Thursday, October 12, 2017
You began a painting yesterday, not knowing its structure or what it is to portray, or anything except “start with four colors and see what happens.” You don’t know yet if it will work or will be another uncompleted or failed painting. You know only that like most of your paintings it tries to express something you haven’t ever seen. Is that any easier than this? Here at least you have intellectual substance, and it draws on your life of reading and thinking, and above all it involves words, as painting does not. What do you have to lose?
Nothing at all, and I’m not complaining. Far from it.
We were using you as an example to others, actually. When you go looking for something new, you can’t expect to know what you’re going to get. At best you will have a technique to lean on, perhaps a legacy of practice from other fields, perhaps the inspiration of the work of others. Not least, you will have invisible support, if you can learn to rely upon it.
“You are not alone,” that vision in Gateway told me 50 or 100 times. In words.
And it was a turning point for you when you gradually came to believe it, and then rely on it, and then live it. As it was for you, it would be for anybody, only they need to let themselves believe.
I do know that.
Forces and structures
So, back to energy flowing through structures.
Is that what we are talking about?
It is one way to look at it. The vast impersonal forces – we’re going to keep repeating the phrase until it sinks in to one and all – precede you, animate you, and postdate you. Like the 3D world, they don’t depend on you for their existence and they don’t depend on you for their activity. They are. They exist. The fact that they animate humans is not the same as saying that they exist for the purpose of animating humans. Almost the other way around; you might almost say humans – 3D compound beings – exist in order to provide channels for these forces. However, note the word “almost.”
You will never understand your place in the reality, any more than you could understand your place in the world, by assuming that it centers on you. There is a sense in which it does, but only “in a sense.”
“You’re special, just like everybody else.”
That’s right. It’s a truth; it’s a joke; it’s an obvious self-contradicting impossibility. All at once. But for the moment let’s concentrate on one aspect of things, the aspect in which you are not the center of the world.
This is one of those log-jam moments where I feel three or four caveats leading in different directions, and don’t feel which one to follow.
In such cases, staying centered, choose one. It will lead us somewhere, and other aspects will emerge if they are important enough.
But that tells me why any statement from anybody anytime is going to be incomplete. Choosing, we in effect overlook other aspects, equally true, perhaps equally important, and they may never be expressed, because paths lead onward.
True and no harm done, because the purpose of communication is to get the person on the other end of the line to move on his own, her own. It is not to provide a complete statement of the world, which could never be done anyway.
All right. Well, we are the center of the world in our on-going existence. As a practical necessity, just as every cat or tree is the center of its own world, because that’s where its responsibility and awareness lies. So in that sense, nothing wrong with the idea. But that isn’t the same thing as saying that the world centers on us.
Let’s continue with where we were going. It’s time to discuss the nature and appearance, the essence and the shaping, of those vast impersonal forces as they manifest in compound beings.
Your lives, we have said, or anyway have been pointing out if not in so many words, are experienced not so much in thought or abstraction, not so much in effort or achievement, not so much in seemingly external events, but in feelings. Not events, but your reaction to events. Not thought or intellectual structure but the feelings that underlie or contradict them. Certainly not in intentions good or bad, and not even in actions good or bad, but in your feelings about them.
To some of you this will be obvious. Others will find it seemingly backwards, perhaps incomprehensible. As always, we will proceed in an attempt to provide a staging-point accessible to all. That is, not so slowly as to exasperate those for whom the point is obvious (or agreeable), not so quickly as to lose those for whom the point is difficult to grasp or emotionally hard to accept. If you all get our statement, that’s all we want; from there you are on your own in terms of what you do with it.
If you experience the feeling of lust, say, or anger, are you experiencing something that exists in that form beyond you? That is, does it exist as lust, or anger, regardless of the individual it visits or manifests in? Or are you experiencing a gust of wind that animates your own being in such a way as to activate what is already there? In other words, does the spirit not so much shape your response as be shaped (in effect) by what it blows through?
Yes it is. And as usual the answer is, it depends upon how you want to look at it. That’s usually the answer, because if a thing were only to be seen one way, the question would never come up. As soon as you perceive a question, know that that is a s sign that it is a question; that is, that it may be seen more than one way. In such cases, there is never any one right answer, though there may be any number of incorrect ones.
So, in this case. Yes, the animating forces are impersonal, being so far beyond the limits of any one compound being. So you can’t say there is a force of lust, a force of anger, and the individual may happen to be in the way of it and be influenced.
On the other hand, individuals are no two of them alike, and so what the animating winds blow through has its own particular color, its characteristic mixture of vices and virtues, and depending upon how strongly the winds blow through, the results will differ moment by moment. So it will seem that the individual compound being is somewhat at the mercy of those forces, as, in a sense, indeed it is. It (he, she) may choose to fight the manifestations, or flow with them (encourage them) or may go back and forth, but the reaction will be in reaction to the forces, obviously. No amount of clever tacking will move a sailboat in the absence of a wind, even a contrary wind.
This has been slow. An hour, and we’ve only filled seven pages. So – looking back – we are the structures being filled with the energies?
Let’s pause here. You want to keep on and fill more pages, which is ambitious, or energetic, but, a little at a time.