(M.J.E. Spirit / Sat., 15 Oct., 1994)

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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Saturday, 15 October, 1994

      Michael: Good evening, Bivalia. How are you?

      Bivalia:[a] I am well, Michael, thank you. And you?

      Michael: Okay, I guess.

      Bivalia: Okay, are you? Is that all?

      Michael: I guess so. It's no secret that in this life I never feel much more than okay - sometimes considerably worse. And I'm not going to pretend otherwise in the guise of what I consider false positivity.

      Bivalia: I do not ask that of you. But if you had a wider perspective, as I assure you you will one day, perhaps much sooner than you realize, you would realize that you are much more than okay, that a glorious future lies ahead of you, and of me too, for you and I are really the one at the deepest levels that count the most.

      Michael: I dare say you're right; but I just don't have that awareness as of now.

      Bivalia: That's quite all right. You can take all the time you like to reach that awareness; there's no hurry whatsoever. But I do appreciate your desire to reach that point as quickly as possible, and I can assure you I am doing all I can to help you achieve this, as are many of the Masters who have connections with you.

      Michael: I hope you're right.

      Bivalia: Of course I am. You don't get to be a Higher Self without getting to know a few things in life, even if I am somewhat less than omniscient. But even that's only a matter of time. All beings in the universe are evolving, and getting ever closer and closer to knowing all things. But because there's an infinite amount of knowledge, perhaps we never get to the point of knowing it all, but we get ever closer to that all that time; and, what's more important, we get to a point where we know, if not literally everything, at least everything we need for our own well-being and perfect happiness. I know you feel you are far from this point, but the time is coming when you and I will achieve perfect unity, and you will reach this point where you will be able to know anything you want to know.
      Meanwhile, you are a little late reporting to me, are you not?

      Michael: Well, it crossed my mind a few times to have another session, but, you know, things come up which put it off.

      Bivalia: Yes, I know. And yet things have been happening to you, things that it would be good to talk with me about, have they not?

      Michael: Well, well, you're beginning to sound like Sananda - "have they not?", indeed.

      Bivalia: One tends to pick up little habits from those one associates with and those one loves.

      Michael: I guess so. Anyway, I hope you're not offended at my tardiness in reporting to you.

      Bivalia: I was only speaking in jest. You don't have to write these sessions if they are a burdensome chore. But I like these sessions with you, and I think you do too, once you get down to it, even if it's difficult for you for various reasons to get round to it.
      Anyway, would you like to tell me any news you might have? Something to do with Kuthumi, perhaps?

      Michael: Oh, it's just that, as you probably know very well, Kuthumi channelled through Ralčah a few weeks ago, and, I forget how it came up, but I asked Kuthumi a question or two, one of them about composing music. And we also talked about the fact that he was Johann Sebastian Bach in one of his incarnations. And, you know, he offered to work with me, helping me compose music, which I accepted. I'd be silly to turn down an offer of musical help from J. S. Bach, I suppose.
      Well, for a couple of weeks I did nothing about it, and felt vaguely guilty; but, you know, my place is so crowded and messy composing is just about impossible anyway, and I don't often feel inclined to even try, when, as so often happens, what I write is rather mediocre anyway - with some notable exceptions. But then, even when I get a first-rate idea that seems quite inspired, as seems to happen every now and then, almost invariably I don't finish it for some reason, and I lose the thread of the idea. And once that happens, it's quite difficult to pick it up again later.
      I think the problem is that while I like the idea of writing wonderful music and getting inspiration, and all that - it seems very romantic and magical, somehow - I don't, on the other hand, much like the hard work and grind that composing really involves, the self-discipline you must exercise to actually get it done, and completed. And self-discipline is something I almost totally lack.

      Bivalia: Well, that need not continue to be so for the rest of time.

      Michael: Well, anyway, about three weeks ago, Mum happened to say to me, "It's a year ago today that Granny died", and I thought a few times over the next couple of weeks that it would be nice to write a little piano piece in memory of her: not a gloomy funereal sort of piece, but a nice happy peaceful composition which would somehow reflect nice memories of her. I tried to start a piece, but it wouldn't seem to come. (I'm not sure if this was before Kuthumi's offer to help me compose, or not. I'd have to check a few dates on that.)
      I put the few bars of this piece aside, and a bit later, a different idea came to me. And this time (I think the first serious attempt to compose after Kuthumi's offer, if not the first attempt altogether), the music just seemed to come out, and it was very good. It's not on the level of a great symphony or anything, and doesn't even pretend or try to be. But, within its scope, it's very good.
      When I say the music just seemed to come out, I don't mean it was like channelling, where I just wrote down something that originated from outside my mind. It originated in my mind all right (as far as I can tell), and I made decisions about what to do, and all that; but once I knew what I wanted to do, the music just seemed to fall into place somehow in a way it rarely does with me. It just seemed to do what I wanted it to. I just wish I could do that all the time.

      Bivalia: Well, if you continue to keep in touch with the Masters and continue to work with Kuthumi, I'm sure you will be able to do that more and more as time goes by, so that you need never look back again.

      Michael: In actual fact, whether it's a suitable piece for Granny's memory, I don't know. That was the inspiration, but the piece is a bit like ragtime in style, with a syncopation reminiscent of that style, but with a more classical expressiveness. I really don't know if this sort of style is at all appropriate for Granny's memory; perhaps something a little staider might have been better for that.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. That's what came, and your thoughts and feelings, which went into the music, are good ones, and very likely they are helping your grandmother in the realm where she is now.
      You are thinking, aren't you, that it was not quite the sort of music she herself would have played on the piano, and that therefore it's not an appropriate memorial to her?

      Michael: Something like that. She had rather conservative musical tastes, and it's possible this piece might have exceeded them, although not really radically.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. It is not for you to try to guess what she would have liked or not; and as for her playing the piano, she played only by ear, didn't she? And the sort of music she did play might have been limited in scope merely because of lack of technical ability. No matter, whatever the case about that. You had the idea, and this music you wrote, which is undeniably full of feeling, is what came out. It is valid simply because it is what you felt. I can assure you, if you had set out to write a piece in her memory and had been overly concerned with what you guessed (perhaps quite wrongly) she might have liked, you would have produced something stilted and routine, not with the feeling your piece in fact has.

      Michael: I suppose you're right. Anyway, I can only write the way I feel (just generally, not only in this instance), and for some reason, this raggy style seemed to come out. It's a gentle sort of lilting ragginess, nothing really jangly or rattly, which some ragtime pieces can be. It's got quite a lush style of harmony, and it begins a little wistfully, with a really subtle dusky sort of harmony a little reminiscent of certain types of jazz, although without the hard-driving sort of feel a lot of jazz has. Rather, it's a gentle lilting sort of tune, quite haunting.
      It begins in A-flat minor, a key with 7 flats in it (the maximum possible), and a couple of musical people (at the Church of Antioch where I go every few weeks) who saw it said things to me like, "Are you a masochist or something, writing in 7 flats?", and the like. (I might point out that I must write the music in the key in which it comes, no matter how remote or difficult it might be; and those keys with lots of sharps or flats are only difficult to most people because they're not familiar with them; but I actually tend to like using those keys a lot.)
      After the wistful theme, the piece moves to a new section in C-flat major (also 7 flats), and it just seems to burst out into soaring melody. I've written one melody in C-flat major, and part of a second one to come after that, and related to it. These parts are a little more straightforward in style than the minor-key bit, and have a lot of feeling in them, and even a lot of tenderness. (Incidentally, C-flat major is nothing other than my favourite key, B major, in enharmonic disguise.)
      I intend to come back to the wistful bit again, then conclude with the major-key part again, this time in A-flat major (only 4 flats this time), and extended a little bit, so that the whole piece will be in an A-B-A-B form. You see, the piece isn't finished yet, but has progressed enough that I can see that it's good. In fact, it's unusually good for me.

      Bivalia: Well, this is very interesting. It certainly makes one think. Could it be a coincidence that Kuthumi offered to help you, and then this happened?

      Michael: I don't know. I certainly didn't feel Kuthumi's presence, or anything mystical like that. I would really like to be able to feel mystical things like that. But I certainly wonder if it's more than a coincidence. And when I had a past-life reading with Sananda (channelling through Ralčah), he confirmed to me that indeed Kuthumi had been with me helping me, and was ready to do more, and better.
      But not only did I not feel Kuthumi's presence, but when I started the piece, I even forgot to call him in at all (sorry, Kuthumi!). Only when I was part-way in did I remember, and then I called him to help me - but still felt nothing.

      Bivalia: That doesn't matter much. Feeling things like that will come as you develop spiritually. It needn't prevent you from getting the benefit of the Masters' help. And I'm sure Kuthumi wouldn't be offended at your forgetting to call him. The Masters are beyond taking offence or feeling slighted; they wouldn't be Masters if they were still caught up in all that stuff. To say otherwise would be like talking about an honest man who just happens sometimes to rob banks; it's a contradiction in terms.

      Michael: But what about free-will and all that? The Masters sometimes tell us they can do nothing for us until we ask, because they can't interfere with our free-will and impose themselves on us without our consent. And I didn't ask when I began the piece.

      Bivalia: While it is true they cannot impose themselves on you, when we talk about your asking them, it doesn't necessarily have to mean asking in words, like a prayer (although that certainly is one way of asking them). If all along it was your definite intention to ask Kuthumi's help, that would be sufficient. Yes, I would definitely say so; you do seem to be getting in tune with the Masters more and more, and I would say that's what happened.

      Michael: Yes, it's strange. Even other people whom I would consider much more advanced than me seem to comment on the way I seem to be close to and intimate with the Masters.

      Bivalia: My friend, you are not as far behind some of these people as you may think. As for the obvious ways in which you are different from those people, there are special reasons for that, as Sananda has told you, things to do with previous lives, the persecution you suffered for being steadfast in truth, which has caused you, at certain levels, to close up and retreat into a shell of forgetfulness. But Sananda spoke truly when he told you at the Crea workshop that underneath you were still maintaining a thread of truth, and that in this life-time he had come to call you back to a full knowing of who you are and what your purpose is.

      Michael: Yes, I remember. It does seem to fit me in certain ways, and Crea wouldn't have known me from a bar of soap, so she couldn't have just made it up herself, I guess. And I do seem to be feeling a bit closer to some of the Masters. I must say Jesus, or Sananda, means much more to me now than at any previous time in my life with the more conventional religious views of him.

      Bivalia: Do you still feel sceptical about the reality of the Masters, and other spiritual things?

      Michael: Well, in one way I do; but if assuming their reality leads to results like this piece I'm writing, I'm quite prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. All my rational analysis of things, I still believe to be valid on its own level. But that doesn't seem to lead anywhere satisfying; only to a materialistic view of life, and with the spectre of death, and no life after death, hanging over my head all the time, making life quite pointless. I've decided to try to be open-minded about spiritual things, however little proof there may be for them. There's nothing to lose, except perhaps a misplaced pride in the scientific way of looking at life, which I think I'm a bit less enchanted with now, and perhaps a lot to gain.

      Bivalia: I'm very glad to hear you say that. Perhaps you are using your heart a little more and your head, well not less, but more in the places where head-stuff properly belongs. You aren't making such a god out of head-stuff now. And one benefit you might get out of composing music, if you can get back into it again, is that it will encourage your heart to develop, because music is at least as much about feelings as about intellect, if not more so.

      Michael: I guess you're right. I wonder if excessive emphasis on intellect and mistrust of and distaste for feelings was one of the things that made writing music seem to decline in my life in recent years.

      Bivalia: I would say that it's part of it, although it's probably not quite as simple as being just this or just that.

      Michael: No, it isn't.

      Bivalia: Well, what are you going to call the piece?

      Michael: I don't know. I still haven't quite got around to deciding whether it is a proper piece in memory of Granny, despite what you say. I'll just have to think about that a bit more. And then, even if I decide it is, I can't quite decide what title would best reflect that anyway. The only idea I had was to call it simply "In Memory", with a subheading reading something like "For my grandmother, Gertrude Pauline Turner, 1897 - 1993"; but somehow that sounds a bit pompous, and I seem to feel uneasy about displaying such a title publicly.

      Bivalia: I don't see what's wrong with it myself. I'm sure other composers have done a similar thing.

      Michael: Perhaps so. I suppose I have a few hang-ups about displaying something so openly emotional in public.

      Bivalia: Perhaps that is one of the things you could beneficially work on in this life-time.

      Michael: You may be right. I can't really say much more now than that I need to think about it further.

      Bivalia: Of course.

      Michael: There's another thing about Granny's death that bothers me a little.

      Bivalia: What is that, dear one?

      Michael: In the year since she died, I don't seem to have gone through a grieving process. I cared about her, and we were quite close in a way, but I don't seem to be conscious of missing her. I know it sounds awful to say this, but I must be honest with you.

      Bivalia: Thank you for being honest with me; but what else would I expect? What you have just told me might be because, deep down, although you may not be conscious of it now, you know that she is better off where she is now, that she is being looked after, and that in your astral travels at night you are able to meet her and help her.

      Michael: I'm not aware of doing any of that. But I hope she is better off where she is now.

      Bivalia: Of course she is. She isn't half-blind, half-deaf, mentally vague, and arthritic there. She has all her faculties there, and is really enjoying life much more than she did during her final decade or so on Earth.

      Michael: Yes, it was awful, those things that happened to her health in her final years. I think I was especially close to her as a child, perhaps the closest of all her eight grandchildren, and even right up to her death, I think I remained the closest grandchild.
      But it has to be said that she and I inhabited different universes, especially during my adulthood. If a stranger had got to know both of us separately, he would have not had the slightest reason to think there would be anything whatsoever to draw Granny and me close together. And I was sometimes conscious of this gap. It was a relationship that was close in some ways, but which didn't connect at all in other ways. Quite different from my relationships with certain other people.

      Bivalia: Of course; this is the way. You do not have the same kind of relationship with everyone.

      Michael: And it must be said that, in the final years, it almost felt at times as if she weren't really there fully anyway. Her life was constricted by partial blindness and partial deafness, the latter of which made conversation difficult physically, and she grew vague and forgetful, which made conversation difficult mentally and emotionally, so it's almost as if when she died, she had already been partly gone anyway. I wonder if that's why it had less impact on me than I expected.

      Bivalia: It seems quite possible, from what you say. When you say she was partially gone, you probably meant that as a figure of speech, but it may be more literally true than you realize. When we say elderly vague people are away with the fairies, this is very often quite literally true. They do leave their bodies at times, and do spend time in the astral or higher. Doubtless some of them are aware of nature spirits, or fairies, as you commonly call certain varieties of nature spirit, and perhaps some people may be drawn to them, or to other features of the higher realms. You see, many popular figures of speech have more literal truth in them than many people realize. Your dear grandmother might indeed have been "away with the fairies" or "spaced out" or "not with it" or "with her head in the clouds".

      Michael: Maybe; but all the same, it was sad to see her declining so gradually over a decade or more, and for years before her death, I was aware that, because of her difficulties, and perhaps partly because of some of my own difficulties, our relationship didn't seem quite what it used to be.

      Bivalia: This is so to some extent, but not nearly as much as you imagine. She did not view your relationship as declining or more restricted in any way. I think your view is being influenced by that special magic and wonder that seems to infuse and pervade childhood, when your relationship began and grew, and because that magic often does seem to evaporate in adulthood, the relationship seemed to you duller than before. (Never fear, that magic will not be lost forever! I know you do think wistfully of that sometimes. A time will come when you will be aware of the spiritual reality that was the true origin of that magic.)
      To her, things looked rather different. As she grew older, and was more restricted in what she could do, she continued to value your company, perhaps even more than before in the final years. You were very dear to her, and still are, and, you know, your explanations of metaphysical truth to her, crude and primitive though you may think them, have been an enormous help to her, and are helping her right now in the realm where she now lives.

      Michael: But she didn't even seem sure whether she believed it all or not, and I don't think she understood a lot of what I said, even though I tried to explain things clearly so that she wouldn't get over her depth.

      Bivalia: It matters not in the slightest. She knows more now, thanks to those guides who are now helping her, and thanks also in no small measure to what you told her. This made it enormously easier for her to accept the help her guides are giving her now. You in effect prepared her in advance for what was to come now.

      Michael: Well, I hope you're right.

      Bivalia: I can assure you this is so. But I won't rub it in too much for fear that full knowledge of these things may make you lose control of your emotions and cry, and thus interfere with this session.

      Michael: I think her firm Christian faith would also have got in the way of her accepting some of what I told her.

      Bivalia: This is so. And much of what she believed was not truth as we see it in the higher realms, and the knowledge you shared with her has helped her greatly to get beyond the limits of dogma, and to accept a broader view of truth.

      Michael: Well, all this is very nice. But why didn't I grieve for her much? Why don't I miss her now? Why does my life just go on as normal?

      Bivalia: Because you know the truth of things deep down, things you may not be aware of in your conscious life, but which still have an indirect effect on your conscious awareness. You do not miss her as much as you might expect because you still spend time with her at night, and still help her. You may be totally unaware of this, but it prevents the sense of missing her from building up very high.
      You spoke of the impression that she didn't seem fully with it in her final years. In a manner of speaking you could say she had already partially loosened her ties with your physical world, and that death merely completed the process.
      You spoke of the sadness of watching her decline. This was a form of grief. You had grief at losing her, but you see, just as she loosened her ties gradually over many years, as her mind got vague, your grief was gradually expressed too, in the form of watching her decline, and being aware that your relationship didn't seem quite the same.
      You never called it grief, because it was too gradual; but, because of this, when she died, you didn't feel as much sadness as you expected, partly for the reason that I explained before that your awareness of her true condition after death and your ability to be with her during sleep made such sadness unnecessary, but also partly because, over those years of decline, much of your grief had already been released gradually.
      Also, because you knew how difficult life had become for her, your sense of loss was much tempered by almost a feeling of gladness, of relief, for her, that her physical difficulties were now over, that it would be to her as if the bad dream was now over, and dawn had broken.

      Michael: You borrowed that from C. S. Lewis.

      Bivalia: I plead guilty. Where I am, we have no sense of possessiveness about ideas; we gladly share them with each other if they are apt. Jack Lewis, as he is commonly known, is a beautiful being with insight into many things.
      I certainly hope you aren't going around feeling guilty for not breaking down into total grief, for not weeping and wailing and gnashing your teeth, all the traditional image of what grief is. There are indeed people for whom grief is literally like this: they visit the grave religiously every week for years and weep tears over it; they keep bedrooms for years exactly as they were at the moment of the loved one's death.
      I can assure you that this would not help your beloved grandmother in the slightest. Perhaps this is an extreme form of grief, with the grave-and-bedroom bit; but even the more normal signs of grief, carried on over months, the weeping and feelings of sadness and guilt over all the things you failed to do for the loved one - all those things do not help the loved one at all.
      If you did things like this following your grandmother's death for any length of time, indeed, it would sadden her and would tend to hold her back to the Earth plane where she doesn't belong any longer. Every time people behave this way on a protracted basis, and feel these emotions for long periods of time, it creates ties between the one who has died and the physical world; and these ties tend to hold her back, like myriads of threads tying her down that she must break in order to be free. She can do this, and will receive help in doing this, but it makes her transition more difficult than it need be.
      I'm not talking here about giving expression to the normal feelings of grief, perhaps even a bit of regret or guilt, that most people are normal enough to feel after a loved one has died. It is normal to do this for a time; it does no significant harm to the departed one. What I am talking about, and what is particularly harmful to the departed one, is carrying these feelings and this behaviour on over long periods of time.
      Be glad you aren't doing this, that her other relatives don't appear to be doing it either - not regretful. And certainly don't feel guilt over not giving the usual signs of grief, or not feeling the things you think you should. There's no "should" about it; you simply feel what you feel, and don't feel what you don't. That really is all there is to it.

      Michael: No, I'm not going on a guilt trip, not feeling guilty or anything. But all the same it bothered me a bit.
      I didn't feel a thing at the funeral, you know, not even when the coffin was brought into the church. And I must say one of the hymns sung at the service went on a bit too much for my liking about "the Fiend" and "the Prince of Darkness". And the usual church teachings that were referred to at various times tend to give me a heavy dull feeling somehow.
      After the service, the gathering at my aunt Joan I.'s place afterwards just seemed a normal family gathering (to me, at least), and life just then went on, although I did write about 5 pages about my grandmother as part of a long letter to a friend of mine who lives in Greece, Roger G. But, otherwise, life just went on normally, and I think I was vaguely bothered a bit at this.

      Bivalia: There is no need to be bothered even a bit. Your apparent lack of grief is because of the things I have already said; that is all.

      Michael: I hope you're right.

      Bivalia: And I wouldn't be bothered by your lack of feelings at the funeral other than the heaviness and dullness you mentioned. If "the Fiend" and "the Prince of Darkness" were the order of the day, I think it would be a little too heavy for my taste also. And your lack of supposedly "appropriate" feeling at the service, and the heavy dull feeling you got, were probably simply due to your deep awareness of truth, and your recognition that much of "churchianity" is a very limited view of truth indeed.

      Michael: Only once or twice, soon after Granny died, did something seem to happen to me emotionally. I play the organ for the Eucharist every few weeks at the Church of Antioch (a sort of New-Age version of Christian faith, a bit like the Liberal Catholic Church), and there's a bit in the service where prayers are said for healing for the sick, for the dead, and so on. After Granny's death, Franck, the Australian Archbishop of the Church of Antioch, who was doing the service while I played the organ, mentioned her, and for a little while, while I was sitting at the organ (not playing at that moment, fortunately), I seemed to feel tears welling up, with an uprush of emotion. But I had to suppress it, because I thought I might lose control of myself and cry, right there in front of everyone in the middle of the Eucharist when I had to keep control of myself to finish playing the service. I would also have been embarrassed to cry in front of other people.
      I think it also happened a week or two later, again when her name was included in the prayers; but, other than that, I haven't really felt anything much at all.

      Bivalia: Well, it might have been nice if you could have felt free to cry openly in front of the congregation, all of whom would have been supportive; they are all people you know and like, whatever differences of outlook you and they may have. It wouldn't have interfered nearly as much with your playing as you think.
      But I understand why you didn't feel free to cry openly. No matter; in spite of that, you were able to release some of the sadness you felt. Be thankful that you didn't have the agonies many people do in coping with grief caused by the death of a loved one. Be assured that it doesn't mean you didn't love her less than other people.
      You may not be as aware of loving others as some other people may be, but that is simply because you have in this life always had a problem about emotions; difficulty in feeling them, uneasiness about them, a fear of appearing sentimental and weak, and difficulty in even being aware of things like love.
      It matters not, dear one. This is one of the things you have to work on in this life. You are not as badly off in this respect as you think.
      You look at other people and think their emotions are normal, and that they have a normal capacity to love others. You look at yourself and compare yourself with what you think other people are like, and judge yourself as unable to love.
      You are mistaken, beloved one. You might be surprised if you could get inside the head and heart of those other "normal" people and really feel how things are for them, how unloving they sometimes feel, how messed up their emotions are. Many times, they are putting on a front, dictated by what they think other people expect, or good manners, or a sense of propriety, and the like.
      You, my friend, do have a strong tendency to just show what is there. You almost don't know how to pretend things that aren't real. This is why people sometimes think you lack social graces, and sometimes regard you as a little on the tactless side. Although you try not to hurt people, you tend not to bother with putting on façades because of what people expect. Perhaps you have a slight feeling that, as long as you're not actually hurting or offending others, others should simply take you as you come.
      But it makes no difference to your real feelings. You may have certain emotional problems that many other people don't have to contend with, but you are not deficient in the emotions that count, such as love and compassion. And be assured that huge numbers of people also have harrowing emotional problems that you are spared.

      Michael: And perhaps there was another form of release of any grief I might have had. I don't know; but I'll tell you and see what you think.

      Bivalia: Please tell me, my friend.

      Michael: A year or two before Granny died, she fell ill. I think she had a fall, if I remember rightly, and because of her frailty by this stage (she was about 94 or 95, remember) it hit her much worse than it normally would have done. I forget the exact course of events, but I think she was immobilized, got stiff, and developed respiratory problems somehow, and had to go to hospital. Anyway, the details of how it happened don't matter now.
      She was in the Bellbird Hospital in Blackburn, just half a mile or so from where my parents lived at the time, and I visited her once.
      A time came when she seemed to get weaker and weaker, and she refused to eat. I fully expected to hear any day that she had died. I went about my life as normal, but every now and then I allowed myself to ruminate on what it might be like if she died. I'd never lost anyone as close as that before, and really didn't know what it would be like, but from what you hear sometimes, it seemed that grief is one of the most terrible things a person can experience.
      Anyway, as these thoughts went through my mind, I felt the bittersweet emotions of long-ago childhood memories with their special magic, which Granny comes into in all sorts of ways, and I felt tears almost coming, but, once again, I didn't allow them to come out fully (even though I was by myself at the time). Also, this music seemed to come into my mind, and it appeared to be the opening of a symphony in B minor. I wrote it down, feeling vaguely uneasy about the idea of getting musical ideas from contemplating someone's death, especially someone I'm supposed to care about.
      And I can tell you, those couple of dozen bars I sketched were, and are, very good, too. I decided to write a symphony in B minor based on this idea.

      Bivalia: And you were telling me you felt nothing at all. If this isn't releasing of grief, I don't know what is. It's just that you sublimated it into musical inspiration instead of weeping and wailing, so you didn't recognize just what you were doing.

      Michael: But you're forgetting this happened a year or two before Granny died.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. You were anticipating something you felt was very likely to happen within days or even hours, and which was at least certain to happen within a few years at the most. If you cope with such anticipation in the right way, it can count as releasing grief.

      Michael: Well, the music is rather elegiac in feeling: rather sad, almost funereal, but with very intense feeling - and a certain tenderness at the same time. I've rarely written anything with such intensity of expression.

      Bivalia: You were releasing much, my friend, even just in those couple of dozen bars of music, unfinished as they are. You would be surprised if you could see what those musical thoughts created on the astral plane.

      Michael: And I decided to make a symphony out of it, but it wasn't going to be all sad like the opening. It would cover a wide range of feeling in its various parts. And I thought I would let the conflict between the keys of B major and B minor play a role, representing the conflict between life and death, and the very last chord of the symphony would be a combination of both B major and B minor, representing the unsolved riddles of life and death. It would be a soft long-drawn chord, just fading away into nothing, fading into eternity. (B major is my very favourite musical key, actually.)
      And I thought if I can go on to write the whole thing, I would dedicate it to the memory of my grandmother, because even though she was still alive (and, as it turned out, she lived a year or two more), I knew she would die long before I finished the symphony, because such a symphony would take me, at least, a long time to write.
      I'm rather afraid of death myself, actually, and have always been. If it doesn't give the impression of being an obsession, that's very likely merely because death for me still seems some decades off, and I can conveniently put off thinking about it too deeply (but it already looks ominously closer now than it did in my childhood). Although, I don't know, actually I do think about death a lot, not necessarily morbidly, but just from a philosophical point of view, wondering if it really is the end or not. And of course, experiencing or anticipating the death of someone close tends to make you think about death more than normally.
      I thought the symphony could perhaps be a bit more than a memorial to Granny, that it could perhaps be about death in a general, almost philosophical sense. I would use it to really explore my feelings about life and death and karma and rebirth, and all the ideas of that sort that I have difficulties and ambiguities about. And indeed, the music I wrote does have something of the feeling of the deep things of life to it, there is a bit of a feeling of life and death and karma to it. I can't describe why, but it just somehow feels like that.

      Bivalia: I think it would be very good for you to go ahead with what you've just been describing to me. You will be able to ascend if you want to, and not die as it is usually understood; but if you don't feel that deep inside yet, those feelings about death still have to be dealt with.

      Michael: I suppose so. Anyway, impossible as it seemed, Granny finally rallied and recovered with no permanent ill-effects. And I seemed to let the symphony go, and went on to other things.
      And then a year or two later, in September, 1993, Granny suddenly died without warning, with no illness or anything leading up to it. She died peacefully in her sleep one night, and the doctors said she would have felt nothing.

      Bivalia: She is blessed indeed, isn't she?

      Michael: I'm not sure what you mean.

      Bivalia: I mean that she had help in her moment of death. It was not for her to have a traumatic death.

      Michael: I don't see why anyone should have a traumatic death, actually; but they do.

      Bivalia: That is a complex matter, and I don't think now is the time to go into it. But if you saw things as they are, and not merely as they appear, you would see that even so-called traumatic deaths are enormously less traumatic than they appear to those left behind. But it is true that your grandmother had a very good death indeed, if you can speak of it in such a way.

      Michael: Anyway, my uncle, Granny's son, David I. (her name "Turner" was from a second marriage), went to visit Granny the next morning, and had to break in when no-one answered the door; and he discovered her dead in bed. He told Mum, Mum told my elder brother Peter, and Peter called in on me that afternoon on the way home from work (which he had left early) to tell me the news.
      As soon as I opened the door and saw Peter there, I just knew what he had come for, even before he said a word. He told me briefly what had happened, and my first words were "Oh, hell". I didn't cry or anything, but I think I felt a bit shaky. I walked with Peter to the tram stop and waited with him until his tram came, and we talked a little about Granny; then I went back home again.
      I don't know if I should be ashamed of this or not, but I must admit I did continue working on the computer program I had been writing on the computer at the time Peter called. Computer programming is something very intellectual and almost mathematical, not emotional at all.
      I think I was a bit shaken, but what else was there to do? There didn't seem to be much use in sitting down and weeping, and that just didn't seem to be coming anyway; it isn't that I was suppressing it. I certainly saw no point in pretending to go through the motions of something I just wasn't feeling. I was feeling something, but not in the way many people might have expected (if they knew, that is - I'm not usually in the habit of talking about feelings to other people).
      The rest I've told you; I didn't seem to feel as much in the weeks to come as you might expect.

      Bivalia: I think you handled things very well, all things considered. But there was more feeling than you realize; it just expressed itself in ways you didn't recognize for what it was; and, as I said, you had already dealt with part of this before your grandmother died. I keep telling you, don't worry about it. But you are doing well to tell me all about this now.

      Michael: I almost felt the tears come again just now.

      Bivalia: It does not matter, loved one. Let it happen if it wants to. If it gets too much, we can close the session and continue later. But I think you would like to finish this story now that you have come this far.

      Michael: Yes. I don't think anything really drastic emotionally is going to happen now, more than a year later.
      Anyway, a bit later, I don't know how long - perhaps some days or maybe a week later - that symphony in B minor came back to mind. I found the bits I'd already written, and, you know, further ideas came for it. And they are good, too. There's no doubt in my mind that there's the makings of a great symphony there, if I can continue at the same level.

      Bivalia: You can; in fact, you can continue at a higher level. What you have written there is only the beginning. But you have to do it, and get down to it, and stick with it. It won't happen overnight; writing a symphony has been described as the biggest intellectual achievement a human being is capable of, to which I might add one of the biggest emotional achievements too.

      Michael: It's funny that Granny's death somehow reminded me of the symphony again, and prompted the additional ideas I wrote down. It seems almost ghoulish, somehow.

      Bivalia: It's not as unusual as you think. Great achievements in the arts, the sciences, and other areas too, are often prompted by the deep human emotions, the raw basic components of the human make-up, by deep grief, by anger, by peace, by happiness, by joy. Make use of it. Ask St. Germain to transmute your feelings into great music; don't feel guilty about it. St. Germain is with me now, and is offering his help.

      Michael: Don't go on like that; you're beginning to make me feel like crying again.

      Bivalia: Okay, I don't need to get too heavy on you now. What I've already said will no doubt start a process which you will continue with in your own good time. But a jolly good cry might be very good for you, you know, when you are ready for it and can face it; I think there is much pain stored up within your mind and your feelings, much anger, bitterness, sadness. St. Germain is asking me to remind you that he is always there to help you transmute this into more upbuilding feelings and deeds.

      Michael: Thank you. I've got a horror of crying. I cried rather easily as a child and even a bit into my teens, sometimes over things that seemed to get to me at the time, but which now appear embarrassingly trivial. At school once upon a time I was called "cry-baby" if I cried, over being bullied, for example (which happened often), and kids used to chant, "You've got the cutest little baby-face". Maybe that's had an effect on me.
      I was followed by whole gangs of kids all over the school grounds as I desperately tried to escape and find a quiet place somewhere, and the gangs used to chant "Mary, Mary", until I just wept and wept. Then they would make fun of my crying too. (The "Mary" was because I had two brothers called Peter and Paul in the same school, and, you know, the reference was to the singing group "Peter, Paul and Mary" who were very popular at that time, the mid-1960s.)
      If I managed to hide somewhere, they would sometimes hunt me down like a pack of dogs in a fox-hunt. Even the toilets were not safe; they would climb over the walls of the cubicle I had taken refuge in. Sometimes I couldn't even have a piss unmolested. (Ever since those days, I have never been able urinate in a public urinal, and I believe this stems from experiences at school during this time.) And they would sometimes use a degree of physical violence too. Sadistic little snotty bastards they were; I used to wish they would burn in hell forever. To just kill them would be too good for them.
      Also, perhaps another thing was that Mum and Dad sometimes told me to grow up if I cried too easily or too often, although they certainly weren't anything like the school-kids. Anyway, whether it's these things, or something entirely different, my general attitude now is that I would bust a gut in the effort not to cry sooner than let it happen, no matter how great the pain, and especially in front of other people.

      Bivalia: Children don't know how cruel they can be sometimes. It would not be true to say they meant well - it was manifestly obvious to you that they did not - but their intentions might have been merely to have a bit of fun, but they probably didn't have the slightest idea of the full effects they were having on you. Their behaviour doubtless stemmed from much unhappiness and deep insecurity in their own lives.
      Something must be badly wrong with a person's life for him to take pleasure out of deliberately hurting others, and even then showing no mercy whatsoever when the victim's distress becomes obvious to him. Or if even then the victim's distress is not obvious to the bully, that just shows what profound darkness the bully must be constantly living in. Perhaps such people will learn better one day, but I fear in some cases the lesson will be neither easy nor quick. When a person is long-accustomed to darkness, letting in the light can be painful indeed, and some will not let it in until some circumstance forces them to - perhaps something that makes the darkness they inhabit even more painful still than they find the light. It has to happen sooner or later - no-one stays in darkness literally for ever. The God-forces of evolution towards the light pervade the entire universe, and even hold it together, and nothing and no-one can resist this forever.
      Your parents meant well, but were misguided about the role crying plays in human emotions. If crying were such a despicable and bad thing, so unnatural, why do you think humans ever got to have the faculty of crying? And as for "growing up", as certain people call it, I suspect that if a great many more people had not "grown up" so quickly and so thoroughly, and lost touch with their real feelings and their own inner wisdom, your world would not be in the trouble it is in.
      Not that I am advocating childish irresponsibility for your entire adult life, although just a little of that might not go amiss. But there are a lot of trappings of adulthood that most humans tend to take on as they grow up which are much less central to a true concept of adulthood than is commonly believed: this includes much pretence and false values and mindless conformity to the so-called norm.
      The reluctance to cry is one of many examples of this sort of thing that I could cite. In general, what most humans call "growing up" (as contrasted with what real growing up is) is basically a gradual process of mental and emotional ossification, the hardening into concrete of set patterns of behaviour and thought that are arbitrarily determined by the mass thinking of the society you grow up in, no doubt aided and abetted by your mass media, which I think you do well to largely avoid.

      Michael: I hate seeing anyone cry, especially adults, and most especially men, because I know they must be suffering very badly indeed to reach the point of breaking society's taboo against crying. I don't despise them, think they're weak sissies or anything like that, but, rather, feel for them; but I just hate witnessing it.

      Bivalia: I know.

      Michael: But I suppose I'm using crying as a diversion here. We were talking about my grandmother. But I don't suppose there's much else to tell.

      Bivalia: You have released much. There was still some sadness left which you weren't all that well aware of, and this discussion has brought it to the surface. It had to be done sooner or later. So, you see, in various ways at various times you have expressed grief, and one by one mention of these has come up in our conversation.
      Not to be forgotten is the 5 pages you wrote about your grandmother to your friend Roger G.

      Michael: He didn't comment about it in the next letter I got from him.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. Perhaps he found it uncomfortable to bring up with you. But, for all that his musical interests are very different from yours, and even his outlook on life, he's a very accepting, non-judgemental person. I can see why you feel free to write to him about things you've never told anyone else at all. I hope you won't lose touch with him, despite his being on the other side of the world for some years. He is a good person for you to confide a lot of personal things to that you want to talk about but for one reason or another can't discuss with most people.

      Michael: I don't think he's interested in spiritual things all that much, although I have written about such things to him to some extent.

      Bivalia: That doesn't matter. As I think we've discussed before, there's more to spirituality than outward beliefs, which are often distorted by the particular set of limitations a person has taken on in a particular life-time. Many Earthly religions make a big mistake in assigning eternal importance to what spiritual beliefs you have with your physical mind, claiming that your eternal destiny irreversibly depends on the cultural accident of what religious beliefs you happen to have encountered and believed in.

      Michael: Well, I suppose that's part of the attempt by some religious authorities to exercise power over their followers.

      Bivalia: Yes, although of course some within the hierarchy are also victims; you are probably aware that many priests and other church officials are very well-meaning, even though limited by the dogma they have come to believe in.

      Michael: Of course. I have known such people myself, whose sincerity I don't doubt.
      There's another thing about Granny's death I rather regret; and that is that I didn't see her or speak to her for weeks before her death. I wonder if she was a bit hurt and wondered if she had offended me in some way, which of course she hadn't. But Mum sometimes said if for any reason I didn't ring her up or visit her for a couple of weeks, she wondered aloud to Mum whether I was offended with her for any reason. And of course Mum assured Granny that this wasn't so. And I would then ring her up and we'd arrange a time for me to go and see her, and I'd stay the night, and we'd play Scrabble, or just talk.
      But, unfortunately, I left it too late this time.

      Bivalia: This is unfortunate; but it's just one of those things. I wouldn't attach too much importance to it. Even if in fact she was offended at the time, I'm sure it wouldn't have lasted very long. Her love for you would have overridden that quite quickly; and her level of awareness is much greater now in the realm she now inhabits than before.

      Michael: There was no particular reason I hadn't been in touch with her for a few weeks. There've been times before when this has happened; and there would be other times when I was in more regular contact. I suppose it came and went in cycles.

      Bivalia: Of course. Most things do; very few things of this sort maintain a constant pattern.

      Michael: I am very disorganized in my own life, and this seems to affect my behaviour especially at certain times. One effect of this can be to cause me to neglect contacting people I would normally keep in touch with.

      Bivalia: Yes. You should not regard yourself as in any way to blame for this. You were not to know your grandmother was about to die, especially when it happened absolutely without warning. It is simply unfortunate that your lack of contact coincided with the time of her death.
      I don't think it would be profitable to debate the question at this time of whether on the higher levels there were reasons for this or not, but simply leave it that it just happened that way for whatever reasons - call it chance if it makes you feel better - and it is not worth worrying over.

      Michael: Also, perhaps I sometimes put off ringing her up, because conversation did get a bit difficult, not only because of her hearing, but because, as I told you before, she did get a bit vague, and this made it very difficult to know how to talk with her without being condescending. I suppose I succeeded in some fashion most of the time, but it could be difficult at times. I once felt encouraged a few years ago when Mum said to me that Granny had once told her, "Michael is the only person who doesn't talk to me like an old lady".

      Bivalia: That is very touching, and a wonderful tribute.

      Michael: I suppose so; and I don't suppose in that comment she meant to reflect badly on others who presumably did, at least at times, speak to her like an old lady; and if they did, I realize that some people may perhaps feel a bit self-conscious talking with someone very old, especially if the elderly person is also getting vague. But for all that, I still wondered if she found me boring at times, because I think I can be a bit of a bore at times if I get on some hobby-horse. I tried to strike a balance with Granny between being too intellectual on the one hand and too trite and inane on the other hand. But it really is difficult to achieve that when someone is getting mentally vague. It sometimes got hard to avoid recycling the same topics all the time.

      Bivalia: I know. With her mental faculties restored now, and free of the limitations of her wearing-out body, I'm sure she would understand. One day, the two of you will laugh together about it. I'm sure she wouldn't want you to torment yourself with regrets over any of these matters. You haven't committed a great and unpardonable sin, you know.

      Michael: Well, I don't know if there's anything more to say about this. In fact, I had a couple of other things to talk with you about, but I spent a great deal more time on this than I expected to. In fact, I don't even think I had any idea we were going to get onto the matter of Granny's death at all.

      Bivalia: No matter. We have accomplished much.

      Michael: I think we may have been overdramatizing the themes of grief and guilt, you know. We've talked about them a lot as if they were constantly tormenting me all the time, when they're not. About grief: well, I've already told you I didn't seem to feel much grief most of the time; and as far as guilt goes: well, although I've mentioned a few things I might have felt guilty about, such as not feeling grief, or about getting musical ideas from Granny's death, or about not seeing her for a few weeks before she died - although I might have been tormented by guilt over these things, I haven't really. Perhaps I felt a bit uneasy once or twice, but that's about it. So I suppose we've been overdoing the talk about grief and guilt.

      Bivalia: Overdoing it? I don't know. These thoughts were within you, so it was appropriate to talk about them. It doesn't matter that they may not have felt intense; the thoughts were there, and you did well to bring them up. We have done a lot of good work now. You have accomplished yet another step towards your final ascension.
      Do you want to continue with the other things now, or not?

      Michael: Well, let's see. I don't know what the time is now, but if I quit the word-processing program for a moment, I can find out from the computer. I think it's getting very late in the night, though - Sunday morning, that is. And I want to get myself something to eat too. I suppose I wanted to talk a little about the past-life readings with Sananda, which elaborated on what Sananda told me through Crea - and Sananda's original words to me were so loving and tender, and yet so encouraging, that once or twice rereading them even now has almost made me feel a bit like crying.

      Bivalia: He is a most lovely being, isn't he? And you are very dear to him, you know. You have shared much over the millennia.

      Michael: And you know, when we were looking at my life during his life as Jesus, and talking about me walking with him on the way to being crucified as he carried his cross, I almost cried then too, just as we were talking about it.

      Bivalia: Between him and me, we might yet make a good crier of you.

      Michael: God forbid!

      Bivalia: You're the only one who forbids it, and certain other people if you let them forbid it. Certainly God doesn't forbid it.

      Michael: I suppose I feel a bit doubtful about whether I could have such an illustrious background as to have been a close friend of Jesus. I mean, it's a bit like those fruitcakes who claim they're Napoleon or Cleopatra. There must be dozens of Napoleons and Cleopatras and perhaps even Jesuses inhabiting various mental hospitals.

      Bivalia: Well, you haven't made the claims yourself. It isn't quite the same. You have simply been told these things uninvited by an entity who claims to be Jesus himself - so it's straight from the horse's mouth. And you don't go round boasting about it to all and sundry, big-noting yourself; you only tell people who are receptive, and after careful thought about whether such telling is appropriate or not.

      Michael: Yes; in fact, in an odd way, hearing the message from Sananda at Crea's workshop made me feel strangely humble, even though I suppose it's not very humble to call yourself humble. But is it really Jesus, or Sananda?

      Bivalia: You have to decide that for yourself. There is no proof in the scientific way. I think it was indeed Sananda, but for me to say that proves nothing to you.
      But do you have any reason to doubt it? If, as you say, you have decided to try to be open about spiritual matters, which is the only way to investigate anything spiritual, you would do well to give Sananda the benefit of the doubt until some reason comes up to indicate otherwise. And certainly, as you yourself acknowledge, Sananda does seem to show a deep, tender love that would be very difficult for an impostor to imitate.
      You cannot prove it in the ordinary sense, but if you remain open-minded, your awareness of things will develop to a point where one day you will just know whether or not it is true.

      Michael: Anyway, I've just checked the time; it's not quite as late as I thought, but still rather late: about 4.20 a.m., in fact. But I don't think we'd better go on too long now. My fingers are a bit sore, and it would be disastrous for a computer addict like me to get R.S.I. (repetitive strain injury). With the mess my place is in, I bet my chair and table and so on are not what they call "ergonomic" - that is, specially designed not to give you R.S.I.
      Perhaps next time, maybe tomorrow or in a few days, we can talk further about my discussions with Sananda, and about an experience I had a week ago where I went for a walk and seemed to have an awareness of nature after calling more than a dozen Masters to be with me.

      Bivalia: By golly, Mike, you do seem to get around, don't you? You move in high society, spiritually speaking. Who did you whistle up?

      Michael: Oh, God, Sananda, Nada, Mary, Commander Ashtar, Athena, Commander Soltec, Quan Yin, Archangel Michael, St. Germain, Hilarion, El Morya, Kuthumi, Serapis Bey, Lanto, Baniah, Wotana, P'taah, and perhaps a couple of others. And you too. And I also invited beings from the Ashtar Command, the Great White Brotherhood, the Space Brotherhood, and the angelic realms who wished to join me, and maybe one or two other general groups such as those - it's difficult to remember a long list of names, but you get the general idea. And I think my guides too. And I think Mother Earth was in my thoughts a bit too.

      Bivalia: Well, you certainly don't do things by halves, do you? I'm surprised you didn't blow your brains out with that little lot. Those fellows (and ladies too, of course) pack a mighty punch, you know. You were playing with fire then. But I suppose they would be careful not to give you too much for you to handle. There's a lot of love and wisdom there, as well as power, you know.

      Michael: Well, it may be a coincidence, but I think it had quite a powerful effect on me. It was quite impulsive actually.
      On Saturday, 8 October, I was at my parents' place. They were away for a couple of days in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide with my uncle and aunt, Bob and Pauline S., who were visiting from Spain. I was there to look after their cat, Priscilla, while they were away (she's quite a cute little pussy-cat) -

      Bivalia: Yes, I can see quite a bond of love between Priscilla and yourself; you have helped her evolution quite a bit over the years - and I dare say she has helped yours too.

      Michael: Well, I'm glad of that. Both of those. I am the only person Mum and Dad like to have cat-sit when they go away, because Priscilla's rather shy with people she's not used to, and frets a bit. She accepts me just like Mum and Dad themselves, however.

      Bivalia: You see, you are not really deficient in ability to love; I think it is simply that you don't like using or even thinking the word "love" - but you know about it, even if you describe it in other ways.

      Michael: Maybe. It doesn't feel like it though. Well, anyway, I had to walk to the shops to buy something, and it was perhaps 15 minutes away (I don't drive). My parents' house in North Croydon is situated quite high on the slopes of a long hill or ridge, in a road that runs almost parallel to the top of the ridge. I had to walk to the southern end of Neuparth Rd. (the road they live in), turn at right angles to the left and walk down quite a steep slope to the shops. I think I started talking to Sananda on the way, nothing special, just philosophizing a bit the way I tend to, and also telling him what parts of the higher teachings I had difficulty with, and how I found it difficult to accept the fact of pain and suffering without judging it as bad, which I usually do.
      I got the thing I had to and started walking back up Exeter Rd., pausing to wander a bit in an overgrown vacant block, for no reason other than to enjoy looking at the trees and weeds and clumps of blackberries, and so on.
      When you go up Exeter Rd., it gets steeper and steeper as you go along, and past where Neuparth Rd. turns off to the right, it goes right up over the ridge and down the other side, where it eventually comes to a dead end.
      Well, I turned into Neuparth Rd., then quite impulsively decided to go back and go on up Exeter Rd. to the top of the hill, and explore the nature reserve which extends all along the ridge and down the other side (opposite the side my parents' house was one), down to the bottom of the valley on the other side. My parents had been living here two or three years, and I had been visiting about once a week, and yet I had never explored round there. And yet, as I looked up the hill to where all the trees at the top overlooked the row of houses in Neuparth Rd., there was something about it that somehow reminded me of the world of my dreams. I can't explain that; the area has never itself featured in any dreams (that I remember), but there's just something about it that reminds me of places that have been in my dreams, sometimes repeatedly.

      Bivalia: I know what you mean. I think you have quite a bit of sensitivity to the subtle feelings of dreams, even though you can't always explain it clearly. You're one day going to have immense fun exploring the world of your dreams in a fully conscious way. There'll be so much you recognize.

      Michael: That sounds interesting. But I'm going on a bit, not letting you get a word in edgeways.

      Bivalia: No, no, never mind. Please go on. Take your time; this is important. You mustn't ever feel rushed when you tell me anything.

      Michael: Well, anyway, I think that's why I wanted to explore it. When you go up Exeter Rd., just after it passes over the highest point of the ridge, it veers away to the left; but straight ahead, there's a really rough dirt road going on straight ahead, right down to the bottom of the valley, and up the other side. The nature reserve is on the right, and just an odd waste area on the left, with trees in it.
      Well, seeing this gave me a bit of nostalgia, because it reminded me of the many similar dirt roads that abounded in Belair and Stirling in the Adelaide hills where I spent a good bit of my childhood (oh, how idyllic that now seems, even though I know those years had their own particular unhappinesses).
      I may strike some people as cold and remote and hard-bitten, but, given the right thought or prompt, I can quite quickly become a quivering mass of bittersweet nostalgia.
      And one of the things that some people may think eccentric about me is that I often seem to see beauty in things like weeds, overgrown grass, untidy empty blocks, rutted dirt roads, and the like. They sometimes have touches of that magical atmosphere to them that I've spoken of to you before. They're just a little bit of natural chaos not arranged by man to suit his ends, in a world that sometimes seems too orderly and regular. I love looking at unmown lawns, you know; the longer they've been unmown, the better. And I especially like those little white daisies that sometimes spring up in them in their hundreds, which my mother regards as weeds spoiling the lawn.

      Bivalia: I know what you mean. I think I share your view about these things. I think you will really love some of the wildflowers and even weeds that can be found in the higher dimensions of the universe, the astral and even higher.

      Michael: If you look at certain weeds without preconceptions, you can see beauty in them; some of them have a lovely symmetry to them. I think one of the things I like about the composer Percy Grainger (apart from his wonderful music, that is) is that as a child he was given a patch of ground to grow his own things in; and he grew weeds there!

      Bivalia: Perhaps he and you will have a lot to enjoy together one day. You would be surprised to know how many of the composers you admire most know of your existence and would like to help you musically. You stand out more than you think in their sight, out from the musical scene of your time, because of the fact that you are not, by and large, in tune with the musical world of your time, and are more in tune with the musical world of those composers you admire. And people with similar vibrations tend to be noticeable to each other, and are drawn together. And there are not many composers alive in your world today with vibrations so similar to those of the composers you admire. And you also stand out, of course, because of the great musical talent you have, even thought it seems to be blocked for now. But we're about to change that, aren't we?

      Michael: I hope so.

      Bivalia: And there are composers in the higher dimensions who can help you too, both now and in the future.

      Michael: Well, that's something to look forward to. Perhaps I'll have lots of composers for friends as well as Masters.

      Bivalia: You will, indeed.

      Michael: Well, when I was a child in Belair, I think I could get even stranger than liking unmown lawns and weeds. Back then, near where I lived there was a retreat house belonging to the Anglican Church, and in the vast grounds there were woods and fields, and I used to spend quite a bit of time there, occasionally with my brothers Peter and Paul, and probably more often by myself. I suppose I was trespassing, but no-one who saw me seemed to mind (you very rarely met anyone in those woods and fields; it was so quiet and peaceful). There were nice wildflowers there, which I sometimes used to pick for Mum.
      But the strange thing was this: in one place there was a hollow which contained a huge, ancient rubbish dump: old cars, discarded, rusting objects of all sorts. You're not going to believe it, but that place was quite magical to me, in a way. I suppose unmown lawns are nothing compared to that.

      Bivalia: There's no doubt about it: you were different as a child, but you were so unaffected. You were just yourself, and it sometimes made people uncomfortable; it sometimes cause them to think you ill-mannered or naughty or eccentric. But I love you for your genuineness and unaffectedness.

      Michael: Thank you. Anyway, I've strayed far from my story.

      Bivalia: It does not matter.

      Michael: Back to the walk I took a week ago; I'm up to the dirt road which reminded me of Belair and Stirling.
      I walked down that dirt road, then came up again; and as I thought dreamily of old times, and all the long walks I used to take when I was a child (which was a very solitary time generally for me), I just had an impulse to ask God and those Masters (the ones I named before) to be with me. I had already been talking with Sananda, the ever-present Sananda, as I said before. I'm getting quite fond of the old boy, in a way - Sananda, that is. I'm afraid I perhaps don't show due respect and deference to him, but instead get rather familiar.

      Bivalia: He likes that. Don't worry about deference and all that. That may be the Churches' way, but it is not the only way. I don't think it's the way Sananda prefers it himself, but of course he respects the sincerity with which many people in the Churches approach Jesus, and he gives them what they want from him. He has a wonderful capacity to take people as they are, and accept their way of doing things, their way of speaking to him and thinking about him. He is equally at home with being addressed as "O Holy Jesus, Perfect Son of God and our Blessed Saviour" and "the old boy" as you just put it.

      Michael: I'm glad of that. I've never been much attracted to the idea of strict religions or teachings which say you must do things this way and only this way. I always used to have the idea you must always be very reverential and churchy when talking to God or Jesus, for instance, and since I'm not very good at putting on a reverential front, I think this cut me off from anything spiritual for many years. But I think I'm beginning to get more intimate with the Masters, and perhaps even beginning to feel friendly to God.

      Bivalia: That's great. I'm sure God has been waiting for this, and is very glad now. And so are the Masters glad; they rejoice for everyone who is able to come closer to them and to God.

      Michael: When I talk to the Masters, I might be walking along, and I might interrupt myself briefly and say, "Those are lovely daisies there", or "Isn't the sky beautiful just now?", or "Will you excuse me a minute? - I'd just like to say hullo to this pussy-cat" - or something like that.

      Bivalia: Wonderful - wonnnnn-derful! You mustn't ever feel that anything is too trivial or worldly, or not spiritual or sacred enough, to speak to the Masters about, or to God either. You would say such things to a close friend, wouldn't you?

      Michael: Yes, of course.

      Bivalia: You wouldn't constantly be wondering, would you, whether this close friend was always judging you, thinking that such and such that you said was silly, or whether something you had done was shameful, or anything?

      Michael: No.

      Bivalia: Well, it is the same with the Masters, only more so. And it is even more so with God himself. He is a close friend too, and you can be just that intimate with him. Forget all the churchy stuff, if you don't feel comfortable with it. It is not for everyone. And don't feel guilty to be with him if you think you have done something not quite right. I can tell you, he is not constantly scrutinizing you to see if you come up to scratch or not. He accepts that human limitations sometimes cause you to do things that might not be as much in tune with spirit as they might be.
      And I can tell you, God himself, as well as the Masters, was delighted to be with you on that walk, and he himself delighted in the things along the way that you delighted in. If only you could get a glimpse of God, you would be astonished and delighted to see how child-like and even quite undignified he can be at times, when it is suitable to be like that. He does not stand on his dignity in the slightest, even though he can be very dignified when it is right for that manner.

      Michael: Yes, I'm trying to see things that way, although it isn't easy to throw off years of conditioning.

      Bivalia: No, of course it isn't. But our beloved Mother/Father God has infinite patience, and will wait as long as it takes you to draw close to him.

      Michael: Well, anyway, when I came up the dirt road again, I turned left into the nature reserve and wandered a little up and down some of the paths. It was pretty well continuous woods, although not really thick. I don't know if they are in their perfectly natural state, before humans came along, or not. Eventually I went down a path that went diagonally down the other side of the ridge, which then curved up again when it was near the bottom of the valley. But at that low point a smaller track branched off at right angles, straight down into the valley.
      Just a hundred yards or so down, I came to an opening in a fence, which was the end of the woods, and walked through; and I came into this great open area, square in shape, straddling the valley from one side to the other. On the other side of the clearing I could see houses, and the end of a dead-end road. But the clearing didn't slope down into the valley and then up the other side; instead, crossing from one side of the valley to the other was this great rounded ridge, covered in grass. The ridge had obviously been built up by humans, and clearly wasn't natural. Quite likely this area had been cleared with the intention of building more houses there.
      There was a stream in the valley, and it passed under the ridge via a pipeline. But the ridge went right across the valley at right angles, hundreds of yards across. As you looked to either side, the grassy area sloped down from the ridge gradually, until on both sides it reached the level of the stream, by which time it was at the edge of the clearing. These were the points where the stream entered and emerged from the pipeline. There were trees in the valley, both upstream and downstream, although not as thick as in the woods I had just emerged from.
      For some reason this clearing fascinated me, seemed to have a unique atmosphere to it, a sense of wonder almost. As I emerged from the forest, and walked up the slope to the ridge (which didn't join the forest quite where I had emerged), there was a sense of hugeness, of expansiveness. It almost reminded me of those glorious hills in the film The Sound of Music, just a bit. (Looked at objectively, this was not nearly so grand as those Austrian hills, but the effect struck me at the time, anyway.) And I was reminded of a scene, I think from The Sound of Music too, where some people were walking over some hills to escape from the Nazis, and the scenery was beautiful, and there was just this sense of wonder as they escaped and made their way over the hills to a new life, full of promise and hope. You know what I mean? - it's difficult to explain.

      Bivalia: I know precisely what you mean, Michael. There are many beautiful thoughts in The Sound of Music.

      Michael: It somehow reminded me of a scene I once wanted to depict in music (and tried to, but didn't get very far with it). It's just an image of a tropical island, say in the Pacific Ocean. I don't know where I got the image from, years and years ago, but in it, there's a sleepy little town by a harbourside, and behind the town rise these lovely hills, and there are trees on the slopes, lush trees, not too thick; and if you climb up high enough, they thin out, and near the rounded top of the hill it's very open, with just grass and maybe a few bushes, and the most lovely wildflowers in the grass, with soft warm balmy breezes wafting through. And the sky is a glorious blue, with just a few patches of cloud of that wispy summery type which seem magical at times, and the sun is nice and warm but not too hot. It's quite a vivid image, and I can almost see it in imagination, in quite a bit of detail. There's a very recognizable atmosphere to the place, and it is full of magic, like paradise.

      Bivalia: It is indeed.

      Michael: I don't know why this scene came to mind, quite different as it is from the clearing where I stood.
      And I was also reminded of the adventures I used to read about as a child in Enid Blyton's Famous Five books, and those stories were often set in scenery which was beautiful, and the author mentioned things along the way like wildflowers and streams and sunsets, and those stories were full of wonder to me, routine though they may be in literary quality.
      But the whole atmosphere of the Famous Five stories seems to pervade the feel of my childhood (even though my life was nothing like that of the Famous Five), and I think in subtle ways still influences me. And there seemed a very companionable feel about the main characters in the book, the four children and their dog Timmy, there was a good feel of fellowship between them, and it all seemed innocent and wholesome, somehow. The books are much criticized, but I can still see good points about them too.
      Anyway, these thoughts and many others passed through my mind as I stood looking at that clearing with its sense of openness and hugeness, sharing my thoughts with God and the Masters. I felt flooded with half-formed ideas for a great and wonderful novel I would like to write about that sense of wonder that is so elusive, that indescribable longing for the eternal. I thought the novel could span the whole universe, and humanity could break free of all its limitations and suffering, and could travel in space and explore space and learn the secrets of the universe; they could leave the physical world, and do astral travelling, and explore the world of dreams and all the higher dimensions and have wonderful fellowship, and all sorts of other wonderful things. You know what I mean? There was more to it than that, and I've probably forgotten half those thoughts, which were so elusive and evanescent anyway, but what I've said gives you a taste, anyway.

      Bivalia: I don't know why you tell people you're not very good at feeling. I think you're wonderful at it, and getting better the more you write.

      Michael: One of the annoying things about this sense of magic is that you can never quite grasp exactly what it is. I'm sure what I've told you is only like the shadow of the real thing; and the feeling sometimes seems to fade if you try to pin it down too much.

      Bivalia: That's because the fullness of this reality cannot be fully understood in three-dimensional modes of thinking; the words simply do not exist to describe it exactly. It's like your dreams: you've commented to various people how impossible they are to describe, and how even when you can describe them partially, they simply sound absurd and self-contradictory, and yet how much they can, in spite of all that, seem to have their own self-consistency, their own emotional flavour, their own sense of deep meaning, and a deep haunting sense of familiarity, as if there's something about this you feel you should remember, even though you don't.

      Michael: Yes. The sense of wonder I'm talking about is a bit like that.

      Bivalia: I think the best way for you of coping with it is to write stories such as the one you just mentioned, and write your music, following all the wonderful ideas that come to you. Keep asking the Masters to help you. Follow your truth (as you've been doing for thousands of years!). All that will help you develop your consciousness of these higher realities which you are trying to reach, which you have been longing for since you were a tiny child. It will help you get closer and closer to them all the time.

      Michael: I hope so. You know, it's weird, but even as I type this, there's a sense in which the computer screen containing these words is just a bit like that clearing itself. I can't explain it any better than that; I suppose it has that in common with a dream.

      Bivalia: You are becoming very aware indeed. You become aware of all sorts of subtle connections when you raise your vibrations. What is happening is that, astrally, you are connecting the scene itself to your words, and to the area of space in which you are sitting, and that connection is spilling over, astrally, even a bit into your computer itself. I think these connections are even taking place on the mental plane, too, if I'm not mistaken.
      Don't laugh at this, but your computer has a spirit too, quite a nice little spirit, actually, not quite on the level of a pine tree spirit, but it has a lot of intellectual energy in it; and you are helping its evolution by writing things like this on the computer, and spending so much time with your computer, and sharing your light with it, and writing programs and lavishing so much care on those programs and taking pride in doing your work more than just adequately.
      You have talent in this area of computer programming too, you know. I'm sure Commander Ashtar would be happy to offer you a job on his starship one day if you would care to do some work in this area for a good cause.

      Michael: Well, working with Ashtar would always be nice. I'm quite fond of Ashtar.

      Bivalia: He is fond of you, too, my friend. And we all know that when you say "quite fond", you mean, in a mode of understatement quite characteristic of you, that you mean "very fond".
      And by the way, he says he is perfectly happy to take you on in chess one day, and you can try to beat him like you promised, but he will take quite a bit of beating.

      Michael: We shall see one day. I shall have all of eternity to practise my chess.

      Bivalia: So shall he.

      Michael: Well, win or lose, I'm sure it will be enjoyable to have some games with him.
      By the way, how can you tell whether my computer has a spirit, and what it's like? Are you clairvoyant or something?

      Bivalia: Ultimately, everyone is, but I don't need that to tell. It's just a matter of considering the essential nature of a computer, what it is used for, and the like.

      Michael: You say everything has a spirit. Let's try another. What sort of a spirit has my Sony tape recorder, the little portable one with 5-inch reels?

      Bivalia: Ahh - it has a tendency to soak up auditory vibrations, and has a lot of music in it, nice music; it even has a bit of Sananda's vibration in it. It's not very good at conjuring up new patterns of music, but great at repeating old ones very often, and it has a memory like an elephant. It's got a lot of your energy in it, that and the other two similar models you have, because you have many memories associated with them.

      Michael: What about, let's say, that big black brief-case I often use?

      Bivalia: It has silent musical vibrations in it, and tends to swallow up other entities, and is so formed that it does not easily let go of anything it absorbs unless it is opened out. What, my friend, do you wish to turn this into a fortune-telling session? But what I have said is mere tautology: I have only said that a tape recorder records then plays back music and that a brief-case holds things and that you keep music in yours.
      I would like to hear the rest of your account of this wonderful walk you took before we forget about it.

      Michael: Well, anyway (to continue about my walk), going into the clearing was a bit of a sidetrack from exploring the path in the forest a bit further up the hill; but then I decided on a further sidetrack from the first sidetrack, and I decided to explore along the valley a little. There were fences nearby, belonging to back-yards which abutted onto the area near the stream (on the side of the stream opposite the forest, which was only yards away on the other side), and there was a rough path near the fences. I walked along a couple of hundred yards and saw a group of pine trees in a field ahead, and decided to go that way.
      Well, after looking round there, I decided to go back to the clearing and then back into the forest and back to the main path I had turned from. I lingered in the clearing some more, still trying to capture the atmosphere of the place, and went back into the woods.

      Bivalia: Aren't you leaving out a couple of details? Perhaps some of the most important parts of this experience?

      Michael: Well. What to say about that. You really want me to bare my soul, don't you?

      Bivalia: What else is the purpose of life?

      Michael: I don't know if all those beings I called up (God, and the various Masters) were really with me or not, because I didn't directly feel their presence or anything mystical like that; but perhaps they had an effect on my thinking as I walked through the woods, through the clearing, and then along the stream, because as I talked to them and looked at everything I was walking past, I noticed myself thinking along lines that I was perfectly aware most people would consider symptoms of incipient schizophrenia or worse, perhaps even psychosis, and which even I myself might at other times so regard.

      Bivalia: What do you mean?

      Michael: I mean that I felt an strong urge to go up to the pine trees, despite it being difficult to find a way through patches of mud without soaking my leaking shoes, and that I eventually got there, and I said hullo to the pine trees, it's been nice to meet you, and I mean that on the way back I had an absurd fascination with the clearing on the edge of the woods, and talked to what I thought might be the spirit of that place, and that I passed a little group of mushrooms in that clearing and said hullo to them, or to the spirit that was there, and that all this seemed quite natural and sincere to do.
      That's what I mean by thinking along lines suggestive of insanity.... Don't tell anyone, will you? I don't feel quite ready yet for the men in white coats to come along with their syringes and straitjackets.

      Bivalia: You speak in jest, I trust.

      Michael: God knows.

      Bivalia: You are joking.

      Michael: I've got a psychiatric history as long as your arm -

      Bivalia: So?

      Michael: - and I was diagnosed as autistic aged one or two, and have been to nearly a dozen psychiatrists at various times of my life. [b]

      Bivalia: So what? Nothing could be less important than that.

      Michael: Some would say this experience was evidence of my need for another psychiatrist.

      Bivalia: Forget it. What do the headshrinkers know about these things? I believe psychiatrists have an unusually high incidence of emotional disturbance themselves; many probably get caught up in the astral constructions of their patients, many of which are quite elaborately unattractive and limited to almost an awesome degree, sort of like an astral and mental prison. You could probably counsel some of the shrinks, rather than the other way round. You're into expanding your head, not shrinking it.

      Michael: So talking to pine trees, and imagining the spirit of a clearing is not a psychiatric matter?

      Bivalia: Hurray! At last it's sunk in!
      This was a very spiritual experience, you know. You had a very high degree of awareness of the spiritual realms, at a deep level of your being.
      I wouldn't worry about insanity, schizophrenia, and the like. One only has to talk with you for a few minutes to see that you're not insane. And as for the schizophrenics, psychotics, and so on you jokingly compared yourself with: why do you think they experience the things they do, anyway? Why do they see monsters or pink elephants or fairies, or anything else out of the ordinary?
      You may be sure that it is because they are using psychic faculties and are really seeing things in the astral world. They really do see pink elephants, fairies, and so on; but their ability to see into these realms, and their emotions, are way out of control, so they create many of their monsters astrally and simply see what they've created. The fairies, at least, may have already been there, but the mental patients' ability to see them just comes and goes; they have little control over it, because they have no control over their emotions, and the astral world is the world of emotion.
      But your position, my friend, is nothing like this. So what you said about schizophrenia is nothing more than a joke.
      No, I won't tell anyone in your world, of course. As for people in the higher worlds - well, all those you called upon know all about this anyway, and every one of them was with you, you know, just as you invited them. They know about this, and cherished the opportunity to be with you at this time; but from their point of view there's nothing weird about what you have just described. Nor do I find anything whatsoever weird about it.
      Saying hullo to pine trees is not such an outlandish, deluded thing as many people would imagine. Trees have a great deal of energy, you know, even a consciousness. It is this you perceive when you say or think that pine trees seem to have a particular feel or atmosphere to them, although you don't know why, and can't account for it scientifically.

      Michael: When I went up to one of those trees, a monster at least a hundred feet high, I would say, it had just such a sense of hugeness; it was like a cathedral, almost.

      Bivalia: Well, you really were in touch with the spirit of that tree. A pine tree spirit is a very majestic being. And of course it's not only pine trees that have a spirit or consciousness. It's all living things, in one way or another.
      It's also in non-living things (as you commonly term them) too: absolutely everything in the universe has this basic essence or spirit which embodies its particular character, and you can be aware of this in connection with anything in the universe whatsoever if you can develop sufficient awareness to be able to tune in to it.
      It is not at all an exaggeration to say that any physical being or inanimate object or place has a spirit, which is the the real essence of that entity, and when the physical manifestation (the part you can see or touch) strikes you as having a certain character or feel or atmosphere, it does this merely because it reminds you of the spirit, of which it is only a pale copy.
      Remember that next time you are grieving any loss of a person, thing, or situation in life. It is only the pale copy you have lost. Perhaps you can't feel the real part, but it's there, just waiting for you to develop your awareness so you can fully experience it. And I can assure you that once you have the merest taste of this, you would never again miss the physical version of it, would never even want to go back again to that alone.
      And during this walk you took, you perhaps came closer than ever before in this life of yours to achieving that. When you get that feeling that something has a sense of wonder, a certain recognizable but indefinable feel to it, haven't you noticed that if you scrutinize the physical object, searching for the source of that feeling, the feeling seems to evaporate, leaving you to wonder if it was nothing more than a trick of the imagination? (But then, perhaps imagination is real, anyway.)
      This evaporation of the feeling is because you have ceased focusing on the higher dimensions of the object or place or situation or whatever it is. The physical thing itself doesn't possess that essence in itself, as a mere collection of atoms. You lose the plot if you focus exclusively on that, although it can be a valuable help to finding the essence as long as you remember it is not the essence itself.
      It was the spirit the open space you felt, not just an open patch of grass (although grass too has its own kind of spirit); and never mind that the clearing was artificially cleared by man, although that fact would make it a rather different kind of spirit than if it had been a natural clearing.
      It was the spirit of those pine trees you felt, and communicated with (a different kind of spirit, of course). And these spirits are considerably powerful spirits too, as you felt.
      The little group of mushrooms you came across don't have the same total quantity of energy as the pine trees, but they work on a smaller scale, and have their place in the universe. This does not make them inferior in any sense whatsoever. They have their level of energy and consciousness, and saying hullo to them makes perfect sense from our point of view in the higher realms. I don't notice any of the Masters who know about this laughing at you for being so crazy. In fact, the essence of those mushrooms springs from a very delightful little fairy who was happy to greet you as you walked past, even though you may not be fully aware of all these details. But you did feel something, didn't you?

      Michael: I suppose in a sense, yes. But that could have been my imagination or subjective feelings, my desire to believe what I know is not true.

      Bivalia: Oh come on! Who do you think you're kidding? Pull the other one! Here, I'll hold it out so you can have a good tug. You'll have to do better than that.
      You may be fooling yourself, although I doubt that you are doing so completely; but you're certainly not fooling God or any Masters; you're certainly not fooling me, and you're not fooling the mushroom fairy, either.
      Perhaps the influence of all those shrinks shows a little in remarks like that. That sort of talk is what some people crudely but vividly call "mindfucking". [c] Many psychiatrists are experts at that, and write heavy tomes about it. It's the mental equivalent of masturbation. Some people get quite high on it, and there's nothing wrong with it; but the problem with it is that it doesn't lead to a very high level of truth (well at least it is a problem if such a high level of truth is what you want, which is perfectly obviously so in your case).
      You may get away with that sort of explanation (or explaining-away, more accurately) in the three-dimensional world of illusion, but not a hope at any higher level - not a hope. The truth of these things is plain for everyone to see in the astral and higher; and I can assure you that the fairy was there, and that it greeted you, as you greeted it, and you did meet the pine-tree beings, and the spirit in that open place - and so on. It certainly isn't for nothing that you spent about half an hour just walking back and forth along the ridge that crossed the clearing from one side of the valley to the other, trying to feel the essence or atmosphere of the place, and getting all these longings for you-don't-know-what stirred up, getting ideas for a wonderful story you would like to write about that sense of wonder.

      Michael: I hope you're right. It's certainly a nice idea about the fairies and nature spirits, et cetera. The feeling gave me perhaps an inkling of why Aborigines place such value on land, to the point of holding at least certain parts of it sacred. Perhaps their feeling is a little like what I felt about these places I walked through. To cut those pine trees down or carelessly kick those mushrooms with one's foot would have seemed a sacrilege. The way I felt about those things at the time, I would have been extremely angry and outraged if I saw someone doing that wantonly. I suppose this may explain at least a bit the way Aborigines feel.

      Bivalia: You're absolutely right about that. The Aboriginal people of your country, and of many other countries too, have a great awareness of nature spirits and other entities that help give any place its character. To rip all this up to dig mines or build cities or rubbish dumps is to them like it would be to a Western capitalist to bulldoze the banks and to burn all the money, if you want an analogy that might be better understood in your own society.

      Michael: I think I understand the Aboriginal viewpoint better. I mean, I like the things that money can do for you, that in our society you need money for; but I don't revere money itself, or the values and institutions that have been built up around it.

      Bivalia: Of course you don't. Or to put it another way, it would be similar to how a devout Christian would regard spitting on the cross in their church and urinating on the Communion chalice and throwing the Host down the toilet.

      Michael: I get your point very clearly. Church may not be my main path, not even an enlightened church like the Church of Antioch; but one thing I have gained from this church, and St. Raphael's Church of Healing before that, is an appreciation of the esoteric meaning of the Eucharist, and the way the service builds astral structures for the inflow of divine power, and the role various angels and fairies play in all of this.
      By contrast, I can't say I ever had the faintest idea from any orthodox churches of what services or sacraments meant, except for some vague idea of symbolism, or some concept of the bread and wine somehow changing into the Body and Blood of the Christ, for reasons that either were never explained very clearly, or which just seemed absurd.

      Bivalia: Well, there is a lot more to it than the orthodox churches realize, and the two churches you mentioned are (were, in the case of St. Raphael's) certainly much closer to understanding the real significance of the sacraments. However that's a whole topic by itself, one which I'm not expert on. I merely mentioned violating the Host and so on as a kind of analogy to the Aboriginal view of violating the land.

      Michael: I certainly see what you mean about sacrilege, whether in a Christian context, or in relation to Aboriginal beliefs.

      Bivalia: The Aboriginal people have their problems, and it would be a narrow view of their reality to romanticize and sentimentalize their closeness to nature too much.
      And with the needs of the modern world, where a vastly excessive human population exists (from an ecological point of view), humanity is dependent on technology and high energy usage for mere survival, certainly at the level of consciousness they are now at. Without high energy consumption and technology, the Earth could not support the five-and-a-half-billion-plus people that now exist, except if most of those people had a level of consciousness and a level of mutual cooperation with each other and with nature that simply doesn't exist in most societies and most people. Without that mass consciousness (which could literally work miracles) you have no choice but to depend (for the time being) on technology, high energy use, et cetera, and also the down side of pollution, too - raping the planet, to put it bluntly.
      And, distasteful though native peoples may find this, I suppose they have to accept it for the time being. And I guess we in the higher realms have to accept it too, on at least a temporary basis. In a sense Mother Earth too accepts it, although it pains her. But she accepts it because she sees you humans have painted yourselves into a corner and have no choice by this stage, and she is full of love for you, despite the damage you have done her.
      This whole situation is why so much ascension energy is being poured down onto your planet at present, to try to relieve this emergency - and the word "emergency" is no exaggeration.
      So the Aboriginal view of land (at least certain portions of it) as sacred, even though thoroughly grounded in truth, is not all that realistic in the current emergency. Humanity simply has no choice at the moment but to mine, build, use energy, and so on. Immediate chaos and disaster and war and disease and starvation would result if this were stopped for any significant period of time. Despite all that, however, when it comes to understanding nature at the feeling level, the native peoples have it hands down over the vast majority of Western people. Civilization has not corrupted their values nearly as much as it has those of Western people - with some exceptions, of course, on both sides.
      Your scientists, whose attitude strongly influences your own, Michael, would do well to remember that there are many things in this universe they do not see even remotely, and they would do well not to be so arrogant as to claim a monopoly on truth and knowledge. A monopoly on certain areas of physical knowledge, yes, perhaps I grant that, and maybe only perhaps; but a total monopoly on all knowledge, no - the very idea is preposterous. I trust you are beginning to see that.
      I can tell you that you know more about fairies, and the Masters, and the essence of nature, and lots of other things to do with the higher realms, than an army of learned scientists with their hidebound materialistic outlook would have a hope of knowing in a thousand years - unless they change their mind-set, that is, which in some cases is unlikely for quite some time yet.
      Why do you think you find the idea of fairies attractive? Why did you write a substantial portion of a story called The Fairy Ring some years ago, and why did you also want to write a piece of music also called The Fairy Ring, even if you never got round to writing it? Why were you pleased when at a previous residence you noticed what you thought might be a fairy ring in the lawn, so that you actually led a couple of people you knew up to it just to show them, and why were you sorry when, later on, a dog chained up in the yard dug the lawn up out of boredom and frustration, and destroyed the fairy ring? Why did you become so fascinated with fairy rings that several times you went to libraries to find out whatever you could about them, what little was to be found? Why did you delight in telling various people that in the South Downs in Sussex, England, there are fairy rings up to 400 years old, and that their age can be determined by measuring their radius, because they have a regular rate of growing outwards, from 6 to 12 inches per year? This connection you have with fairies and fairy rings seems to stand out a mile when you really look at it.
      These things don't happen out of thin air, you know. There is obviously a link or bond or common feeling between you and the fairy and angelic realms (both of which are part of the same stream of evolution). And how would scientific investigators or other sceptics account for these subtle feelings? It would all be psychological mumbo-jumbo, about wish fulfilment fantasies or inability to accept mortality, or bad potty training, or something of the sort. Perhaps I'm being a bit irreverent, but I wouldn't even be surprised if some of them trotted out hoary old chestnuts like anal-retentiveness or the Oedipus complex. (What a useful word "complex" is for speaking mumbo-jumbo! Yes, it has its proper use, but I suspect it is overused rather at times.)
      Where you get ideas along those spiritual lines - such as fairies, just to continue with that example - other people would just ignore the ideas, or laugh or scoff at them. Those people do not feel drawn to these beings. Okay, that's their cup of tea; but it's not yours, and you don't have to be influenced by their views about such matters, although certainly you do well to exercise discretion about whom you talk about such things with.

      Michael: I guess so. I give in. You've floored me!

      Bivalia: I've only reminded you of what you already know. When you write stories about fairy rings or atolls or pine trees, or whatever, and create a world full of beauty within which your characters move, and you create characters who themselves tend to be almost idealistically good, and you just know this is a wonderful idea for a story, that's what you know to be truth, not all the sceptical reasoning. Have you ever noticed how often natural things, and beauty, and love, and compassionate treatment of pain, and transcendent, even mystical, experiences come up in your stories, and how seldom do violence, sordid things, cities, and cars, and televisions, and even, dare I say it, computers?
      Think about it. It is a sure guide to the real space you inhabit, as against the things that you sometimes imagine mistakenly are real. And I can tell you, beyond any doubt, that where you really are is very much more beautiful and even glorious than you imagine with your everyday mind.
      Then look at the music you have always been striving to write, the longings and feelings you have always tried to express therein. These ideas have much beauty in them, and are also much inspired by nature. (We'll ignore the reasons why you have so often failed to complete pieces, which are not related to the point I'm making now.) Take a look at some of the titles you've selected for pieces over the years; they tell the story loud and clear: The Fairy Ring, Moonrise, Sunset, Under the Pine Tree, The Water-Lily Pool, Blue Horizon, Solar Eclipse, When the Wind Changed, The Lost World of Vulcan, The Blue Planet - and I could go on and on; that's only a small sample. I think even the very titles conjure up a lovely atmosphere of magic and wonder. There's a persistent link with many beautiful parts of nature, and also with planets and the Sun and the Moon - things beyond your own planet, these things also being something you have an affinity with. All very starseed-ish, isn't it?
      Then there's that series of half a dozen or so symphonies you want to write, the ideas for which have haunted you since the 1970s, which you've been considering again over the last few years. The titles? The Spirit of the Atoll, The Spirit of the Oasis, The Spirit of the Swamp, Indian Summer, The River, Mountains, In the Forest, and so on. Once again the message is clear: some of those titles even tell one that they're concerned with spirit, so as to leave no doubt about that, even though, very likely, when you conceived the titles, you thought you were using "Spirit" merely figuratively to mean the essence of the atoll or oasis or whatever, in some vague sense.
      Unfinished as are most of your stories and compositions (and we won't go into the reason for that now, it being unimportant in this context) - unfinished as they are, I regard them as a very clear and reliable guide to the sort of person you really are, to the things that really matter to you, that are close to your heart and mind and spirit. Even in the case of ideas you never began, but simply planned, I can see what those plans created astrally, and with few exceptions, those astral forms though sketchy in some cases are very beautiful.
      I can tell you that the fairies of water-lily pools have noticed the forms you created astrally by planning (and beginning) The Water Lily Pool, and that the devas concerned with the Sun and Moon and with solar eclipses have noticed your plans for Solar Eclipse, a piece you never even began; but they can't do much with those forms yet because they have not yet been brought fully into fruition. Even planning these pieces makes a mark in the astral world; you can scarcely scratch your big toe without someone at some level noticing it, so you have definitely made marks in the astral even without bringing your pieces to fruition. But when such fruition takes place, the fairies, angels, devas, and so on absolutely revel in what has been created. It is truly wonderful to have clairvoyant vision and be able to see their enjoyment.
      So far with those pieces I just mentioned, they only have the sniff of it, beautiful as it is. I hope a time will come when you be able to bring those ideas into full fruition, every one of them.
      As for the symphony The Spirit of the Atoll, which is a piece very dear to your heart, of which certain passages have been written, but which seems to be causing you great difficulty, so that you almost give up hope at times: well, what can I say? Even though only a little is composed, your vision of the symphony as it should be is so powerful and has haunted you for so long that it has already created astral forms which are surprisingly steadfast for a piece of music still in such early and indefinite stages of creation. It has definitely been noticed by many of the rich variety of beings who inhabit atolls in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, particularly the Pacific. They are waiting eagerly for you to complete it.
      If, my friend, you can complete that symphony one of these days, and have it performed, it will not really be much of an exaggeration to say that you will create atolls on the astral plane, to which the appropriate kinds of beings on that level will come flocking. This is the sort of thing music does on the astral and higher planes.
      Perhaps you might like to ask Lord Kuthumi to help you with that; but I suggest you work up to it in stages by beginning with shorter simpler pieces such as the piece you have already begun with the beloved Master's help, and perhaps doing the B-minor Symphony we talked about earlier somewhere along the way.
      I know you have problems with following through with creating your music and stories; but you have more talent than you realize, and a rare feel for expressing nature in music, and in words. You have much to offer that no-one else can offer; you have actually created an area in the vast universe of creative space that is exclusively your own: either you work this area, or it doesn't get done at all. The same is true of your writing.

      Michael: It is very nice of you to say these things.

      Bivalia: They are the truth: nothing more, nothing less.

      Michael: I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for much in this life. It's already half over, and I'm getting older all the time, and I'm far from properly organized to begin in the immediate future.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. The famous English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote several symphonies in his seventies and eighties. How many symphonies did Havergal Brian write at about this age? About 20, if I've got it right.

      Michael: Something like that. Quite a few of them are very short by symphonic standards, concise and concentrated.

      Bivalia: No matter. And what about George Lloyd, the Cornish composer, whom you have, in wonderment, stated to be one of the most wonderful still-living composers in the whole world? How's he going now?

      Michael: He's in his 80s, still going strong as far as I know, despite shocking war injuries that severely traumatized him for years afterwards. [e] He poured out that trauma into his 4th Symphony, the Arctic Symphony, a gigantic wonderful piece 65 minutes long. Several of his symphonies have been written in the last decade or so, after he retired from composing for a couple of decades, and they show no signs of decline in quality.

      Bivalia: No, of course not.

      Michael: After years of obscurity in earlier life, he now seems to go from strength to strength in his old age. He's at last beginning to get the recognition he deserved decades ago. He's amazing, and a great symphonist.

      Bivalia: He is indeed. He is a wonderful being. And where's he up to now?

      Michael: Number 12 at present. And 5 piano concertos, and I think one or two violin concertos too.

      Bivalia: Yes, but you'd better keep an eye on him, otherwise those figures may be outdated before you're aware of it. Not only has he written 12 wonderful symphonies (as well as the other compositions), but he conducts them himself, and all 12 of them have been recorded, many conducted by him, and many of them commissioned by an American orchestra that really took to his work. And most of these symphonies are much longer than Brian's later symphonies, too, which admittedly are rather neglected now.
      Every time you feel like giving up, call on Kuthumi, who longs to help you, and just remember George Lloyd. Kuthumi helps a great many composers; this is one of his special missions, one which adds immeasurably to the evolution of the Earth, and all beings on it, and indeed to the evolution of many realms beyond the Earth you know; and he is happy to add you to his classes, and welcomes you with open arms. And forget all those doubts and obstacles you are so expert at making up. It's more mindfucking, that's all. [f]
      In short, to put it in the vernacular, don't come the raw prawn with me. You can't fool me with all that three-dimensional type of thinking, based on limitations. If Brian and Lloyd can do it, there's no reason why you can't, still decades younger, untraumatized by war injuries or the like. If you are still in the habit of comparing yourself unfavourably with the likes of Lloyd, saying, "He's a great composer, and I'm only me", forget it. Remember you have Kuthumi (not to mention God and the many other Masters with whom you have varying degrees of relationship), and that makes an enormous difference.

      Michael: What if for some reason I don't do it?

      Bivalia: So be it. That would be unfortunate, but this life is not all there is; you will have later opportunities. But it would be very good to get a head start as soon as possible rather than later; it will help you keep up with things as the Earth ascends to her higher realms. Delaying this work too much might make it more difficult to get started again when you finally do get around to it; but it certainly won't hold you back permanently - just for a little while.

      Michael: I'll think about this.

      Bivalia: By all means, think about it; but don't stop there. Do it. And remember that, for you, your artistic vision, and your spiritual truth, the one beloved Hilarion helped you with so much all those millennia ago, are closely related, and are in fact the same for all practical purposes. Never forget that.
      I'm not saying necessarily that that is a general rule for all creative people: it is for some, and isn't for others, and you are one of the former. Some seem to keep their spiritual life a bit separate from their artistic work, which may be quite pragmatic; some are not conscious of a spiritual life as such. For you, the two are practically inseparable.
      This is not to make a religion out of music or any other art-form. It is the vision you are trying to evoke that is linked with your spiritual truth, not the artistic activity, just as a church service is not spiritual truth itself but a path to reaching spiritual truth.

      Michael: I guess you're right. Your speech has left me speechless.

      Bivalia: Sorry if I seem to be lecturing you too much, but it's important, and I think you are interested to hear this anyway.
      You yourself have often regarded your stories and music as attempting to embody the essence of your inner landscape (and you know perfectly well what I mean by that admittedly inadequate description), and you have for many years quite consciously used them to try to evoke that longing for the eternal, that sense of wonder or magic you felt closer to as a child, that ineffable feeling the author C. S. Lewis called "Joy", which he wrote about so eloquently and hauntingly in a way you immediately understood. Why, his understanding is such I wouldn't be at all surprised if he is a starseed, for all his orthodoxy of Christian belief, although I don't claim to have accurate knowledge of who is and isn't a starseed, except that, because of my special connection with you by virtue of being your Higher Self, I can indicate to you that you can safely regard yourself as a starseed. And plenty of people other than myself have expressed a similar opinion.
      At the Crea workshop - which, incidentally, represented for Sananda an opportunity to speak to you directly that he had been waiting for for many years - at the workshop, Sananda asked you to keep your thread of truth going, and it's part of my job to help you do this; and one way is to simply remind you of these things - things like the reality of that inner landscape, that sense of wonder you have wanted to express in your arts all your life, the reality of the spirit world, of the Masters, and nature spirits, and everything that touches your heart and stirs your longing for the eternal.
      It is up to me to remind you of the reality of all these things you so fondly hope are real, so that you don't lose sight of them or regard them merely as an infantile delusion the way many other people do. That may be where they're at, and I'm not about to judge it. But a simple look at the facts of your life and your ways of thinking, a simple consideration of the things that are really close to your heart, makes it manifestly obvious that you're not where those sceptical scoffing people are.

      Michael: Well, golly, you've almost convinced me. You'd be positively dangerous if you ever got into Parliament.

      Bivalia: God forbid! But then, perhaps I'd reform it from top to bottom! And that might be a bit of a shock for some of the honourable members.

      Michael: People who talk like you just did wouldn't survive Parliament the way it is today for five minutes. You'd be laughed out in nothing flat!

      Bivalia: Let them laugh for all they're worth, and I will laugh with them. They already laugh at each other anyway; you have doubtless found Parliament reminiscent of a rowdy schoolroom when the pupils think their teacher is out of hearing. At other times they sound like a party of drinkers swapping dirty stories.
      But you'd probably be right in surmising that I would be unlikely to make much favourable impact along the lines of spiritual truth.

      Michael: Well, the sun is well up now, but I had to keep going with the sheer force of what you've been saying; perhaps I'm getting better at channelling you more accurately. I called up a largish group of Masters when I began this session, which may have something to do with it.
      I could say more about these things we've been discussing, but I suppose I've made the important points anyway; but I just have to finish now. I want to wash before I get to bed because I feel a bit sweaty (it's been quite warm the last day or two), and I don't want to delay sleeping much longer now.
      Thank you for coming and sharing your thoughts with me, and thank you to God, and to all the Masters and other beings who have been with me helping me express these ideas with clarity.

      Bivalia: Thank you for taking the time to be with me and with the other beings too. I bid you farewell.

      Michael: Good-bye to you too.


[a] Tuesday, 26 March, 2002 - "Bivalia:":
      See the first
note at the end of the dialogue for Monday, 13 June, 1994, for the meaning of the name "Bivalia", and why I adopted it in these dialogues as the name for my Higher Self. [Back]

[b] Friday, 14 June, 2002 - "I was diagnosed as autistic aged one or two...":
      As a matter of fact, I am not sure if this is strictly true or not. For anything as early as this in my life, I can only rely on what my parents have told me. To be sure, my mother and/or father have told me this, but I'm not really sure whether it was a formal diagnosis, or merely a doctor informally stating his opinion that I might have been autistic.
      More recently, I have read things about Asperger's Syndrome which makes it appear more likely that I had (and probably still have) this condition rather than autism. Without being expert on either condition, and without doing a lot of research into them, the most I can say about Asperger's is that it appears to be a milder form of autism, and is more likely than autism to be associated with normal or even superior intelligence, whereas autism is more likely to be associated with some degree of mental retardation. But whether the two conditions are related does not appear to be known, and indeed nothing is known about the cause of either condition, nor about how to cure them. [

[c] Thursday, 10 May, 2001 - "That sort of talk is what some people crudely but vividly call "mindfucking".":
      It occurs to me that the use of this term was slightly ill-advised, even though it was my Higher Self who first brought it up - but it is too late to change now. While I do later change the odd sentence, or add occasional passages to the text, I usually do so only if the dialogue is still fresh in my mind from the original writing, and it is clear that the alteration or addition is in the spirit of the original ideas being discussed - virtually amounting to an idea I undoubtedly would have intended to include if I had thought of it, or which I know my Higher Self would have intended to include, but which was for some reason not impressed on my mind.
      I have now long since passed that point, and I cannot expunge the references to mindfucking now without unduly distorting the gist of the parts of the dialogue where they occur.
      A concern about offending some readers with profanity is not my only reason for half-thinking that it might have been better to express the ideas without using the big "F" word; it is not even my main reason. I don't have an absolute dispproval of using such language on occasion, but, because of the possibility of offence, which I prefer to avoid whenever possible, I would usually restrict the use of such words to occasions when they aptly or vividly express an idea or feeling, and the effectiveness of this outweighs the risk of needless offence. (Let's face it, there are people who will be offended by a great deal that is said in these dialogues, mainly on the grounds of disagreeing with traditional religious ideas, challenging the supposed authority of God, and similar things. In this context, to go too far in trying to avoid giving offence of any sort would be rather fatuous.)
      Rather more importantly, the main reason for my reservations (which I am going to address merely by adding this footnote) is that I have become aware of another use of the term "mindfucking" (or "mind fucking") which some readers may think I was intending, but which I was not. According to this other usage, mind fucking is where you play tricks upon someone or perpetrate illusions on them so that they think you are doing something harmful to them, but in fact it is harmless. There is an implication that you are playing on a phobia or anxiety of some sort that the person has. An example would be to use an ice-cold knife gently on the genitals of a blindfolded man so that it felt like being castrated (but it wasn't really), then squirt him with warm water in such a way that it felt like blood. This was a hypothetical example I read, and the context was rather extreme sex games; the implication of a "mind fuck" was that it went beyond a practical joke or thrill, and that it could potentially cause real psychological trauma.
      I just want to clarify that in the dialogue nothing like this was even remotely intended to be conveyed. It is difficult for me now to be sure that the meaning I intended to convey is in fact a standard usage of the term "mindfucking", but I have heard it so used in the past: what I had in mind was that it meant devising elaborate psychological or emotional theories about something that sound plausible, but which are really rather dubious, and whose real motivation is rationalizing away something you don't want to face up to, or needlessly limiting your ideas because you can't find the breadth of imagination to consider that bigger ideas might be true. The term "mindfucking" often seems to convey that you are just playing mind games, and there might even be an implied comparison with masturbating or "wanking", as the colloquial term would have it.
      Possibly if I had not used "mindfucking", I might have used "wanking" instead; but I'm not changing it now, because I'm not quite sure that it would in fact convey quite the same feeling. To me, "wanking" conveys a feeling of essentially harmless and possibly entertaining but not very productive self-aggrandizement; "mindfucking" conveys something a little more self-deluded and deep, which is presumably what my Higher Self and I wanted to convey at the time we were using the term. [

[d] Thursday, 10 May, 2001 - "You have much to offer that no-one else can offer; you have actually created an area in the vast universe of creative space that is exclusively your own: either you work this area, or it doesn't get done at all. The same is true of your writing.":
      This is not as conceited or self-important as it may sound. This statement, and the entire line of thought in the preceding few paragraphs is based on the premise, applying equally to all humans, that anyone doing creative work has a vastly greater potential to make great and individual achievement than is commonly thought possible: if I am capable of producing truly great work, it is no more than anyone is at least potentially able to do. Neither I nor my Higher Self was claiming any special elite status for myself in this regard.
      Whether or not this assumption is in fact true is another matter, which I myself would sometimes doubt. But this idea is without doubt linked with the general spiritual outlook which seems to have emerged in these dialogues, and which has remained consistent throughout the extent of the dialogues, in spite of my own doubts. [

[e] Monday, 27 November, 2000 - "... still going strong as far as I know...":
      Alas, no longer: George Lloyd died in July 1998, aged 85. I don't know if he remained active as a composer until shortly before his death, but he was in poor health for the last year of his life.
      I felt a pang of regret at hearing of his passing - not only because it meant the loss of a wonderful composer, but for a slightly more personal reason. I wrote to him some years ago, telling him of my appreciation of his music, and asking about the availability of his scores. Later I had it in mind to write a second time, to order a couple of these scores directly from him (they are not published through a mainstream publisher), and to make a few more comments; I even wrote out the draft of a second letter to send him. Regrettably, I put it off, and obviously it is too late for that now - but it appears that his nephew now continues to maintain the sales of his scores.
      It is possible I may have been mistaken in calling his 4th Symphony the "Arctic", although it was inspired by his war-time service which was in the Arctic area. I feel I might have heard or read the Symphony described as the "Arctic" somewhere, but it would not appear to be a formal title or even common nickname, since I can now find only a single reference to this name. [

[f] Thursday, 10 May, 2001 - "It's more mindfucking, that's all.":
      See note
[b]. [Back]

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