
More important is the insight you got on awakening that you are on the verge of forgetting.
Yes, but presumably you can help me remember. It was about choosing?
Every time you revisit your life, you have an opportunity to resolve to be different than the person who made that decision. This is the value of introspection and repentance, only it is not well understood if it is seen as merely good intentions for the future, or regret for the past.
I can see that. Another example of the importance as context of the metaphysical understanding people bring, or don’t bring, to their lives.
State that a little more carefully.
Say your church lays down certain rules of conduct, and you attempt to live those rules. What you are trying to live will differ, depending on what you think they mean, what they ask of you and promise for you. If you think life is a keeping of accounts against a final score, that’s one view of life. If you think you will be judged good or bad according to how you acted in your life, that is a second. If you think you will be judged good or bad according to your predominant intent during your life, that’s a third. And all these are only alternative ways of understanding the world that share a way of seeing it: One time, one space, separation from others, you as poor soul vis a vis an immortal omniscient God.
And if you belong to no church, and recognize none?
Still you have to deduce the rules of the game. Why are we here? What is right and wrong? What is worth doing?
Exactly, and that process of deduction will result in whatever your conclusions about reality dictate.
If we believe in reincarnation of the same soul, that’s one thing. “Past” lives. Or one life, then judgment. Or life as meaningless accident.
More, if you believe one reality, or an indefinite number of realities. If you believe in your being isolated or in your being part of everything. If you apply “as above, so below” to your speculations about life, or not. All those suppositions and conclusions will have their effect. They must, in the nature of things.
Now, try setting up a church whose rules will apply to everyone. Try setting out a code of conduct or an explanation of the meaning of life that everyone can even understand the same way.
It can’t be done.
Different eyes and ears will see and hear different things, regardless of everyone’s best intent. That’s why there are so many churches, so many philosophies and schools of philosophy, so many competing and contradictory schools of scientific investigation.
Not to mention schools of thought on the meaning of the lives of our ancestors. So, back to that insight about revisiting our lives.
This needs to be said somewhat carefully, merely because new ideas are easily misunderstood, due to the human tendency to attach anything new to the already existing understanding, rather than considering it on its own.
Let me restate that last. I think you mean, it’s hard for us to look at anything new in isolation at first, rather than immediately understanding it in terms of what we already know.
And now you understand what the man meant who wrote, “Do not understand me too soon.”
Yes. But that [my restatement] is what you meant, is it not?
It is. Look at it first without agreeing or disagreeing. Taste a new idea, because you are going to have an unsuspected inertia that will want to accept or reject it, probably modifying it behind your awareness. The more slowly you consider something, the more chance of seeing it in unexpected productive ways, and this even if you reject it in the end. In other words, the journey is going to be worth more than the destination sometimes, and is rarely or never justified by or invalidated by the destination.
Okay, that all makes sense to me.
When we say, “revisiting your life,” this is what we mean:
You live, choosing, reacting, resolving, intending, regretting, acting, not-acting (that is, inert rather than in motion, so to speak), and the present moment moves on. Most past moments are forgotten, or are remembered without emotional charge, and these we are not concerned with here.
But some moments burn in memory, usually moments you are not contented with. Happy moments rarely obsess people; it is what they didn’t do, or should have done, or did and shouldn’t have done, that obsesses them. It is what happened to them by others (or by circumstances, even) and not
I know where that last bit is going, but we ran out of words. It sort of means, the things where we think of ourselves as being acted upon, rather than as acting, and not in any good way.
That’s the idea. All the things one stuffs rather than cherishes become both potential problems and potential reward, or let’s say potential field to be explored for buried treasure.
Hence, analytical psychology – or confession, I suppose.
Your friend was not wrong in saying, “Self-knowledge is always bad news,” except in making it an absolute, for that would falsify this very real truth. It is true that in 3D life, you tend to avoid touching sore spots; however, it is equally true, as Carl Jung pointed out, that your unconscious mind – that is, the part of your mind of which your 3D component tends to be unconscious – contains greater, not only lesser, versions of your possibilities.
So. Something happens in your past. Someone hurts you, or life delivers a blow, or you hurt someone. Whatever the specifics, it is not a happy memory. Now, perhaps you stuff it and never see it again. Or perhaps you stuff it and it pops up anyway, from time to time. Or perhaps it obsesses you and it requires continuous strenuous effort for you to repress it, that you may live. Or perhaps it slumbers until some certain thing occurs to wake it, at which point it becomes one of the conditions noted above.
How can you deal with it, whether it manifests as suppressed memory, active unrelenting obsession, occasional irritation, or suddenly aroused uncomfortable memory? The answer depends, oddly, upon your metaphysics, even if that metaphysics expresses in religious terms, or scientific terms, or artistic (aesthetic) terms.
Walt Whitman admired that animals did not lie in the dark and weep for their sins.
We will not attempt to say what Whitman meant, but we will say that weeping for your sins implies repentance, yes, but it also assumes that “what’s done is done,” which is true only in the most superficial view of 3D life. It entirely overlooks alternate versions of your timeline, and it entirely overlooks first-, second- and third-tier effects. The first-tier effect happened, and (at least, for any given timeline) that’s that. The second-tier effect, your reaction to the first-tier effect, and the third-tier effect, your changes in response to past reactions, are malleable. They may be altered at any time, and repeatedly. Your life is written in pencil, or in chalk, not in indelible ink, not carved into tablets. And it is this malleability – rooted in the primacy of the non-3D world as it interpenetrates the 3D world – that is the clue you needed.
If you move into an altered state of awareness – altered, that is, from your normal preoccupation with the “external” world and the present moment, and your ideas about them – you can relive those key moments, can visualize a different outcome, can pull to yourself a different present reality rooted in a different third-tier experience from that same first-tier event.
This is very powerful and very easy actually, if your assumptions do not paralyze you, but it depends upon an understanding of the facts of time and space that most people do not have, and are not taught. If your church or your school of philosophy or your branch of science does not realize that “life is but a dream” in a very real sense, how can they prescribe useful rules of conduct, or construct useful maps of reality to guide you? Yet such rules and maps are necessary and cannot be deferred until the moment that everybody is awake and aware. Hence, your numerous and often contradictory religions and philosophies. No need to postulate malign intent. Lack of knowledge serves just as well.
“Never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity.”
Only, less “stupidity” than “ignorance.” There is a big difference, and it comes out much less judgmental. Enough for now.
I should think so. Thanks for this very interesting discussion.