Tuesday, March 30, 2021
[I had a dream that turned lucid, always a lovely experience, and remarked upon it in my journal, which I don’t transcribe here.]
6:45 a.m. And so, lucid dream aside, I’m ready for more on the virus and our situation, if that’s what you care to provide.
The lucid dream and its delightful accompanying feeling of possibility are merely reassurance, not important in themselves otherwise. As you know.
I do. But I still luxuriate in the feeling, as I do whenever something like that happens. It’s like a promise, to me. The best is yet to come.
It might be closer to think, the best takes place continually, and it is mostly a matter of growing able to perceive it. It isn’t a matter of waiting till you’re dead before you’re allowed to have the candy.
That’s how it feels, often enough.
Yes, but how do you know about how you are going to feel after you’re dead about the life around you right now?
Say some more about that. If we don’t get to virus and all until another time, no harm done.
Meaning, anything that happens, in any order, is fine and nothing lost?
Well – meaning it’s useless to be consumed by thoughts about opportunity costs. Life is always presenting you with its best, however hard or disagreeable or flat or terrifying (or anything) you find it. It’s mostly a matter of being open to it.
I remember, in my computer programming days at the shipyard [Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.], I came to hate every day, the whole routine from having to be waked up by an alarm clock through the bus ride and the day’s long empty hours and the bus ride home and the pitiful refund of time at the end – time I could make no creative use of – and then to bed and rinse, repeat. It was only many years later, after I was safely out of that long grind, that I realized I could have looked at it as a unique window on a part of life I couldn’t have seen any other way. But that later thought, though true, has the flavor of how we in 3D imagine you in non-3D, seeing the opportunities without realizing the pain.
And you used to think, you could use that material in a novel someday. But you never did. Why is that?
You tell me.
You were moved on to other problems. The thought of someday using it [as plot] helped you to bear it and examine it. The need to actually write about it dissolved with the emotional environment the situation provided. A Hemingway might have used it, as he used everything in his life, but you were not – are not – a writer, a translator, in the way he was. That is, your aims are different. He turned everything to advantage; grist for his ever-turning mills.
This isn’t coming out right. I know you aren’t merely saying I don’t have his genius – God, who does? – nor his talent nor his unbelievable powers of sustained concentration. You are saying something different, but it is coming out muffled.
We are looking at your lives as process. Input, processing, output. Yours was not observation, translation into evocative word-pictures that illuminated the shading beyond the obvious. That was his, and we agree, he did it superbly. Yours is something else. Closer to experiencing, churning, transformation as example.
And it hasn’t anything much to do with example as “ something other people may learn from.”
Well, it does – anybody’s life is that – but no, in the sense you mean, it is not lived for anyone else, but for itself, and this is everyone’s life, as well. It is what you do for yourself, out of yourself, that is the realest part of your life. So, what looked to you like wasted years, watching your opportunities vanish with the ticking of the clock, were in fact merely the unwinding of the days as usual. The tragic sense of loss was real enough, and not real.
“Only somewhat real,” like our lives as you describe them.
Like your lives – our lives too, we remind you – always. And there isn’t anything wrong with it. Life isn’t malfunctioning. Your own lives aren’t on some inexplicable wrong track. The fact that things proceed not according to your plan or your desire says nothing about their being “right” or “wrong.”
I guess we know that by now.
You each know it somewhat, to different levels. At some point there is usually a limit and you say, “But this matters! This is too much,” or “This couldn’t be happening if the world were organized right.” And at that point you are tempted to say to yourself, “Nothing makes sense, nothing can be counted on, and my life has been broken, or wasted, or warped, or has run into shallow water” (depending upon the emotional temperature at the moment).
We’re back on faith, fear, doubt.
Did we ever leave it? And that is the tie to what we said earlier: How do you know how you will feel, after it is too late to affect your 3D life from the 3D (as opposed to this, for instance)? Will you feel you made your best use of the opportunity, or will you feel you wasted a good deal of time and energy protesting the scene, the plot, the direction and the screenwriting?
Anything particularly wrong with our delivering those criticisms? We’re the ones in it, you know.
There isn’t anything wrong with any attitude you may take. We don’t say you might think it was wrong, but you might think you didn’t make the most of your opportunities. You have had that thought before, but perhaps you were thinking in terms of turning your life into novels. Instead, remember that your life itself, per se, is the novel you are writing. It isn’t a matter of translating flesh and blood action, not even of translating thought, nor even emotion, into a fixed form, a novel, a movie, whatever. What is closer is, it is a matter of translating your ongoing stream of decisions into what you are going to become, and this is the masterpiece everyone creates. And like The Count of Monte Cristo or the Hornblower saga or Nevil Shute’s or Maurice Walsh’s books, or “Person of Interest,” or anything – it is, like you in 3D, somewhat real. Life is tragic or comic, or anything, only within its own terms.
Yes, I think that’s the basis of the difference in attitude between 3D and non-3D, mostly if not entirely. We see and feel the world as real, and you see and feel it as somewhat real. So for us the stakes seem to be very high, and for you, not nearly so high. It is the difference between a 3D horse race and reading about a horse race, or watching a film in which a horse race occurs.
A closer analogy to our position (though a hard one to apprehend) would be to be watching that horse race as real and watching it as a race in a film.
I suppose that (special effects aside) for there to be a film of a horse race, there had to be a horse race to be filmed.
Go slowly, but that’s the idea. If you are filming a horse race, you will need to do many things that are for the sake of producing the filmic effects, but at the heart of it will still be a race, even if the winner is predetermined (and pleased don’t jump to the conclusion that we just said life is predetermined or scripted!). That’s 3D life in relation to the All-D that 3D is part of. Your actions and reactions matter, because they help shape you. Do we care who wins the somewhat real horse race? You do. You almost have to. But no matter which horse wins the race, the purpose of the race has been accomplished.
A lot of material here for people to misunderstand.
It’s always that way. Just remember our own journey together to date. But no harm done. If you’re lost and have no ultimate destination anyway, you merely redefine yourself as an explorer and it’s all to the good.
Very funny. But, I admit, true, too.
And there’s your hour, and we can go back to talking about the virus and society another time.
Well, you’re always somewhat entertaining and somewhat informative, in a somewhat real way. Thanks as always.