Enjoy it as you go

Saturday, February 5, 2011

5 AM. Dreams, but forgotten when I awaken and change states. They must have something to do with me, but mostly they seem like stories somebody is telling that I am overhearing. This morning though a friend comes in with a list of books. One of them will be the basis for an exam we are to take at noon. I had forgotten we were to have an exam – had probably forgotten I was in the course, actually, and I was looking through the list to see if I had read any of the books, when someone came in and thought I was cheating. I wondered briefly if I was in other courses and had forgotten, and if other exams were scheduled.

And so the clock ticks on. I remember when I had bought my first laptop, back in 1989 or 1990, to work on Ed Carter’s book, and noticed the clock in the lower right-hand corner, inexorably ticking away not only minutes and hours but days. I had for a moment almost a sense of helplessness, almost of panic, seeing how it could not be stopped. Funny that it took such a little thing to emphasize to me that remorseless nature of time, ticking, ticking, ticking. On the other hand, it’s a very good thing for us that it is so remorseless, or we would get stuck in some place that we liked enough, or feared losing enough, that we would trade away our future. Faust’s bargain with the devil, as I understand it: If you say to any passing moment, “stay, you are so fair,” you are damned. On the other hand I may have it entirely wrong, never having read Faust, and relying only on an impression I got somewhere, somehow.

And, speaking of “on the other hand,” I get the impression, Papa, that you knew very well the value of time, and you used your time.

Suppose you had come within an ace of being killed before you were 19 years old. Do you suppose it might put you in mind of irreplaceability?

Well, but I remember that sudden impression of you as a young reporter in Kansas City, just like my cousin Bub, all nerve endings and adrenaline and irrepressible enthusiasm. That was before the war, and the shell.

True enough. But I didn’t want to get cheated. That’s what the shell did.

Okay. It kept that impatience alive.

Not impatience, exactly. That sounds more like I couldn’t wait to get somewhere I wasn’t. Just sucking the juice out of life as I went along. That’s what I was doing.

Not a bad way to live.

Nope.

So last time you signed off by saying, “and mine – ours – to you,” meaning, best wishes. Why “ours” and what were you getting at?

You don’t know?

I have an idea, of course. But I doubt I have every nuance, and I doubt not that it was a deliberate teaser, left in my path.

We are none of us singular, as you have been told repeatedly. We are plural in nature, except that “plural” tends to make you think of “more than one singular.” Your guys have explained all this.

And you have resisted efforts to be drawn into discussion, saying it isn’t your turf. So –?

Don’t let yourself slide into the idea that you, or I, or anybody, is singular in the way people think of it. In other words, don’t be a Sunday Christian about it, living your mental life one way usually and another way only in a certain context. If you’re going to understand a thing it has to really sink in within you, and if it does that, it is going to change the way you see everything, without your being able to help it, or wanting to help it.

Just remember that the Hemingway you are talking to is not the isolated mind who lived his life on earth moment by moment. Just as I don’t have the same limitations of viewpoint produced by temperament and living moment to moment (that is, reacting in isolation rather than reacting to the lifetime as a whole), so it is not the Hemingway who lived in isolation from other viewpoints.

Separation in time, separation in space.

Yes. It’s a condition of life on earth, and it has its uses or it wouldn’t be a condition, but by its very nature it produces limitations that don’t apply once we are no longer in the body. So – you see a Hemingway who is not the Hemingway that was, or I should put it, not the Hemingway that he and others experienced. But what may not have occurred to you and to your friends is that I am not experiencing the DeMarco that is in isolation – the DeMarco you and they know and experience – but another version of you, put it that way, the version that is not limited by time and space. Thus our connection.

Thus our connection? Oh, meaning we are each connected in ways not involving you or me in our strictly defined roles in time-space.

As you often say to your guys, that sentence sounds like you need more coffee.

It does at that. I was trying to grasp it and express it at the same time. Let me try again. I think you mean to say that Hemingway 1899-1961 and DeMarco 1946-20-whatever do not touch, and that I have been thinking that DeMarco-46 was touching the spirit of Hemingway-99, but it may be more accurate to say that the larger being of which DeMarco-46 is a part is communicating with the larger being of which Hemingway-99 is a part, and the two time-bound parts are having a sort of simulated conversation. Or, not simulated, but virtual, or something like that.

You might look at it this way. When you are engaging in Intuitive Linked Communication, as your guys rightly call it, DeMarco-46 is communicating with his larger being, who communicates with others and seamlessly passes the contact through, itself usually remaining invisible or at most to-be-inferred. Your larger being may contact Hemingway-99 through Hemingway’s larger being. How else can it be done? If mind is non-physical, and it is, your link to others can only be non-physical in nature, however it may seem to be bound by the laws of physical life. Hence, instant hatreds and instant attractions.

That is very clear. So why bring up the subject at just this time? It felt like your son Jack, dropping a fly in front of a fish, I being the fish.

Some things can only be expressed and understood in a certain sequence, or at a certain time, but others can be dropped into the conversation whenever convenient, so it doesn’t much matter when it happens.

And this is one of those?

Sure. No cosmic significance, as you say. But no reason not to throw it in, either.

Okay. Unless you have more for today, I’m ready to close up shop for the day. Only an hour, but my arm is tired, for one thing. But I’m willing to continue if you wish.

Remain aware of when things in your life work out smoothly and when they don’t, and see if you can deduce or rather feel a difference within yourself that corresponds to and precedes each type of smooth or rough patch. This is not to say that anyone’s life could or should be lived without rough patches, and it is not to say that if you hit a rough patch it’s your (or anybody’s) “fault” – but look. You know the saying, when your luck is running good, push it. There’s a reason for that saying. When you hit a smooth patch, don’t go to sleep; take advantage of smooth water and either paddle like hell or rest and look around and enjoy it or drop a line into the water or whatever you want to do – but be aware of it while it’s there, and remember that there’s no guarantee that smooth water is going to last forever, or should last forever.

As I’m writing that, a part of my mind is thinking of your life’s end, and how people are tempted to read all sorts of inevitable tendencies into it. It may be it was just taking the rough with the smooth.

That’s part of the secret of the good life – you take the rough with the smooth and you don’t think life owes you a ride that’s all smooth. And it’s better if you realize that you wouldn’t necessarily like it, or profit from it, if it were all smooth, any more than you’d do better if every day was Tuesday, or every month was March.

Okay, Papa, thanks as always. It would be good to see how we really connect, on the other side. I’ll have to wait for that, I suppose.

A condition of life is that you never know how close or far you are from the end of it. So – to circle back to where we started – enjoy it as you go along.

Got it. Till next time.

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