(M.J.E. Spirit / Mon., 6 Mar., 1995)

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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Monday, 6 March, 1995

      Michael: Good evening, Bivalia.

      Bivalia:[a] Good evening, Michael. And how are you this night?

      Michael: Okay, I guess, thanks. I'm not sure I've got all that much time to spare for this tonight; although, if I get involved in this enough, I suppose I could stretch a point and go on for some time. I do have something to mention, and it's come at a rather awkward time, since I have things to do tomorrow which can't very well be put off, and I don't want to get to sleep too late (it's already well after midnight, in the early hours of Monday). Yet at the same time, I want to write about something while it is still reasonably fresh in mind.

      Bivalia: Be my guest. Let's see what we can do about it.

      Michael: It's insignificant, really, but it was something that just somehow had a distinct feel or atmosphere to it. I caught a tram to West Hawthorn to have something to eat at a Chinese take-away place I go to sometimes. You can also eat there, and I did, then came out. I walked up Burwood Rd., eastwards, to where the tram turns right into Power St., then turned left into Power St. (the other way, northwards), because I wanted to visit a shop at Kew junction, perhaps 3/4 of a mile north of where I was, and I thought I could walk quicker than going by tram. It was, let's say, about 8.10 (7.10 Eastern Standard Time, which is closer to the real time), and the sky was starting to darken. I was on the left side of Power St., approaching the bridge over the railway line, when I reached the end of a block of buildings, and the area to the left opened out. There was a low building, a sort of combined service station for petrol and store for buying miscellaneous items, groceries and the like. To its left and behind it, there was a clear area where cars could be parked. Further back, and a little to the right, the railway passed through a cutting, going diagonally to the left. And right above all this, the sky was darkening slightly, merging into a yellow near the horizon; and above the horizon I noticed a tiny sliver of new moon with needle-sharp points, which looked lovely.

      Bivalia: Yes, the moon has many lovely moods or aspects, doesn't it? And it arouses deep memories and longings in some people who are sensitive to it. Being in Earthly skies for so many millions of years, it is connected with human affairs, human memories, in so many intricate and subtle ways. These connections exist in the astral, mental, and higher planes, too. This is one reason why the sight of the moon, particularly in a beautiful setting such as this, can arouse the feelings you describe, quite apart from any personal reasons why the moon might be significant to individuals, such as being connected with personal memories of an individual's.

      Michael: Well, that personal aspect you mention might apply to me, also. We might get onto that if there's time, or perhaps in a later session if not.
      Behind the garage-cum-store, and on the other side of the railway cutting, I could see many trees; perhaps there was a park or something there. It was just sufficiently into dusk that I could only see them as black silhouettes against the luminous sky, which looked lovely, too. Further in the distance, I could see various buildings similarly silhouetted, and even that seemed to add something to the overall atmosphere. And on top of that, in the foreground there were bright lights emanating from the shop, spilling out onto the ground. The windows in the shop were big, and I could see inside in considerable detail, and this contrasted strongly with the sky and black silhouettes in the background. I could see a few people inside, and a couple of men walked into the parking area at the left.
      Somehow there was something exciting-looking about the scene as a whole, although it's difficult to see why, since there was nothing whatsoever out of the ordinary about it. Nevertheless, it seemed to conjure up hidden memories of some sort that wouldn't quite identify themselves. It was a perfect example of the way I've said many times before that a particular place or scene or event can conjure a sense of excitement or wonder or longing, for no apparent reason.
      I lingered for several minutes, just standing on the footpath, trying to see what it was about this scene that caught my attention, and aroused these feelings, but I couldn't pin it down. I never can. I didn't stay too long, partly because I had to move on (I wanted to get back home by a certain time), and partly because I was conscious of the fact that people who noticed me lingering might be a little suspicious. (In our society, it's not the done thing to linger anywhere to enjoy a scene, and might cause people to think you were up to no good.)

      Bivalia: I don't think you need to worry about that - at least, not until the police vans approach with their sirens screaming. You might then be well-advised to make yourself scarce.

      Michael: Well, I don't know if it's quite that bad, yet. But people are suspicious of unusual behaviour of any sort, perhaps quite understandably. I am apprehensive if I see people, especially groups of young people, loitering nearby.
      Anyway, this scene did remind me slightly of something from my childhood. When my older brother Peter was a boy, about 3 years older than me, he was very interested in astronomy and other scientific things. He had a number of astronomy books, the kind written for kids, which I inherited when he outgrew them, because I had some interest in astronomy, too.
      One of these books was called the Golden Book of Astronomy, and was lavishly illustrated, not with photographs, but with those paintings, I suppose they were, in that style so characteristic of non-fiction books from the 1950s and 1960s. They often showed starry skies, together with town or country landscapes beneath. The book also dealt with things like tides, the years and seasons, rainbows, and so on, so there were other pictures illustrating those too.
      I suppose there were quite a few dozen pictures of various sorts, and I don't suppose any artists would consider them of any worth at all. Perhaps if I saw them today for the first time, without the overlay of memories, I might not see anything of interest in them, either. But one sees things differently as a child, one sees beauty and wonder and excitement in quite ordinary things, and it was so with these pictures. And even now, those pictures seem full of early half-hidden memories and latent meanings that I can't identify. I still have the book (it's quite battered by now), and I suppose it's so full of memories that I'll probably keep it. And I think it's this aura of hidden memories and meanings surrounding these pictures that makes them appeal to me, rather than their intrinsic artistic merit, which is probably quite mediocre.
      There are one or two pictures of starry skies out in the country, with lonely roads through mountains or woods, perhaps with a car driving along with its headlights on, and it kind of reminds me of the long journeys we used to make when I was a child between Adelaide and Melbourne.
      We lived in Adelaide, but most of our relatives lived in Melbourne, where we originally lived, and we used to drive nearly 500 miles to Melbourne in school holidays (I think 482 miles, to be exact). I would think we did this well over a dozen times during our Adelaide years, maybe even a couple of dozen times, often getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to get an early start, which I found very exciting as a child. I got to know Highway 8 (between Melbourne and Adelaide) almost like the back of my hand; I knew what would appear around practically every corner. The very road itself, and the landscapes it passed through, seemed to have a magic of its own. (I think the Victorian portion was called the Western Highway, and the Adelaide portion the Duke's Highway, although I don't know if these names are still in use.)

      Bivalia: You obviously have quite vivid memories of those days.

      Michael: Yes, I suppose so. But somehow a few of those pictures in the book remind me of things like this. And I remember one time we were approaching Ballarat. I think we stopped for fish and chips there, as it was already dark and time for something to eat; and I remember a glorious yellow moon rising in the east. I think there was at least one other time when we stopped one evening in Ballarat for fish and chips going the other direction, quite possibly at the same shop; and you have no idea how glorious the fish and chips at that shop tasted.
      Other childhood memories involve things like walks in the wilds around Belair and Stirling, wildflowers, beaches, moonlight, sunrises, and all sorts of nice images like that. You can see how all sorts of early memories seem interlinked with each other in a great network in my mind, just by the way one thing has reminded me of another. It's almost as if those things form a whole world of their own, with its own atmosphere.

      Bivalia: I see what you mean.

      Michael: I'm afraid I'm rambling on so much that you can't get a word in edgeways.

      Bivalia: It doesn't matter. It's just as important for you to say your thoughts as to sit at my feet and listen to me pontificating my wisdom like a guru (not that I'm any good at all as a guru). All this tells me much about the kind of person you are, and I like hearing about these memories, and the ideas that are closest to your heart.

      Michael: I pine rather for those early memories, even though my childhood also had much unhappiness. But for all the unhappiness (which I won't go into now), the wonder was still there, all sorts of things still kept their magic, life seemed hopeful whatever troubled me at the time.
      But somehow that wonder of things such as I've described has faded over the years; it's as if the lights have somehow gone out and darkness stretches ahead. Even now, when I get that sense of magic or wonder, and then describe it, I don't always speak accurately. When I get the mood, the emotion is much less than in childhood - almost gone, in fact. What I get is not so much the sense of wonder itself as simply the memory of the sense of wonder.
      It's rather sad in a way; but I can't help thinking it's simply human nature that such things are most active in childhood, and they progressively fade. I don't know if it's intrinsic, or whether it's that our society's values, our education systems, our ways of bringing up children, destroy that sensitivity to magic and wonder.

      Bivalia: Those things don't help. In a more sensitive society, the wonder would last much better, although I suppose it might dissipate at least a bit with the responsibilities of adulthood. It would at least change somewhat.

      Michael: In a way, I often think that, over the years, the main aim of almost anything creative I've ever attempted, such as writing stories or composing music, has been to evoke that wonder. That means much more to me than any amount of artistic "isms" or schools of thought that seem to obsess so many workers in the various arts.

      Bivalia: Rightly so, too. And continuing such work in your areas of talent would probably be one of the best ways you could keep that wonder alive. I can't promise it would, in this 3rd-dimensional life at least, go right back to how it was in childhood, but it would keep it alive until you left that 3rd-dimensional life and were able to bring the wonder fully to fruition once more. I think at least you would be pleasantly surprised how much you could bring it to life again if you got back to those things.

      Michael: One of the reasons I feel so little affinity with the modern music world is that whenever I hear about present-day composers, hear or read them telling what their music is all about, I never hear them so much as hint at the wonder which (to me) is the very centre of it all. They talk a lot about social relevance, about various schools of compositional practice, various isms of artistic approach.
      I don't know if they know about the wonder or not, whether they just keep quiet about it because it's not fashionable to talk about it. But they never even hint at it; they just intellectualize the life out of it, it often seems to me. Often their explanations of their own work are completely turgid and indigestible, totally obscure to me; at times, they are talking in an absurdly pompous intellectualizing way about ideas that, stripped of all the verbiage, often strike me as mind-numbingly trivial.
      That's the musical world I'm talking about, which I do know something about. I don't know if literature, or other arts, are like that or not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
      I don't care how fashionable all this is; I'm just not interested in it artistically. Perhaps I do have a degree of intellectual interest in reading about current trends in music, at least, but it's not important to me in the artistic sense, in the areas where the wonder, the magic, is to be found: in that, I'm on my own, although many slightly older composers' music does have that wonder, including many from the earlier parts of this century.
      I don't know if those composers were aware of the sense of wonder. I don't recall reading of them ever having mentioned it, but the style of their music would seem to me to imply that they might have known about it, even if they chose not to talk about it.

      Bivalia: I feel many of those composers were more in touch with the ideals you yourself value, than many composers living today, who have been deflected by conditions in your current world from ideals which were once more common.

      Michael: That's for sure. Look, I've got lots to say about all this, but it's quite clear I won't have the time now, and once I start I won't want to interrupt it until I'm through. Do you think we could postpone that for a while, and regard this session as merely sowing seeds for the full treatment?

      Bivalia: By all means. I think you've sown quite a few seeds that will germinate lushly, and I will work on it meanwhile, and we'll talk further about it when you have more time available.

      Michael: I'm afraid this business has so many hidden corners in my life over so many years that a full exploration of it (which I've wanted to do for years) will take several sessions at least, if you don't mind.

      Bivalia: Not at all. We'll have a lot of fun, won't we?

      Michael: It seems to be coming out now. Over the last 3 months, during which we've had no sessions, I have thought a number of times of talking about it with you, but I've been plagued with episodes of depression.

      Bivalia: And I notice you've almost given up on me during that time. I note that a few days ago, after our previous sessions, you told Ra (as Ra Lyah now calls herself) that your Higher Self wasn't dead after all; she was thrilled to bits at the news. Very nice of you; it's nice to learn that I haven't kicked the bucket yet after all.

      Michael: Sorry; I just say things how they are.

      Bivalia: I'm only joking. You can tell anyone whatever you like about me; I've got nothing to hide, nor any reputation to defend.

      Michael: As I walked up Power St., northwards to Kew junction, having lingered over that scene (which could almost be painted, if I were a painter), I suddenly started speaking to Sananda. I sometimes share special moments with him like that. Something ineffably wonderful yet elusive seemed to be suggested by that scene, I asked him, "What does it mean, Sananda? Why does this scene give me this sense of old memories, a sense of anticipation of wonderful things? When we meet one day, remind me of this; I'd like to know your thoughts" (or words to that effect).

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

      Michael: Well, of course, I'm not like Ra where I can directly hear what the Masters think or say, or else I suppose he would have told me on the spot what I wanted to know. But I suppose it will have to wait until such time as I am more spiritually aware.

      Bivalia: Perhaps it might have to wait a while, although you shouldn't too rigidly think it's millions of years off; it might be quite soon.

      Michael: Somehow it occurred to me to speak to God after I had spoken with Sananda for a few minutes (as I walked along and it got steadily darker), because I think I sometimes neglect Him. I told Him why I think this happens, and it was partly (so I thought) because the idea of God, of a universal being who includes everything, seems a bit remote and impersonal from a human point of view, and partly because the usual religious ideas of God condition the mind and induce rather undesirable images of God, make Him seem, quite frankly, rather unattractive, a bit cantankerous and judgemental.
      And I'm sure the way I talked to God would strike many, perhaps most, people as shocking lacking in deference or reverence, just a bit too chummy or intimate.
      I also thought yet another reason why I tend to neglect Him was something surprisingly trivial which nevertheless has its effect. And that is that I don't quite know what to call Him; there is no convenient name for Him. "Father/Mother God" is far too much of a mouthful and much too stiff and clumsy; "Father/Mother" isn't much better, and while I accept that He is really both male and female, this usage seems linguistically pedantic and awkward. Just "God" is certainly easy to say, but sounds remote and impersonal, and is full of the connotations of the sort I said before were picked up from the churches.
      An idea came to me, and I said to Him, how about if I just say "Father" or "Mother" as the mood takes me. That could be quite a friendly, even intimate, form of address, and I could say either one, just depending on whether I am (at that moment) thinking of Him (Her) more in a female or male role or aspect. I said perhaps I would try that and see if it works, if I don't get any indication not to do it.
      Well, after that, my thoughts, my talking with God were interrupted because the shop I had to visit was closed (unexpectedly early) and I had to find somewhere else. I did find another place, but the mood was shattered. I apologized to God, but I hope no harm has been done.

      Bivalia: Oh, let me check - I think you've got two or three more black marks to earn before you get a thunderbolt up the backside.

      Michael: I'm sure you're right. I was so annoyed at this unexpected spoke in the wheel I felt like swearing, but I didn't; it would have been so unseemly to do that minutes after talking with God Himself. But I said a few things considerably milder than I felt like, and as a result suppressed and swallowed considerable anger and annoyance.

      Bivalia: Well, you've got at least one black mark to go, anyway. I'd wear a lightning rod, if I were you.

      Michael: [LAUGHS.] Anyway, I'd better at least begin working towards a conclusion here. I have a feeling I'm not going to get much sleep tonight, although it's still dark outside.
      I'm visiting my parents tomorrow, and I have to go much earlier than usual. You see, when they sold their old house, having moved to North Box Hill recently, they said they could afford to buy me a new computer (knowing that my old one is very old-fashioned now and totally inadequate for certain things I want to do, writing programs for fractals, writing certain games, and the like).
      I've had to do a lot of reading of books to bone up on technical points I must check on to make sure the new computer is right, but to be honest this reading is very boring and dry, however necessary it is to learn this stuff, and I've been dragging my feet a bit. My uncle, David I., asked me what sort of things I wanted in the new computer, and he went and asked a computer man he does business with for a quote based on what I told him.
      For some reason, Mum and Dad want to get this settled quickly, and it's been a bit difficult, because I'm not sure that I'm really ready to buy yet (complicated purchases like this can take time to decide, and need quite a lot of research; it's much more involved than simply buying a T.V. or fridge). But my parents want to hurry, and in fact Mum offered to drive me to the place so I could look at what the man quoted. That's why I have to visit them earlier than usual, and that's why time is short now.

      Bivalia: I see. Well, that's generous of them.

      Michael: Yes; it is. And if they want to settle it quickly, I feel under some obligation to fit in with this, although in things like this, my usual tendency is to go very slowly, making sure of each step along the way, taking my time to make sure the end result is just right.
      I don't know if I should have told you that. I mean, I don't suppose the purpose of these sessions is to act like a diary, relating every event day by day.

      Bivalia: I don't think you need give much thought to any concept of a set purpose to our sessions; just say what you feel like, and don't say what you don't feel like.

      Michael: Well, I suppose a thing like a computer is not very spiritual, yet utterly to omit to mention it (when you already know about it anyway) would almost seem to suggest that I'm trying to hide it, which doesn't seem quite proper.

      Bivalia: I don't think it's nearly such an issue as you're making out. You've already told me; if you didn't feel like it, you could just as easily have not told me; you can even now go back and wipe out this bit of the session if it troubles you enough. But it really doesn't matter.

      Michael: Well, it came up just because I was explaining why I didn't have much more time to talk with you.

      Bivalia: You don't have to excuse it to me; you don't have to excuse anything at all to me.

      Michael: Well, I must admit that over the last week or two I haven't been in the mood for thinking deeply about bytes and RAMs and hard disks and so on, partly because of depression, bits of which are still lurking round me, I think. But I have to. (I must admit, just between you and me, when depressive episodes plague me, I lose interest in almost anything in life, and probably all I want is to indulge in pure escapism with science fiction novels, or occult novels, and the like.)

      Bivalia: Well, I suppose there's nothing wrong with that.

      Michael: Although at such times I'm likely to find it difficult to concentrate sufficiently to read a book. I'm really useless at such times. I just hope you, or the Masters, aren't expecting me to do great things when I have problems like this to deal with. If so, the Masters are just going to have to realize that if I'm to be plagued with depression, and they can't help me in fighting it off, they can't expect me to do the sort of good for the world they might normally expect of light-workers.

      Bivalia: That's telling 'em! Don't you let them get away with taking you too much for granted.

      Michael: No, seriously, no joking, this is an important point.

      Bivalia: I'm not joking quite as much as I sound. My friend, they are fully aware of your situation, and they understand. Taking you for granted is the last thing they do, and they make allowance for your problems. I can assure you, you are much harder on yourself than they are.
      It is obvious from the way you talked earlier about that sense of wonder, those longings for the eternal (for that is what that ineffable feeling you describe is, the one that almost breaks into recognition, but doesn't quite) - it is obvious from the way you spoke of this that your spiritual essence is still alive and well. And you will do much more for the world by hanging onto that spirituality than by striving to manufacture good moods or by forcing yourself to worldly success. In the long run, it is that essence of spirituality that counts, and it is what leads to accomplishment of a lasting type in the long run; but it may be further than you can look into the future, further than you can plan ahead.
      Your moods may trouble you at times, but spiritually they are of less consequence than you might think. It may take time for the spirituality to come to full fruition, but the long term is what is most important. It is in the light of eternity that the Masters look at you (and the way I do, too); they are not at all bothered by the possibility that your moods of the day might do spiritual harm. Why is this? It's because, although your moods often trouble you (and the Masters are full of compassion and tolerance and love with regard to this), they in fact don't do you significant spiritual harm. You simply have too solid a spiritual ideal behind all of that, and it will see you through in the final analysis.

      Michael: Well, I hope you're right, although even as I typed those words of yours, they didn't sound quite right, as if I was fumbling to find the right words and not quite succeeding.

      Bivalia: Your attention is flagging somewhat; tiredness is starting to come, and you are thinking of the need to stop soon. That is why you got that impression the words weren't quite right. Take a break now; I look forward to your coming back in a day or two, or whatever. Perhaps a new computer will make your writing more efficient.

      Michael: No, it won't. Word processing is one thing it won't make much difference to. Word processing may have seemed wonderful 20 years ago, but it's quite routine now, and not very demanding in the type of computer you need to use, provided you don't use a program which demands more memory than you have; and MultiMate (the program I'm now using) is so modest and old-fashioned in its demands that it's positively a dinosaur by today's standards.
      And besides, we're only going out to look at the computer, not necessarily to get it on the spot; if it isn't right in certain points, I'll have to continue looking, either with the same place or elsewhere. The verbal description I gave David I., on which the quote was based, was incomplete, based only on what I happened to remember, without consulting my notes.
      And yes, you were probably right; I think I am losing the thread of this session, my mind getting just a little fuzzy.

      Bivalia: Anyway, 6 pages when you're in a hurry isn't too bad. Take a break.

      Michael: Yes. Thank you, and good-night.

      Bivalia: Farewell and adieux.


[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]

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