(M.J.E. Spirit / Sat., 5 Nov., 1994)

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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Saturday, 5 November, 1994

      Michael: Well, Bivalia, here I am again. How are you today?

      Bivalia:[a] Very well, thank you. And you?

      Michael: Okay, thanks.

      Bivalia: And what news do you have for me today?

      Michael: Oh, I don't know. Yesterday, I saw a bird dying, and was rather upset, and intended to speak to you yesterday, but something went wrong with a computer file I was working on, and I had to sort out the trouble (it was our previous session, in fact - we don't want to lose that, do we?); and by the time I had put the pieces back together again, a number of hours later, the urgency of the situation seemed to have gone.

      Bivalia: How did this bird die?

      Michael: I was walking to the shop to get something to eat, and I saw a wattle-bird lying on Camberwell Rd. It appeared to be moving slightly, but I thought that was because a breeze was ruffling its feathers. So, when a car shortly gave it a glancing blow, I was shocked to see a wing flapping wildly. The poor thing was still alive - the wind wouldn't have done that. And I didn't know what to do. The poor bird was almost certainly beyond saving, and I contemplated whether to go and get him and put him under a bush to die quietly, or whether it would be kinder to leave him there, and hopefully a car would finish him off quickly, instead of him lingering on in pain. That would be a less dignified death than dying quietly under a bush, but would involve less duration of pain, and I tend to put that above dignity.

      Bivalia: This is a most upsetting situation, isn't it, dear one?

      Michael: Yes. It raises all those old problems of mine, about pain and suffering and why they exist in the world, and why God or the Masters don't (or can't) do something about it.

      Bivalia: Yes, I know. It is a problem. To many, it is the most important problem of religion or philosophy, beside which all else is peripheral.
      What did you do?

      Michael: I sort of dithered around like a headless chook for a minute or so, not quite knowing what to do, yet somehow feeling I couldn't just walk on and ignore it. I was aware that every second that passed meant another second of perhaps inconceivably terrible pain for the bird. I kept hoping a car would finish the job off properly and quickly. I almost felt guilty for not doing something better, but what could I have done? Anything would have been inadequate. Did I do wrongly somewhere along the way?

      Bivalia: No. It is not for me to judge you as doing wrongly. It is a situation you have not often encountered, and it is difficult in the heat of the moment to know what is best.

      Michael: There's only one thing, although it makes me shudder to think about it. I could have got the bird, laid him on the footpath and stamped on his head to end his life quickly, but I'm very squeamish about things like that, and have never done anything like that in all my life. I'm ashamed to say I didn't have the guts to do a thing like that, even though it might have been the best thing.

      Bivalia: Don't be too hard on yourself. No-one can expect you to infallibly do the best thing when such a situation is foisted on you at a moment's notice.

      Michael: I'm sure most other people would have known the best thing to do.

      Bivalia: I wouldn't be too sure about that, Michael. Just because they may put on a more confident manner than you would doesn't mean they feel any more adequate than you did; and it doesn't ensure that what they did would be the best thing. Your failure to put on a confident front where some others might is only because of your honesty, your distaste at putting on any sort of act that is not a genuine reflection of your thoughts or feelings.

      Michael: I had been talking to Sananda when this happened, and said to him, "Sananda, what should I do, what should I do?" But nothing seemed to come to me. Sananda either didn't hear me or had nothing to say, or for some reason I didn't hear him (which I never do).
      Then a tram came up the hill, and the bird was lying right in the groove of the tracks, and I knew that would finish the poor bird off for sure. I decided to let that be, and thought it might be the best way. I didn't want to watch, so I started walking onwards once more. I talked to Sananda a bit about the bird and asked him to be with the bird, to ease his pain. (I didn't resume saying what I had been saying to Sananda before this happened; it didn't seem important any more.)

      Bivalia: I'm sure your thoughts weren't wasted, and I'm sure Sananda did what he could for the bird. Sananda has a great love for birds and animals and plants as well as humans, you know. I'm sure he shared your sense of pain at witnessing this incident. Thank you for your concern and your thoughts for the bird. Be assured that thoughts of love and compassion are never wasted.

      Michael: But wait - there could have been more to this matter. Supposing the wattle-bird was a mother bird with nestlings? - quite likely at this time of the year. What would happen to the babies? I also asked Sananda to be with them, but felt a complete sham, because I know perfectly well that nestlings who have lost their mother are doomed; that's just the way the world goes, the survival of the fittest, and the ruthless competition of nature, and all that. New-Age people seem to romanticize nature, and sometimes seem to be unaware of the hard facts of life.
      Even as I asked Sananda to look after any babies there might have been, I could feel the bitter irony of thinking the babies were certain to die painfully, but at least Sananda could be with them while they starved to death or got torn to pieces by predatory birds or cats.

      Bivalia: I know. I can't give you an answer. It is a problem in at least some realms beyond your physical Earth, too. There are Masters who are working on it, hoping to find a way out. I am in one such group working on this problem.

      Michael: The pain involved is worse to me than the mere fact of death. If there were no pain, I could perhaps accept death itself more easily, because after all death may simply lead to a better world, or, if not that, at least escape from this world. It is the prevalence of pain in this world that outrages me more than death itself, and death is often accompanied by great pain, whether in humans or animals.
      But maybe I'm making too much of the whole thing. Lots of birds get run over.

      Bivalia: No matter whether you are making too much of it or not. It is what you felt, and you did well to share it with me.
      Did you feel anger towards the driver of the car which hit the bird?

      Michael: No. I gave no thought to that. I didn't actually see it happen, and besides, I don't suppose the driver meant to do it, and might have been quite unaware that it happened.
      It's awful to think this probably happens a thousand times a day just in Melbourne alone, never mind all the other birds that must be hit by cars elsewhere in the world, never mind all other creatures who have terrible pain, never mind all the millions of humans in this world who suffer in a thousand different ways, often with unthinkable intensity. The total amount of suffering in this world must be truly appalling if you add it all up, just horrifying beyond all human comprehension.

      Bivalia: I don't think you need to trouble yourself unduly with all that; for whatever reasons, that's the way the world goes at present, and you can't do anything about most of it, so there's no use in upsetting yourself over it.

      Michael: That's not a very adequate answer, and you know it.

      Bivalia: I know. If there were an adequate way of dealing with these things in your world, I'm sure someone would have discovered it by now. If we knew what to do about it, we would share it with your world somehow. The Earth is ascending, and this will answer many of your concerns, but it appears that for the immediate future things must be the way they are.
      You don't think God, and the Masters, and the Higher Selves of humans just sit around watching suffering and pain, do you? It hurts as much as it does you on Earth, maybe more (although we are able to partition off that hurt, so that in a sense we don't feel the pain, even though it is there; or perhaps another way of putting it is that we feel the pain but don't suffer with it - it's difficult to explain). I can assure you, if we knew in the short term what to do, it would be done. In the long term, something will be done, is being done; but it will take time to manifest in your world.

      Michael: And a couple of years ago I began a story in which I intended to deal with the problem of pain and suffering, and try to arrive at an answer. It begins with the central character Christopher as a little boy, and the opening chapter (which is all I've done so far) has a scene in which he gets fond of a pair of blackbirds that live in the garden. But then the family cat catches the male and kills him, right in front of Christopher, and he actually sees the bird fluttering helplessly in the cat's mouth, and actually hears his shrill cries of pain and fear; and he's quite traumatized: cries and cries, and no-one can console him. And when he sees the female blackbird, the mate of the dead bird, fluttering around the garden helplessly, that only increases his pain and grief.

      Bivalia: Why did you write about this incident? Did you witness such an event at the time?

      Michael: No. I think I saw a dead bird (long since dead) by the roadside, and that suggested the opening of the story, but that's nothing. I often see dead birds lying near roads and they don't affect me. But since the idea for the story came to mind, I decided to write it, and I sat down and typed the whole 16 or so pages at one sitting. It all just came out quite effortlessly. But once I got beyond that particular episode, I seemed to lose the thread of it and did no more. I intended to go on to other parts of Christopher's life, where he gets involved in mysticism in an effort to find the solution to the problem of suffering and pain, and astral travels and perhaps meets entities in the realms beyond this world, perhaps one day confronts God himself with the problem. That's why I called the story "The Face of God", which would certainly be a rather puzzling title considered with reference to that opening chapter alone.

      Bivalia: This sounds like a good idea for a story. I hope you will resume one day when you feel ready.

      Michael: As I told you before, it's difficult to find the thread of stories or music once you lose it; but it can be done sometimes.

      Bivalia: If you call on me or the Masters for help, or God himself, you will have vastly increased powers of picking up threads again. Never forget that.

      Michael: I hope you're right, but I just can't seem to feel that.

      Bivalia: Just keep it in mind, and work on the idea, and it will come. There's no need to hurry or panic about it.

      Michael: Reading the chapter recently once more (a couple of weeks ago), I wondered if it was all too intense. You can really feel Christopher's pain in the writing, and the helplessness of the bereaved female blackbird, quite intensely, actually. His sorrow over "Mrs. Blackbird's" plight can really get to you as you read it.
      I wonder if I overdid it actually, had Christopher overreact. The way it's written, you'd think it was a loved human who died, not a bird in the garden, and I concluded that I might have overdone it, and made it seem unconvincing because of that. Now I'm not so sure. To Christopher, this was not simply some strange bird that the cat killed, like the one I saw dying; this was a bird he saw every day in his garden for a couple of years, and which he delighted in, in a childish sort of innocence. And the bereavement of the female blackbird pained him just as much as the death of the male, or perhaps even more. It would be much worse for him than yesterday was for me.

      Bivalia: Children can be very sensitive, because they haven't had their feeling drummed out of them yet by school, peers, adults, the media, and society generally. I'm sure some sensitive children of that sort would be pained by the death of a bird they loved, in the way you described. And the fact that the killer was a family cat whom the boy also loved would complicate things further, because he wouldn't know whether to love or hate the cat; and I think you explored that conflict quite sensitively in your story.
      I wouldn't be too quick to condemn the story as unconvincing, and I would think very carefully before deciding to water down its intensity, as I think you were considering as a possibility.

      Michael: It is very intense, almost melodramatic, perhaps. I remember an occasion when rereading it almost made me feel a bit like crying too, even though I knew it was just fiction I'd made up myself.

      Bivalia: The characters and incidents themselves may be fiction, but behind them is a range of feelings that are not fictional, that come right out of the real world.

      Michael: I probably won't water it down. That intensity of feeling runs right through the whole thing, and changing that would require rewriting it all over again, and would not merely be a matter of cosmetic surgery, changing a few adjectives to less intense ones, or anything like that.

      Bivalia: I think it's fine just as it stands, and I look forward to seeing the rest one day.

      Michael: Don't hold your breath though.

      Bivalia: No, I won't.

      Michael: I think I found it convincing at the time I wrote it. Christopher was very fond of that blackbird, so that's why he was so upset when the cat killed it. I also remember when I was in my teens, and I lost a cat because it was run over. I was inconsolable for months afterwards, and kept dreaming that the cat reappeared, that she hadn't been been hit by a car after all. I think the remembrance of that might have influenced the story. But that was about 1971, and I've long since got over that.

      Bivalia: There are levels at which these things stay with you, however. The three cats you had are in other realms, and you will be glad to meet them again one day.

      Michael: Those reports that pets pass into higher realms and await their masters are true, are they?

      Bivalia: Of course they are. We are all evolving, "we" being all life, all what you call non-life too, for that matter, and you don't think certain beings cease to exist simply because they aren't human or don't have what you call reasoning powers, do you?

      Michael: No, I guess not; but it's a subject many people are wary of.

      Bivalia: That is what their churches want them to believe. They want to believe humans have a unique place in the universe, that God created them uniquely, that they are in a special position that no-one else in the universe is in. But if you meet people who assure you that only humans survive death, that animals don't have a soul, you could point out that their claimed authority on all matters of faith, namely the Bible, says absolutely nothing about the question of animals having a soul. It doesn't affirm such a possibility, and doesn't deny it, either. I don't think you need get hung up long on that issue.

      Michael: No. I don't regard the Bible as an infallible authority anyway.

      Bivalia: Much of what is found there contains much truth, but many other parts are very limited in their view of truth. Also, in deciding what in the Bible is true or isn't true, it makes a difference how one interprets it. One cannot be absolute about it.

      Michael: There are lots of people I'd like to meet in the world beyond.

      Bivalia: Of course.

      Michael: You know, last night I dreamed about Beethoven, and somehow he seemed very familiar, like an old beloved friend - I mean as a person, not just his music (which has been familiar all my life).

      Bivalia: Yes. Perhaps this dream is telling you something. You may have been working with Beethoven that night. You needn't think he's unaware of the great love you had for his music, especially as a child.

      Michael: You're hedging a bit.

      Bivalia: I'm aware that if I tell you too much directly about hidden things, you won't believe me - won't be able even to receive the thought from me in fact - and you will merely think this whole exercise is just a wish-fulfilment fantasy, about saying that whatever you want to be true, is true.
      For this reason, I am not in a hurry to tell you all the things you would like to hear me say, even if they are true, even while with another part of my mind I long to share all these things with you. But I must keep your long-term welfare in mind, and not merely gratify your immediate desires, even though I would like to.
      But nevertheless it is my perception that you, or perhaps I should say "I", have a close relationship with a great many composers, many of whom would be familiar and treasured names to you. It is because of this personal connection in the past that you are drawn to such people, not that you are drawn to them in this life-time then feel as a result you must know them in higher realms of awareness and then think that may be too much of a coincidence to be true. If you remember that people generally are drawn to others they don't know personally, or drawn to what the others have done, because of previous connections, that this attraction doesn't come out of thin air, it becomes easier to believe that those past connections are real, and the idea doesn't seem so outlandish.
      Your love of Beethoven's music wasn't simply the result of thinking he devised pretty tunes, because lots of people can do that. Besides, some of his tunes are not what you would call pretty, but nevertheless are loaded with deep feeling. You were, from early childhood, drawn to what he had to say in his music, and just seemed to have an understanding of the feelings in his music, and you used to fantasize about meeting Beethoven, and much more. It is no exaggeration to say that Beethoven was one of the dominating forces of your entire childhood. I would regard all this as evidence of past connections with Beethoven, that the two of you were very close - still are, in fact.
      Didn't you have a sense of Beethoven's personality in your dream last night, and a feeling of closeness?

      Michael: Yes. But I've known for years what his personality was like; much has been written about this.

      Bivalia: That's not what I mean. Isn't it true that if you went merely by what you read, you would not consider his personality very attractive?

      Michael: Yes, that's so. He was notorious for his unattractive personality.

      Bivalia: Well, what others judge as unattractive, shall we say? But reading all that doesn't give you a feel for what it would be like to meet him and know him, does it?

      Michael: No, I guess not.

      Bivalia: But isn't it so that in your dream you did have a feeling of what he was like to know, as against all the information you might have read, however true some of it might be? And didn't you find that once you had a feeling of knowing him, he was, in spite of his personality problems, a beautiful being whom it was wonderful to know?

      Michael: I guess you're right. But I don't know if we can read too much into it. As I've said before, dreams (to me, anyway) can just have a feeling to them that no amount of words can describe properly. And the sense of Beethoven's personality was just an example of this. I remember practically nothing of the dream now, but there was just a sense of Beethoven's personality, and we were very close to each other.

      Bivalia: You couldn't get a much clearer indication than that. And also, the so-called unattractive aspects of his personality were the result of great suffering, too, you know.

      Michael: I know indeed. And I imagine that suffering is long since over now.

      Bivalia: Yes; those problems are over, and he is a very loving being now. He pours out his love into music even more wonderful than that which you presently know. It will be wonderful one day when you can meet Beethoven again and listen to his glorious music.

      Michael: Yes, I suppose it will.

      Bivalia: It will.

      Michael: Meanwhile, I've got to survive in this world, which is no trivial matter.

      Bivalia: You've survived up to now.

      Michael: Speaking of surviving in this world: last night, at Ra Lyah's channelling, Sananda said that the Earth will undergo more changes. I think he was referring to things like earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and perhaps also to human unrest, war, crime, and the like, which would undoubtedly be aggravated by major disasters; yet he urged us to feel no fear at this prospect, which I find a bit of a contradiction. I mean, it's a bit like saying to someone who's about to be mauled by a man-eating tiger, "Have no fear; you will be all right, and I am with you all the time."

      Bivalia: Was Sananda saying that although such disasters will happen, you will be protected from them?

      Michael: I don't know. He didn't spell it out exactly. Maybe; or maybe he meant that we will be afflicted with them personally but that we would be all right spiritually. Whatever way you interpret it, it makes no sense to me, and I don't like it.

      Bivalia: Did you ask Sananda about it?

      Michael: No. I don't think there would have been time, and I'd already done a fair bit of talking by then, and I don't like to hog all the time up too much, although it would be tempting at times when I'm full of questions. As it is, I think I sometimes go too far; I certainly ask far many more questions than some people, who seem to sit silently most of the time, perhaps just asking one or two little things every few weeks.

      Bivalia: Well, supposing such disasters do happen?

      Michael: Ascension or no ascension, the prospect scares the shit out of me, not to put too fine a point on it. I'm scared of pain, and loss, and disruption, and all of those would happen in a large-scale disaster. I'm quite scared of the physical world and its terrible capacity for inflicting pain and suffering; and even the human body itself scares me shitless with its awesome capacity for inflicting suffering of all sorts. We're just total prisoners of our bodies, really. For example, it scares me to think that just a tiny bit of damage to a critical nerve might be all that it takes to make someone a helpless quadriplegic; and the total irreversibility of many kinds of bodily damage is rather frightening, too.

      Bivalia: When you are more aware of spirit, to the point of knowing that it is real, such things, while they will never be enjoyable, will seem rather less frightening.

      Michael: I wonder how much comfort that is to John Paul Getty, Jr., the grandson of the famous billionaire. That's the one who was kidnapped and had an ear cut off and sent to his father as proof he was still alive.
      Well, this is what I once read about him. It happened a few years after he was released by the kidnappers, some time in the 1970s, and it doesn't appear to be nearly as well-known as the fact of his kidnapping was.
      He was a young man, perhaps barely out of his teens, and he played around with drugs a bit, admittedly unwisely. He had to go to hospital for some reason, I forget what, but it doesn't matter. He had drugs administered to him, and they reacted badly with the illegal drugs he had been using, and he went into a coma. I don't think they expected him ever to come out of it, and that would have been best. However, he did come out of it after a few weeks; but unfortunately he was blind, totally paralyzed from top to toe, and had lost his speech. This happened nearly 20 years ago, and presumably he's been like that ever since and will be till the day he dies, perhaps decades ahead. I don't know what his mind is like now, but the source where I read this didn't say he had lost his mental faculties. [b]
      I wonder if an awareness of spirit would be of much comfort to him.

      Bivalia: That is a sad case, indeed. And I am not going to say it serves him right, because no-one deserves that, even though it resulted from his unwise use of illegal drugs. But it is very likely that he spends most of his time out of his helpless body anyway; it is probably not quite so bad as you imagine it to be. There will be guides helping him, wonderful loving beings, if he allows himself to open to them.
      But I don't think you need to fear such a fate; but, yes, I do think an awareness of spirit would help such a fate seem slightly less dire, although it certainly wouldn't cancel all the pain and frustration and helplessness. And if life gets more difficult for you for any reason, I'm sure your awareness of spirit will increase as time goes by.

      Michael: But, as I said before, meanwhile I've got to survive things as they are now, not as they will be in five years' time or twenty years' time, or whatever time it takes for things to get better.

      Bivalia: You have much help, invisible though it may be to you for now.

      Michael: Well, not only me. Do other people have help too? I'm not special, am I? Do all people have help?

      Bivalia: Yes, if they don't reject it. You don't reject it, and we appreciate how open you are trying to be (and largely succeeding too), in spite of much that has gone wrong with your life.
      However, some other people reject anything that hints of the spiritual, and that is their choice. We regretfully have to respect that, though we know better, and it does sometimes cause those people grief, if only they but knew it. They may consciously reject anything spiritual, but if their lives are in reasonable harmony with that which is spiritual, their pain will usually not be too bad. We are able to help them in devious ways that they are able to accept, even though they don't really know consciously what is going on.
      Others may or may not consciously reject spiritual things, but by the actions they choose to do, they bring themselves totally out of line with anything spiritual, which is the same as rejecting it consciously - worse, in fact. But they choose that, and at some level of their being, they do know better, but choose to continue that way. These beings are the ones who are most likely to know much grief, more than those who live in harmony with spirit even while rejecting it with their minds.
      If someone turns his back on the light and deliberately walks into darkness, he must expect to trip over every now and then. It may be yet another aspect of the pain problem you mentioned before, but it seems that is the way it must be, at least for the time being.

      Michael: Well, I guess I don't have much more to say for now, and I don't want to be here all day.

      Bivalia: As you like it. How did you get on with Sananda and Serapis Bey the other day?

      Michael: Oh, I seem to get on quite well with them. Serapis Bey is really just as much a loving pussy-cat as Sananda is well-known to be.

      Bivalia: I'm sure he will be glad to hear that.

      Michael: I think there are people who think Serapis Bey is more like a tiger, but I don't know where these ideas originate. I suspect they are just standing jokes that are perpetuated in an almost affectionate way.
      Sananda and I explored this green planet that appeared in a dream I had, oh, years ago, and it appears (so Sananda told me) that this is my home planet, and it is an already-ascended planet. He wants me to write a story about it.

      Bivalia: That sounds like a very good idea to me.

      Michael: I don't quite know how the story would go, though. It's often occurred to me that in a world without pain and conflict (which I certainly hope the ascended planes will be), it would be impossible to write good stories, because stories, both good and bad ones, are essentially about conflict and its resolution, either happily, tragically, or ambiguously. Without those elements, I don't see how you can write a story without getting boring. You know, I wrote at some length about this in that letter I wrote pretending to be Bivalia writing from the future.

      Bivalia: Yes, I know. I think I might have had a hand in that letter, you know. You don't need to cover all that again. How about writing a story which begins in this world, which can be as full of pain, tragedy, and conflict as you like, whose resolution ends on the green planet when such things have been left behind? Write a story that straddles the borders between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th dimensions, and even higher if your imagination can stretch that far.

      Michael: Well, I've occasionally thought of that. Such a story would be like a voyage of discovery, where you are expanding more and more past limits of all sorts, the sort of ideas I discussed with you in that long channelling with you, the 27-page job.

      Bivalia: Yes, I know. I think all the ideas for stories you have at various times could be tied together into a wonderful story. It would be good if you could think further about it; and writing it would assist your ascension enormously, you know, and maybe that of other people too if you were to let them read it.

      Michael: I guess so. Well, I think I'm fizzling out, and I don't really want to be here all night, because there are things I should do.

      Bivalia: Thank you, beloved, for taking time to be with me; but remember that I am always with you, and you can be with me away from your computer too, if you just think of me and adopt the sort of consciousness I reveal to you through your computer.

      Michael: Yes, Bivalia, thank you. I'll see you later.

      Bivalia: And you too. Good-bye.


[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] Sunday, 26 November, 2000 - [concerning John Paul Getty, Jr.'s disabilities]:
      I read on the Internet the other day that his condition had improved somewhat, and he could now speak a little. But he's obviously had a hard time, and this improvement doesn't affect the argument presented here. [

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