Sunday, September 19, 2010
All right. To proceed —
As you noted in conversation yesterday, our method is to fill in a dot here, another dot there, a third somewhere else. This way is actually easier for you (which is why we do it) in that it discourages you from trying prematurely to leap to a pattern. Any pattern prematurely filled in is likely to be oversimplified and (somewhat unnecessarily) distorted by your own expectations. So, the longer you can be helped to stay in perception mode, deferring analysis mode, the better. Of course this process like any other may be carried on too long, always collecting data and never writing the report, but hopefully you and we will avoid the pitfall. It’s a matter of sincerity and clear-headedness, as much as anything.
Meaning – I take it – enough of health for a while, and theology, and on to something else (or back to something else).
It makes a change. Let’s take up your friend Michael’s questions.
[Excerpt from Michael’s e-mail of August 19, 2010:
[This one brings up many questions. Do my learned skill sets become threads? Next life are they part of other beings? Adam and Eve? Really? If I have chosen not to be a diplomat or a magazine publisher does that give me less choices at 57? What does it matter what we create in our time stream? Did I miss the sessions when you explored what we are doing achieving learning by living? Are we adding to the existence of the Universe? Will the thread group known in this life as Michael Peter Langevin stay intact after my body is shed? Will that basic me live on the other side forever or till people forget me? Will I / am I living other lives, in other timelines, now, always?]
Those are intelligent questions, showing that he was connecting as he read what you had sent out on August 19. That’s the way to interact with anything: Hear, connect, and think about, or perceive, your reactions to it. We will take them in order.
Do learned skill-sets become threads? Next life are they part of other beings? The answer, of course, is yes, but no.
Yes, in that a learned skill set is a sort of artifact, though not tangible. If you think in terms of the morphic resonance theory, you will see that anything anyone learns and practices can enter into the mind of man, so to speak – or, to put the same thing another way, it enters into the universal toolkit from which anyone can draw, either in advance – a “genetic” or “inherited” characteristic (which means, really, a chosen characteristic inherent in the design of that person) – or during a life by following an inclination and developing the skill as the life progresses.
No, in that you don’t (didn’t) originate them and therefore aren’t exactly responsible for their prevalence or scarcity in the human library.
The question about Adam and Eve we don’t understand, unless it asks if everything you learn traces back to the beginning. If that is the question, the answer is, it depends on what you mean by your terms. We doubt that Adam did a lot of computer repair, or automotive work, or, say, magazine editing. But the proto-skills that were needed to be molded into these more specialized skills were, of course, there from the beginning. Where else could they come from? Similarly, you in your time possess and employ proto-skills that won’t come into development and widespread use for generations – but how could they be transmitted if they were not inherent in the design of human beings? It is the job of a civilization – of a culture – to encourage the development and use of some skills and retard or suppress others, in order to create specific external environments to mirror (hence, enable the recognition of) specific internal traits.
Your choices during your life do two things simultaneously, continually, and it will be obvious as soon as we say it. They close off some paths and open up others. That is, they close off some “might have done, might have been, might have become” possibilities because your choices have foreclosed them. That is what choice does! It’s what it is designed to do! And at the same time they bring new possibilities into range for the first time, as each step you take changes your position relative to what you are moving toward in that direction. Again, that’s what choice does, and what it was designed to do.
And, a word for those feeling stuck. Choices made foreclose old possibilities and open new ones. Choices that are calling out to be made, but that you do not make, will be made sooner or later by default, which is much less productive (as a moment’s thought will show) because it comes by inertia out of what is rather than out of what you will. A choice made by default is a sort of abdication of choice, hence is not the correct way of using your position in the living present moment. That doesn’t translate to our saying, “jump in, decide at random.” It means, rather, your best choice at the proper time is nearly always wiser, safer, saner, more integral, then a choice impelled by mere passage of time. Read Thoreau’s final page of Walden. That’s one thing he meant.
To continue down the list of questions. What does it matter what you create as you live? There are two answers to this (and we don’t mean “yes, but no”!), one internal and one external. These two answers are actually the same thing. Can you see it?
Take Hemingway’s life, as a well-known example. Externally his life was a cautionary tale and a hero’s journey, both. (As they usually are, we might add, when based in real life and not in the abstract). He made an impact on how English was written, and, more, how life was perceived, in the 20th century. At the same time his life presented extraordinary peaks and valleys, so broad was his range. So, anyone reading of his life could be changed. Anyone reading anyone writing after a certain point of time is reading English-prose-after-Hemingway, and can’t help be shaped by it, particularly if in that the shaping will have been below the levels of consciousness, hence beyond the ringmaster’s notice. None of this is trivial, and to the extent that he was an extraordinary man leading an extraordinary life and accomplishing an extraordinary task, his life is important externally. But most people do not have that kind of effect on their environment, or on history. Most live and die unnoticed by publicity. Do their lives have correspondingly little meaning?
Rhetorical question, and of course you know that the answer is, not at all. Because intrinsically you all live (we should probably say we all live) experiments whose results are fed into the human library. We have said that some people lead very difficult, seemingly entirely unproductive or even self-destructive lives that might be looked on as a total loss, while to those who can see what they accomplished internally, if only by holding together antagonistic components of their person-group, the life may look valorous, skillful and productive in what it makes possible for the future.
Of course it matters what you create. But you probably will be a pretty unskillful judge of that until you drop the body and see it not distorted by perspective, but seen in itself. Have we mentioned that you never have the data to judge yourself or another?
Once or twice. And, for what it’s worth, you convinced me, long ago, even though old habits often bring me to revert to judging.
Are you (to continue down the list) adding to the existence of the universe? Let us say, you are adding texture and fullness. If you, Frank, could find that Emerson quote, it would be appropriate here.
If I can find it easily, I’ll insert it here. I’ve always liked it.
[Emerson at 25, in 1828: “If you think you came into being for the purpose of taking an important part in the administration of events, to guard a province of the moral creation from ruin, and that its salvation hangs on the success of your single arm, you have wholly mistaken your business.”]
We’ll skip the question about the thread group remaining intact. What we’ve said on this subject, extensively, does not bear repeating here. A moment’s thought answers the question.
As to the next question, which goes to what Western man beginning with the Greeks substituted for real immortality (that is, reputation or fame, or “a place in history”), again, a moment’s thought will show you that external fame can have nothing to do with it. Will Hemingway on this side, a complex of emotional and mental habit patterns that he is, suddenly wink out of existence if he is no longer read? Do your forgotten great-great-grandparents cling to existence precariously on their descendents remembering them? That is, is it wise for you to try to institute ancestor-worship as soon as possible if you don’t want to be extinguished? You decide.
The last question we decline to answer because, as phrased, it would require 10 lines of quarreling with implied definition for every word of reply.
Well, that was all very interesting and I, and Michael, and those who read this, all thank you. Till next time.