I forget where we were. In general, we were investigating our feelings and emotions in the larger context of 3D life as it relates to non-3D life, but if you have a syllabus, it is transparent to me.
Not a syllabus, merely a familiarity with the terrain to be traversed. If we don’t do it one way, we can always do it another way. Just so we don’t give up, we’ll get there. There really isn’t any neat systematic way to go about it, not when one end of the process is in 3D, subject to 3D accidents of attention. The pressures and cross-currents of the ever-moving living present assure that you will always have a harder time sticking to the point (any given point) than you would if you were standing on an unmoving platform.
Now let’s look at how living in 3D results in your having continuous opportunities to refine your ore. The very things that can make your life difficult and painful can make it rich and satisfying. Can. May. But it isn’t a given, it depends on you doing the work.
Go ahead, we’re listening.
The thing we are least confident of having conveyed is the sense of 3D life as both an individual subjectivity and a shared subjectivity. It is an individual subjectivity in that it feels like it is lived alone among externals. It is a shared subjectivity in that you all interact at so many more levels than you sometimes think, and, more importantly, because you as 3D individuals relate to everything in your world. That is, nothing is experienced “by chance,” regardless how it appears.
A simple concept, but revolutionary, and if we once ever succeed in giving you the living sense of the truth of it, your lives cannot fail to be transformed, for you will know, and you will realize that you are free and always have been free – provided you choose to realize it.
The boy I was in my teens and twenties would have a hard time recognizing the mental world I live in. As a teen I rebelled against the church and its rules and assumptions, nor was I wrong in doing so. In my twenties, I lived a life that assumed pretty much what our society assumes: an individual life in 3D amid a bewilderment of people whose motives I didn’t understand, and external events whose connection to myself I didn’t understand, and internal motivations and dynamics that moved my life, I never understanding why or how.
But in the long second half of your life you gradually came to see the world differently.
I did, and the process continues, and you are no small part of it, as you have to know. And the very scriptures that were dead to me (or, I suppose, that I was dead to) in those days, today seem nothing but uncommon sense.
Let’s put it this way: You outgrew the superstitious sense of your religious exposure and worked your way into its deeper meaning, in the way one might graduate from fairy tales about George Washington and the cherry tree not by throwing out the testimonies of history, but by learning to read them with sophistication. And “reading with sophistication” means reading in light of everything your life teaches you. You learn to sort the essential from the merely accidental; you learn to recognize truth where and when you find it, not (1) rejecting it because others read that same truth in a superstitious way, nor (2) rejecting it because they see others reading it in that superstitious way.
That got a little tangled. I hope I fixed it up properly.
Merely restate it. All you are doing is preventing misreading. No harm in trying.
I saw that you meant that people often reject religious dogma – and, worse, religious scripture – for either of two complementary reasons.
Yes, and here is the point you didn’t finish making: Jesus said he came that people might have life more abundantly, and you now have a better idea what he meant.
I do, and it was there all along but I didn’t see it, and nothing I happened to read or hear pointed it out.
You had to grow into it. Everybody does. But remember that however random life appears, nobody attains a vision or misses anything “accidentally.” What you grasp or don’t grasp today, you do as a matter more of choice than of accident. However, the less conscious your choice, the less control of life you will appear to yourselves to have.
So, again: a simple concept. The 3D world as it appears to be, in all its seemingly objective materially real otherness, is not something “out there,” is not an independently existing thing into which you have been dropped and enmeshed. It is you, in a very real sense. This is not metaphor nor analogy nor high-flying comparison. It is sober truth, and once you recognize its truth, you see that your life cannot have been what you thought it was when you thought you were a pinball being bounced among bumpers.
Life does feel that way, sometimes.
Of course, or there would be no point in our saying that it is not so.
The 3D is there to support you in your process of self-purification, self-refinement if you prefer. That isn’t all it’s there for, but in terms of any given 3D individual soul, that is its salient characteristic and its prime use.
It is how you can experience your unconscious aspects and, with luck and perseverance, can make them conscious. And you do this not to keep score, nor to placate some implacable scorekeeper in the sky, nor to make up for your insufficiencies, nor to atone for your sins. (In a way, that is the same thing said four ways.) You do it so that you may take what is dead within you and give it life. You do it so that you will be less the captive of old habits and scars and defensive reflexes, and will enter into joy that is not hostage to circumstances.
To the extent that you learn to trust life (not as an intellectual or theoretical process, but as a taken-for-granted attitude), you escape that sense of doom or of confused resentment, or of an active embattlement, however it may manifest. Casting out fear, you see how fear has distracted your reactions, has muted your satisfactions. Trusting life, accepting whatever comes, you save that immense expenditure of energy in anger, shame, guilt, dread. Instead of enduring life, you live.
So that even painful memories and active regrets become opportunities to assimilate and accept and transform.
They don’t become those things; they become realized as having always been those things. Life didn’t change, you changed. But, you changing, life as it presented around you showed itself to have been different all along. It was your vision that painted it one way, and your improved vision that now paints it another way. Same world, but a radically different experience of the world.
And still it feels like we didn’t quite say it.
If Jesus couldn’t get it across, perhaps we may be forgiven for not doing any better.
Very funny. I keep thinking you will find a way to say it, or I will, but it seems to slip through our fingers. It is so simple, so fundamental, so absolutely common-sense, but all we can do is point toward it.
You know the joke you like.
“Please don’t bite my finger. Look where I’m pointing,” yes. I don’t get the feeling that anyone is tempted to bite my finger, but I do sense them more interested in examining the skin of it, pore by pore, than merely using it as a rough guide.
Some will, some will not. Some will get it today, some won’t get it until another combination of time and thought. You do the best you can, and leave it at that. It isn’t under your control, nor ours. You have to leave people their space.
It’s frustrating nonetheless to be unable to find a way to say convincingly what has become so plain.
The frustration is a sort of partial throwback to an earlier way of thinking that assumes a conflict of forces in an arena allowing random interaction.
We think you will see we did better today than you might think.