The gods at war

Sunday, November 10, 2019

4:30 a.m. Yesterday after our session, I was tempted to do another. I resisted, but got our theme.

[10:35 a.m. I keep thinking of “the gods love those who willingly do their bidding.” Let’s hope the gods don’t go to war.

[Oh, but they do! Why do you think humans go to war?

[I was speaking rhetorically.

[We are not.

[Another session, then.

[This will do to be the theme of your next session.]

Pray expand upon your statement.

We have arrived at the junction of 3D lives, vast impersonal forces, vast personal forces, the “exterior” world as something in and of itself, and, of course, much more that follows from this understanding of one more way in which the 3D and non-3D worlds tie together.

  • The 3D and non-3D may of course always be considered separately and will make sense to a degree in that context.
  • But, not really.
  • When 3D life is looked at as existing in and of itself to a degree, it makes sense. Seen absolutely, it must always seem tragic, pointless, confusing, tedious: “A tale told by an idiot.”
  • When non-3D is looked at as absolutely (rather than relatively) separate, it too must appear pointless, chaotic, or else disconnected from real life, fairy-tale-like.
  • So, a good instance is the gods at war. In the sense that the Greeks and Romans had, the non-3D is the origin of human conflict and the 3D is more or less the level where conflicts that are nothing to do with humans are played out, or where human conflict engages the gods to take sides. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey for a peek into that worldview. This is the view that was accepted from older times in Caesar’s day.
  • In medieval times, there was less of a sense of divine interest in human affairs but it is still there. Now God and the Devil are seen as battling for human souls, more than as playing politics and warfare. However, “more than” is not “rather than.”
  • By the 19th century, the sense of divine interest in human external affairs was fragmented. Some believed in divine providence, in “fighting for the lord,” and some did not.
  • World War I was the watershed, beginning in Victorian-Era piety and ending in the despair and cynicism and moral exhaustion described by Hemingway and Fitzgerald and a hundred chroniclers of the ordeal as seen in different countries.
  • Only the threat posed by Hitler brought forth a last gasp of real psychological reliance upon God’s help, in the West. But in the postwar era even in the threat of Communism, this emotionally based sense of dependence did not last.

People are going to be accusing me of haring off into history.

Is it you that is speaking, or us? Let’s consider it a joint effort, as always, and proceed.

  • Caesar was considered beloved of the gods. Joan of Arc was an unlettered farm girl whose career was initiated and punctuated either by miracles or by very improbable meaningless coincidences that “just happened” to come time after time when needed. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain fought four years in the American Civil War (that is, the War of the Rebellion), and saw God’s intervention repeatedly and in detail. It isn’t that non-3D intervention wavers or disappears and reappears throughout history; it is that it is seen, experienced, and interpreted differently.
  • The difficulty here – one difficulty anyway – is that 3D events must be seen in two ways: in and of and for themselves, and as part of the larger whole that has less reference to 3D performances or even constraints.
  • Seen the first way, it shades off into irrelevance and meaninglessness. Seen the other, it shades off into superstition and a different form of irrelevance.
  • However, pathological manifestations do not discredit; they merely show what happens when a given tendency is carried too far.

I appreciate your effort to bring many things into one consideration, and surely the bullet-point format aids this. But can we approach more closely?

We are doing the best we can to get your head faced the right way and get your readers’ heads the same. But we’re swimming against the tide of your times, you know, so it takes a bit of explaining.

We’ll say a few things that maybe will themselves need explaining.

  • “The gods at war” is one way to see vast forces – vast principles, call it, or vast tendencies, one might almost say – contending. There is not a right and wrong about right and left, or up and down, or inside and out, but they lead in contrary directions, and each has its inherent right to expression.
  • Any 3D manifestation is going to be, if not one-sided, at least incomplete, inadequately balanced. This can’t be helped.
  • Imbalance over time in what you call an exterior manifestation, that is in a social environment, will call forth its nemesis.
  • Hence, adjustment via war, or via ebbs and flows of social movements, religions, worldviews, etc. There is no reason to expect reaction to be reasonable.
  • On a personal level, the same forces contend, and an individual life lived in a social context may mesh or clash or do sometimes one and sometimes the other. Washington’s life, Lincoln’s, Lee’s, Marshall’s, all show lives whose strictly personal aspect fitted in with a social necessity. (Bear in mind, the examples that come soonest to mind are those you provide. Plenty of others could be chosen in different fields.)
  • Authors, inventors, reformers, entertainers, “all walks of life,” as it used to be said, live lives personally oriented (that is, they could be seen to have direct reference to the individual’s larger being) and also seen in a social context (that is, they have their effect). Harriett Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain.

There was that woman, too – can’t remember her name, though I will look it up, who wrote The Planter’s Northern Bride. An equally honest counterpoint to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I don’t know why you are prodding me to mention her. [Caroline Lee Hentz. Interesting novel.]

It is an example of the fact that the gods are to be found on all sides, not just one. In your day you are likely to think of it as a battle of ideals. We would see that as merely a watered-down version of the battle of gods.

Somehow I thought we’d get closer to the center of things.

Righteous persistence brings reward.

Well, I know it is a big job you’re working at. Thanks for all this, and see you next time.


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