Thursday, August 19, 2010
7 AM. Awake again. Haven’t transcribed the above yet – but offering you another bite of the apple now, if you want it.
Better to send it out and then see how you feel. You may not have the energy to do this.
Then why not do this first?
Well, we are dubious, but we can try. Glance over what we just gave you.
All right, did. I’d say let’s try.
We can at least bring up the question of heredity. This is one potential limitation of possibilities. If nowhere in your genetic structure was there any of the traits needed to be a successful Mozart, you wouldn’t need to worry about becoming one. And this bears explaining, in that we have said that each of your parents’ contributions to your physical heredity goes back to the beginnings of humanity. That is true in a way, and essentially not true in another way.
For all practical purposes, your hereditary traits go back only so far (the “seven generations” article you were led to notice a while ago), because any trait by itself (i.e., not reinforced by other contributors of the same trait) must be lost.
May I rephrase what I think you just said? I can see it as a matter of numbers and competition, but it isn’t quite as simple as “it has half a chance the first generation –“
We see the difficulty. Try it this way. One half of each parent’s characteristics are passed on in each child. Not necessarily the same half, of course, but half. One quarter of each grandparents’, and one eighth of each grandparents’ parents’. Contributions to your physical skill-sets are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128. Seven generations winnow 128 sets of contributions down to one. But that is not the end, for each generation is itself a sifting process. That is, how you live determines to a degree which members of your person-group will be passed on enhanced, and which enfeebled or unchanged.
It should be obvious that here we deal with more than the composition of the parents at the time of conception of the child. Their subsequent life affects the child’s heredity in effect, by, as it were, participating in the on-going debate, or jockeying for position, among the child’s person-group.
Nature versus nurture.
Yes, but quite a bit differently seen than what you are used to. We are not saying some qualities are innate from birth – determined by genetics – and others are the expression of a person’s experiences thereafter, the results of their life in family and society. But we can’t go off on this topic yet. Let us remain at genetics.
In any given life, there are some things fixed – time and place of birth, birth order within family, etc. – and some things fluid, and some things that might be called something between fixed and fluid. This too is a topic apart, but notice: Your life – as we have emphasized from the beginning – is shaped by your choices, and is created specifically to allow and express those choices, and then to present further choices from those you already made. Until today we have emphasized choice in relation to the mind you are creating on an on-going basis, and that mind’s function on the other side – the non-physical side – after death. (Before, too, but that is yet another topic. We are getting the hang of spinning off side-trails and sticking to one thought. It is a skill like any other.)
Now we present another aspect. Your choices also help shape possibilities in time, for the time line downwind of you, so to speak.
That makes it sound like we don’t bathe regularly. I think you mean downstream.
We smile. Yes, downstream. But who is the wordsmith responsible, after all?
Your choices in life determine what further choices will become available to you; they also determine what choices will become available to your genetic and your contemporary posterity. And yes, of course that will take some explaining. And perhaps it would be as correct to say they determine which choices will be foreclosed, or prevented, or pre-empted. In that sense, choice could be looked at as a continuing winnowing, a non-stop process of attrition from the stock remaining – a process of attrition compensated for by the continual presentation of new possibilities. But surely it can be seen that the winnowing process tends to limit the quality of what new elements are received. If you keep discarding artistic expression, let’s say, then fewer such possibilities will be presented as viable options. You don’t get to Carnegie Hall without practicing, and at some point – perhaps quite an early point – it becomes too late to overcome the gap between what you need to have done and what you have done. When you are 30, you can’t be retroactively different at 20, in any given time-line.
So we have begun on the intricate subject, and we are going to stop here for the day however alluring you find the work. As Hemingway would say, stop while you’re still going good and know what’s coming next.
But I don’t know what’s coming next.
No, but we do. Invite your readers to question or object to this material, as it will help us to judge what is or isn’t coming through.
Okay, but be careful what you ask for!
What do we care? It’s you who have to deal with the e-mail. We smile.
Me too. Okay, see you next time. I’m very interested in this.