The conversion experience

Sunday, November 29, 2015

5:45 a.m. All right, Papa, shall we continue? I leave it to you where we should resume. I assume there is still some advantage in thinking of these dialogues as having Hemingway rather than some unnamed person, or TGU as a group, on the other end.

Here’s the thing. If you go looking for information related to a particular person, you can expect to talk to that person primarily, [but] what you have to remember, there is not the distinction between individuals here that there is in 3D. That is, the distinction you think you experience in 3D is more obviously not there when you aren’t reinforcing your ideas of separation by sensory evidence.

May I? What I’m getting, but what you haven’t exactly said, is that communication between individuals in the body is communication between communities, but less recognized as such because on either end there is one body, and the unconscious assumption is, one body, one community or even one body, one individual. We have gotten used to the idea of each of us being communities in ourselves, and I think you are stretching this to remind us that in fact each community-of-self is in fact a local version of All That Is, and is therefore not bounded in the way we normally think of it.

As indicated yesterday and the day before. Now don’t let this complicate itself as you ponder it. You still have your ordinary experience of life to remind you how 3D life appears and operates; don’t forget about that, but blend it, in thinking about this in a new way. The object is not to supplant but to supplement.

Nice play on words.

Done with the purpose of making it easier for the idea to embed in your minds. Substitution is not inherently an improvement. Growth comes from additions in perspective, not in putting down one understanding and moving instead to another.

Was that flitting thought about the early Christians germane, or was it just a flitting thought?

What in your life is ever coincidence? Of course it is germane, and you may sketch it and follow it if you are interested.

Well, I just got a flash that seemed to say, “that’s how it was for the early Christians, for example.”

Yes. Pursue it and we will comment if worthwhile or necessary.

It is the conversion experience, and I can feel my mind making analogies. It is the founding of the Republican Party in the 1850s. It is the – well, let’s stay with these two examples. To examine the conversion experience, work backwards from a common point toward origins. So, in the first century after the Christ, people became Christians from what they were prior to that. In other words, what they brought to the experience was a self that had been formed in other experiences. They may have been followers of the Roman religion, or the Greek variant, or they may have been pious or – more likely – not-so-pious Jews, or atheists, or – anything. Their racial origins, their professions, their ideas and experiences, etc. had all been shaped in a pre-Christian environment, not just a non-Christian environment.

Or, the Republicans in the 1850s, to take a political example. The common denominator was an opposition to the threatened expansion of legal slavery throughout the Union, but mingled with that common opposition was a set of backgrounds that had been different and often bitterly opposed – anti-slavery Whigs, Free-Soilers, anti-slavery Democrats, etc. For a long time they necessarily thought of themselves as being what they had been, only changed. It was only later that we see them as a common element from diverse backgrounds. It is the same thing, of course, seen differently.

And the point to note is that the conversion experience may come gradually, like Lincoln reasoning things out, or convulsively, like his partner Herndon. Or, to use your other example, the initial disciples may have become changed by personal contact over the course of a year, or by a sudden blinding flash on the road to Damascus. In either case – at either extreme – it will help if you remember that no one comes to be something new thinking himself or herself to be already that something. Instead, they come thinking of themselves as what they have been – or how they have been thinking of themselves – and their journey is what they bring to the table; differences.

So, people learn from what they are as they begin. That is, that is one valid way to see it. But now remember, what they are as they begin is not what they think it is. Consciously they have one idea of themselves; but beyond the realm of their consciousness, no matter how extensive, is a vast unknown realm that is equally them but is not under their control or shaping. You are we, and so are they. We are all one thing, in truth – and yet, particularly in 3D, we do not experience ourselves that way, for a good reason. (That is, for a purpose, and also as a result; two senses of the phrase “for a good reason.”) It is the nature – and therefore the purpose – of life in 3D to isolate, and develop in isolation, a certain localized set of the common essence. That’s what 3D live are, after all – localized expressions. Only there is no reason why localized experience cannot conceptually realize that they are not merely localized expressions but are also one with everything in a real (if hard to realize) way.

So as we say, conversion is addition, not merely substituting one new thing for one old thing that then in effect ceases to exist.

It is an interesting experience. As I am getting all this, two things are happening. My mind is also wandering, I forget to what, and at the same time I am thinking how much these words are going to be misinterpreted as people bring their preconceptions to these inherently slippery signposts.

It can’t be helped, that’s just the nature of the process of transmission of new understandings. But we remind you yet again that each person is assisted by an internal guidance system that will lead them to misread things, if need be, or to jump to “illogical” conclusions, or to have productive seemingly stray thoughts overlay themselves upon what is being read. If it weren’t for internal course-correction, nobody would ever be able to get anything. If you doubt it, just think about your own journey – whoever reads this.

And at about this point, you are thinking, “so this is very interesting and it has nothing to do with Hemingway.” Well, yes and mostly no.

One point of this is, it is time for you to realize that your experience has been leading you to a new redefinition. Yes, yet again. But it is important that you see it as a refinement of an achieved understanding, rather than a throwing away of one and a taking on of another.

No road to Damascus.

Depends on whether you like the idea (or need the experience) of being thrown off your horse and being left blind and helpless for three days.

Nah, I’ve already been a politicians – for a few months – in this lifetime. That was enough of being blind among the blind.

Shall we now echo you and say “very funny”?

Sure, why not? If it amuses you to do so.

We prefer our habitual strained tolerance.

That was funny. Got me smiling. Okay, so–?

You have been performing your learning-as-you-go in public, regardless how small a public. This has advantages, as you do and don’t know. It offers feedback, it offers support and comradeship. All very valuable. But it does one thing that you may have been thinking of as a disadvantage, yet is the most valuable of all. It preserves your journey’s mistakes, wrong turnings, tentative but mistaken understandings. It allows you to proceed headlong as you do, and yet in effect proceed slowly and carefully, because the pondering you did not do in the event may be done after the event, from your new territory.

You started off with conventional – we might almost call them stylized – ideas about who you were, about what might be on “the other side,” and of course what the possibilities and limitations of communication might be. Of course it was all wrong. How could it not be? And yet, since it brought you to your new place to stand, why shouldn’t you also say it was all right? It got you there, didn’t it?

It is always true. Any journey begins with an incorrect map and incorrect definitions of everything involved. But that isn’t reason for discouragement – that is reason for hope. In one sense, you never quite know what you are doing. In another sense, you are never quite lost and there’s no such thing as “hopelessly lost.”

So you think of “the boss,” and then the anima, and TGU and Joseph and Hemingway, and yourself as a copy of All That Is – and no definition can be really accurate but almost every definition can be good enough to keep you moving. In your journeys — this is aimed, as all of this is, not just at Frank as one individual but at all those who come to these words – think “good enough.” Whatever ideas you have, whatever starting point your present moment provides, whatever skills and motivations you bring to the journey, it is all, automatically, infallibly, good enough. It won’t be perfect in the sense of some unattainable abstract state of completeness; it will be perfect in that you always have what you need. The confusing thing is that often part of what you need is doubt, and error, and self-criticism, and isolation, and perhaps even up to terror. Don’t waste your time worrying (though of course for some of you, and for some of the time, that is going to be as valuable as any other tool in your kit), but just live the journey, living in faith. You are not an orphan in the universe, nor a mistake, nor a poor relation nor an afterthought nor an irrelevance. You are a vital part of the pattern. Everybody is, should you somehow be the only exception? Be whole, all of you, which is the same as saying, be well.

And that sounds like a sign-off, to me. Thank you for all this. (6:15)

5 thoughts on “The conversion experience

  1. “It is the nature – and therefore the purpose – of life in 3D to isolate, and develop in isolation, a certain localized set of the common essence. That’s what 3D live are, after all – localized expressions.” That’s one of the best explanations of “the meaning of life” that I’ve ever read, and the one I currently subscribe to.

    “You have been performing your learning-as-you-go in public, regardless how small a public.” The advantage to the smaller size of the public that you speak to, Frank, has been the convivial support from like minded people. Were you to be preaching from the street corner to the distracted and disinterested masses, you’d have to deal with more criticism or negative response, something that might sap your (and our) patience and energy.

    “In your journeys. . . think ‘good enough.’ It won’t be perfect . . . [but] it will be perfect in that you always have what you need.. . .You are not an orphan in the universe, nor a mistake, nor a poor relation nor an afterthought nor an irrelevance. You are a vital part of the pattern. Everybody is, should you somehow be the only exception?” I needed these words this morning. Thanks you to all who sent them to us.

  2. I like this a lot. I see the space for creativity, in community, as a “localized expression,” through what we’re willing to explore and what course corrections we’re willing to accept. I see how our contributions to the whole are unique.

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