Only Somewhat Real: Motivation and emotion

Wednesday. October 18, 2017

It is a continuing feature of these communications that I never know – rarely know, anyway – what’s next. I can’t feel a logical flow from one to the next unless you leave bread crumbs at the end of the previous session and say, “start here.” But I see that we do get on, somehow. So, your move.

I think you will find that in exploring, it may be useful to have a general idea of where you are going, but it is less useful to think you know how to get there. That is, you may be headed north, but you aren’t likely to know what lies in the path, and for all you know, to get to your destination you may have to travel sometimes west, sometimes east, sometimes south, even. Ultimately what seem like detours – even what may be detours – still help fill in the map.

That’s all right, as long as I have my Indian guide. It’s when you aren’t sure you still have him, or that he really knows the ground, that you get nervous.

Of course. And you would be reassured if he could show you that he does know what he’s doing.

In any case, I am in your hands. I’m willing to be occasionally “confused for three days, once,” like Daniel Boone, if it happens. I must say, your track record so far is good. “Your” meaning you, Rita, TGU, etc. – all our guides.

It is the quest for an impossible certainty that would trip you up. Otherwise, errors of perception or interpretation will average out

So, today?

Let’s talk about motivation and emotion.

I know where this is going. I had a thought while making coffee. I take it you sometimes put out teasers, like theatrical trailers.

Think of it as an aligning nudge, to smooth communication.

Or like a left jab, to position me for a punch?

Motivation and emotion

We’re smiling too. All right. You look around you, sometimes, and you wonder, how it is that people want things so badly? How can so many things be so important to them? How can they believe so thoroughly and passionately? Why are they so driven?

Very true. And you don’t need to tell me that others would say that somebody who fills dozens of notebooks with early morning dialogues is driven in his own way. It doesn’t feel like it, to me, it feels natural, but I can imagine that that’s how it looks. So I don’t exactly think I’m the only exception to what I’m nevertheless puzzled over.

That’s a good point, that one person’s obsession is another’s natural way of being. But it is the underlying question of motivation that we are interested in, at the moment. Not specific situational motivation, but motivation in general.

Yes. What makes Sammy run, to use the old show title. What is it with us?

What is it with you is that what you used to call 3D Theater is for the playing-out of – well, we are going to say of conflicts, only that needs explaining.

More like confluences, I think. Or just interactions.

That is true once the context is understood, but it requires some spelling-out first, mostly to eliminate potential misreadings.

Life in 3D – which, we remind you, amounts to saying “consciousness restricted in its awareness to 3D conditions of perceived separation, delayed consequences, and constricted experience of time as an invariant succession of present-moments” – life in 3D allows the play of forces to be experienced from within, as it were. It makes it real at an entirely different level than one of somewhat chilly abstraction, which is All-D life as you would perceive it. (In saying that, we are not accusing ourselves of being cold. We are showing you the difference between 3D consciousness and the larger All-D consciousness as it would appear to you.)

If you will remind yourselves that in a very real, if hard to visualize, way, you are all part of one thing, it will be easier to understand. 3D life is the experience of many small parts of all-that-is experiencing themselves as separate. This is not (we keep reminding you) poor design, nor Original Sin in the sense of a culpable act or an error of judgment. It is the result of the eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Perception of Things as Good and Evil – that is, it is the result of the voluntary descent into perception of duality – but it is not punishment nor even an escape from justified punishment. It is the sine qua non of the experience. Without more than one actor, more than one stream of thought, more than one set of motivations, there isn’t much elucidation going on. Monologues and soliloquies only take you so far.

You are implying that our drama is somewhat artificial.

Well, let’s go carefully. Let’s say – we have used the analogy repeatedly, because it is expressive – let’s call you a repertory company doing improvisational drama. You are assigned roles (in 3D’s case, by being born into a certain time, place, heredity), and given baggage (what you sometimes call past lives, other times see as inherited traits, which in a way amounts to the same thing) but are then free to – and required to – make it up as you go along. This is because the theater management, and for that matter the audience, is less concerned with plot than with character revelation and character development. It is the playing-out, less than the play, that is of interest.

No Big Script, no Ultimate Resolution, no Armageddon.

Not except in the sense of the entire working-out process being the script, no. But people like to tack on the idea of a final resolution, for fear of meaninglessness.

Yes, that is a haunting fear many of us come to, after waking up from, or being born free of , belief in the surface appearance of things.

Desire and fear

It is harder, or perhaps we should say it requires greater consciousness and therefore involves more self-consciousness, when you are doing improv knowing it, than when you just follow your impulses less consciously, “doing what comes naturally.”

Living life instinctively, I take it. “Doing what comes naturally” leads to thoughts of the birds and bees, and I can’t think of much that is more instinctive or stronger than the sexual instinct.

Sex, survival, flourishing, all aspects of life as divided beings, yes. Powerful motivators, desire and fear.

I take it that is different from the Course in Miracles polarity of love and fear as the two forces motivating humans.

Yes. That one refers to attraction and repulsion. We are referring to a slightly different way to see 3D life, one in which, within the perception of multiplicity, desire and fear are two motivating forces.

I feel the distinction, but we haven’t put words around it yet.

Love versus fear – or vis a vis fear, we should say – refers to forces leading you [either] from, or further into, a sense of multiplicity. Desire vis a vis fear refers to forces within the sense of multiplicity. Neither one tends to lead you out of it, they manifest it within you (or, you might as well say, they manifest you).

Desire and fear make drama. Drama makes for enactment and, in a sense, awareness of, resolution of, the forces themselves, through manipulation of the agencies though which the forces manifest.

Better let me put that into English. You just said, the forces themselves can be felt but not represented except either by abstractions or by characters feeling them.

We didn’t quite say that, but that is the sense of what we meant, yes. What cannot be directly represented can be personified, observed, experienced vicariously, emotionally understood. This transforms the observer and we go on to whatever follows, to be transformed further.

So even when we live our lives feeling them pointless, even intolerably so, we are performing improv and there is a reason for it.

Well, “a reason for it.” We know what you mean, but to assent would be to mislead. Life is. It doesn’t need a “reason for it.” What you mean is, it isn’t ever meaningless, and this is true. However, a sense of it being meaningless is well within the range of emotions being expressed by this or that actor in the troupe.

Does that imply a need to have every possible mood expressed, so that, we might say, “somebody has to do it”?

That isn’t quite wrong, not quite right. Let’s say, the forces are there. the situations are there. the players with their baggage are there. It’s pretty likely that sooner or later everything inherent in the structure will be acted out by somebody.


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