Individuals and communities as societies

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

5:40 a.m. These days I am using even less effort to try to steer the conversation to pursue any announced line of thought. I have done that in the past, but I don’t know that the effort has really much affected the result. You seem to get the job done. Is it a mistake, to ride with a slack hand on the reins?

It is always your choice. Everybody will have a preferred way of doing things. If you don’t like the result, change your methods. Nothing different in that. That’s just life.

Then, let’s proceed. I thought we were pursuing the question of how individuals work through societies of individuals, to alter society at large.

Your phrasing is a little clumsy. When you find yourself unable to clearly formulate an understanding, it is often a sign that you are groping toward a further connection that you do not yet fully apprehend.

At first I thought you were saying something difficult, or anyway enigmatic. But I see that it can be restated simply that when you don’t know what you’re trying to describe, it’s harder to describe it.

Not quite. That’s true, but also, it is harder to perceive it.

Yes, of course. So, then –?

Rephrase, perhaps, thus: We are pursuing the question of how a tiny locus of attention interacts with a larger locus to change the flavor (so to speak) of an even greater, even larger, locus of attention. This rephrasing accomplishes a couple of things. It removes the sense of finality one may get, at either end. The “individual” is not an absolute unit. Neither is “society at large.” Both are communities with constituent elements, both are, themselves, constituent elements of larger groupings. It also counters the sense of difference between a person and a society, as if we were dealing with different kinds of units.

I see that. It is always a snare, isn’t it, thinking that because two different things have different names, they are absolutely, rather than merely relatively, different from each other. It makes the old philosophical differences between the nominalists and the realists appear as futile as the arguments about free will v. determination, or nature v. nurture. It’s just an over-stressing of difference and an under-stressing of commonality.

[For nominalism v. realism, search the terms, or try https://www.thoughtco.com/nominalism-vs-realism-2670598.]

If you will hold in your minds the fact that no distinction is ever absolute, you will save yourselves many a logically derived dilemma. So, you as individuals are yourselves societies, as we have said repeatedly in various contexts. Now we move from psychology to sociology, in effect, and look at the way you as communities function in external communities. We would have said “in what seem to be external communities.”

Yes, I tried to shorten it, to make the sentence less unwieldy, but I can see that that could have lost a nuance.

An important one, or we would not have corrected the change. It is important to remember, in tracing this idea, that “external” is always a relative statement. The fact that there is no absolute “external” in the way that your senses report means that you cannot intuit and develop your understanding of the true relationship between the individual and society unless you bear the fact in mind. As we said yesterday, the greater understanding cannot be arrived at if you keep various areas of specialized knowledge unrelated to each other.

Politics, psychology, metaphysics, etc.

Yes. If it causes confusion in your thought for you to forget that the individual and the community are both societies, and both intermediates in a chain of being, rather than ultimate end-points, how much more confusion is caused if you continue to study various aspects as if they had nothing to do with one another? Assembling (or acquiring) larger understandings is always a process of analysis and synthesis both; never only one or the other. You analyze to see detail more clearly. You synthesize to see more clearly how any one detail connects to others. Like everything else in life, it is a relative process.

It’s funny, what seems like a minor change in description leads to large changes in perception, for I do see, or rather feel, that remembering that we as individuals and society as a grouping are the same thing, and that “we” are not internal and “it” external removes all kinds of barriers to thinking about how isolated individuals may directly affect not only the society they exist in physically, but societies they exist in only because they are connected to others who live in that society.

Continue, because this is the right path.

Well, take Joseph Smallwood, say, or Bertram, or Joseph the Egyptian. As far as I know first-hand, they are ideas in my head of others in other times and places. I couldn’t prove even to myself that they existed in the way I experience them. Or take Abraham Lincoln or Carl Jung or Ernest Hemingway. All I know first-hand is that they did exist, which presumably means they do exist, and that I have an idea of them that may or may not be accurate and probably cannot be complete. I could go on, but these two kinds of examples are enough to show that people of another time and place can influence those of other times and places by changing them via their example. Anyone can sign off on that much. I add that they can converse with other times and places (which of course means we can too), and not everyone would sign off on that: There is no proving the reality of the connection; there is only the internal evidence of the conversations themselves.

However, there is no need to prove the unprovable. What you know first-hand is more important than is the support or non-support of others – only, do be sure to doubt (and thus to validate for yourself) before you whole-heartedly believe merely because what you are tempted to believe is agreeable.

Here is the point, once again. Remembering that the components of the individual and of society are one and the same, and remembering that interactions between the two are more like the firings of synapses [they said neurons] in your brain than like letters to a far shore, your internally maintained constructs that tell you of difference will lessen in importance, and your ability to perceive connection will be less impeded, and will change for you conceptually and practically.

Which sounds like the process I use in teaching access to guidance.

We said the various fields are more easily seen when seen in relation to one another. Enough for now.

Our thanks as always. Till next time.

 

An experiment

Monday, February 27, 2006

(8 a.m.) I went to bed asking Joseph to give me his biography in a dream. Edgar Cayce pointed out years ago that dreams are the purest form of psychic experience – presumably because the common self does not infect the content with assumptions, wishes to be fulfilled, and an active interpreting mechanism ready to leap to conclusions and thereby distort the experience. So I spent a night that was – well, different! No dreams remembered, however. So let’s see.

Joseph, was it a good idea, asking for you to send me information while I slept? And was it your idea? And – did it work? I don’t seem to know any more this morning but I notice that in these past few weeks I learn by writing it out; it isn’t like I knew ahead of time what I was going to write.

Any idea is a good idea. How do you know it won’t work ahead of time? But this assumes common sense, of course – for them in the studio audience, as you would say. Was it my idea as opposed to yours? That’s way too big a question for the moment because it means tearing down a lot of assumptions and building ’em back up different, so let’s put that aside. Did it work? Well it didn’t work the way you had in mind, did it? But not many new things do. You might look at it this way – your asking for a dream giving you my life story translates out to your pushing your slide-switch all the way up. On your control panel you have got these switches for things in general, and for other lives you set it to 80% so you wouldn’t be overwhelmed. But you just set up a separate switch for me and pushed it as far as it would go. You see? It’s just a way of looking at it, but it does give the idea.

Individuals and society

Monday, December 17, 2018

4:10 a.m. Let’s talk about diffusion of ways of being. I get that this is where you want to continue going.

It is one entry into the larger subject. And perhaps our views on society will spark other trains of association.

In you? In us?

A distinction without a difference. Although you believe what we say, and think (now) as we do, mostly, still you don’t instinctively visualize reality so instinctively that necessary conclusions present themselves automatically. That is, you and we are – as we have been telling you from the beginning – the same things, on different turf. You know that you are “spirits and also animals,” or, as we would prefer to put it, 3D with a non-3D component. You know or have been told that there is one reality, not two, and that therefore 3D and non-3D are themselves one thing, not two, and the differences between them are differences in emphasis rather than differences in kind. Knowing all this, how can you ask, us or them? If it had been entirely internalized, you wouldn’t be able to.

All right, I see that.

You do and yet you do not. You still envision this as “my thoughts” and “their thoughts”; me talking to TGU. That isn’t untrue, but it isn’t undistorted, either. Call it a halfway-house concept, useful to allow yourselves to get comfortable in a new place, so that further changes may be accommodated with minimal discomfort.

Now, this is not said in a spirit of criticism, but of enlightenment. (No, we don’t mean that with a capital “E”.) You have to understand what is going on around you and within you, if you are to function – and in context, that means, if you are to not freeze up; if you are to remain open to further revolutions in your conception of the nature of things. The TGU concept, the renaming of spirit and matter as non-3D and 3D, the progressive emphasis on the fact that the world is all one thing – halfway-house concepts all, designed to loosen the hold of older dualisms and allow a new, roomier conception of life to suggest itself.

So, one more time: As above, so below. What you see around you, what you see within you – generalize. Don’t think to understand them only in isolation.

I get the sense of how you want me to boil down 20 years’ worth of transmissions and conversations, here.

Well, if you think of all this as your own thought, doesn’t it free you somewhat? And if you also think of you as being far more than 3D-only-you, doesn’t that also free you somewhat?

Again, that’s how I think, but apparently only how I think, not how I instinctively feel.

It’s just a matter of overcoming old habits and establishing new ones. As we said earlier, this change may happen all at once but is more likely to happen a bit at a time, in which case it will better preserve continuity, and so will minimize the disruption that accompanies revolutions in thought.

So – to cut this short somewhat, lest your fatigue overcome you – a few words on how societies change by way of associations of individuals. You will find our thoughts obvious truisms, or revolutionary firebrands in the powder keg, depending upon how deeply you allow them to sink in. For they are the very essence of revolution.

You know [philosopher Thomas] Hobbes: “The life of man without society would be solitary, nasty, brutish and short.” That isn’t wrong, only he might have said, more simply, it would be an impossible hypothesis. Nobody lives or could live a solitary life except relatively. We have stressed this point more than once. Thoreau wasn’t born Thoreau, but became himself by growing up in his family, amid his neighbors, in a society found ready-made and functioning. The hermit in the desert, the John James Audubon living in enchantment in the wilderness, the mountain men in the Rocky Mountains in the 1800s – multiply your examples how you will, you will never find anyone who brought himself into the world, nurtured and raised himself, taught himself how to survive and thrive. How could it be? Even Romulus and Remus had to be suckled by the wolf!

Oh, I get it. Individualism as it has seized America’s political and ideological imagination is a fantasy, useful primarily for countering the equally erroneous collectivist fantasy that thinks mammals could or would live as insects do.

If you will pursue the subject, you will see that the same impossibilities that attach to the idea of an individual sprung up alone and living alone apply equally to families. Even tribes, which are as close to the idea as is possible, do not and cannot live in isolation without severe deterioration over time, like the remnants found in tropical areas of primitive peoples. They are primitive not because they never rose, but because their isolation in their environment pressed them to deteriorate. Rather than being pristine societies, they are what is left when a group is forced to survive in isolation. You say “The environment was too harsh for them,” but really, if you knew it, the isolation was too harsh for them. It made their existence too simple.

We need to take a moment to clarify. In speaking of primitive peoples, we do not refer to their level of technology, nor of their views of reality (that is, their religious beliefs). Native societies may live quite simply, quite well adapted to their environment, without ever discovering the wheel or employing mathematics or learning to read and write. Such things are not a true measure of a society’s level of being. Or, let us say, such things do not measure what we value here, which is, greater connection, greater consciousness, closer integration into the whole. Life’s goal is not to have all of its children wear suit and tie, read newspapers, and commute to work! But neither is life indifferent to development.

We remind you, from our point of view, any “either/or” is likely to be only provisionally true. Choices exist within a polarity, and in a dualistic world, all choices are valid (though you may or may not like the consequences of a given choice). So, a life lived in a tiny isolated band in the rainforest does not automatically have a good or bad rating, so to speak. It is neither “noble savages” nor “ignorant bushmen.” Each case is different, and what life gets from the reports filed from such existences cannot be predicted. So, understand, we are not saying “Civilization is good, primitive life is bad,” nor even “Civilization is convenient, or advantageous, etc. and primitive life is not.” The distinction we are drawing is between isolation and life in a greater community. What is true of individual men and women is equally true of families and tribes and clans and nations.

I’m not sure of your bottom line, here.

Life is a process of expansion and contraction. Each of these processes follows rules. Therefore they express according to pattern.

And “that’s enough for now.”

Correct.

Okay. Thanks, and see you next time.

 

Changes

Sunday. December 16, 2018

[Written at my daughter’s house, where I had spent the night.]

7 a.m. You’re up to bat, if you’re available.

Usually available on our end. Do you have energy enough and tranquility enough?

You mean, because I am not in my house, and don’t know if others will get up while I am in midstream?

In general. You remind others that many factors may interfere with communication. So, we remind you.

I think we’re good.

Let us proceed, then. The overarching theme is that societies change, and those changes interact with individual potential, and new individuals change society as well. It is a continuing interactive process, sometimes so slow-moving as to appear glacial or even non-existent; other times, changes come in torrents, and old people look in bewilderment at a landscape unrecognizably different from the one they grew up in. Not only are institutions and mores changed, but the very nature of their children and grandchildren is alien to them. Your grandparents experienced it.

Doesn’t any generation, that lives long enough?

You are reading the Adams-Jefferson letters. They comment on the changes in the social situation, but does it seem to you that they saw people as having changed?

Very much the opposite. These two literate, classically trained men of the world – and Abigail Adams, who contributed to the dialog – saw human nature as intractable, for better or worse. Any changes they noticed, they ascribed to the influence of a new society that they had helped to emerge from its European background.

So even in an era of revolutionary change, changes in human nature may not be obvious; may not exist. But sometimes they do occur, slowly or quickly, and you see the differences between what men can and chose to believe between one era and another. An ancient Roman might not have felt terribly out of place technologically in the Middle Ages, say, but he would have had a hard time encompassing its mind-set. And the disparity increases and the time-lag shortens, as you near your present moment.

With outliers in all times, presumably, of course. There are always forerunners and throwbacks. But the mass is fairly compact for any given time and place. Even if it is a jangled mass – New York City in its immigrant-packed heyday in the late 19th century, say – that jangled mass is coherent in itself, as self-coherent as miles of Iowa cornfields and villages, say, or California boomtowns, or New England fishing towns. And it is the same in your time, only the congruence in your day is and has been change. In some eras, change occurs slowly and continuity is more obvious. But in yours, continuity scarcely is visible. What is continuous is the flow..

Now, our point here is simple, because you will not be long uninterrupted this morning: Change is good, continuity is good, and everyone welcomes each in different proportions, and differently in different mental contexts. So – liberal or conservative, depending upon the issue, depending upon the time of day, depending upon one’s family traditions of thought and emotion. It is not a war of different kinds of people, though it is somewhat a war of perceptions. Rearrange your political thinking – said to one and all, of course, not particularly to you, Frank – and your view of the world and the society’s possibilities changes accordingly.

If I hear your subtext, you are saying we can’t really afford to continue to consider politics and psychology and metaphysics etc. as separate subjects without application one to the other.

Well, you can’t understand what you firmly mis-understand, and if you cannot see the connections, you will be bewildered, frightened, disoriented, perhaps despairing, anyway. Sound like any society you know?

And more so every year.

The readjustment pains are necessary. The extreme disorientation and accompanying fear are not; they will increase or decrease according to people’s level of understanding of what is going on.

Only, I can’t see much – oh.

Exactly. Spell it out a little.

Understandings cascade down into society from a few – maybe originally from only one, though that is more appearance than reality – to a larger few, then a larger few yet. That is, understandings diffuse into societies in an organic rather than in a random way.

And –?

And this takes time, and is assisted by the existence of societies.

Moral of the story being –?

Ripples in a pond.

That won’t do. Nice image, but still too cryptic and somewhat misleading.

Okay. This ties in to your previous statement about society having many ways for people to associate. We were talking of it in context of ways for an individual to have a place. Now we’re looking at it as the way the individual moves society.

Yes, and you’d better hope you aren’t interrupted soon! This requires expansion.

Well. Go ahead, and we’ll see.

Esoteric societies move society in general in ways individuals working alone can’t. How? By using magical powers directly? By exerting occult influences on the minds of society’s movers and shakers?

I don’t know, but when you posed the question, I thought of Dion Fortune saying (through her character Morgan LeFay, who does work mostly alone) that to enter new ideas into the mind of humanity, you must live them, not merely speak them.

A part of living your highest truths is living in the world as it is, living your life where and when you are. How else can a body function, save in time and space? How else can one person influence another, save through what he or she is?

Not, also, what he or she does? Says? Preaches? Teaches?

Do they not flow from what s/he is?

What of the solitary hermit in the desert?

The fact that you even heard of them shows you that they had their influence, and not the influence they sought, necessarily, but the influence that proceeded from what they did, or said – that is, ultimately, from what they were. It is Emerson’s mousetrap.

Emerson said if somebody invents a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to his door even if he lives out in the woods somewhere. But the mousetrap can’t quite be said to proceed from what the man was, can it? Or – can it? I guess the lightbulb came because of what Edison was, which led to what he did. Are we wandering, here?

Only if you lose the thread, which is, how individuals transmit change to the world around them. Even on the most mundane subject – light bulbs, mousetraps – you can see, if you have eyes to see it, that individuals cannot function without others. What good would it to do invent the lightbulb if there were none to provide the raw materials, none to assemble it, none to sell the concept and finance the initial capital requirements, none to string the wires and build the generators and produce the lamps, etc., etc.? and this is a mundane example. Jefferson constructed the moldboard plow by applying mathematics to a practical problem. Where did he get his knowledge of mathematics, if not from his teachers?

But – if you are eager to change what people can be (to remove previous limits and set new ones) – you can’t do it alone any more than inventors can acquire and make practical their bright ideas. The specifics of what kinds of help you require are different, but the situation is the same otherwise.

My friend Dana Redfield said (I think in her novel Jonah) “no one crosses alone.”

And we could expand that to say, no one even exists alone. Be you ever so solitary – even lonely – you can’t possibly be alone in the largest sense, because you exist as a community, in a community, therefore for a community.

To paraphrase Mr. Lincoln, it is a matter of the enlightenment of the people, by the people, for the people.

Yes. It is not a few high priests enlightening the masses. The absolute differences between the most and the least “enlightened” is relatively small. How could it be otherwise, given that you (we) are all one? You see how correcting a perception results in further rethinking?

I do. And since I hear stirrings upstairs (not to speak of Upstairs J) shall we wrap it up by bringing us back to where we started?

Diffusion through successive rings will have to come at another time.

Very well. Thanks for all this. Do you get overtime for working Sunday mornings?

You are aware, we trust, that every wisecrack and response is only so many more words to transcribe.

Smiling. Next time.

 

Re-envisioning our lives

Saturday, December 15, 2018

4:55 a.m. I am a little surprised that yesterday’s transmission hit three different people as intense. It didn’t seem particularly strong to me. Do you care to comment on that? Or continue on? Your choice, of course.

New ways of seeing things can come up smoothly like sunrise or can startle. For you it was sunrise, and 20 years ago. For them it was a sunburst, unexpected and immediate.

The “it” being the idea of the non-physical rather than the physical being the center of our universe.

Not quite that, though close. More, the realignment. The learning that your being has been driven from the back seat, so to speak. Necessarily so, in the absence of a closer conscious link between 3D and non-3D, but still, off-centered.

This is simple and obvious to me, but I am afraid perhaps not so to any others who do not begin from this same understanding of the world. I was struck, the other day, in opening a volume of Emerson to his essay on “History,” to see that it is written, from the first sentence, out of the same understanding we share. How is it that anybody in the dark 19th century understood him? Read from the right orientation, it was clear, and merely laid out the obvious conclusions for our 3D life of the fact that the world was what it was.

Now do you see why we want you to write a little book explaining it?

This isn’t quite the same thing. Is it?

Our idea hasn’t changed, but your comprehension of it just did. You have been thinking of it as a sort of self-help course. Just give the readjustment and the reasons for it, and people will do their own work – assisted by their non-3D components, obviously – in spelling out the ramifications. Once give them the key to the riddle, and everything in the world will provide the text for further elucidations.

I don’t understand how Emerson could come into the world, acquire this different way of seeing, express it (after due hesitation) and be understood and, at the same time, be vastly misunderstood, or in fact dismissed without hearing. That is, I can’t see the logic of his life.

This time we need to correct your way of expressing things in order that you may be understood.

Feel free. I can’t seem to get it said.

What you mean to say is, How was the Emerson phenomenon possible? To see the answer, look to the career of Colin Wilson.

Okay, I get it. Or Richard Bach.

Yes. Take as example anyone who establishes a reputation early, and you see someone who has created interest in what he says next. That is, there is a market for his words, based more on who is saying them than on what he is saying.

And then others will be able to find him.

Equally important, then he will be able to say wilder and wilder things and yet still receive attention.

His fame is his bridge to public attention, and his message is their bridge to another life.

You could put it that way. So you see how deeper understanding rearranges the relative importance of things. Fame is then seen not as an end in itself, not as ego satisfaction, not as reassurance that one’s life has not been a failure, but as an attractor, a star, a provocation, an advertisement calling people’s attention to a new message.

And, misused, it discredits itself.

Let’s say it is a two-edged sword, and cuts both ways. The same fame that may be used as servant may become master, with very unfortunate effects.

That’s how sincere people become phonies.

It’s one way, yes. Any attribute of life, misused, leads downward, and the choice is not a one-time thing, but a continuous process.

As Q in Star Trek used to say: The testing never ends.

Yes, except it is life itself, and not some outside agency (though usually through some outside agency) that does the testing. It would be better perhaps to say, you test yourselves, continually.

“You”? Or “we”?

In context, almost a meaningless distinction. You always experience yourselves as the center, even when you know you aren’t. So when you come to realize you are a “we” – that is, that your non-3D component is at least as important as your 3D component that you are accustomed to, you continue to think of your 3D self as running the show, and you soon forget what you learned.

That doesn’t sound very hopeful.

No harm done, mostly. Only, it is better to remember, given that the 3D is not the center.

Now, consider. We have been discussing the 3D world in an attempt to put it into its proper 3D-plus-non-3D context. So, talking about the relative value of different kinds of societies is not for the purpose of advising you on politics or ideology – obviously – but to point out that what sometimes seems important is in fact merely the clothing in which underlying forces manifest.

Yes. The things of this world produce first-tier effects, but you are concerned with interesting us in the third-tier effects.

Do you remember Thoreau, on his deathbed, saying “One world at a time”? We aren’t saying “Wish the world away.” It isn’t like the 3D world is a distraction. It has its own importance in and of itself. Only – it isn’t what it seems to be.

That is all we have been saying from the beginning. See it straight, see it in its proper depth and context and limitations, and it remains and yet is transformed for you. That’s all we have been trying to get across.

I come back to Emerson. How was it possible for him to realize the things he did?

In one sense, you overestimate him because you are tempted to think he understood everything he saw.

Oh. Duh! I get it. He was a pretty clear conduit, through which the non-3D could express.

Sound familiar?

And of course it happens all the time, only different blends are to different tastes, like coffee.

Precisely. But still you could write your little book, explaining. Only don’t think you need to prove anything. Merely point, and people’s own non-3D component will provide the response for them, often against their own conscious comprehension, but nonetheless irresistibly, whenever they are ready.

That is, you want me to function as a doorbell, or an alarm clock.

Or a snooze-alarm specifically, yes. And not just you, or course. Just as your 3D is not the center of your being, so you as a person are not the center of society. But you are all accustomed to backseat driving, by now.

Thanks for all this. Till next time.

 

More on societies

Friday, December 14, 2018

4:35 a.m. More on success and societies? On the challenge of our times? On overlapping societies?

Yes. As we said, we have barely begun. Different societies allow and encourage and almost require different abilities to emerge in the individuals comprising them. But this is far from a simple statement, given that the individuals involved are themselves communities learning to function as a new unprecedented individual. That is, learning to synthesize background experiences, abilities, tendencies into something necessarily unique. Now, something new is not necessarily something unprecedented – hence our earlier discussion about mind crystallizing or not. But, sometimes they are. That’s the goal, you might say, not only of an individual’s existence but of a society’s existence, of humanity’s (or other species’) existence.

It isn’t “all about you” in any 3D sense.

Yes, that is the insight my characters come to in Dark Fire: It isn’t the 3D but the non-3D that is central to existence.

But let’s remain on firm ground, so to speak. Your lives. That’s what concerns you – and rightly so – when you are in the body. Only, once you make the Copernican Shift and put your full self in the center of your life, rather than only the part of you known or knowable to 3D senses and 3D logic, you are in a different mental world, a truer picture. Similarly, once you put your society (your civilization) into the center, rather than you as individuals, you see the limits of what is called individualism, the distorting effect that always follows putting an unreality in the center.

That isn’t quite clear to me.

You can easily see that societies built upon false premises cannot help be distorted in their beliefs, practices, perceptions, priorities. But recognize, that goes for yours too. you can’t judge the truth of information by whether it does or doesn’t conform to what seems reasonable within the confines of your society’s assumptions.

Sure, we know that.

You do not know that. You know it sometimes; you know it sporadically; you know it – so to speak – in one corner of your mind, while other corners believe other things. Nobody is always a sheepdog or even always a wolf. In some circumstances, anyone will be a sheep.

By which I take it you mean, we accept unthinkingly more than we realize we do.

Yes. It’s necessary, you can’t doubt everything. But it is worth remembering that you do so.

This was alluded to in Dark Fire, too.

There are many ways to slip disturbing truths into entertaining stories – or, willing trances, call them.

Now, when we use the word “society,” we are folding several meanings into the one word, with confusing results:

  • Your civilization
  • Your part of that civilization (that is, your nation or state)
  • Your ethnic and linguistic subset of that part
  • Your particular family background
  • Your community of being (strands).

Is it any wonder that so tangled a mass of cross-references, continually sliding in your mind, results in confusion of thought? So, it is not surprising – shouldn’t be surprising, anyway – that each of you distorts your society’s false premises in your own fashion. However, it is also true that each of you brings in your own sliver of truth in your own fashion. Such is the value and the disadvantage of individual lives lived in a given time and place and forwarded (so to speak) into the non-3D as a new unique vantage point.

I’m struggling to see the connecting thread here.

Live your life from a new point of view, receive an entirely different understanding of what is going on.

As you were giving that to me – or as I was writing it, pick one – I heard, “Not me, but Christ in me.” St. Paul, I think. And the connection is?

He was experiencing life beyond the 3D, coursing through him as he continued to live, transforming his life.

I doubt he saw it that way.

In point of fact, you have no idea (in 3D terms, anyway; in your 3D mind) what he experienced. But this you know: He was transformed.

Yes, that’s obvious. I have thought, no matter what else we know or think we know about Jesus, we know that he or something about him entirely transformed ordinary men and women.

That’s what happens when your 3D life opens to the non-3D to which you are intimately connected.

Powerful statement. What can we do to be similarly transformed?

You can’t expect a 21st-century phenomenon to be identical to one experienced centuries – millennia – earlier. The connecting point is not phenomena, but essence. Every external society is different, as is every internal society.

Stop here. The message will be more easily received by not being connected to more.

Okay. Thanks as always.

 

Many things to do in the world

Thursday, December 13, 2018

4:30 a.m. Rather than try to do what I do not feel capable of doing, let’s do what we both know I can do. More on the subject of success and societies, please, unless you have something else in mind. That is, continuing from Sunday. My brother suggests more on the subject of overlapping societies.

Yes, that, as a subset of the larger topic. The challenge to outdated ways of thinking and being that marks your times. Again, it is not political or ideological in and of itself. As an example, a thought experiment. Suppose “liberal” or “conservative” values were to win the on-going tug of war, and therefore organized your society. (This example uses American politics but it will serve, with local variations, anywhere.) What happens on the day after?

This is an impossible example, isn’t it? The defeated qualities would continue to dissent and exist, if only underground. Plus, didn’t you point out that liberal and conservative are more mood than conviction?

Well, let’s say more innate temperament than intellectual conviction. Some people want to move fast, some slow; some emphasize conservation, others, reformation; some see bad where others see good – and this is so on every issue, and no one is entirely one or the other on every issue. You may call yourself conservative or liberal, but on another issue – in another part of your mind, in a sense – your natural place to stand may be with the “enemy.” A different group of your constituent strands will be in charge, so to speak. But suppose the issues settled, all of them, whether by force or by exhaustion or even by universal conviction. Then what? Do you suppose contention will have gone out of the world?

After the religious wars in Europe in the 1600s, people stopped trying to make Protestantism or Catholicism prevail, and accepted that neither was going to happen. Is that the kind of analogy you are drawing?

Notice that it fills our conditions, without an unreal perfection. That is, plenty of people were still bitterly divided in their hearts. Interfamily warfare – for that’s what it amounted to – continued and in some places continues to your own time, and is likely to continue beyond it. But outside of Ireland, where political and economic issues attach, who in your day is likely to enlist in a war of Catholics against Protestants per se? With all the ill-will in the world, haters cannot attach to that conflict. It doesn’t threaten.

In general.

With exceptions, as we said. But they are exceptions. Society readjusted to [religious] fragmentation.

In your times, people think they are fighting for freedom against present and future oppression. But that is how it always seems! Only, liberal fears center on economic oppression and conservative fears center on governmental oppression – except that each one would say –

Well, this isn’t the way to go about this, because it will only stir counter-argument. We can feel it in you even as you write.

Well, if I don’t agree with the specifics of a broad generalization –

Yes, so let’s do this instead. Let’s pretend one or the other “side” (which are coalitions rather than discrete bandings, despite what they think) overcomes the other. You won or you lost, but either way you have to live with the result. Now what?

First, I’d imagine, if you won, you’re going to be disappointed.

Yes, because reality is never logically neat and tidy. Successful coalitions immediately find the cracks in their supposed unity, and bitter accusations of treason and tyranny proceed to blossom. In that sense, the most extreme of the ideologues – the most unrelentingly logical, the least reality-bounded – always find that the war is not over, because of treason or at least fuzzy-mindedness within the successful ranks, which of course must be rooted out.

And if you lost, still you go on living.

So you put aside lost causes (or hug them to yourself in bitterness or mourning, preventing yourself from moving on) and concentrate on the parts of your life that you can control.

In either case, what had been a reason to live becomes a past reason to live. After a generation passes by, it is harder to continue to respond to “The Redcoats are coming! The Redcoats are coming!” It is no longer active; it is part of the history that shaped you, but it is not alive, it is not a day-to-day decision to be made, no matter how active a patriot or loyalist you were, or your parents were.

But if your psychological makeup no longer expresses through the old controversies, it will express nonetheless. Life always offers sides to choose among. After American independence, another generation fought among itself (or themselves) over the question of the relation of the new federal government to the pre-existing states, and then to the new states carved out of commonly owned territory, then to the new states made from newly acquired territory. But other controversies arose, as people adjusted to new conditions. Farmers v. commerce. Old ways and new. Industry, tariffs, banks, internal developments such as canals and then railroads. Eventually, monopolies, holding companies, trades unions. In other areas of life, slavery, women’s emancipation, various religious and secular experiments designed to overcome the shortcomings of the new society. And on and on. Life flows eternally, and nothing that is settled ever ends the flow of forces – nor would you want it to!

So, in your day, older issues all resurface in different forms, because although social preconditions change, human nature does not. And there is a reason why it does not: It depends not upon social conditions but upon the conditions of life.

If I see where you’re going with this, it somewhat contradicts your statement that human nature does not change.

Call that an inadequate preliminary statement. What we mean, as you know, is that human nature expresses differently in different conditions, which is the reason for having different civilizations. But within whose civilizations it does not change to any noticeable extent. Human nature is not “perfectible” in the way various hopeful reformers have assumed. And good that it is not! One man’s perfection is another man’s hell. Look to the record of the Soviet Union for an example of the logic behind attempting to force people into a mold. Similarly, people are not “homo economicus” as those who believe in only material forces believe and would like to try to demonstrate. As always, one size does not fit all.

Okay, I get it. You are edging toward pointing out that various people get their meaning in life from different things. So if their political or ideological cause is lost, they turn toward their deeper satisfactions.

Not “satisfactions” merely, but their deeper roots in this particular 3D life. Some may collect China dolls, or identify with their extended family, or lose themselves in this or that arcane or esoteric study, or perfect a skill, or concentrate on perfecting their own moral character. There are a million things to do in the world, and everybody can find one, or more.

Which doesn’t imply that everybody succeeds. Some may find their meaning in a bottle, or in drugs, or in this or that fanaticism, or in active pointless rebellion.

It’s all human; it is all expression.

And it’s okay with you.

Nothing is as clear-cut as it seems. That is why logical fanatics find the world so disappointing. Enough for now.

Our thanks as always.