An extraordinary moment

An extraordinary moment

Monday, June 29, 2020

5 a.m. A dream.

A very interesting experience. The specifics fade rapidly, but the sense of it remains. A few of us were at this college, meeting with various college officials, in a big hall – a mess hall, I want to call it, only there was no element of Army about it. Ed Carter was leading the questioning, I think. [Ed Carter became a friend in 1990 as I edited his novel Living Is Forever.] We would discuss a question and at some point a new question would arise from it, and Ed would ask for numbers and they would provide them and we would look into what that meant. I don’t think the process was planned in advance, it sort of grew. But it became a seminar, looking more and more deeply into practical questions. At some point I said, to someone we were with, that I was hungry, time for lunch.

But as I woke up, I knew that this wasn’t merely an “entertainment” dream, nor something made up of things suggested by recent reading. It felt like the dreaming itself had a purpose. The purpose wasn’t so much within the dream, as exemplified by the dream.

Guys? Any enlightenment for us?

Remember the ongoing seminar in the conference room in the upper world tree. [A place I sometimes go during a shamanic journey.] This is similar.

The process has present-world application?

Of course, and your Zoom meetings with your ILC group is an example of how collegiality may lead to greater depth of understanding. No one is in it for the sake of profit, because there is no profit in it; nor for prestige, nor one-up-man-ship nor any other externally oriented reason.; you are together for the thing itself, even if the thing itself is not yet clear.

Ed? Should I be addressing you directly?

Remember, everything you do from here becomes increasingly free-form. There isn’t so much “should” about things.

You say remember, but I don’t know that anybody has made that point before. If they have, I didn’t pick it up, anyway.

Well, either way, it is true. In a time of the breaking of old forms, it is to be expected that your personal freedom of action is greatly expanded for a time. The time doesn’t last forever, even judged against a human lifespan, so make the best of it.

Do you have any hints for us?

If you have only a limited time of greater freedom, greater possibilities, you should use it for the most important things. Don’t squander it; don’t fritter it away on inessentials.

Each of us making our own decision on what is inessential or not.

As always.

So if our ILC group, for instance, regards the acquisition of greater access as a priority, we shouldn’t be wasting our time on politics or economics or sports, say.

No, that is too broad, and also too one-pointed. Each individual knows or can know what is most important to the community he or she is. No two priority lists are likely to agree completely, and some will differ widely. But when people come together around some common interest, they don’t need for the rest of their lists to agree. All they need to agree on is whatever called them together. Think of it as a quilting bee. Do all the quilters have to have the same politics, prefer the same cars, watch the same TV shows? How would a herd mentality aid any of them, let along all of them?

All right.

The point here is that your group in the dream had a practical purpose beneath its superficial activity. You can’t even remember why you had all assembled there, but you saw how we began investigating the practical question of how much a full college education cost, then what made up those costs, then how could the costs be reduced, then the question of whether college should have one aim (and, you may not quite remember, we wound up dividing the result into three streams).

Because we had a practical set of questions, practicality led us to better and better answers, by means of better questions that elicited answers revealing more of the underlying reality of the situation. Everybody in the process – not least, those who had to find the data to answer the questions – learned.

I see the analogy about inquiry. I think I’ m still missing most of what you want to tell me.

Don’t hurry, it tenses you up and slows communication.

Okay. Recalibrating.

The first critical point to absorb is that you are right now in a long moment of extraordinary freedom from established form. That means, not so much social mores or even personal opinion, but something harder to describe.

Yes, I get the sense of it. We are accustomed to living within our own perceived limits, whatever we think they are, but right now we are in a moment where we may transcend those limits.

Where those limits cease to exist, because they were never more substantial than your ideas about things. But this moment will not last forever. If you want to take advantage of it, do so now.

And we do so how?

Encourage each other with true extraordinary stories, for one thing. Dirk is good at that, although his are so extraordinary (that is, his ordinary is so far removed from most people’s) that first must come the process of people learning to trust his accounts in the same way they trust him emotionally. Your own stories, pretty freely shared, are less extraordinary and therefore are more suited for some, and less useful for others. And this range will hold true for everyone. Everyone has a trove of extraordinary experiences and even extraordinary things taken for granted that they tell only to those they trust, and often not even to them. This is the time to go public. The result will be mutually invigorating and heartening.

This is the same process that occurs between the lines at Monroe, for instance.

Most of what happens at Monroe is that people experience a safe space to share extraordinary things, and when censorious or self-righteous participants attack that space, results plummet. In the absence of such constriction, though, extraordinary expansion occurs, in a very short time, not because the tapes produce it but because the tape, the undeclared mental environment, the trainers, the fellow-feeling of the participants, all act to create a magical moment.

Now that magical moment is at hand for anyone willing to claim it. It will shape your limits behind your back if you do not use it consciously. Some will “learn” that the world is dangerous and that they are surrounded by enemies, as they take their fears to be validated. But some will remember that they are magical beings surrounded by love and magical others (who are not as much “other” as you think). It’s a matter of time and attention and above all of daring to believe you are what you want to be.

This doesn’t have to have anything to do with externals. Many a rose blooms unseen. But it has everything to do with intent.

And, I get, with an intent to help and rejoice in each other.

Of course. Only, recognize that for those unable to sign on to that “of course,” it is an “of course not.” It’s all in your intent. You came to 3D to shape who and what you are. Take advantage of this more elastic time to do your shaping more effectively.

Thanks, Ed. Big day for me when Eleanor Friede sent us your manuscript! Be well.

I could and do say the same to you, and to Rich and to Joyce, who joins me in that wish. [Rich, Joyce, Ed and I bonded in Lifeline in 1995.]

Many thanks.

 

Illness as a reflection of fluctuation in life

Tuesday August 9, 2016

6:50 a.m. Last night I noted in my journal, “It isn’t just emotions, moods, thoughts, values. It is also pain, illness, suffering, accidents, altercations.” I have noticed over the years that people trying to explain life generally see life, and then exceptions to life. Life in health as the default, and then illness as an exception. None of this quite says it, so I’m hoping you guys can run with it.

“Fluctuations” is the word you want. Life is fluctuation, yet schemes attempting to describe or analyze life generally treat it as a static or regular event rather than a continuously fluctuating range of possibilities.

Remember yesterday we set out to itemize the many conditions of life that must be accounted for. That was to show how truly complicated the working-out of a life must be. What looks simple, even inevitable, is still the culmination of many a convergence of factors.

Now if you are going to change analogies from bounded structures (dimensions) to non-bounded ranges of action, you are going to have to account for the same phenomena your previous scheme accounted for. For a new scheme to be worthwhile it must give you something useful, else what’s the point? So it is well to bear in mind the phenomena to be taken into account.

In studying life with the emphasis placed not on structure but on flow, fluctuation becomes the important fact of life, and instead of it being an obstacle to clarity – blurring the picture of a given structure – it becomes the microscope’s adjusting knob, selecting focus.

Illness, suffering, is one such measure of fluctuation, or, let’s say, not “measure” but “reflection.” Illness, and the other things that came to you in the evening – pain, accidents, altercations. Anything that disrupts what the individual would prefer to be, rather than what is, is important.

Look for our clues in anything we don’t want?

Not quite. But the things in your lives that come to you against your conscious will are demonstrations that you at your level are not in charge of your life’s circumstances. That is, your reactions are your responsibility (and your opportunity) but the conditions themselves are not under your conscious control, no matter what a half-thought-out metaphysics or religion may say. It is true that there are no accidents, but it is also true that you on a 3D level are not in charge of the scenery or the other actors or the plot of the play. You on your 3D level are placed in your circumstances and you must do what you can do.

This should not be any big problem. In your day to day life, you know this. When you get a cold, when you live with asthma, when you live in a society whose values are not yours, when you repeatedly are confronted with facts you would prefer not to be facts – doesn’t all this tell you that you are not in charge of the play? Common sense would say the same, but it is true that common sense often misinterprets.

I have wondered, so many times over the years, what am I doing in a world where John F. Kennedy was killed? If there are other versions where that didn’t happen, why am I not in those? Or, if I am, why am I also here and why is “here” the only one I am aware of?

Yes, because unlike asthma, you could not by any assumption have “chosen” it. So let us look at things beginning with stage and players.

Consider that common sense is not always wrong, is not always superficial. Your bias is to suspect anything that is commonly accepted. It might be better for you to replace “suspect” with “inspect,” and you will be less prone to dismiss things that, rightly understood, may prove to be of value. “Inspect” is not “accept,” and certainly is not automatically accept. A common-sense understanding will always have value as a sounding-board. It will shed light on things even if it does not reflect but distorts what really is.

So, common sense says you as individuals do not create the world you exist in, any more than the goldfish creates the fishbowl. Take that view and contrast it to “you create your own reality” and do the work of considering them in relation to each other without dismissing either. Or, take the view that “accidents happen” or “illness happens” and view it in connection with the view that says that every thing in life is meaningful and of a piece.

The mental effort involved in weighing the two views against each other – not allowing yourselves the easy out of merely dismissing one or the other as wrong – will help you move toward the way of perceiving and judging that will be able to see life in its unbounded rather than its structured aspect.

I don’t have a good sense of this.

It is only preliminary. (Some people need different preliminary material than others do. That is an essay in itself! But we will not stay for it.) You live in different worlds according to your moods and internal circumstances. Is that more helpful?

Well, it gives me something to chew on. I presume you mean us, and not only me.

Of course. You move up and down a scale of consciousness, one might say, or perhaps you range along your being, identifying now with one level, now with another. Depending upon where you are, you are to that extent a different person than when you are at a different place.

Now, this is a simple statement: Don’t complicate it or try to make it more, or less, than it is. Take any scale you please – moods, emotions, wellness, conceptions  of your place in things) and you will fluctuate along it according to many factors.

Take moods. If you are depressed, you may be said to be toward the lower end of the scale. If you are in quiet faith that all is well, you are toward the higher end. But in any case, you are placed somewhere on that scale, and no matter if it seems to be you moving yourself or “eternal events” moving you, still it is movement. This is not news to any of you, surely. In your regular day to day lives, obviously you experience this fluctuation. Only, don’t forget it when you come to think about how the world is, how reality is, how you interact with the world.

Take illness, either temporary or chronic. For the duration of the illness, you live in a somewhat different world than you would in the absence of the illness. This will have positives and negatives, and it is up to you to find them, but, in any case your life will be different. You will not have caused it, not at a 3D level. (Even a physical miscue causing an accident will not have been “random.”) No, but you will be left with the living-out of it. In this, illness or accident is not different from the rest of life. Life might be defined as the living-out of the situation you find yourselves in, as that situation repeatedly modifies itself “on its own” and in reaction to your own choices.

Remember, we are at the very beginning of this alternative explanation. Please don’t jump to premature conclusions, or, if you do, hold them lightly. Just because a given statement reminds you of something, or suggests something, does not mean that was its intent. Take note of your reaction, but don’t cling to it or take it for granted. Hold it lightly.

Looking for helpful images

Monday August 8, 2016

[1:30 p.m. As I was at the Villa, I tried to puzzle out our lives, specifically how to include the old opinionated loudmouth at another table. I’ve heard a million of him, and I can tell you without knowing one thing about him that he will vote for Trump with great conviction and probably anger.]

4 p.m. Ready?

Yes. Several discrepancies in previous descriptions were allowed to slip in unremarked, because as usual it was a choice between flow and interruption. Luckily for the process of communication, there is plenty of room for slippage. What if everything had to be accurate? It would be equivalent to writing a first draft that was also a final draft: no room for corrections, no margin for error, no room for improvement. But those discrepancies can serve as guidepost.

So if we discard 3D v. non-3D, what will it leave? If we cease to think in terms of your mind while in body v. your mind when it “comes over to non-3D” at death, what do we have? If we remember that everything takes place in one place, how do we reconcile that to the thought that of course place changes with 3D time? And there are plenty more, some of which may occur to us at unpredictable times.

The bridges you have already crossed brought you a long way, gave you a place to stand that was more congruent with your experiences and intuitions. This may be as far as some people can go, or want to go, and there is nothing wrong with that. Everybody’s timing is different. But for those who want to (or need to) keep on, it becomes time for some rearranging of scenery.

Now, realize this will be in some ways the most difficult visualization or conceptualization yet, because it has little to do with commonly perceived 3D reality. It is harder to come up with everyday similes, and similes if not overdone provide symbolic counters for the mind to play with. Thus, if we say something is like a canoe being swept over the falls, that is a vivid image and an emotionally memorable one. However, it is important not to let the simile take on a life of its own, leading to arguments about canoes versus kayaks, or haring off into concerns for water safety! You understand. Every tool has its proper use and its limits.

Consider the difficulty in producing a helpful image. Can we even begin to list them?

  • You in body, but also part of something that predates you, extends farther in all directions, and has a life and purpose of its own, not always identical to what we may call 3D-you.
  • But also, 3D-you in all your past moments in this lifetime, not a sequence of superseded stages but a collection of equally existent beings, so to speak.
  • 3D-you extending into other lifetimes whose threads you share (though we may need to revisit this concept, too).
  • You as a community of somewhat independent intelligences with different values, experiences and, often enough, agendas.
  • You as both the coordinating maestro of this orchestra and, sometimes merely one of the players. (Think “moods” for one clue.)
  • You, as practitioner of the cardinal virtues and the deadly sins, with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, so to speak.
  • You as an absolutely independent being, enmeshed in a society which primarily sees you in your various personas – the sex, age, race, and nationality you wear; the social graces you do or do not have; the particular talents and disabilities that characterize you. you are not those masks, yet you cannot escape being confounded with them by others.
  • You as a loyalist for whatever ideals you hold, whatever impressions you have of what is fitting and right. It is those you love whom you have not met, and the causes that enlist you even if you never lift a finger on their behalf.
  • You as a living breathing representative of so many things, some chosen, some inherited, some thrust upon you.

You are accustomed to  thinking about such things (if at all) in isolation from each other. That won’t do. We haven’t even touched upon your chosen beliefs, your chosen values, as opposed to those you more or less took over in taking life. And, there is the desire for more consciousness, for a sense of greater meaning. Call it a homesickness for a state of being you can’t remember having had.

And all of these things may be investigated singly without a lot of trouble. It is the light that they shed upon each other that we’re after here.

And this will have to do for today. You will have to find other ways to occupy your time. You can’t do this all day long, even with pauses.

“An appropriate level of truth”

Monday August 8, 2016

5 a.m. can we return to the original point? Irrationality and today’s society and politics? Perhaps we never left it, I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem to me like we got very close to it yesterday.

You are stuck between generalities and specifics and you don’t know what to encourage. This is one of those situations being driven by your end of the polarity more than by the other end – and you don’t have a conceptual structure to accommodate it. So you hesitate. This doesn’t mean that every time you or we hesitate it is because you don’t know where to drive, but sometimes.

I thought that our part was to pose a question, or indicate a topic, and your part was to provide the guest speaker, to so say.

But it is not that simple. If I were to make a generalization about it, I should say that almost always, one’s working concepts are accurate enough to allow progress, but not so accurate as to reflect reality adequately. Our ideas are always in need of refinement. Your possibilities are bounded by your concepts, you see. If you believe in a wall, the wall exists for you until you cease to believe in it. It may never have occurred to you, but an appropriate level of truth is more useful to you than any theoretical absolute truth. To know too much too soon, or too much in the wrong way, can be not only not helpful, but disorienting or even misleading. We grow into the truth as we go along, and we shed former versions of the truth as they prove inadequate to our new growth.

Thoreau said something like that somewhere. You can’t expect a man to fit into the coat he wore as a child.

In recent months, Rita provided you with new concepts and perspectives that reinterpreted old ones. You were ready for them, having thoroughly lived the older structure, and you were willing to have past understandings overthrown. You were explicitly given the choice, remain or push onward. Either choice is acceptable, any time; it is your life, your decision. But that involves willingness. Willingness without readiness is not enough, so the choice was not offered until you were also ready. All right, so now your concepts of you on the 3D end and us on the non-3D end are to be upset as well.

Is this because for some reason it is easier to address theoreticals than to talk about our psychology and the elections?

It is because it is an opportunity to broaden your understanding of one of your prime areas of concentration, and we together prefer to pursue that than to shed light on what people will resist anyway, already knowing and resisting the knowing.

All right. So how is our present understanding inadequate? (I realize I’m setting myself up.)

At this point you think, “I am a soul living in 3D, responsible for a body and psyche functioning in 3D, yet connected integrally to the non-3D as well, with the potential to grow into greater awareness of non-3D realities.” Yes?

That sounds about right.

It is not wrong. It is useful, it offers a way forward. For many it is yet too much of a stretch; for some it is a comfortable fit, for others it is beginning to bind, or is perhaps long outgrown. We offer you the opportunity to become one of those for whom it has become outgrown and is ripe to be replaced. You are all in All-D. We have noted it and gone on to other things. It is time to look more closely at this.

You are all in All-D. In fact, “dimensions” are only a concept, a way of structuring data. There is, in a concrete sense, no height, depth, width, or duration. (When did you ever put “height” in a sack and carry it on your shoulders? It is an abstraction, a concept, and of course you know this, but look at it a little more carefully.) If height, depth, width are concepts, only, why are theoretical physicists trying to decide how many of these concepts are required to build a universe? In what way is a six-dimensional or twelve-dimensional universe (or a three-dimensional universe, for that matter) real? These concepts are as useful as, but no more real than, the square root of minus one. They enable mathematical representations of the world, but they do not in themselves represent reality. Or – one could say they represent reality; they reflect it; they suggest it. They are not real as the universe is real. They have no real existence, being only abstractions. Now you may say, this is only playing with words. We experience these abstractions every moment; they are part of our life. And we will say, no, you do not experience the abstractions but only the qualities that the abstractions have been invented to represent.

I used to say, “there is no France,” meaning that France as it is conceived is an abstract conception of a part of reality that we call France but is realer than any concept. Is this similar?

That was you, groping for this concept. Let us go slowly. Obviously we are not denying the existence of the qualities of your lives that make them possible. However, we are saying that as so often, they are not what they seem.

Dimensions are epicycles, so to speak?

Not a bad analogy. Fill people in when you transcribe this, but let us not pause now.

Epicycles were useful. They worked in practice. They provided concepts that allowed mathematical calculations. But in the very fact that they were useful, they misled, by seeming to demonstrate the correctness of the concept they supported. Similarly, dimensions.

[When astronomers believed that the earth, rather than the sun, was the center of the solar system, they observed that the planets proceeded in a straightforward manner, then every so often halted, reversed course, ran retrograde for a while, halted again and resumed their progress. (The earth was itself a moving platform, but since it was assumed to be unmoving, the other planets appeared to be reversing their movement periodically.)  Geocentric theory was wrong, but astronomers were able to  plot the courses of the planets with great accuracy, and were able to predict future movements with equal accuracy. Epicycles “saved the phenomena”; that is, they gave predictive value to observed data.]

Now, if dimensions are a concept, an abstraction, how can you be in one part of an abstraction and we in another and (besides that) you be stretched between both and we be able to appear sometimes and interact on your end?

When you put it that way, it is a bit less reasonable than it sounded.

Previous conceptions were bridges, as this one will be. To move from one shore to another, a bridge may be required. That doesn’t mean that the far shore is the end of your journey, but it does mean that it was easier to get there because the bridge existed. But if your path leads on, the previous bridge may be of no further use to you.

So now let’s look at things again. Instead of you in 3D in body with a  mind in non-3D connecting to the body through brain (and heart), let’s look at it in a more unified fashion. The difficulty will be in overcoming that spatial illusion that sneaks in on you and whispers, “that must be at some distance, great or small.”

Instead of a “space” in reality in which 3D is created and exists, let us remember that there are no divisions in reality. What you are accustomed to thinking of as dimensions, of real, tangible, actual, existing, obvious bounds and qualities, are real only in a sense. They are as real as you are, let’s put it that way, but no more so.

That almost makes sense to me. I have had three brief experiences that I remember in which I visited a “place” that is realer than this life. I was never able to stay long enough to do anything, but the undoubted fact that it was realer than this sank in immediately.

So you know that you are only in a relatively real “space,” and – let us suggest gently – are yourselves only relatively real.

Hmm, if this world is projected, then obviously dimensions are part of the projection. I hadn’t happened to put that together before.

Dimensions are conceptions about the projection, rather. But yes. They can be no realer than the “space” they seem to explain.

Well, you guys always manage to catch us off-guard, I’ll give you that. Let’s pause here, as it has been an hour, and take up where we left off some other time.

While you wait, ponder the non-reality of dimensions as a concept in an only relatively real reality, and follow where your fancy takes you, without feeling like you need to decide anything. You may surprise yourselves.

Okay. Till then.

11 a.m. shall we try again? No promises as to stamina, but we can try.

A new focus for your attention, you see, is the fact that there are various degrees of reality, just as you fleetingly experienced. Even this isn’t quite right; perhaps we should say differing degrees of intensity, of aliveness. It is too bad a physical analogy does not suggest itself.

I can think of one, but it is static rather than dynamic. A photocopy may be less sharp than the original, and a copy of the copy less sharp than the original copy, etc.

As you say, the example is static. However, perhaps it offers the beginnings of an image. If we can now find an analogy that is animated rather than static, perhaps we may marry the two.

Duplicates of films or videotapes?

Not really. They are static photos made to seem animated by being shown in sequence.

Perhaps analogies to coma, trance, sleep, awareness, hyper-alertness?

Better. In fact, together they may do. Go do other things and when we resume perhaps our lesson-plan will have been prepared.

Shades of Rita. Okay.

Jung: Stress and social dislocation

Sunday, August 7, 2016

[Continuing an earlier conversation with Jung]

12:20 p.. I’m ready for more, I think, if you are.

Then let us address the underpinnings of your concerns. The underpinnings, because what you think concerns you is superficial next to the real, substantial, underlying causes.

The problem is not Donald Trump. It is not that so many people see in him desirable traits in a leader. It is not any of the things it appears to be. The problem is that people cannot live forever with lies. Sooner or later, they have to break free or at least make the effort to break free, because if you live in lies you lose the very footing beneath you. Who do you think, among all those citizens, does not have a connection to a non-3D self? Who do you think is all evil, or all ignorant, or all mean-spirited, or all—anything? It is a prime mistake to dismiss people’s knowings, even when they don’t know what they know or how they know it. Even when the ways their knowings express are mistaken,  the knowings are not.

I think you are saying, opinions are one thing, emotional basis is another.

You know very well that anyone, stressed significantly, moves from his preferred mode of apprehending reality to the inferior part of the opposing mode. A thinker becomes dominated by his lowest emotions. A feeler becomes prey to his most collective clichéd opinions. This is not a liberal v. conservative thing, much less a Democratic v. Republican thing. It is not enlightened v. undeveloped, open-hearted v. skinflint, accepting v. bigoted. The factor to concentrate on is stress.

You know I made a study of what drew people to the Nazis.

I didn’t know that specifically.

One could hardly avoid it; it was in the air, until anyone who wished to understand and heal the psyche had to ask, what is it that is driving so many people to escape their personal responsibility by giving themselves to a collective? And although I confine myself to the Nazis, it ought to go without saying that it applies to the communists as well. Indeed, more so, in that communism preceded the Nazis and outlived them, and put the world in peril of its life.

But there too you see that finally the collectivist society fell apart of its own weight. It tried to sustain itself by promising material satisfaction and social justice. It gained many years by being able to portray itself as under siege, first by international capitalism, then by the Nazis, then by the Americans and their allies. It is possible that if it had made its experiment in more benign surroundings, in more supportive times, it would have collapsed much sooner or, more likely, would have been forced to shed certain unobtainable ideals in order to save ideals that could in fact be achieved. No one can provide absolute equality even if it were desirable, but with intent and resources one can assure that no one starves, or grows up ignorant for lack of opportunities. You see?

I think so. Pie in the sky can actually get in the way of providing real pie here and now.

All right, that is the material element. But giving people something to believe in is something else. “Without vision, the people perish.” Man cannot live on bread alone. This is very true. People cannot live without ideals.

What drew people to join the Nazis was a combination of many elements, one of which was economic desperation; another, a sense of having been dispossessed; another, an outrage that the older ideals – Fatherland, Kaiser, frugality, discipline – spiritual participation in the culture, call it – were all under attack, which meant that those who had remained to true to these ideals were themselves under attack. Given that there existed a clear opposition – not only the Communists (though they were the most organized, the most dangerous), but all the formerly repressed elements that flourished in the Weimar Republic and seemed to traditional eyes to be scum – militancy seemed necessary and not only justified but so justified that not participating in militant outrage seemed inexcusable.

Sorry, but that will have to do for the moment.

Any time. It won’t be hard to find the place.

1:20. All right.

Perhaps you can see – woe to them who cannot see – that in times of great social dislocation, no set of values, no set of individuals, no parties, no ideologies, are innocent. The Social Democrats, the Communists, the Monarchists – everybody – was as responsible for the rise of the Nazis as everybody else, at least to the extent that they either profited from or assented to the changes disrupting German society. It is all well and good to stand watching and be appalled by the growth of the Nazis as expressed in marches along streets and speeches in mass events. That does not mean that one had had no hand in creating the conditions creating the Nazis.

I recognize the distinction – silent hers but understood – between the psychopaths and sociopaths actually directing the party apparatus, on the one hand, and the people who were drawn to them like moths to the flame.

That distinction is always to be drawn, and you may regard it as a law of life that – other things being equal – sociopaths will rise to lead any organization. That America had its Marshalls and Eisenhowers was a providential exception to the rule, but it does not invalidate it. Naturally, certain kinds of organizational structures are more resistant to being taken over by sociopaths than others.

Jung on what we cannot know

Sunday, August 7, 2016

7:15 a.m. [My brother] Paul suggests that I ask Jung’s opinion of the way our politics is being driven by irrational forces. Specifically, he asks about the fears propelling the Trump campaign but obviously extending far beyond that. I’m willing to ask, but I’m also hesitating lest it lead to too extensive an answer. But, I guess I can always quit when I get tired, as usual.

Dr. Jung? Any comments on our psychological situation? Or, put it this way, anything you would like to say to us? I well remember your saying to some interviewer that whether mankind has a future depends upon whether enough people do the work on themselves. I assume that nothing has changed; that this is still the case.

[Pause. I can feel that there is some obstacle to communication. Bad timing? Or is it that I don’t know where to start?]

The difficulty you are experiencing is that you still wish to take ownership of these sessions, as if you were making them up. You may not wish to, but perhaps that is a different “you,” you see. You have driven the doubter to the outer rim of the castle but you have not exiled him; nor can you. A discordant part of oneself is there for a reason; it exists. It is a fact, no matter that you would prefer it not to be so.

As I always pointed out to people (who often didn’t believe me) the unconscious is really unconscious. It cannot be lured into the light and revealed. It cannot be made into a suburb of your central city, available for commuting to. It is really unknown to the consciousness, and no sleight of hand is going to make it familiar. This is the difficulty, you see. We don’t want to believe that what we know is not the same as what we are. We want to feel that we are in charge of the castle. And of course, we in our lives we are responsible stewards for the castle. But we did not build it, we do not really maintain it except by trying not to harm it, we do not know who owns it or what its purpose is. Yet we want to think we do.

Or change the analogy. We live in a ship – a yacht perhaps, or even a huge ocean liner. We tend the cabins, we maintain the equipment, we polish the brasswork. When it occurs to us, we even man the wheel! But although it is our ship in a manner of speaking, we are not the ship. The ship has its own existence, and we live aboard it. Naturally we cannot expect to know everything that transpires in the life of a ship, no matter how large a flashlight we bring to our inspections, or how diligently we man the sails or how deeply we study the ship’s operation and deduce its operating principles.

These are analogies, and are therefore necessarily incomplete and misleading if taken too literally.

The body has its own different cooperating intelligences, and much of what goes on is opaque to us, but I get that you aren’t meaning the body in these analogies, but our psyches.

Yes. You have been instructed over the past few years on the difference between the “individual” that much of society still considers a given person to be and the “community” that the same person may just as correctly be considered to be. Is it to be expected that anyone will know every member of the community he lives among? And if he does, is it to be expected that he will know all their relations and friends? For there is no end to connection. An end is always an arbitrary cut-off point. You see, by definition nobody, by any contrivance, by whatever diligent study, by any fluke of chance, can ever be aware of every part of his own nature. He may make inroads in this or that direction, but he cannot make inroads in all directions, nor can those inroads extend infinitely – but his connections, his extensions, do extend infinitely.

I shall say it again, and shall be disbelieved again: The unconscious is always unconscious.

It occurs to me that people may be misinterpreting what you say because of that word “unconscious.” To us, “unconscious” sounds like “sleeping” or “unaware,” and I don’t think you mean that, exactly.

The non-3D mind, as you are calling it, is a good representation of what I mean. Many consciousnesses, existing in community, interacting, not brightly lit as the 3D consciousness is but extending far beyond the 3D mind in itself. Your equating “the guys upstairs” with the racial unconscious is provocative and not entirely misleading. It is not tremendously accurate, but one would have to be far better versed in psychology than you are to improve upon it and correct it. For the purposes of leading people in the right direction initially, it will serve, so do not think to tinker with it to get it more correct.

Perhaps we should do better if I were to define the unconscious as “that of which we are unconscious.” That may clear it up, perhaps. Just because we don’t see the squirrels running in the trees does not mean that there are no squirrels – nor that there are no trees! They exist, on their own and in their own right and for their own purposes, and whether we see them or not may matter to us, but not necessarily to them. So you have many elements in your psychic organism, or mechanism, or – let us use a newer word – your psychic ecology, that do not depend upon you in any predictable way, that do not necessarily interact with you, although they may. Of most of the totality of what you are, you are necessarily not aware. You are not conscious of these elements, but they exist.

We are not talking about secret agents, or hide-and-seek. IF you wish to learn about certain things, perhaps you will be able to. But you will not be able to learn about all things.

This is so simple a statement, and so few people ever really believed me when I made it. Being captain of your ship does not mean being your ship – and it does not provide guarantees against mutiny, either. Perhaps you have a mutiny and it makes your life impossible, then you go to an alienist, to a phycologist, to try to get the crew back under control. But he cannot make you the same thing as your ship. He can only help you regain your rightful place; he cannot make you aware of all of you, any more than he can make you into the sun.

If you can once internalize the fact that you, yourself, are vastly more than you can ever become aware of, many puzzles will begin to resolve themselves. But thinking this is only the first step. What will transform your understanding is getting it into the feeling as well as (not instead of) the thinking.

Again, nothing is being kept from you deliberately. You are not beings whose security clearances are not high enough for you to be given the information. But you cannot be given more than you can receive. You cannot be “given” anything. Your non-3D component is ready and willing to provide hints, nudges, and plain facts, but it can’t give you what you are unable to receive.

And it is up to us to provide the receptors.

[Pause] That would be a long discussion in itself. Wrong definitions render communication difficult.

Well, I’ll type this up and send it around. Maybe we can talk about the psychology behind our elections another time?

We “on this side” are always willing.

Thank you. Another time, then.

Experiencing life fully: an experiment

Friday August 5, 2016

5 a.m. At the dentist’s yesterday morning, I had to wait quite a while. (A temporary crown had broken the day before, and they had squeezed me in.) Rather than succumb to irritation or impatience, I – existed. I remained in neutral. And therefore a couple of remarkable things happened.

One thing, I wondered what it would be like to be entirely present, to be fully aware of my life as a 6- or 12- (or however many there are) dimensional being. We have been told that as we become more aware of other dimensions, our experience of time necessarily changes (because those dimensions are crammed into our experience of time in a sort of spare-drawer or junk-closet kind of way). So what if we were fully aware, what would it feel like?

I knew that it isn’t a matter of how we think about things. And yet that isn’t something to be ignored, either, if only because the way we think can get in our own way. If you think guidance is “over here” or is “them,” your opportunities are going to be lessened than if you thought “they” are right here and are not “them.” So, although we can’t think our way into an experience of wholeness (call it), we can prevent ourselves from having it by thinking wrongly.

So I kept that in mind, and tried not to think but to be. What would it feel like to experience myself as I really am, rather than only as this 3D-experiencing machine with a lifeline to the non-3D? Since it can’t be thought into, I couldn’t use concepts to frame it. All I could do was intend to feel it.

Working from that intent, I held myself in an attitude of not-thinking alertness. (I can’t find words for it.) The result was that I “intended” into a clear mental space whose “feel” I have experienced occasionally. I saw a room, with two main objects in it, one closer to me than the other. I can’t remember the objects but the impression was of a very rich room – like a room in a museum, say, with the walls covered with artwork. Nothing moved, nor did my intent. I was being careful not to “move,” myself. I let it be, and held my intent, and tried hard not to start thinking about it, or associating ideas to it. I don’t remember how it ended – whether it faded, or I started to think, or what. It only lasted a short time. Less than a minute, maybe, though it seemed longer (or perhaps I should say “timeless”) while it lasted.

I remember resolving to try to stay in a state of remembering at least my intent to experience life as fully as possible, and it did seem to affect my day, as long as it lasted. (That is, as long as I remembered.)

Now, by that phrase, “experience life as fully as possible,” I am not talking about what people often seem to mean when they say something similar, which is, roughly, “cram as many experiences, emotions, etc. as possible into my life.” I mean nothing like that. Rather than compiling “external” events and my reactions to them, I’m talking about expanding my moment-to-moment pattern of perception so that I live in the world more as it really is and less as it appears from a constricted 3D perspective. I don’t know how to do it – I won’t know unless / until I succeed – but I think I know how to go about it, focused intent and stillness. But how to remember intent, moment by moment? That’s a big question.

Obviously this way of proceeding won’t be for everyone, if it is even for me. But it seems worth a try, and now I’m wondering if this is that people aim for by meditating. The trouble with all this exploring is that so little of it can be expressed, and such little as can be expressed can be so misleading. Still, it seems worth pursuing.