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TGU on karma and free will

Monday, April 15, 2019

7:10 a.m. Gentlemen, yesterday you said a phrase that struck me: “freeing his will from his karma (so to speak.”)

You don’t want to put that conversation out for everyone to see, but there isn’t any reason why you can’t quote a part of it. Quote from “We did the best we could” to “… effectiveness as a man.”

Okay.

[We did the best we could, maybe.

[We weren’t criticizing then, we aren’t criticizing now. But there’s a point to be made here: Biography makes history. Personal interactions with oneself and with others spill over into what you might be tempted to think of as the “external” world. The better you deal with your own demons – or say problems, if that less dramatic phrasing suits you better – the greater the effect you may have on society.

[You can’t be saying that only the more balanced and mature and self-aware rise to the top! We have a lot of evidence to the contrary!

[No, it isn’t a matter of social position, but of effectiveness. Herman Hesse made no attempt at a political career – why on earth should he have done? – but had a much greater effect upon world thought and culture after he went into analysis with Jung than before. In freeing his will from his karma (so to speak) he vastly increased his effectiveness as a writer, which was only a side-effect of increased effectiveness as a man.]

So, although I think I know what you mean by “freeing his will from his karma,” I get the feeling there’s more to be seen. I know, I know, there is always more. But –?

Here is a simple way to put it, and let’s see how far this brings us. We’ll say “you” rather than “one,” as it will sound less formal, almost affected, but we mean, anybody, everybody, not any one person.

Understood.

You are a society of other lives, in a way. That’s one way to see any individual, as a present-day personality holding, and comprising, many previous individuals, and your living your life is them getting to know each other more intimately, you might say. They are cohabiting a new structure (you) rather than being the new structure, as when they were containers themselves.

Clear to me, but I’m not sure that it will be clear to those who have to come to it only through words.

You are welcome to rephrase it, if you like.

I understand you to say that each of our strands is itself a 3D individual in another time – is in the driver’s seat there; is the ring holding together its own group of strands. So, when I die, that’s it for me being the holder of the ring; when (if) I return to 3D life, it will be as a strand in some new 3D individual.

Although that description contains a few distortions, it is close enough to be serviceable. Yes, that is what we meant to convey.

Now, you all know from personal experience that you are born with, and need to learn to deal with, certain contradictions within yourself. You might look at a horoscope as a chart depicting what energy patterns can emerge as individuals at any given 3D moment. That is, it describes the angles and cross-purposes and reinforcements and oppositions within you. But we don’t intend to hare off into a discussion of astrology. We use it merely to show external evidence of the fact that no one is born an empty slate. Everyone is born with patterns of inner behavior built into the structure.

I think that would be better phrased, we are born with certain automatic reaction-patterns – the equivalent of instincts, in a way, only different for each of us – and what we are born with obviously has nothing to do with anything that will happen to us (and has not yet happened) in our new life.

Now we will correct you. You mean, the pattern can’t be caused by what hasn’t yet happened.

That’s right. I meant it can’t have been caused by events and our reaction to events (our choices) that haven’t yet occurred. The pattern we bring into life is the pattern brought forth by the intermingling of whatever traits comprise us. If they all fit together harmoniously, we will have one kind of temperament. If they don’t, we’ll have a different temperament.

Yes. So in a way you could say that an individual’s karma is formed of the unfinished business of its strands, plus the interaction of its strands. This forms patterns of automatic behaviors, which interacts with events.

Maybe say, “which are triggered by otherwise neutral events”?

Not neutral in the sense people will take that to mean. Better slow down, take a breath or two, refill your coffee mug. We’ll need to go a little slower.

Okay.

Remember, too, this is all “in a way.” It isn’t exact, it’s a pointer.

You are a personality, interacting with a world that you experience as “around you,” as “external.” Nothing wrong with that; that’s the design, only there isn’t any harm in seeing more deeply. That personality that expresses you is not exactly you. It is more like a ratio between you and your life in the world. It is a necessity, but it should not be mistaken for what it is not. (One use of meditation is that it helps some people to realize for the first time that they are not the personality they have always assumed themselves to be, but are distinct from it and prior to it.)

Your personality expresses your internal tendencies in various circumstances. This is one reason to choose your circumstances, including your associates, your media-driven mental environment, your aspirations. If you wish to be conscious, the way to do so is to choose rather than drift. (Drifting is not the same thing as remaining receptive to what comes, though they may appear similar.)

And choosing is done within limits. (One goal of your choice may be to widen the limits!)

Those limits are, initially, the baggage you bring into your life by who your strands were. Do you think this is understood?

I think we have said it about as clearly as possible. Presumably anyone finding it unclear will ask for more.

Well, that initial pattern may be called your karma. It is your inventory as you enter into a 3D life. It is at the same time a valuable resource and a source of difficulties, depending on what is happening. But you are not helpless, here, if you choose not to be.

Which takes us back to my initial request for clarification.

It is obvious now, surely? Herman Hesse was being driven by his inherited (call it) tendencies, conflicts, passions, contradictions, etc. In analysis, he learned how to make what was unconscious (and hence out of his control), conscious (and hence malleable). In learning who he was, he gained the freedom to choose rather than be buffeted by the winds.

And haven’t we been stressing the duty and value of choosing, from the beginning?

The more you gain control of unconscious forces within you, the wider your areas of choice; the freer you are to choose to be this rather than that. We have talked about this in terms of values, but it is at least equally true in terms of personal evolution. And your own personal evolution cannot be separated from any larger abstraction like “humanity as a whole,” or “the greater good,” or whatever. Your personal task is always conducted within the context of everything you are connected to, which, if you look at it widely enough, is everything.

Okay, thanks. I’ll put it out and see if we have cleared up anything or obscured it, or what. Till next time.

 

Bob Friedman’s Memorial Service

My old friend and business partner Bob Friedman died January 7, and yesterday his family held a memorial service for him at the auditorium of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in Virginia Beach. Nancy Ford and I were among those who attended.

I can’t say just how many people were there. I learned as a young news reporter to count the seats beforehand, then estimate the percentage of seats filled after people arrived, but I didn’t think to use that trick. I’d guess there were maybe 60 people in the hall, but it might easily have been more. This I know: If all his friends who live far away could have been there, the place would have been too small. If all his friends living and dead had been able to attend, we would have needed a much larger auditorium. Bob was a man who made many friends, and kept them.

If, in addition, we had had all the people whose lives he vitally affected, via the authors he published, a large football stadium would have been too small. (Hyperbole? Well, consider the effect on society of just three authors out of the hundreds he put into print: Mary Summer Rain, Neale Donald Walsch, and Lynn Grabhorn.) His was a momentous life.

Yesterday at 5 in the morning, it occurred to me that I ought to be ready to speak in case I was asked. After all, we were friends and adversaries and friends again over a period of 32 years. For 20 years we built Hampton Roads Publishing Co. Inc. together, and after that, when he started another publishing house (his third), he published eight of my books. It was a long many-faceted relationship, much of it invisible to others, like our periodic lunches over the years. (Bob would come to town to play tennis, usually twice a week, and every so often he’d call and ask if I wanted to meet him for brunch at The Tavern, or The Cavalier, or The Villa. Our talk might range into history or literature or metaphysics, because Bob was an educated man, not a narrow-focus specialist. And of course there was always the world of publishing to discuss, or deplore. But none of this would be obvious to others, and perhaps it was nobody’s business.)

So I wrote down a few headers and put them on a 3 x 5 file card, which would have been more helpful later if I hadn’t left the card on my desk!

In the event, there were so many people I had known, and so many I had heard of but not met, including Bob’s first wife, Donna Reese. After an invocation and a buffet meal, we all sat and heard a succession of 20 people talk about various aspects of Bob’s life as they had experienced it. Twenty speakers: It sounds deadly, but in fact it was fascinating, as it always is when people speak from the heart.

Again and again and again, we heard of Bob’s receptivity, and his kindness, and how his helpfulness to others changed their life. Again and again and again we heard first-hand testimony to – well, there’s no better word for it – his goodness.

Goodness is undervalued in this world, as you can see by looking around you, but it is certainly properly valued when encountered. And that was Bob. I knew him perhaps as well as anyone beyond his family members, and I can say that in 32 years I never saw him do a malicious thing, never even heard him express a malicious thought. This isn’t just conventional “of the dead say nothing but good” rhetoric. It’s true. Not once. Bob as a business partner could be aggravating beyond all precedent (and I’m sure he would say the same of me) but I never worried about him acting out of malice. He just didn’t.

After we heard from the speakers who were listed on the program, Matthew, Bob’s second son, who was acting as M.C., asked John Nelson and me to say something. John was Bob’s first novelist, and the two had been friends since the mid-70s. John flew in from Hawaii to be at the service, and like all of us, could have told some tales, if there had been time enough. (Everybody has at least one Bob story.) He had to content himself with just a couple of anecdotes from their early years together.

While other talked, I borrowed a pen and wrote down a few talking points (a total of nine words) hoping to say something about Bob that hadn’t already been said, and more than once. At home, on that forgotten note card, I had intended to mention his courage and audacity in business, but I forgot that in the event. I was going to mention the reach and number and duration of his friendships, but that had been said many times. But I did touch on the other points and a couple more.

In no particular order:

  • Bob’s accepting “Conversations with God” after I turned it down, and his son Jon’s part in making it the success it became.
  • Bob’s consistent lack of communication. I told of how one day Ginna Colburn, our other partner, said, “Bob, you’ve got to communicate!” and he had grumbled, in response, “People have been telling me that my whole life,” and we had said, “Well?” It got a laugh, because everybody recognized that trait in him.
  • I often said, Bob was the only person I knew whose metaphysics was not dependent upon the state of his bank account. I told of a time in our early days when I went into his office and said I was tired of us just scraping by. (I was handling the money in those days.) He said it was strange, because he always was programing for us to have enough. Then the light bulb went on and I said, maybe we should program for us to have more than enough. and shortly thereafter came Conversations with God. But the point is, Bob didn’t just give lip service to our beliefs, he relied upon their being real. Not everybody does!
  • Something I think interesting, he and I, even when we couldn’t communicate orally, could always come to an understanding by exchanging emails. It was curious how much more articulate he was (we were?) in writing than in speech, especially about feelings.
  • Others had mentioned it, but I said how touching it always was to see the open affection between him and his boys. I don’t know that I had ever seen a father kissing his grown son, or vice versa.
  • And, because others had talked mostly about his influence on their personal lives, I said a few words about his influence on the world at large, via the endless chain of consequences that follow as one person is inspired by a book and in turn goes on to inspire others.
  • Finally, I said that even we who knew him well could not really see this full stature yet. It takes time. But, he was a great man.

And that’s a good note on which to end this over-long piece. Bob was a great man, and transformed many lives, my own not least, and will be fondly remembered.

 

America’s Long Journey: Washington, Randolph, and Hamilton

 

Washington, Randolph, and Hamilton

Politics is a great disrupter of friendships. Sometimes, as in the case of Adams and Jefferson, the friendship can be re-established, but that’s rare. Mostly, a breach becomes permanent, especially when both sides feel wronged. That happened between Washington and Jefferson, as we shall see, and in 1795 it happened between Washington and Edmund Randolph, his second Secretary of State. In both cases, Alexander Hamilton was involved. When Jefferson resigned, Washington named Randolph to his post, and it was as Secretary of State that Randolph got into trouble.

Two of the four men in Washington’s initial cabinet were men of genius: Jefferson as Secretary of State and Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. To be his Attorney General, he choose Edmund Randolph, not a genius but a patriot of solid worth, known to Washington for many years.

Randolph, like Washington, and like Jefferson (Randolph’s second cousin), was a part of a small aristocracy. The Randolph family were extensive and influential. By the 1790s, Edmund had been one of Virginia’s representative to the Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, and leader of Virginia’s delegation to the Annapolis Convention that created the constitution. He had served Washington as his aide-de-camp for a short while in 1775, and then handled several legal matters for him.

In short, Washington knew him, and shared his background as one of Virginia’s inner circle. So it was all the more devastating when he became convinced that Randolph had betrayed him and had, in fact, betrayed the country. But, did he?

We will go into the long duel between Jefferson and Hamilton in due course. Here we need only say that the two men were at loggerheads from first to last. Both men had Washington’s ear, and, at first, his trust. But as time went on, Washington more and more often chose Hamilton’s course over Jefferson’s, and in 1793 he accepted his Secretary of State’s resignation and named Randolph, the Attorney General, to replace him.

Randolph, like Washington, had tried to remain neutral between the two men, but as Secretary of State he found Hamilton encroaching on his duties and prerogatives, for instance in the matter of the Jay Treaty, where Hamilton devised the approach and wrote the instructions, leaving Randolph, who after all was the Secretary of State, only nominal responsibility. When in due course he got to see the treaty Jay had negotiated, he objected to provisions that would disrupt the trade of neutral countries, particularly U.S. shipping to France, and tried to get Washington to disown it. Washington was considering his advice when the British sent him some letters their navy had captured.

Written by French minister Joseph Fauchet, the dispatches accused Randolph of asking for money from France to influence the administration against Great Britain, and the letters implied that Randolph had exposed the inner debates in the cabinet to Fauchet, and told him that the Administration was hostile to France.

Upon receiving the letters, Washington decided to sign the treaty, and a few days later, in the presence of the entire cabinet, Washington handed Fauchet’s letter to Randolph and demanded that he explain it. The charge was false, but Randolph was speechless. He resigned on the spot. Because of embarrassment at having been indiscreet? Because of indignation at being accused? We don’t know, and historians don’t tell us. All we know is that he resigned, and later secured a retraction from Fauchet, and still later published A Vindication of Mr. Randolph’s Resignation. But he was out of the cabinet, and outside Washington’s circle of trusted friends and officials.

It was a sad injustice. Randolph was guilty, at most, of indiscretion. What Washington didn’t know was that Hamilton was doing exactly the thing that he accused Randolph of doing, and had earlier accused Jefferson of doing. He was divulging private discussions within the administration to one of the two European powers, only in his case it was Britain rather than France, and in his case, he didn’t get caught in his lifetime.

The dispatches of George Hammond, the British Minister to the United States, were published in the 1920s, and at that time we learned that Hamilton had told him of secret cabinet discussions over whether or not to join several European nations in a League of Armed Neutrality.

The Cabinet intended that decision to be kept secret. Instead, Hamilton gave it to the British government. It was a far grosser indiscretion than any committed by Randolph.

Hamilton, like so many great man in public life, was capable of petty and disreputable actions, and his partisanship for the British led him not only to undermine his fellow officials but to undermine his government’s policies whenever he disagreed with them.

It was fortunate for Hamilton, and unfortunate for Randolph, and, earlier, Jefferson, that Washington never knew.

 

TGU on choosing associations

Thursday, April 11, 2019

7 a.m. You said something yesterday that I should like to pursue. No, it was Tuesday. “At different times, your mind forms a differently charged field, attracting different potential and thus effectively living in a different world.” I feel like I almost understand this statement as it stands, only, not really. It is as if it were aimed at one of my technically oriented friends, instead.

Perhaps you are as technically oriented as we need, or, indeed, could employ in this particular task. We are not writing science textbooks, after all. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s advice to his partner – phrase your arguments so that the simplest people can understand them, because the more educated will understand them too, and thus you will reach everyone. Perhaps if you were better educated in the accepted science of your day, you would be less able to entertain what you would recognize as heresies, or, let us say, official misunderstandings. [“Official misunderstandings” seemed clear when it came, but it is less so, as I transcribe it.]

There’s something in that argument. So, given that scientifically I am a simpleton, can you expand upon your previous statement?

We’re smiling. It’s simple enough. Other analogies – spatially-oriented analogies – leave the unnoticed impression of being more solid, more permanent, less volatile, than the reality is. Nothing wrong with analogies, as far as they go, but they always have not only their limitations but their unnoticed tendencies to distortion, and every once in a while it is well to have them corrected or at least mentioned.

Thinking of yourselves as charged fields will lead you to other associations, more dynamic, more transient, but not less effective and transformative than thinking in terms of physical movement. If for no other reason, the idea of a polarizing or attracting electrical field will tend to have you thinking of attraction from various directions, directions that may change quickly and rapidly [I think they meant “often and rapidly”], rather than the somewhat straight-line movement other analogies suggest.

I get that the field you suggest not only changes, but as it changes attracts different kinds of things, not merely different samples of the same kind of thing. And the very vagueness of my description here ought to show that I don’t really have a handle on any of it, just an inkling.

But you were moved to ask about it, so you aren’t exactly in the dark. More like in the twilight.

Leading me to think of the movie “Twilight,” with Paul Newman and James Garner and Susan Sarandon. And the fact that it did reminds me of something else. Recently in an email exchange with a friend, it occurred to me (that is, I noticed myself saying to him, which alerted me to the fact that I believed) that our detours are as meaningful as our pursuits of an idea or an argument. Thus, when you have someone very mentally active, as Dirk is, probably any little thing is likely to tempt him to go off in another direction. No, let me say that more carefully.

No, let us say it more carefully. It is our interruption, after all. (We’re smiling.)

The interruption we caused by using the word “twilight” served to illustrate a natural process of the mind. As we intended. But – and this is aimed more at your friends reading that than at you, Frank, as you will understand directly rather than indirectly what we do or do not mean – be slow to decide the implications of this. Give us time to explain without your pre-judging; pre-judgment will result in your needing to revise your judgment or – much more seriously – will result in your being unable to receive what does not fit in with what you will have decided. (This is what prejudice does, after all; it defends against revision.)

If you think of things one way, certain conclusions will suggest themselves so strongly as to be seemingly self-evident. Think of them another way, or a third, and what is self-evident may be entirely different. So it is important not to create unnecessary obstacles for yourselves.

First, here is our statement. Try to receive it neutrally.

As you process life moment by moment, your mind functions as a charged field, attracting certain types of – well, call them objects of attention. We can’t call them thoughts or ideas or emotions without introducing distortion. The mind attracts certain kinds of thing, and the kind, as well as the specific content, can vary from moment to moment. Through interaction, the thing received and the mental state that had received it will alter. That is, the mind will then go on to the next “thing.” If an uncontrolled process (that is, if your mind is functioning as “monkey mind”), it will be one long chain of associations without any direction or purpose. The person living in monkey mind may have a very active mental life – and likely a very active physical life – but it won’t be directed at anything.

That isn’t what you mean to say.

No. Better would be, “but the mind’s contributions to the life would be mere chatter, sometimes entertaining, sometimes annoying, sometimes maddening, sometimes neutral, but in no case directed by the 3D consciousness.” [In such case], the 3D consciousness experiences the monkey mind in the same way it experiences the “external” world, as something that just happens, for reasons unknown, for purposes unknown, by mechanisms unknown. The monkey mind, like the external world, may be quite active, but it is not the 3D-consciousness’s doing, as far as it can see. At best, the 3D person may seem to be a consumer; at worst, a prisoner. And, between the two, not all that much difference.

And I get that this is what the Freudians’ free-association technique is about. They followed the chain of associations, trying to understand the hidden dynamics between the objects of association and the mind that was associating them.

Better leave that to the processional psychologists, but what is true is that the objects and the mind interact with each other. If it were possible to replay a day’s consciousness, you would see perhaps an identical chain of associations, or, much more likely, a chain that begins in the same place but then diverges, perhaps slowly perhaps immediately, because your part in the process is that you choose among the bright shiny objects that present themselves as possibilities. Thus if you train yourself to think high thoughts, or if you train yourself to think low thoughts, the paths you choose in terms of relatively free association are going to be quite different!

So – and here is our point for the moment – it isn’t really a matter of “our” affecting “your” mental processes. We don’t and usually can’t force any card. [This refers to card tricks in which people are unconsciously led to pick this rather than that card from among those offered.] But it often is our saying, in effect, “Choose this thought; the resulting chain is better for you.” Only, who can choose for you? Nobody. That is what you are in 3D to do, we keep repeating: to choose. Only now perhaps you can see it in a slightly more sophisticated way: Your choosing is not actually so much about choosing among paths of action, but (usually) among paths of thought, paths of association of ideas. It is about what you want to attract to yourself.

And thus is it about us interacting in advance with our external environment.

That’s a good way to put it.

That is, if we choose different paths of mental association, the “external” world we magnetize to will be different. Just as Thoreau said in Walden.

Yes, only now you have a way to see why it should be so.

Yes.

[The passage, which I have cited before: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him … and he will live with the license of a higher order of being.”]

A word about “monkey mind.” There is nothing wrong with the mind functioning as an association-machine. That is how it is supposed to function. That is how you get ideas, how you get inspiration, how you move into new territory. The “wrong” is in using a hammer as a screwdriver, or in letting a high-powered car drive itself. You are there to drive it. Do so.

Which means, I take it, choose what the association-machine chews on.

Well, in practice, isn’t that what you do, directly or indirectly? If you choose a movie or a book, or if you meditate or do a Monroe tape, if you go for a walk in soothing circumstances or surround yourself with raucous music, are you not providing alternate beginning-points for chains of association? Only, it may be done more consciously or less, and it is to your advantage to make it “more.”

And anything that gives us more control of the starting-point, or of the volume-control, or of the on-off switch, indirectly gives us more control of how we experience the external world, because the external world and our magnetized inner world are the same thing.

A little less certain and sure than the statement would suggest, but yes, that is the idea.

Hence meditation is not a goal but a halfway house.

Yes indeed. Clearing the mind is one thing. Trying to live with it empty would be another. Similarly, learning to recognize the association-machine is one thing. Trying to function without it would be another.

And if we have satisfied your curiously about our prior statement, we’ll say enough for now.

Well, it’s always interesting. I never know what we’re going to get into. Thanks, and see you next time, if there is a next time.

 

Gene Roddenberry on combating “hog-ism”

Monday, May 14, 2007

7:30 a.m. I immediately started reading The Return of Lanny Budd last night. Well, I am not liable to read the (nonexistent) 12th volume! Star Trek and Lanny Budd. Strange combination. Nearly nothing of my habitual mental world can be translated to others. The richness of it is invisible and certainly intangible.

All right, my friends, I am ready and willing. My batteries seem to be charged most early in the morning as soon as I am not sleepy but before emerging into “normal” life. So tell me the next step in talking about hog-ism.

You heard it, making coffee, but thought of it as a “stray thought” of your own. Stray thoughts? Why should be no-accident rule apply only to externals and not to internals?

All right, I concede that point. So talk about it.

There are several points to be considered together:

  • Quality in the external life of the individuals in the community
  • Individual interest as actually community interest seen out of context
  • Dissatisfaction – unnecessary dissatisfaction – in what is possible within community

All this as a parallel to what we have been saying of your internal lives.

We do not apologize for the fact that this is not clear to you. If it were clear at first sight, how new could it be?

Just as when Rita and Frank were doing sessions and she would say, “this seems to contradict something you said previously” – and we would then provide context for both statements, resolving the seeming contradiction in providing new clarity, so now. We want to show you individualism and collectivism in the light of newly seen context.

That was a little awkward. Am I losing the beam or are you in need of some coffee over there?

You will find, if you look back (or forward!) that when you are prospectively grasping very abstract statements, the process takes so much of your attention that grammar itself suffers, let alone metaphor.

Interesting. Okay, I get the idea: New context for our social ideas will produce a new point of view in the way that doing a Copernican shift will rearrange our ideas of ourselves and past lives, etc.

It might be better to put it this way: As you learn that you are not so much an individual but a transient collection of threads – or rather, that such a collection is what it means to be an individual – your view of your life changes. Your possibilities expand, and certain mysteries resolve. You can communicate with what you had thought of as “past” lives; you can access infinite knowledge; you can change your past, present and future. The “superhuman” abilities promised you by scriptures are right there in front of you, or rather, the ignition key is now in your hands.

Similarly, society seen as if it were an individual.

This is very difficult work for you.

Yes – so many threads you are wanting to weave and I can scarcely stay up with you, let alone weave them.

You need other tools – like the glass bead game [a reference to a novel by Herman Hesse] — to make the handling of abstractions easier and more skilled.

It’s true and I have often felt it. The only thing I know to do is to keep it as simple as I can, sentence by sentence, and hope that you won’t forget where we are going, for if I try to hold it, I get lost. I get overwhelmed. Which thing to say first? How to make so complex a sentence that it will hold the various elements in relationship – and yet still be readable?

This is why so much “channeled” material comes out in the pompous, inflated language of the subconscious: it is beyond the ability of the interpreter to both render faithfully and translate into more normal language. It is one of your qualifications, that you are good with language, somewhat picky about it as a conveyor of meaning, free enough concerning structure to allow yourself to do what is needed, and above all determined to say it so that it may be understood. Getting these qualities in a medium means forfeiting other valuable but contradictory qualities. Hence, specialization.

All right. I suppose that is why I didn’t get a Ph.D. in something, or a Masters in English.

One reason among many. It was also important that you not acquire enough respectability that you might fear to do what would result in your losing that respectability.

Actually, I can see that. All right, when we come back, we’ll take another crack at getting what you want to tell me. But I think it will go best if –

Oh! Oh! As you said: No stray thoughts. That’s why earlier you planted the seed in my mind about talking to Gene Roddenberry! It will come best via an individual, and hence one who had thought about it. And I have been watching Star Trek movies including the “making of” stuff they include in the DVDs –

I’ll give you this. You guys are pretty clever. All right, after I recharge my batteries doing other things, I will be very pleased to talk to Gene Roddenberry about all this.

You understand,

Yes, you don’t need to say it. What he will say here, from his present perspective, isn’t necessarily what he would say if he were still here in a single-life perspective. Since I don’t know anything about him except that he had the original Star Trek ideas (or got them from Wesley Bateman, if that is what happened) – I won’t even worry about conforming story to perception. Hopefully it will be easier, but in any case – we’ll see.

(12:15) Gene Roddenberry, are you there? Or here, however we should look at it?

There is a magnetizing, a polarization, of like-vibrational souls that seem to be a group when viewed from a certain focus. When viewed from a different focus, the like-vibrational teams will be partly or entirely different. No one is only one thing. To make that clearer, a baseball team is seen from a baseball-oriented focus. The members of that same team will not necessarily sort out in any predictable way when considered from ownership of one brand of car, or coverage by one kind of life insurance, or they might be sorted by political belief or ideology, or taste in art, or in wine, or in women. A very simple concept here: Everybody has different handles, different vibrational signatures, that respond to different focuses. So, you experience me as part of a “team” that includes Franklin Roosevelt and Claude Bowers. Is this because we are a natural team, a sort of soul-family? Only in a given context. Claude Bowers is not necessarily interested in science fiction or television, or Abraham Lincoln. So, yes, I am here – for you, in this context. And I am “here” for others in different contexts. And this is true for all.

What the lesson of the day is, can be explained easier by reference to my own goals as a producer of television shows than abstractly (as you have found).

I wanted to show real people facing real problems; specifically I wanted to create a mirror in which we in the 20th century could see ourselves by contrast. Well, by contrast to what? To mankind as it could be if shaped by a different society. It could have been done by reference to a real or imagined past, but to do it against an imagined (received?) future offered greater leeway. Everything was possible.

The seven deadly sins still exist; they exist because people exist. The infinite potential range of emotion, skill, values, creation (or creativity) exist, because they exist in people, manifested more or manifested less, and in differing directions, according to circumstance. I am saying this: Creating a future matrix in which to place the future man, we created possibilities.

Start with a man (a person, yes, but say a man). He has our same innate range of possibilities – plus the things his society makes possible and ours does not, and minus the possibilities that ours makes possible and his does not. So – he is us as we would be in those circumstances. And the viewer, feeling that identity, infers the effect of the society by seeing the motives the man has – or does not have – in any given set of circumstances (also known as, “the plot”!).

How many times did viewers see and hear that the 23rd century does not use money? Whenever they heard the statement, it left a blank spot, for it is impossible to imagine a society without money. But it is not impossible to witness people whose actions are never motivated by fear of scarcity or the desire to amass a surplus. In short, it made no impression on the conscious mind, but a relatively great impression, cumulatively, on the subconscious pattern-imaging facility.

The means of transportation might be advanced – transporters, gravity-defying cars, spaceships – and this was accepted as a commonplace. The all-powerful all-connecting computers were accepted as magic, like any other marvel. The surroundings – strange worlds, spaceships, hostile or curious or indifferent races – were accepted with a shrug, so to speak, like horses in a horse opera. What was different, what was significant, what was meaningful, was the mental and emotional world of the captain and crew. That and nothing else is what turned a three-season show into a phenomenon that the fans kept alive. They weren’t attached to fist fights and transporters and dilithium crystals. They were relating to the possibilities in themselves that they could see only mirrored in the crew. Of course this doesn’t mean they knew this, at any level. They knew only that Star Trek had become important to them and they wanted to get as close to it as they could, emotionally.

So, as I said, start with the man. Then work your way logically – where is Spock when you need him? – to the society that will produce and nurture such abilities and such a view of the world.

It sounds like I have gone a long way away from our topic, but I have not. It is just that we are approaching from an unexpected direction.

You are saying, roughly, first get an accurate idea of who you are, then work to build a society that will support what you can become and want to become.

Well – not quite that. Take your break and we can continue when you are ready.

It has only been half an hour.

Still, better to break here.

TGU on difference in levels of viewpoint

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

4 a.m. … And posting FDR’s material to facebook led to me re-reading yesterday’s material, which I had actually forgotten. You guys want to say more on the subject, or is that for another time? … Re-reading just the last couple of exchanges, I got that this subject can’t really be discussed intelligently by pretending or assuming that we’re at the same level.

That isn’t what you mean to say.

That’s my line.

And explication and explanation are our lines. So, a few words on the subject, because yours was an accurate flash of insight, if not yet expressed.

Just as a plant disappears from the world of the seed it came from, or (to say the same thing from another point of view) the seed is a dead predecessor to the plant, so various aspects of what it is to be a soul – that is, a spirit intertwined with 3D conditions so as to appear separate and limited – cannot be understood if examined strictly from a vantage point that assumes one level of reality is the only level operating.

Before you are a soul, there is a “you,” but it disappears from view when you look for it at the soul level. [That is, in 3D.] After you cease to function in 3D – after physical death – the soul disappears from view if looked at from the soul level. You see? A visual analogy might be to envision a flower – a daffodil, say. Beneath ground is the bulb, level 1. Above ground is the stalk, level 2. Above the stalk is the flower itself, level 3. (It doesn’t matter if this is a stupid way to subdivide a flower; it is for the purpose of analogy.) If you attempt to understand daffodils by examining only level 2, not suspecting the existence of levels 1 and 3, or, suspecting them, regarding them as unprovable, how well are you going to be able to understand daffodils? You might be able to describe the stalk in exquisite (not to say excruciating) detail, but your very precision is going to further distort your understanding of levels 1 and 3, because of their obscurity and seeming abstract theoretical nature.

Nice analogy. It works.

And it could be extended, for no one can understand flowers without understanding pollination, nutrition from the soil, photosynthesis, etc., etc. So with souls.

Yes, I see it. We look at people’s lives and measure the stalk, guess at the bulb, sort of see the flower in its effects on this 3D world.

Not wrong, but we would see the flower as expressing beyond the 3D world, and more or less invisible to the 3D world. However, you did say “sort of,” and there is a “sort of” aspect to the flower’s reflection in the 3D.

I am beginning to see how everything I know, which of course includes everything I think about, makes any message I bring forth unique. It really is true that nobody could do exactly what I can do; and of course, that goes for everybody else, a good reason to encourage others to do the same.

Your accustomed joke which tells truth: You’re special, just like everybody else.

And on that note, maybe we’ll see you later.

Well, we aren’t going anywhere, so it’s always up to you.

 

Franklin Roosevelt (2)

Sunday May 13, 2007

Almost 10 a.m. Okay.

[FDR:] People seek distinction. They like to keep score, and like to have something that they are the best at, or can be proud of. It may be a nice lawn, or raising successful children, or being a good woodworker, or selling record amounts of life insurance, but they want to succeed at something. And they want to be seen as succeeding at something. I don’t care if it is bird-watching, people get a kick out of being the best birdwatcher, if they can. Fishermen make jokes about the ones that got away or they make rueful stories about them – but the ones that don’t get away, they mount, or at least they talk about them. It doesn’t matter if it is luck or skill, you may be sure it will talk about it, and the more they tell the story, the more the skill or luck – depending on how they want to play the story (instead of the fish).

If you have a million ways for people to distinguish themselves, then everybody can be happy, because everybody can succeed at something. That is what “bragging rights” is all about. If I harvested the best apple crop in the country, believe me you are going to hear about it, and even if you don’t – I will. I will know, and it will give me a glow of pleasure, and the world will feel like that much better a place. This can happen by the millions, all over, and you have a reasonably contented and satisfied people.

But when everything is measured by money, what a lot of bad results follow. For one thing, what percentage of the people can be rich? You just can’t have everybody be above average, let alone be rich. That’s just plain sense.

If you have a million ways to distinguish yourself, everybody could find something. If there is only one, what are you going to do?

And if that one is possession of wildly more money than you could ever spend,this is where conspicuous waste sets in. That is what “money to burn” means. It isn’t enough to have enough, if you are using money as your measure – you want to have enough and show you have enough, and more than enough. After all, to bring the argument to an absurdity – how could one meal be worth a million dollars? There is a natural limit to most things, and if it becomes necessary to your happiness for you to continually push those limits, God help you. The nouveau riche are silly and even contemptible not because they now have money and previously didn’t but because, having acquired money, they have no idea how to dispose of the excess. Old money has learned to think of itself at the top of the pyramid because it has the trappings that only old money can have. If it is educated, it is educated from birth. If it lives in quiet comfort, it has done so from birth. If it wishes to enter into society, or commerce, or even politics, it does so from a position prepared for it from birth, and there is no mistaking it.

It is a temptation here to wander from the point. The point is that what I called “economic royalists” are those who measure everything by money and therefore see it as inevitable and therefore right that those who own, direct. It is their country, and everyone else with less money live there more or less on sufferance. This is not a matter of inherited wealth but of an inherited or acquired disposition. I was born of a moderately wealthy and distinguished old family, but I was not an economic royalist, because I admired Lincoln and I had great faith in the common people – or perhaps I should say I had too much acquaintance with those who called themselves the elite to confuse them with their own ideas of themselves! And many a poor boy of ruthless ambition is as firm an economic royalists as the oldest of plutocrats. It is a matter of temperament as much as anything.

To return to the main point: When money measures everything, the scramble for money intensifies and broadens, corrupting everything it touches. People cease to do what they want to do, and instead do what “pays.” They find that they cannot respect themselves if they do not succeed in amassing. The age of shabby gentility becomes inconceivable.

And all of this is only the one side of the coin, the search for distinction. The other side of the coin is grimmer and more certain, and that is the fear of destitution.

You have never seen a poorhouse, but in my day everybody knew of them, and many people knew people who lived there.

It was a central concern of mine to put some sort of floor beneath everybody, so that no one need fear utter destitution. We didn’t abolish poverty – didn’t imagine it possible to do so – but we did abolish the poorhouse, and the country was the better for it.

Social Security was social rather than individual security, and it was meant to assure that anybody who had worked would at least be able to count on having something. Perhaps they would have no pension, perhaps no savings, perhaps no family or no family willing and able to help – they would have something. That was good for the country and it was good for the families and it was good for individuals. You can’t imagine how bad people had it in my day, and it is at least partially due to Social Security that you can’t.

Everything we set up, we set up with the idea of putting a floor beneath the individual and the family, so that they weren’t always on the edge of disaster and starvation. If you were thrifty, we wanted your banks to be sound. If you had a house, or wanted to buy a house, and you had the right habits, we wanted to make it possible. If the people working together could arrange for millions of families to have access to electricity, we wanted that to happen. If we could create jobs, if we could help people get back on their feet and stop having to depend on charity – we wanted to do it.

Did we know what we were doing? Did we know just how to move this lever to produce that effect? Maybe we did, maybe we didn’t, but we had to try. If we made mistakes, all right, we could go back and try again, but whatever we tried that worked, we would have on the credit side of the ledger.

You see? You’ve read a lot of things good and bad about the New Deal, but I’m giving you the key to it. Something was broken and nobody quite knew what it was, but we had to try to fix it. My predecessor believed that it wasn’t broken, and he had three years to show that natural forces would bring things back into balance – but they didn’t! The people were desperate, and they didn’t know where to turn. They didn’t know if I knew what I was doing, or if I meant them well or ill, but they voted me into office because they didn’t know what else in the world to do.

You don’t need a history lesson, and you don’t need to give one here. You know how I took advantage of the temporary panic of the Congress and crammed every bit of action I could into that first three months – the hundred days, so called. It was all aimed at the one thing – stop people from dying today, and maybe we could figure out how to fix the machine tomorrow. So we tried a whole lot of things: the AAA, the NRA, and the whole alphabet soup of agencies, and we thought we would see what worked. One thing we knew, doing nothing hadn’t worked, and Hoover’s attempt to redirect the machine hadn’t worked. The answer had to be some fundamental redesign, and who could know in advance what that would wind up looking like? If we had been able to plan, in other words, if we had known what was wrong and how to cure it, things would have been a whole lot easier. We didn’t. We just knew we had to try any ideas that had promise and if it didn’t work out, too bad.

So when you think about your worldwide anti-slavery society, remember two things: millions of ways for people to excel and be valued by others and value themselves, and larger safety nets, greater security against destitution.

Whew. That came hot and heavy. Tired now. Thank you, Mr. President.

You’re welcome, and thank you for listening. A Journal-side chat, a first for me. It is good to tell my side of it. I made mistakes, and a lot of them, but anyway I acted.

You did that, and we thank you for it.