Jane Roberts on suffering and threads

Saturday, March 6, 2021

7:15 a.m. Another day, to do what? It is a strange way of being, not only not needing to do things, but having nothing I am burning to do. I can’t say it is very satisfying. More like a long coda – a too-long coda – to a life that was never all that busy anyway. But maybe reading The Way Toward Health by Jane Roberts will serve. Less to read about health than about her final days, I think.

Unless you gentlemen have something you’d like us to pursue?

Feel free to coast, instead. Life has its tides.

7:45 a.m. Reading of Jane and Rob is actually more interesting to me at the moment than reading what Seth has to say. This is January 1984, and I keep wondering what I was doing then, not having heard of Jane or Seth at the time.

Yes? You want to say something, Jane? (Assuming you are Jane?)

Don’t forget, you are reading this at this time for a reason, as one does anything at a given time for a reason, obvious or not. This applies to your life or it would not be in your life.


Yes, understood, but – integrated? How far down do you align yourself around your beliefs? This is the key to many things, as Dion Fortune would say.

I’d like to talk to her too, if possible. Do the two of you communicate?

You may consider your own analogy of being strung on a string. We respond to the same vibrations; we concern ourselves with the same deeper realities. Why should we not be able to communicate? We could generalize it to say that everyone concerned with the same thing connects to everyone else connected to the same thing. And this is true, but not the whole story. Remember, each of us while we are functioning in 3D is a collection of threads, some of which may have very different agendas. So I may be a nexus of communication with what you call the non-3D; and another with the source of creative writing; and a third with explorations of health and illness; and a fourth centered on my life with Rob as an example of creative partnership. You, or anyone, may share one such nexus, conceivably more than one, but you are not likely to share them all. What’s what it is to be individual.

We are each individual, unique, windows into 3D, is how I have come to see it.

There is a disproportion yet to be directly addressed in your analogies and illustrations, and that is the vastness of the connecting thread and the relatively tiny extent of any given individual sharing that thread.

It’s true we may never have said so explicitly, but I think I have been taking it for granted. For instance, the guys said, decades ago, that everyone who reads a book is directly connected to the author and to everybody else who reads it! I thought immediately of Plato, being read over 2,000 years in all parts of the world, by people whose belief systems may have little or nothing in common, and it was a staggering (and in fact for a while unbelievable) image.

You were thinking of that thread as itself a web, and nothing wrong with the image; it hints at the extent and complexity of that kind of influence.

But now broaden the analogy, and think of all the active interests that make up your life. If you are a quilter – as several of your friends are – that is a very specific form of creativity. If you read romance fiction, you might think, “This is only wasting time,” or you might be embarrassed about it, but – like any other genre – it is another specific interconnecting thread. And so on and so forth. Any activity mental or physical (not that an activity could be physical without also being mental) must connect you to others, and if there is a limit to how many such resonances you could have, we are not aware of it. You see your occasional Renaissance Man – da Vinci in his way, Churchill in his – and you get a glimpse of the external manifestation of a huge web of interlocking influences.

And I get that this includes those things we did not choose consciously, but that were part of us.

Yes. The republic of suffering, for instance, that you read about, has much wider implications.

I had forgotten about that. It had something to do with the wounded of the Civil War, but I don’t remember more than that.

Doesn’t matter. The point here is that everyone whose life comprises significant physical suffering over long extents of time shares that experience as a thread.

Thus, JFK and FDR and you, for instance?

And innumerable others who lived and died unknown to history, certainly. Every patient at Warm Springs, every person worked on at the Mayo Clinic, all the inhabitants of TB clinics, polio hospitals, etc. The suffering is not all of their lives, but it was part of their lives, and that part forms a string along which other sufferers find resonance.

Thinking about it, I think of the Murphys, Hemingway’s friends. Less Gerald than his wife, but she suffered terribly, emotionally, as two of her three children died lingering deaths after lingering illness. Surely her suffering counts, as well.

Of course it does, but of course the suffering from empathy is different in kind from the suffering directly from one’s own body. Thus, Rob suffered with me, but he didn’t suffer just as I suffered. Being in a different body, how could he? Nor would it have been appropriate.

Appropriate? Say more on that?

It is merely an extension of what you know already: Things don’t happen without reason. The reasons (known or unknown) had him as sufferer second-hand, not first-hand. This allowed him to support me, as he had always done. If he had been crippled, too, it would have had to be a different dynamic.

Now if you look at this, you can see that connection via suffering may be the only connection two very different individuals have, but even though unknown to them, it is a real connection, with active results.

Using what I know, which is basically historical examples, I see FDR and JFK as presidents who were very different in many ways, but who did share that compassion for those who suffered in one way or another. But then I think of TR who overcame his youthful illnesses, and Lincoln whose mental suffering nearly overwhelmed him, and Jefferson with his migraines, and I think, probably everybody has something, so is it a significant indicator? Marie Curie died of radiation poisoning: Does that count? Chamberlain died in 1914 of wounds incurred in the Civil War 50 years earlier. And God, think of the hospitals all over the world filled with disabled veterans of various wars.

Illness, suffering, disability are all hidden threads. Perhaps no one of those who share the thread would define himself in those terms, but it is there, seen or unseen.

How did we come to concentrate on suffering as a thread, when we started with my asking about you and Violet Firth?

It is the obvious connector. Don’t forget, Dion Fortune had her problems. It is part of what made her into Dion Fortune.

And for some reason I am thinking of several of my favorite authors: Dorothy Sayers, Josephine Tey in particular.

You are becoming sensitive to criticism, even when not meant.

You mean, that I only cite male lives, male examples, male authors?

You can’t prevent people from reading things into blank spaces, but perhaps you can’t really affect their perceptions, either.

So just go my own way.

Have you ever done differently?

Smiling. I guess not. Well, this was a surprise, as I didn’t expect more than a few lines if that. Thanks very much and whenever you’d like to say something to us, you have a willing amanuensis.

The willingness – yours or others’ – is always appreciated.

Again, thanks, and see you next time, maybe.


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