Sunday, October 13, 2019
4:15 a.m. Very well, gentlemen, let’s continue. You know where you are going, I hope, as I do not.
Partly we are sketching how the perpetual problem of evil will work out in the coming civilization. Partly we are continuing to relate individual self-development with social development and the “external” world.
I don’t know that I have heard you describe that as what you were doing.
It has been implicit. As always, what you are depends upon (a) where you stand, and (b) which way you are facing. Your new place to stand having been established at any given time, you then turn your attention to what you are examining.
I get that, but you didn’t actually say it. I think you mean to say, every time we reach a new plateau – every time we have come to a reasonably stable understanding of the universe – we can (and always do?) look from that standing-point either further into the question of who we are as souls in our own heredity, or further into the effect on us of what seems to be external reality. Having said this, I don’t think I have made it much clearer.
Not bad, though, because that is exactly the point, and it may be found to be illustrated throughout history. In a sense, it is psychology v. sociology, or philosophy/religion of contemplation v. the same of social action.
Perhaps we had better look at some examples. While clear to me from direct contact, I am still doubtful it will be clear to everyone depending upon these words alone.
Except of course, they will not be dependent upon these words alone.
Yes, all right.
That is an important point, because it is always tempting to examine a subject as if what counted was only external communication, external action, external inter-action. But in fact most of the communication and action and interaction is internal.
Not a view that will be intuitively obvious to everybody.
No, but to your particular circle it will be, or much more so, anyway. Again, you are describing the views from the plateau you are standing on, and those who are lower on the mountain, or higher, or on a different mountain, may not understand, may see things quite differently, may in fact see this as quite erroneous. And no matter how people see things, they won’t exactly be wrong, nor exactly right. Your dogmatic materialist has plenty of evidence to support his views. So does anyone else, supporting any position conceivable. It isn’t about truth, so much as usable insight.
I recently re-read David McCullough’s The Great Bridge, centering on John A. Roebling and his son Washington Roebling, and it is true, that as I considered the life’s work of these great engineers, I could see that it was important that they take the 3D world seriously, as if it were what it appears, even though John Roebling became a convinced spiritualist with decided views. My own work over 25 years and more has not met with external success largely because I have not paid attention to just the kind of 3D organization through which it would have had to pass. That is, had I exerted Roebling’s energy and attention to detail, and method, and unflagging effort, the work might have manifested externally in the way a physical expression such as a bridge does. But that doesn’t mean this was the only path that it should have taken (and did not take); it means, concentration on one direction may result in neglect of the opposite direction.
To point your comment more, you might say the internal results of a concentration on the seemingly external may be the indicated path for some, and for others the indicated path may be that of the cloistered monk’s contemplation, and in your times it may be variations on the theme. But no matter how things look, no matter what a person’s life appears to be concentrated on, it is always driven from inside, always proceeds as if s/he were the center of the world – as indeed s/he is, psychologically – and always has its own consistent purpose, obvious or (usually) not.
I get that “consistent” wasn’t quite the right word.
No, it isn’t, because that word may suggest an unswerving course in a given direction, whereas as you all know, your lives may veer and zigzag unpredictably and often seemingly at random. A better word might be, unerring, or perhaps intrinsic.
Now, if you will remember that at your present staging-place, your present plateau of understanding, there is no “external” except in appearance, you will see that the world is far more closely knit than you may often think. Your internal world you know first-hand. The parts of your internal world that you experience but are not aware of first-hand are reflected to you as external reality.
Yes, that’s how I understand it. Seems to me that’s what you-all have been saying all this time.
We have, only of course remember that any statement of ours (or of anyone’s, come to that) tends to be a refinement or a negation or an expansion of a prior view, rather than an absolute.
You mean, I think, every teaching is a course-correction, saying “No, that way is off-course,” or perhaps, “Yes, and this course has the greater prospect.”
That’s right. You can never come to “the” truth, except sometimes a “true enough” for a present stance. But coming to a “true enough” is itself valuable, for if you don’t absorb the implications of what you can understand, how can you reach to greater understanding?
Assuming that’s everybody’s goal.
It is safe to assume it is the goal, or at least a goal, of anybody drawn to these writings.
Now, in your time, destiny no longer presents itself in political terms (as someone said earlier), nor in ideological nor economic terms. These false gods will in due time reveal their insufficiencies, and their true believers will fall away after a period of fanatical redoubled activity. But the question will present itself with redoubled vigor: “How does life address us in our time? How does our individual personal seemingly isolated psychic life interact with an `external’ world concerned with other things?”
How do we persuade ourselves that working on ourselves is as important as building physical bridges.
Not quite. More like, how are you impacted by “external” events that seem to have nothing to do with you? How do you make your contribution in private, so to speak?
For the first time, I see my work here as an example of working in private. Ordinarily we don’t get to see such examples because, after all, private is private. But the coming of the internet allows micro-publishing, call it. We can transcribe and send to one, let alone a few or many.
This may be; that doesn’t mean that is all it was designed to accomplish, nor in fact is it any guarantee that it is more than a diversion. (We do not say it is; we say, “How do you know? How would you know?”) However, the part about working in private is accurate. The monks in the middle ages, reclaiming swamps and living their anonymous dedicated lives did affect the “external” world that, perhaps, they had no slightest knowledge of, because as we say “external” is only a way to see an aspect of who you are.
Your consistent attitude has been to encourage people to realize that they are not interchangeable and should not regard their lives as irrelevant to the world merely because they are not known to the world.
Only common sense, surely. The “great man” theory of history is very one-sided. And obsolete. Tolstoy demonstrated that.
Not that that is all the could be said on the subject.
No, but the point here is that everybody counts, and it is up to each one to determine how much s/he will count, and in what direction, all this quite independently of public credit or seeming isolation.
Our thanks as always. Next time.