Saturday, 3 June, 1995
Bivalia:[a] Greetings, beloved one. And how are you this fine day?
Michael: Okay, I guess. How are you?
Bivalia: I am very well, thank you.
Michael: I don't suppose I have anything very important to say just now.
Well, perhaps I do, but I'm not about to go into that now, because I won't
have enough time just now. So for right now, I don't really have a lot of
importance to say.
Bivalia: It matters not; it is more than enough that you simply wish to be
with me, and to have the consciousness of so many Masters around you, such as the
ones you just called upon, and indeed the consciousness of God Himself. And,
yes, he does understand why you don't speak directly to Him as often as you
might, just as you have asked Him to understand a minute ago. He is full of love
for you, and doesn't hold it against you at all. He knows how dense your world
is at present, and understands how that can draw the veils across the spiritual
awareness of so many people.
Michael: It appears to me that I am coming to you in such sessions for
more and more trivial reasons now. Once upon a time, I did so with a sense of
some importance, because I had something important to discuss; but now I
sometimes start a session with only a small reason in mind, or sometimes even
no reason at all. Perhaps I am subverting the purpose of these sessions.
Bivalia: No, my beloved friend; not subverting - merely broadening. It is
entirely a change for the better. You see, in the beginning, you only came for
big reasons, but not for small ones (not nearly so often, anyway); but now you
have it both ways: you still come to me for the big reasons, when they come up,
and you also come for the small reasons. I do not make a distinction between the
big and small reasons, and count the big ones as more important; each reason you
come to me with is important at that time.
And what reason, big or small, brings you here now, beloved one?
Michael: Well, it sounds odd to say it, now that it comes to the point.
But it was such a distinctive day today, in terms of its atmosphere, quite
beautiful in a way.
Bivalia: Yes. Indeed it was. I am not unaware of such things myself, and
I agree with you.
Michael: I somehow just felt like discussing it with you; I don't know
why. I suppose because it seems to remind me of that sense of magic or
wonder, that hint that great and wonderful things are to be found somewhere,
that a great and wonderful way of life might, if I'm lucky, await me one day,
somewhere in the universe.
Bivalia: You are lucky, my friend. It does await you, and you might be
surprised at how soon it might come.
Michael: It was a clear day, but sort of washed out in a sense. I went
into town about a quarter to five, so, being out of doors, I noticed it round
about that time. It was rather misty, the sky a hazy blue, and the sun (by
that time) a golden-orange ball low down in the western sky. It was so muted
by mist that its circular shape was quite distinct, about the size of the
moon, unlike most days when it is so bright that you can't look at it even for
a second, and if you glance it, you don't really perceive its circular shape.
But this time you could. Of course, I didn't look at it any more than out of
the corner of my eye, because it is dangerous to look at even when shrouded in
mist like that. Everything seemed pastel-coloured somehow, as if all the
colours (especially in the sky) were diluted with white and yellow and pale
blue, and the colours looked as if they were starting to blur into each other
a little, like the most delicate of water-paintings. The light itself seemed
to be pale liquid light of various pastel colours. Distant objects
(buildings, and the like) were smudged with blue-grey mist. And there was a
very distinct atmosphere, one I've occasionally seen before on such days. It
seemed to remind me of something, but I don't know what.
Bivalia: There is a whole hidden world, hidden from your everyday
3rd-dimensional consciousness, that is, which a deeper part of you knows about.
That deeper part is not only me, your Higher Self, but even parts of your
3rd-dimensional mind, especially parts of it known as the unconscious, but even
little bits of your conscious mind too. You lack the 3rd-dimensional language to
describe those hidden things, except in the most indirect ways, but those hidden
things are interconnected in all sorts of ways with 3rd-dimensional things, the
things of everyday life, the things of which they are the higher-dimensional
equivalent, in a similar way to how I am the higher-dimensional equivalent of
your 3rd-dimensional self.
Those hints of wonderful and magical things that everyday objects or
situations seem to suggest but don't actually manifest are those connections
with higher dimensions impinging on your everyday mind. These connections are
why physical objects or places or events, sometimes even quite plain ordinary
ones, can seem to have a particular distinct atmosphere or personality beyond
anything you would think the physical attributes of the object or place would
account for. Sometimes you are quite unaware of why the ordinary object or place
seems to have such significance, and it can be puzzling, but unconsciously (and
sometimes even a little bit consciously) you are perceiving the connections
between the object and its spiritual essence; for everything in your world has a
spirit just as surely as a living being has a spirit. Ultimately, there is no
distinction between the living and the non-living anyway; the so-called
difference is simply a difference of degree. And connections exist between the
physical object and its spirit, which comprises its very essence, which is not
less real than the physical object, but more real. And as long as you keep being
receptive to those connections, as long as you don't cynically dismiss them as so
much nonsense, they will grow stronger and more real as time goes by. Don't give
up on this, my friend.
Michael: No. I don't think I will, anyway, although I probably come
perilously close sometimes.
Bivalia: You are more worried about that than I am. One day, those
connections will become more and more real, and turn into reality itself. Keep
on; I am longing to accompany you on some long and glorious journeys of
exploration of those realms you dream about, both in your sleep and in your
Michael: It'll be good, won't it? But please be patient; it may take me
longer than you think, because I have a lot of nasty stuff to deal with in
this world that is (seemingly) trying to hold me down in the mire.
Bivalia: I will wait as long as it takes, beloved one, meanwhile giving you
all the help I can. There is no such thing as too late in the spiritual world,
and you have no idea of how liberating that knowledge is, in contrast to
religions which think once you die to your world it is forever too late to go the
Michael: Oh, yes, Bivalia, I have a pretty good idea of how liberating it
is. That feature of Christianity (many branches of it anyway) is the main
reason I am not a Christian.
Bivalia: Yes; but it is even more liberating than you are now aware of. I
have seen back-slid Christians in the next world, people who once really believed
in hell, perhaps who still do, but who have just drifted over the years from
Christianity as they understood it. I have seen them in the next world initially
full of fear that they might be in hell, then I've seen the look on their faces
as spiritual guides, full of compassion, let them know they weren't in hell after
all, that the whole idea was just a horrible nightmare that was now over. It is
heart-warming to see how liberating this insight is, and it makes my heart ache
that so many people in your world believe in hell, that so many religious leaders
still teach this doctrine, either explicitly or by implication.
Michael: I'm sure you're right. Anyway, I didn't mean to get onto that;
I'm not really in the mood for theology at the moment.
Today somehow seemed like Indian summer, although I don't think Melbourne
ever really has a genuine Indian summer; and it's a bit late for that anyway.
But it was certainly like it, with the blue sky, tiny wisps of cloud, the hazy
atmosphere, the muted colours, the orange sun, and all the rest of it.
Bivalia: Yes, it is very beautiful, isn't it? Even if your part of the
world is not one of those that regularly has Indian summer as a distinctive
phenomenon, bits of it can come at any time, as you have seen. Nature does not
always follow rules formulated by men, and you doubtless realize that the
so-called rules are simply generalizations of what is observed to happen on the
whole, not ironcast rules that must never be broken, and so you will occasionally
see exceptions to them.
Michael: I suppose the thing that didn't quite fit was that it was a bit
colder than I would normally think Indian summer would be; but then, it's just
into winter, and Indian summer usually (according to books I read years ago)
happens in mid to late autumn, lasting from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Bivalia: Never mind. If you are drawn to it, just enjoy it while you can,
Michael: It's a pity I'm not out in the country to enjoy it properly, but
stuck in this ugly city.
Bivalia: You will one day not too far off be living in a wonderful place
that will be much more beautiful than your country areas presently are. And you
will be pleased to know that all the natural phenomena you find beautiful exist
in the higher realms in analogous forms.
Michael: Yes, I wonder about that. Some of the accounts of the
after-life I've read say that there is no night and day, that light is always
present, that there is no visible sun, the light is just there, and that the
weather is always fine and bright, and doesn't vary. Sounds a bit boring to
Bivalia: There are regions like that in the astral plane: very pleasant,
but I agree with you, a little too lacking in variety for my liking. Some people
like it that way, however.
On the astral plane, matter responds to thoughts, especially ones
accompanied by emotion, and those who expect that arrangement (or desire it)
create it for themselves. The cumulative effect of many people thinking the same
way (at least on this matter of a constant climate) is sufficient to make it so
for many thousands of miles, for entire planets. Some of the inhabitants might
believe that's the universal arrangement for the entire astral level; even if
they travel far and wide, they would still tend to be attracted to similar
regions of the universe. But there are other regions, both in the astral, and
higher, where this constancy of climate is not the case, where people appreciate
the variety of weather patterns, and other natural phenomena, which you enjoy on
Michael: I may often grumble about the weather, but what I would really
want is not to have it always exactly the same, sunny, no clouds, no wind, and
so on, but to be in a better position to protect myself from some of its
effects: you know, to be able to warm myself better (or cool myself), have
better transport arrangements on rainy days, and the like. I've often been
aware of the paradox that I sometimes hate the weather that's on (storms,
rain, wind, and so on - or, sometimes, too much sun), because it causes me
such discomfort, yet at the same time somehow liking the atmosphere of it.
Bivalia: Of course. I know what you mean.
Michael: I think I said in a much earlier session how in a way I like
storms and all sorts of things, if only I were better able to protect myself
from their discomfort. Although I must say there are grey nondescript days
that even atmosphere-wise don't seem much.
Bivalia: Well, I suppose they do have their own atmosphere, but not every
atmosphere necessarily appeals to you equally. And there might come a time when
you may be able to appreciate those grey days. But at present, prone to
depression as you are, it could be that those days have an adverse effect on your
mood, and that may inhibit your ability to appreciate the particular atmosphere
of such days. If you find thunderstorms, wind, and other conditions generally
considered unfavourable, easier to enjoy, well at least something is happening
there - storms especially have a sense of drama, of excitement; but on those grey
days, nothing much is happening, and a gloom is just settling over everything,
perhaps with a fine continuous drizzle. One day it will affect you less,
emotionally, and you might one day see a quiet beauty in those days. It is
possible, ultimately, to see beauty in almost everything, once you have the
consciousness to be able to embrace them.
Michael: What puzzles me is why a particular kind of day seems to have
such a unique atmosphere. It's quite impossible to describe accurately,
although I've tried on various occasions, in sessions with you, in letters to
various people, and the like.
Bivalia: Well, my friend, it is like I said before. Objects have a spirit,
and the idea of things having a spiritual essence, a spirit like a living being
has, also extends to abstract ideas. It is no fiction to talk about the spirit
of rain, or of storms, or of sunlight, or of cirrus clouds, or of cumulus clouds,
or of any phenomenon, natural or man-made, that you care to dream up, however
specialized and particular it may be, or, on the other hand, however general it
may be. For instance, in the day just finished which you described a little
earlier, there are nature spirits and angels who are attracted by that kind of
day, by those kinds of colours, and so on, who come in closer, and who make their
influence felt (by those who are sensitive to them) more strongly on such days.
They positively revel in it. I think one day you will delight in being able to
see them, and even join them in their expressions of joy. This is momentous
stuff, the revelries of these spirits, and in one sense their activities are what
drives the universe; they play a big role in the very evolution of the universe.
You are able to pick up the momentous nature of their activities, which is why
something such as a day of a particular atmosphere gives you an unidentifiable
feeling of something momentous, something great, wonderful, and exciting, even
though rationally you cannot see why this should be so.
These beings are so attuned to the particular conditions they are attracted
to, that it is no exaggeration to say that they are the spirit or essence of that
phenomenon. And yes, there is a class of nature spirits ranging from fairies to
devas who could be regarded as the spirit or essence of that kind of
misty washed-out day with wispy films of cloud and mellow orange sunlight, and
all the rest of it. And there are others who are similarly the essence of any
other kind of day you are capable of thinking of, or of any kind of natural
occurrence or phenomenon.
Many of the indigenous peoples of your world, who are (in some cases) still
closer to nature than Western man is, and closer to things of spirit, are quite
right in talking of the spirit of a tree or of a place or of anything at all. It
is not merely figurative, not merely mythological, although many Western people,
in their ignorance, may choose (sometimes rather patronizingly) to see it that
Michael: Well, that would seem to explain a few things that occasionally
have puzzled me. From what you say, it would seem that I am one of those
people who are sensitive to these spirits you're talking about.
Bivalia: Why, of course you are, beloved one. I thought we both took that
for granted. You may not yet be consciously aware of the spirits themselves as
beings (that is only a matter of time), but still quite a high degree of
sensitivity on your part to them is demonstrated by the highly-tuned sense with
which you feel an "atmosphere" in a place.
Michael: It is puzzling as to why the idea of Indian summer fascinates me
so much. I mean, prosaically, it might seem to be little more than simply a
period of warmer, dry weather occurring in mid to late autumn, and thus
usually surrounded, both before and after, by colder wetter weather, perhaps
even by storms. Well, it might be a little more, because one or two of the
encyclopaedias I consulted about Indian summer years ago described it not only
as this, but also described specific weather patterns and conditions, about
warm air being trapped over a certain region, about mists building up, and the
like; but even if we grant this slightly more specific definition of Indian
summer, it would still hardly seem to account for its fascination for me,
hardly seem to account for its very distinct atmosphere. It would even less
account for the way Indian summer (something I've never experienced in its
pure form, as described above) seems to have so much of a momentous feel, an
excitement about it. But your theory about everything having a spiritual
counterpart, its very essence, seems to account for it. You would in effect
talk of the spirit of Indian summer.
Bivalia: Of course I would. There is indeed a class of nature spirits, of
great variety in many other ways, which nevertheless have it in common that they
are strongly aligned with the sort of conditions that prevail in Indian summer as
you just described it, which are indeed at their most active in autumn. Yes, one
can describe them, collectively, as the spirit of Indian summer. And it happens
that there is also an attraction between them and yourself (and myself, too,
remembering that you and I are not really separate entities, deep down). This is
why you feel that fascination, which is so strong that you have for many years
wanted to write music about Indian summer.
I made it sound as if Indian summer occurs for purely physical reasons to
do with the weather, and that this attracts those spirits. Well, this is true,
on one level; but, as usual, things are not quite as simple as that. In another
sense, these spirits go through life-cycles of their own, and at times they, on a
certain level, beyond the physical, could be said to cause the Indian summer
conditions. When you have a higher perspective than the purely physical, logical
one, there is a sense in which causality is different from its everyday
perception, and in which you can say that A causes B, and B simultaneously causes
Yes, the Indian summer (which on a certain level does have perfectly
ordinary physical causes) does cause the Indian summer spirits to gather (and you
should see how they revel in it!), and at the same time, the spirits, at the
appropriate times in their lives, do things spiritually which have their effect
on the physical world which mirrors their activities, and these effects can
include the causing of Indian summer conditions on the physical level.
And of course, we were only using Indian summer as an example. The same
kind of reciprocal relationship between matter and spirit occurs in every other
phenomenon or event. It makes no difference if it is natural or man-made,
although the exact nature of the spirit, or of the "atmosphere" people like you
might perceive, changes according to how closely linked with humanity it is.
There's no denying that, for better or worse (sometimes both at the same time),
humanity is one of the most prominent influences on your part of the universe,
both physically and spiritually. (And I use the term "spiritual" there as a
convenient catch-all term to embrace the astral, the mental, the Buddhic planes,
and so on, although this is not strictly speaking correct; those planes have
their own nature and identity just as much as the physical does, but that is
rather difficult to describe in words, and I'm not sure I can do it now with the
way of using words you habitually use, which, generally speaking, I am
constrained by in channelling through you.)
Michael: Well, I'm sorry to throw a wet blanket over all the nice poetic
ideas we've been discussing, but I'm afraid it's quite likely the misty
effect, the washed-out colours, the orange sun, all the Indian summer effects,
and so on, were caused by something as unromantic as pollution, at least here
in the city.
Bivalia: Possibly. It doesn't really change what I said. Humanity does
have its effects on your planet, and even when some influence is on the whole not
good, it can have pleasant side-effects. And you might recall that in earlier
times, before industry was so heavy, the misty effects were caused by the wood
fires that were once much more common. Didn't Indian summer get its name in
North America because earlier settlers in that region noticed the misty effect in
calm weather caused by the fires of the so-called Indians?
Michael: Something like that. I do seem to recall reading that, but the
details escape me now.
Michael: In any case, the name derives from the American Indians, not
the country of India. Perhaps the name "Indian summer" is a bit of a
misnomer, in that calling the indigenous Americans Indians was a mistake
anyway, way back in history; but for all that, the name "Indian summer" really
has a mystique, a personality, almost.
Bivalia: Well, what I said before applies to names too, whether or not they
are historically mistaken. A name has a certain spirit too, which can modify the
spirit of the thing being named, in a rather subtle way. More precisely, it
modifies the interface between the spiritual essence of the thing and its
physical manifestation in your world, so that changing a name often changes the
way people perceive the thing. We discussed this aspect a couple of sessions
ago, with regard to the names of trains.
Michael: Yes, I see your point. Although we seem to regard smoke of any
sort now as pollution, somehow the earlier causes of mistiness, such as wood
fires, seem more innocent, and a lot more wholesome, somehow, than the modern
causes of pollution, which carry connotations of nasty poisonous chemicals. I
find it a bit of a paradox that the lovely misty effects I like so much, which
really seem to have that sense of wonder, are caused by something as unclean
and undesirable as pollution.
Bivalia: Well, misty weather conditions do exist in other realms beyond the
physical, and they do not always have their origins in pollution. There are so
many natural processes in higher realms which are not found in your world, and
the whole realm of nature covers vastly wider possibilities, and some of those
conditions do indeed cause mistiness, which is not tainted with those
connotations of pollution. No doubt your dim awareness of this accounts for your
liking of mistiness, because I don't think I'm mistaken in saying you don't like
pollution as such, even if you like the misty conditions it can cause.
Michael: No, I see nothing romantic in pollution itself, no suggestion of
wonder or magic. Well, almost nothing. I must admit there is a certain grim
mysteriousness to those scenes of pollution which might be described in a
science fiction novel of the future, where pollution is really bad, which
might even be depicted on the front cover in garish lurid colours. Such
scenes can be intriguing, and have a rather dark atmosphere which (from a
distance, at least) can be appealing (in a sense), but that is quite a
different sort of appeal, and I suppose not as strong. But it illustrates the
truth of what you said before, that even undesirable conditions can, almost
accidentally, have side-effects which can be intriguing or fascinating, even
Bivalia: You are learning, my friend, not to see things in such black and
white terms. I think at times you have been like this, perhaps still are in some
matters. Learning to see attractive aspects of pollution (just as an example) is
a good exercise in getting beyond the limitation of seeing everything as all good
or all bad. Life itself is not usually that neatly classifiable.
But you may be sure that the side-effects of bad conditions (like
pollution) which nevertheless have an appeal, a fascination, an atmosphere which
you can enjoy (even if only from a distance), also exist in the higher realms and
have a more wholesome origin there. The very fact that a part of you finds them
fascinating, even "good" in a sense, indicates that the fundamental origin of
those side-effects is more wholesome, more aligned with good, with what we call
the "light". If that was not the fundamental origin, it is difficult to see why
those side-effects of something bad might nevertheless appeal to you. You are
able to think of things, are you not, that undeniably have their own atmosphere,
their own identity, which you can recognize, yet which do not appeal to you in
the slightest, even in the vague obscure sense in which a polluted
landscape might have?
Michael: Yes. Oppression, deceit, conformism, power games,
commercialism, destruction, torture, murder, pain - lots of things.
Bivalia: Of course. Those things are not of the light at all. Pollution
(to continue that example), is not either; but it is at least possible that some
of its side-effects do have an origin on higher levels that is more of the light,
or at least not opposed to it. Things can have more than one cause from one
instance to another. Life is not black and white, not all-good here and all-bad
there. Good and bad are woven together intricately, sometimes in very intimately
Now, I am not of the persuasion that good and bad must eternally co-exist
in the universe, each being a foil for the other, like yin and yang which must be
balanced in equilibrium, and which, if the balance is upset, must be restored to
equilibrium. I do believe good must eventually prevail and evil banished, but it
may take its time. The good and evil that are so intimately and intricately
intertwined will eventually be sorted out, but the knottiest parts of such
tangling might have to wait for the universe to evolve to higher planes (or at
least for the parts of the universe where the tangling is located to evolve to
higher planes); meanwhile, yes, the good and evil are (for the present)
inextricably linked, and this has led some people to believe they must be so
linked for ever. I cannot bring myself to believe that, however, if you want my
Michael: I agree with that. At least, I don't really know, but that is
the attitude I am strongly attracted to. I want it to be so, and the sooner
Bivalia: Alas, parts of the totality of evil cannot be removed as quickly
as you or I would wish. You might ask why God cannot snap His fingers (so to
speak) and make evil vanish in a puff of smoke. Perhaps now is not the time to
go into the question of evil, which we have discussed before anyway; but it might
be apposite to say in this connection that God Himself is evolving, and that
perhaps He cannot eliminate evil, but is learning how to do so, as we are. He is
helping us evolve, but we are also helping Him evolve.
Perhaps we are all in a forest, and He is ahead of us, scouting the way.
He is more powerful than us (for now), because after all we are
not-yet-fully-realized portions of Him, and is better placed to see the right way
to go, and He sends back whatever information He finds out, to guide us.
But we, further back, also support Him in a sense. We give Him logistic
support, so to speak, supplying Him with the resources to serve the common
purpose of evolving, growing in awareness, reducing the role of evil in the
universe. Every time we do good in this world, we are serving His cause, and our
own. Every time we hurt others, or repress knowledge, or impose conformity, we
hinder that purpose, create another obstacle that needs to be overcome, which
will be overcome, but which slows things down.
That is a rather inadequate analogy to how I see the whole business of
evolution, and the role of good and evil in it, but you may find it a useful
image to use at times. The important thing to realize is that God is on our
side, not putting stumbling blocks of evil in our path. If you could see even
just as much as I can, no more, how full of love He is, you could not possibly
believe He would want to do anything with evil other than to eliminate it as fast
and as completely as He can. But there are limitations here even for Him,
although they may seem far less than your limitations as a human, or even mine as
a Higher Self.
There are questions of free will involved here also, and although I know
you have difficulty with many of the conventional explanations as to how free
will is interlinked with good and evil, and perhaps I have difficulty with them
too, I can at least say that free will does have ramifications which do have a
bearing on the problem of evil, from God's point of view. But it's certainly not
as simple as some of your theologians have made out.
I know you think I'm copping out when I give vague answers on this most
bothersome question of evil. But I can assure you that a correct view is very
subtle, and the words to describe it scarcely exist in physical languages. If
this were not so, some of your thinkers would have stumbled on the correct view,
or at least something like the correct view; and most of them haven't done so,
and the few who have come reasonably close almost cannot explain their view
clearly and convincingly. Also, I might add that although I do see this matter
more clearly than do most people in your physical world, that is only relative,
and I am far from capable of seeing the entire question of evil in full clarity.
So you must excuse me if I can give only what seem to be maddeningly vague
explanations; I am doing the best I can.
Michael: I appreciate that, and I don't criticize you. But it is a real
thorn in the side of life, to suffer at times, to be aware of the overall
suffering in this world, to hope for an end to it, seemingly in vain, and to
constantly hear explanations that don't seem to get it right.
Bivalia: I understand how it appears to you; I truly do. But one day you
will see more clearly; and one day evil, suffering, and pain will come to an end.
Michael: I hope so.
To come back to Indian summer (which I seem to have on the mind at the
moment), it is funny how the various features of it (the mistiness, the orange
light, the types of clouds, and so on) seem to have their own particular
identity, but when they all come together into Indian summer, they also fit
together to make a bigger identity which is the identity of Indian summer,
which is like a gestalt, a totality which is more than the sum of its
Bivalia: All of nature is like that; the whole universe is. This is true
spiritually as well as physically. All the spirits in the universe, of any type,
do not exist on the same level; it's hierarchical. You have more basic or
fundamental spirits, which are comparatively small and particular, and more
numerous; they come in a great many varieties. They have certain relationships
with certain other spirits of the same level, and if you consider a community of
such spirits, that community can be considered as a spirit on its own, but on a
higher level or a more complex one.
And yes, such a higher-level spirit is more than the sum of its parts. It
goes both up and down for many layers, always in that hierarchical sense. For
instance, one of the most fundamental spirits is the spirit of a quark. Then you
have the spirit of a neutron, for example, or of a proton or an electron or a
neutrino, and so on. Now neutrons, etc., are simply combinations of quarks, but
the collection of quarks makes a bigger particle with its own identity.
Particles make atoms which are more than the sum of their constituent
particles, atoms make molecules, molecules make minerals or living tissues,
depending where they are found, those make bigger things; and you can keep going
up. Living things (if we follow that branch of the hierarchy) make families,
families make communities, communities make species, or perhaps they make an
eco-system, if we consider a closely-knit community of many different species,
eco-systems and species (in different ways) make up what we might call a
macro-environment, these make up a planet, planets and stars make up solar
systems, which make up galaxies, which make up clusters of galaxies, which make
up universes, which make up what we can only call super-universes; and so on.
For all I know, the hierarchy continues downwards for ever from quarks, down to
ever-more fundamental particles, and upwards from super-universes, one of which
might for all we know be like a quark in some unimaginably huge entity on a
higher level. And a quark in our universe might (for all we know) be an entire
universe on a much smaller level, with its own sub-sub-sub-microscopic components.
You had it right, more than you realized, in a story you started quite a
good many years ago called The Atoll, where you had an ecological
character called Jim expound a theory of the environment very much like this. He
spoke glowingly of the spirit of the atoll he had visited, how loving he found
it, and regarded it as more than the sum total of all the life-forms found
there. He was absolutely right in speaking like this, and I suspect you knew
this at some semi-conscious level, otherwise you probably wouldn't have put the
concept into your story.
It's a pity you never finished the story; perhaps I can still live in hope
of reading it one day.
Michael: Perhaps, but don't hold your breath. My writing of fiction
seems to have died away for reasons which it would cause us to stray too much
to go into. You know, to do with the seeming pointlessness of physical life,
and of writing about it.
Bivalia: Yes. I hope that phase will pass one day soon. Your description
of the spiritual aspects of nature in that story was quite enlightened and showed
a deep intuitive understanding of these things. And you threw it in as almost a
throwaway detail, because it was perhaps not totally relevant to the plot of the
Michael: Well, no, but it was like background detail, and once that's
there, it can influence the story in ways you can't foresee, and I think I did
have it in mind to do that. Anyway, it came naturally, and it seemed right to
put it in.
Bivalia: Quite right, too. It is interesting that you selected the title
The Spirit of the Atoll for one of those proposed symphonies you wanted to
write, The Spirit of the Oasis for another, and so on.
Michael: I intended the term "spirit" to be largely figurative, at least
to begin with, to convey the sense of "the essence of" or "the atmosphere or
Bivalia: You were more perceptive than you realized. What you sought to
convey was quite literally the spirit of the atoll, the oasis, and so on. It is
that which gives those environments that distinct atmosphere you wanted to depict
in music. Just as you had the character in the story The Atoll say; he
referred to the spirit of the atoll, meaning it quite literally, not merely as a
figure of speech. Just like I meant the spirit of Indian summer quite literally
too, which gives it its atmosphere.
Michael: I appreciate your point about the hierarchical nature of the
natural world, but it's even more complicated. It seems to me that something
can belong to more than one gestalt at a time. Like the orange sun, for
example. We've already said how it belongs to the group of things associated
with Indian summer; but it seems to me to belong to at least one or two other
groups. It also belongs to what I would call the things of the evening, along
with a full moon rising (which is always very early in the evening or very
late in the afternoon), the evening star (actually the planet Venus), which
always sets within a couple of hours of sunset, the red sky on certain
evenings, and so on. All these things belong to the evening, and although
each has its own identity, they seem collectively to have an "evening" sort of
Bivalia: Of course; you're absolutely right. There is such a thing as the
spirit of evening: both the various spirits of various types of evening, and the
spirit of evening generally which comprises all the evening spirits of various
particular kinds. And these spirits are gestalts which are made up of more
fundamental spirits of things which are characteristic of the evening, or in
harmony with it.
Michael: And of course the orange sunset also belongs to the class of
Bivalia: Yes, the spirit of the sun.
Michael: And you can branch out in yet another direction. I mentioned
the full moon rising. Not only does it belong to the evening, but it also
belongs to things of the moon generally.
Bivalia: Yes, of course. The spirit of the moon, or the lunar spirit if
you like. Yes, you're right. It goes on forever in a great interconnected web.
That's how the universe operates. You become more aware of these links as you
grow in spiritual awareness. I am pleased by the sensitivity to these things you
seem to show.
Michael: Oh, it's nothing. It becomes pretty obvious over the years if
you're a daydreamy sort of person like I am.
Bivalia: Well, it may be obvious to you and to me, but there are many
people who never notice it, who never give it a moment's thought, even if someone
points it out to them. They dismiss such ideas as impractical mystical nonsense.
Michael: I have probably been guilty of doing so at times, when I'm
feeling a bit jaded. You obviously have no idea of how at times in the past
I've thrown off at the New Age generally, of what I called irrationality.
Bivalia: Ah, but the difference is that you still think about such ideas;
you don't dismiss them completely. Very likely when you've got over your blue
funk you even consider such ideas more openly, you discuss them with like-minded
people. A lot of people wouldn't be seen dead discussing ideas like you and I
have been doing.
Michael: True. I can think of a few myself.
Bivalia: And you yourself have stopped in the street and looked at a sunset
or a rainbow or a moonrise or some unusual clouds or a spider's web or a bird -
lots of things, big and small - and have wondered that so many people scurry
around you like ants before a rainstorm, seemingly quite heedless of the beauty
which is right before their eyes, if only they look up. But if they look
downwards, at all the things of this world, and often the less inspiring aspects
of this world for that matter, well they miss the beauty. Beauty tends to make
you look up (either figuratively or literally), but if you never look up
(figuratively or literally) you often miss it, then wonder why you feel so
harried, even if in a worldly sense you are very successful.
Michael: I guess so. You have a funny way of summing things up sometimes.
Bivalia: I am a very funny person at times.
Michael: Funny peculiar or funny ha-ha?
Bivalia: Either, or both! It's very refreshing at times to be funny, in
either sense, or even both at the same time.
Michael: We've strayed from our topic.
Bivalia: Isn't the diversion fascinating?
Michael: We might get lost from our home base, so to speak.
Bivalia: We are at home wherever we find ourselves.
Michael: Speaking of things of the evening, another thing which once
fascinated me was the planet Vulcan, which (according to astronomers, and
based on well-established principles of physics) doesn't even exist.
Bivalia: How little they know. It exists astrally, if not physically. Why
do you think you were so fascinated? Are you in the regular habit of being
fascinated by things which don't even exist?
Michael: Well, I might do it a bit more often than you think.
Bivalia: No matter. What is existence anyway? Very few people can say
whether something non-physical really exists anyway. And if enough people
believe in it, they create it astrally if it wasn't there to begin with.
However, Vulcan does exist, and has life on it. The life is so different
from life as you humans recognize it, that, assuming astronomers could visit the
planet, they would not notice the life-forms at all.
Michael: Well, Vulcan was originally postulated last century by the
French astronomer Urbain Leverrier, as the only way he could account for
certain disturbances of Mercury's orbit which still remained even after the
Sun and all the other planets had been taken into account. He thought there
was a very small planet in a very close orbit of the Sun, even closer than
Mercury, fearfully hot, and zipping round it even quicker than Mercury's orbit
of 88 days. He, and a few other astronomers, claimed to have seen Vulcan in
the telescope, moving across the face of the sun, but the sightings couldn't
be repeated later either by them or anyone else.
This was before Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which (amongst other
things) gave the equations by which matter could be transformed into energy,
and vice-versa: you know, the famous "E equals M C squared" formula, which I
have even seen on T-shirts.
It turned out that Einstein's theory accounted exactly for the
disturbance of Mercury's orbit. I don't recall the details, and I'm not
physicist enough to understand them, but it seemed like part of Mercury's
gravitational field (or was it the Sun's? - I forget) could be considered as
matter in an Einsteinian sense (in which sense energy and matter are
considered the same), and that extra "matter" could be thrown into the
equations by which planetary orbits were calculated; and when you did that, it
accounted for the perturbation of Mercury's orbit to a high degree of
accuracy; in fact it was one of the very earliest proofs of the accuracy of
Einstein's theory. After that, there was no need for any hidden planet, and
astronomers dumped Vulcan practically overnight. A very good instance of
Occam's Razor. Anyone who believed in Vulcan today would be considered in the
same class as astrologers, a few of whom still believe in Vulcan. (I don't
think even most astrologers do, actually.)
Bivalia: Well, perhaps the astrologers (those who believe in it) are
right. Or perhaps it doesn't exist physically. Perhaps it did once but fell
into the sun after being disturbed in its orbit, perhaps by a stray asteroid, and
the astral planet still continues in its orbit. Perhaps the planet has ascended
and is not physically detectable any longer. But if you once felt a strong
fascination for the planet, you may be sure there is a reason for it, that it
does exist in some form. Once again, it has a special atmosphere which almost
seems to call for a spiritual explanation.
Michael: Yes, I wanted to write a story set there; and I wanted to write
a piece called The Lost World of Vulcan -
Bivalia: I wish you'd actually write some of these stories and music you
tell me about from time to time. You have great ideas for such things, which
would be absolutely wonderful if followed up. The world needs the sort of art
you can create, both in music and stories, things which have a sense of wonder,
which can inspire people.
Michael: I am conceited enough to agree with that; but there are
difficulties in doing as you suggest.
Bivalia: Yes, I know. But I can wish, nonetheless.
Michael: So can I. Believe me; so can I.
Bivalia: Art and music often play a prominent role in the evolution of your
planet, even of bigger parts of the universe, sometimes for the better, only too
often for the worse; and what I know you can produce if you put yourself into it
would be a powerful force for driving wonderful advances in the evolution of your
planet and solar system. I wish you would organize yourself to do it. Even some
of the ideas you've discussed with me in this and previous sessions would do
wonders for your world if expressed in music or stories. The spirit of the
atoll, Indian summer, Vulcan, whatever.
Michael: And I used to look up at the evening sky and daydream about
Vulcan, even though I couldn't see a thing. It really quite obsessed me at
one point, about the late 1970s. I even got an idea for a grand opera on a
science-fiction theme called The Fires of Vulcan, set on the planet,
romantic soaring music, and even worked out the plot in part (which was to
have a strong spiritual theme also, not only a rational science-fiction
element); but opera's not really my thing, so I suppose that project was
Bivalia: Well, maybe not. Perhaps one day, although I can see that project
is not for right now. Given the hugeness of opera as a musical form, and the
economic constraints (getting ever tighter in your society) in mounting big
things like operas, it seems more like something for after you ascend.
One day, after you ascend, you and I are going to have fun visiting
Vulcan. You and I, in a manner of speaking. I mean with you and I fully
integrated as the one person we really are fundamentally. But those will be
great times we will live in one day.
Michael: Yes; I hope so. My vision of that is not as clear as yours,
Bivalia: Just hang on, and don't give up hope, not completely.
Michael: Once again, we digressed. I just gave Vulcan as an example of
the things of the evening. But of course many of those things are also things
of the morning. The evening star is also the morning star at another
juxtaposition of Venus's and Earth's orbits, and Mercury is also a smaller
evening and morning star, and I suppose Vulcan too, if it exists.
Bivalia: Yes. That is yet another interconnection. The way you are aware
of all these sorts of things, you obviously have an inner life much richer than
your physical life.
Michael: Well, that wouldn't be difficult. It would be quite an
accomplishment for it not to be richer than my physical life.
Bivalia: You know which is of more value, don't you?
Michael: Yes, I suppose so; at least, I know what answer you have in mind
to that question. But that doesn't stop me from wishing my physical
circumstances were a whole heap better, and doesn't change my conviction that
physical circumstances have a real effect on supposedly spiritual activities
such as writing music or even on just my inner life generally.
Bivalia: Yes, I grant that. But it might help for you to be aware that
many of those people, perhaps not all, but more than you think, who achieve
worldly success, do so at a considerable price. They have to accommodate
themselves to the ways of the world in order to succeed, in most cases, and if
they had a vision like yours to begin with, that is likely in the process to
become weakened; and such people are apt to feel pressured and harried all the
time in a hundred ways. Because worldly success often means having to conform to
other people's expectations, they are never really free to be themselves, and
always feel obliged to do things they would rather not do, even to adopt values
they don't really like.
It happens more than you imagine with those successful people you
occasionally look at with a degree of envy for their material prosperity. Some
of them are much unhappier than you, you know, but they have learned the skill
(if that's the right term) of hiding it and putting on a cheerful front. You may
feel depressed at times, but you have no idea how liberating it is, even at such
times, to be able to feel free to just be depressed if you feel you must, and not
have to take on the additional burden of hiding it from other people, or even
from yourself, as some depressed people do. Some of them end up being incapable
of feeling anything at all, because they are so used to suppressing their
feelings even from themselves.
It might be good to think about that before wishing you could trade places
with someone else who appears superficially to be much better off than you. What
I have said is not true of all successful people (in the worldly sense), but it
is true considerably oftener than you tend to think.
Bivalia: Perhaps I'm lecturing you too much, but it is true; and I say
things like that to try to make you feel better. I'll leave it now; when you
give one-word answers like "Maybe", it tends to indicate you don't entirely agree
with what I say, but don't want to say so; or else you're just losing interest in
discussing the matter further.
Michael: It's all right; I guess I can take lecturing from you more than
from anyone else. It doesn't always make me feel better, though.
Bivalia: No; I see that it doesn't. But you will feel better one day.
Your present situation can't continue forever. If only you knew it, but your
sense of wonder, your wonderful vision of things like Vulcan or Indian summer,
would be the envy of many of those whom you at times envy. They would
desperately like something wonderful outside of their own small lives to look up
to, to be inspired by.
Michael: Aren't you putting too much on my daydreams about such things?
After all, they're not real in any important sense. I mean, things like
Indian summer are real in the sense of existing, but it plays no real part in my
life. I mean, it's mostly daydreaming, and perhaps can supply ideas for music or
stories, but that's about it.
Bivalia: But those things of the imagination are much more real than you're
assuming there. The inner world in a way is the one that counts most of all.
Don't underestimate it. You wouldn't give it up for a few more dollars, a little
more power or prestige, would you?
Michael: Well, try me with a few million dollars...
Bivalia: If I were in a position to make the offer, I think you would still
have doubts. And if you accepted the trade, and lost your vision, I think you
would realize you had made a big mistake. Millionaires, powerful people,
successful people, often have great difficulty dying, leaving your world, and
adjusting to their new situation - much greater difficulty than you are likely to
have even if you botch up the rest of your life.
Michael: Perhaps. You're right that that spiritual sense of longing for
something great has been the driving force of my life. It goes right back to
childhood, even before I put a name to it, even before I gave a moment's
thought to anything spiritual. And there was such a time, because I only gave
more than superficial thought to spiritual things after I met and made friends
with my school chaplain at Scotch College here in Melbourne, and I didn't
start at that school until the beginning of 1967, when I was nearly 13.
Bivalia: But you still had a spiritual life before then, but just didn't
know it consciously. That is of relatively little importance. One does not
expect children to be so aware of everything spiritual, even if they have it all
Michael: I think my fascination with atolls goes back to those school
years, a few years later than 1967 perhaps. I used to read up about them in
the school library back then. There's no doubt, even then I had a keen
awareness of the atmosphere of atolls, at least what I thought the atmosphere
was, because of course even now I've never visited one.
Bivalia: That isn't really all that important, although it would be nice if
you could visit one. (You might like to consider flying to the Cocos Islands (a
genuine atoll) for a holiday one day; it is now part of Australia, so travel
arrangements would be fairly simple, and the fare would probably be within your
reach if you saved up). But, regardless of visiting atolls or other places, the
point is you have an awareness of the spiritual dimension of such things. You
know, if you really analyzed your mental and emotional life, you might be
surprised how much of it is spiritual in one way or another.
Michael: If spirituality is what you've been describing, I suppose almost
all of it is.
Michael: I've been aware of the way today's weather (yesterday's, now, if
you want to be chronologically accurate) has reminded me of Indian summer,
although what we had isn't a real Indian summer. I was thinking vaguely of
the sort of music I might put into the symphony in D minor, Indian
Summer, which I've spoken of before - just thinking vaguely of the sort of
dreamy, misty sort of music I might put in it, thinking of the type of
harmony, orchestration, and the like. Dominant-7th harmony on D sustained on
muted strings, muted trumpets playing a soft, almost distant, E-major passage,
and the like.
Bivalia: I hope you wrote down what came to mind.
Michael: No. It wasn't anything like definite enough to write down,
nothing concrete. Just vague daydreaming.
Bivalia: Well, if you sat down some time and thought it through more
deliberately, but not choking off intuition, you might come up with ideas you can
write down, and they might be very good. This daydreaming sort of thinking about
music is not enough by itself to actually produce and complete any music, but it
is the essential starting ground for such music, the ground it germinates in, so
to speak. I would like to see you follow up such ideas more, you know.
Michael: So would I. My physical conditions are not favourable to
composing, though. We've gone through this before.
Bivalia: Your world needs the sort of work you can produce, you know.
Michael: I wish I could oblige, just as much as you wish I could. But it
would be too difficult at present.
Bivalia: Perhaps you should try to do something about it. Organize
yourself and your place better. You can probably do more, even as things stand,
than you have got into the habit of thinking. Ask me or the Masters, or even God
Himself, to be with you continuously if it would help you get on with it. Ask
your guides, ask for some angels. Ask all of these beings; go the whole
hog, if it helps. You mustn't ever hold back because you think you've already
asked enough, or invoked enough Masters, and thus feel reluctant to go further.
God helps those who help themselves. Trite as it may sound, the old saying is
true. It isn't that God is too miserable to help those who won't help
themselves; but those who do invoke powerful spiritual forces which almost can't
help calling in God, regardless of whether they think consciously about Him, and
those who don't help themselves tend to get progressively cut off from this
spiritual power, and can find themselves in a degree of darkness. It seems to be
a natural law of the universe, and both of these effects (helping yourself and
invoking spiritual power, or failing to do so) are cumulative, and their effects
tend to multiply over a period of time, like exponential growth.
Bivalia: That's why I asked you to work with your dreams; and I notice you
haven't done your homework of deliberately trying to influence your dreams, then
writing down what you remember. I suggested that two sessions back.
Michael: Yeah, I know. It isn't that easy to change, and the whole
exercise at that time just seemed rather pointless.
Bivalia: Perhaps. But what seems pointless now may not later, and I would
like you to reconsider doing what I suggested back then. I still think it would
be a good way for you to work on yourself; and without working on yourself, your
progress will be slow and difficult, although perhaps not come to a complete
halt, because I happen to think you have enough innate spiritual awareness to
make progress anyway; but I can practically assure you that your progress, if you
don't make more effort to try to help yourself (with much help from me and God
and the Masters, of course), will be slow enough to be thoroughly frustrating,
and to even be almost invisible at times. So please think about it some more.
And do write down any musical ideas you get, however hopeless you feel about
composing in general at that time. I suspect that if you rethink the musical
thoughts about Indian summer you had earlier on, you might come up with at least
some sketchy ideas that you can write down.
Michael: Yes, I guess so. It's not much, but it might serve as the basis
for some good ideas.
Bivalia: I'm sure it will.
Michael: Well, you know, I'm getting a bit cold, and I want to have a
bite to eat before I go to bed, and I think we're winding down anyway, so I
wonder if I might excuse myself.
Bivalia: Of course; but although you might close this session, I will still
be with you. Just keep talking to me, in the first or the third person, as you
see fit. That will help you become aware of me, and of our fundamental unity
with each other.
Michael: Perhaps. I find you more difficult to talk to than the Masters,
I suppose because I'm not sure how much you are me, exactly, and how much you
are to some extent different, and that makes you seem illusory altogether.
Bivalia: If it helps you any, I can take on the persona of a completely
separate individual, like the Masters can. But at an even more fundamental
level, they and you are the same, just as you and I are at a
not-quite-so-fundamental level. It's all relative, and it's all done with
mirrors anyway; a lot of what you see is illusion and reflection and distortion,
anyway. Don't bother yourself too much about who's who, and who's real, and
whether someone is "really" someone else at a more spiritual level, and so on.
Just speak to anyone at all, including me, in whatever way feels best.
Michael: Well, I think cold is taking over from whatever scattered
thoughts I still had. If I think of anything else, I might add it in the
morning (later in the morning, I should say). Good night, Bivalia.
Bivalia: Good night, Michael. Sweet dreams. And you know what I mean by