Gene Roddenberry on combating “hog-ism”

Monday, May 14, 2007

7:30 a.m. I immediately started reading The Return of Lanny Budd last night. Well, I am not liable to read the (nonexistent) 12th volume! Star Trek and Lanny Budd. Strange combination. Nearly nothing of my habitual mental world can be translated to others. The richness of it is invisible and certainly intangible.

All right, my friends, I am ready and willing. My batteries seem to be charged most early in the morning as soon as I am not sleepy but before emerging into “normal” life. So tell me the next step in talking about hog-ism.

You heard it, making coffee, but thought of it as a “stray thought” of your own. Stray thoughts? Why should be no-accident rule apply only to externals and not to internals?

All right, I concede that point. So talk about it.

There are several points to be considered together:

  • Quality in the external life of the individuals in the community
  • Individual interest as actually community interest seen out of context
  • Dissatisfaction – unnecessary dissatisfaction – in what is possible within community

All this as a parallel to what we have been saying of your internal lives.

We do not apologize for the fact that this is not clear to you. If it were clear at first sight, how new could it be?

Just as when Rita and Frank were doing sessions and she would say, “this seems to contradict something you said previously” – and we would then provide context for both statements, resolving the seeming contradiction in providing new clarity, so now. We want to show you individualism and collectivism in the light of newly seen context.

That was a little awkward. Am I losing the beam or are you in need of some coffee over there?

You will find, if you look back (or forward!) that when you are prospectively grasping very abstract statements, the process takes so much of your attention that grammar itself suffers, let alone metaphor.

Interesting. Okay, I get the idea: New context for our social ideas will produce a new point of view in the way that doing a Copernican shift will rearrange our ideas of ourselves and past lives, etc.

It might be better to put it this way: As you learn that you are not so much an individual but a transient collection of threads – or rather, that such a collection is what it means to be an individual – your view of your life changes. Your possibilities expand, and certain mysteries resolve. You can communicate with what you had thought of as “past” lives; you can access infinite knowledge; you can change your past, present and future. The “superhuman” abilities promised you by scriptures are right there in front of you, or rather, the ignition key is now in your hands.

Similarly, society seen as if it were an individual.

This is very difficult work for you.

Yes – so many threads you are wanting to weave and I can scarcely stay up with you, let alone weave them.

You need other tools – like the glass bead game [a reference to a novel by Herman Hesse] — to make the handling of abstractions easier and more skilled.

It’s true and I have often felt it. The only thing I know to do is to keep it as simple as I can, sentence by sentence, and hope that you won’t forget where we are going, for if I try to hold it, I get lost. I get overwhelmed. Which thing to say first? How to make so complex a sentence that it will hold the various elements in relationship – and yet still be readable?

This is why so much “channeled” material comes out in the pompous, inflated language of the subconscious: it is beyond the ability of the interpreter to both render faithfully and translate into more normal language. It is one of your qualifications, that you are good with language, somewhat picky about it as a conveyor of meaning, free enough concerning structure to allow yourself to do what is needed, and above all determined to say it so that it may be understood. Getting these qualities in a medium means forfeiting other valuable but contradictory qualities. Hence, specialization.

All right. I suppose that is why I didn’t get a Ph.D. in something, or a Masters in English.

One reason among many. It was also important that you not acquire enough respectability that you might fear to do what would result in your losing that respectability.

Actually, I can see that. All right, when we come back, we’ll take another crack at getting what you want to tell me. But I think it will go best if –

Oh! Oh! As you said: No stray thoughts. That’s why earlier you planted the seed in my mind about talking to Gene Roddenberry! It will come best via an individual, and hence one who had thought about it. And I have been watching Star Trek movies including the “making of” stuff they include in the DVDs –

I’ll give you this. You guys are pretty clever. All right, after I recharge my batteries doing other things, I will be very pleased to talk to Gene Roddenberry about all this.

You understand,

Yes, you don’t need to say it. What he will say here, from his present perspective, isn’t necessarily what he would say if he were still here in a single-life perspective. Since I don’t know anything about him except that he had the original Star Trek ideas (or got them from Wesley Bateman, if that is what happened) – I won’t even worry about conforming story to perception. Hopefully it will be easier, but in any case – we’ll see.

(12:15) Gene Roddenberry, are you there? Or here, however we should look at it?

There is a magnetizing, a polarization, of like-vibrational souls that seem to be a group when viewed from a certain focus. When viewed from a different focus, the like-vibrational teams will be partly or entirely different. No one is only one thing. To make that clearer, a baseball team is seen from a baseball-oriented focus. The members of that same team will not necessarily sort out in any predictable way when considered from ownership of one brand of car, or coverage by one kind of life insurance, or they might be sorted by political belief or ideology, or taste in art, or in wine, or in women. A very simple concept here: Everybody has different handles, different vibrational signatures, that respond to different focuses. So, you experience me as part of a “team” that includes Franklin Roosevelt and Claude Bowers. Is this because we are a natural team, a sort of soul-family? Only in a given context. Claude Bowers is not necessarily interested in science fiction or television, or Abraham Lincoln. So, yes, I am here – for you, in this context. And I am “here” for others in different contexts. And this is true for all.

What the lesson of the day is, can be explained easier by reference to my own goals as a producer of television shows than abstractly (as you have found).

I wanted to show real people facing real problems; specifically I wanted to create a mirror in which we in the 20th century could see ourselves by contrast. Well, by contrast to what? To mankind as it could be if shaped by a different society. It could have been done by reference to a real or imagined past, but to do it against an imagined (received?) future offered greater leeway. Everything was possible.

The seven deadly sins still exist; they exist because people exist. The infinite potential range of emotion, skill, values, creation (or creativity) exist, because they exist in people, manifested more or manifested less, and in differing directions, according to circumstance. I am saying this: Creating a future matrix in which to place the future man, we created possibilities.

Start with a man (a person, yes, but say a man). He has our same innate range of possibilities – plus the things his society makes possible and ours does not, and minus the possibilities that ours makes possible and his does not. So – he is us as we would be in those circumstances. And the viewer, feeling that identity, infers the effect of the society by seeing the motives the man has – or does not have – in any given set of circumstances (also known as, “the plot”!).

How many times did viewers see and hear that the 23rd century does not use money? Whenever they heard the statement, it left a blank spot, for it is impossible to imagine a society without money. But it is not impossible to witness people whose actions are never motivated by fear of scarcity or the desire to amass a surplus. In short, it made no impression on the conscious mind, but a relatively great impression, cumulatively, on the subconscious pattern-imaging facility.

The means of transportation might be advanced – transporters, gravity-defying cars, spaceships – and this was accepted as a commonplace. The all-powerful all-connecting computers were accepted as magic, like any other marvel. The surroundings – strange worlds, spaceships, hostile or curious or indifferent races – were accepted with a shrug, so to speak, like horses in a horse opera. What was different, what was significant, what was meaningful, was the mental and emotional world of the captain and crew. That and nothing else is what turned a three-season show into a phenomenon that the fans kept alive. They weren’t attached to fist fights and transporters and dilithium crystals. They were relating to the possibilities in themselves that they could see only mirrored in the crew. Of course this doesn’t mean they knew this, at any level. They knew only that Star Trek had become important to them and they wanted to get as close to it as they could, emotionally.

So, as I said, start with the man. Then work your way logically – where is Spock when you need him? – to the society that will produce and nurture such abilities and such a view of the world.

It sounds like I have gone a long way away from our topic, but I have not. It is just that we are approaching from an unexpected direction.

You are saying, roughly, first get an accurate idea of who you are, then work to build a society that will support what you can become and want to become.

Well – not quite that. Take your break and we can continue when you are ready.

It has only been half an hour.

Still, better to break here.

TGU on difference in levels of viewpoint

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

4 a.m. … And posting FDR’s material to facebook led to me re-reading yesterday’s material, which I had actually forgotten. You guys want to say more on the subject, or is that for another time? … Re-reading just the last couple of exchanges, I got that this subject can’t really be discussed intelligently by pretending or assuming that we’re at the same level.

That isn’t what you mean to say.

That’s my line.

And explication and explanation are our lines. So, a few words on the subject, because yours was an accurate flash of insight, if not yet expressed.

Just as a plant disappears from the world of the seed it came from, or (to say the same thing from another point of view) the seed is a dead predecessor to the plant, so various aspects of what it is to be a soul – that is, a spirit intertwined with 3D conditions so as to appear separate and limited – cannot be understood if examined strictly from a vantage point that assumes one level of reality is the only level operating.

Before you are a soul, there is a “you,” but it disappears from view when you look for it at the soul level. [That is, in 3D.] After you cease to function in 3D – after physical death – the soul disappears from view if looked at from the soul level. You see? A visual analogy might be to envision a flower – a daffodil, say. Beneath ground is the bulb, level 1. Above ground is the stalk, level 2. Above the stalk is the flower itself, level 3. (It doesn’t matter if this is a stupid way to subdivide a flower; it is for the purpose of analogy.) If you attempt to understand daffodils by examining only level 2, not suspecting the existence of levels 1 and 3, or, suspecting them, regarding them as unprovable, how well are you going to be able to understand daffodils? You might be able to describe the stalk in exquisite (not to say excruciating) detail, but your very precision is going to further distort your understanding of levels 1 and 3, because of their obscurity and seeming abstract theoretical nature.

Nice analogy. It works.

And it could be extended, for no one can understand flowers without understanding pollination, nutrition from the soil, photosynthesis, etc., etc. So with souls.

Yes, I see it. We look at people’s lives and measure the stalk, guess at the bulb, sort of see the flower in its effects on this 3D world.

Not wrong, but we would see the flower as expressing beyond the 3D world, and more or less invisible to the 3D world. However, you did say “sort of,” and there is a “sort of” aspect to the flower’s reflection in the 3D.

I am beginning to see how everything I know, which of course includes everything I think about, makes any message I bring forth unique. It really is true that nobody could do exactly what I can do; and of course, that goes for everybody else, a good reason to encourage others to do the same.

Your accustomed joke which tells truth: You’re special, just like everybody else.

And on that note, maybe we’ll see you later.

Well, we aren’t going anywhere, so it’s always up to you.

 

Franklin Roosevelt (2)

Sunday May 13, 2007

Almost 10 a.m. Okay.

[FDR:] People seek distinction. They like to keep score, and like to have something that they are the best at, or can be proud of. It may be a nice lawn, or raising successful children, or being a good woodworker, or selling record amounts of life insurance, but they want to succeed at something. And they want to be seen as succeeding at something. I don’t care if it is bird-watching, people get a kick out of being the best birdwatcher, if they can. Fishermen make jokes about the ones that got away or they make rueful stories about them – but the ones that don’t get away, they mount, or at least they talk about them. It doesn’t matter if it is luck or skill, you may be sure it will talk about it, and the more they tell the story, the more the skill or luck – depending on how they want to play the story (instead of the fish).

If you have a million ways for people to distinguish themselves, then everybody can be happy, because everybody can succeed at something. That is what “bragging rights” is all about. If I harvested the best apple crop in the country, believe me you are going to hear about it, and even if you don’t – I will. I will know, and it will give me a glow of pleasure, and the world will feel like that much better a place. This can happen by the millions, all over, and you have a reasonably contented and satisfied people.

But when everything is measured by money, what a lot of bad results follow. For one thing, what percentage of the people can be rich? You just can’t have everybody be above average, let alone be rich. That’s just plain sense.

If you have a million ways to distinguish yourself, everybody could find something. If there is only one, what are you going to do?

And if that one is possession of wildly more money than you could ever spend,this is where conspicuous waste sets in. That is what “money to burn” means. It isn’t enough to have enough, if you are using money as your measure – you want to have enough and show you have enough, and more than enough. After all, to bring the argument to an absurdity – how could one meal be worth a million dollars? There is a natural limit to most things, and if it becomes necessary to your happiness for you to continually push those limits, God help you. The nouveau riche are silly and even contemptible not because they now have money and previously didn’t but because, having acquired money, they have no idea how to dispose of the excess. Old money has learned to think of itself at the top of the pyramid because it has the trappings that only old money can have. If it is educated, it is educated from birth. If it lives in quiet comfort, it has done so from birth. If it wishes to enter into society, or commerce, or even politics, it does so from a position prepared for it from birth, and there is no mistaking it.

It is a temptation here to wander from the point. The point is that what I called “economic royalists” are those who measure everything by money and therefore see it as inevitable and therefore right that those who own, direct. It is their country, and everyone else with less money live there more or less on sufferance. This is not a matter of inherited wealth but of an inherited or acquired disposition. I was born of a moderately wealthy and distinguished old family, but I was not an economic royalist, because I admired Lincoln and I had great faith in the common people – or perhaps I should say I had too much acquaintance with those who called themselves the elite to confuse them with their own ideas of themselves! And many a poor boy of ruthless ambition is as firm an economic royalists as the oldest of plutocrats. It is a matter of temperament as much as anything.

To return to the main point: When money measures everything, the scramble for money intensifies and broadens, corrupting everything it touches. People cease to do what they want to do, and instead do what “pays.” They find that they cannot respect themselves if they do not succeed in amassing. The age of shabby gentility becomes inconceivable.

And all of this is only the one side of the coin, the search for distinction. The other side of the coin is grimmer and more certain, and that is the fear of destitution.

You have never seen a poorhouse, but in my day everybody knew of them, and many people knew people who lived there.

It was a central concern of mine to put some sort of floor beneath everybody, so that no one need fear utter destitution. We didn’t abolish poverty – didn’t imagine it possible to do so – but we did abolish the poorhouse, and the country was the better for it.

Social Security was social rather than individual security, and it was meant to assure that anybody who had worked would at least be able to count on having something. Perhaps they would have no pension, perhaps no savings, perhaps no family or no family willing and able to help – they would have something. That was good for the country and it was good for the families and it was good for individuals. You can’t imagine how bad people had it in my day, and it is at least partially due to Social Security that you can’t.

Everything we set up, we set up with the idea of putting a floor beneath the individual and the family, so that they weren’t always on the edge of disaster and starvation. If you were thrifty, we wanted your banks to be sound. If you had a house, or wanted to buy a house, and you had the right habits, we wanted to make it possible. If the people working together could arrange for millions of families to have access to electricity, we wanted that to happen. If we could create jobs, if we could help people get back on their feet and stop having to depend on charity – we wanted to do it.

Did we know what we were doing? Did we know just how to move this lever to produce that effect? Maybe we did, maybe we didn’t, but we had to try. If we made mistakes, all right, we could go back and try again, but whatever we tried that worked, we would have on the credit side of the ledger.

You see? You’ve read a lot of things good and bad about the New Deal, but I’m giving you the key to it. Something was broken and nobody quite knew what it was, but we had to try to fix it. My predecessor believed that it wasn’t broken, and he had three years to show that natural forces would bring things back into balance – but they didn’t! The people were desperate, and they didn’t know where to turn. They didn’t know if I knew what I was doing, or if I meant them well or ill, but they voted me into office because they didn’t know what else in the world to do.

You don’t need a history lesson, and you don’t need to give one here. You know how I took advantage of the temporary panic of the Congress and crammed every bit of action I could into that first three months – the hundred days, so called. It was all aimed at the one thing – stop people from dying today, and maybe we could figure out how to fix the machine tomorrow. So we tried a whole lot of things: the AAA, the NRA, and the whole alphabet soup of agencies, and we thought we would see what worked. One thing we knew, doing nothing hadn’t worked, and Hoover’s attempt to redirect the machine hadn’t worked. The answer had to be some fundamental redesign, and who could know in advance what that would wind up looking like? If we had been able to plan, in other words, if we had known what was wrong and how to cure it, things would have been a whole lot easier. We didn’t. We just knew we had to try any ideas that had promise and if it didn’t work out, too bad.

So when you think about your worldwide anti-slavery society, remember two things: millions of ways for people to excel and be valued by others and value themselves, and larger safety nets, greater security against destitution.

Whew. That came hot and heavy. Tired now. Thank you, Mr. President.

You’re welcome, and thank you for listening. A Journal-side chat, a first for me. It is good to tell my side of it. I made mistakes, and a lot of them, but anyway I acted.

You did that, and we thank you for it.

TGU on creating a more stable platform

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

6:50 a.m. Have I lost the connection I had? Am I no closer to what I wanted than I have ever been?

It depends on what you mean.

Definitions?

At any given moment, your 3D consciousness will be in a different “place,” or “space,” as it is phrased: 3D metaphors for what cannot be easily understood in other terms. We would say something more like, “At different times, your mind forms a differently charged field, attracting different potential and thus effectively living in a different world.” Bear in mind, this too is only an analogy, though the nature of the metaphor is more subtle, perhaps.

We’re a moving target.

No, it’s more like you are a moving shooter, with an enduring reality your target. It is not that reality moves, but that you (seem to) move in relation to reality, thus continually making it as if you live in an ever-shifting set of circumstances.

Are you saying that explains our continually changing mental states?

Let’s move a little more slowly, here.

Your physical apparatus cannot be overlooked in this process. That is, you cannot overlook the part that physical circumstances play. That is, after all, the purpose of having you in an “external” world. You, Frank, have a tendency to underrate this factor in your mental constructions of the world, a trait you share with some distinguished company, such as Hegel or Emerson. However, sharing errors with distinguished men is not necessarily to your advantage.

Yes, I’m smiling too. But go ahead.

The moment by moment fluctuations in your “external” circumstances result in your having to balance, so to speak, and continually rebalance as currents shift. You are closer to riding standing on two horses, as in a circus, than standing on any kind of sturdy platform. Surely you can see this once it is pointed out.

I do.

So, your first task – anyone’s – is to create a stable platform. And how does one do that?

I suppose by learning to depend more on the factors that are less dependent upon external circumstances.

Yes but no. Mostly yes, only, what are “external” circumstances? What makes them external?

Not so easy a question to answer. It would have been easy, once. But you can’t absorb Paul Brunton’s understanding of the world and see the word “external” in the same way.

Well, try [to answer the question].

It will be different for everybody.

Yes it will. But try.

External refers to things we don’t seem to produce by what we are.

That is actually a very sophisticated definition, but you need to spell it out and continue from there.

Well, I guess by now it has come to seem obvious to me. If internal and external worlds are the same reality experienced by different means (intuition and senses), it is hard to see how anything could be both connected to us and not connected. In absolute terms, it couldn’t be. In practical terms, I suppose it is a matter of degree, and everybody will draw the line in a different place, but it will always be an arbitrary line.

Now cite the thought that just came to you, before you lose it.

I may have lost it in writing out your sentence.

You don’t have to write out everything, you know. You could take it as given and proceed. This isn’t a transcript, nor scripture, in the sense of every word needing to be recorded. But – what was the insight?

Take a thunderstorm, say. Clearly it is external to ourselves in any practical sense. We don’t create the weather around us, yet we have to live in it.

But –

But given that all possible realities exist, and given that we have the ability to change timelines at will – which amounts to the ability to choose timelines – then we can in effect change the weather by choosing a timeline in which the weather suits us. (So much for the pathetic fallacy, English majors.) And if we can chose something as “external” as the weather, what can’t we choose?

Nevertheless, when you cannot breathe, you cannot just wish the condition away.

No, but that doesn’t invalidate the statement.

Then, reconcile the two ideas: that you can choose which reality you wish to experience, and that you can’t.

That sums it up succinctly. We can and we can’t.

So, reconcile the two, remembering that either is not a fact, but a point of view.

That’s a very interesting way to look at it.

Well, one of the underlying problems is that you all tend to over-concretize “external” facts. This helps you to remember that you have that tendency. So –?

So I suppose it is a matter, as so often, of “Which you?”

Yes it is. Now re-read what we have done to this point. You, and anyone who reads this.

Okay. [I found it hard not to skim, but I did re-read it.]

You see? You are a moving platform, and you see the potential advantage of resting upon more stable platforms. To do that, you would need greater control not over “external” events, but over the effect such events have on your balance, your mental condition, your choice among realities.

We need to crystallize our personalities! This is what Gurdjieff was talking about!

Yes, but go slowly.

If we allow the relationship among the strands that comprise us to remain fluid, we remain fluid, which has its advantages and disadvantages. If we lock them into position, then we are a more definite unit than before.

That’s your idea of going slowly?

Very funny. Well, you do it.

Fluidity and fixity each has advantages and disadvantages, as you said. But why must it be an either/or? Why must it be a choice once and for all? Why must you (in effect) lock on to one reality forever?

That’s very interesting.

Thank you. It’s an interesting problem. The difficulty here is that one must hold in mind many conditions that are not always remembered [at the same time]. This is why the process of learning or even of remembering “how things are” is so slow and tenuous: You have to have gotten a firm grip on several preconditions, if you are to make sense of things. If, while considering one aspect, you cannot remember another, you cannot see how they interact; hence you will have only a distorted view of either. (And of course if you see the two in relation, there are always larger relations to be considered, so, it’s never a fixed result. But it is possible to obtain an ever-more sophisticated understanding.)

So, in some realities we crystallize, and in others, we don’t.

Sorry, but not quite.

I know, it’s not that simple. When is it ever?

It is simple as soon as you decide, “Hold, enough.”

Okay, MacDuff. Meaning, we can come to a place where things make sense, and stay there.

No shame and not even any particular disadvantage to saying, “That’s as much as I can (or as I care to) absorb for this lifetime.” This isn’t a test. It isn’t a prerequisite for other things. It’s all in what you want. That’s what free will means.

Well, so – “not quite that simple”?

Within any particular reality – on any one timeline, from any one point of view, however you want to phrase it – it looks like a wilderness of choice and an anarchy of different selves choosing different realities. But that is mostly a matter of one path judging other paths by the differences and similarities among them. You can’t make sense of it from the same level – you need to move to the next level higher (metaphor, remember) to obtain a platform stable enough to put all these alternative selves into proper perspective.

But you are not merely any one version. How could you be? You are all versions, and since “all versions” cannot be experienced from any one version, that should tell you that somewhere you know that you are more than any one of them, or how could you know?

I can’t decide if that is circular logic or not, but it makes sense to me. What I get intuitively is, the crystallization we’re wanting occurs at a higher level than any one timeline.

Yes it does, and every timeline’s version may have its own opinion of the process!

Huh!

Enough for now. You and your friends will want to chew on this for a bit.

If you say so. Thanks, and next time.

 

Franklin Roosevelt (1)

Sunday May 13, 2007

7:25 a.m. All right, looking back I see that I was on the same thing yesterday at the same time: it is time to write again. This morning I thought, write the guidance book and I guess I will. But I read instead, reading the 10th Lanny Budd [the series of novels by Upton Sinclair]. I am at the death of Roosevelt, and it occurs to me that he would not be left out of the discussion on “Hog-ism” as Joseph Smallwood calls it. If Lincoln is part of it, Roosevelt would be part of it.

Mr. Roosevelt, may I have a word? I am learning that there is not much use for tact on your side of the veil, so I won’t try to pretend that I hold you as high as I do Mr. Lincoln, but high enough. It’s harder to approve your conduct these days when so many bad precedents have returned to haunt us. But to your immense credit you did believe in the people, and try to govern the people and not just any part of it. Your words on “hog-ism” and a worldwide anti-slavery society would be invaluable, 62 years and one month after your release from that crippled body.

Frank to Frank, eh? And speaking frankly. Well, certainly, it is a great pleasure always to be putting your shoulder to the wheel – if it is the right cart!

The things I did wrong, or did badly, or didn’t do and should have done, speak for themselves. Perhaps you will find it the hardest thing to bear, initially, as you pass over: You see how much more you might have done, and how much better – if only you’d known! But we don’t see very much, and it is hard to keep our attention on any one thing or set of things, and maybe if we do we petrify somewhat, like an old revolutionary after the war is won who cannot readjust himself to a new condition of things.

We do our best, and that will have to do, and we trust for a lenient judgment when our time comes.

You know, in my defense, I said it right at the beginning of my presidency: We face not a theory but a condition. I did not enjoy the luxury of being able to worry about what my successors 50 years later would think about what I had done, and certainly could not spare the time to worry about what any such successor might do, in very different circumstances. We each do what we can and there is nothing else we can do. We try to do what looks right to us. What could Lincoln know about the depression, or the diplomacy that Woodrow Wilson used to try to keep us out of the first world war? What did Lincoln see of what was being created from what he felt he had to do to meet the emergency he was faced with? In practical terms – and I was a practical man, remember, not a college professor, not a writer, but a politician all my grown days – in practical terms we do the best where we are, and we leave the future to the man of the future. Yes, and the women of the future, too.

However, that said, there is an old saying that you know that says “old men for counsel,” and the reason for it is that we have seen so much, it’s hard to fool us with another round of the same old applesauce. It’s true we may misjudge new facts, but we are less likely than younger men – and women – to misjudge human nature, because facts change, but human nature doesn’t. Lincoln wouldn’t have been much good as a soldier in the line at age 50 and more – but he couldn’t be matched as a soldier in the thinking line. There is an advantage to having seen it all twice, as you ought to be discovering yourself at your age. So, you are using us right, for we all, over here, are the equivalent of wise old men – wise old women, too – as long as you get the right view of us, the completed view, as you would say.

Now what our friend Joseph calls “hog-ism” is very much to the point. It is human nature under very specific circumstances, and if you can change the circumstances you can alleviate them greatly. Don’t count on changing human nature. It may happen but if it does it won’t very likely change in the way you expected to. It will surprise you, every time.

Your worldwide anti-slavery society should take into account a couple of things. People want to stand out, and they want to be as secure as they can be. Nobody wants to think of himself as nobody, and nobody wants to risk being penniless in old age if he has a choice.

Those traits aren’t very variable.

But in a tribe, for instance, where people take care of each other because it is too uncomfortable to see someone go hungry right next to you, and you connected to him by all sorts of ties, direct and indirect –

Sorry, wandered.

Perhaps you should take a break here?

It has only been half an hour, but perhaps so.

When you find yourself working with half your mind elsewhere, you can’t do your best work.

No. All right, back again in a bit.

Jane Peranteau and Louisa May Alcott

Jane Peranteau courageously offers this dialogue. She can’t be sure who she was talking with, any more than I ever can. But remember, that isn’t the right question The right questions are, “Does it resonate?” and “What can I do with the information?” BTW, Ms. Alcott’s father, Amos Bronson Alcott, was a very advanced thinker, a close friend of Thoreau and Emerson.

Louisa May Alcott

June 1, 2018

JP: I’ve felt a resonance with you lately, though I’ve long been a fan. I’ve believed we have a connection of some sort, and I’ve considered you a part of my literature-as-religion pantheon. I know I was deeply moved by the first reading of your book, Little Women, as so many millions are. I wonder if you have any interest in a conversation? (This is inspired by Frank DeMarco’s model of communicating with those he feels a resonance with who happen to be beyond the grave.)

LMA: Well, yes, of course I would be. You flatter me by asking. Would that I’d thought of such a thing while I was alive! Think whom I could have talked with! My father would have loved it. It would have taken him deeper into his Eastern philosophies. He could have talked to the masters. As could I have—Shakespeare, Dante, Schubert, so many. Why me, now, though? What have I to offer a woman of your times, so “advanced” of ours?

JP: We’re (especially women) still in need of your courage, more than ever, and the wisdom behind it.

LMA: Humanity still suffers from a comprehensive and peculiarly short-sighted version of exclusion. I say “peculiar” because personal economics can often override it, whether it’s the wealth of a woman or Negro or Samarkand. Money talks and talks loudly, but so does poverty/the lack of money. It’s just easier to ignore. After all, it’s in that other part of town. When we pushed for the vote for women, it was in hopes of improving their lot. Most didn’t see that, so we struggled alone, the few of us. But I couldn’t have not struggled.

JP: That’s what I mean—that spirit, of taking up the cause.

LMA: Its built into you. I had it as a child, if wronged. Later, I was able to channel it for a greater good, though I still wore people out with it! That energy just boiled through me, and I was forever having to put it into a barrel of will that could contain it for the preservation of my relationships. It takes a big energy to fight the fight—a constant vigilance. It finally wore even me out.

JP: That your father preceded you in death by two days is particularly powerful to me. Your connection must have been deep.

LMA: We had an unusual understanding about our life together. We held a bond forged early. We expanded each other’s limits—when at our best and not at odds. It’s as if we held the door for each other, whenever we could, as he did for me at death. I walked through to a sure welcome on the other side. I understood it all much better when I started writing/when the writing took hold of me and drove me, day and night, like a maniacal force over which you can exercise little control. It’s a love/hate sort of thing.

JP: With me, it’s more of a love thing, because all’s right with the world when I’m writing. Not that it always goes well.

LMA: There’s a naiveté to that view of it. Yes, there’s the utter relief of doing it, getting it down, on paper. But there is also the desperation for success. So much depended on my success for so long. I felt it, tasted it, knew it was mine, if I but worked hard enough. If I didn’t get there, it would be no one else’s fault but mine, as all would know. I had to have success. My life, not just those of others, depended on it.

JP: It seemed as if there was joy, at least some of the time. Even though you were said to have been glad when you’d written the last of the March family. There was real joy in some of those stories.

LMA: It almost/did seem like cheating to me, to write simple, even silly stories of our lives. I couldn’t imagine others would find them interesting or satisfying. We were poor, unexciting, often dreary, except for Mother. I didn’t think I was telling them [the readers] anything most of them didn’t know. But people loved those stories. I see that now. They had a hunger for them (and me) that was almost insatiable, which was unrelenting if not actually frightening. It creates (a prison) from which there is no release, even after death.

JP: Did it make you look at your family differently?

LMA: It was startling and somewhat confusing at first. But I’m always a bit surprised at my own success. I wonder each time if it will really happen again. But I knew I had a gift for it.

JP: I’ll stop for now but hope to check in again, if that’s okay.

LMA: Call on me, please, when it suits. I’ll be there as I can.

JP: Thank you so much for this. I’m really moved by it. You do me a great honor.

LMA: The honor is in your asking. Till we meet again.

 

TGU on the potential for community

Saturday, April 6, 2019

4:35 a.m. Hanns-Oskar Porr contacted Hegel – and was contacted by James Joyce – and of course has to wonder if it is out of his subconscious mind or is a real contact. I have hope that others will begin to do the same, instead of asking me to do it, as if I were the authority. This could become something, if we could develop a community of people doing it and submitting it for each other’s consideration, humbly and in a spirit of joint exploration.

Friends? Any comment, or should I go to work on Eddie’s book [my current project, another novel]?

The potential for such a community is even larger than you can envisage. It could provide a breakthrough for those who participate, and, through them individually and collaboratively, for the human race they represent.

That last phrasing is sort of odd, reminding me of G. K. Chesterton’s “The human race, to which so many of my readers belong….”

We mean to emphasize that the ultimate effect of individuals’ and groups’ efforts can be far greater –more far-reaching over time – than seems probable. As an example – and only as an example; we aren’t suggesting you or anyone try to emulate it – consider that St. Francis of Assisi single-handedly – after listening – created the Franciscan order that arguably prevented the Catholic Church, which in those days meant Western Christendom, from decaying into irrelevance. The ins and outs of how this happened are not the point here: Anything, as it works its way in the world, goes through events. The point we would make is that one person’s listening to a voice that he might have dismissed as imaginary resulted in major unsuspected results echoing first among a few, then within an institution, then more generally within society. Francis was not responsible for the distant effects of his efforts, but he did affect time and space – that is, contemporary society – and any of you may be called to do the same thing. See that you do not dismiss such a call out of a false sense of unworth. It is not a question of worth, but of willingness.

I know you do not mean for us to become inflated, however.

What good could that do anyone? Nietzsche, Hitler, a myriad of televangelists, so many possible examples, will show you how initial good intentions may be wrecked by an individual’s inability to deal with the temptations that accompany profound contact with non-3D power and with the resultant distorting effect it may have in terms of other people. Humility is the essential prophylactic antidote.

Meaning, I take it, it is the antidote to such dangers, but only if it is already in place before they arise.

Yes. It is difficult to become humble. Much easier to remain so. But it requires attention, for these temptations are not trivial, and no one is immune.

However, bearing that in mind, there remains the opposite error of the fallacy of insignificance. Ideally, one would say something like, “In myself I am nothing, but I am capable of being used, and willing to do so.”

“I still serve Ra.”

That’s the idea. And you’d better have a good idea, going into it, just what values you will serve.

Say some more about that.

You won’t know – not really – who you are dealing with. You may assume, you may conclude on the basis of evidence, but how can you ever know you are not in error, or are not being deceived by the other side (which, remember, is always a possibility), or are not fantasizing for whatever reason?

“Test the spirits,” we are told.

Exactly. Don’t believe everything you hear, and don’t automatically disbelieve, either. Weigh what you hear – and, to do that, it helps to have simple permanent touchstones. Values. The values you want to uphold.

In case this point is obscure, let us underline it. You said as an example serving Ra. We know you meant that not so much literally as figuratively, providing an example. We pointed out you will not wind up serving a personage, but the values you imagine that personage as supporting.

As Jesus is seen as personifying love, say.

Love, humility, authority, obedience to conscience, yes, many things. Nor are such personifications of values necessarily religious. The same characteristics have been attributed to Washington and Lincoln, for example, or Einstein and Newton, or Swedenborg and Emerson. You understand, we are not concerned to bind it to exemplifying individuals. Just the opposite: We are pointing out that you are really choosing values, in choosing who you will follow. You couldn’t very well follow Francis of Assisi while amassing wealth for whatever ostensible purpose.

To return to the central point, here. It would be possible to spark a voluntary community of ordinary people who made a practice of extraordinary connection, and shared the results of such communication in the spirit of humility and uncertainty, or call it non-certainty. Rather than attempting to lay down the law – “This was X who spoke. This is exactly what X meant,” etc. – they would say, “This is what I got; take it for what it’s worth. What does it spark in you?”

No ultimate authority, you see. No false certainty. No psychic inflation. And at the same time, no working in oppressive secretive isolation, no fears for one’s mental stability.

It is an attractive vision.

And available today. Now. Your own efforts, which began in private obscurity, have been gently guided by events and by your own inclinations (which in a way is saying the same thing twice) and by the response of those who have felt called at least to listen if not to contribute. So, that groundwork has been done. Now it is to the point where, with a little organizational preparation, one man’s work can be handed off smoothly to a more enduring form and a more significant community.

Well, I can’t do the organizational stuff, if you’re meaning creating the computer forum I’ve thought about, but I’m confident that somebody can and will. But I guess this means I don’t get to create my Church of Superficial Plausibility?

Maybe some other lifetime.

Smiling. Are we done for the moment?

We are.

Thanks as always, and see you next time.