Dealing with life’s dark aspects

Thursday, June 10, 2010

6 AM. All right, here we are again.

In the time since we left off, not only have you done two days’ worth of reading — ignoring any other way of doing something other than this, however — but you received, last night, a phone call from your friend Jon asking if you knew anyone who could talk with him on the subject of guidance, because he has no confidence that his guides, as he conceives them, are really on his side. He perceives them as being in conflict with each other as well as with what he wants.

Yes, and I gather that you’re going to say, “and he isn’t necessarily wrong.”

Correct. Although you resisted the concept, initially, that your rapport with us might be unusually smooth — thinking as you did that it was only a matter of people practicing and coming to the work with the proper faith and dedication — in fact there are two ends to the cord, and those on the other end may not be as harmonious because the container — the individual in the body — may not be as harmonious.

If you are holding together what would be a chaos of disparate and even mutually hostile elements, you cannot expect that you’re going to experience “there” the harmony you do not experience “here.”

Now, as we’ve said, this may be difficult to convey, because so many half-conscious concepts may act as distorting influences.

It is a valid criticism of new-age. thought, as popularly received, that it is all “love and light” and does not properly take into account life’s dark aspects. It is because of this that its valid insistence that your lives are more of your own creation than you commonly think has not further transformed your world. You cannot take photographs only with light and no dark — and if in a dark room or on the computer you edit the resulting photo to remove the dark, all you’ll get are special effects. You’ll never get a balanced picture. An analogy, but perhaps an instructive one.

Life is not all love and light. Your own actual lives show you this, and when you aren’t enclosing yourselves into dogma you realize it. Generations that grew up in the shadow of two world wars, of horrible social cataclysms like famines, pestilences, exterminations for reasons of race or class or religion or merely ungoverned rage against whatever is different or threatening should not have to be told this! And, since it’s true that your external world reflects your internal world — what does that tell you?

If you want to see and understand your invisible internal community, look at and understand your external community, and we mean this on (what seems like) two levels — you as human individuals, and you as members of external communities.

This may require specialized vocabulary, which we are loath to introduce. Jargon generates priesthoods, and while priesthoods do serve a valid function in their proper place, they impede the free structuring of thought to match experience, once they spring up.

Let’s begin, and see how far we proceed.

Let’s begin on the macroscopic scale, communities such as nations or cities or the human community as a whole. Groups, in other words, not individuals. (And perhaps you can sense already how much easier it would be to convey our intended meaning if only the specialized language were there. You as “individuals” are actually communities in many respects, but if we begin to refer to you in that way, it can get confusing to then speak of what you have been accustomed to refer to as communities — clusters of people — using the same word.)

Let’s try using the words group-community to refer to external society and individual-community to refer to one person/one body communities you commonly call individuals. This may seem cumbersome — may prove to be cumbersome — but some way to differentiate the two will be needed as we go along.

In your group-communities, you see continually growing awareness of the existence and influence of other group-communities. The September 11, 2001 attacks served to remind Americans that they were not immune to backlash or retaliation or even random assault. To that extent it had some good consequences. We are not for the moment concerning ourselves with all the undesirable consequences. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is riveting world attention serves to remind the group-community as well as individual-communities that actions have unexpected consequences. So did Chernobyl; so did a few other events, man-made and otherwise, that passed a certain threshold of attention.

Your group-communities are realizing that they must learn to function together, and as they don’t yet know how to do it (or they wouldn’t need to learn!) they are floundering around, pointing fingers, evading implications, resolutely insisting either that it is someone else’s problem or that it has no analogy, no lessons to be absorbed, in their own affairs. Remember, now, by group-community we don’t mean only political communities, but any enterprise among many individual-communities. So, a company, a political organization, a political action committee — anything consisting of more than one person.

And we can see that these “-community” tags are too long. Maybe let’s try social-group and person-group. Still awkward, but shorter anyway.

You as person-groups experience the interaction of social-groups as chaotic, conflicting, and it’s easy enough to see on that scale that life isn’t all love and light. But it’s important not to jump to the opposite conclusion, that life is only darkness and conflict. It isn’t that either, but it is both. And — by a jump that shouldn’t be too great in this context — so are you as a person-group.

What the world is, so are you, because you and the world are the same substance, subject to the same rules, created out of the same non-physical and extending to it and maintained by it. If you are a plethora of strands, can you expect the world to be less so? If you embody the highest impulses and the lowest, can you expect the world to have a smaller range?

If you have a body, should you not expect to be bound by the rules governing bodies? If your spirit gives you ways of extending your range (doing miracles), should you conclude that this is limited only to humans, and not to the rest of the range of spirit-created, spirit-maintained “material” reality?

If you are human and conscious, you can grow in harmony and ability or shrink into disharmony and lessened ability, or so it can appear. If it can happen on the person-group level, why should it not (how could it not) happen on the social-group level?

You, as a person-group, aware of your individual aspect and of your community aspect, and holding that awareness, can now look to the world news for a mirror of the forces that you deal with continually within yourself.

Are you never at war, within your person-group? “At war with himself,” you may say.

Does one member of your person-group never do things that other members find themselves cleaning up after?

Do you not sometimes resolve to reform, to change, to purify yourself of unwanted (unchosen) elements? Does not another part of your person-group resists, out of inertia, or fear, or concern only for itself rather than for the person-group as a whole?

Were you to choose to do so, you could list the major topics in any day’s news, and the major topics of any social-group’s continuing agenda, and find correlates within yourself. In this way the outer world could help you become aware of the inner world in an entirely new way.

Now, what does this mean in practice? What’s the benefit in seeing the outer world as a mirror of the inner world you embody?

It is an extension of a previous insight you will have come to long ago, the realization that nothing in the outer manifestation of your person-group’s personal world is “accidental” or irrelevant to the consistency of the person-group’s inner world. It is an extension of the fact that you aren’t where you are, what you are, by chance any more considered in terms of the conflicts and patterns of the larger world — the social-group’s scale of things — than you are in terms of the person-group’s scale of things.

You belong where and when you are. How could you not? This is why your task is always immediately at hand rather than halfway around the world. Could you be born too late to do your proper work? Too early? In the wrong place? You might as well expect a chunk of Africa to be wedged on the coast of China.

My sense of this is that you’re having hard slogging: like struggling in deep mud, exhausting yourself to make very small progress.

There is that aspect of it, but at the end perhaps it will be worthwhile. You can hardly expect that a genuinely new way of looking at things will be easily expounded, or that taking particular care to not be misunderstood at the outset will lend itself to easy exposition. But — again — these things are to be pondered, chewed, digested, not merely read once at half-attention or even at full attention and then forgotten.

Well, I’m in for the long haul, I guess. More slogging tomorrow?

That’s up to you, but we on our end will be here, yes.

Till then.

6 thoughts on “Dealing with life’s dark aspects

  1. The story of my life: matching the inside parts to what I see outside. There’s a Tom Waits song, Trampled Rose with words: “What I done to me,
    I done to you, What happened to the trampled rose?” Not exactly an easy thought: if I can do this to another, I have already done it to myself. As cultures, too: what we do to others, we have already done to ourselves. Kind of takes the wind off the sails of moral superiority.

    Also thinking about ourselves as an orchestra: all have to listen to each other really carefully to make the richness of full dynamics possible. Not just bearing with each other, but actively wanting to hear the quiet and inconspicuous as well as the loud and mighty.

  2. Frank? Again something good told indeed – thanks… And by to read this again this morning… Something of the “old” thoughts & thinking arising in my mind as if “my body” speaks too, because all of a sudden got a back-pain coming out of nothing(no-thing). By now to have realized my THOUGHTS creating my reality.
    BUT:
    I was looking at the news this morning where it told “an Norwegian-male,” residing at a holiday-resort in Thailand whom had killed an Englishman. The englishman (a family-man with a wife & baby), living next door to each others at the Hotel-resort. The “norwegian” making noises as much as the englishman & family could not sleep(and complaining). AND my first thought by to read about the case—was: I`m pretty SURE of that “Norwegian-guy” MUST be one of our NEW citizens from other parts of the world. That is because the norwegian police-force telling all the criminality here with us began when all the NEW inhabitants came to settle in Norway(and there is too many of them, as the “original”citizens of old to be too few in comparison). And nowadays, in Oslo there is more “new” citizens than the “original” inhabitants. The Norwegians are to become the minority in their own country – with their only 5 millions inhabitants spread all over the country.
    AND if you are trying to tell it in public – you are to become named as “a racist.”
    The “new” citizens(NOT counting the folks coming from Europe or the States of course, or other western countries)- but the new citizens from Pakistan, India, the Arabic countries and Africa – AND a lot from the former “East-Block Countries,” likewise. Europe to become “overloaded.” Even Dalai Lama held a speach whee Dalai Lama told: …”there is to become too much to handle for Europe to deal with “the whole of Africa moving in…”
    What our politicans cannot see properly( because of “wanting/-a desire to help everyone of them) our own FEW inhabitatns on forehand, cannot HANDLE that many!!! ANd giving them the proper “education” of living.
    You have to learn them a new language and a new way of living – IF our old way of living here in Scandinavia can be peacefully kept as once it did. The 3 Scandinavian countries had made a unique, comfortable & peaceful way of common living – and our common back-ground – a state of living without any passports or borders between us. Scandinavia have made TOGETHER a peaceful corner of the Globe(not anymore) – and almost the most PERFECT way of living after WWII.

    Well the point is – that particular “norwegian-man” whom killing an englishman was one of our NEW citizens – and his “norwegian” solicitor/lawyer – came to Thailand to advocate the norwegian man…But then he had fled from the Police in Thailand, and he is hiding himself somehere without a passport(obviously of him cannot be “WHITE” or else he would to be found easily in Thailand – The Interpol searching for him.
    AND do you know WHAT the name of his “Norwegian” lawyer is? Yes, namely SULAMEIN HUSSEIN and a muslim …. not much “Norwegian” to me that is!! To me it is a tragical theatre play – and a black comedy(something made out of a Shakespeare tragedy) – all of it – and nuts.

    Cannot but shaking my head over “the New World.” Well, well, not to worry – All is well.
    LOL

    1. Yes, you say: AND if you are trying to tell it in public – you are to become named as “a racist.” My immediate reaction to the flood of immigrants into Europe was to say, “the Europeans are just crazy to let that number of refugees into their countries,” and of course many of my more liberal friends were shocked, saying they didn’t recognize me in that reaction. But you see that kind of selective blindness all the time. So eay to meddle in ohter people’s lives and think we’re helping….

      1. AGREE – What you said is so very TRUE – thank you very much.

        And when Dalai Lama to held his speech about the same – then it became confirmed by me not being “a racist.” One of my idols are Dalai Lama – I am to have the Faith in everything Dalai Lama says(and do, of course).

        Thanks once more Frank.

  3. These comments so remind me of your post “On politics and psychic exploration”: “… the worst, most harmful attitude of all would be to harbor and nourish and aggravate internal civil war by looking on at social problems and becoming fixed in condemnation. … working with others is working on yourself … what would not be good work … would be to try to fix somebody. Help if you can …”
    What is the immigrant situation mirroring to us? What are its themes that show us us?
    Is it a simple situation of the bullies taking over their worlds? Is the same thing happening in our country? It makes me think of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, a successful standing-up-to-the-bully situation, and it only took about 15 days.
    As without, so within. What does being whole look like in this situation?
    To solve social issues ” … perhaps your most effective actual, practical action is internal, healing the splits that resonate up and down the scales. … not working for your internal harmony, your person-group (internal) action may be contributing more toward making the problem worse. …”

    1. ….our Scandinvian Society have had a police-force without the necessity never being “armed” – with weapons of any kinds. A society once without ” the criminal element” as counted nowadays. The most “harmful”” citizens back in my youth where the teenagers stealing apples in their neigbours gardens(and of course therefore considered as a very criminial act). And maybe some bicycle thieves from time-to-time. They always to become “caught” by the law because everybody around knowing everybody – and then the young “Thieves” was doomed forever as rebells. ONCE a murder was told to have happened in the country and then the whole land(from the north to the south)became extremingly shocked … because how come a murder to happen in Norway?? I`ll suppose no americans to know how completely NAIVE the “norwegian” way of living was once upon a time… as in my youth that is.

      Oh time, oh TIME where did you go…the good times…LOL(according to Seth it will still exist in the paralell dimensions, and kept alive, as long as we are to recall it). My paradise once.
      LOL

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