Monday, April 19, 2021
4:25 a.m. Re-reading The Making of the President 1960 after all these years is as interesting as rereading Schlesinger was. I was, I suppose, no more than 19 when I read it, still full of anguish. I would have been interested primarily in the story of how JFK struck for power. I doubt I would have understood much of the rest of it – White’s masterful description of the country’s political structure – at the time. Certainly I read it differently than I would have read it after having my own brief electoral experience. Hard to remember the “how” of it, but within another ten years, wholly unprepared, still quite ignorant of what would be required, I too had run for Congress, with mostly my brother for support. It didn’t take long to realize that this was not many kind of life I wanted – but having started, I had to continue until the primary voting would free me from further responsibility. What a very naïve boy I was. Yet, oddly, following that wrong path for so many wrong reasons led to everything I was to do, in totally different fields.
[TGU:] Do you want our opinion?
Always. Or at least – J – usually.
Everything you did out of internal compulsion helped you do what you set out to do before you even had a body. Yet had you chosen not to do any of it, or had you abandoned ship in mid-effort, your external life might have gotten harder, or even easier, but you would still have found your way to this connection provided you didn’t let “common sense” drown out the quiet internal guidance that led you to prefer this to that, to instinctively prefer A to B to C.
And as usual you are talking to others through me. I get that, and in fact I usually assume it, though I don’t always say it.
Your friend DW says we keep expressing his own situation, and so have others said the same thing, and we say to them merely, “You are aware of it, and it strikes you. but our words are equally appropriate for many others who do not become aware of it.” But this is not something peculiar to us talking to you. We, or our equivalents, talking to anyone would have application to others, if the talk were recorded; if the advice were heeded.
I’ve worked on that assumption, too. We’re all one thing, in a way.
So – to continue – when you make choices in life, different kinds of people make them in different ways, and this is fine; there is nothing wrong with diversity, and a good deal right with it. But those who try to live exclusively by “common sense” and logic will find extensive reinforcement from the outside world. Those who try to live by following intuition and feelings will have a harder time finding similar reinforcement. They will need select communities if they are to find any reinforcement at all. Fortunately much of that kind of reinforcement can be virtual – but not all of it. You must have at least one person who believes in you in this context. Only, live in faith that that need will be met, if you are able to live that way.
You mean, I think, if we are able to live in such a way as to believe that what we need will be provided.
Isn’t that what we just said?
I didn’t want there to be any ambiguity in how people took it. You are saying in this as in other things, live in faith.
You don’t always get what you want. We might almost say you don’t usually get what you want. But as the song says, you get what you need.
Doesn’t the song say we “just might” get what we need?
Regardless, we say, you will get what you need unless you actively or passively insist on not receiving it. And even in such case, what you need will continue to be available whenever you are willing to accept it. Of course, what it is may change as you choose, but it will be there.
I don’t doubt it.
No, but you did, before you learned better.
Oh yes, and I felt very alone in the world. Thank God for my brother, I always said (and say yet), who believed in me. That was more than I could always do for myself.
If we could only convince you! (You all, of course.) What you need, there it is. What you get is what you need as you are. If you want other, you need to change who you are, but that is all you need to do. If you need help from the universe, step out of the way.
Does that apply to Papa’s Trial? Said with a straight face – I’m not twitting you – yet said in confidence, as well, and in a lot of perplexity.
Yes, and let’s parse that.
- Confidence, because you know from experience and faith, All is well.
- Perplexity, because what you think should happen doesn’t, and, even more,
- Who you are, what you do or even want to do, don’t seem to match the situation within.
- And mostly – and the important part of this discussion – there is as always the question of “What is guidance saying” as opposed to “What are robots or bad assumptions saying?” That is, can you trust this or that internal tendency.
Particularly the latter. If we could trust every impulse to be divinely inspired, so to speak, life would be easy. But to live like that would be to live subject to Psychic’s Disease, I think. Yet to discern among threads is not so easy.
We never promised easy. In fact, as we have said in other contexts, you shouldn’t expect “easy” because you would be bored, as a teenager would be bored by a child’s simpler problems.
We’re between two extremes. Live in faith, but don’t live on automatic pilot, giving up the power of choice and decision even to what may be a “higher power,” because it may be a complex, instead.
Nor is that a design flaw in the pattern of life. It is an inherent difficulty, but a productive one.
So, when it comes to promoting Papa’s Trial and we have no real clue how to do it – what?
Discern among motives. Is there something you feel you should do that feels like too much work, or feels repugnant, or useless? That may be a dilemma. But if there are things you can do, and you do them, how can you lose? If there are things you should refrain from doing, and you do refrain – again, how can you lose? If is only in the areas of confusion that your dilemma resides.
Sure. So how do we sort our motives out?
How do you ever?
The best we can do is to be as conscious as possible, I suppose.
But how do you examine?
I try talking to you.
There are worse approaches. But we rarely tell you what to do, if you haven’t noticed.
I’m sure it seems that way to you, and it is true in terms of “Do this,” or “Do that.” But you usually try to keep me on the strait and narrow, I notice.
How do you examine?
I was about to say, I “feel” my way. But that doesn’t take us any farther from Psychic’s Disease, does it?
Here we would have to depart from our preferred policy of generalizing from your situation for the sake of others as well. What suits you will not suit everybody.
I don’t see why you can’t proceed, with that caveat.
There is too much risk of being misunderstood. Nearly a certainty, in fact, because so little can be said clearly using words. You know the difference between the promptings of your better nature and your worse nature (to put it that way), but knowing is not the same as being able to put it into words. Well, same with us. Some things can’t be said.
Can’t be said without being misunderstood?
Yes, but not because we can’t put it clearly; because the subtlety of life eludes your net.
So, in practice –
“You do the best you can.” You don’t expect perfection of yourself or of others, and neither do you settle into complacency.
Does any of this actually help anybody? Myself included.
You shouldn’t ever underestimate the supportive nature of finding out that one’s own experience is not peculiar to oneself but is widespread, even natural. It removes a layer of difficulty, allowing the person to address the difficulty remaining without first having to battle through a perception of personal failure, or of personal entanglement.
And there’s your hour.
Our thanks as always.