It has been a while since I wrote this, and a while since I read it. It was interesting to read again, having forgotten it in the meanwhile. What it means will vary by each individual, of course. But here it is, for what it is worth.

Bertram was a medieval monk in Norman England who is one of my strands – what I would have called a “past life.”

Friday April 7, 2006
F: I would like to talk to someone about the Gospel of Judas that is in the news. What is going to happen (what is happening) to Christianity, and is there any part in it for me? I don’t know who to ask to contact. Bertram is closest, I suppose. For a silly moment I was thinking, Bertram, that you couldn’t help because you wouldn’t know what’s going on in modern times.

B: A reminder of how others see our lives. If you are able to disturb the idea that the past is dead and the dead are past, it will be a valuable contribution.

F: Yes, I can see that. I really was casting about. I didn’t feel I could call on Jesus, and considered Columba, but it all seemed too close to what somebody called autography-collecting.

B: Unnecessary. You have within you connections to all, as all are one being – but it is unnecessary to go to the most exalted or even the most outré for information. Someone close to you will always have it, or will be able to get it.

F: This tempts me to start a discussion of spirit guides, and all that, but let’s first talk about the Gospel of Judas and what if anything it means to the church, to society, and to what I really care about, which is the regeneration of people’s access to the underlying world, the source of our being.

B: You do realize that you verge on asking for prophecy. “What will happen?”

F: An old bad habit of mine. All right.

B: It is a habit rooted in the idea that there “will be” one future, that may be discerned. You have somewhat adopted and adjusted to the idea that there are multiple (indeed, essentially infinite) futures, all of which exist, as all presents and all pasts exist, “in potential” seen one way; “in reality” seen another way.

There is usually little point in predicting a future; never any point, really, save to offer insight into the tendencies of present behavior or to prepare people psychologically for coming events that are in practical terms not avoidable. Prophets, as you yourself have pointed out more than once, predict not in order to gloat but in order to persuade. They don’t want people to suffer, they want them to repent. If they will change course, they will visit a different future. It is all in the Book of Jonah.

Now, from that understanding of the words “future” and what “will” happen, we can talk about Judas.

Is it so hard to see that there is something wrong with the simplest ideas about Judas?

Jesus could penetrate to the core of a person’s being with a glance. He could tell them their past or future; he could tell them what was in their hearts. How do you betray a man like that? Or – to make it clearer – how can a man like that be betrayed?

Is it possible that Jesus did not see at a glance what Judas was in his inmost soul? Is it possible that he did not sense every change in those around him as they moved day by day? Is it possible that he did not see every nuance in any of the futures available?

How can a man like that be betrayed? He wasn’t surprised, and he wasn’t deceived. And he wasn’t a bad judge of character, either!

So – the melodrama is out. It is not the case that Jesus picked a dozen men and one of them was a traitor. (For that matter it wasn’t just a dozen, and they weren’t only men.)

What scenario next, then? That it was a mystery play, set up and enacted, and someone had to play the bad guy?

Suppose that were true. Would it in some way aid Jesus’ teachings to have him betrayed?

Suppose further that Jesus’ entire life was a mystery play, which is a perfectly acceptable view. If you step away from what you have been taught all these years, is it likely that crucifixion was a necessary part of that story?

Jesus came to bring life, that we might have life more abundantly. He referred to God as his father. Do you think it likely that he could think that God required a death by torture in order to bring humans into line?

And, if he did not, then in what way would crucifixion assist him to carry his message?

If you had never heard of the crucifixion, would you think it a logical end to the career of a man who had superhuman abilities and perceptions? Who came to bring access to life more abundant? Who came to give people courage?

Well, it is a fearful thing to go against history. You can feel it in yourself, writing this, arguing. “There must have been a crucifixion; too many of the apostles died in similar ways, and Christians in general over the next generations.” True and not true. Jesus dying on the cross made a wonderful inspiration for those who suffer and are treated unjustly. His betrayal by church authorities [temple authorities] to the Romans makes a good parable about the corruption of ecclesiastical organizations that have political power.

F: But?

B: You are conflicted. The resurrection, the Pentecost, the change in the apostles, all that in Acts. It seems to you to cut directly across the idea of no crucifixion.

F: Yes it does.

B: Enough for now. Ponder.

9:50 a.m. Okay.

B? TGU? Let’s say O for other: Maybe the crucifixion wasn’t what it seemed, and wasn’t for the purpose it is understood to have been for.

F: Jesus didn’t die? Was drugged and recovered, all that? People have said that. I don’t believe it.

O: No. no, if Jesus were to pretend to die, what would that say about the integrity of the man who above all teachings preached integrity? So, no. We would say this is an example of people trying anything rather than seeing what must break their belief system – in this case, that dead means dead.

F: Is this Bertram, or whom?

O: You may take it as Bertram.

F: Odd response.

O: The important thing here is to clear your mental air.

Jesus was essentially superhuman. He was – is – a model for what all human will become. He came as model. That is key. He had superhuman abilities and perceptions, and could not have been surprised or betrayed. He had superhuman integrity and could not have pretended or dissembled. He had superhuman connection, and so could go to the point of death – and beyond – and, holding himself together beyond death – reconstitute his body-soul connection in a new and, shall we say, even more superhuman form.

Jesus as perfect model. Remember that.

Do you really think God gets angry? Do you think he approves of inflicting suffering as vengeance? These are infantile ways of imagining God. They are not God.

However, having said that, remember – God does not see things in the way you in time-slices and delayed-consequences see them. Just as a parent working out of greater foresight and wisdom may put requirements on a child that the child is tempted to consider punishments or even vindictive restriction, so God may set you in circumstances that seem “unfair” (what parent has not heard that accusation?) or cruel.

(Yes there are parents who are cruel or unfair. Does this mean God could be? Well, you decide.)

If harsh circumstances will bring about desirable results and we on this side can see it but you on yours cannot, we are quite capable of actions and intentions you will see as ruthless. But are you in the best position to judge? This too is in the Book of Jonah. Take heed.

As a thought-experiment, we propose this:

1) Humanity was straying ever father from its innate connection with the divine – with “the other side” as you call it. Not that there were none, but that the tendency was away from, rather than toward, closer connection. Hence, the fall of man.

2) Implied in that fall was an increasing deafness to spirit. Hence, spirit was increasingly powerless to overcome the influence of the physical environment that taught that “the world is all there is” regardless what pieties were mouthed.

3) This being so, any demonstration by spirit must come in material form if it were to have any chance of being perceived. The word had to be made flesh, or the blind would continue to refuse to see. Perhaps we should say the deaf might possible be able to accept that they could see, since they could no longer hear.

4) Hence, a demonstration. How? By lights in the sky? By more strident assertions? By what else in the world but a human life, lived as it can be lived only in perfect connection to spirit?

5) Hence, the life and teachings of Jesus, as earlier the Buddha, and other spiritual teachers. But Jesus’ life was to be the teaching, not merely what he said. Now, it is true that much myth later accreted to his story; that is how the human mind works. That does not invalidate the story, which is of a man of mysterious origins who lived a perfect life, taught others how to live that life (as best they could), was unjustly killed and brought himself back from death, demonstrating that death itself was not what humans thought it.

Jesus demonstrated a life of perfect congruence with spirit, or as it is usually phrased, perfect obedience to the father.

Does this clarify things any?

F: Does it not! Thank you.

This entry is not merely historical browsing, and was very much not my own idea. I was led to re-read the speech, and then I was able to ask Mr. Lincoln what he was doing in the speech, and how it applied to us today. In this; I was merely used (happily used!) as an instrument to bring forth ideas and understandings that are deemed important for our time.

Thursday March 29, 2006 (4:32 a.m.)
I awoke thinking about Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address as an act of war against the vindictive policies of the Radical Republicans, sensing that Mr. Lincoln wanted to come in. So I got onto the net, googled “Lincoln Second Inaugural Address” and found this, at http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/inaug2.htm. This is the speech in its entirety, saying more in four paragraphs – four paragraphs! – than any political speech I have heard in my lifetime with the possible exception of John F. Kennedy’s currently underrated elegant inaugural address, which shared many of this speech’s qualities.
Second Inaugural Address

Washington, D.C.
March 4, 1865
This theologically intense speech has been widely acknowledged as one of the most remarkable documents in American history. The London Spectator said of it, “We cannot read it without a renewed conviction that it is the noblest political document known to history, and should have for the nation and the statesmen he left behind him something of a sacred and almost prophetic character.”

Journalist Noah Brooks, an eyewitness to the speech, said that as Lincoln advanced from his seat, “a roar of applause shook the air, and, again and again repeated, finally died away on the outer fringe of the throng, like a sweeping wave upon the shore. Just at that moment the sun, which had been obscured all day, burst forth in its unclouded meridian splendor, and flooded the spectacle with glory and with light.” Brooks said Lincoln later told him, “Did you notice that sunburst? It made my heart jump.”
According to Brooks, the audience received the speech in “profound silence,” although some passages provoked cheers and applause. “Looking down into the faces of the people, illuminated by the bright rays of the sun, one could see moist eyes and even tearful faces.”

Brooks also observed, “But chiefly memorable in the mind of those who saw that second inauguration must still remain the tall, pathetic, melancholy figure of the man who, then inducted into office in the midst of the glad acclaim of thousands of people, and illumined by the deceptive brilliance of a March sunburst, was already standing in the shadow of death.”

At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention, and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it–all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war–seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope–fervently do we pray–that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether”

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

F: Mr. Lincoln, would you care to talk a bit about your speech? Its reason, its content? For what reason do you and others awaken me this Thursday morning?

L: As you have been inferring, this concatenation of people appearing one by one over your past few weeks does have a purpose beyond your own education, although that is as useful as any other thing. Mr. Bowers opened your eyes to at least one aspect of the radical Republicans’ scheme for reconstruction. Joseph Smallwood, before and after that, showed you the soul of a Union man. In general you were given a view of the Civil War as [being] the result of certain causes that are not widely taught in your time, although I should have thought them obvious enough. In all this, the aim has been for you in your time to take renewed aim at our goals; to re-inspire yourselves with old ideals, never yet attained; to find the common ground upon which you can build anew, if you are able to summon the will.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” But a common vision can be founded only upon a vision shared, not a vision imposed. And it is this elementary fact that my political adversaries overlooked, or chose to ignore, with disastrous consequences. As you have asked for me to run through the speech, I shall do so briefly, with the sole intent to highlight our reason for waking you up – all of you of good will.

Note, then, the following points:

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it–all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war–seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.”

This was a plain statement of fact. This was the context out of which the war originated. I felt it was important to remind the people that the South had not wanted a war either; that the southern politicians were determined to destroy the union, but had not intended nor desired the war that developed. At the same time, I was not about to imply that it was the fault of Unionists that the war came. The war came because of fate, let us say, rather than because of the determined ill-will of southern politicians. If you will re-phrase this as I did not say it, you will see the difference in intent and effect. I might have said, instead, something like this:

“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All Union men dreaded it–all Union men sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it, not caring if the result would be a terrible war that would kill and maim so many, etc. They would make war rather than let the nation survive.”

You see the difference. Many would have agreed with the emotional tone of this second version. Stevens, Chandler, Butler, Sumner – they all would have agreed and said that even this was too weak. For that is how they saw me, as consistently too weak to do what was needed.

To continue. My long summary of the cause of the war was as precise and succinct a statement of cause and effect and the underlying logic of events as I could prepare. I pointed out the physical situation. “One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it.”
I pointed out that slavery was “somehow, the cause of the war.”
I pointed out that the federal government had not committed itself to emancipation, but to the containment of slavery. And I moved on to lead the people to a new vision of the meaning of the war, a meaning beyond politics and one leading away from hatred of individuals or even whole classes or divisions of people. This was the point of saying that neither party expected a result so fundamental and astounding.

In saying that divine providence was working out a plan below, I said nothing but what I fully believed. But at the same time I said it in hope of furthering that plan. It was one thing to say, as I did, that all shared in the guilt of American Slavery. It was another very different thing to say as my congressional opponents did, in defiance of the plain facts of history, that the guilt of slavery rested on Southerners alone. I knew that this would be the great battlefield, and I was preparing the ground as best I could. But I did not think that my time would be so short, or that the fact of my death could be used against my purposes.
If you read my final words in this light, you will see plainly enough that I was staking out the ground upon which I determined to stand in the difficult process of reconstruction that I saw looming.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

Your time sees those as noble sentiments, perhaps. My time saw them for what they were: fighting words.

F: Thank you, Mr. Lincoln. Did you want to speak more definitely, more particularly, about how all this applies to our own political struggles today?

L: Not at this time. It is for you, the living, to ponder the application of the principles you believe in. We can at best remind you when you lose sight of them.

F: Thank you again.
(5:15 a.m.)

I’m not up to doing new work at the moment. Even though I have been a week at my new place, I’m still far from organized, and if I devote two and a half hours to Rita (one receiving, one transcribing and another half sending out), there is too little energy left for other things. As a consolation prize, though, I can easily send out interesting nuggets that are already in my files, requiring only a few minutes to send.

And I have had such interesting conversations, such a number of interesting friends I have never met! Jung was one; here is another, though as I recall I only talked to him this once.

Lincoln Steffens was a muckraker of the early 20th century, a first-rate reporter, a social activist, a keen observer and thinker, both idealist and realist. (He was also a friend of the young Hemingway, and recognized his great talent before In Our Time.) His autobiography taught me more about the world than any other single book I ever read.

Nine years ago, my friend Michael Langevin, now public relations consultant for the Monroe Institute, was still publishing Magical Blend magazine. He asked me if Steffens had any advice for him on how to make a difference in the world and make a living at the same time. And here is what I got.

8:30 p.m. Monday March 13, 2006
I remind myself, I told Michael Langevin I would see if Lincoln Steffens had any advice for him.

Mr. Steffens, if you are here, I want to say explicitly what I gather you know anyway – having access to the content of my mind, it seems – that I found your book the single most enlightening book I ever read. Plus, I love your ideals. Do you have any words for Michael on how to transform society and make a living at the same time?

The only way I could ever figure out was to do what was important to me and figure there would be a market for it sometime, some way, or I wouldn’t be led to do it. You do remember that I was blacklisted for the decade of the twenties after I came back from Russia and told what I saw. If I had not had independent means during that time it would have gone hard for me.

There would have been no use, at any time, in my trying to provide magazine editors with what everybody else could provide. At the same time, there would have been no use giving them the right piece at the wrong time. To a large extent this never became a problem, because rather than my writing a story and then looking for an audience for it, the magazines sent me. That is why I investigated Pittsburgh. It wasn’t my idea! I didn’t know where to begin. But the magazine paid my way and I wrote.

Later when I was one of the owners of a crusading magazine I learned of the pressure on editors and businessmen that had caused them to pressure us writers. That’s in my book; he will not learn as much as you did but he will find ideas in it.

Here is my suggestion, but he may not find it practical. It may be time in “your time” to begin to fuse spiritual transformation and social transformation. The only way to do that will seem strange to you, perhaps repugnant at first glance, and that is to cease to endorse only left-wing or liberal or “progressive” politics, and become a meeting place for people from many formerly antagonistic strands of political and ideological thought. The old “isms” are going to be homeless; those still desperately clinging to their “ism” – which may be their last shred of idealism – are going to be homeless. Give them a home.

How? By redefining the ground they stand on. By making explicit the links between how you see the world and how you see possibility. You say you believe in the future: Believe in it! But you do not have to create it yourself, nor could you – nor could anyone. It will be a common creation as always. What you can do is offer a forum for your readers to struggle with their viewpoints until they see daylight and common ground.

As a suggestion – what if the authors of the book about the cultural creatives are looking for a new forum and new possibilities? You might be able to create a totally new kind of magazine, of which you would be perhaps only a minority owner because serious capital would attract serious talent while you helped set the vision. But left-wing politics is not a way forward for your time, but backward. You don’t need to divide comfortable from afflicted, you need to provide a way forward for the desperate and disconsolate of all mentalities and temperaments and (therefore) ideologies.

Let me rephrase this to sound as businesslike and practical as possible: you need new challenges, new visions, new forms to pour the vision into and through.

Left wing politics is passé.

Politics is passé.

Practical vision-pursuits is your particular specialty. Make it more practical. Be the weird guy who brings unusual thinkers and doers together, in conferences, courses, whatever you wish. You admired Buckminster Fuller, well and good. But his forte is not yours. Instead of thinking of Bucky Fuller, think of yourself more as a Marshall McLuhan, often cryptic, not always clear, but leading into a certain type of future.

Hone the vision, gather your co-workers (in your mind, I mean) and then know where to seek the capital, the organizers, and the workers to begin this new enterprise – and you do not run it or sell for it – you go around giving the vision, which attracts business for your company, as you go.

I know you wanted what you might call a quick fix. I offer something better: stop fixing and buy another car. That is, create a new vehicle.
(9:15)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

F: 4:10 a.m. Rita, it isn’t that I am tired of doing this, but I wonder if maybe we have reached the point you and I got to in 2002 where we ran out of questions to ask. Not, obviously, because we’ve said all there is to say, or learned all there is to know – then or now – but because we’re sort of without direction. Answering questions from others is all well and good, but can we trust it to carry us forward? Yes, I realize you can use any stimulus to proceed where you are going, so I guess I don’t even know what it is I am asking, or why. So – over to you.

R: Perhaps it is time for you to re-read and consciously digest, as Charles is doing. You two are bookends, in a way. He is likely to do too much analysis, and you too little. Ideally, you would both do both. So, as I say, perhaps it is time for you to change gears. A few mornings spent re-reading and making your own list of things that occur to you would be well spent, and you needn’t worry that your readers will get bored and drift away – re-reading and analysis and questioning is what they will need to do, too, if they are going to get more than a passing amusement out of this.

F: Hmm. Starting today?

R: Why not? And of course you don’t need to make it an either / or. No reason you couldn’t alternate within the same session – half an hour of communicating, half an hour of reading and thinking. Only, if you do this, do it as methodically as you have been doing this, so as to gain the advantages of habit and inertia.

F: I’ll seriously consider it. Meanwhile I wish you could help me find the things I have mislaid in my move, that are making it impossible for me to get things shipshape again. Where are the fasteners that I so carefully put into envelopes, for instance?

[pause]

And why can’t you help me? Even if you didn’t exist —  — my own unconscious mind should know, but I cannot dredge out the information. I don’t care why, particularly, I just want them to re-surface. But it is as if they ceased to exist.

R: An experiment for you. You know they exist but you cannot find them anywhere you look, and you have run out of places to look. So, both memory and logic have failed you, and you have only a desperate stab in the dark as your remaining resource – that is, you are asking unseen powers to return them to you. Why not remember and use Bruce Moen’s technique?

F: And describe it for people, I take it.

R: Of course.

F: Bruce said that as long as he said, “I can’t find it,” it was as if the universe would say, “okay, fine, if that’s the way you want it, you can’t find it.” But when he changed it to, “I need X,” he would find it, as if it appeared out of nowhere. And this has worked for me sometimes but does not seem to be working this time.

R: No, and here is the experiment. Instead of saying, “I need those fasteners,” and then proceeding to try to imagine where they could be – which you see is a sort of combination of logic and intuition, but one with the weaknesses rather than the strengths of both – try just putting out your clear statement of the need for the furnishings and then going about your business as if in confidence that they will appear.

F: But their absence is holding me up, in the meantime.

R: And their absence is not any less delaying you by your ineffective method of finding them.

F: True enough. All right, we’ll see. I’ll try to work around them until they show up. Meanwhile, I need to find a system to store and accumulate my questions on this material

R: Easy enough. By the way, you might describe for people how you proceed here, as formerly with Hemingway, and formerly with others and formerly with TGU.

F: Simple enough, and methodical enough.

I transcribe the material into the computer and I print it out, single-spaced with a space after each paragraph. I hole-punch the sheets, staple them together, and put them into a three-ring binder, and thus I accumulate the material in accessible form automatically, a few sheets a day, divided (by month, in my case) by the index dividers they sell, partly to keep it organized so I can find things, but mostly, I think, to prevent it from becoming one intimidating undifferentiated mass.

R: And on the computer?

F: I have a directory I call “journal and messages,” and within it I have subdirectories by ten-year periods, and within them, directories for each single year. Each day’s entry is a file labeled according to the self-sorting method I learned as a computer programmer long ago. So, today’s will be “2015-03-25 Rita” and will thus automatically sort out in place. Why are we detailing all this?

R: Because not everybody will have realized the advantages of such system, and because it will remind you that the same habits will help you accumulate questions and reactions. Make a subdirectory called questions and add it to your other directory, which, you will notice, you forgot to describe.

F: So I did. Every day as I finish spell-checking and re-reading that day’s entry, I save it in “journal” and then resave it in another directory I call “Rita’s book.” The file name automatically sorts it in the same way as it did for the journal directory, and thus I have an automatic backup.

R: Just for completeness, you might describe the rest of your system for accumulating material for books.

F: Why? What’s the point? Nobody is going to care. But – if you say so. I have a subdirectory called “books,” divided into others called “books being written” and “books completed and published.” The former is divided into “fiction” and “nonfiction” and is further divided into directories by title such as “Rita’s book.” Is this really necessary?

R: It is worthwhile to remind people that life is more than intuition, more than communication with the non-physical. System helps keep you grounded and oriented within the work, and will help others as they proceed.

F: If you say so. So, I just realized, no point in starting another journal book just for questions, as I was thinking I would have to do. I can just enter them here as I go along and then transcribe to a computer file and print out as I go along.

R: You can indeed. And it is just such work as will orient you and sharpen your understanding.

F: Well, we’ve spend 45 minutes on this. I hope it is worthwhile. I’m afraid people are going to be disappointed.

R: That isn’t your worry. All you are responsible for is doing your work as best you can. So – use your remaining 15 minutes to get a start on the re-reading / thinking / questioning process, and I will see you when you are ready next time.

F: All right, and no doubt by then my fasteners will have reintroduced themselves into my reality. Till then.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

F: 2:45 a.m. So, Rita, I am fascinated to see you making sense of things I started to get more than a dozen years ago, but couldn’t bring through coherently. I spoke of crystallizing but could never make it clear and plain because I couldn’t understand it clear and plain. But you yesterday did it almost off-handedly, b saying that people either can or can’t hold it together when the bonds of the body are gone, and, if they can’t, it is not the constituent parts but the organizing principle for that soul, the personality that had expressed in 3D, that goes away. You didn’t say it in so many words, but that was the unspoken essence of it.

R: Another example of “the better the question, the better the answer.” And merely by us seeing the question straight, a lot of perplexities fell away, did they not?

F: They certainly did! At least, for me. Maye others would need to go through our sessions to see how hard we struggled with the question of what happens to the soul that doesn’t crystallize, with the guys assuring us that nothing is lost, but unable to show us why not.

R: And you see that your assumption that the answer to Suzanne’s question would involve left-over assumptions was wrong. I think probably I’m just making you up.

F: It’s interesting. In life I rarely say, “very funny,” but it feels like I’m always saying it here.

R: Here, as opposed to life?

F: Yeah, I heard that too. I don’t know where that came from. All right, shall we move on? Charles has provided us a list of questions, as you know. I’ll re-read it and you tell me what’s your pleasure.

R: Let’s start with the question on guidance, because it shows Charles enacting the role I took in our sessions with the guys – actively thinking about the material and then seeing logical problems.

[Charles said, “I’m confused about guidance. Because a new soul is comprised of differing traits, might there be several options given and is that why we sit with it until it `feels right’? Or, is it always consistent? And if it is always consistent, on what is it based?”]

This really is an excellent, productive question that will help us move the discussion along, and so will help many who have not thought of it, and perhaps never would have – which means they also never would have come to the additional clarification.

He is exactly right. That is just what does happen [that is, varying guidance for different strands], and all of your lives should furnish you examples of the process, to greater or lesser extent depending on your internal makeup.

What may seem disconcerting is the idea that there may be no objectively correct Guidance, no official-seal-of-approval gold-standard automatic right answer. What? Are we fallible “over here”? Can we make mistakes? Jon Hold is closer here than you know, but not exactly in the way he pictures it.

There is no one single Guidance, any more than there is one single version of reality, or, for that matter, one single constituting individual. Some thought in the new context [that she has been putting forth here since December, 2014] will show you that there can’t be.

F: Well, nudge us along a little.

R: It is as Charles intuits, a different associated non-3D source of information and bias for each strand, and if you are living a community of mutually antagonistic strands, how else can it be than that your internal gods are warring? But even if your various strands are more or less harmonious and cooperative, there is going to be variance among them, perhaps trivial in some circumstances and serious – maybe deadly serious – in others.

F: You’re right, that’s very interesting and pretty obvious and I never would have thought of it.

R: Good thing you imagined me, then.

F: I’m going to let that one go. More on that question?

R: That’s enough for the moment. As people sit with it and hopefully remember it and apply it in their “real” lives, it will sink in deeper, and they will become ready for more that will tie in to other things.

F: I get, “other things,” some or much of which hasn’t been said yet.

R: True, but only meant as a general statement. I’m not keeping secrets or holding out on you. I’m saying that new information always has the potential to shed new light on older information. You can’t get around it, everything connects.

F: I’m a little tired, and maybe now I can get some more sleep. Maybe we can resume later?

R: I’ll try to make time in my schedule.

F: 6:40 a.m. So, Rita, another go-round? Another half an hour, say?

R: No, it would be better for you to rest. There’ll be another day, and meanwhile you have enough practical things to do.

F: I do, but I would rather do this. I’m unlikely to get more rest for a while. What about Charles’ question on nomenclature?

R: All right, that ought to be short enough.

[The terms “threads, strings, ropes, cables, and combinations of the concepts” as well as “traits, and past lives” have all been used to describe the non 3D continuing entity. Would you please define these so they can be used consistently?]

F: Emerson once said his page on consistency would have been better written, “damn consistency.” But I don’t imagine that’s quite your response.

R: Not quite, but I sympathize. It is a quality very much two-edged. It allows for the possibility of precision, but it therefore tempts people to cut life into little boxes rather than recognizing flow and nuance. In this case, though, the lack of consistency flows from your efforts to get a handle on new concepts and their slippery qualities.

F: Just as when I tried to understand what I was feeling, vaguely, about crystallization.

R: That’s why, or one reason why, I chose this question to go with our earlier discussion today. Similar situations. Remember, contact is as much for the development of the participating individual as for the inherent value of the information.

F: I take it you include the reader, as well as the diviner.

R: Of course.

F: So, as I remember it, I was trying to express my sense of various gradations of intensity.

R: Let me tell it. Yes, that, but as I observe that moment now – from your point of view as well as mine, you know; that increase in vantage points is not confined to what people are calling “past life reviews” – you were also trying to make sense of it, and were drawing logical conclusions and mixing them with your perceptions. That’s one natural pitfall in the process, because how different is that from interpreting?

F: I think that may not be quite clear to people.

R: On the one hand, the perceiver must interpret what is perceived, much more so than is commonly recognized, or what is perceived will not make much sense in 3D terms. Bob [Monroe] said it well in Far Journeys. But it is a short step to move from interpretation to logical deduction, and that is a step that is taken frequently. Fortunately, it is not an irredeemable step. But it is something to be wary of, a naturally occurring hazard of this kind of navigation.

F: And I can see that I would be resistant to people questioning such deduction, too, just because it is such a small and easily unnoticed step.

R: Precisely. Beware Psychic’s Disease, yet don’t demand an impossible certainty either. That’s the balance to be struck.

Now, I wanted this to be short and we haven’t even gotten to the question yet. I don’t want to slur over the distinctions but I don’t want to go into it either. Perhaps the safest step for the moment is to say, disregard all analogies and, for the moment, re-read such passages as indicating varying strengths and complications of continuity among and within the community that seems to you to be an individual. There is much more, but that’s all you are going to get today.

F: All right, I can take a hint. My mother used to say, “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”

R: There’s always another time, until there isn’t. You can’t hold back the moment, either way.

F: No. Okay, till next time, then.

Monday March 23, 2015

F: 6:25 a.m. Good morning, Miss Rita. (Do you experience morning?) Suzanne Gilbertson left this comment on my blog, and Charles liked it enough to jump it to the top of the list. This is one of those that I don’t have any idea about how you are going to answer it. I hope you do! But, the guys always had what I called their cover story ready, and I can’t remember you ever backing them into a corner successfully, so I suppose you can do the trick as well as they could. And, sometime tell us about the way you-all can fade in and out in a conversation, sometimes one starting a sentence that another finishes, we not always noticing.

R: All right, it’s always good to have a shopping list. As to morning, remember that we can experience 3D still, through any of our numerous relations and acquaintances!  And for many of us, the natural world is an enchanted and enchanting memory that we love keeping fresh. At the same time, we are not confined to any one passing present moment in the way we were while in 3D, so there is no reason we can’t enjoy a sunrise here while watching a sunset in the same place [that had occurred or would occur] earlier or later. [It was clear to me at the time what Rita meant. I added the bracketed phrase to prevent misunderstanding.]

F: This business is either stirring up distracting new habits or is teaching me to pay close attention to flitting thoughts and associations and questions. So, as I wrote down your answer, the following things came to mind:

– You said “relations and acquaintances,” and I assume you mean past lives and the various windows into the world that all of those threads represent – but I could imagine someone asking about it, so I thought, I’d better find out.
– I remembered that you and Martin, in your life long before I met you, had liked to go camping in the Rockies or anyway out west somewhere. Oregon? California? And it reminded me that those kinds of experiences are part of what we bring to the other side’s library also.
– I first encountered Hemingway fishing, if I remember rightly, and I thought, just now, hmm, two ways of enjoying the natural world. He was re-creating the conditions and experiencing them as real. You are, I take it, enjoying it as it happens and is experienced by strands still (or previously, or – in the future?) in 3D. And a third way would be to re-immerse yourself in the memory of what you lived, or so I suppose. That is, what you as ringmaster of Rita Warren 1920-2008 experienced, as opposed to what you have pretty direct access to via all the connections of all the strands that comprised her. And a fourth, I suppose – all the connections leading on from those strands. Pretty nearly everything, I suppose. What a treasure of opportunities for enjoyment.

That’s a lot to get out of a brief response to an aside, and I feel like I’m stepping out of one role and into another, or that my own role is beginning to morph.

R: Well, that shouldn’t surprise you. Change brings further change, and practice not only makes perfect, it opens unsuspected doors.

F: And this is also for the benefit of those reading this.

R: Of course. Your chosen and accepted role was – as you were told by Kelly in the very beginning of your awakening – to remember in public the process of remembering, as well as the content.

F: I remember well. And that seems to be what is happening.

R: You were given a choice a while ago: Stick to what we had been given and undergo no further upheavals in your understanding of the nature of the world, or be ready to move on, and you chose to keep exploring.

F: Sure, why not? What else is remotely as interesting? Only, it never occurred to me that you and I would be working together. Nice bonus. So, the question.

R: Don’t forget the final insight / question.

F: Well, I have, but I can see that since everything connects, there would be no end of associations and so no end of side-trails. We can let it go.

R: Now you are getting a stronger taste of how we function without 3D constraints to help us focus. All right, the question.

[Suzanne, responding to my response to her original comment, said: “Yes, it’s the `successful’ part I want to ask Rita about. What is an unsuccessful transition, and the consequences? How can we not carry with us `left over associations’ with 3D life?”]

R: This is a good illuminating question, and my answer is shaped partly by your own focus, Frank, that prevents you from actively remembering the context of the question.

F: Not a bad thing, I hope. That’s usually my situation.

R: Well, the question of what would be “good” or “bad” directly leads into my answer. Good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, is always a matter of judgment, which means always a matter of context.

My particular view is that a successful transition is one that allows all parts of a lived-out being to continue to function together after the bonds of the body are broken. Or, to speak more plainly in other language, success is the new soul continuing to function as one unit in its new conditions of freedom from the 3D constraints that shaped and nurtured it. Your physical part of your life is the baby chick in the egg, and your life afterwards is the chick learning to function in a new bewildering / enchanting world beyond the previous safe but confining world it had known. The struggle to emerge from the egg is what develops the strength to fly in the world to come. No chick lives as a chick and then a chicken while still remaining in the confines of the shell in which it developed.

But not all chicks survive the process and live on. Some die, in the shell or emerging from it, and in that case their components — the physical elements of the chick’s body, in our analogy – return to the earth and of course are used again in one way or another. An unsuccessful transition fails to hold the pieces together. It is – to change analogies – something like the mentally ill whose various constituting pieces do not communicate, or exist in a state of perpetual contention.

F: So when we do retrievals –?

R: It’s a matter of context and viewpoint, as I said. But from here it looks this way. Let’s take me. I live a long life that develops many of my potentialities but of course not all, nor anything like all. We are created with an overplus of opportunities for the very particular purpose of allowing and developing, almost of forcing, the continuous exercise of free will. This does two things. It enables us to choose what we are to become, by choosing to manifest this rather than that. It also bonds the various elements, in the way that the chick’s struggle to emerge from the egg develops the muscle it will need to fly.

I live my life without suppressing my awareness of any part of myself (in practice, of course, this is an impossibility), or I suppress all awareness of any other parts of myself (which is scarcely more possible), or, as is true for nearly everybody, I become conscious of some things while remaining unconscious of others, to a varying degree.

F: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will shape your life, and you will call it fate.”

R: Also the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas: If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you, and if you don’t, it will destroy you.

F: Now – did you know that independently or did you pilfer it from my own memories?

R: As our friend Dave used to say, “Guilty, your honor.” But I’m afraid our hour is up.

F: Can you answer the second part of Suzanne’s question?

R: I haven’t finished answering the first part! But, no hurry. Productive questions lead to interesting journeys, as you should well remember.

F: Oh, I do. And I assure you, others are enjoying this journey with us.

R: That was the plan.

F: Be well.

R: I should say that to you – but you might take it as nagging.

F: I’m smiling. Till next time, then.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

F: 5:15 a.m. Well, Miss Rita, I sent around your talk with Al, Jon, and Dick, and posted it to my blog and Facebook. That catches us up except for yesterday’s brief exchange, which I will send in turn, if only for its reminder about the source of non-communication when it occurs. But you know all that, and you know that my life is in a state of disorganization at the moment, though things are looking up. So what shall we talk about today?

R: Let’s use your situation as metaphor.

F: Okay

R: You suppressed the joke. No need to; don’t let this become too solemn.

F: Well, but when I make a joke here, I know I’ll also have to be the one to type it out, and about the time when I start typing things, I start begrudging every unnecessary word.

R: That could be said of spoken words and the energy of the psyche, as well. That’s one reason people talk more – chatter, sometimes – when nervous. They’re burning nervous energy off. And on the other hand, silence concentrates, as you know from experience.

But I was thinking about your move, with its attendant disorganization, as metaphor. If you want to move, you must be willing to pack up whatever you will bring with you, and carry it, in one way or another, and then blend those possessions into your new unfamiliar surroundings. The life you resume leading may be as near identical to the old one as you can manage, or may be as different as you can manage, or anywhere between the extremes, but one thing is sure; it will not be identical with the former life because your new environment will not be the same, and everything will interact with it in ways obvious or not. This, just as any relationship with people will change if either of the two change.

But isn’t it just precisely what you want, change? And of course, Frank, I’m not speaking only to you. You can’t want to change – or, no, let me put it another way, to avoid possible misunderstanding. Change involves change. You can’t change without changing. You know the line from John Nelson’s book.

F: From Matrix of the Gods. The guru says, more or less, “oh, it’s the same old thing, they all want to know how they can change without changing.”

R: And of course, put that way, the absurdity is obvious to one and all. But in everyday life, it is easy to favor change as a goal, yet criticize or groan under or fear change as an on-going process.

F: You’re talking about The Change.

R: The Change, yes, in the sense of the great move forward that the guys talked to us about, before I became one of the guys. But don’t let yourself unconsciously fall into the trap of thinking in terms of one big change, like changing your clocks to Eastern Enlightenment Time and that’s it. That isn’t how life works. Life is not an earthquake, though earthquakes happen, but a daily incremental process of growth and decay. Change, in short.

So, yes, The Change, a change in how the human experience interacts with the non-3D and – don’t forget – with other parts of itself while still in body. But also change, process, flow. Life, in a word.

F: I am hearing, life goes on, transformation or not.

R: How else could it be? People get tired, conceptually, and they give way every so often to a longing for things to stop changing. But is that really what they want?

F: No, they want things to stop hurting.

R: May I suggest, they have a headache and want people to stop banging a drum next to them. It isn’t that they want things to stop, paralyzed, in their tracks, but that they want the volume turned down. And you know the answer to that.

F: I do. I was always surprised you spent so much time watching CNN, even though I realized that your active mind needed something to fix on. But – the news? And, particularly, the news day and night? Yet it never turned you negative, never dimmed your optimism in any way I ever noticed.

R: My outer life had been reduced to minimal demands. My mobility was limited, I had people to take care of the everyday needs for me – I was very fortunate in that. Therefore, the barrage of reported strife and chaos and recurrent crisis and rumor of crisis to come did not add to an already burdened psyche.

F: I do see the difference. And I suppose you weren’t really a news junkie, you just needed to keep your mind active.

R: You helped with that, you know. Our time together was very good for me, because there in the house was this energetic, optimistic, expressive personality with one foot still in the outer world of authors and thinkers and the other in my own world of the Institute and our joint pursuits and fascinations. So you’d come “bouncing down the stairs,” as Little Rita used to say [“Little Rita” refers to Rita Fisher, for many years Rita’s – Big Rita’s – caregiver in many small practical ways], and it would be a gust of fresh air with something new – part of your novel about Gateway, say, or your latest conversation with somebody, or ideas that had come to you for us to consider.

F: Not to mention our weekly sessions with the guys, which was your idea, remember.

R: It was my idea in so far as I suggested it, thinking we would be recreating the booth sessions more conveniently for me, in my own house, and more conveniently for you, after the end of your work day. Neither one of us, I think, had any idea what lay in store for us.

F: A total rearrangement of how we saw the world.

R: And, gradually, how we lived in the world, as ideas settled in.

F: Those were good times.

R: Yes they were. And had there been less of an age disparity between us, people would have suspected we were lovers.

F: They probably did anyway! Your daughters did, or pretended to. But we certainly did love each other in the agape sense of the word. Are we off-topic, here?

R: I’m smiling, metaphorically at least. From the non-3D end of things, there is no “off-topic,” because everything leads to everything else and there are no artificial divisions that 3D and especially the ever-moving present moment tempts you to see as real.

But even in 3D terms, we aren’t off-topic. The topic is, or could be seen as, living the change as it comes along and making a thousand incremental adjustments or – depending on one’s conscious or unconscious preference – a few major jolts, or any combination thereof.

F: And the connection?

R: Read The Sphere and the Hologram! It’s all there. That’s the process that moved us into a new way of experiencing the world.

F: Are you advising people to read it as their way to move?

R: No, I’m saying to you, Frank, that the implicit connection between the topic and our pleasant reminiscence should be obvious to you if you will re-read or at least look into our sessions again after what will seem to you a long time. In essence,

F: Lost it. And getting tired though it has been only 50 minutes.

R: Almost done for the moment. I started by using your relocation as metaphor for living amid change. Then I said, people get overwhelmed by its manifestation around them. I reminded you that you and I created a different sub-set of the world centered in love and in mutual interest and, behind our own backs you might say, we created a body of work that proved to be more enduring than we would have expected when we began it.

That’s what people can do. Create their own community in love, as for example, many TMI program participants do. Keep a connection with the non-3D world for emotional balance and intellectual stimulations.

F: And turn off the television!

R: I’m smiling again. That’s the point – I never did turn off the television, but I balanced all that tension and negativity with the positive aspects of my own life around me. Your own path isn’t for everybody, you know.

F: One of the Three Great Lies: “One size fits all.”

R: And don’t forget it. But it is true that anyone’s path may serve as example to others. Only remember that Thoreau himself told people not to blindly imitate him, but only take a hint if it happened to apply. Okay, that’s enough for the morning.

F: And it has been just an hour. Thank you, Rita. They were eight good years we had. Till next time.

Saturday March 21, 2015

F: 5:50 a.m. Am I “here” enough for any real dialogue, after so many days of busyness and company? Miss Rita, what say you?

R: It is good that you realize – as representative of those who undertake this path – that the variable is always, not are “they” on “the other side” ready and willing, but, are you? Because we are not carried along by the ever-moving present moment, we are always available, and cannot be too tied up for you. This is multi-tasking, only without the slight overtone of distraction of split focus that must inevitably accompany multi-tasking in 3D.

F: Okay.

R: You have many reorganizations to accomplish in your life, and for a while it may seem like a whirlwind, but remember your insight about Hemingway’s final years.

F: Rightly or wrongly, I got that Papa’s last years were somewhat shaped by an increasing discomfort with being away from the Finca. He got too ensconced in a routine, even though that routine included having many people around him. After a certain point, he became uncomfortable, then somewhat fearful, of the uncertainties of travel. But I may be seeing this wrong.

R: In any case, whenever you read of someone’s life and search it for lessons for yourself, what you are left with is what resonates for you – thus, it has value for yourself regardless whether it could be said to be “objectively” true.

F: Yes, I get that. Like flipping a coin to make a decision. It’s a very efficient way to see how you feel about it. You flip the coin, and then you don’t necessarily do what the coin toss indicates, but you do know, more clearly, whether you are happy it came up heads rather than tails or vice-versa.

R: Now go do the many things you have to do today. I will be here as you (or anyone) desire.

F: Okay. One of those things to do will be to send this out, as a place-holder if nothing else. Till we can really talk again.

Sunday March 15, 2015

[At the TMI Professional Division program. Al Dahlberg, Jon Holt and Richard Werling all knew Rita, they all knew me, and they were interested in my experiments with ILC. After supper, we sat around the table in the Fox Den and they took turns asking a question, and I then conveyed question and answer by using my usual procedure of writing in the journal, and then reading them what I got. This rather public procedure was, of course, quite a change from my normal procedure, but I was curious to know if it would work.]

7 p.m. [Al:] “How’s Martin?”

[Martin, Rita’s husband, who pre-deceased her by eight years, was well known to the TMI community for his work with Rita in conducting lab sessions – that is, sessions in the “black box.”]

R: Martin.is fine—remember, “all is well.”  But seriously, to answer the question in the way it is posed would be to assume the primacy of the individual as he appears in 3D rather than the coalescence of the community that Martin comprised while in 3D. Put it this way – Martin is in “mission accomplished” mode. As we all are, as you all will be, once the difficulty will be forgotten and the achievement more evident.

By the way, I like what you are doing, all of you. I feel your joint presence.

[Jon:] Send my regards. What does she have to say about error on your side? [Meaning, as I found by questioning his for clarification, the possibility that they on their side might err in setting up the conditions of our lives.]

R: We have to say, Jon – lighten up! Nothing is that serious. That is to say, what you see as error comes from your judgment of the difference between what is and what should be. We can’t see it that way, if only because we see all paths equally. But this deserves a fuller answer, at another time.

[Al:] Does Rita have suggestions about the Explorer program TMI is thinking about starting up again, and should it include ETs. [ The Explorer program encouraged people to conduct altered-state sessions in the black box to try to fulfill Bob’s mandate to “bring back something of value to mankind.”]

R: What a great thing to see the Explorers start up again. I am delighted. Okay, these are some thoughts, but of course you in the body are to judge whether to accept any or all of them.

First, remember that the times have changed. What seemed advanced for us in the 1980s would be as deadly dull and [illegible] in your time as you, Frank, found your Lifeline program last year. So – don’t let old structures overawe you in structuring the new program. Use it for suggestion, then follow your joint understandings and intuitions.

Second, remember that your intent is not merely – possibly not even primarily – to gather information. More important is the development of everyone participating.

Plus – everyone listening to the result is to be considered a participant, no matter how much later they listen. Remember that.

As to content – ET’s or any subject whatever – I would say, simply, don’t rule anything out, but follow your joint sense of fitness at the time. And don’t hesitate to change your minds with the times. What you rule out today you may wish back in tomorrow.

[Dick:] Thank Rita for arranging this meeting. Do you have advice for Dick in helping people with death and dying? [Me, on what had been said previously:] You heard Dick, should TMI structure a program to help with death and dying?

R: How many times already have you heard me express my thanks, in turn, for people listening and participating? For

F: Lost it.

R: You know that we in non-3D appreciate the attention from 3D. It can be so satisfying to communicate, and so frustrating to want to help and find no listening ear. So, thanks in return, Dick – and Al and Jon.

About death and dying – you

[blank pause]

F: Where’d you go?

R: your anxiety was interfering with your reception.

[Later, after the others left to listen to the next speaker, I remained at the table with my journal and pen.]

F: Okay, let’s try that again. I am surprised how great the pressure was, just from knowing that people were waiting to hear.

R: Yes, a good lesson for you. A new experience, a new tool in the toolbox.

F: Nonetheless, I’m kind of glad to return to our familiar interaction.

R: The rubber band likes relaxing back to normal, too.

F: Very funny. All right, can we get the answer to Dick’s question now?

R: Yes, and I want to make a comment for you to give to others when you talk about how to do this. Bear in mind, different kinds of pressure affect different people in different ways. A tautology, of course, but it bears repeating. What you find distracting – the presence of other conversations, or the waiting of others for answers, or, hypothetically, the pressure of an audience with you as performer – another type of person would find stimulating. Similarly, relatively few would prefer writing to merely speaking. It is all an adjustment of technique according to predilection. Therefore you can’t lay down hard and fast rules for the process – not that you yourself are thinking in those terms, but it is well to state it for the record.

Now, this has more to do with Dick’s question than might appear. Because the advice I began to give about the Explorers pertains, in the same way.

Don’t make hard and fast rules, or, if you must, make the rule not to make hard and fast rules.

F: I’m smiling. That matches my temperament, of course.

R:: You don’t say!

F: Yeah, yeah. So — ?

R: Well, it is easy to wind up making rules without even quite noticing them. You know how it is. You do something that works and you tend to repeat it, of course, and it is a small step to then assume that that something is essential, whereas in fact it may have been helpful only for some extraneous reason, or only for that moment – or, indeed, may have had nothing at all to do with that particular success.

So, be wary of rules lest they become chains. You remember Joe’s story about his cool-down process.

[This refers to Joseph McMoneagle, who was of course known to Rita very well, and over many years. Every so often it becomes clear that Rita prefers that I summarize something. I speculate that this is because it’s easier on me to record something I know than to quote her. However, that is only speculation.]

F: Oh yes. He said that in his early days as a remote viewer, he began deducing necessary attributes and conditions if he was going to be able to reach his cool-down state [and thus be able to begin remote viewing], and then one day he realized that the list was so long, he would be unable to be of any practical use in the real world. So he scrapped it all, and found he never had needed it.

R: To help people deal with the process of death and dying, your primary audience should probably be relations and care-givers, not the dying themselves. Again, no hard and fast rules, but in general, you want people who need tools, because it is tools you can give them.

The chief tool is their own conscious or unconscious fear of death. Until they deal with this, how can they help others who are in the midst of a process that they or a part of themselves are terrified by?

And how do that? You can’t predictably give them an NDE! Nor an OBE, after so many years of Gateways and Lifelines. Nor does the testimony of others provide conviction of sufficient strength to serve. So what is left?

F: Not intellectual argument, I imagine.

R: Actually, that can be a small part of it, in the same way you start to teach access to guidance by logically destroying people’s reasons for thinking it not possible. Make the intellectual arguments against death being what it seems – but somewhat briefly, almost (not quite) in passing. But then go on to other things.

Deal with the practicalities of dying from the dying person’s point of view, to give the caregivers a heads-up as to where their loved one may be emotionally and mentally. This may not seem like much, but how are the caregiver and the patient to deepen their empathy and support if they are not remotely on the same page?

If you can give them some pointed suggestions – a list, maybe – of practical things that may be bothering the dying, it will give the caregiver the chance to see if these or any of them are on the agenda, and if so, help them deal with them, so that deeper issues may arise and be addressed.

Techniques for talking about fears and regrets and hopes – on both sides – will be helpful.

But all of this is prolog to the real work, the real joy, of lovingly holding the space for a smooth transition. Tell of your Egyptian death [as relived in TMI’s Timeline program in 2003].

F: Too much to write here, but the gist was that the old man knew his time was near, and so did his community. They gave him something to drink that would take him away in half an hour or so. He lay in bed, and the other monks – 13 of them, I think, though I don’t know if the number is important – stood in a big horseshoe-shaped line around this bed and did two things. They toned to provide a smooth background, and they stayed with him mentally as he left, so he would not get lost. This was all done in a quiet, ceremonial, joyous way. Mission accomplished, as you said.

R: So you see why a TMI course on Death and Dying should really be a course in Accompanying the Dying, and it should be severely practical but never forgetting that, after all, the practical result being aimed at is a successful transition. It is not a lack of pain, or love and forgiveness, or minimizing the adverse impact on those to be left behind. All these are good subsidiary goals, but they are subsidiary, not primary. Orient your course around helping people achieve a successful transition, and it will shape itself. This by the way is very good work.

F: More on Al’s question?

R: At another time, gladly. But you’ve don’t enough. [And it was true, I was feeling tired.]

F: Okay. Our thanks as always.

or, as the TV used to say, Don’t touch that dial!

I have been busy; closing on a house, then participating in the TMI Professional Division seminar, then moving into the house. But some interesting things have been happening, and I hope to talk to Rita again soon. Talked to her during the PD for some friends, and that was interesting, doing it while people looked on.