TGU — the trance of the living present moment

Sunday, May 13, 2018

4:35 a.m. Okay, yesterday you talked about vast forces impersonal and personal. You said you also wanted to talk about the trance of the living present moment.

The trance that is woven by those forces, you see.

Well, I don’t see, not yet, but I imagine you intend to show me.

We do. Remember, this refers to the interface between personal reality and impersonal reality.

Hmm. The first Seth book I ever read was called The Nature of Personal Reality, but it never occurred to me until this moment that it might imply a corresponding impersonal reality.

But now it appears obvious, which tells you something.

Yes. It tells me that I wasn’t very perceptive, and that the very obviousness of the congruence of the two indicates that the perception that it implies is right.

Your very life should have told you that what Seth was saying wasn’t the whole story.

Should have, but didn’t.

Seth was trying to fill out the picture. In the 1970s, the West took for granted that reality was impersonal. He was there to say, “No, you are not flies trapped in amber. You create your reality.” Only, that was a corrective, not a full statement, and was so deliberately, as only an exaggerated emphasis on one end would compensate for the exaggerated emphasis on the other end that was an entire materialist civilization’s assumptions. It was Seth against the world, so to speak. But now you live in the world Seth helped reshape, and it’s time to re-trim the ship again.

What you’re saying makes sense.

Thank you.

Very funny. You know what I mean.

We do. And in a mild way, we mean thank you – thank you for not putting Seth up on a pedestal either. [“Either,” I take it, meaning because I don’t put TGU there anymore either.]

Well, I do regard him as the gold standard in these things.

And that is warranted. What would not be warranted would be to canonize an idea of Seth, or to treat his every word and concept as if sacred and not subject to reconsideration according to context. So, thank you for remembering not to do that. As soon as you regard as final someone’s words (which, realize, will always amount to your understanding of those words), you have lost most of the value of those words. Words are meant to be sparks, remember, not nails in a coffin. Didn’t Seth say that he came in this way – as words rather than as a physical presence – so that people would not be able to turn him into a prophet, and his words into scripture?

It’s a common tendency, though. You know that.

That is why we are thanking you for not succumbing to the temptation.

Now, you may think this is a diversion from our topic, but in fact it is an illustration of it. It is the

Yes, I hear it: Slow down, recalibrate. I notice I get that message usually when you are about to unpack a complicated concept.

That’s when it is usually needed. If it is only a matter of your expressing what we are saying – your finding words for the knowings or feelings that are coming through – you do that fluently, product of long practice at writing plus long practice, by now, of that kind of translation. It is when we come to a bundle of interconnected ideas that we or you have not tried to put into sequential thought – which is what language consists of, sequential thought – that we sometimes need you to change gears, slow way down, reach for the understanding and allow itself to unfold within you.

I have usually experienced that as my being impetuous, and needing to restrain it.

That is true relatively; in those instances, you see, you are overrunning the process. You are moving at your customary pace, but over terrain that doesn’t justify that pace. It isn’t a criticism of you or of your practice; it is a readjustment so you don’t run out of breath on the uphill slope, so to speak.

Okay. That’s an interesting way to think of it. So, you were saying?

[The following came out as one long paragraph, which I went back and reformatted as bullets, for easier understanding.]

The trance of the present moment consists of several elements.

  • Every individual’s private world.
  • The sum of those private worlds.
  • The drag of what was established previously, and
  • The drag of what is in process.
  • The “weather” provided by the interface of the vast impersonal and personal forces upon these individual private worlds.

That’s a lot of unpacking in prospect.

Yes it is. But as so often, you will see that what you wind up with is a mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar, both more strange and less strange than you might expect. As usual, we’re showing you things you already experience, but from our viewpoint rather than yours, and in a different context. What we are always painting isn’t hard, it’s just different.

So let’s go down the list, annotating, and see what we have.

I’ll put your graf into bullet points when I transcribe this.

Good idea. You might mention (but you didn’t, so we will) that you were tempted to do so as we gave them to you, but didn’t know if there would be enough to warrant it. That is an example of the kind of editing-on-the-fly that the work entails. We mention it lest others be deterred as you were once, when they realize that they are an integral part of the process of deciding how the thought is presented. We are not Seth, dictating.

Yes, I get that. In some ways it would be easier on me if you were.

You wouldn’t stand for it, and anyway that isn’t the need at this point. Very well, the bullets:

  • Every individual’s private world. Your life as you experience it. What you are accustomed to calling your subjective life. This is the only inner reality you know.
  • The sum of those private worlds. You are not the world. Everyone else has a private world that is the world to them. Reality consists of all these worlds separately and all these worlds considered as one thing.
  • The drag of what was established previously. This might be subdivided, because it includes many things often considered individually. Your cultural heritage. The physical reality of whatever has been done: buildings constructed, rivers dredged, hilltops strip-mined, etc. The habits and perceptions that are embedded in experience – hunters’ wisdom, say; skills and trades and accustomed routines.
  • The drag of what is in process. This is not so easily seen until described, but call it the tendencies established by whatever is in existence as a result of past actions. The zeitgeist, in a restricted sense. The age’s idea of what is realistic and possible, and of what is fantastic and even unthinkable.
  • The weather. This of course requires a lot of discussion, but for now let’s say the aspect of the zeitgeist that is the way any present moment is affected by the vast forces that are not generated by human mental activity but do affect on-going human mental activity.

Your present moment is never as simple and straightforward as it appears.

No, clearly not.

Well, the interaction of so many factors is what we are calling the trance of the present moment.

I haven’t quite worked out what you’re wanting to add, there.

It is a common way to see the present moment that we’re trying to see how to undermine, and it is our hesitation you experience.

Interesting. Your hesitation. I was assuming it was mine.

That’s why we pointed it out, to correct the idea.

Let’s say this. Any given present moment is not simply the addition of a moment of time to a fixed past. We know it looks that way to a certain habit of mind, but it isn’t so. Neither is it tabula rasa, totally malleable to any individual will. (If you think it is, try moving Egypt to Indonesia, or if that’s too hard, try reversing the result of any recent public action, or, for that matter, relocating yourself across the world – or next door! – instantly.) The present moment is always an interface, and it is more plastic than fixed, but fixed in the limits of the boundaries of the factors that surround or inform that plasticity.

Did I get that right? It doesn’t sound right.

We mean, it is fixed but not by physical inertia nor even by mental inertia. Rather, it is more like a trance than a ratio, or the results of a formula.

Some good unpacking, here. Enough for today.

Okay. Thanks as always, and until next time.


TGU – Vast personal forces

Saturday, May 12, 2018

10:55 a.m. Shall we go again? It’s easier than trying to do the work I find runs so counter to my grain. Notes and logical analysis and all that – necessary to do what you want done, and I hope it will be done by somebody for whom it is as easy as these conversations are for me. Why can’t we each stick to our specialty?

In any case – more?

We can’t do this together all day, but we can do more if you wish, bearing in mind that you won’t be doing it next weekend. [My AIG weekend course runs from next Friday to Sunday.]

We ended somewhat abruptly, I felt. Maybe that was me, looking at the clock and seeing that our usual hour had elapsed.

Or that you were at the end of a page? No, such things might enter into a breaking of a connection, but at other times you might go 70 or 80 minutes. No need to assume that you abandoned ship. If we ended abruptly, perhaps that has as much to do with the deep waters we are about to plunge into as with the lapse of time.

You were at the end of a section, you mean?

It was a reasonable place to pause, put it that way.

Initially you said you wanted to discuss vast impersonal forces, vast personal forces, and the trance of the living present moment.

Nor will we do more than begin on any of the three topics, of course. But, as a way of providing an initial orienting view, fine. So let us leave off the topic of impersonal forces for the moment, and touch on the subject of the vast personal forces that frame and influence and even animate your 3D lives.

I’m getting the sense that there’s less difference between the two than the adjectives would suggest.

It’s always more a matter of perspective than of any absolute relation. If you look at any two things from one angle, you see the ways in which they are connected. Look at them from a different angle, and the differences are accented. So long as you remember this, you won’t go making absolute (and therefore arbitrary) distinctions that in their absoluteness become unreal.

Why do religions stress the personal relation between the individual and the divine, do you suppose?

Can we take that as a given? Animism? Buddhism, for that matter? Pantheism?

Good reservation, but look slowly. Even if we take Buddhism to be a religion, does it not center on each person? If we take animism or pantheism to be religions in the same way as what are called “the higher religions,” do they not center on the relation of the person to All That Is? For this moment, we are centering our discussion not on any religion’s idea of God or gods or any formulation, but instead on the believer. We maintain that all religions stress that the person is not stranded among uncaring forces that take no notice of him. Is that a clearer way to state it?

It is clearer; I don’t know still if I can agree with it – and you did ask if I did.

By implication, yes we did. Very well, let us drop the implication and return to making flat statements subject to your later examination.

That might be easier.

“Jesus loves me.” Powerful statement. “God is love”: In some ways a less powerful statement, or a more powerful, depending entirely upon whether the soil the seed falls on is fertile or stony.

I am feeling that you would like to give other examples, but I’m not familiar enough with them.

It needn’t be confined to what you (any of you) call religion. The work of Emoto demonstrates what we might call oneness in compassion. Any way of seeing the unbroken oneness of creation sooner or later comes to the oneness of that creation with its creator – and when it does, who cares (in a sense) how that creator is conceptualized? Now, you do care, obviously, because if that creator is seen as The God of Wrath, or as a tyrant in the image of an ancient Near Eastern king, or of Thomas Hardy’s conception –

“Like flies to boys are we to the gods, They kill us for their sport.”

[Incorrectly remembered. The actual lines, from King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, They kill us for their sport.”]

It makes a difference. The Good Shepherd is a radically different concept. But even a god conceptualized as a vengeful demanding tyrant may still embody (so to speak) the personal element. “You’d better follow his commandments or he’ll clap you into hell when you die, and maybe torment you while you’re still alive.” You see? It isn’t pleasant, it isn’t even entirely sane, but it is a personal relation, as if you were living with a vitriolic unpredictable father. Even that may be in some ways preferable to being an orphan whom no one cares for.

Obviously – we hope it is obviously! – we aren’t advocating any of these conceptualizations as the only accurate way to see it. Instead, we are saying, people have always felt that personal relation to forces that otherwise seem entirely not personal. It is not as simple as saying your ancestors were stupid cowardly superstitious people who personified impersonal manifestations so that they would feel more comfortable. In fact, you could very nearly make the opposite accusation against your contemporary dyed-in-the-wool materialists, and say that they ignore all evidence of teleology in nature, all evidence of non-sensory interaction, all evidence of the created-ness of creation, solely because they find it more comfortable to believe in a mostly dead universe without meaning.

No, people sense these vast personal forces, they just don’t have any commonly agreed upon way of looking at them.

So I take it you are going to suggest such a way?

That’s what we’re doing, right along, of course. Sure. Only, as always, absorb the idea, then wrestle with it. What you reject and reconfigure may be an advance in everybody’s understanding. But – again as always – you can’t get anywhere by refusing to consider a thing except in so far as it agrees with what you already think. How can you experience the clarifying shock of unrecognition if you refuse to look at things you have previously rejected, or refuse to look at things in a new context?

You might think of the vast personal forces in your life as local variants of the vast impersonal forces.

That needs translating. The image that comes to mind is electrical, transformers stepping down current.

A serviceable analogy, if a bit impersonal

Well, a dialect as opposed to a language.

Let’s say, speakers of a dialect, as opposed to speakers of a larger language. Yes, that’s getting there. or families as opposed to clans as opposed to nations as opposed to all humanity as opposed to all mammals, etc. You do have the basic idea there. Unlike the vast impersonal forces that are like the weather, products of forces beyond you, the vast personal forces we refer to are very much the byproduct of human mental and emotional activity. That activity usually results in physical activity, but it is the mental field itself that concerns us at the moment.

But this is enough for now. In the first place, we’d just as soon end on a suggestive rather than a definitive note, and in the second place, this is as much as a usual session, and enough is enough. Don’t come back for another bite of the apple today. If you do, we can’t stop you, but why should you ignore counsel given for your benefit?

I know, remember what happened to Edgar Cayce when he refused to listen.

Remember what happens to Frank DeMarco when he refuses to listen!

Smiling. Got it. Okay, till next time.


TGU — Vast impersonal forces

Saturday, May 12, 2018

4:15 a.m. All right, guys. The discussion of the inertia and the plasticity of the single present moment seems to have drawn people’s assent. So today, building upon that –?

Vast impersonal forces, vast personal forces, and the trance of the living present moment.

Okay. Sounds like you have a lesson plan prepared.

We smile. Let’s say, We’ve done this before.

That’s my line.

Most of what we can say depends upon your lines: That is our lexicon, our vocabulary, even to a degree our grammar. That is one reason why we continually encourage others to enter the fray (as you do too, re realize). Every new voice brings to the task a slightly or greatly different toolset, and the more skills and experiences we have available to work with, the better we can do. More participants not only reduces the guru factor – a good objective in itself – but reduces the pressure on each of them to think, “I’m nobody special, what can I add?” and – you will recognize this one particularly – “What if I get it wrong, and mislead people?”

It’s a different form of “Safety in numbers.”

It is.

So. We have been accustoming you to the existence of what we sometimes are calling “the weather.” That is, objective conditions beyond the control of individual All-D beings, not the conditions malleable by the human will. We have deliberately used the exact same term, Vast Impersonal Forces, because invariant terminology serves to objectify an idea. It makes it seem more real, because the name becomes familiar. If you look at this true statement in and of itself, it may seem ridiculously unlikely, but in fact it is true. What you hear repeatedly in identical nomenclature, you come to believe in. If we had said sometimes vast impersonal forces, sometimes non-subjective factors, sometimes dynamics beyond the human 3D scale, sometimes aspects of reality from beyond the 3D / non-3D interface, our statements might have been equally correct, and they would have lost much of their force.

Repetition sells.

It does. That’s why sales directors use it. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it also breeds – familiarity. Recognition is half the battle to acceptance. Only, then the problem becomes being sure that people look at what they have come to recognize. We’ve got their attention; now we need to engage their critical faculties, because as we’ve said often, until you wrestle with a thing, it isn’t yours.

So what are these vast impersonal forces?

I’m getting that the terms has two meanings at least. One, “impersonal” in the sense of “beyond any given individual,” and two, in the sense of “not having to do with human activity at all.”

True as far as it goes. Let’s look at the trance – the spell, if you prefer – that is the ever-enduring single living present moment shared by all humanity and experienced (usually) as if unique to each moment of sequentially experienced time. It could be further subdivided, as you are intuiting, but one step at a time.

Slow down, in other words.

Always a good thing. Once you’re up to speed, it’s helpful to look deeper, slower, more mind-intensely.

Striking, how even the reminder to slow down changes my perceived mental state.

More mindfulness always will.

We need to make a few flat statements for you to provisionally accept, if we are going to be able to continue. After you have absorbed the gist of the next leap in understanding, then it will be time to look back and criticize and parse what we are about to say. That is, then it will be time to wrestle with the material. But you cannot productively wrestle with it until you have understood it, and you cannot come to understand it by trying to fit it in with wherever you are at the outset.

I get it. A leap of faith until we absorb it, then a more careful reconsideration to see if it holds up in the cold light of day.

A little dramatic, but yes. So here it is:

Everything is alive and conscious, and each part of reality has a different kind of consciousness specific to its nature. The consciousness of rocks is real, but it is not the same as that of trees, nor either to that of mammals. Only, extend that beyond your accustomed limits. Transitory forms – clouds, explosions, energy vortexes, dust balls – all have their specific unified consciousness as well. Try not to let logical objections derail you, here. Everything solid, liquid, gaseous, plasmic, has its own specific form of consciousness which is an integral subset of the overall consciousness which is reality.

But it doesn’t stop there. The overwhelming majority of the kinds of energy that make up reality is not perceptible to the senses. In other contexts, you know that. Beyond infra-red in one direction, beyond ultraviolet in another direction, your senses have no connect to what is. It is and must be and must remain terra incognita, because you do not have the sensory receptors for it. (Nothing wrong with the situation. How would it help an otter to be able to read a newspaper? How would it help a rock to have a sense of smell? Only, when you come up against a limit, recognize it!)

All that vast majority of energy beyond the range of your senses, and beyond the range of your extension of senses which is instrumentation, exists; it has its own consciousness; it contributes to the shaping of reality, which is the same as saying it impacts your life even though you may not be aware of it nor it of you. For the moment, accept as fact that the otter’s mind is affected by the human mind and the human mind is affected by the otter’s. Neither one necessarily recognizes it.

So one restricted definition of vast impersonal forces would be the influence of so many unperceived and imperceptible influences upon your world.

Now, you might say, “If I can’t perceive them, how can they affect me?” But that is a silly argument. You can’t perceive microwaves, but they can cook you. So then you respond, “But microwaves can be perceived by instruments, which means they are within our range, so no wonder they can affect us.” But, you see, that makes our point for us. Forces that cannot be perceived by the senses or by extensions of the senses do affect you, and, as you may say, are therefore detectable somehow. (We realize that this isn’t quite logical, but follow the argument for the sake of where it leads rather than parse it here.) If so, how?


Of course. Intuitively. Only, what is intuitively experienced may easily be shut out by logical / emotional filters, and if it is, then it might as well not exist for that individual. But, it exists, acknowledged or not. This is one aspect of what we call “the weather.”

I suppose that it is these unknowable forces –. No, let me say it more carefully. I suppose it is these forces that cannot be experienced through the senses nor registered by instrumentation that religions call spirits, genii, demons, angels, etc.

Let’s say, scripture (when it is not prescribing rules of conduct) deals with the existence of things known but not perceived by the senses. These things known may or may not be perceived at all accurately, and the logical assumptions and conclusions connected with them may be very close or wildly wrong or anywhere in between, but they do at least recognize forces that instrument-bound science and “common sense” perception cannot.

“There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than your science knows.” Rough paraphrase.

Rough maybe, but true. It is in the awareness that the world extends far beyond the bounds of what may be perceived by senses and instruments that an extension of field becomes possible for the All-D creature.

In other words, if we remember that the world is far more than we can ever measure it to be, we won’t allow our mental filters to leave us half blind and half deaf.

That’s a way to put it. We would have said, “a rather poetic way to put it,” if we didn’t fear you’d think we meant it as a compliment!

Very funny. Okay, thanks for all this, and till next time.


TGU — the plasticity of the present moment

Friday, May 11, 2018

4:15 a.m. Very well, shall we talk about the plasticity of the present moment? Remembering that it is always the present moment, and that somehow it is the same present moment.

And remembering to hold contrasting qualities in mind as we do so. The inertia that amounts to the drag of other minds holding an attitude toward it, and on the other hand the quality that balances that inertia. They must be examined while keeping in mind their essential unity, lest the idea arise that what is one thing manifesting two ways is actually two things each manifesting separately.

Understood, but – “the drag of other minds holding an attitude toward it”?

It should come clear as we discuss plasticity.

All right.

You know that someone described magic as the art of producing changes in reality in conformance to the will. You have seen Dion Fortune’s lucid explanations of the use of magic, and have read many times in her novels her descriptions of how magical manipulation is accomplished. You have read many other accounts, some lucid and many not, but all having the air of someone honestly describing things experienced. And of course you have read accounts of magic that were not thought of as magic by the very author of the account. On a personal experiential level, which outweighs all reading (but may be brought into focus by such reading), you have had your own experiences.

You also know that you have always been drawn to history and magic both, although most are drawn more to one or the other, rather than both. Or so you have assumed. The reality is somewhat different. The reality is that you were looking equally outward and inward, and most people prefer to look inward or outward. That is the distinction you noticed, which appeared to you as their outward manifestations.

I see it as you say it. It wasn’t only history that is the opposing pole. For some it was mathematics or science or fashion or money-grubbing or politics.

Yes. The opposition was – is – between looking inward and looking outward. The form that either approach manifested varies. For some the inward gaze manifests as psychology or religion or philosophy or abstract metaphysics.

All right, I’m reoriented now.

Think of it this way, then: People gazing outward maintain the assured reality of the 3D world. Those gazing inward retain the possibility of altering it by altering themselves. Only – don’t expect this to make sense right away. There is more reorienting to be done, first.

Jung said those who gaze outward dream, and those who gaze inward awaken.

That may be more a paraphrase than a careful statement of fact, but it is in line with what we are saying here, only that statement refers to the effect of such orientation on the individual aspect of reality, and here we wish to look at it on the communal aspect.

Jung was asked if the world could avoid nuclear war and he said it depended on whether enough people were willing to work on themselves.

That’s right, and our discussion here may shed some light on how that could be – how the relationship between the two could be. He did not mean, It depends upon enough people getting together in coordinated group activity. He meant what he said, because, you see, he knew the indivisible unity of the human mind. He also knew that the overarching mind has local divisions, but he knew that the unity was there.

So if you will hold in mind our discussion of the inertia that holds the world in being, you will perhaps redefine plasticity as a different kind of inertia, the inertia that holds the world in being as it changes aspect.

Let me try.

Yes, go ahead.

Inertia may be defined as the force (or tendency, or whatever) that makes an object at rest want to remain at rest, but it is equally the force that makes an object in uniform motion remain in that motion. This is stated clumsily, because this isn’t my turf, but I can see that an object at rest and an object in uniform motion are actually the same condition, only language distorts their identity and makes the seem like two different states. That’s why inertia covers them both, because they aren’t really a “both,” but a unity.

Good, so try again.

In terms of your present exposition, inertia v. plasticity doesn’t mean no-change v. change. It means, the continuity aspect v. the alteration aspect. That’s the best I can do at the moment.

Not so bad. The important distinction to be drawn is that it is not a matter of two forces – or even of one force seen in two aspects – enjoining either stillness or motion.

The term “dynamic stability” comes to mind from somewhere.

But let’s not get off the point, which here is that that living present moment has its inertia and that inertia is a living moving thing, not a dead unmoving thing that must be overcome. “Drag” is a relative term meaning, in context, a tendency to be slower than the desired motion. This is not a scientific description, mind you.

So I guess the question at hand is somewhere between, “What causes change in the living present moment?” and, “How can we – any of us or several of us working together – effect such change?”

And we say, in practical terms, look to scripture and magical practice. In theoretical terms, we’ll continue.

The scripture I had in mind was Jesus advising people to pray two or three together, though that wasn’t quite the context. Magical practice isn’t so different, I suppose – or maybe prayer should be considered to be a magical practice, come to think of it.

And what is it that prayer or magical incantation seeks to do?

Yes, I get it. They seek to connect humans to a super-human level of power or awareness or state of being.

The vagueness at the end of your statement shows you the vagueness of your thought in that respect. Vagueness is always a flag indicating an area that could do with some thought.

A better way to say it would be –?

Prayer – any magical incantation – seeks to remind a 3D being of its essential All-D nature so that it may transcend its limitations that follow from its self-definition as a (merely) 3D being.

But to say that is not to say that there aren’t forces at a higher level.

Of course not. But it moves beyond the obvious “reaching for assistance from higher forces” to the more subtle fact that those “higher forces” are in intimate unbreakable relation to the 3D beings themselves. In a sense, everybody is connected not only laterally (so to speak) bit hierarchically. It is because 3D humans can focus that they are useful to the rest of reality. It is because they tend to get stuck in that focus that they require assistance.

And I guess this brings us to consideration of the vast impersonal forces you have been mentioning?

Not quite. It brings us to consideration of vast personal forces, which are not the same thing. These are not the weather but the raincoat, so to speak, though that seriously diminishes their role. They are your allies in the battle, your assistance in bringing in the crops before it rains, your larger mind helping you function. Any number of analogies possible; season to taste. For the moment, say the personal v. the impersonal, and leave it at that, while remembering that all oppositions, all polarities, are ultimately part of one unbreakable unity.

Well, there’s our hour and a little more, and as so often, it doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten very far.

Yes, and do you know why it feels that way sometimes? It is because you get a sense of a larger field of view, and the contrast between what you vaguely sense and the little that we can spell out at the moment is discouraging.

I suppose. Very well, till next time.


TGU — The inertia of the present moment

Thursday, May 10, 2018

5:10 a.m. More on the nature of the present moment?

We are sketching the present moment as trance, remember. It is real, it exists, but it isn’t what it appears to be. And the deeper one sees into its nature, the more the picture changes.

Any present moment has its own inertia

So many contrasting qualities being thrown up for simultaneous consideration, I realized I’d have to stop and recalibrate. Take a breath, in other words, and slow way down.

It is always possible to slow down, and advantageous. Better, of course, if one has speed to slow down from. Very difficult it can be [Channeling Yoda here, apparently!], to gain speed if one is not naturally gifted with it. That is the purpose of many a spiritual discipline – to help people gain speed. And then there are other disciplines to slow them down, depending upon need.

The complementary attributes of any given present moment are inertia and plasticity. For the moment, we will consider only these two. As you saw, or anyway felt, the number of attributes could be multiplied beyond the possibility of coherent consideration. Slow and steady wins the race.

Plasticity is how the individual chooses among potential realities. Inertia is the quality that presents a coherent reality in the first place. That’s enough for you to explicate, so do that briefly and we will expand upon it.

Well, I get that we’re back to Castaneda’s tonal and nagual, or my own distinction between the world of the living present moment and of the dead present moment, in other words between reality as experienced directly and the same reality experienced 1/30th of a second later by the senses. The first is plastic and may be affected – chosen – by the individual will. The second is fixed and is there to be accepted by the individual will. I am sure it isn’t that simple, though, and even as I write it I get that it isn’t correct.

No, but it advances the argument, so it isn’t a waste of time. Do not allow yourself to forget – this is addressed to whomever should read this – that in describing reality as experienced by intuition and by the senses, we nonetheless describe the same reality. It’s easy, in dealing with abstractions, to allow them to sort out in your mind so that certain attributes are here, contradictory or complementary aspects are there, and in practice you are considering one thing as if it were several. Reality has plasticity and inertia, and that must be remembered, or the picture resulting will be distorted.

Let us consider the inertia of any given present moment, bearing in mind that although we have to consider any given present moment as if it were separate from the rest of reality, in fact there is only one moment, one present living moment, experienced in different circumstances.

I do know that, and after I realized it, I realized equally that it can’t be explained logically – at least, not in any way I know of – but only intuited. Once we realize that it is all one living present moment, many logical difficulties vanish – like how I in the 1990s could affect Joe Smallwood’s life at a moment in the 1860s, and vice versa. But our 3D circumstances argue strongly against the realization.

That is why mathematicians and other scientists who dwell in the realms of the abstract are closer to you than are those whose logical structures are based in sensory investigation. But we would rather not go down this side-trail, contenting ourselves with notching a tree to mark the place.

The present moment as you encounter it in any one instant of time has considerable inertia whether considered from the intuitive or the sensory. Inertia from the sensory you should well understand; you experience it all your lives. It is a prime function of 3D to provide that persistence, that drag. Slowing events down, slowing causality so that it may be experienced and lived, is one prime purpose of the 3D world. If you want things to happen in conformity to your will, just come out of 3D – but don’t expect to have it both ways. The increased freedom you experience will be exercised not upon a stable platform as in 3D, but in a wilderness (or playground) of unbounded freedom. It isn’t the same experience as you might expect.

I think you just said, we might think we’re going to get to exercise unlimited freedom of will, but it won’t be exercised against a stable background, so there won’t be the Superman effect of vast powers relative to the environment.

That’s right.

Now, we said the living present moment – the living present as experienced directly through the intuitions, which of course means also through your non-3D extensions – has its own inertia. What do we mean by that? Clearly we don’t mean that physical structures or forces or events act as drag upon non-3D forces. So, what do we refer to?

Well, I get that you mean that every mind that participates in that version of the present moment has a presence, a weight, so that any one of us is always vastly outnumbered. We can’t reshape the world mentally any more than we can physically. Or, to be more careful, we can’t reshape it instantly, without effort, without weighing our force against the force of everything else.

In other words, mentally, spiritually, psychically – however you wish to phrase it – the world has a solidity in the same way it does physically. This ought to be obvious, but is often lost sight of.

I get, “In fact, mental and physical aren’t even different things.”

They are different aspects of one thing, so how could they be different things? But that’s how they appear because of the difference in your intuitive and sensory input, and in your mental structures derived from the experience of living that way.

Now, you know that every moment of historical time has its own persistent realty. You all have lived your lives in just that way, having no choice. So couple your experience to your concepts, and realize that although life is not exactly what it seems to be, neither is it entirely different than what it seems to be.

In other words, do the work of thinking these things through as you give us new concepts or new connectors.

That’s the only way you will make it yours. You can’t blindly accept or blindly reject and make any progress. You have to do the work. If the people listening to Jesus or Gautama went away saying, “cute story,” and did no thinking, no absorbing, what did they gain from being there?

So, the inertia of the present moment. You will always have to deal with the reality presented – held – by other people’s minds. It is like the continuity provided by mountains that do not move.

“Minds” wasn’t the expression you wanted, but I couldn’t find it, and decided not to fish for it lest I lose the thread of the statement.

Yes, it’s not an accustomed association for you. Sink into it.


Difficult. I’m getting a sense of people participating in a magical ritual.

Close. Continue.

If you had a group – a village, say – all performing the same ritual, you would in effect have a persistent temporary group mind.

That’s right. And –?

What they held would be in effect a magical creation.

Continue. We know it is slippery so far, but it will firm up.

The spell would somehow amount to the total of what (not who) they all were.

It would consist of all the properties contained in all the individuals – functioning as a group – in all their extensions. A very complex mixture, you see, rife with possibilities and contradictions and tensions creative and destructive.

Just like the life we experience here.

Not like it, it. This is one way of describing what your life is. Or, let’s say, a way of describing one aspect of your life. It is why external life (for that is how it seems to you, external) is so intractable. You can’t just will a thing into existence. If you bring it into existence, you do so by exerting effort against this inertia. You oppose or you steer or you manipulate or whatever, but you do not create against no background, any more than you jump into the air without kicking against the floor.

Think on this, and next time we’ll return to the plasticity aspect of the same unbroken living present moment.

You always go off somewhere unexpected. I can’t tell you how satisfying that is to me, even though I recognize it as, after all, my own accustomed mental life.

And that is a point we need to make now and again: Everything we point out is familiar to you in other contexts. You all are as much experts on life as we are, and you have as much access to what we know as we do. How could we succeed in reminding you, if it were not so?

Well, our thanks, as always.


TGU — Exploration at the boundary

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

3:35 a.m. Seems like a long time since we’ve done this, but I see that actually we talked yesterday and, briefly, Monday, only not for publication, so to speak. This illness business does serve to reorient one.

So, okay, I got that it is time to get what we have been given into capsule format, so that people may grasp it more easily, intuitively, and can then go back to earlier works for detail and for the texture that is available only by the slow and sometimes circular or erratic course we have traveled. So where are we here?

We have arrived at the boundary – the interface – between personal and impersonal, or between any one specific consciousness in 3D and all the rest of 3D and non-3D reality that that consciousness interacts with. Your job in 3D is to widen your comprehension of yourself and of “the other.” Naturally you can’t do all of it at once, nor necessarily at the same time, nor necessarily in equal proportions. Every 3D experience is different. But the ultimate goal – not any proximate or immediate goal – is necessarily the same for all.

But it won’t seem that way.

How could it? Everyone’s position is too different. Everyone has different deficits to make up, and different past accomplishments to build on.

All right. So, this interface is the reason we kept building up the concept of vast impersonal forces, because once one begins to see that one’s ability to shape reality is vastly greater than one had thought, there is a temptation to over-do it, and think one can do everything. But the world is always greater than the individual, even if the individual is greater than s/he had previously experienced itself.

Saying that reality has plasticity does not amount to saying that it has infinite plasticity, for that would amount to saying, “It’s all about you” for everyone. There is a sense in which that is true, but only a sense. Life is always bigger than any one living thing or any collection of living things.

All right, we got that the first time.

Maybe. And maybe as soon as we change context you lose it again. For instance, Jesus asks rhetorically, “What does it profit somebody to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Doesn’t that speak to the infinite value of your own soul to you, when weighed in the balance against the rest of reality? So, doesn’t that say that it is all about you?

Of course it does. But it equally says the rest of reality exists; it isn’t a figment of our imaginations and it isn’t merely an extension of our own personalities.

True enough. Our point here is that changing contexts always presents the risk of one losing newly acquired perspective, and must be guarded against.

And we have been at some pains, over some years now merely in dealing with you, Frank, let alone all the others with similar preoccupations and opennesses over the years and decades and centuries, to reinforce your sense of identity with the world around you and to reinforce your sense that nothing is as it seems. Only, be careful how you digest this. That things are not as they seem stems not from someone attempting to deceive you, but from the unavoidable inadequacies of anyone’s ability to perceive and comprehend.

No, I got that a while ago. We’ll never get to a “the truth,” only to the highest truth we are able to comprehend at a given time.

Well, having spent so much time painting your personal dimensions as All-D creatures experiencing yourselves initially as isolated 3D individuals, now we proceed to paint the world as it if rather than you mattered; as if it rather than you were primary; as if it rather than you was real. And this is how most people do see things, of course, only they don’t see the world any more clearly than they see themselves, and for the same reason.

The reason being – ?

What you pay attention to, you get to know. But if your filters between you as perceiver and whatever you perceive are strong enough, no image gets admitted that contradicts the filter. A confirmed materialist cannot (usually) see spiritual influences. A Christian Scientist cannot (usually) see physical rather than spiritual obstacles to perfect health. Bear in mind, in citing these examples of filters, we are not taking sides. Each is a legitimate point of view. What they have in common is the limitation in admitted input that the filters enforce.

Now, we have sketched repeatedly how larger parts of yourselves interact with – you might almost say interfere with – your strictly 3D experience. The hard-headed materialist may find its convictions undermined by contrary knowledge flowing out of its non-3D component, whether from “past lives” or whatever. So you should be familiar with all that. But now continue with the idea of the world at large as resistance, as obstacle, as contradicter. Once you get to realizing your own internal contradictions, you may begin to downplay those of the reality around you. Nothing wrong with that as a stage in your development, but like every overreach, it needs correcting. The world is going to influence your 3D experience at least as much as your own internal struggles.

Common sense has its limitations, but it has its uses, too, and common sense tells you that the world actually exists, in the way that you do. It isn’t what it appears to be, but it isn’t nothing, either; it isn’t an arbitrary creation of your own mind for your own mind’s sake, nor in your own mind’s image. Really, it ought to be unnecessary to say something that is so obvious, only once one sets sail on the intuitive seas, it is a temptation to forget about the sensory shores.

Interesting metaphor.

Yes, provided it isn’t taken too literally. It isn’t as if there were one area of life that is intuitive and another that is sensory. It is rather a matter of qualities.

Now you will remember that we spoke of the present moment (any present moment) as a sort of trance. Here is what we mean by that: It is not strictly material causes leading to strictly material results. But it is a sort of cumulative total of all forces at that given time. Clearly, times differ from each other if only in that.

You mean, I think, that every present moment is shaped by the cumulative force of everything in that moment, hence has a solidity and massiveness relative to any one of us.

Of course. That is your experience every day. Only – remember – it isn’t that simple, and it is the discovery of the ways in which it is not simple that lead you to see that you are more than you thought you were, and that reality is more than you thought it was. But at the moment we are going to concentrate on the solidity and force and mass of the external, rather than concentrating (as we do at other times) on its plasticity and impressionability and its phantom nature compared to the inner reality of any 3D being. Both ways of looking at it are true, so we move now to the underreported aspect.

And do we have time to begin?

We smile. We have been beginning. But we know what you mean. You want something to chew on.

Try this. You exist in 2018, at the moment. You and everyone in the world are affected by the 2016 presidential elections. It doesn’t matter if you don’t read the news or listen to the radio or discuss it with your friends and neighbors. Even if you didn’t even know about it, you couldn’t help be affected, because of all those around you who care. Can anyone in his right mind maintain that 2018 can be the same as 2014, say?

But to say this is not to say that things are as they appear from any given viewpoint. It is to say, merely – but a big merely – that any present moment has its own “objective” reality that affects one’s subjective reality because of its effect on so many other 3D minds, let alone its expression in 3D external reality.

Sure, and I can see that depending on the context you see it in, it changes but is nonetheless distinct. The 1848 elections changed the country. So did discovery of gold in California. So did whatever was invented in that year, or put into execution. So did Emerson’s visit to Europe, and the revolution in France. So did The Year of Hope in general. And we could look at the world of painting, sculpture, scholarship, technology, whatever, and we would see the changes in that context. The Fox sisters, in New York, or Joseph Smith. I see that what we concentrate on affects how we experience it, and I see that it exists regardless how any of us experience it.

That’s right. The world is there, and is not to be talked away. The fact that it is deeper than it appears does not mean it doesn’t exist. Quite the contrary, in fact. But that is enough for today.

I have other assignments for the rest of the day, I understand. Very well, thanks for all this, as always.


Chasing Smallwood .45. All Good Things…

[A book with four interlocking themes:

  • how to communicate with the dead;
  • the life of a 19th-century American;
  • the massive task facing us today, and
  • the physical world’s place in the scheme of things.]
  • .45. All Good Things…

    Monday, February 27, 2006]

    (11:50) Wonderful material, Joseph. You know how it moved me, and why.

    Yes, and you learned something about yourself, though actually I believe you came to know it a while ago.

     Yes. So what happened to you after Johnston’s surrender? This version.

     Well, you know, not all that much for the next couple of weeks. We was part of the Grand Parade of army veterans in Washington city in May – we from the west was the second day, you know all that – and we made a special effort to look polished – I don’t think! In our minds, yesterday was spit and polish (though we didn’t call it that) and today we would show ’em what real soldiers looked like when they were soldiering. I told you earlier there was a lot of bad feeling between the Army of the Potomac and the western troops, but I’d been both places and didn’t share it, and I wasn’t the only one had been moved from one to the other, of course. All the Army of the Potomac ever needed was lots of training and better generals and the chance to fight Braxton Bragg instead of Robert E. Lee! And being further away from the capital wouldn’t have hurt any, but in an age of telegraph there wasn’t but so much you could do anyway.

    Well, it took till the spring of ’66 for me to get out of the army. Could have resigned my commission and left earlier, of course, but it wasn’t like I had other things to do, and anyway somebody had to do occupation duty. I mustered out in Tennessee, Nashville to be exact, and there I was, only 43 years old, 44 I guess, or nearly, and the greatest things in my life behind me. What was going to trump Oregon and marriage and the war? Sort of hard to get excited about things.

    If I’d been a private soldier, 20 years old when I got in, it might have been different.

    I though about going back to Oregon, but that seemed like too much trouble, and anyway it was twenty years on; I couldn’t expect things to be like I left ’em, and maybe I had a feeling I didn’t want to see what it looked like, built up more. I went back to my family, but the years hadn’t been good to them, and there too things weren’t the same. Something had taken the heart of out ’em, and they were sort of going through the motions. It was depressing. And maybe I was different, too, after four years in the army. Maybe I was seeing ’em different, feeling cramped in a way I hadn’t earlier.

    What with the railroads and the way things were busting out all over the northwest, and the changes just in my family, and years of being a soldier and an officer – I didn’t belong there any more. I told ’em goodbye and I was gone that next spring – which come to think of it is when in another version I left ’em by dying. These things have got their own logic to ’em, not usually obvious.

    So I went back east, back up to New England to poke around and see if there was anything for me. There was my brother, he’d got through the war okay, and of course my parents were dead. I actually did think for a minute or two about looking up Emerson and paying him a call but of course by 1867 he was a much bigger man than 25 years before, and also he was getting old, older than his years. It was only a fleeting idea anyway. I kind of wish I’d done it, though – he was still in his right mind then. But of course I didn’t have any way to know what he would be getting senile and linger on in the body while his mind was elsewhere.


    Okay, now I have no idea where you are going next and I find myself casting about, thrashing around. I actually got the idea – maybe he went to England! But I know it is all as blank as any of it has been beforehand from the beginning.

    Should you not find that reassuring? You know you can’t both make it all up and not make it all up at the same time! You feel it when you skip things because you don’t know ’em even if it don’t matter – like for instance where I was stationed doing occupation duty. But it ain’t important and certainly not worth the work of fighting what you think you know, to decide whether you can accept a given detail as probable. How probable is every part of your life? But it happened, didn’t it? Somebody from another time looking at it is just naturally going to ask you things you can’t answer because it involves too much – and is not going to understand what you can say, sometimes, because it involves too much. But that’s the whole point of this whole communication anyway – the process of communicating and the process of learning how to understand what you do get. So, it ain’t like any of this has been wasted.

    But my part in it is pretty near over. I am a lifetime very close to you in many ways: American, Transcendentalist, the healing experience, the public killing of the president on a Friday, the whole era, the west, the Indians – it has been a pretty easy one for you, not stretching you too much.  Suppose you’d tried to start with a French ballerina, how far do you suppose you’d have gotten?

    I’ll finish my story just to round it off, and of course I’ll always be glad to communicate with you but it won’t necessarily be this way.

     I could use these entries to write An Experiment in Guidance, couldn’t I?

    You could do worse. All right, after the war I didn’t have an exciting life and didn’t expect one. I wound up in Worcester, Massachusetts working as a sort of store clerk. Selling is something I knew, you see. I did get my dictionary published, and maybe you’ll run across it sometime. I died in 1871 like you got long ago – this version. Nothing special, just looking to leave and left. Of course it didn’t look that way to them left behind – to them I took a bad cold, it went into my lungs (pneumonia) and carried me off in March. And that was that, not a bad life at all.

     Could a two-star general wind up as a sales clerk?

    He could wind up begging on the streets if he didn’t rustle something up for himself. Why not? It wasn’t like I was regular army. And it was only brevet rank, at that. I was a colonel, really.

     So many blanks to be filled in.

    There’s easier ways than scribbling in a notebook – though this has worked out pretty well. Just work on your control panel, you’ll figure it out. Goodbye for now.

     Goodbye? Never. Hasta luego, at best. I look forward to further chats in whatever new way opens up. Thank you, Joseph.