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Only Somewhat Real: External and internal time

Monday, November 13, 2017

External and internal time

All right, my friends. Your move. As so often, I’ve lost track of where we are going.

The over-arching theme is, what these concepts of how the world is have to do with your lives as you lead them, moment by moment. We are attempting to bring heaven to earth, you might say. That is, we intend to un-divorce daily life and eternal life. We want to help you bridge concepts in your lives that have been allowed to separate so far as to be mutually irrelevant. A life without framework is chaotic and meaningless. A framework without applicability to everyday life is theoretical and irrelevant. Every feature of your lives may be reduced to this statement: Life must be seen whole if you are to function at your best.

I see that. I’ve been preaching it for years, in fact.

You do and you don’t see it. As in every subject one could address, there are always more levels that can be seen into, more connections to be made, more self-transformation that may follow.

Obviously.

Actually, not all the obviously. But, a little more introspection at any time will usually pay rewards.

Ten minutes to cover one page. I can’t understand it. I realize that speed isn’t the point here, but I keep noticing that at least initially, things somehow take more time than seems reasonable, or rather than seems explicable. I didn’t pause, I didn’t write any more slowly as far as I noticed, yet in 1/6th of an hour, I filled not 1 and 1/2 pages, but only one, or a rate that would produce not 8, 9, or 10 pages, but only six.

Let us correct your phrasing, for a change. You are thinking this is unimportant but inexplicable. We are thinking it is important for reasons you do not yet suspect; it is a tiny thing, seemingly trivial, but sometimes trivial matters are clues to much larger things.

I’ll take your word for it, and wait for the larger meaning to emerge.

It is now 16 minutes, and not quite two pages, yet this would produce eight in an hour. You see no difference in pace; you still have not paused, yet the mathematics come out different.

Okay, I heard, between the lines, something like “the system of measurement isn’t exact.” Not in so many words, but that is the essence of it, vaguely.

And as we said, small things may serve to shed light on larger ones – not that you in 3D are well placed to differentiate between small and large, significant and insignificant, trivial and symbolic.

You think you measure out your lives in time units. After all, your civilization lives by clock and bell; intricate maneuverings of all sorts assure that you continue to live as if inside a watch. You remember Joseph’s observation.

I do. Joseph Smallwood – Joe Indian, for a good part of his life – said to me once that to him, a man of the 19th century, our 20th- and 21st-century lives looked like living inside clockwork, very little free, very little unregulated, next to his. He wasn’t talking about just government or social regulation, either, but our entire framework, clock-driven, intermeshed.

And people of your age – grandpop! – see clearly how much worse the trend is for those following you, whose childhoods are so regulated next to yours, whose amusements and day-to-day lives are so plugged-in, electronically, and, you fear, so unplugged from the natural world that they hardly experience.

Yes, but I do suspect that this may not be loss, but change. That is, what they lose may be well compensated for by what they gain. May be. We’ll see.

We’d say you may count on the fact that any phenomenon whatever will manifest largely to some, scarcely at all to others, and, as usual, in varying amounts to those between the extremes.

Well, sure. I take that for granted.

Which is a reason for us to state it explicitly. What is taken for granted may be thoroughly integrated so as to form a uniform background, or it may be manifest in certain phases of your mental and physical lives and be invisible or non-existent in others. Hence the advantage of making it more conscious by stating it.

Half an hour, four pages. Same pace, so far as I can tell. Part of the difference may be long paragraphs versus short, I suppose.

You can let that go now, except at the end. It has served its purpose to focus your mind on the theme we have not yet quite stated.

Time is not quite what we think it is.

Well, let’s say your progression through time isn’t as uniform as you tend to think it is, because

Internal v. external time. Depends on whether we measure by intuition or by sensory apparatus.

That’s closer. Remember, one of our recurring themes is, internal and external worlds are the same thing, experienced one by the intuition (that is, direct feed from the larger world) and the other by the senses (that is, coordinating with the circumambient sensory world).

There’s your favorite word again.

It is useful, preserving a sense of flow as well as structure.

Now, your body conforms to the sensory model, as far as you can tell, and your mind to the intuitive. Anybody can experience this. Your altered-state experiences in the black box [at The Monroe Institute] showed you that.

They did indeed. Skip [Atwater, monitoring the sessions] would say, sink into that for a moment, or I would tell him I would be gone for a while – and in fact when I came to listen to the tape, maybe I would be silent only for a minute or two. Alternatively, maybe I’d comes out of a session thinking it had been shorter than usual, only to find that it was ten or fifteen minutes longer than usual.

Anybody can experience the disconnect between internal experience and external elapsed measurement. It is mostly a matter of noticing.

It is a commonplace that when you’re doing what you love, you tend to lose track of time.

We’d say, not precisely “what you love” but “what most engages you.” The depth of engagement (if we may use a physical description that is in fact only a metaphor) determines what you experienced. You are not carried along by the stream of external time, though of course that is what your senses report. You are moved from moment to moment, and feel these moments variably, depending on your level of attention and engagement.

That isn’t really clear. Not to the readers (unless they’re more connected to it than I am) nor to me. I often have the sense of something before you put it into words, but here I am putting it into words and not really having the sense of it. “Carried along” and “moved” seem the same to me.

Yes, that’s a long subject, though it has been touched upon more than once. By TGU to Rita and you, by Rita after she changed perspective.

Bookmark it, for the moment?

Yes, although your bookmarks tend to be closer to permanent entombment.

Smiling. I feel the same way, for what it’s worth.

A little more system would remedy that. Anyway, the point is, your external lives may be regulated like (and by) clockworks. Your internal lives need not be, and aren’t, except in so far as you think they are, assume they are.

And, I hear, therein is our freedom.

That’s a little too glib. Let’s say, and therein is your possibility of choice. That may seem to be the same thing, but in fact isn’t, exactly. As we said, a little more introspection will pay rewards. We didn’t mean merely, looking deeper will mean living more richly (though this is true), but that living more carefully, more attentively, will change the quality of your moments by expanding them, ripening them.

“Ripening them” is suggestive but not clear.

Let’s leave it that way, for the moment.

Now, your accustomed hour is up, to the minute this time. How many pages have you covered?

About eight and a half.

Yet you did not consciously speed up; you did not particularly record smaller paragraphs with their attendant skipped lines between them. And you did draw your second mug of coffee. So what is the conclusion to be drawn?

Probably that you don’t mind embarrassing me by pointing out errors of observation or generalization.

Well, that too – and of course we are smiling too – but more, that seemingly precise or even seemingly reliable external measurement can tell you only where you are standing. It cannot measure the journey. On that cryptic note, we leave you for the moment.

Okay, thanks as always. (65 minutes, 9 and 1/4 pages.)

[Just for the interest of it: From the date to the first measurement, 10 minutes, 199 words. From there to 16 minutes, 144 words more. From there to half an hour (in other words, 14 minutes more), another 372 words. From date to signoff, 1471 words. So, first half hour, 715 words, second half hour 756 words, basically the same. Yet quite a different feel to the flow.]

 

Only Somewhat Real: A choice of attitude

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A choice of attitude

You have been thinking about Bruce Moen.

Yes indeed. He is dying or, for all I know, may be dead already. Naturally the news brings back memories.

And, perhaps, reminds you that the difference between “being used” and “gladly participating” is mostly a matter of the attitude one takes to it?

Sure, but I gather that you’re wanting to say something on the subject, and we’re all willing to be instructed.

So much in your lives depends less upon what happens than upon what you make of it. The prime decision you make at any given moment, in fact, is usually, “How do I see this thing that just happened?” The “thing” in question may be a physical event, or a memory, or anything that presents a choice of attitude. Forgiving may be a decision, or forgiving oneself. Taking heart, or ceasing to struggle. Putting another or oneself or an abstract cause first, may be another. The permutations are endless, but remember if you can, decisions look like decisions to do or not do some action, even if the action is to harbor or reject a thought or an accustomed idea. But really, decisions are you rebalancing the ballast, adjusting course. Most such adjustments are going to be minor, of course, but not all. And some that appear minor will in fact be seen later to have led to major consequences.

Viktor Frankl again.

Yes, because his experience and his testimony (by his life, not merely by his words) has weight. Has gravitas, as you like to say. Only, don’t thereby conclude that this is necessarily a grim aspect of reality. It can be, but mostly not. Most people don’t have to spend most of their time defying fate. But even for the happiest, most tranquil life, still it remains true that every moment presents a choice of attitude. One may be miserable in a palace, or contented, or ecstatically happy, and it is the same palace.

I seem to remember that it was the emperor / philosopher Marcus Aurelius who wrote – citing the advantages of his position, all that he had been blessed with, etc. – that he had counted the number of happy days he had had in his life and they amounted to five, or seven, or some such single-digit number. His conclusion was, don’t look for happiness on this Earth.

Our conclusion would be, don’t count your felicity by tallying external circumstances, nor consider yourself a neutral observer of your life.

Do you mean “neutral,” or “helpless”?

Actually, closer to powerless-to-affect-matters, however you would phrase that. The point is, he in his philosophic attitude toward his life was deciding the nature and meaning of the ups and downs of it. He may have been thinking he was applying philosophy to make the best of a bad situation – life! – or he may, more likely, have been saying, “Don’t expect life to be smooth and easy,” without any nuance of complaint. In a way, he was saying the same thing we are, that your attitude is the thing that is realest in your life.

A choice of possibilities

The specific application we wish to make of this general truth is that in choosing one’s attitude one really, not metaphorically, not theoretically, not in a  wishful-thinking way, determines what one’s life is going to be, to mean, to feel like, to – well, everything.

Poor structure there at the end, but your point comes through.

The specific application, the illustration, may be the way you and Bruce Moen met; what he had experienced before the fact; the agency of Ed Carter, etc., etc. When you look at that smooth blending of energies in a way that neither Bruce nor Ed nor you were aware of on a conscious 3D level, and when you trace backwards the events in all of your lives – and Bob Monroe’s life, and Ed Wilson’s – that were required in order to bring you together in that time and space, you can see the weaving of the web, and might easily conclude, “It was a set-up.” That is, you might draw the usual predestination argument, because you might say, “Given what you were, that’s what was going to happen.”

I’d be more inclined to say, “Given what we were, that’s what was enabled to happen if we played our parts right.”

And we would be inclined to say both, and also – more importantly – “That’s what was set up to happen, courtesy of your cooperation and the cooperation of so many others in your pasts, and it remained to be seen if you would all stay on script.” Only, improv doesn’t use scripts, it uses setups and sees what happens.

I get the strangest feeling, here. It’s that I sort of know what you’re driving at, and you are sort of saying it, but, in each case, not quite.

No, it’s slippery. Any time we attempt to bring in a fine nuance, it is actually harder than hitting you with your proverbial 2×4.

Harder because more slippery.

The recipient – you, and anyone who reads this – is likely to (mostly unconsciously) let the nuance slide into some already accustomed category. A radically new concept, you’ll have to accept or reject or at least ponder. A nuance may just keep sliding around.

So, trying again?

You choose how to receive what comes to you, easily seen when “what comes” seems to be external, less easily seen when it seems to be “merely” internal. You choose meaning. Some choose to see it as predestined, some as free-will, some as meaningless chance. Same event (physical or mental). We still haven’t quite succeeded in expressing it.

How about, “You choose viewpoint”?

Better. You have the ideas now, you try to say it.

If we look back on our life as lived to date, our present attitude toward it will incline us to see it in a certain light. If we are able to change our attitude, the same look, the same life, will present an entirely different profile, perhaps. More likely, many different profiles.

That’s it. It is a matter of changing perspectives by changing viewing-points. Same objective reality (so to speak) but many different scenes, different landscapes.

Parallax.

Well, a shift in viewpoint, anyway. No need to extend the metaphor. The operative point is that how you choose to see the workings of your life determines the possibilities you create for yourself. If you look at so much orchestration and consider yourself to be the acted-upon (rather than also the actor), it is easy to slip into victim mode. From victim mode, you will find evidence enough to persuade you that nothing you do will free you from the spider’s web, and that at best your meaning in your life is that you are food for the cosmic spider, so to speak. Or, if you look at it all and conclude that you are as integral a part in the play as anybody else, even if you don’t know your lines or don’t have any lines, you may easily feel included, and important (that is, not contingent or without meaning), and that attitude may lead you to either overestimate your role (inflation) or to treat your life with a little more seriousness, a little bit more self-respect.

So, Bruce and Ed Carter just happen to take the same program. They just happen to share the same two-person table at a meal. Ed just happens to have bought into Hampton Roads and gotten a few business cards. Bruce just happens to tell Ed something of what he has experienced, and just happens to mention that for no reason he could think of, he just happened to bring an article he had written about a retrieval he had done. Ed just happens to call me and suggest that I join them for breakfast Friday morning, as there is a potential author he’d like me to meet. And so on and so forth, and none of us having any idea what we were helping to orchestrate.

And this could be sketched out for all of you – for anybody and everybody – for your entire lives. Life is always orchestration and the dance. That isn’t the meaning (assuming, or rather, pretending for the moment, that there is a “the” meaning) of your lives. That is the improv, but what of your training and rehearsals, and your learning about your characters? What of the living-out of your life for yourself as well as for the improv in general? To weigh life fairly, you need keep all these factors in mind, if you can. It isn’t easy; it’s a lot of geese to juggle. That’s one reason why people often choose one or another position and disregard the rest.

 

Only Somewhat Real: Vitalism and materialism

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Vitalism and materialism

I know it’s Saturday and you like me to take a rest once a week, but maybe a short session? Answering Bob’s question shouldn’t be all that complicated, should it?

[Bob Friedman: I’ve been reading Rupert Sheldrake’s 2012 book Science Set Free, which is a fascinating study of the materialist versus what is called the “vitalist” philosophies. The vitalists believe in the separation of mind and matter, mind being non-3D. But the vitalists cannot explain how the non-3D mind can attach to the 3D body. The materialists cannot explain the origin, nature, and composition of consciousness either. I wonder if Nathaniel can address this apparent dilemma.]

Most things can be answered in a few words, but then explaining and hedging the words takes a little more, and perhaps the basis of the explanations needs more, and you go ever-deeper into the swamp. But we can begin, and we shall see. Maybe it won’t amount to much, as such explanations go.

The short explanation is that vitalism and materialism are two sides of the same mistaken coin, much as capitalism and communism were in the political / economic sphere. When you start off with a wrong premise – particularly an unnoticed one – many a logical antithesis amounts to pointing out the errors of the opposite position, not realizing that one’s own position is equally undermined, because not recognizing what the two have in common.

I felt that right away, when I saw Bob’s question. I am almost perplexed that people can’t instinctively understand that there isn’t any material world, in any absolute sense, so there isn’t the basis for any such contradiction. Of course I realize I lay myself open to charges of being a philosophical idealist, but, given the company that puts me in with – the Transcendentalists first of all – there is worse company to be placed among.

Well, that is the nub of it, of course. In a universe formed out of consciousness, in which every atom and molecule partakes of consciousness, where is there room for what people call dead matter? Where is there room, even, for unconscious matter? There isn’t. What there is, is a world entirely composed of elements all of which are conscious, each form of consciousness different, according to the physical form’s possibilities and constraints, but all conscious. The fact that human 3D consciousness cannot communicate with that of plants or rocks does not mean that there is nothing to be communicated with – particularly given the fact that in some circumstances, people do communicate in such ways. You have experienced it yourself, Frank. Many of your readers will have experienced it in what are called anomalous experiences, usually doubted because not resting firmly and comfortably in a theory.

Jeremy Narby took some hallucinogen – ayahuasca, maybe – and found himself communicating with DNA itself, if I remember correctly. I think it was he (and I think it was in response to that experience) who realized or anyway theorized that this is how indigenous peoples knew the pharmacological properties of plants: The plants told them.

The setting-aside of obstructive beliefs (no matter how “scientific” they are supposed to be) is sometimes enough in itself to allow one’s mind to realign things – seemingly spontaneously sometimes.

Realignments

Ideas may divide reality into seemingly solid compartments, and once you see that the walls of the compartments are merely arbitrary and theoretical, new and more fundamental relationships become evident.

So, once realize that reality is not “mind” and “matter” – because there can be no matter divorced from mind, no matter not made out of consciousness – and you see that both vitalists and materialists are believers in the same mistake, only differing from each other in which pieces of data they wish to admit from the real world beyond their theories.

Short and sweet, as advertised.

And, as advertised, it could be expanded upon as one things leads to another.

“As we ramble into higher and higher grass,” as Thoreau put it.

It was undoubtedly a coincidence that led you to honeymoon in New England and visit Concord and Walden before you – as opposed to your bride – even knew who Thoreau was, other than knowing his name. Undoubtedly coincidence that your thesis supervisor suggested a topic that led you to Thoreau, and equally a coincidence that one moment’s acquaintance with his writings instantly and permanently captured you. Undoubtedly a coincidence that your wife – who was afraid of the kinds of mental exploration you would enter into – gave you as a gift the complete set of Thoreau’s journals in that same year of graduate school.

Yep, pretty coincidental life I lead.

It was only the co-inciding of the many strands of your life that led you where you are. And it was only your larger self’s guidance that repeatedly brought you into the orbit of this or that pole-star. Thoreau, Melville, Emerson, etc. No need to count them. The things you come to in “sinfully strolling from book to book,” as Emerson put it, are as much a part of your experience as anything that happens to your body. Where is there division between mind and matter, except in philosopher’s or scientist’s categories?

 

 

Only Somewhat Real: The 3D arena

Friday, November 10, 2017

The 3D arena

Louisa Calio posts a query on my blog that amounts to, Can you give us an interpretation of 3D events that will make sense of the stupidity we live among, or, really, some way of seeing it that will make us feel better about it.

Answering your rough paraphrase rather than her original, we probably should say, “No, we can’t.” But we can give you a few clues, to help you arrive there yourselves. We can suggest interpretations; how you react is always an individual reaction, a merging of new data with old patterns and assumed relationships.

Sure, we can see that. But, subject to that proviso—

Your ways of making sense of things often put the cart before the horse. But explaining how you are doing that isn’t always so easy, given that it involves looking at the same thing from a different point of view, rather than altering or adding to the thing being observed. So you will perhaps be tempted to say, “That’s just talking around it” when we show you how it looks from another perspective.

We’ll try not to do that.

Louisa says – quote it –

“…the nature and purpose of some of these extreme conflicts within the individual…”

It isn’t so much that the conflicts have a purpose as that they express a result.

I know that seems helpful to you, but to us, not so much. A little more explaining?

You come into 3D embodying conflicts, precipitating conflicts around you by what you have within you. That’s one thing that 3D is, an arena, a place and time in which conflicts – and harmony, but we’re talking about conflicts at the moment – come front and center to be transformed. You wouldn’t expect a football game to be tranquil and harmonious; you wouldn’t expect a piano concert to be cacophonous. You expect each event to express in its own way. The thing that makes it hard for you to see, sometimes, is that your football game and piano concert are taking place at the same time, along with drag racing, aerial acrobatic exhibitions, family feuds, three different melodramas being filmed, prolonged mattress testing, and half a million other events including the depths of non-social interactions with yourselves such as monasticism, intense study, illnesses, and other preoccupations. It can get a bit crowded.

Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Yes, but it’s intriguing. Remember how Bob Monroe said AA dived in, because he was fascinated by the raw energy of it all?

I do now that you remind me. Far Journeys, the best of his books.

Well, with all that going on, what could you say is “the point” of it?

Meaning, it won’t have just one point?

Meaning, too, that the purpose of a football game or a concert isn’t just for producing the cheers of the fans or the ovations of the audience.

Aha. Meaning, Loosh may be produced but that doesn’t mean it is more than a by-product.

At this point we advise people to re-read Far Journeys to refresh their memory of what Bob actually said. The Loosh analogy was not, by far, the end of the story, but the beginning of Bob’s deeper exploration.

I won’t quote it, but if I can find the place easily, I’ll indicate the relevant chapters.

Not necessary. Tell them, as you told Colin Wilson, to begin at Chapter 12.

Consider it done. Okay, so –

Selective attention

Bearing in mind this great assortment of activity taking place around you, remember that it is all taking place within you, too.

I know that isn’t the best way to say what I feel you’re moving to.

Possibly not. Then let’s say this, your own selective attention is a powerful tool to overcome the effects on you of cacophony. You can tune yourselves to live more harmonious lives, and those who prefer to live more on the edge can tune to do that, instead.

It isn’t exactly a matter of ignoring larger parts of the world’s events, but of deciding which events are going to be allowed in to fill our RAM [the available workspace in our metaphorical computer] at any given moment.

Not that you must tune certain things out – that doesn’t work very well, being like telling yourself you are not going to think about elephants or whatever, and in the process fixing your attention exactly there – but that you can tune other things in.

In a sense, that amounts to saying that the world’s miseries and problems mostly aren’t our concern and needn’t bother us.

Step carefully here. Any true statement may be made to seem uninviting or shallow or even silly. Look at it a little more slowly. Most of the world’s problems, conflicts, tragedies, perplexities, generation-long tangles, etc. are not everybody’s business, in toto. Nobody can be concerned with more than a small fraction of what goes on in the world, any more than one can be a professional in all fields, or a master of all sciences. Your lives make you specialists; one time, one place, one heredity, even if that heredity is complicated. You can’t be really – as opposed to superficially, at best – concerned with everything wrong in the world. Don’t count the cats in Zanzibar unless you happen to be called to do it, but even if you are, you may be sure that you can’t do that and tend to every other possible task in the world.

All right.

And if it isn’t up to you to do something you can’t do, why would it be up to you to suffer because you can’t? That suffering is not externally-mandated. It is, in a way, the product of a decision. You decide to suffer (and of course, as always the question arises: Which “you”?) or you decide not to. Or, easier than that, your own makeup prevents the conflict from arising in the first place.

Feeling for people, even feeling for the Earth – nothing wrong with it. But allowing yourself to feel guilty for not doing what was never within your power to do is a waste of energy and potential that could go elsewhere and produce something more satisfactory.

Now, we realize that  this argument has centered on what you call “world affairs” or “social problems,” and Louisa specifically used as example a situation very close to home, concerning her own family. That is the complement of the “social problem.” It is the very personal conflict that does deserve and even demand your engagement. But we wanted to trace the social aspect first, so as to gain perspective from the contrast between the two.

So – in cases closer to home?

There is still the same dynamic: Plenty of things are going on, and only a few of them will fill your RAM, the others automatically being swapped out. So – what do you want, what do you concentrate on?

I know you don’t mean to imply that we can choose only smooth events if we want them, but I can’t get what you do mean.

If you come into 3D life embodying certain contradictions, it is for a reason, and those contradictions may express. They may not; you may choose to defer dealing with that particular karma (so to speak), but, they may. Anything that does express may be regarded as material presenting itself to be worked. Even if you can see no way to alter events, you still can choose your attitude toward them, like Viktor Frankl in the concentration camps.

You can always choose to see yourself as victim or can live in faith that it all makes sense, or you can alternate or even do both at the same time. But you will express an attitude toward the events of your life.

Now, a thought and we will end for now. Your external events in 3D won’t mean much to you once you have transcended those limits. Your internal events – the way you shaped yourself by how you reacted to external events – will remain with you, because they will be a part of you. Which do you think is going to be important, once you have dropped the 3D body?

And that’s enough for the day.

All right, our thanks, as always.

 

Only Somewhat Real: Family

Thursday, November 9, 2017

ETs and us

Let us return to the question of your place among others in the 3D universe, remembering that 3D is a subset of All-D, and not a world in itself.

That amounts to saying, remember that 3D is more than it seems to be.

That, and that not only are its limits larger and wider than may appear, but its apparent isolation from other parts of itself is only apparent and not actual.

Invisible connections, yes.

Between worlds, no less than between individuals. When you keep that fact front and center in your mind, many things look different. You are never isolated, really, but 3D conditions lead you to define all situations in isolation. The very process of analysis consists of taking certain factors and considering them in isolation. When something is so universal, there is no point in bemoaning it or even in trying to avoid it. No point, and no need. Being aware of it as an influencing factor is enough. But, that awareness is necessary, or you’ll never be able to draw the connections that hold the world together.

By “world,” you don’t mean just Earth, I know, but 3D in general. Learned that years ago.

Some people concern themselves with what they think of as an “alien threat” to Earth, as if you were American Indians being invaded by Europeans.

Well, you have to admit, that is a discouraging analogy.

Perhaps a productive one, in fact. But for the moment we wish to stress interaction over isolation.

No absolute separations

I’m getting a sense of what you want to get to, but you haven’t said it yet. More or less – we already aren’t alone, we already aren’t racially pure, so to speak, and even that we aren’t necessarily the original inhabitants. But I’m not sure I quite got that right.

You got the elements of it. An assumption of isolation assumes, either “we are alone” or “we were alone, and now we are threatened with newcomers.” It assumes “we are the human race, and they are alien.” It assumes, “Earth is our home and others are impinging on what was always ours.” But realize that no one enters the world alone.

We don’t give birth to ourselves. We don’t nurture ourselves, or feed and clothe and toilet-train ourselves. We come into this world into a family, into a society. Although we may become orphaned, still somebody takes care of us, at least for some years, or we cannot live.

That’s right. Life is interdependent. There really is no isolation, though often enough there is the appearance of isolation. So with the individual, so with the human race. An assumption of splendid isolation is mostly a comforting (or, perhaps, a chilly) illusion.

In a very real sense, humans are part of a cosmic family. You have other “species” in your personal family tree; you have lifetimes in other places in your personal history. The people in 3D Earth that you love and interact with also have the same extensive invisible links, which means – once again we come to it – that since you here are all one thing, therefore you are part of the overall “all one thing.” There is no separation in any absolute sense. We just have to keep coming back to this. In All-D, in non-3D, in 3D, you are part of all that is. There are no absolute divisions in reality.

Other-ness

I can imagine some people saying, “Yes, I get it, you don’t have to beat it to death, but what does this have to do with anything?”

If there are such, they should realize that any form of fear stems from a sense of isolation and difference. Apply that fact to the question of ETs and what do you see?

I think I begin to see what you are driving at. It is the labels that are causing fear (or even, shall we say, ungrounded anticipation).

That’s where we’re headed, correct. If you label people “Jews” in Nazi Germany, if you make them wear visible labels, if you distinguish them in ways that never distinguished them before, so that honored professional soldiers, doctors, scholars, whatever, were now seen as Jewish soldiers, etc., that is the first step toward segregating them from the rest of society. If that had been done, even in the absence of Nazi terror, still the damage would have been done in that they would no longer have been an accepted part of society, but a perceived “other.”

That’s the situation of blacks and Latinos in our society, of course, and of most immigrants from Europe at least until they learned the language and / or changed their names, and lived here for a generation or two.

There is a biological instinct to reject the other. A significantly different individual may be driven to the fringe of the herd, as you read in van der Post years ago; as you saw in the schoolyard years before that. As with any widespread phenomenon, there is no use railing against it, and there is sense in at least suspecting that the race is wiser than the individual. But on the other hand, it is the task of the individual to see things differently. The better s/he does this, the greater the gift s/he gives to the herd.

Family

Now apply this to ETs, once again. Work on the assumption that they too are family. You can have little idea how close or distant the inner relationships may be, but consider, these are your family no less than your fellow Terrans.

That implies that they may have rights here that we don’t recognize.

Do you know if you have rights in the worlds of the Pleiades? Maybe everybody who is family has a right to share in the estate. Maybe a given world is inhabited by squabbling clan members. Maybe you, as individuals, are part of larger beings some of whose substance exists on other 3D worlds.

I am wary of our going off on some flight of fancy, as so often seems to happen on this subject.

Remember, words as sparks, not as law.

All right.

So, some people see flying saucers etc.

Want me to try that one? Or do you want to start it again?

You try.

When some people come to accept the possibility or reality of flying saucers etc. they naturally think in terms of invasion by “the other.” Some, facing the same possibility, are excited at the idea of a larger community. Some, generalizing from Earth history, view the prospect as a mixture of good and bad possibilities.

And – see yesterday’s discussion – none of these positions is “wrong” or “right.” They are alternative positions that one may be led to take – and what will lead you to take a position is your own composition and experience (which is saying the same thing twice, in a way). The evidence is always going to be ambiguous, just as it is in your normal interaction with other Terrans. Even if you stand there talking to an admitted ET, thus setting to rest the question of “Do they exist” and of “Are they here,” you still must decide, “Who is this person? What is s/he? Can s/he be trusted? Can s/he even be understood?” (Motives, background, etc.)

And if we reconceptualize them as family – family in a biological sense, almost – everything is the same and everything changes.

In the first place, not “almost.” In the second place, it isn’t that externals change, but you change, which is part of the equation, therefore the equation changes. We know you know that, but it is just as well to state it clearly.

I get the sense this is a long subject, and a long way to go, though I don’t see where, yet. Okay, thanks as usual, and we’ll see you next time.

 

Only Somewhat Real: Ideas and truth

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ideas and individuals

My friend Jim sees human suffering as being designed by non-physical powers to cause suffering so as to produce what Bob Monroe called Loosh, which can be used by these beings for their own purposes. Everything you have said that I take as evidence of our interaction, he seems to take as evidence of our being manipulated for the benefit of others. I think this is a fair summary of his position.

And your part in it?

I’d like to show him that that isn’t how I experience it, but words are so clumsy that we all attach our own meanings to what we read. Plus, I have come to see that there isn’t really any persuading anybody about anything. As you have pointed out, words are sparks, not law.

So, where is the problem?

Yeah, I know. He has a different view of things and so what? But I can’t help thinking if I can’t say anything helpful, still maybe you can.

But why would we want to do that? If his life has led him to his own conclusions, presumably there is a reason for it.

[!] There ought to be a way to show the “this-then-this-then-this” process that happens somehow. We need some kind of super exclamation point, to show when we experience a fast concatenation of realizations.

Lacking that, center, slow down, and trace them out, not trying to reproduce the sequence, only to sketch where you came to.

Well, when you said that, I connected several insights, each of which led instantly – faster than memory could record – to new ones. It was nearly instant, didn’t take more than a flash, but reoriented several previously unconnected ideas.

  • We don’t come to our ideas without a reason.
  • Our ideas express our own psychic realities; they are not really data-driven.
  • They are necessary to our overall development; they cannot be accidental or irrelevant.
  • Our lives are not meant as expressions of some ultimate or abstract truth, but as expressions of who and what we are. As part of that, we entertain only the ideas we can and (one might almost say) should, ought to, entertain.

Now why do you suppose a simple question would realign all that?

Because I was ready, I suppose, and your rhetorical question – not so rhetorical, I guess – sparked it.

And that is all you can do, need ever do, should ever do. Your ideas, your ways of seeing the world, your prejudices, your hunches, your unreasoning or seemingly baseless certainties, are all part of you, and you embody them for a reason. No ideas are better than any other ideas for a given person.

I think you mean that for any given person, some ideas are going to seem right and others wrong. So there’s no judging another person’s ideas without in effect judging the person – and we have been told for years that we never have the data to judge anyone else, or even ourselves. We are here to express what we are, and of course our ideas are part of that expression.

Correct so far.

Whether our ideas are more accurate or less is something we also can’t guess, because we don’t have that data either. A heliocentric view of the solar system is right in terms of physics and a geocentric one is right in terms of psychology, say.

I think you will find, when you look at it, that most of your social and ideological and political problems stem from the idea that there is a right and a wrong, a correct and an incorrect, and everybody and his position should be judged by how closely their position agrees with somebody’s idea of what is right. Since everybody’s ideas are different, anything other than “live and let live” – which is itself an idea – leads to chaos, which is what you are experiencing. (This ignores, for simplicity of statement, complicating factors such as greed, manipulation, etc., but they too stem from what people are, both individually and in packs.)

I can sort of see it. This assumption that there is one truth leads to assumptions that (of course) wherever we are is nearer the truth than anybody else, or we would move. And, it invalidates other ideas, hence invalidates other people themselves who hold these ideas.

Well, isn’t that what you see all around you?

It is, for sure, particularly in the poor excuse for a country that used to be America. Liberals and conservatives are tearing it to pieces in the name of fighting to preserve it. I have been saying for months that they’re all crazy, acting identically only around different ideas. But I hadn’t thought, until now, to see that it is fueled by each side feeling that the other side is invalidating them as what they are. Obvious, once I see it, but it wasn’t obvious before.

Reconciling beliefs

And this leaves you in something of a dilemma. By nature, you are going to believe in some things. You couldn’t function without beliefs. (Sartre lived on his belief that belief was meaningless.) Naturally you want to defend those beliefs, or, at minimum, live by them, as best you can. So how can you at the same time live your beliefs – in tolerance, say, or in everyone’s right to life, or in freedom of action, or in the value of community – and at the same time respect the beliefs of others that may be directly contradictory, especially if those “others” place no value on tolerance or “live and let live”?

In any dilemma, remember context. Dilemmas, like paradoxes, always resolve at a higher level and – like contradictions, usually – only at a higher level. So here, you need to remember (a) you exist beyond 3D limitations, (b) the 3D plane is only somewhat real, but is somewhat real, (c) no accidents, no coincidence, no ultimate separation; that is, everything is one.

That is almost too concise, and could do with some unpacking.

Feel free. We will assist, if necessary.

I guess your first point means, whatever we manifest in 3D, it stems from our All-D being, which implies a greater awareness. I’m not sure how this applies.

It has many ramifications. Who you are connects to who you are not just in this one lifetime, but to “past lives” in all their ramifications. Your actions and thought are less under your conscious 3D control than you sometimes think, because what psychologists call “unconscious” content – and we might call beyond-your-3D-only content – often puts in its oar. This isn’t interference by some “other” – in that it is part of you, after all – but it may frequently seem so.

Your second point, I take it, is that what we do here does have consequences, but at the same time isn’t the whole story. We can’t ever see the whole show, for reasons we’ve gone into more than once.

That’s right; and it also means that the rights and wrongs of a situation look different when seen from a longer or deeper perspective.

And I guess your third point is merely that we have to try to remember and keep real to ourselves the fact that “us v. other” is at most a relative distinction.

And there’s your hour. Notice, we used your question as a starting-point to make points of our own. Nothing wrong with proceeding that way.

Nothing at all. Okay, thanks.

Implications

As I think about it, the implications of this morning’s material keep growing, and the actual change (in ideas) required is less. All it amounts to is seeing ideas differently, but that changes everything it touches, which means, our entire 3D existence. You gentlemen care to help me out on this? Care to trace the logic?

It isn’t so much logic as it is relationship. If ideas are abstractly right or wrong according to some absolute standard, then anyone and everyone – not least, one’s own self – may safely be judged by how far their ideas diverge from the truth. But this is much the same as postulating an absolute standard of morality.

I certainly know what that is like! My own background and childhood (and therefore my unconscious thoughts to this day, probably) were formed within the Catholic Church (interesting that I started to write “Catholic Christ”) of the 1940s and 50s. There is no more absolute standard than that, maybe. With time I lost my resentment and came to see the advantages of such a background, but I never questioned the existence of an absolute standard of good and evil, only the human error involved in comprehending and applying it.

Meaning, you agreed with some Church doctrine and disagreed with other.

That’s what it amounted to, yes. I went my own way, trying to use my own thought and judgment (in practice, my own feelings), but I did not ever question that there was some such absolute. Even when I came to see that situational ethics were not only defensible but inevitable, I didn’t doubt that the issue was our adapting that inner code to specific 3D circumstances. In other words, who would want to adhere to the accepted code of Tudor England, or Ancient Greece or Rome, or Tsarist or Stalinist Russia? In socially accepted codes there could be no firm anchor. (I don’t think I’m putting this as well as you might, as I’m having to write and think at the same time.) Yet it seemed clear that in adapting our behavior to the time, we were still doing so in reference to an absolute that I would now say came out of the non-3D, or let’s say, simply, from our All-D awareness rather than our specifically 3D-bounded awareness.

And if there is no such absolute standard? Yet, how can that be?

I don’t know yet. I’m feeling my way toward an answer. That’s why I called you-all in.

If there is a universal, there are degrees of error in perceiving it, in living it, in attempting to comply with it (which, in short, quickly becomes attempting to enforce it). You can see this in the history of every society, every church, every association. Scientists are as prone to it as priests are, perhaps even more so in that they admit no mechanism for repentance and absolution.

It boils down to, this is the ultimate result of eating of the fruit of the tree of perceiving things as good or evil. In other words, 3D Theater, as I used to call it, is inherently partial, partisan, relatively intolerant, uneasy, even, in a sense, hysterical. (And I don’t mean funny!)

That may be stretching it a little. Yes, it may tend that way; it needn’t stay there. As you change perceptions, you change your reality, just as you have been told more than once.

We can undo the effects of the descent into perceived duality? Is that what you mean?

You can’t do it for others; you can perhaps do it for yourself and – as you would put it – leave a trail of bread crumbs for others. After all, think how many, many loaves of bread have been crumbled to bring you (plural) to this point. The work of realigning your perceptions won’t get done automatically; you need to work the problem that is your life. But it can be done; you have vast supportive forces of which you are usually unaware, some of which you will never be aware of. But it can be done. Only – don’t then judge those whose path leads in other directions! To judge them would be a demonstration that you haven’t yet changed directions yourselves.

This has moved a long way from my initial perception, which was that we can look at other people’s opinions as an indicator of where they are, rather than where they ought to be.

Not so far, just in a direction you didn’t expect. Now go do other things.

 

 

Only Somewhat Real: Why “it’s always something”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

“It’s always something”

All right, since I have to be up anyway, I suppose we should begin. I know that doesn’t sound particularly gracious; you know I love doing this, but I’d be just as happy to do it under fewer physical constraints.

It does not occur to you perhaps that this maximizes the use of those constraints. That otherwise you would have the constraints but nothing productive to do within them.

You think I don’t know that, after a lifetime of sitting up reading, rocking forward and back, painful breath by painful breath? I’m not going to go into it, but I’m damn well aware of the advantages of being able to use physical problems as a sort of platform to kick away from. And if uncomfortable nights were the price I had to pay to be able to do this, I’d be perfectly happy to make the bargain. Only, why should it be? It’s the same unexplainable contradiction I’ve always lived within: I know that I should be able to just – turn something, adjust something – and be well, only I can’t find it. And this isn’t just about me, obviously. Everybody wrestles with something; why can’t awareness overcome it?

You have been down this line of thought more than once. Worth looking again, as you are in a different place now than before.

Then let’s look, by all means.

If you could wish away your problems, so to speak – that is, if you had Aladdin’s lamp to grant you even one wish, let alone three – what good would it do you? In fact, look how much harder it would make your lives. It is much like you were told once, if you had an infallible source of knowledge of what is going to happen, wouldn’t you then be prone to Psychic’s Disease? As long as you function in 3D, you function under limitations, and if it isn’t one thing, it will be something else.

Well, my father always used to say, in exasperation, “It’s always something.”

Yes, we smile too, but of course it is always something. That’s life. And by that we mean, not just “That’s the way life goes,” but, more, “that is the essence and fabric and value of life.” And not just limitation, but conflict, problems, difficulty. The very things you may be prone to think of as drawbacks to life are, in fact, demonstrations that all is well, all is always well.

So much easier to see that in other people’s situation, but I do see it. If we are here to choose and to create ourselves (if only by choosing among versions, which one we prefer to live, moment by moment), then obviously there must be things to choose between, and for the choices to matter to us, one must be more attractive, one less attractive. Which implies problems.

That is taking things a little too much at a gallop. Let’s look at it slowly.

I know, I know. Concentrate: con-center-ate.

Centering

And you see the first thing that happens?

It seems my breathing improved, only it isn’t quite that, is it?

The overall feeling improved because although the wheezing continued, the circumambient tightening of the muscles relaxed, reducing the discomfort.

I had a definite sense that you wanted me to use “circumambient,” which ordinarily I wouldn’t. Why?

It is more precise, more descriptive, than merely saying “surrounding.”

And that is important, why?

Perhaps your habits of thought and expression are not so uniquely and entirely yours as you may think.

Okay. And I get that that is a real point, not just a comment. In other words, we’re all in this together; 3D and non-3D, individual and what we might call our mental or at least non-3D community.

You see, anything widens out, at least potentially, if you concentrate. Slower isn’t necessarily deeper, but it may be. It’s up to what you do with it. Faster may get you safely over thin ice; not necessarily, but maybe. It is, as we say, all a matter of how you live it.

So, to return to my statement that was made too much at a gallop?

No need for us to spell it out for you. Sink into it. That is the advantage of writing, after all; the words don’t move.

It isn’t quite a matter of setting up problems so we will have things to choose among.

No, not Shaw’s “moral gymnasium.” So then, what?

I am forgetting the universal in thinking of the individual.

That’s the right idea, but – slower.

Tides

Well, in thinking of the choices and problems we face in life, it is tempting, or maybe I should say it is habitual, for us to think of our situation in isolation, because that is of course how it will present itself. And I see the relevance of the allusion to speed. In our day-to-day situations, we are usually skating, just having enough to deal with, moment by moment, and perhaps little enough time – even if we have the inclination – to examine what comes more closely, slower. Because maybe any situation, any set of choices, offers insight into larger things, if we have the time and inclination to feel our way into it.

Your lives are never accidentally dropped into circumstances. Inner and outer are the same thing seen differently, remember, one through direct feed via intuition (or, non-3D link), the other through sensory apparatus and extensions. So where is the possibility for meaningless occurrence? Not every choice is momentous; that doesn’t mean that it and its context are meaningless.

Slowly, feeling my way into it, as you suggested. So, our lives are bound into the times we live; we know that about our outer circumstances. That means we are equally bound into the times we live internally. Have to be, since it is the same thing. Which means our thoughts and feelings and all are caught in a tide. Have to be. We are not independent, though we think we are; we are independent to a degree, and social to a degree.

This should be obvious to someone who has studied astrology and seen the tides running through the lives of everyone on Earth, not just any one given person. What the tides react on, or let’s say individually affect

Let me.

Go.

The cosmic tides, call them, are what they are, and they are that as a sort of background for us all. But that isn’t what we experience. We experience the result of the interaction between the tide and the individual we are, shaped at a particular moment of time and place. [That is, shaped at birth.] So, we all live in the same – circumambient, since you like that word – cosmic tide, but the individual is affected by that tide differently depending upon what that tide works on; that is, what it finds pre-formed [by previous decisions] at any given moment.

Didn’t we posit vast impersonal forces on the one hand, and individual complicated pipes for those winds to play through?

Yes, clear enough now, in this context.

So was it worth while to be rousted out of bed?

I may cease to answer rhetorical questions.

Yes, good. We smile too. But you see.

Well, I see further implications, too, accurate or not. It seems to imply that certain problems can only be worked with at certain times.

Again, just a little slower.

What I mean is, it’s just what astrology would tell us: At any given moment, certain things are easier for the given individual (depending upon his or her composition) and other things harder. Does this quite imply that whatever problem or opportunity surfaces at any given moment is the best thing to concentrate on?

Easiest, anyway. “Best” is a matter of value and judgment.

And there’s our hour. Well, it turned out to be pretty productive, I think. Not what I would have expected.

There is something to be said for taking what comes.

I do know that. At least, for my kind of person. Other types tend to shape things more, it seems to me.

Hammers make poor screwdrivers. Wrenches make poor drill-bits. Every implement to its own uses.

Thanks as always.

[And as a sort of PS, I had already closed the book when it occurred to me – with help? – that this entry is an example of taking what comes. They began where I was and continued as they were able to. Maybe from their point of view they’re always doing that.]