More than we conceive ourselves to be

 Wednesday August 10, 2016

2:40 a.m. Guys, my friend Mary Ann is tempted to think that her non-3D component chose for her to suffer the physical illness that blighted her life, and is thinking this was an infringement of her 3D free will, as she would never have chosen this herself. My friend Jim denies that there is free will at all. What’s your take on all this? I ask, being in the middle of my own puzzling illness of a couple days’ duration which is more inconvenience than anything else but is a clear reminder that not only do we in 3D not choose to be ill or to be well, but illness or wellness seem to come upon us like outside influences.

The situation may be made clearer if you include mental illnesses in the discussion.


Because the more manifestations of a relationship you include in your examination, the less eccentric and more generalized are the conclusions you draw. Take two different but related aspects of a subject and compare and contrast, and you can get a more rounded view.

Now in the first place, realize the continuing temptation to be misled by words. Just because a written description emphasizes differences, that doesn’t mean that is the only way to see it. It may tempt you to regard different aspects of a thing as different things entirely. Thus, comparing your 3D and non-3D components may lead you to identify with one and feel victimized by the other. We have come a long way with 3D v. non-3D – that’s why we intend to dispense with that explanation for a while, lest it become so deep-seated as to appear absolute. It is a helpful way of seeing things, just as dimensions are a helpful way of seeing things, but it can be carried so far as to move into becoming an obstacle to deeper understanding.

Rather than continuing to think of yourselves only as 3D and non-3D components cooperating, or as 3D being placed into a situation by the non-3D and then living out whatever resulted, now think of yourselves also as one, unbounded, eternal, mysterious being. Or, let us say (as a sort of halfway-house concept), as part of that being.

That is, you, however you experience yourselves, whether as 3D only or as 3D in close connection with non-3D or as an atom in the vast universe – you are more than you experience, more than you conceive yourselves to be, and more than you can conceive yourselves to be – as long as you think of yourselves as units rather than as also pieces, or organs.

I take it that you just said, we may be considered as part of the body, or as a corpuscle in its own right, and either way of seeing it is somewhat right but not the whole thing.

That may not seem helpful, but hold to it while we go on to other things, and its explanatory function will become apparent.

To view yourselves as if you were the distinct, separate, individual units you commonly experience yourselves to be leads to descriptions of life and “afterlife” that take that view for granted. The result is that you must mistake relative distinctions for absolutes, just as you mistake dimensions for reality. The view isn’t exactly wrong in itself, but uncorrected by the complementary view of your being not individual but part of something larger, it is so misleading as to be quite an obstacle. It projects imaginary boundaries and mistakes them for real; it divides reality and says, “thus far and not farther.”

Now, to return to the subject more closely, consider mental and physical illness and wellness as part of who you are. If you are well, if you are ill, you may feel different, you may perceive the world and yourself differently, but obviously you, the center of the phenomena, remain you. It isn’t like one version of you slips out when the going gets rough and leaves another version to tough it out. Well or ill, you remain you. so what is the continuity amid the change? Or, put it another way, what function does wellness or illness serve, and – a question that may not have occurred to you – whom does it serve?

I admit, that latter question is not one that had occurred to me.

Do you think (in other contexts) that phenomena occur without reason, or that life proceeds more or less at random to maintain itself?

I get that you’re saying that illness may have some usefulness, though you haven’t yet said how. But you seem to be saying, as well, that some may profit from the suffering of others.

No, we are encouraging you to get free of that “some and others” mindset. But it is true nonetheless that your suffering in 3D may have its usefulness and its necessity, in fact, for reasons that are beyond your 3D vision.

Well, so far that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Think of systems, not components. Think of organisms, not cells. Think of higher levels of organization, not lower ones. You are part of higher levels of organization, just as your liver is a liver and is at the same time an organization of cells, a unit in itself, and a part of a larger body of organization.

Life does not begin and end at the level you experience when you concentrate your attention on 3D as it appears, no matter how expansive your view of it. Life is eternal and non-divided and purposive. All these attributes should lead you to realize that you are part of something greater than your own level of awareness.

Holding that in mind, consider mental or physical illness as if they were the equivalent of an infection in a body that has to be localized and countered, lest it spread and multiply and perhaps bring down the entire organism. Can you see that from such a point of view, unmerited and seemingly uncaused suffering may be a service to the whole?

Hmm. Well, it’s true, we don’t usually think of “all is one” as including infection and response.

Remember “as above, so below,” and it will continue to guide you.

So are you really saying that we in 3D are cells in a larger body, and what we deal with here has larger implications?

Turn the idea around and look at it that way. The converse would be to say that you in 3D are individuals whose lives and struggles had no consequence at any other level of being. Does that feel right to you? Does it resonate, as you say?

No, it doesn’t. I get the individual aspect of existence – I don’t see how anybody couldn’t. But I also get that we are somehow something larger than we know, part of something greater, more complete.

So now let us shift focus very slightly and return to “the drunk who dies in the gutter” – who, you will remember, you were told may have made a significant contribution merely by holding together discordant elements [within himself]. Now expand your view to see the analogies or similarities between illness and life-circumstances.

You are more than your physical body – and you are also more than your self-identified individuality.

Now let us turn the knob again, very slightly, and focus on sin and people’s efforts at self-improvement. Sin – we are not talking here of someone not following somebody’s rules, but of real “missing of the mark” – sin may be regarded as a gauge of your efforts to date. You will notice that the seven deadly sins you were taught as a boy all involve putting the ego-self in the wrong position vis a vis one’s fellows and vis a vis one’s creator (or, for our purposes, vis a vis one’s next higher level of organization). List them.

Lust, envy, gluttony, covetousness, anger, pride, sloth (or ennui). My old acronym LEG CAPS, or LEG CAPE.

If you will look at them not as offenses to be scored against future punishment but as indicators of where you are going wrong by misplaced emphasis, they will again begin to be useful.

So now let’s pull it together once again. Physical or mental illness (with the implication of fluctuation); intractable problems such as internal discordance that may more or less cripple a person’s ability to live a meaningful life; habits that will distract or make a person less able to function in relation to the invisible next higher level of organization. Three examples of intimate relationship between levels, even if unsuspected.

That doesn’t seem to round off, yet I get the sense that that’s it for now.

Yes. Continue recruiting your health as you have been doing, and don’t spend energy recklessly.

Till next time, then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.