Saturday, 5 November, 1994
Michael: Well, Bivalia, here I am again. How are you today?
Bivalia:[a] Very well, thank you. And you?
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Michael: Meanwhile, I've got to survive in this world, which is no
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
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
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
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
Michael: Yes, Bivalia, thank you. I'll see you later.
Bivalia: And you too. Good-bye.