About the process of working — and a surprise

Monday, August 2, 2010

5 AM. Yesterday worked out all right, and I didn’t get a bad night’s sleep. I’m regretfully concluding that sleeping with the windows open may be a problem. At least, not doing so has alleviated the problem, maybe.

Open for business, papa?

Not now — I’m busy re-running those Star Trek episodes.

That one got a chuckle, not quite a laugh out loud. I can see you couldn’t watch Shatner if you kept kosher. Or maybe his director thought he needed to be that way to be “dramatic.”

Or maybe they never put the thought into their performances that you are assuming they did. Like Bogart and his leading lady in Casablanca, they figured it was just a job, not art.

Now why would I — let alone you — be unable to bring in her name? Ingrid Bergman? It isn’t like it isn’t something entirely familiar to me. How many times have I seen Casablanca, after all, twenty? Yet there was this blank and I just covered it with “his leading lady” and kept moving, so the gears wouldn’t clog up. But — can you give me a clue? The same thing happened years ago with Joseph Smallwood being unable to remember Missionary Ridge or Hood instead of Bragg, and I couldn’t figure out why — but in this case not only could you not have forgotten her name, but neither could I — yet when I reached for it, that name was not there.

It’s out of my league. Add it to your list of questions — which you have been neglecting to keep.

All right, I wrote it down.

Write down enough of them, and you’ll be able to sort them into categories, and the sorting will bring out enough relationships to half answer them. You’ve acquired many more than you suspect, in the course of the past few years.

Now, a word about your writing.

I know what’s coming.

Feel like you’re about to be Dutch Uncle’d?

Feeling like I deserve to be, maybe.

No, it isn’t quite that we regret that you aren’t working better and longer. What you have systematized is working well. At how many points in your life would you have been able and willing to get up in the darkness and write away into daylight, communicating? And by immediately reading it into your computer, you have preserved the record in written form — typed form, we mean — thus accomplishing step two right away and not adding another pile of backed-up work to the pile. Sending it to your friends has acted to prod you gently to accomplish so much the more. But now that you have provided headers for all the sessions, you need to start working on the next part without waiting for this process to end, unless you want this process to end — and we know you don’t.

No, I sure don’t. So — a certain amount of time daily doing a different kind of work?

It’s only an analogy, but — think of how you told your group yesterday how to go about receiving messages. First have a question, then receive it (go into receptive mode), then report some of it (moving into the more active mode of writing it down), then return for more, asking more questions if need be. Writing all this isn’t that much different. And in fact this provides a kickoff place for a brief lecture, as much to your readers (and potential collaborators) as to you yourself — but no more so.

That process — reception, reporting, analysis — is a natural rhythm. Repeated, referencing previous understandings (and incomprehensions, too) in the formulation of new questions, it will assist you to penetrate continually deeper into whatever subject matter you may choose (or may be led into). But you must work. Or rather, you must work if you wish to progress.

Some people use journals, and some use them for one reason and others for others — and many use them now for this and now for that reason. They are very handy but of course there is nothing sacred about the means of communication. Others may prefer the computer, or notes, or sketches. We do suggest that you employ some medium to leave a trail, not for the sake of an historical record but so that you will have anchors for yourselves — for consider your situation.

You live continually moving — carried along the eternal present, so that today’s conditions are not yesterday’s, nor tomorrow’s, nor one minute’s or the next’s. Continuity is thus in the non-physical hands of your higher self, your unconscious as you call it. Have you ever thought about that? How much continuity can a present-moment consciousness provide? That’s why people make lists and use appointments calendars, after all.

Your thoughts, your emotions, your daily routines often, fluctuate unobserved, you identifying with each in turn. Nothing wrong with it — that is the nature of life in the physical. But it means that it’s easy for you to lose track. Hansel and Gretel tried breadcrumbs. They learned that it’s better to use something not subject to being carried away, like stones, the very symbol of permanence and imperishability. If you wish to preserve a trail for yourselves, we suggest something less perishable than access to memory. The memory itself can never die, but if you lose access to it, how much good can it do you? So, some record of your work is worthwhile. Even if the record is kept in habit, that is very valuable. What is sitting-zen but a reminder of purpose, by the very act of once again sitting? End of lecture.

Looking back, I think to wonder if everybody will get my joke about Shatner’s acting. He strikes me, in these early episodes, as a terrible ham. Okay, that itch is scratched. Next?

Yes, well, looking back we wish to remind you that the lecture interrupted a lecture. If you want to make this process a continuing series instead of a burst of information/interaction followed by digestion followed by another burst, you need to be spending some time organizing past material as you go. Otherwise you will keep doing research forever and never write the report.

[And this voice I recognized!] Rita?

[Rita Warren] Surprised? I’ve been among your “guys” for a while now, but not identified so as not to distract you.

Well, I can say it’s a distraction! So, how are you?

I’m having a ball, as I told you I would.

Yes, you’re doing research in all directions and delegating me to do the reporting, I take it.

Well?

Not complaining! To each his blue-eyed own, as Pogo said. Wow, this is the first time I’ve really felt your presence.

Everything in good time.

Tell me about your research. What does “research” mean, in a non-physical context?

It means the same thing it always did, but without the physical apparatus to fix it in memory, because here there’s nothing to distract us the way the passing through time does in the physical.

We’ll have to talk about it.

Add it to your list.

I can hear you chuckling. All right.

But for now, a reminder that you would benefit from adding more structure to your life. You have the open schedule, your physical needs are met, you don’t have to make a living, you know what you know and you know how to say it. You must work at it now rather than someday if you’re going to put it into form, because implied in “someday” is the fantasy that you aren’t going to have vastly more to assimilate as you go along.

Not aimed merely at me, I take it.

No, although only you and Michael are so directly centered on writing. But anybody accumulating material should consider — should continually remind themselves by whatever method works for them — that today’s total is only going to be added to. It isn’t like Machiavelli or one of those Romans in exile, having time and leisure to do nothing more than remember and repent.

I know you got that analogy from my mind.

So?

So nothing. Glad to see you not watching CNN in all the time.

How do you know that you won’t wind up doing it when you lose enough of your mobility and access to direct first-hand experience? It kept me active.

So it did. An awful lot of Wolf Blitzer, though!

Nothing comes free.

Well, I can’t tell you — don’t have to tell you, I know — what a pleasure it is to suddenly have active contact with you again. It has been a busy couple of years.

I have observed. And I’m happy for you.

I figured you would be. Now — is there or is there not some prior connection between you and Hemingway? For it just occurs to me (which itself is suspicious) that it was your reminder that he had promised, that made me realize that he had helped me write Babe In The Woods.

Put into the context of past lives, you could say that he and I and you were all together.

But you’re not going to add story to perception.

No need to.

No, there isn’t. I’ve come that far, anyway. Well, I’d better quit. So nice, seeing you, old friend.

Old friend, eh? I’m smiling at both words.

And that is what’s called a teaser, I believe.

You’ll just have to stay tuned.

You got me smiling ear to ear. So nice seeing you again (so to speak). Maybe more later.

 

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