The Interface: Interface, not object

Emotions are not things, so naming them is misleading if nonetheless necessary for the purpose of discussing them. And anything we say about emotions, we can pretty much say of feelings, too. The reason there is so much confusion about the difference between the two is that the distinctions are largely arbitrary. To name something is to accept that it is in some way a “thing,” a separately existing something. But naming a something doesn’t make it a something.

The old distinction between nominalism and realism.

Let’s not go off on a tangent. Our point here is that trying to carve up emotions or feelings as if they could be displayed on a rack is misleading and a waste of time. It is like trying to treat the evanescent colors of a flame as if each color were a separate, distinct, solid something.

In considering emotions and feelings as they manifest in your lives, forget about labeling except as a rough – a very rough – orienting device. The fact is, any emotion you will ever feel will be in the context of two forces, one of which will never be the same as in any other instance, and the other of which usually won’t be quite the same.

I hear that. Every time we deal with the shared subjectivity (the “external” world), it is different from what it was before or will be next time. And we ourselves, though we may be the same, usually are different too.

Yes, so the jealousy, or anger, or insecurity, or satisfaction or elation. Anything, everything. They will be experienced as the interface between inner and outer subjectivity, or you might say between 3D and non-3D (though that is less accurate), or between you now and you the previous times you experienced them. The air between the returning spacecraft and its descent path is never the same twice. The canoe paddler never dips into the same water twice. You know the analogies, no need to spell them out. At least, we hope not.

As is true for any given feeling or emotion, so is true even more for any combination of them felt in the same circumstances. You know the terms “mixed feelings.” What is that, but an expression of the fact that one’s circumstances may evoke many emotions at the same time – even contradictory ones.

But those emotions don’t come off the shelf! You don’t hold them in inventory! They are sparked from the interface. The space program didn’t stockpile ionized atmosphere, it manufactured it anew, each descent. We know this is a different way of thinking about emotions, but doesn’t it bring new clarity?

It does for me, anyway.

 

The Interface: The ionizing layer

After yesterday’s fiasco, I don’t know where we are or how you want to proceed.

We wouldn’t call it a fiasco. Interesting to watch you redefine things as you go. Your reaction may serve to illustrate, in fact.

We were proceeding smoothly. We hit a speed bump. We had to stop and reconsider our path. You and we, thinking together. But then after the session your life continued, and you drifted from calm interest and quiet anticipation of whatever would come next, to an uneasy sense of failure, and a disturbing wondering if in fact what we were doing couldn’t be done. The lapse of a few hours loosened your grasp of what had been said, and in the absence of a secure ledge to grasp, you felt like you were floating nowhere. All of this might look like thought; we point out, it is emotion.

Emotion.

Certainly. Emotions and feelings don’t have to come with sirens and horns and galloping drama. In fact, they do that only in a minority of time and events. You couldn’t stand it if that were the norm. Everybody knows at least one relatively hysterical person, probably: Consider if your life were to be lived at that level of ill-controlled intensity, all the time. You’d burn out your fuses.

No, emotions and feelings are more typically your interface with what seem to be “external” events. Nothing more, nothing less. They color your lives, but not arbitrarily and not because they have their own nature or their own necessities. They color your lives in the way that a returning space capsule would be lit up by the friction of re-entry.

I know what you mean, but you haven’t said it. You mean, the friction of reentry at 18,000 mph, or whatever it was, caused heat so hot that it ionized the atmosphere around it, sort of creating an envelope of fire between the air and the heat shield. You are comparing emotions to the ionization layer, I think.

Not a bad analogy in some ways, you see. That ionization layer was not a thing in itself that interposed itself. It was created, and briefly functioned, and then dissipated as the conditions causing it ceased. That is emotion in your lives.

That is a pretty vivid analogy.

Fire and things associated with fire are in many ways analogous to your lives in general and to particular aspects of your lives. Fire requires heat, fuel, and oxygen, and does not function without all three. The three may exist without manifesting fire, but fire will not exist in the absence of any of the three factors. In the absence of its actual physical manifestation, though, fire is only a concept! Or, let’s say, only a potential. It isn’t like fire continues to exist, unmanifested. No, it comes into existence and it goes out of existence in specific instances, therefore at specific times and in specific places. It doesn’t exist on a shelf somewhere, waiting to be activated. Similarly, emotions.

And to continue with the analogy, fire doesn’t have to be a wildfire. It may be a cheering campfire. Drama is not necessarily its accompaniment, you see.

Now if you get the idea of the emotions and feelings as interface between your circumscribed 3D life (as experienced from within 3D, we mean), and the external shared subjectivity it exists in, perhaps what we are getting at will be clearer.

It gives me an image of us always in reentry.

Let’s adjust the analogy, then. Consider emotions and feelings to be like the laminar flow between a moving object and the medium it is moving through.

That’s an interesting image.

Surfaces may be streamlined or not, slippery or not, aerodynamically efficient or not. In any case, they still have to accomplish the same basic task; they are the interface between internal subjectivity and shared subjectivity. Or rather, the surface is the base for the interface.

Yes, I see that. Our psychological makeup will determine the general pattern of our interactions. It is the hull, or the aircraft’s skin. The interaction between our way of responding to the world and the world itself is the active interface, the ionization layer or the ripples of air or water caused by our passage.

And in the nature of things, you tend to identify with that ionization layer, when you ought to be identifying with the skin composition. They are not your emotions; they are the phenomena that appear in certain situations. They appear personal to you because they reflect your signature, but they are not “yours” any more than the molecules of atmosphere being ionized by a reentering spacecraft are the property of the spacecraft.

So this ought to clear up the questions around definition of feelings and emotions. It is more a question of context than of substances. Is fire from a campfire objectively different from a fiery reentry from space or from the wildly destructive open fires in forest land? You could say “Yes,” in examining things closely enough, or you could say “No” in concentrating on what characteristics they share. But except for the purpose of analysis, it’s pretty academic. It doesn’t help you live your lives. The analogy of an ionizing layer of air, though, may.

All I can say is that at least at this moment, while I’m actively linked, it seems clear and extremely vivid. More so than I can remember any description of emotion being.

You can see that fire, being considered as an abstract, has so many potential forms of manifestation that the commonality may be all but lost among the variations. Well, that’s emotions in your lives. Emotions may be calm, stormy, destructively rending. They may elate, depress, disorient, fulfill.

Or rather, they may register such states?

No, not exactly. We know it can look like that.

The key thing to take away from this, along with that vivid image of the ionizing layer protecting the reentering spacecraft from the effects of its interaction with a relatively unvarying environment (relatively unvarying in relation to it, we mean), is that that layer is generated by the interaction of two different things. That’s the important thing here.

Taking our 3D lives to be the reentering spacecraft and the shared subjectivity, the “external” world, to be the relatively incompressible atmosphere.

Yes, only don’t confine it to that one dramatic example. Remember, emotion is the interface between your personal subjectivity and the shared subjectivity, so it is the smoothness or roughness of the canoe’s skin as it makes its way in the water. It is the comforting light and warmth of the campfire, interacting with the darkness and coolness it interrupts. It is the holding hands while strolling, or the cuddling one’s baby, or the fist-fight in the schoolyard. It is the inner lightbulb going on when a new concept suddenly gels, and the satisfaction when one gets wording just right, or completes a painting without ruining it.

Clear enough, at least at the moment.

Just hold that concept (only, hold it lightly!) of emotion as the interface between you as you experience yourselves and the “external” world as you experience it. We can build on that.

Perhaps not so much a fiasco?

Touché.

 

The Interface: Sound barrier

I believe you proposed to continue by discussing how we change our beliefs.

Less how you change them than how they change. That is, you are less active in the process than might be assumed.

Our beliefs change themselves?

Well –

  • Remember, we are considering your life not as if the 3D were lived in the isolation it is usually considered to be lived in, but in its connections conscious and unconscious, 3D and non-3D, present and (in effect) past and future.
  • Seen in this larger, wider, deeper, context, changes in who you experience yourselves to be are naturally seen to involve relationships between conscious and impersonal forces; that is, between personal and impersonal forces.
  • The rules of 3D existence mandate that everything be experienced sequentially – that is, in time-slices. That doesn’t mean though that they actually take place in time-slice increments.

We experience things as “past” or “future” because that’s how a 3D mind makes sense of things, but in fact every moment of time is in the present in its own frame of reference.

Yes. And this form of relativity is far more important than the application of relativity merely to space while trying to treat time distortion as a sort of interesting parlor trick. But of course we aren’t here to discuss such things; that kind of discussion will be best confined to the minds that find it natural to think in such ways.

  • Given the above, perhaps you can see that what you are – which threads you pick up and which ones you lay down at any given moment – cannot be caused in the way 3D conditions lead you to assume.

The connection isn’t quite clear to me.

“Choosing” is a more interactive process, it involves more factors even disregarding “external” events, than 3D rules make it seem.

Ah! It isn’t just cause-and-effect, and isn’t cause-and-effect involving only the factors active in any given moment.

That’s closer. But it is hellishly difficult to translate a simultaneous process into a sequential narrative, just as it is difficult to describe events involving many dimensions as if it involved only one.

I seem to feel you ready to throw up your non-existent hands in the face of the impossible complexity of the task.

Candidly, yes, we do feel that way, a little. It isn’t merely a matter of many things to do, nor of a task requiring greater bandwidth and RAM than is at your disposal. Nor is it that your attitude toward the material is a problem; it isn’t. But how to explain everything at once. That’s the problem.

Why more so now than heretofore?

Because many times, processes that are simultaneous and interactive can be described sequentially and in isolated detail, and then re-assembled, so to speak. But there comes a level of complexity that makes this impossible. That’s why it is usually abandoned as inexpressible, or is warped into something that will be at least a little bit true, but is mostly misleading.

Which is why we see so many mutually contradictory philosophies and religions and cosmologies, I take it. With the best will to truth, they grasp only a part of it, not only because of people’s peculiarities of thought but also because it is all too vast to be grasped as it really is, rather than “sort of like this.”

In addition, any explanation will be more understandable, or less, depending upon the audience.

So what are you going to do, quit?

We smile. No, we’re just kvetching, as you might say.

Feels like you’re also stalling for time while you think about it.

That too.

I had the feeling, coming into this session, that you knew what you wanted to say and knew how you were going to approach saying it.

Look back. Can you see how we got derailed because your question/comment showed us that we weren’t getting it across?

After the fourth bullet-point, you mean?

Yes. And that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have interrupted, it means that made it clear that less was being conveyed than we hoped, and needed.

Let’s put it another way. Maybe if we list the frameworks, each of which must be considered as if separate, but all of which (and others unmentioned, for sheer lack of bandwidth) must be considered together which is a very different thing than considering them separately.

  • Your consciousness, in reality affected by all

Still too big?

Too unwieldy, anyway.

Can’t you break it down farther?

It’s hard to see how.

Could you just continue sketching one piece at a time? Isn’t that what you had planned to do in discussing feelings and thought?

We have about reached the limit of what can be usefully discussed sequentially and separately.

[Pause]

From the beginning, our strategy has been to describe your lives beginning as they appear to you. It looks like we will have to continue on that path, but we caution you, in some ways our explanations can only become successively more misleading unless translated beyond 3D concepts. And to do that requires much more of you, because in effect you will need to be continually holding in mind all the caveats and “so to speaks” that we will not be able to furnish if we are to get anything said. You see the difficulty? And the opportunity?

The analogy that comes to mind is Jesus bringing his disciples along. At some point he needed them to bring more understanding to their listening. And not just Jesus, I imagine, but the Buddha and anyone reaching this barrier.

Yes, it is a form of sound barrier.

So what can we as listeners do to better absorb what you need to tell us?

Isn’t it obvious?

It is now. It wasn’t when I asked. We need to understand more by using our higher awareness, or non-3D component’s ability to make connections that are beyond our 3D minds’ abilities to do.

You do that already, of course, but yes, you will need to do that even more actively and more successively as we proceed. This is why learning to communicate with your non-3D components is crucial to the process of understanding life. You literally can’t understand anything about life if you cannot achieve a viewpoint – a standing-point – independent of a 3D-only understanding. And you cannot achieve that broader viewpoint using only 3D tools, using only logic and thought. They must be assisted and directed by a higher understanding than 3D-only, and this whether recognized by the 3D mind or (usually) not.

I get that this almost means you will need to speak to us even more cryptically.

Others have used that strategy. We prefer to try to continue to explain, explain, explain, even at the cost of tedium. We may need to back up and try from a different angle.

Well, all I can say is, Seth never ran himself into cul de sacs.

Like you’d know?

Touché.

The Interface: How we experience

You said we would discuss moods, today: how and why they are generated, how they act to smooth out transitions between moments.

In context, remember, of our statement that 3D is lived first in feeling, then only later (even if “later” means fractions of a second) in thought. It is so important that you realize that rationality follows and does not precede feeling, in how you experience life. If you cannot come to accept that as fact (and, in time, accept it as good rather than bad), you cannot come to understand your life from a proper non-3D perspective.

Meaning, I think, that a non-3D perspective allows us to weigh things properly, while a 3D perspective over-values the 3D portion of ourselves.

Yes. It’s simple enough, but many will find it difficult in practice. Until you know that your 3D component is only part of you, you stand no chance of understanding such concepts as Self, afterlife, karma, purpose, shared subjectivity, the innocence of life, the interplay and interdependence of 3D and non-3D. To try to make sense of life – of your life, of anyone’s and everyone’s life – while taking into consideration only the 3D aspect of things is to miss all the interconnections: It is like trying to understand an electric drill without knowing that there is such a thing as electricity.

Or like trying to understand cars while being ignorant of the existence of roads. You could see that the car functioned – the motor ran, the steering wheel controlled turns, etc. – but you could never get the “why” of it.

That’s correct. And the “why” of life is at least as important as the “how” of it; of course in the last analysis the two aren’t really separable.

So, here is how what we are calling moods function as part of your lives: Understand, we could begin from the 3D end or the non-3D end and at first the description would seem to be quite different, but that is so only in the way that the description of a bridge might seem very different when begun from either end, and only when the entire bridge and both abutments had been described would it be obvious that the two descriptions showed the same picture, only begun from different places. Either strategy presents difficulties. Perhaps it will be better to try to represent your lives as you are used to experiencing them.

  • Let us start at any given moment in your life. You are awake and functioning. Your attention is focused, probably, upon the world around you. It need not be; we could begin with an introspective moment, but let us postulate that you are focused outward, doing any of the many things that fill your daily existence.
  • Something happens.
  • It may be something immediate to you: You burn your finger, say. Or it may be something that still concerns you personally, but not quite so closely: Your car gets a flat tire. Or it might be something a little more remote: Work goes badly, or you get into an altercation with someone. Or you may receive bad news that will have major impact upon your life: something material, perhaps, or something affecting status or income or – well, nearly anything that is personal to you. In any of these cases, it seems to you that life and your inner life have, shall we say, collided. You cannot doubt that you are affected; you cannot doubt that even if you had something to do with the situation, you were not the prime mover, and indeed you may have had little or nothing to do with causing it.
  • Alternatively, what happens may quite clearly have nothing to do with your input. You watch the Challenger explode. You live among the discordant emotions that surround the decision to invade Iraq. You witness events throughout your life, and witness them at best second-hand, and mostly not even that close. Coal miners get trapped underground in a state you have never visited, and your human sympathies are engaged. You get the idea. Abstract causes engage you emotionally, usually, though equally usually you think you are engaged as a result of rational processes.
  • These are two very different-seeming sources of impact on your life. One stream affects your body or your status or your personal relationships. The other may affect none of these, yet be no less important to you.

You don’t need to persuade anyone who lived through the killing of John F. Kennedy, or the destruction of the Challenger, or the destruction of New York’s twin towers. There are some shocks that unite us all, regardless of our opinions or our vested interests. And on the other hand there is falling in love for the first time, and watching your child be born, and attending the funerals of friends and families, and – more tentatively but not any less real – succeeding or failing to find your work in life, or your place in life. And I take your point: Both streams of input are emotional, they are not concerned with thinking. Thinking may be a part of them; it is never the essence.

All right, so if you understand this much, let’s proceed. How do events of either kind affect you? How do you feel them, how do you process them, how do you allow them to change you, or how do you struggle against them changing you?

Doesn’t that lead to a bigger question?

Of course it does.

  • At any given moment in your life, you live within a set of beliefs you have created or accepted. Events may change this belief. How?
  • Can it be a process of logic? For that matter, can it be a process that is thought-driven? Initially you might be inclined to say yes, but we suggest that closer examination will remind you that thought examines how to do something, not
  • Can it be a weighing of possible courses of action against your firmly held structures of beliefs? This is closer, but still over-values thought, per se, as the agent of change. Someone in love, or for that matter in lust, is not necessarily acting rationally even in its consideration of options and of dissonance with what otherwise it might have considered congruent.
  • But if neither thought as logic nor thought as argument, then what changes who you are? (Or, it might be easier for you to grasp this if we say, What determines what threads it allows you to put down or pick up?)

I presume you intend to say it is feelings, but that doesn’t address the “how” of it.

No, and that’s a longer discussion than two minutes at the tail end of an hour. But we’re getting there.

Seems like it.

Moods next; you’ll see. As always it is a process of providing helpful context, lest it degenerate to being merely words.

The Interface: Feeling, not thought

After yesterday’s session, I wondered, is one of the roots of fanaticism arguing against one’s doubts? That is, could there be a connection between people’s self-division, due to their incorporating (embodying) contradictory beliefs, and the zeal with which they refuse to be open to argument from others? (That is, from the “external” world?)

But you said you were intending to describe how it is our listening to thought rather than feelings that leads us to suppress contradictory data and therefore come to erroneous opinions. At least, that is how I understood what you said.

Because emotions may well up from feelings or from situations, your age thinks that thought is more reliable. It values rationality not realizing that rationality is and must be rooted in non-rational processes. They consider the 3D human to be explainable as a thinking animal when in fact any thinking it does is tacked onto its feeling background.

But let us look at how your so-rational 3D minds process thought and feeling. This amounts to saying, Let us examine how your thinking thinks it makes sense of the world, when in fact, as we have pointed out, it rarely gets within a mile of the world. What it mostly processes is the world your unconscious process allows you to experience. Your unconscious and subconscious processes have produced a simplified version of the world that came at them: That’s all your conscious processes could handle. But if you are thinking about life through processes that have been simplified themselves, and you are considering only the facts that made it through the filters of which you are unconscious, and therefore cannot allow for, what kind of information can you expect to bring back?

It’s surprising we do as well as we do.

Who says you do well? You certainly don’t do well via conscious processing of data brought forth along 3D channels following your unconsciously applied rules of exclusion. If you could not receive input from your non-3D component, your position would be hopeless. And indeed, thinkers who consider the human condition only from a 3D viewpoint are frequently reduced to despair, for 3D evidence shows life to be meaningless, freedom illusory, and therefore anyone’s faith or anyone’s experience of “higher” things to be self-delusion.

Sartre, etc.

We don’t intend to hare off into criticism of literature or philosophy. We merely make the point that you could not live a satisfactory life in 3D if you had to accept only 3D facts, 3D processes, and 3D conclusions about the evidence produced by 3D facts and processes.

Now, to hone in a little:

  • Your 3D consciousness must make sense of the world on only indirect and incomplete evidence.
  • It has no way to know what facts and aspects of reality are being kept from it by pre-conscious processes.
  • Self-analysis will help; analysis with the assistance of a profession psychologist may help. Enough attention on the process as observed may yield insight into one’s biases. Certainly it will (or should, anyway) remove one’s certainty that one sees clearly.
  • Thought and feeling alike will reveal self-division, perhaps previously unsuspected. But we suggest that “self-division” is a misleading way to look at it.
  • Rather than experience yourselves as self-divided (which assumes one solid self as a default), consider yourselves self-multiplied, though that is not an elegant nor particularly useful term.

No, it isn’t, but I get the idea. We are not one mind, divided, but many minds, cooperating and learning to live together.

That’s the idea, yes. And you see, altering the model alters the expectations.

Sure. If we assume that multiplicity functioning together is the norm, we won’t experience it as if it were a pathological state.

  • Now, these cooperating strands to some extent live in different worlds. Or, put it this way, they represent, they originate in, different worlds, and yet there they are for your unconscious and subconscious processes to make sense of. What kind of result can be expected?
  • Yet, the incoming lack of cohesion is experienced not so much as contention among thought, as it is alternation or contention of feeling.
  • Moment by moment, your minds deal with the world as it comes at them: relentlessly, continuously, without explanation. How does your mind deal with it? How does it experience the changes each new moment may bring? By thought? No, by feeling. By mood, you might say. Different internal weather conditions bring to the fore different strands, and each strand, as it drives the boat, considers itself the only real you, and forgets the others. And you as observer of all these strands tend to forget or downplay the extent to which various strands are handing off to each other.

And as each successive mood takes us, we consider it the obvious rational response to conditions.

Of course you do. And it is only as you learn to distrust that “obvious” assumption that you begin to experience deeper levels of your true self.

I don’t think people have a very good grasp on what Jung meant by Self. I think they assume he meant, merely, that it is us getting into better touch with the same materials we experience as ego.

Self includes all of you, and by our definition extends beyond 3D in two directions: laterally, so to speak, to the sources of your various strands as they live their life in their own living present moment; and in depth, considering the larger being as part of you (or, really, you as part of it). We don’t intend to try to say what Jung meant by Self, but this is what we mean by it.

Now look at what a process of impossible reduction it is, for a 3D mind (an “ego” in the sense of a mind confined to only 3D resources) to try to even comprehend, let alone understand, a Self so much bigger and more aware and more sophisticated than itself. How could that be done by thought?

People will perhaps be inclined to say that’s what you and I are doing here.

That’s a matter of semantics. We are trying to analyze the situation abstractly. That isn’t at all the same thing as trying to drive the boat. The fact is, no one ever has or ever will run a 3D life by thinking. Life is lived by feeling, then by thinking. And this takes us to the subject of moods and how they are generated, and how they act as indicators and buffers as one living moment replaces the previous one. (At least, that’s how time seems, to you. it’s a misleading model, but we aren’t out to explain everything, so we’ll just throw out that thought in passing.)

The Interface: Interpreting the world

Remember that our purpose always isn’t to support or attack any given way of seeing things, but to express our way of seeing them. Remembering this will save you a great deal of internal friction.

Understood. Keep our eye on the information and let judgments about other ways of seeing things go, at least for the moment.

We don’t exactly mean don’t compare, but don’t keep score. And we have told you many times, don’t try to reconcile these ideas with what you already know. There comes a time for that, but not when you are attempting to see differently.

Now, consider that we showed you that there is no way possible for the 3D mind to experience the world by thought or logic or in any way consciously. It all comes in too fast, in too much volume, and so much of it is inexpressible in sequential terms, let alone logical order. You perceive the world unconsciously, then subconsciously, then consciously, then you make sense of it, or try to make sense of it.

And in this we are merely reprising the relation between non-3D and 3D.

Not so much reprising, as serving as an example of the two situations and their relationship. The 3D is to the non-3D as the conscious mind is to the subconscious mind: smaller, more focused, sharper because narrower.

Well, if from the point of view of 3D consciousness, one is always existing in a construct, close examination shows you that you cannot trust anything you think you know.

People who take psychoactive drugs in a certain way learn that. They see that life is deeper and more meaningful than it commonly looks to be. Similarly, people in certain disciplines, ecstatics of many kinds, even people subject to mental alterations due to long-term and/or intense illness.

In all these cases, and others that could be cited, something takes the individual out of the comfortable taken-for-granted view of life. Once you realize that your normal state of consciousness rests on a bed of nothingness, you begin to see that rationality may be essential to life, but it is not the basis of your experience of life.

By “a bed of nothingness,” I take it you mean what my brother once said, that they had examined a building’s foundations and found that an important beam “rested securely on a quarter inch of air.”

Exactly. And it is precisely on that quarter inch of air that any philosophy that sees rationality as the core of reality must rest. The unavoidable fact is that you never experience the world primarily, but only as it is interpreted for you by your own preceding mental and physical processes.

I read, years ago, that there is a delay of 1/30th of a second (I think it was) from the time something happens until it can be reported by the senses. I concluded that the gap explained why the inner world was one of undetermined possibility and self-evident aliveness, while the world as reported by the senses seemed determined and more or less dead.

And here you see why that is. Life comes at you continuously in this molten form, as unlimited potential, unshaped, undetermined, uncontrolled. It is experienced by, and processed by, your unconscious mind (that is, by the parts of your psyche that function outside your consciousness), and only then is it handed over to your consciousness. The subconscious has “made sense of” the world for you, and in so doing, has somewhat deadened it, truncated it, and made it seem to conform to whatever you had already concluded the world to be.

So what is the echo that your conscious mind receives?

I get the idea of what you meant, but those aren’t the best words to clothe it in. “Echo” is suggestive but not quite right.

No. Well, try this: Your conscious mind receives input in more than one way, simultaneously. The input it receives via the senses, modulated b subconscious processes, tells one story, but non-3D information (often called intuition, though that is not the only function intuition plays) may tell another slightly different story, sometimes significantly different. How is the mind to reconcile the two? If it cannot, you experience a form of cognitive dissonance, essentially being forced to try to believe in two or more things that may be not only not identical, but perhaps incompatible. But even if the mind is able to reconcile the two streams of incoming information (incoming opinions of reality, you might say), it may be able to do so only at the cost of falsification, of truncation, of dramatization.

The product of readjustment is what you experience as feeling, rarely as thought, never primarily as thought. That is, no one thinks their way to close perception of the world the subconscious filters out. “Thinking” is for making sense of things experienced. In a way, you could say that no one could think of something de novo, out of the blue. Always something happens.

Can’t we think of something in the way Einstein constructed his thought experiments?

You must have read or overheard something, if you are to think about it without having experienced it.

What about non-3D input rather than sensory?

[Pause.]

That’s a point. Very well, let’s leave it at this: Thinking is analysis, feeling is perception. A little too definite, but suggestive.

Sounds like “Thinking is left brain (sequential, logical, stepwise analysis and construction), and feeling is right-brain (gestalt, with its own sense of meaning that we sometimes call “emotional logic,” able to perceive without building laborious chains of associations, but fallible for that same reason.”

Again, a little too definite, but suggestive.

Earlier you said that feelings are our 3D interface with reality; something like that. I take it this is what you meant.

This is one aspect of what we meant, yes. It is impossible for a 3D mind (seen as if 3D only) to interact with the real world. At best it interacts with the world as its subconscious processes have decided it must be. At worst it has to try to make sense of subconscious reports that are so much affected by past interpretation as to be, in large part, lies. This is Hemingway in his later years, interpreting people’s behavior not as it was, but as seen through the distorting lens of his often-told personal mythologies. It is people clinging to obvious untruths because they cannot bear to see them as such. But even at best, the 3D mind, functioning in isolation, depends for the data upon the subconscious processes that are altering their reports to make them conform to the way the 3D mind prefers to see them. It is a very precarious way to experience life, and helps show why people’s beliefs can be so irrational.

People of all shades of opinion know that they (exclusively) are right, because how they make sense of the world tells them so. After all, nobody sets out to be deceived. It is in the suppression of contrary data that you all go wrong, and this is easier to do (unbeknown to yourselves, so to speak) to the extent that you listen only to thought and not also feelings. We know that seems contradicted by experience, but that is how it is. To explain this we will require a new session, for it is not a matter of a few words. The salient point is that experiencing multiple sources of inputs may result in serious emotional conflict. And that is very much worth looking at.

 

The Interface: Apprehending the world

We repeat, what sometimes looks like diversion or digression may merely illustrate parts of the context of the question that otherwise might be missed. Sometimes what is missed invalidates what is perceived, not because what is perceived is wrong, but because its importance cannot be properly weighted in the absence of what is missed. So taking a moment to consider why we are putting the word “external” in quotation marks does not bring us closer to the question at hand, but perhaps it does make it more likely that the picture you construct in your minds is less distorted.

Remember, as we go: This discussion aims at clarifying the human experience of being in 3D and non-3D at the same time; of being both connected and separate, aware and unaware, self-absorbed and at the same time representative. It does not confine itself to human life as normally considered, as if 3D were all, as if any one 3D life could exist without predecessors or extensions, as if the 3D could presumably be understood as if non-3D were non-existent or irrelevant.

It is because we need to keep this exploration bridging over worlds and concepts that are too often considered as if they had nothing to do with each other that our explanations take more time than might seem to be required, and range farther in context than might seem to be required.

Consider the previous two paragraphs. If you think, reading them, “All this does is unnecessarily prolong things,” you have our sympathy but not our agreement.

Someone said that all the equipment in a scientist’s laboratory is there merely to get him facing in the right direction. I have always taken your context-painting to be the equivalent. That, and your remarks on process. Yet I know that many people see both as digressions.

How are we to explain feelings and emotions if we do not show the web of relationships that create and sustain and alter them? So that is what we have been doing. Yes, they can be studied in isolation (though we doubt that those studying them that way realize that they are looking at them in isolation), but no tool is ever truly understood without an understanding of the tasks it is designed to serve, and the environment in which it is designed to function.

So you see, when we look at feelings as being a membrane between the non-3D and the 3D, or as between the larger being and the local 3D consciousness, or even as the fluctuating ratios of 3D awareness to changing non-3D background conditions, we describe them in an active, functional way.

The 3D soul is affected by:

  1. Fluctuations in the non-3D that are peculiar to the individual.
  2. Non-3D fluctuations not particular to any one soul, but with a larger, less personal significance. If the former point refers to a change in associated lives (“past lives”), say, this point refers to something huge, on the scale and nature of World War II.
  3. Fluctuations in the ongoing present-moment life. Today’s weather, so to speak.
  4. Relations between current conditions (and one’s attitudes toward current conditions) and what we might call one’s inherited attitudes – the emotional responses one came into the world with.

You see? All these factors, all the time. Your lives are not simple, and they are not single-purpose. They are not even separable (except artificially) into one strand at a time. Life comes at you relentlessly and overwhelmingly and mostly at a level beyond your comprehension. Yet you do not go under; you cope, you survive, you even enjoy and thrive. (None of which you could do if you were not being supported by your non-3D component, but then, without your non-3D component, you could not live in 3D at all.)

So in any given moment, what is the background, mostly unsuspected or at least not consciously experienced? Add up the four streams of experience we just listed, and realize that only the third is definitely experienced consciously. The fourth is experienced to the degree that one becomes aware of one’s psychological makeup and how it affects moment-by-moment perception. The first two may or may not be comprehended as possibilities, let alone understood to be realistic, let alone experienced.  Surely you see that your experience of life depends upon your experience (or your non-experience) of these four factors together and separately.

Well, that’s very clear to me, at least at the moment. Certainly I see that one’s level of insight into psychic process determines how one sees the world – and, in turn, how one sees the world helps determine how well and how deeply and how continuously one understands and experiences those psychic processes. It’s a reciprocating process.

You might mention, if only for the sake of clarity, that you are not meaning “psychic processes” to refer to ESP particularly, but rather to the processes of the psyche.

Yes, I suppose that was ambiguous.

Let us repeat, for emphasis that comes with a terse repetition of something originally given at greater length, because new: Your mental and physical life is continually affected by four overlapping streams of input:

  1. Your particular non-3D fluctuations.
  2. The non-3D fluctuations common to your time.
  3. The present moment’s “weather” as experienced as “external.”
  4. The present moment’s “weather” as it runs through your filter and is interpreted.

That’s pretty neat.

Well, it ought to expand the context of the discussion, anyway. Notice that so far we have no need to discuss logic, nor conscious thought, nor any of the constructions of the mind in its attempts to make sense of the world and influence one’s path through it. Obviously we are not pretending they do not exist or are not important – but, you see, they are not primary. Anyone attempting to analyze the world and one’s place in it by treating it as if logic and thought were primary rather than secondary will not succeed in understanding it very well. They will be constrained to cut out large portions of the human experience, and what they do describe will be only a weak caricature of life in its variety and richness.

These four streams of input must be dealt with mostly pre-consciously. The amount of data would be overwhelming; the nature of much of it would be too hard to grasp (because not sensory); the inter-connections would require models of greater complexity than most conscious minds could maintain. Here, you see, is where “primitive” peoples employ magic and superstition and also quite sophisticated forms of psychological understanding. They don’t reason, they experience, and they have developed techniques to relate these experiences to their ordinary lives. Or, let’s say, one difference is that to them it is all one ordinary life, and of course we concur in that judgment.

Now, what is pre-conscious interpretation of the world, if not feelings?