The Interface: A very familiar theme

So, guys, continue on Dirk’s list, or something else?

Continue.

[5.6) Is a major reason for these to learn, such as to learn how to control or overcome them, or to deal with or overcome the consequences of a life lived that way? Or is it something else?

[5.7) Are there others factors involved?]

As you will see from what we have said so far, it isn’t like you are placed in 3D with emotions set, as if you were a science experiment. Instead, you are placed in 3D for reasons of your (our) own, and emotions arise from the interaction between two part of you, smaller and larger, or (experienced as) internal and external.

Yes, I think that is clear.

However, when we omit the mistaken idea of causality we may still address the question of result. That is, although emotions are not pre-set (except in so far as they may be seen as the inevitable result of the situation the soul is placed into), it is still worthwhile to see how they play out. Do they result in one learning to control them or overcome them? Do they not result in certain consequences? And are other factors to be considered in this context? So, the questions have value even though the premises are invalid.

I suppose that in a way that is what you’re always saying to yourselves.

True enough. It’s unavoidable in the circumstances. We always have to start where you are, and that always involves slippage due to the difference between your conscious and unconscious assumptions and ours. It is the overcoming of the differences in understanding that constitutes whatever learning takes place.

Dirk’s question 5.6, looked at from the point of view we suggested above, should point you to a very familiar theme, namely: “It’s up to you.” Said another way, “Your life is what you make it.” Said again, “You are here to choose and choose what you wish to be.” One more time, “Life looks like it is about first-tier experience but in fact is about first- and second- and third-tier experiences, and cannot be understood without that context.”

First-tier being the thing itself, second-tier being our reaction to the thing, third-tier being the result of a lifetime of second-tier reactions.

Correct. Your life ultimately is what you make it, only this is not meant as to the externals of your life – your public career, so to speak – but the internals, knowable only to a small extent even to 3D-you yourself.

We tend to view life from a more objective standpoint.

You do not. You view it as it if were a novel, or a fable, or a history, or a science book. What looks to you like an objective view of life and of people’s lives is actually a constructed narrative that relies heavily upon the only available evidence and is therefore unavoidably flattened and distorted.

The historical record is always of the external world, but not of the ‘external’ as part of a shared subjectivity (that is, of the same nature as your inner world as experienced), but as an “objective” truly externally present otherness. Wonderful word, objective. We could redefine it as, “Tending to make processes look like objects.”

I begin to see. I think of Adomnan’s biography of St. Columba, his predecessor as head of the community Columba founded on Iona in the 500’s. I noted when I read it, how different it was from anything that would be written today. Adomnan was entirely unconcerned with dates or even places. He was unconcerned with producing a sequential narrative, or any context for those who might be interested in Columba’s human 3D details, as we would be. Instead, he recounted what he knew of what Columba had experienced as it reflected Columba’s spiritual nature. At least, I suppose that’s how he saw what he was doing.

He was not writing fiction, nor pious platitudes. He was telling what he considered the important facts about his sainted predecessor, which illustrates your point here: What is important to us refers mostly to the “external” world; what was important to him refers mostly to the internal world as it was reflected by Columba’s living it.

Now consider the analogy to what you yourself have been doing for 20 years now. How much have you discussed [in journals] this contentious election and the forces contending? Less so than in 2016 and less so than 2000. You see? Your explorations have moved to their proper sphere, rather than remaining at the periphery that is concern with external life.

Someone said of Thoreau that nobody else ever wrote two million words (his 24-year journal) so unconcerned with his internal life. But that’s a backwards way of looking at it, isn’t it?

Thoreau regarded external events as “a journal of the winds that blew while we were here,” you will remember. Prickly Protestant that he was, nevertheless he might have recognized that he had greater affinity with Adomnan than with most of his contemporaries, if the sainthood factor had not spoken to his prejudices and closed off that understanding.

Yes, he was still in that reaction to medieval Catholic political domination, that combined with a “modern” (even then) attitude that discarded whole areas of experience as “obvious superstition.”

Still, he was a window, and a valuable one, as you yourself know first-hand.

So to return more closely to Dirk’s questions, as reinterpreted through your different point of view?

  • Look at your life as people mostly look at other people’s lives, as the interaction of internal characteristics with events that happen around them, and you find that few people’s lives are worth a lot of consideration. How many famous men and women alive at this moment, among 7,000 million?
  • But look at your life as we see it, and we see a piece of a whole, interacting in a million ways, affecting and being affected by others. By definition every soul is unique, non-transferable, and therefore represents an irreplaceable part of the jigsaw puzzle. When you lose a piece of a puzzle, you can still make out the image, but it is, to that extent, marred.

That word “non-transferable” wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to interrupt the flow. I suppose you meant to convey that we can’t be considered replaceable, but I would have thought “unique” would cover it, and anyway “irreplaceable” came immediately after it.

What we mean to remind you of is that each of you is important because unique, because your role can never be played by anyone but you. It does not matter in the least that your life be lived in the spotlight or in deepest obscurity. Who in Columba’s contemporary world, other than a relatively few monks and some Irish kinfolk, knew that Columba was living his life on a tiny island off the west coast of a Scotland still in the hands of non-Christian and non-Briton chieftains? But, survey that world. Even looking at it externally, what is remembered as important in all that world more than the life and consequences of this once hot-tempered Irishman?

Do you want to say something explicit about “other factors”?

No need. It is implicit and it will surface here and there as we proceed. His question 5.8 will serve as springboard next time.

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