Conversations June 14, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

5:45 AM. All right, Papa, now what? Do you have a “next item on the agenda” to provide you with topics?

[TGU] Seth worked that way, but Seth in working with his friend Jane Roberts was working with a blanked slate. She had deliberately vacated the premises so that he could enter without having to contend with the ripples and eddies of a functioning conscious mind as he dictated his books. That’s not our situation here. Here, your interaction is a part of the process, which adds complications that have both helpful and non-helpful effects.

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Two Views of the Civil War and Reconstruction

So You Think Your Life Was Wasted — Part Three (8)

This is a continuation of the very productive sessions I had one day in March, four years ago. This particular conversation took place at first with Claude Bowers, whose book The Tragic Era dealt with Reconstruction from a position of total sympathy with the white South of the day, then with Joseph Smallwood, perhaps a past life, who was one of the Union soldiers who counted the destruction of slavery among the results that mitigated the terrible suffering and dislocation that war caused.

Thursday March 9, 2006

(6:30 p.m.) I don’t mean to quarrel, Mr. Bowers, but the final taste your book leaves in my mouth is one of partisanship. All the nobility on one side, rascality the only motive on the other side. It is overdone, and ultimately doesn’t wash. This book looks to have been written at least in part for partisan purposes, not as a testimonial. It is somewhere between history, journalism, and propaganda.

Say that is so, it will not find itself alone on the shelf! As I said, books are written to be tools or weapons, not as monuments.

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So You Think Your Life Was Wasted – Section Three (4)

[I learned long ago to be cautious about considering something my own bright idea just because it came to me. Case in point, the following. Funny thing here, I distinctly got the word “Gothic” in the place where I finally put it, and distinctly resisted it because I was afraid it was an anachronism, and finally got the nerve to put it in only when I looked in the dictionary and saw that indeed in the time Bertram was around, Gothic cathedrals were beginning to be built. Funny, this process. Lots of resistance to looking unnecessarily foolish. Since it may not be clear who is speaking, I add J for Joseph the Egyptian, B for Bertram, and S for Joseph Smallwood’s cameo appearance.]

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So You Think Your Life Was Wasted (33)

This completes the second section, “Shaping Ourselves,” of my projected book to be called So You Think Your Life Was Wasted. Next week we’ll start on Part Three, “Society and the Individual.”

Life and Achievement

Friday, August 10, 2007

5:45 a.m. somehow frittered away three quarters of an hour doing — what?? Story of my life, that.

Joyce, where do I go from here? If psychic powers and abilities aren’t an end in themselves — and clearly they aren’t, any more than anything else is — and if no form of external achievement is my focus —

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The unsuspected value of reading

The points of view I retrieve from talking to the other side are sometimes surprising. Yesterday I merely asked my friend Joseph Smallwood what he thought of Allan Nevins’ The Ordeal Of The Union that I am reading, and got another point of view about what really happens when any of us read and think, no matter how alone we may be when we do so.

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The South’s pro-war history, and our times

I found this article, which was forwarded to me by a friend, to be most interesting in light of what Joseph Smallwood had to say (in Chasing Smallwood) about the causes of the Civil War.

By Sherwood Ross

The South is far more inclined to war than the rest of America and its politicians played a major role involving the U.S. in Iraq, a noted legal authority says.

“We’d better find some way of ending the solidly-conservative-to-reactionary-bloc- power of the South or it will cause us disaster again in the future,” writes Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

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The world’s invisible Internet (5)

On December 18, I told the TMI Explorers list what had been happening, and what had just happened that day:

Email, 12-18-05:

“Speaking of beyond time and space, something interesting has been happening these past couple of days. You may remember that I connected to that life as Joseph Smallwood, the young man who visited Emerson one day in the 1840s. Well, when I was in Oregon in September I went looking for signs of his having been there (hoping to find traces of a monograph that I think he wrote) and a researcher I was talking to suggested that maybe he returned east after getting there. A thunderclap! Of course he did! He was a Transcendentalist, and probably an abolitionist. He would have been about 40 when the Civil War began, and no way would he have sat it out.

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