March 17, 2012

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Steve is once again being bombarded with thoughts, as I give him the gist of this journal entry while he is making breakfast. And, once again, he despairs of being able to keep it all straight!

I want to continue with this theme of doubt, and grief, and faith, and reason.

At death, what is the greatest tragedy? Is it when the person you loved so dearly is suddenly a corpse, an unresponsive thing that is already beginning to decay? Or is it when your loved one "moults" out of that cocoon and stands next to you, imploring you to listen, but you cannot or will not?

I would say, the latter.

"Cannot," you understand--if you briefly entertain the possibility that all this is real, you can imagine the scene. But what's this about "Will not?"

When you feel something from one of us in the still recesses of your mind, or feel our presence in your heart, and you dismiss it due to something you learned in college, then, at that moment, you "will not."

So, what of faith? Does faith have any place in the modern world? Have we not eschewed all superstition, and embraced Reason?

Faith is not so easily banished, because faith is the very stuff of life. But faith is being shaken--shaken to the core. Faith in romantic love, and the fidelity of one's partner. Faith in leaders. Faith in religion. Faith in banks. Faith in governments. Faith in one's own health. Faith in doctors. Need I go on?

If there is a battle brewing, the battleground is the question of what to have faith in.

Now, Steve is pausing, because he could write an entire book on this theme I have just set forth, but he wants to be the channel for my thoughts. You see how loving this is, that he sets himself aside to bring me forward to his readers.

So, let's go back to the first scene I mentioned. Richard has died; he fell in a climbing accident. His body is mangled, though the undertaker has done his best. Sally is beside herself--but that is not all that's beside her! Richard is there, his arm around her as she sobs. He strokes her hair, he whispers tenderly into her ear. If you think this description is poignant, you should see the real thing!

Over, and over, and over this drama is replayed. If you think it's painful on your side, you should (and perhaps will) try it on our side! Oh, how you would wish to comfort them...oh, how you would wish to tell them the obvious!

There was a day, when the world was not so unnatural as it is, today, when this could be done. This couple would have talked, perhaps with an intermediary if necessary. They would have made plans. The plans would depend on the nature of the relationship, but if this was a soul mate couple, the plans would be how to continue. Richard will have to go through orientation; he will take up a career, in service, study or the arts. He will be able to visit her, and they will, perhaps, be able to continue working together on some project or other, given the appropriate permissions. He will guide her; she will not be alone.

Fast-forward to modern days. In our headlong rush to materialism and technology, we have lost the ability to communicate. We cannot enter our dreams, we cannot use the subconscious mind as a receiving station (most of us). We have lost faith in the finer world, considering it a myth and superstition. We believe in our bodies, not as vehicles for experiencing the physical world, but as our actual and complete selves.

But love persists in any realm, in any state of delusion, however dark it may be. And so we still fall in love; we still find our soul mates; but we entirely identify them as this physical body which germinates from a seed, grows into a sapling, a full tree, withers, and dies before our eyes. And so we imagine that our beautiful loved one has likewise grown, and decayed, and--"died."

Now this is the first and foremost loss of faith--to imagine that our beloved one has "died."

So this is why, in my earlier entry, I closed with the quote, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Grief is our own damn fault. I say that for shock value--because, what is the more compassionate course of action? Suppose your friend has received word that her husband has been killed in a boating accident during his business trip to Europe. Which is the more compassionate thing to do--to sit, hold her hand, say "there, there," or to shake her and yell at her, "Listen to me, it's all a mistake, they found him and he's fine!!!!"

From where I sit, definitely, the latter is the way to go.

So I am telling you now, it's all your own damn fault--your grief is entirely an illusion.

And I stress the word, "entirely." Because this does not admit of degrees. Either the person you love is dead, or he isn't.

If he isn't dead, you are wasting your time grieving. Oh, I know that there is what we have called the "gaping hole," which is all the emotional ties to your loved one's physical presence in your life, suddenly ripped out. That is primarily because you didn't understand that he wasn't just his physical body--you let your emotions attach solely to the physical. Otherwise there would be a clear and steady emotional bridge to step across, inside yourself.

Now Steve has to pause again, as he is starting to write his own essay!

Let us switch gears for a minute. Steve has felt, as guidance from me, that I want to write journal entries quite often, and he has speculated as to why. He has thought to himself, if people can't believe in me, at least they have to admit Steve is one heck of a writer, to write a strong essay like this, in character, every few days! (Good enough, in fact, that his claim to be the reincarnation of one of the Whittier's is proved plausible, at least on the basis of talent.) People who won't support Steve still envy him, you know. They can't do this, themselves--and yet, he must be crazy. So whereas one of Steve's worldly friends once remarked that Steve was the "hardest-working, most talented poor person he knew," we can now add to that, that Steve is the "hardest-working, most talented crazy person we know," as well!

I want to develop a relationship with my readers. Why I want to do this is multifaceted. I want my readers to get the feel of me as a person, to get a sense of my personality and my presence. I want to develop a rapport with them, so that they experience me directly, through these journal entries. There is no point in you merely believing Steve--experience me for yourself! And this, in a context of friendship. I loved my friends dearly, as Abby--I had only a few of them, but I cherished them. This much, oddly enough, has made its way to us in the history, as a brief snippet in a letter from Elizabeth Whittier to Matthew, her brother, after I had died.

Steve is once again pausing...he has forgotten the rest of what I "flashed" him in the kitchen...

Faith. Meher Baba has written about the topic of faith in his "Discourses." It is awkward to be saying things inspired by that work, and yet to be afraid to reference the source for fear that people will turn away. No, I will not say any more. A word to the wise is sufficient. Just know that neither Steve nor I have all these insights entirely on our own, but rather, that anything we write owes a great debt to Meher Baba's teachings. And having confessed, we will leave the matter there, for the time being.

But how can you believe that your loved one is still living? Steve loves this example, and I will use it. If you are watching television, and someone comes up and switches the channel, do you cry out, "Oh, my program has died!!"? Or do you merely tune back in? Suppose you are watching (to fine-tune the example), and the station suddenly moves the signal to another frequency? What do you do? Well, obviously, once you figure out the true cause of the problem, you find the new frequency and change channels.

What if you refuse to believe that there are other channels? What if you refuse to believe the notice that comes in the mail about it? What if you refuse to believe your friend, who says he has switched his channels and is viewing it again?

What can anyone do for you?

What if your friend brings his own television set, plops the thing in the middle of the room, and shows you? Perhaps the reception isn't so good--perhaps the picture is fuzzy--but it's there. If you refuse to believe it, explaining it away, what can he do for you?

Well, it's a tedious argument, and this is fast becoming a tedious entry! But the whole question is tedious. And you people suffer so. It tears our hearts out to watch you--most of us can't bear it. Just the other day, I had to be relieved of council duty, because I could not bear to watch what I was seeing in the current civil war in Syria. I used to work helping terminally ill people prepare to cross over, by introducing them slowly to the astral plane as they approached their end. But I am not so much accustomed to crisis work, no less war, no less civil war.

When your loved one crosses over, and you are sobbing your heart out, it is as distressing for him as it is for you. If you cannot have any faith that he has crossed over safely and is sitting beside you, eventually even the most stalwart are led away, shaken, and must heal over here, before returning to you to try to establish contact slowly and gradually, according to a known formula. They are taught, or they acquire on their own, a certain philosophical attitude. If it is meant to be, their loved one will be receptive. One is using the best method ever devised to regain contact. If he or she is amenable, this should work. "Please follow our advice," they are told, "we have been doing this a very long time. If he still cannot believe it, then you must let him find his own way, and help him from 'behind the scenes' here in round-about ways."

Okay, Steve has now remembered another "kitchen detail." You will notice that this kind of channeling, where I give it to him all at once beforehand, is more coherent than the "stream of consciousness" method.

And he has promptly forgotten it, again! This is why I am teaching Steve to try to remember his dreams. Because where he "hears" me is in the same "place" as his dreams, i.e., in his subconscious. But he will stop and see if he can "snag" it again...

Yes. It is developing the ability to see yourself in action. As regards faith.

Steve starting practicing strict honesty within himself almost 40 years ago. That means he can watch himself, observe his own mind, and thus he can catch himself as he lies to himself. We lie to ourselves--meaning, incarnate people do--all the time, continuously. It becomes habitual, and as such, it becomes unconscious and "automatic." But the same goes with faith and doubt. What Western science has failed to do is to study the mind as carefully as it studies the outer world--the science of psychology notwithstanding (and you will note that psychology has fled into the study of behavior, and then of the brain). Physics, of all things, has bumped up against this--the problem of the observer, himself.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

If you could slow down your mind, and observe your own mind when you doubt, you would "see" some very interesting things. This is what Steve has done. First of all, you will find very quickly that it is not rational. It is not based on any sound logic. The question then becomes, "What is it based on, then?" This doubt, this lack of faith.

And this is your creative task. I will not lay out any pre-cooked menu for you. Look in your own mind. What the heck is going on in there? You will see assumptions--when did you learn them, and from whom? Your parents at age three--your older brother?

Do you realize that the assumptions you are basing your grief on, were learned by you at the same time you learned about Santa Claus?

Enough said.

"No," you will retort--thinking you have me this time, "they were adopted at the time I gave up Santa Claus!"

But let us think this one through. So you were taught a myth about a man who was dreamed up largely by the Coca-Cola Corporation, based on an older myth--a man who flies around the world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. And then you threw the whole thing out. Your parents had initiated you into the real world, where nothing is real. Not only is there no man in a red suit flying in the sky--but there are no kind men who give gifts to people, for the sake of love, at the time of their deepest winter.

But myths almost always have a basis in reality. So, your cynicism, adopted when you realized you'd been fed a line of bull and were now initiated into the culture of material skepticism, was adopted, when--at age 8 or 9?

So your adult grief, which is tearing you apart and preventing you from establishing contact with your beloved on the other side, is based on assumptions that were adopted when you were 3, and then modified when you were 8.

The first assumption is that the myth is literally true as presented; the second assumption is that it is entirely false on the face of it.

Now I ask you--is this adult logic? And yet you have adults with PhD's espousing this logic, who never once have bothered to observe their own mental processes.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Now, Steve is pausing again. But this time he has pretty-much caught everything I presented to him in the kitchen. So you have your homework. Yes, Steve, I want you to tell them your example. Steve is a video restoration editor. He takes old videotapes of talks, and restores them. Much of what he does involves going frame-by-frame removing glitches. (He is available for work in this field, as well as proofreading.)

What Steve does in his video editing, is what you must do with your own mind. Slow it down and watch it in action. Find these assumptions--label them, for convenience's sake. Labels are fine if you remember they are labels. What is the train of logic? Are there holes in it? Are there unsubstantiated pieces in there? Are there counter-indications? How well do your beliefs hold up in the light of day? How well does your cynicism hold up in the light of day? Who did you learn it from?

And most importantly, what do you, actually, have faith in??

Because, trust me (no pun intended), you do have faith in something. Even if you have faith that "everyone will screw me if they get half a chance," that is a belief that you have faith in.

You will recognize that I am doing cognitive therapy with you. Not that Steve has studied cognitive therapy very deeply. It was touched upon in some of his classes, that's all. But if you do your homework, this cognitive therapy will bring you to the conclusion that your assumption that your loved one has ceased to exist, and that your relationship has died along with him, is a tad hasty.

Love and best wishes to each,
Abby