Children, fame, and immortality

Sunday, October 17, 2010

4:45 AM. Interesting. A good night’s sleep, no wheezing, no congestion, no having to get up and spend some time in the recliner. Then when I did start to feel uneasy I got up at about five – only it turned out to be three. Still, I’ve had my rest, so I read till now. At that, sleeping from 8:30 or something to three is 6 1/2 hours, and untroubled. But then within a few minutes of my being up, playing Free Cell or doing the e-mail, or reading Colin Wilson’s From Atlantis To The Neanderthals, that I rediscovered on my shelves yesterday, my nose again started filling and draining. Curious.

Seems like things are moving in the right direction though.

They are, not least because you are paying attention. Do you remember now lying in bed aware of your lungs, paying attention to them, sensing them instead of being afraid to call attention to the mechanism lest it begin to misfunction?

I remembered as you gave it to me. I had forgotten.

You are not the person you were. Few people are, but your change has been radical.

Yes. Nice to know that, if embarrassing to think where I started.

Maybe the only way to get where you are is to start where you started. Tautological, Mr. Watson.

Very funny. So, last night I had a sudden knowing how to put together the books whose elements I have completed and segregated. But it’s gone. A reminder, please?

Use the same process as before in separating the material into four logical divisions. Start with an idea and if nothing else go rooting through the material separating it out – as you first separated the Hemingway material from the rest and set it aside. Then observe the natural piles as they accumulate, feeling free on the first pass to have an “undecided” pile. A few passes will do it, and then you have your material. An essay for each chapter summarizing the view – not summarizing the sessions – will do it. You could be finished before November.

That’s what I would like.

No reason it can’t be done. It’s a matter of sorting it, getting each part clear in your mind, summarizing each part in the essay to be backed by the sessions, then writing a conclusion and an introductory chapter – in that order. Not duck soup, but not the labors of Hercules either.

And very satisfying.

Then you may proceed to the others or may do other things until you feel so moved.

Interesting. Thanks for the help, and the encouragement.

Thanks for the persistence, despite how you feel about your performance. Righteous persistence.

There was a thought I’d had about our physical heredity – what was it? It was more than traits that we inherit.

You think in terms of physical or emotional traits, and of talents and debilities, but you don’t think in terms of your past being alive within you. Your fathers, your mothers, and all the way back seven generations, depend on you for life. In you, in their physical posterity, they live as they cannot when the posterity is gone.

I don’t yet understand.

Suppose both your children have children. You live in each of your children and have a chance to live in their children. This is not an analogy, or a metaphor, but a fact. And given that both parents live within a child’s life, these parents’ fate is somewhat linked together. Only, the different combinations provide different links.

I am struggling.

Of course. We are only at the beginning of this. Consider someone who has no children. When he dies, his access to the living 3-D world is confined to those who think of him. When they are gone, his access is gone. Now, it isn’t quite that black and white – he may have legacies that preserve his memory for a time – but that’s the nub of it. No children, no access.

Well, we’ll start again, for already this has gotten involved. Language makes every concept difficult.

Physical transmission of genetic matter is one way to preserve access as a strand-mind within your children’s person-mind. As long as that physical line of transmission continues, your existence as a strand-mind continues, both while you are still in the body and afterwards. When the physical transmission is terminated by lack of births, or when it is sufficiently attenuated by turnover of generations (seven, to put a number to it) again you are no longer present as a strand-mind.

However, this isn’t the whole story. Strand-minds also continue to have access by living within man’s memories. This is the form of immortality known to the Greeks and Romans, though they did not understand it in this way. Your “living name” assures you access. Alexander the Great died in his 30s, but his name lives – therefore so does he. It is this literal sense of the saying that your time has lost, or has discarded as mere superstition, rather.

Why do you suppose you can communicate with Abraham Lincoln, a man not seven generations removed from you (though not in your bloodline)? Why Hemingway or Jung or Thoreau? Because, for one thing, their names are known!

Now, listen to that: It is more important than it may sound at first. Their names are known; their work has been preserved. A record of their lives continues.

This is not a matter of biography or of history, nor of scholarship. They are remembered, hence are still present because active access has been preserved by those who remember them. Otherwise childless Henry Thoreau were long gone.

You are implying that this is the reality behind such things as ancestor worship.

Remember, just because people clothe their knowledge in other ideas doesn’t mean they don’t know. The idea may be quaint, or distorted, or fanciful, or just wrong factually and still serve. And a proper ceremony, conversely, may preserve the form while forgetting the substance. It is the task of your time (from before 1800 to beyond 2200) to re-knit so many separated threads from every part of the world.

If a descendent remembers a specific ancestor, the descendent acts as a window into the 3-D world for that ancestor, however long ago the ancestor lived. Similarly, if a famous man or woman is remembered, it is a window regardless of physical heredity. It is in this sense that you achieve immortality in 3-D form by means of children or deeds or both.

But ultimately everyone but a few perhaps must be forgotten or attenuated, and die to this world.

And since that is the universal fate, that should tell you there’s nothing wrong with it. Besides –

I hear you. Besides, there are other lives for the underlying spirit.

And you have them all going on in the same all-time. What fun! What complex interactions! What lessened consequences of any mistake or difficulty.

I do get it. All right, I’ll send this out, and will talk to you later.

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