Friday July 22, 2016
7:30 a.m. I gather from Facebook that the Republican National Convention was the train-wreck – or rather, the evidence of a train-wreck – that I expected it to be. And now I suppose the Democratic National Convention train wreck – a la the “days of rage” in Chicago in 1968 – will hand the election to the fascists of the right as opposed to the fascists of the left.
I was asked, [as a speaker] at Guidelines, if the guys cared. Despite my answer then, I guess I want to ask the question again now – guys, are you really indifferent to whether our society moves toward more openness or less, more social justice and equity or less, more peace and cohesion or less?
[I realize, typing this, that the question as posed seems to imply that voting Republican would result in one set of results, voting Democratic would result in the other, but that isn’t what I meant. I didn’t bother to spell it out carefully because at that point I thought I was talking for my own benefit. I didn’t realize we’d go on for nearly an hour.]
Of course we have our preferences, no less than you do. But what do you expect us to do about it?
What, a confession of helplessness?
Not exactly – though it remains true that “God has no hands to use but ours” – in other words, it is up to those in 3D to tend to things of 3D.
Yes, but you are in 3D with us, aren’t you? In the sense that we are also in non-3D, everyone having to be in all dimensions if in any?
And what is our equivalent of the Prime Directive?
Free will, free choice, sure – but you also admit to nudging us.
This is a longer subject, with more extensive branchings than you may realize. As usual, a thing looks different when seen in context.
Enlighten us, by all means.
That’s funny, that’s what we would say we are doing, enlightening you “by all means,” or you might say “using all opportunities.”
You will easily see that right and wrong never come unmixed. The best party platform, the best political intentions, contain good and bad, if only because what is good and what if bad is often in the eye of the beholder. Who deliberately sets out to do evil? Some, perhaps, but even they generally cover their self-interest to themselves with some fig-leaf of abstract principle, or plea of necessity.
- Lincoln made it clear, years ago, that any measure is a mixture of good and bad, and may conduce to good or bad effect in ways not easily foreseen. It isn’t as if choosing “the good” were merely a matter of intent. What you decide is good depends upon your beliefs of what is right and wrong in the present situation; what are causes and effects; what are dangers and prospects. Surely you can see that everybody’s view is different to the degree that they are individual, and everybody’s are similar to the degree that they allow themselves to be led by their unconscious fears and wishes.
Beyond that, what kind of society you derive depends upon the people comprising it. To the degree that they believe/hope/fear one way, they will draw to themselves one reality. To the degree that they pull other forces, other forces will operate. In other contexts you know this!
Huh. Yes, that’s like a wake-up call. In fact, I sort of nibbled on the idea a bit ago, showering, didn’t I?
We knock when you may be able to hear.
I knew you watched us in the shower!
Actually – yes we know it was a joke – actually we “watch” your fluctuating value-systems in response to the “external” world all the time. We help you remember things you want to remember about who and what you are, and we do it by nudging you, as you put it, whenever it seems likely to have an effect.
Let’s go into that a little. I get that people have been misunderstanding what I was saying about you nudging us.
Yes, and it is as usual based in misunderstandings rooted in definitions. If you think of us as separate from yourself, and you think of your day-to-day mental existence (which is a redundancy) as individual unless contacted, then yes, our little nudges may be seen as “interference with free will.” But if you realize that we are part of you (and of course therefore you are part of us), and that your continuing mental interaction with the “external” world is actually a continuing interaction with unsuspected or let’s say seemingly autonomous parts of yourself, then our nudges amount to you reminding yourself via an automatic alarm or (to put it in terms less autonomic), like a wake-up call you ordered.
Your entire life is internal, as you discover when you drop the body. That doesn’t mean the “external” world “doesn’t exist”; it means its rules and nature are not what you think. The world does not and cannot go on without regard to you. Neither you singly nor you in plural. It’s seemingly a paradox or an impossibility, but every magical thing that happens to anybody testifies to it, if you could see clearly. And if you can see particularly clearly, you see that every non-miraculous thing that happens delivers the same testimony.
There is no “external.” There are no “others.” That is why “all is well, all is always well.” But of course in your everyday experience the “external” pokes its finger in your eye all the time. “Others” are continually affecting you for better or worse as you, Frank, affected the Guidelines individuals you talked to. All is not well in a world of violence, deprivation, and hatred. Can you square the circle? Can you “feel” (you will scarcely be able to reason) how both halves can be true depending upon your point of observation?
It’s true, I can feel it easier than I can understand it. I am in a way taking it on faith, not because you said it but because when I hear it, something within assents.
Yes, it resonates. And I have learned to go with that.
So now live with the thought. Your political and economic arrangements will never be “right” because no one situation will satisfy everybody. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work for what you believe in, if that is how you are so moved, but it does mean, you aren’t going to build the New Jerusalem in the sense of achieving perfection. One man’s perfection is another man’s nightmare. Compromise is more stable.
It is easy to avoid real work – which can only be, work on yourself, no matter how you spend your days – by concentrating on “external” problems caused by “them” threatening whatever you see it threatening. But you can work on yourself by addressing those same concerns, if you keep your priorities straight. You can’t do good work from bad attitudes. By that I mean, if you think you’re going to counter hatred by hating the haters –
I get the point.
But you can counter hatred, and you know how to do it. The very same “external” actions, whatever they may be, are very different in effect if done from love and not from hatred.
By all means, hate your opponents and all they do, and work from fear of what would happen if they were to prevail – if you want to increase hatred and fear. If you don’t, you have no recourse but to work from love and faith.
Which is more comfortable anyway.
Not so much “more comfortable” as less internally contradictory. You aren’t pulling yourself in opposite directions this way. After all, given that what seems “external” actually manifests unknown parts of yourself, do you want to hate parts of yourself? Many people do – it only increases their desperation.
“It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
Thoreau knew. But of course he had to battle his hatred of slaveholding lest it become hatred of slaveholders. It is always a tension, even for the wisest and most self-possessed.
I have read that the Dalai Lama said he had to combat anger when he heard of what was being done to his people.
So, take heart. It isn’t beyond you. Not one of the forces you rail against is “other,” because there can be no “other.” You are in 3D to develop and live your choices, so of course there are many things to choose among. Diversity is not a sign of the inefficiency of the universe, and the existence of values antithetical to yours is not a sign that the universe is going to hell, nor emerging from it.
So, soldier on with good courage and unslackening faith.
You have any better approach?
“Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid. Neither be dismayed.”
Scriptures were written just as you are writing, to smooth the path as best it can be smoothed.
Okay, well, thanks.