Tuesday, May 7, 2019
9:15 a.m. Gentlemen? A sus ordenes.
Do you have the stamina for this at this time?
I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out. But it is nice to get my writing done first. So, as I don’t have any idea where you want to go – well, I did have a thought, just now, reading Zanoni. When we think of life being not quite real, and of the material world, the 3D with its rules and limits, as a dream more than a reality, it occurred to me, we don’t usually think in terms of galaxies and nebulae and all that as being equally ephemeral. But they would have to be, of course. Given that you probably prompted the thoughts, you want to take off on it?
Yes. As a general rule – for one and all, not only for any given person – it is important periodically to go back and connect ideas that have been acquired here and there but have been kept in separate buckets. Some ideas won’t be reconciled, but this is not a loss. It’s worthwhile to find your own inconsistencies. Other ideas may shed light upon one another, and of course this is all to the good.
So, you read a book – or write one – or you have a certain series of occurrences. Not everything even within one context will automatically sort itself out. You will need to do some work at it – but it is very productive work.
So reincarnation and quantum mechanics and evolution and coincidence theory and all the concerns of everyday life at a less abstract level, and consultations with the guys – on and on. It is all input, it is all data, it all provides clues. Or (same data, different way of looking at it) it is all sand in the gears, all confusion twice compounded. But even confusion twice compounded may be turned to account! There really isn’t any such thing as bad luck or dead ends except in a context that expects or demands certain results that the universe declines to provide.
Sort of like that irritating cliché (though a true one) that says, “It’s all good.”
How different is that from “All is well”?
Smiling. I suppose All is Well came out of my mouth, and It’s All Good didn’t.
Yep. It is what it is.
I decline to swap catch-phrases with you, thought I would if I could think of any! But where are we going?
A factor that comes more to the forefront than it has been is the disparity between the temporal limits of 3D life and the lack of such limits outside of 3D. Life in the world v. the afterlife, or, better said, time v. eternity. And, so you won’t have to say it, we will: Eternity is not a word meaning “a very long time.” It means outside of time, or, we would say, superior to time.
Existing in a dimension beyond time.
Yes. Now of course this is a religious question and, if we may say so, we have been bringing you along for years to get you to the point where you can consider religious questions as religious questions, without falling into reflexive dismissal or (most unlikely) retreat into sectarian dogma.
This, you see, is the connection we would have you make, between the thought you have been engaged in, and religious thought as it has been expressed over the centuries. There is no use pretending that things that millions of people have believed over thousands of years are obviously ridiculous, or fatuous, or superstitious. Any given teaching may be any of these things, but that is true of any avenue of thought.
If you will not mesh these areas of thought – your own metaphysics, whatever it may be at any given time – and religious teachings through the ages, you cannot progress toward truth beyond a certain point.
I know you aren’t saying take any of it without using discernment, but I put it on the record.
Yes, but that is a slippery path too. It can easily become a habit of judging how far a given teaching differs from where you begin, and condemning it proportionate to the extent of the difference. That isn’t coordinating and it certainly isn’t learning. It is merely reinforcing one’s own prejudice.
Now, Frank, you are thinking you have long ago overcome your prejudices against religious teachings, and we will reply, only in certain directions, only on certain topics. No one is as impartial as he thinks himself, it is merely that he defines his position as the rational, reasonable center.
As my old friend Dave used to say, “Guilty, your honor.”
As we say, everyone is. But to become aware of a defect is to begin to see how to overcome it.
Years ago, I accompanied my fundamentalist son to California and at the end, when I was in an airport preparing to go home, I found a book about the Sufis, and it was so refreshing, so much more me than that judgmental fundamentalist dogma. So, no, I can’t claim to be impartial. But I think I can claim to be not bigoted.
We will concede that. No one is impartial because it would require a lack of preference that is impossible in 3D conditions. But one may be partial without hating what one does not extend to. That is, one can love one’s country without hating foreigners, nor fearing them.
So as for you, so for your friends. To move to another level of understanding, you must to some degree sacrifice your comfort with your religious (or anti-religious) preferences. The world is wider than your idea of it.
But yes, you have reached the end of your stamina for the moment. We can continue this any time.
10:40 a.m. Okay, more?
When we advise you to begin to absorb religious tenets, we are easily misunderstood. Perhaps we should begin by detailing what we do not mean, though to our eyes it ought to be unnecessary.
Religions are compounded of a view of reality, and prescribed rules of conduct. Not the same thing. Are we agreed?
Of course. That the Catholic Church held certain views did not have to result in all its rules. Some of them, probably, but many others were (are?) arbitrary, and might as easily have been adopted and adapted by some other church, either “as well” or in competition. If there is a God with certain attributes and expectations, it does not necessarily follow that one should not eat meat on Friday.
And does it necessarily follow that one need follow the ten commandments, even if one remembers them?
I expect you are about to tell me.
No, we are not. We’re making a different point entirely. Our point here is, Don’t go picking and choosing among a church’s rules and prohibitions. Some may be arbitrary, some may stem from a misinterpretation of reality, some may have become inappropriate through changes in human condition, some may have served validly to distinguish a sect from its neighbors but had no greater purpose.
Well, I can’t see that we can pick among their tenets, either, by that token. One religion will pick one aspect of divinity (whatever `divinity’ may mean to any given individual) and another a different aspect, perhaps a contradictory aspect. I went through them once, or you did.
Islam centers on submission to fate.
Christianity, on living in love.
Judaism, on living up to a compact with God.
Manicheism, on living in a dualistic world.
And so on and so forth.
True enough as far as it goes, but that isn’t very far, for of course as soon as a church springs up, it has to minister to people of many different levels of development, with different needs, different responses. Codes of law emerge, and direct experience with the divine (again, whatever that is) may become exceedingly rare, and may be actively discouraged. And, as with any human institution – as you have often pointed out – politics soon enters, and compromise.
All of these factors will affect any religion even before one considers corruption, or hypocrisy, or any of the human failings that inevitably infect any human endeavor. It should be needless – but isn’t! – to point out that any human institution shares these limitations and defects. Scientists in their organizations follow the same pattern. So do politicians, mathematicians, professionals, club members – anything. It is just human nature.
So, no picking and choosing among a given church’s prohibitions.
No, it is deeper than that. We haven’t made ourselves clear. You can’t exist in a church. [Though they didn’t spell it out, it was quite clear they were referring not just to me but to those who engage the material.] You can’t regress to living by belief in quite the same way you did. While it is true that your knowledge will always be limited, thus leaving you living in faith de facto, the word “faith” needs looking at, because it must be split into different meanings. Or rather (saying it in a different way) the confusion among meanings is to be sorted out.
Faith cannot be mandated. You cannot just say “I am going to believe” and that’s that. It can look like you can, but it is closer to abandoning resistance to faith. You see the point?
Yes. The man who became an English Catholic, can’t remember his name, in the 1800s sometime.
You’re going to have to do better than that if anyone is to get the idea.
Sometimes life can be pushing you to a conclusion that you don’t want to come to. You fight it tooth and nail until you are too tired, and when you do give in, you wonder why you weren’t able to do so long before. I take it that is what you mean by abandoning resistance.
Surely you can see that this is a very different psychological process from willing yourself to believe.
Now, people for centuries have lived in faith. They were taught certain things, their neighbors also lived by the same beliefs, and the variances were that some disbelieved and were exceptions; some believed and yet rebelled, and were active sinners; some came to believe in other things, and lived either with an internal conflict, or lived their life with faith and other things in separate boxes.
Until recently, most people who could not live by faith wound up de facto living in what you might call “faith in nothingness” or “faith in absence of meaning.” You see? They couldn’t have faith in God or their religion, but they couldn’t live without faith either, so they transferred it to other things – to chance, to Evolution, to Progress, to the coming revolution, whatever. It’s still living in faith, if you do or don’t know what you have faith in.
Now some believe that their faith is in Knowledge. But this is a dangerous pitfall. Beware of making idols of abstractions.
Your task that life is calling you to is to learn to live in a very different kind of faith. Perhaps we should say, living in trust. They sound similar but are very different.
I’d say it’s the difference between talking to someone in the non-3D only if you can call it a name and identify it as a person, or talking to TGU and instead of asking for bona fides, taking what comes and then trying to weigh it.
A very good analogy. And as this gives you plenty to type up, we will pause here.
Thanks as always.