Thomas Saying 44, continuing

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

12:55 p.m. Resuming – how could anyone insult the Holy Spirit that is the lie within? Offhand, I’d say by disrespecting it. Tautological, but true. I don’t know how else one insults life or the author of life but by wasting it, not valuing it, perhaps even cursing it, or merely bemoaning the fact of being alive.

It is at least ungrateful to receive so precious a gift and yet not value it or exert stewardship over it.

So I suppose the unforgiveable-ness of disrespecting it is that we cannot mend what we mar, and no one else can either.

Not so far wrong, but spell it out.

We are given our life, with one set of potentials. As I understand it, no two lives can ever have identical potential or identical challenges, hence nothing we omit can be supplied by another; nothing we accomplish could have been accomplished by any other. And mostly, what we make ourselves (by our choices) no one else could make in the same way or to the same effect.

Yes. Does that mean you will be judged on your life?

Trick question. I gather we will judge ourselves; some will condemn, some will discern, but we’ll judge.

Then if a life is an irretrievable unrepeatable opportunity, what of the other things you know?

Well, as you say that – as I write it out, I mean – I get that “our life” is not any one 3D life but all of them, each living in its own present-tense world, each able to interact with the others (though not all aware of it) and thus an endless process of interaction tweaking and perhaps healing them all.

No need for anyone to lose, in short.

I don’t see why there would be, no.

A little different slant on life than you have gotten elsewhere?

Just a bit. But pray tell, if we continually adjust, as best we can, how can there be a sin without forgiveness?

If you adjust and remove the attitude that was the sin, do you not remove the sin? It isn’t forgiven, it is removed. Surely a better outcome?

Interesting take on it. I wish I knew if we’re on the right track. Anyway, thanks for this clarification, and we’ll resume another time.

Examining Thomas, Saying 44

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Thomas, Saying 44. Jesus said: Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven. Whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither on earth or in heaven.

3:05 a.m. I keep expecting to come to a Saying in Thomas that you will be unable to explain, and I wouldn’t be surprised if 44 is it. For one thing, I don’t really know what the word “blaspheme” is supposed to mean.

Looking it up via a computer search, I see “to speak impiously or irreverently of God or sacred things.” But another defines it as using God’s name irreverently, as in Goddammit. Assuming that’s the meaning, can you make sense of Saying 44 for us? I mean, why would God or the son or the Holy Spirit care?

Assuming that if Jesus said it, it’s true, and that if the disciples recorded the Saying and used it as a talking point, it’s true, maybe you would be better off asking not “Why?” so much as “How?”

I don’t understand.

Well, how is it that an offense would be or would not be forgiven? Not in terms of “Why would God or whomever be willing or unwilling to forgive,” but what does forgiveness even mean? And how would it manifest? What did Saying 43 say?

43 was Jesus saying he and the father were one, in effect; he compared the tree and its fruit to the divine and its manifestation in him (or maybe, as him).

So Saying 44, in making an absolute distinction between father and son on the one hand, and Holy Spirt on the other, says what?

I don’t know. I have a problem with the whole idea of sin and forgiveness and punishment.

You wouldn’t if you looked at it psychologically as well as metaphysically or, we should say, theologically. The more vantage points one looks from, the more clearly a thing is seen in its roundedness, rather than as a flat profile. Carl Jung took religious impulses quite seriously, as you know, saying that he couldn’t prove there was a God, but he could prove that the idea of God was firmly rooted in the human psyche.

Possibly we should ask him to contribute?

It depends what you want. A strictly psychological approach will not suffice, but as an adjunct certainly it will contribute.

Well, I’m feeling nudged to do so. Dr. Jung, do you care to contribute? As always, I assume that someone called into a conversation is aware of context.

That assumption has served you well for these few/many years. It is a useable hypothesis.

But – I gather – only a 3D approximation of a non-3D phenomenon.

Useable, nonetheless.

Can you give us your thoughts on blasphemy or forgiveness or both, plus anything else you think worthwhile?

Let us begin with forgiveness, for that is actually the key to this particular saying.

It is?

Yes. Blasphemy is used as an example in order to clarify the nature of the Holy Spirt as opposed to the other two aspects of the trinity.

Why should blasphemy be the sin that cannot be forgiven? And why for that matter should there be any sin that cannot be forgiven? Did not Jesus elsewhere admonish his disciples to forgive seven times seventy times – that is, times without number? Why should any aspect of the divine be held to a lower standard than was expected of mere humans?

Well, it never has made sense to me. I have been tempted to write the whole subject off as theological addition after the fact, probably working from logic mixed with expediency. But that can’t be the case with a Saying from Thomas, recorded and preserved long before the fossilization of the movement into an organization.

You are overlooking the major aspect of forgiveness – as people will do. It is not a matter of one forgiving another, as a magnanimous or generous gesture, and the other receiving it with gratitude or relief or whatever other emotion. That is part of it, but the lesser part. The major part, the only important part, is a freeing, on both sides. He who forgives dissolves what you would call an energetic tie to the one being forgiven, or perhaps we should say a tie to the act itself, though it is seldom seen that way. He who is forgiven – and accepts that forgiveness – similarly is released from bondage to the act, more than to bondage to the person forgiving.

This may be more accessible to your understanding if you consider the matter of self-forgiveness. You will have seen over your life the value and the difficulty for people in forgiving themselves. If it were merely a matter of one person’s relation to another, the bond created by the offense would dissolve when the person with a grievance passed out of the offender’s life. But instead, people carry that guilt, perhaps for decades, perhaps through more than one 3D lifetime (as an energetic pattern), perhaps over something that is actually but not psychologically trivial or even justifiable.

I should have seen this from my experience with Confession as a boy in the Catholic church. What a sense of relief, sometimes! What a sense of a new beginning, hoverer little came of the resolution to begin again. As you say, it was about freeing me from bondage to what must have been trivial sins, but they didn’t seem trivial to me at the time, necessarily.

The Catholic guilt at being unable to live up to an absolute standard was mitigated by the Catholic sacrament of Penance, and I often regretted that we had no secular equivalent widely available to those who needed it – for not everybody needing absolution could afford to hire a psychologist!

So, you see, forgiveness is between oneself and oneself, except insofar as another person’s refusal of forgiveness may serve to bind. Now, how can this relate to God? As you say, God cannot be held to a lower standard than man, and, Jesus’ words here cannot be said to have been invented or distorted. So what can this mean?

I still don’t know. I doubt if anybody who routinely says Goddammit as a way of blowing off steam intends any harm, or sees himself as doing harm, or in fact does or could do any harm. So even self-forgiveness doesn’t seem to come into it.

And still I tell you that forgiveness and not blasphemy is the key to this Saying.

Are we perhaps coming to say that self-forgiveness is the key here too?

Yes. Continue. As you piece it out, it will organize itself in your mind and you will have it, in a way you could not if it were given to you complete.

I suppose we could look at it this way: The divine – whatever that is – may be considered as the non-3D creator of 3D and all that is in it, and that’s the God the Father aspect. It may also be seen as the 3D/non-3D creatures that we are; God the Son, as an aspect rather than as only one man in one time. And that being so, the spirit animating us, the vast impersonal forces perhaps, or perhaps the reality beyond the vast impersonal forces that blow through our lives, may be considered the Holy Spirit. We partake in all three aspects; everyone does.

And if you insult yourself? That is, if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit?

That’s very interesting. Would you care to spell it out, now that I’ve stumbled toward it?

If you (we) are part of the Holy Spirit, it is in a different way from how we are part of the other two aspects of the divine trinity. Jesus is saying exactly that. We are indistinguishable from the Holy Spirit in the sense of our lives being impossible without it.

But aren’t they impossible without the divine in general, “in whom we live and move and have our being”?

Yes, but that isn’t the point here. Your 3D life may be lived without your ever suspecting that the Holy Spirit is the very breath of life. It is so close to you, so much a part of you, as to be invisible. You need to pause, as your energy is flagging, but consider this question: How could anyone insult the Holy Spirit that is the life within? When you return to this, begin with that question and deal with it before trying to go on the next Saying.

All right. Many thanks.

 

Abilities and stewardship

Abilities and stewardship

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

7:45 a.m. listening to two old NPR clips on Paul Potts (6-15 and 6- 18) I think: It isn’t that he showed them, it is that life showed them. That phenomenal voice emerging from that humble exterior is a symbol of so many people who are not known for what they can do because of some trait or circumstance that does not lend itself to coexistence with fame.

In his triumph I see a vindication of what I have been told so many times by the guys – everybody counts, most efforts and successes are not recorded on this side, fame is to worth as flash is to substance, or rather as the tip of a wave is to the mighty ocean. The three famous judges (I take it that they are famous, though I’ve never heard of them) felt comfortable judging Paul – and the others – as though they by what they were rather than by the position they hold were competent and entitled to judge, rather as I as editor could accept or reject a manuscript because of my position regardless whether I was competent to judge it on its merits.

It is just like people confusing their sex appeal with some virtue of theirs, or confusing their talent with personal worth. I don’t know how to say it clearly enough: We are carriers of talent, or sex appeal, or whatever; we are stewards of what was given us. That is a very different thing from thinking we merit what we have been given. At best we can live up to it; we can, so to speak, earn it. We can’t deserve it by right of birth.

Why is this so hard to say clearly? We see it easily enough with an aristocracy of birth, whether given by title or by bank account. No one deserves to be born rich or born Earl of Whoozis. It is the kind of thing that cannot be deserved. Neither can being born with a genius for singing or writing or painting or anything be deserved; it can only be vindicated, so to speak, by how one lives that genius or their talent.

Put it another way. How would one deserve to be born Leonardo da Vinci, or Isaac Newton, or Nils Bohr? Within the context of a given life, no one could deserve to be born with anything. But even in context of a multi-generational scheme (reincarnation could be seen as one’s essence going through repeated generations of iteration on this side, each generation being somewhat similar, somewhat different, as happens in the genetic equivalent) in which one might be said to deserve (i.e. to carry in) certain talents or advantages, the question of stewardship remains. Goethe famously said he would not have been such a fool as to have drawn a blank rather than a prize for a life – but he then used his time on earth, putting those abilities to use, drawing connections in a very public way. For every Goethe there were and are uncounted millions of “mute inglorious Miltons” – and none of this is a waste.

Mark Twain hit on this somewhere, it occurs to me. He talked of someone being more celebrated than Shakespeare on the other side (in heaven, he said) because there his capabilities were weighed rather than the results of his opportunities. Within the limitations of Clemens’s worldview, this is correct enough.

Why every effort counts

Why every effort counts

June 3, 2007

9:50 p.m. And still the picture is not even nearly complete. You may contact all the past, all the future, anyone and everyone in the physical or nonphysical part of the world. So just what can’t you reach?

The key is to redefine yourselves, redefine the world, so as to disable the thought systems that disable you by persuading you that it is not possible. It is that simple, that easy, that overwhelmingly powerful.

“But?” For you must feel the presence of an implied “however,” or why hasn’t everyone done it? But – merely – it is harder to do as individuals than as part of the herd. (We gave you this years ago.) The pioneers have to contend against the specific gravity of the species, so to speak. It is harder to do what hasn’t been done, because one’s internal weigher of probabilities and possibilities exerts a formidable drag. The Wright Brothers were aided immeasurably not only by all those who had attempted to build flying machines but – more, in fact – by those who had opened their minds to the possibility of practical flight and had thus hacked invisible paths into the surrounding jungle of certainty that it couldn’t be done. A positive confident attitude did not by itself provide the formulas and experience that led to success – but it did help in ways that are scarcely suspected and never seen.

Anyone reading this and listening to that inner voice saying “yes, that’s the way it is; this actually can be done, though it is going to require work and practice” — just listening to the voice helps break the logjam. Making your own attempts helps more. Overcoming your own skepticism and making the effort to not negate results by declaring that you made it all up helps even more. Working with friends is another step. Coming out into the open about your experiments and your experiences adds vastly to the effect. And so it goes, as each one pioneers as best he or she can. Every attempt – even if made in silence in a darkened room on an island without telephones, so to speak – adds its weight to the scales. We see so clearly on the side what you often have to strain to bring yourselves to believe – every effort counts. You all create together, even when working separately.

And, it should be obvious (but, we would bet, isn’t until we say it) so do we.

It is from lack of a plausible model more than from any other single thing that the division between seen and unseen world has come to seem so absolute. Well, we’ve given you a model to work with. More, we are giving you the tools to do your exploring (and hence your model-repair) with.

That is what this long effort has been about, and really there’s no need to be saying more. Everything you need has been given. It is up to you to do it, or to decline to do it.

That sounds sort of final.

No, it’s just the breaking off of the thread. You can only spend so much time telling people to walk through a doorway. At some point your telling them more becomes a substitute for them doing it.

Yes David – and I can hear that you are David. Who was it, came in, there’s last two entries?

Do you care? If I said William the Conqueror, would it matter, or Robert the Bruce, or Spiderman?

Story would tend to blur perception?

You have the idea. It’s a lot you’ve been learning, this short time.

Are you becoming a stage Irishman?

I’m only adding some local color.

Thanks for all of this.

Thomas, Saying 43

Monday, June 17, 2019

4:55 a.m. Should we continue with Saying 43?

His disciples asked him: Who are you to say these things to us? Jesus replied: Don’t you recognize who I am from what I say to you? you have become like the Jews who like the tree but loathe its fruit, or they like the fruit but loathe the tree.

What strikes you about it, as you read it?

Well, a couple of things. The set-up, for one: them asking “who are you to be saying these things?” Jesus comparing them to “the Jews” rather than to, say, the scribes or Pharisees. Given that presumably this Saying was heard by Jews, written down by Jews, delivered orally to, and discussed by, Jews, it seems strange. It would be like someone saying to me, “You are like those Americans,” or “like those ____.” [Fill in the blank with any description that would include me.] The admonition itself is clear enough, though not why it should be preserved as a Saying. And – before you ask – the previous saying reminds them to know that they are sojourners here in 3D, not permanent residents.

All right. So let’s begin with what to you is obvious. Tree and its fruits must be the same, and it makes no sense to like the cause and dislike the effect, or like the father and dislike the son. Put another way, it makes no sense to like the emanation and dislike what it emanates from. Agreed? It isn’t a matter even of “should,” but of common sense.

Say it’s so.

Then, if the tree is the non-3D source of life and the fruit is someone in 3D, isn’t that what you would be doing if you claimed to like the one and dislike the other?

But in practical terms we do that all the time.

Yes, whenever you judge one another.

Huh. Further fruit of eating of the tree of Perceiving Things As Good and Evil.

Correct. As the Buddha says, “make a distinction, make an error.” But he didn’t say you have a real choice in the doing so, only that it would be well to recognize the fact.

Okay, and so –.

So it isn’t as if Jesus was complaining that the disciples disliked him or disliked the father that they hadn’t yet really consciously experienced: They didn’t. But he was telling them something. What?

He said don’t you recognize who I am by what I say to you. I suppose that has to mean, “If you were really hearing me, you’d know that I am in connection with the father” – the larger being – I presume. But although I get that this is relevant, I’m not sure I really see the relevance, quite.

If your true nature is as sojourners in the 3D, by implication your true nature is rooted outside of the 3D. And if to live life more abundantly you need to know who and what you are, you need to have your eyes open. If, having your eyes open, you can’t see the source of Jesus’ teaching “with authority,” you     show that you are still divided in your mind, not seeing the obvious fact that the tree and the fruit must share the same nature. And of course, it was the message of Jesus that they themselves also shared that nature, not that he was one thing and they a different order of things.

So why say, “You are like the Jews who –“?

You are accustomed to people using the word “Jews” as an imprecation; obviously this wasn’t an issue then and there. He meant to distinguish between themselves on the one hand and the gentiles on the other. It might be paraphrased as “even the Jews, who ought to know better as participants in the covenant.”

You never cease to surprise me. I wouldn’t have thought of that interpretation.

Unless you just did.

Very funny. Well, if it was my own unconscious mind, it’s impressive anyway.

We didn’t quite say that; we are saying (again!) that the difference between everyone’s unconscious and anything they may contact in non-3D is far less clear and definite than you may assume.

Okay, we’ve gotten that, at least in theory.

It will be better when you absorb it to the extent of assuming it rather than having to call it to mind. Any other questions about the Saying?

I suppose not. As so often, it is striking how I begin not knowing, in effect talk to myself, and emerge knowing. I recognize that the “knowing” may be wrong, but knowing. It requires an effort to remember the years when it was not so.

Shall we go on to Saying 44?

Perhaps another time when you are fresh. Too many turns may be difficult.

I take that to mean, it’s hard for us to absorb more than a certain amount at a time.

That, but more specifically, it is hard for you to preserve the mental flexibility required when you have already exercised it. Hard for you to recognize, we know. That’s why we mention it.

That tells me that the process isn’t as transparent as I’m likely to think of it as being.

Few things are. Living in 3D requires skills unsuspected merely because you all master them so completely that you no longer notice them.

Interesting. Okay, till next time, then.

 

A vast interconnection

A vast interconnection

June 3, 2007

6:15 p.m. Now, remember that “the physical” does not mean humans, or humans and animals, or humans and animals and vegetables and minerals, and it doesn’t mean all the earth or even all the galaxy. It means all of the part of creation that exists within sequential time and what that implies (time-slices, delayed consequences) and separation by space and what that implies (a seemingly absolute division rather than division into units only provisionally or, shall we say, “somewhat”).

Alpha Centauri the star? Yes. Any of its planets? Yes. Any lifeforms existing there, whether recognizable as life to you or not? Yes. Everything that exists in 3-D space is part of the physical aspect of the world. (And we use “the world” here as it used to be used in earlier times, as a synonym for all physical creation.) The reason to stress this point is that you will find an unconscious tendency to divide things between the vast and mysterious and vague “other side” and not all creation, but only earth, or often enough, only humans. That would be a total absolute distortion and is to be avoided.

You see, the interaction we are painting is not a matter of humans on one side and us on the other side. It is not even a matter of Earth life on one side. It is all physical matter anywhere, even if Earth never hears of it. How else could it be? Could you have a local part of the universe in connection with the other side, and not all?

Now consider what we are saying. You Downstairs, on your side, connect with us Upstairs, or on our side. We in turn connect with others on your side.

Some of those others may live on Alpha Centauri, or in far galaxies of which you will never get a glimpse or have an inkling. Do you think they are any farther from us (where space is not local, nor time) than you are? And since both you and they may connect to us, obviously one potential for your communication as it improves is that you can communicate through us, and ultimately without us.

Welcome to the universe.

And there is more than that. Since you by your decisions affect us and they by their decisions affect us, and we reciprocally affect you and them – in essence to greater or lesser degree, more consciously or less, you affect each other.

Really, you each affect reality, which affects you, but it comes to the same thing.

You see, physical matter with its delayed consequences and its ability to form ever more complex relationships among its inhabitants, is central to the universe (the world; we need a bigger term; to physical and nonphysical reality considered as one).

Do you still feel like insignificant inhabitants of a third rate planet circling a sixth-grade star at the edge of the universe, or does that view begin to look a bit myopic?

Thomas, Saying 42

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thomas Saying 42. Jesus said: Be one of those who pass by.

5 p.m. I have read somewhere that this means, be but a sojourner on the earth – or, more precisely, I guess: Recognize that that’s what we are. We are here for a while but that’s all, for a while. Is there more to it that I am not seeing?

Remember, these sayings were springboards for discussion. The previous Saying said what?

If you have little, you’ll lose even that. If you have some, you will get more.

Nonsensical on the face of it, is it not?

It is, a little. What is little to one is some to another. But of course that is my paraphrase, not a straight rendering.

But look at the problem there. We already dealt with one aspect of that Saying, but we implied it was more all-or-none than a matter of degree. Looked at as a matter of degree, what determines whether you will be given more or will lose even what you have?

On the principle of the widow’s mite being more to her than the rich man’s money to him?

Yes.

Could the difference be attitude?

You’re on the right trail. Pursue it.

Maybe, to him who has little and doesn’t value it, it will be taken away, and to he who has little and does value it, more will be given?

It is at least worth your considering.

So it is. Okay, so, in connection with Saying 42?

Which do you think is more likely to be one who “passes by,” one who does value the gift of awareness or the one who does not?

Awareness? Is that the word?

Call it what you wish, the idea is the same. Awareness, the kingdom, potential, whatever.

The answer is obvious, of course.

Less obvious perhaps is that

Sorry, got distracted. Lost it.

You might ask yourselves, why be a passer-by?

I presume so we do not become overly attached to a life that can only be transient.

And what would be the disadvantage of being overly attached?

You’d have your eye off the ball, and you’d be more likely to get beaned by it.

Minus the sports analogy (from a surprising source), that’s it. If you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know what’s important, and if you don’t know what’s important, you don’t know what to prize and what to let go. You wind up running in circles, or sleeping away your life. And that’s enough.

Okay.