Monday, June 14, 2021
1:40 a.m. Ready if you are. You said we would begin by examining the “3D individual and future strand” – that is, who we are.
That is what this whole series centers on, after all. You want to know your place in the grand scheme of things. A set of generalizations won’t really help you.
No. I just re-read My Dinner With Andre, last night. That’s what the book is about: What are we doing here?
Or perhaps, “What should we be doing, here?”
Yes, very much that.
Our theme already takes for granted that you are not mortal in the sense of being extinguished by death, nor are you immortal in the sense of continuing after death in just the same way you were proceeding when alive in 3D.
Yes, I get that. I said, years ago, death isn’t the end of everything, but it isn’t nothing, either.
Treat it as deliverance, or consider it with dread, everybody feels its importance. But death is a transition. What of the life before and after the transition? That’s the important thing. If you were to look at death as a lightning bolt, yes it is a high-energy event – to put it mildly – but there isn’t anything you can do about the lighting itself. Its energy is of a different order of magnitude, and it strikes where and when it pleases, regardless of your intent or pleas.
I realize, writing that out for you, that the statement could be easily misinterpreted. I know you are not implying randomness, but are saying that death does not proceed according to 3D rules.
That’s right. Someone could commit suicide: That doesn’t change the nature of death, it’s merely summoning the lightning rather than waiting for it. And even there, the question would arise as to why the person chose and facilitated its death.
In any case, right at the moment, there you are, in 3D writing or reading this. You experience yourself as captain of your ship, the body and soul you have been carried in (so to speak) since birth. Whatever your opinions about life, you have years of experience of life, and it all tells you that birth-to-death is an experience with its own unity, no matter what detail it consists of. That is, you are pretty sure you are you. That “you” feels immortal, to the extent that you can’t really imagine emotionally that you ever weren’t, or ever will cease to be. You can imagine nonexistence intellectually, but you cannot imagine it as a state of being, or rather of non-being. Said differently, you know, regardless of any opinion you may have to the contrary, that you can never cease to be.
But the Roman’s tomb says, “Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo.”
And whole systems of philosophy have maintained much the same attitude. But do you think this disproves our point?
It certainly seems to.
“I was not, I was, I am not, I care not.” That is opinion, however firmly and sincerely held. We would never maintain that the world has not been full of atheists, or nihilists.
But then how can you say that people of this opinion didn’t mean it?
It’s a subtle point: They did mean it; they nonetheless felt their own immortality, despite their opinion.
Where’s the evidence of that?
We were about to advance an argument, then realized, this is futile. Argument attempts to convince. Exposition seeks to strike sparks, and then the recipient of the fire may advance its own arguments.
That’s the first time I can remember you rolling over like that. You haven’t been shy with arguments before this.
The argument would rest in the air, because it would tell you, not what you are experiencing, or may experience, but what unspecified others experienced. What could you say to that but the equivalent of “Oh, yeah?” Suppose we were to say, flatly, that everyone who ever died was thinking of purple at that moment. We could allege it; we could hardly prove it. You could argue against it; you could hardly prove it wasn’t so. Useless, all of it.
All right, I see that.
Besides, it wasn’t purple, it was orange.
Very funny. Well, you know my preferences: I have never resonated to flat statements made without context, “take it or leave it.”
If we are about anything, it is context. As you know, that’s what takes so long, filling in context.
To return to our point, honing it a bit: You know you are immortal; you feel it, you grok it, and what opinions you may have that contradict this knowing only set up internal conflict, they do not set up a knowing that supplants it. Feel within yourselves to see if this is not so. But – distinguish between your opinions on the subject – which may be quite strong – and your underlying, unreasoning, indeed unreasonable deepest conviction. Now if you find that in fact you are living a contradiction between a knowing and an opinion, it will be up to you to decide what to do, but at least you will be clearer about your inner being.
Now – taking that evidence for granted, the question arises: “Can the knowing be trusted? Can it be true?”
I’m not in the habit of distrusting such knowings.
No, you aren’t, but that isn’t the end of the subject. For one thing, maybe you’re living in a fool’s paradise. For another, not everyone trusts life in that way, for better or worse. So we need to look at it.
- A knowing that one is immortal may perhaps spring from fear of non-existence. That is, it may not be based in experience at all, but in preference.
- But even if based in experience, whose experience? If the bundle that is you came into being specifically for this lifetime, what pre-existed?
- If the knowing comes from various strands, the question becomes less “Does this prove immortality” than “Does this prove at least some sort of continuation beyond physical death?” (Limited continuation might not necessarily mean immortality, you see.)
- These alternative possibilities mean merely that a knowing is not the end of the questioning, but a beginning of new questioning.
I see that. I’m not sure why the subject of immortality (or not) is central here. Either way, we live our life and then proceed to whatever follows death. If nothing, then end of subject and we were wrong and so what?
No, you are not thinking this through. If death is the end of the 3D being, is it the end of the strands that pre-existed it? And if it can be the end for Frank, how could it not have been the end for Joseph or Bertram, etc.?
You said, years ago, that some lives are not particularly valuable, not worth preserving as models. I eventually worked out that you meant that the given bundle didn’t really offer anything, but that the strands of course continued. Even at the time I could feel myself struggling to make sense of what I took you to be saying. I think I knew I didn’t have enough of the picture to understand except in a fashion that was distorted by being too dependent upon my previous ideas.
Bear in mind, it is a matter of crystallization. A given life crystallizes or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, the comprising elements continue to exist, of course, but there is no permanent addition to what we sometimes call the library of human souls. If it does, then we have a new soul available as strand in itself, and once crystallization takes place, it doesn’t un-take place.
So if no new unit is formed – if the elements that coexisted during a 3D life go their separate ways again, leaving no new ties among them – the comprising strands are still immortal. Nothing has been lost. If a new unit is formed, the comprising strands continue to exist and a new strand containing that combination has come into existence. Where is the room for something dying? When you see the failed experiment as not having come into being rather than seeing it as having come into being and then dissolving, you see what a difference a nuance of understanding may make.
To some it will seem like playing with words.
We do not waste our time or yours playing with words. But not everything someone reads registers.
So, next time?
We haven’t finished with the fact that you are both present-3D-soul and future strand. And beyond that is the larger question that we have in mind, the question of your life post-3D considered without reference to 3D. But it will take a while to get there.
Our thanks for all this, as always.