Sunday, June 18, 2017
6 a.m. If someone wishes to speak, let them come forth. Particularly, if someone has the makings of another book in mind, I am receptive. Miss Rita?
You forget how easy it is to mislay the key to such communication.
Yes, and as I received that, I thought of how I’d lost the keys to your house. I never looked on that as a metaphor. But it was, wasn’t it?
You must be in touch with a core of stillness.
Not so easy to remember when you are not still.
Well, that is why people meditate.
Of course. It would be. I never made that connection. Usually meditation is sold as a way of coming into contact with your inner self, and I thought, “been there, done that.” It didn’t occur to me it was, or could be, merely a way of quieting the mind even with the connection already firmly established.
That isn’t quite what you mean.
Oh, now you are correcting me. Turnabout, I suppose. Well, what am I missing?
You were perplexed, or anyway blank, about a goal which appeared to be static, without content, for no purpose save to get there.
Yes, that’s right. I never heard it explained to me as noise control. Always it was put in mystical terms that I found somewhat suspect. I realize, this may have been only what I heard, not necessarily what was said.
At any rate, now you know.
I do, and it is already a bit inexplicable that I ever didn’t hear it right.
That is because your mind is quick and active and runs often enough at more than one level at a time. The prescriptions you were hearing, to quiet the monkey mind, for instance, did not seem to apply to your situation.
That’s true. I never could tell if I was ahead of things or behind them, so to speak. I recognize that our conscious mind is an association-machine – I described the process of getting control of it in Messenger, in a chapter written in 1979 from an experience I had had in 1970 or 1971 in Iowa City while I was in graduate school, after having read Shattuck’s An Experiment in Mindfulness. But what I seemed to hear, as people talked of the benefits of meditation, was to turn off the association-machine, hopefully forever. And I knew that couldn’t be right, but I never knew how to ask anybody if that is what they did mean. The whole thing with yoga classes or anything else is an assumption that the teacher knows and the student does not. But what if neither one knows, or what if they know different things, or know contradictory aspects of the same thing? And I think that was my case.
Possibly that is why I obtained such benefit from the Monroe tapes, come to think of it. They slowed me down, put my focus on one thing.
Of course. You didn’t recognize that?
I guess I didn’t.
You might spell it out.
Interesting how our roles have reversed this morning.
Maybe we are in a new relationship,. Or let’s say a new phase of a relationship. Maybe you don’t need to receive as if from others quite as much as you did. Maybe you can just tap in more directly.
That’s an interesting thought. So my work on “Dark Fire” and “Awakening from the 3D World” and “Papa’s Trial” helped me shift gears, so to speak?
Let’s say, you turned a page and we’re on another chapter.
All right. Well, to expound on my previous thought, the reason Monroe tapes had such a profound effect for me may be because they focused me on one point.
Now, expand on that.
Well, lying in bed not moving a muscle, concentrating so hard, trying to experience I didn’t know what, intent and still over a period of time – what was it, 30 minutes to a side of tape? 40? –had the totally-unthought-of effect of concentrating me in one place at one time on one intent.
It quieted your mind not by turning off the mind but by bringing it into focus.
I see it now. I never saw it before. I was concentrating on a hoped-for result, but it was the practice in concentration that was the payoff.
Or you might say was the investment, for it made other things possible.
When I talk to someone new – someone just out of a Monroe program, say – I focus on them in that same way. That produces the effect that Linda and Dave recognized, of opening them pretty instantly to deeper levels, because they responded. I don’t quite see the mechanism, but I see there is a relationship between the two facts. And I suppose the ability to concentrate over long periods of time is why I can write and edit books.
You have always concentrated when writing.
I can see this would repay some more careful language.
Yes it would.
All right, let me put it together.
[In Roman rather than italic, for convenience.]
It is one goal of meditation to slow down the mind and make the conscious mind aware of the usual functioning of the association-machine, that sets up a chattering presence that operates on its own.
And, it is interesting because even as I write that, I can feel the difference. Because I am attempting to say again something already known now, there is all this background stuff going on – a musical theme, stray thoughts, associations. I am no longer one-pointed. That happens in conversation, in reading, any time. I always have the sense of other things going on in the background, except in those rare times when I am having to work to put something together. And maybe that is another key.
If you are merely expressing what you know, it doesn’t require one-point concentration to write it out. If you are trying to express something exactly, carefully, that’s different. That is what I had Papa Hemingway say during his trial, come to think of it. He pointed out that when he wrote, he was in an altered state, which was a major incentive to write. That’s this, in a slightly different context.
And some of your rules were only rules, though rules of thumb.
Such as a definite limit of an hour or an hour and a half to communications with The Guys, whether you or someone else.
It isn’t that the observation was wrong – you could tell when your concentration flagged, and so could “the other side” – but the underlying mechanism was slurred over. After a certain time, the strain of not functioning in your habitual looser way overcomes the interest of the process.
I get bored talking to the other side?
Not bored, exactly. You get tired of functioning at a greater level of concentration. As you get used to functioning at a greater level, the fatigue goes away. It isn’t really much different from acquiring and practicing any other skill.
Hmm, I guess I’ll send this out. People’s comments may be as useful as anything else.
Useful to you, useful to each other.
Okay. Well, thanks, Rita, and I’ll talk to you again.