Successive compression

Saturday, August 31, 2019

1:15 a.m. I am feeling that I still don’t have a handle on what you mean by vast impersonal forces as they refer to us. The sense of it flickers but does not steadily illuminate. Is it beyond us? Beyond me where I am? Does it require other preliminary information?

It butts up against uneasinesses in you, so makes little headway. But give it time, it may come.

If you say so. I thought we could have a session, but I see I’m not energetic enough.

4:15 a.m. Maybe now?

People who envy your fluency at ILC [Intuitive Linked Communication] perhaps underestimate the lubricating effect of decades of practice on the friction of sensory non-reinforcement.

Care to try that again?

Funny, we were about to say the same thing. Practice makes perfect, is all it amounts to, with the added thought that nothing is as easy and fluid as appears to others. People may not realize that they see what succeeds and not what fails.

I’ve tried to leave in our mistakes and dead-ends, for just that reason; encouragement, and honesty.

Yes, but what of the attempts not worth transcribing, and the times you would have liked to do something but couldn’t? This is not a matter of suppression or even of selection, but of the natural effect of your not printing every thought you ever had, or every notation you ever made. To put it plainly, we are reminding people that nothing is as meaningfully smooth as it may appear, if only because of such natural selection.

You make me sound like Darwin.

Very funny – to quote a friend. Could anyone ever really describe his or her life? Detail every bump, so to speak? List every book read, every mental connection made, any coinciding event inner and outer? Obviously not, and if it could be done, who would want to read it? The equivalent would be to have a map on a one-to-one scale. As your professor said, so many decades ago, if you had one, where would you store it? The same goes for maps of moments.

However, consider expression to be a process of successive compression.

Interesting way to put it. Selective editing, is what I might have said.

Successive compression gives the sense of it a little better. First is the living of it, then the rough recording of it in memory, then perhaps the jotting down of notes as in journal entries, then perhaps the transcribing of some of those notes, then perhaps the compilation of such notes as articles or books. At each stage in the communication it is a process of selection and arrangement (even if only arrangement by chronology or by topic). It may appear to be a process that swells as well as contracts, for notes may need to be more fully expressed, but in fact at every stage in the process, fewer items are retained and more are silently discarded as irrelevant, usually unnoticed. It is selection that produces clarity. A literal transcript of everything would not only be impossible to produce; it would be useless unless and until condensed according to the need of the user. And this is an exact description of the process the nature and the use of ILC..

I remember how hard it was at first, sensing various possible phrases and meanings, and not knowing which was more authentic, or let’s say more accurate. It was strictly private: There was no thought of an audience, so it was merely – merely! – a matter of trying to be accurate, yet I often could not tell which of two words or phrases or even, sometimes, directions, was what “the other side” wanted to convey. I learned to go ahead without so much angst, and eventually I realized that intent is more important than exactness. That is, provided I was intending to do my best, the message would come through.

Eventually you came to see that any of the alternatives would go where we wanted to go – which is what you just said, but we thought it was worth the rephrasing and repetition. Now speak of Jones Very, and you will make our point.

Jones Very was an intuitive, a poet I think, who came to Emerson with transcriptions (so to speak) which Emerson recognized as genuinely inspired. However, Very would not allow a word to be altered, because, as he said, it was the word of spirit. Something like that: That was what he meant, anyway. Emerson is said to have drily remarked that it was clear that spirit didn’t always know how to spell.

Yes. You see, Jones Very was in touch; he received. But he placed too much reverence on the word as he received it, not realizing that he was necessarily part of the process. (Thus, we warned you repeatedly not to treat our words as scripture, but you still aren’t comfortable rephrasing or paraphrasing what you get this way. As if the source that provided would not be available for the editing process!)

Yes, it is that “they’re still part of the editing process” that I didn’t realize. It made for lots of unnecessary scrupulosity. [I used the word to mean too scrupulous: too prone to nit-picking one’s performance. I notice, looking it up on-line, that some people are now defining it as a mental disorder, which figures.]

Intent is the determining characteristic. All else is technique and detail. This, to those who read your reports: Lighten up, free yourselves to receive by realizing that you will always be part of the process; confide that mistakes are always corrected in process, provided sincere unflagging intent to be in genuine and helpful connection.

Take this encouragement and go forward.

I have tried to provide a safe space for others, but I see that my habit of reposting on facebook makes it less safe than may be. Should I stop doing that?

No, only let each person look to his or her own comfort level as to what is shared in this way. After all, each has guidance to whisper how far to go, which pothole to avoid, what star to follow.

Then I’ll leave it at that. It’s each person’s job to see what life calls them to do.

It is. It cannot be any other way.  Even if one were to decide to blindly follow another (a path we do not advise!) the decision to follow would of course be the individual’s decision. Even a decision to abdicate is a decision.

Thanks for this. And, as you no doubt foresaw – I did! – my breathing smoothed out as we got into the process. Till next time.


One thought on “Successive compression

  1. So helpful to me, as I reach to have ILC with Jeanne d’Arc, feeling like the same kind of person who says she was only famous people in her past lives. I hold the thought you expressed the other day that our sources have the same interest in and regard for us and the process that we do for them and the process. “Eventually you came to see that any of the alternatives would go where we wanted to go …”
    “Lighten up …” The same advice I gave myself. It was all too fun and too life-changing to miss. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

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