Monday, April 15, 2019
7:10 a.m. Gentlemen, yesterday you said a phrase that struck me: “freeing his will from his karma (so to speak.”)
You don’t want to put that conversation out for everyone to see, but there isn’t any reason why you can’t quote a part of it. Quote from “We did the best we could” to “… effectiveness as a man.”
[We did the best we could, maybe.
[We weren’t criticizing then, we aren’t criticizing now. But there’s a point to be made here: Biography makes history. Personal interactions with oneself and with others spill over into what you might be tempted to think of as the “external” world. The better you deal with your own demons – or say problems, if that less dramatic phrasing suits you better – the greater the effect you may have on society.
[You can’t be saying that only the more balanced and mature and self-aware rise to the top! We have a lot of evidence to the contrary!
[No, it isn’t a matter of social position, but of effectiveness. Herman Hesse made no attempt at a political career – why on earth should he have done? – but had a much greater effect upon world thought and culture after he went into analysis with Jung than before. In freeing his will from his karma (so to speak) he vastly increased his effectiveness as a writer, which was only a side-effect of increased effectiveness as a man.]
So, although I think I know what you mean by “freeing his will from his karma,” I get the feeling there’s more to be seen. I know, I know, there is always more. But –?
Here is a simple way to put it, and let’s see how far this brings us. We’ll say “you” rather than “one,” as it will sound less formal, almost affected, but we mean, anybody, everybody, not any one person.
You are a society of other lives, in a way. That’s one way to see any individual, as a present-day personality holding, and comprising, many previous individuals, and your living your life is them getting to know each other more intimately, you might say. They are cohabiting a new structure (you) rather than being the new structure, as when they were containers themselves.
Clear to me, but I’m not sure that it will be clear to those who have to come to it only through words.
You are welcome to rephrase it, if you like.
I understand you to say that each of our strands is itself a 3D individual in another time – is in the driver’s seat there; is the ring holding together its own group of strands. So, when I die, that’s it for me being the holder of the ring; when (if) I return to 3D life, it will be as a strand in some new 3D individual.
Although that description contains a few distortions, it is close enough to be serviceable. Yes, that is what we meant to convey.
Now, you all know from personal experience that you are born with, and need to learn to deal with, certain contradictions within yourself. You might look at a horoscope as a chart depicting what energy patterns can emerge as individuals at any given 3D moment. That is, it describes the angles and cross-purposes and reinforcements and oppositions within you. But we don’t intend to hare off into a discussion of astrology. We use it merely to show external evidence of the fact that no one is born an empty slate. Everyone is born with patterns of inner behavior built into the structure.
I think that would be better phrased, we are born with certain automatic reaction-patterns – the equivalent of instincts, in a way, only different for each of us – and what we are born with obviously has nothing to do with anything that will happen to us (and has not yet happened) in our new life.
Now we will correct you. You mean, the pattern can’t be caused by what hasn’t yet happened.
That’s right. I meant it can’t have been caused by events and our reaction to events (our choices) that haven’t yet occurred. The pattern we bring into life is the pattern brought forth by the intermingling of whatever traits comprise us. If they all fit together harmoniously, we will have one kind of temperament. If they don’t, we’ll have a different temperament.
Yes. So in a way you could say that an individual’s karma is formed of the unfinished business of its strands, plus the interaction of its strands. This forms patterns of automatic behaviors, which interacts with events.
Maybe say, “which are triggered by otherwise neutral events”?
Not neutral in the sense people will take that to mean. Better slow down, take a breath or two, refill your coffee mug. We’ll need to go a little slower.
Remember, too, this is all “in a way.” It isn’t exact, it’s a pointer.
You are a personality, interacting with a world that you experience as “around you,” as “external.” Nothing wrong with that; that’s the design, only there isn’t any harm in seeing more deeply. That personality that expresses you is not exactly you. It is more like a ratio between you and your life in the world. It is a necessity, but it should not be mistaken for what it is not. (One use of meditation is that it helps some people to realize for the first time that they are not the personality they have always assumed themselves to be, but are distinct from it and prior to it.)
Your personality expresses your internal tendencies in various circumstances. This is one reason to choose your circumstances, including your associates, your media-driven mental environment, your aspirations. If you wish to be conscious, the way to do so is to choose rather than drift. (Drifting is not the same thing as remaining receptive to what comes, though they may appear similar.)
And choosing is done within limits. (One goal of your choice may be to widen the limits!)
Those limits are, initially, the baggage you bring into your life by who your strands were. Do you think this is understood?
I think we have said it about as clearly as possible. Presumably anyone finding it unclear will ask for more.
Well, that initial pattern may be called your karma. It is your inventory as you enter into a 3D life. It is at the same time a valuable resource and a source of difficulties, depending on what is happening. But you are not helpless, here, if you choose not to be.
Which takes us back to my initial request for clarification.
It is obvious now, surely? Herman Hesse was being driven by his inherited (call it) tendencies, conflicts, passions, contradictions, etc. In analysis, he learned how to make what was unconscious (and hence out of his control), conscious (and hence malleable). In learning who he was, he gained the freedom to choose rather than be buffeted by the winds.
And haven’t we been stressing the duty and value of choosing, from the beginning?
The more you gain control of unconscious forces within you, the wider your areas of choice; the freer you are to choose to be this rather than that. We have talked about this in terms of values, but it is at least equally true in terms of personal evolution. And your own personal evolution cannot be separated from any larger abstraction like “humanity as a whole,” or “the greater good,” or whatever. Your personal task is always conducted within the context of everything you are connected to, which, if you look at it widely enough, is everything.
Okay, thanks. I’ll put it out and see if we have cleared up anything or obscured it, or what. Till next time.