(M.J.E. Spirit / Sun., 16 Oct., 1994)

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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P.S. (Well and truly Sunday, 16 October, 1994 by now)

      Michael: Please don't go just yet.[a]

      Bivalia:[b] I am still with you, my friend, as I always am.

      Michael: That continued much longer than I expected under its own momentum. But now, as I finish up, I am feeling a bit let down, and - well, you mentioned mindfucking a couple of times, in that elegant way you have. [c] Maybe this is my scepticism, and even embarrassment at so much personal navel-gazing: but I can't help getting the awkward feeling that the writing of this document has been a form of self-indulgent mindfucking, just giving way to wish-fulfilment fantasies.

      Bivalia: Well, I think what you just said was mindfucking, if not wish-fulfilment. I suppose it's possible all the discussion was mindfucking, although I don't think so. I wouldn't have done it if I thought so, as that sort of thing doesn't interest me.
      But remember: I said there's nothing wrong with mindfucking (and I'm beginning to feel a bit sorry I used that term, and didn't expect it to be taken up repeatedly like this). I don't happen to find it either helpful or interesting. If you do, do it by all means.
      I presume you found this writing helpful, and more than passingly, or else you wouldn't have stayed up all night to do it. Whether that's because it isn't mindfucking after all, or it is and in spite of that you are finding it useful, I don't know. It doesn't even matter. Perhaps, as your moods change, you will even change your mind about how to regard this. But whatever you call it, there's nothing wrong with it; after all it's not hurting anyone, and it is an attempt to sort out your life; or at the very least, it is enjoyable.

      Michael: I cringe to think what certain other people I know would think if they read this.

      Bivalia: That's their business, not yours. They have the perfect right to think what they like if they read this; and you have an equally perfect right to ignore their opinions utterly. If it bothers you, don't show this text to them.

      Michael: That's not the point.

      Bivalia: It is the entire point. They think what they like, and you think what you like. What could be easier?

      Michael: I mean, I have the uncomfortable feeling they may be right, even if in fact I don't show it to them.

      Bivalia: If you don't show it to them, and don't ask their opinion, you are simply guessing what their opinion would be.

      Michael: Well, an educated, informed guess in many instances.

      Bivalia: No matter. It doesn't matter even if you know they are right, which you don't with complete certainty. It is not their business to interfere with what you choose to write - only their own private opinions about it are their business; and if they exercise their right to think it ridiculous, that is no concern of yours - or shouldn't be. And if the opinion you're projecting onto them is what you believe, then once again it doesn't matter whether or not they concur with you.

      Michael: I think you're being obtuse. I think you know what I mean.

      Bivalia: I see the point you're making, but it just doesn't matter. What law is there in the universe that says you shouldn't write about yourself, channel your Higher Self, or anything else of similar nature? No humans have told you not to do it (or if they have, they haven't given a good reason why you should obey them on that), and certainly the Masters haven't raised their fingers and said "Tut-tut". To the contrary, they have been most loving and supportive. Nor has God struck you down with a thunderbolt.
      Doing this writing harms no-one, and there are no absolute laws of physics or chemistry that make it impossible physically for you to do it. I simply see no other obstacles to your doing it if you want to, which you obviously have wanted to. I just don't see where the problem is. You are giving way to a form of peer pressure, something I am glad to see is not a serious problem with you, but it is nevertheless a form of that: having doubts about what you're doing because you don't know anyone else who's doing it, or because you think (or even know) that certain people disapprove of what you're doing, rather than because those doubts arise from your own mind or feelings for reasons you yourself care about.

      Michael: Well, another thing is that towards the end I went back and added substantial bits after the main text was complete. I probably expanded the text by about 2 pages after I had already written our final farewells. And later still I added another 5 pages, and made a couple of minor modifications to this postscript, which included adding this very sentence to it. All these later alterations helped me feel maybe it was all just a great big wank.

      Bivalia: Don't modify the text after it's written if it makes you feel like that. It doesn't bother me. You're channelling me, and using the medium of writing, which is a fairly flexible medium, especially when you are using a word-processor which allows you to modify and add text with almost complete freedom. When we converse, we accept the conventions of the medium, which, amongst other things, are that you can revise to your heart's content, as long as you don't distort the basic message you want to convey. Authors do this all the time, far more than what you have done, which has been mostly spontaneous and unchanged (about 22 pages of the now-27 pages written in one night and morning, remember, typed at practically breakneck pace! - and the later pages, although inserted, themselves just as spontaneous); any author who never revised would be considered shoddy, if not unreliable. You are a good writer, and although you have done little revision, what you have produced is certainly grammatical, and seems good in content and organization.
      I don't get things perfect the first time much more, if any more, than you do. I'm quite happy to take advantage of your computer's ability to change text easily to improve the way I've said something, and to add bits which help clarify or amplify the overall message. Unlike speech, it's only the final result that counts, not how you get there, which no-one else will ever know, and which you will forget by this time next week (or would forget if you hadn't started this postscript to nit-pick at the question).
      I don't know what the problem is about making later alterations. Let's assume you wouldn't be bothering to write this text if you didn't think there was at least a reasonable chance of it being from me. If what you write to begin with is from me, why shouldn't the later alterations be coming from me also in exactly the same way?

      Michael: I might be changing what purports to be your words with my own mind though.

      Bivalia: Oh, come on. If I'm not worried about that, why are you? Both you and I know perfectly well that you are quite capable of recognizing when you are changing it contrary to my intent, and when you are changing it merely to more closely express my intent. You know that, because my intent is deep inside you anyway. I'm your Higher Self, after all. If I am willing to trust your honesty on this, surely you can trust yourself on the same point.
      You amuse me when you talk like this. You've been typing so quickly and continuously I don't think you would have had time to be so devious as that, even if the inclination was within you, which I know it is not. I trust you to write this properly. I don't care how many revisions you make; I really don't care if you write the entire document inside-out or outside-in, if that makes you feel better.

      Michael: What about if I'm not deliberately changing what you say, but doing it unconsciously: for instance, I don't like something you've said, decide unconsciously to change it, go back and make the change, and fool myself into thinking it came from you, but I simply didn't get it right the first time?

      Bivalia: Forget it. Take it from me, you don't deceive yourself unconsciously as easily as that.

      Michael: I guess so. You're a pretty persuasive arguer when you want to be.

      Bivalia: I've had thousands and thousands of years to practise.

      Michael: You have a glib and instant answer to everything I say.

      Bivalia: There'd be something wrong if I didn't: I've known you inside-out, back-to-front, and top-to-bottom all your life - as long as you've had this personality - longer.

      Michael: Anyway, I must go now, and really mean it. I'm feeling rooted, and I'm making spelling mistakes (which I always do when I am getting tired - it's infallible), and the willy-wagtails outside have long since started and finished their singing (when I do a stint like this, it's always the beginning of bird-songs that makes me realize how late it is getting) (no, it's not already night again, just somewhere in the middle in the day, and the willy-wagtails are having a rest, I suppose), and my mind is beginning to give way, and my sentences are getting long and rambling, and my mind full of cotton-wool, and I just need to rest. I probably said most of what I had to say about the matters I wanted to discuss with you, and perhaps left out only a few details I might have included. I might come back to those another time if they seem important enough at the time, or I might even be a devil and insert those bits into the text already standing, so that no-one will ever know the difference and even I forget one day.

      Bivalia: That's right, be a devil. I love you when you're a devil, and do outrageous things; you're such a good devil at times. Being a devil cuts through all the dross and frippery of life and cuts to the heart of matters, exposes the things that really matter (to quote one of your honourable political leaders, although in a different context).

      Michael: Oh God, I don't think the phrase "the things that matter" will ever be usable again without sounding corny. [d] See you.

      Bivalia: I'll see you again, too.


[a] Saturday, 6 April, 2002 - "P.S. (Well and truly Sunday, 16 October, 1994 by now)"; "Michael: Please don't go just yet.":
      This rather strange heading and opening for this dialogue results from the fact that the dialogue was begun immediately after (or at least within minutes of) finishing the previous dialogue. I was very tired and about to get some sleep, but a further thought occurred to me which I wanted to discuss, and I decided to do it straight away, thinking it could be disposed of in a few minutes. Well, it was perhaps more than a few minutes - but it is the subject of the dialogue which follows. (I might normally have simply appended it to the end of the previous dialogue, but for the trivial circumstance that the word-processing file for that previous, long dialogue had almost completely used up the maximum size of files for the MultiMate word-processing program I was using; so I was forced to start a new file, and that's why what is essentially only a postscript to that dialogue now appears as a separate dialogue with a new date on it.)
      That I felt the need to spend a few more pages discussing the validity of my writing dialogues with my Higher Self betrays a certain lack of self-confidence, and confidence in what I was doing - a lack I still have to some extent. I think there are strong, subtle social pressures, at least in my own society, that condition one not to spend too much time in introspection, or writing or talking, or even thinking, too much about your inner feelings, and so on - especially if you are male. This is exemplified in the idea that you occasionally read that, unless you're a celebrity of some sort, or an important person in public life, it is (variously) pointless, arrogant, or egotistic to write your own autobiography. To the contrary, I believe that if lots of people did this (not necessarily for publication), we might have a lot less stress and mental illness in our society. And, although I reject the basic premises such prejudiced attitudes appear to be based on, I cannot entirely root them out of my own thinking, even to this day. [

[b] 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]

[c] Thursday, 10 May, 2001 - "... mindfucking...":
      The term "mindfucking" was briefly mentioned earlier, in the previous dialogue, but perhaps not adequately defined in the dialogue itself. For my thoughts on the use of this term, and a little clarification, see footnote
[b] of that dialogue, then use "backspace" in your browser to return to here, and either the following link or "backspace" to return to the referring place in the dialogue above on this page. [Back]

[d] Thursday, 10 May, 2001; Thursday, 26 July, 2001 - "... the things that matter...":
      This remark, which may seem puzzling now, was a reference to a piece of news in Australian politics that was topical at the time I wrote this passage.
      The memory of the context is now vague, but the Opposition Leader at the time, Alexander Downer, made some political mileage out of the phrase "the things that matter", which was a piece of rhetoric he applied to election promises he had made (and which according to some he was not likely to keep); a little later, shortly before I wrote the passage, Downer, addressing a meeting on the subject of domestic violence, made a pun on the phrase, talking about "the things that batter" - that is, violent husbands - and was much criticized for the supposed insensitivity of his remark, and for making a joke out of what was a very serious matter.
      Maybe it might seem that I shouldn't, in these dialogues, put in topical or local references that will mean nothing later, especially given that I do occasionally show the dialogues to others, and they are to some extent a record of my gradually evolving spiritual outlook. But the dialogues are also very personal, in spite of my decision to make them public on my web site, and one part of their purpose is to help me develop an awareness of spirit, and to develop a relationship with my Higher Self; and a part of that includes engaging in all manner of light-hearted banter, jokes, trivial and local references, and the like. It is, after all, easy enough to add footnotes to the dialogue later on, if I feel a need to clarify things for readers.
      And it occurs to me that I was rather overstating things when I said at the end of the dialogue that I didn't think the phrase "the things that matter" would ever be usable again without sounding corny - presumably because I thought it would conjure up memories of this gaffe of Alexander Downer's. As I've indicated above, my memory of the incident has almost completely faded away, as probably has most people's memory of it, and the phrase would not bring up such memories at all, not even if used in a political context. [

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This page created on Wednesday, 22 November, 2000;
annotations added or amended, or links to other pages added,
    on occasions up to Saturday, 6 April, 2002.