Tuesday, 22 September, 1998
Michael: Well, Bivalia, here I am again, after a break of a few months
that somehow seems much longer.
Bivalia:[a] It's good to be with you again, Michael.
Michael: Somehow it seems a very long time since I've seen you, and I
think this may be because I seem to have gone through much darkness in recent
months. Those wonderful discussions we had within the last few sessions seem
like distant memories from sunnier times, and I can't believe they're from
this very year, up till a few months ago.
I suppose it's rather pessimistic thoughts that prompt this session,
because there seem to be certain things on my mind, and I seem to need to
discuss them with you. But I'm afraid they may not be very cheerful.
Bivalia: Well, that doesn't matter. I'm here to share all your life, not
just the good bits. What I want most is for you to come to me with anything of
concern or interest, not just the good bits. Let's see if we can sort it out; or
even if we can't, perhaps you can feel better about those things after thrashing
them out with me.
Michael: I haven't quite been in depression, but just a certain greyness
that kind of robs life of its meaning, and I have in fact been spending much
time reading novels by Dean Koontz, science-fiction-influenced thrillers, or
sometimes occult novels. They're interesting and un-put-down-able, which
makes them good escapism, but I suppose there's not much of what I consider
Spirit in them.
Bivalia: Well, I wouldn't get hung up too much on that. If what you call
Spirit just isn't coming to you now in the way you think appropriate, it may be
better to just accept that for the time being, rather than trying to force
changes in that. There's no "should" about these matters.
Michael: I wasn't really saying there is. I don't feel in the least
guilty about the seeming lack of spirituality to my recent life, and I'm not
developing a guilt trip about this. But I still feel I would like it to be
Bivalia: So do you have any idea why you are feeling this way?
Michael: I can think of a couple of things. This is going to sound
silly, but I think death is casting an increasing shadow over me. Because
death is closer now, and my life perhaps more than half over, things that once
seemed to have a point don't seem to now. I'm talking about things like
composing music, or writing, or computer programming - the general range of
things that have interested me over the years.
I've always tried to be creative, I suppose, in doing such things, and,
in spite of my total lack of achievement, at least in an ordinary worldly
sense, I think I am really quite achievement-oriented. A hedonistic approach
of aiming just to enjoy life, to bask in one pleasure after another, and to be
genuinely unconcerned about achievement, really doesn't seem to sit well with
me, even though it looks an increasingly sensible approach to life.
Bivalia: I think it can be a sensible approach to life in some situations,
but, like any other approach, it could probably be taken too far.
Michael: I suppose I'm thinking that when I die, whatever I've achieved,
I can't take it with me, my books or my music manuscripts, or whatever I've
done. And, what's more, unless I am lucky enough to achieve a degree of fame
that will preserve my work to posterity, it is all likely to die when I die
myself. It just seems pointless to struggle to achieve things if they are
very likely to count for nothing in the end.
Bivalia: While it is true that, when you die, you cannot take with you
physically anything you've owned while in this life, this may not be true of
intangible achievements like the things you mentioned. I notice that not one of
those goals you've had which you mentioned was the simple acquisition of
possessions. There is no reason why you cannot take every note of music or every
word of writing with you into the next realm, because they are all there in
memory. Even if you lost those memories (which you don't, ever), they are
also available in the akashic records. There are techniques for accessing those,
which admittedly are not easy techniques to learn in your world; but those
techniques are much easier to acquire in the realms above the physical.
Also, by writing music, even if you did have to leave it behind in this
world forever (which you don't), you would be developing skills which will serve
you well in whatever realms of life you go to after death to the physical world.
To some extent, if you give up on everything in your life, you are delaying
whatever you ultimately want to achieve. Perhaps not drastically, but enough
that it may become annoying one day. You would simply have to take the time to
develop those skills in the next realm. That is admittedly easier than in your
world, which is full of distractions of all sorts; but it wouldn't change the
fact that you might have wasted several decades of time in which you could have
got a head start.
So following the pursuits to which your heart draws you does not have to
Michael: Yes, I know all about the kinds of arguments you've just given
me; that's nothing new.
Bivalia: My friend, nothing I tell you in these sessions is truly new to
you. You know it all deep at some level.
Michael: I guess so. What I'm saying is that I just can't feel convinced
by all that. It is all based on the premise of the reality of the realm of
Spirit, and that is something I don't feel convinced by. I'm trying to open
to Spirit, trying to convince myself of its reality (otherwise I wouldn't
spend so much time thinking about spiritual matters, or doing sessions with
you, or any of the other spiritual things I've done from time to time); but it
just hasn't so far convinced me fully, in spite of all that.
I'm telling it to you in spades, not telling you the kind of thoughts a
spiritual person should have.
Bivalia: Telling it in spades is precisely what a spiritual person should
do. It would not bring you closer to Spirit to put on pretences of all the kinds
of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that you thought a spiritual person
should have. Anyway, I don't think it would be productive to think too much
about what a spiritual person is like, and whether you yourself are a spiritual
person. In a very real sense, everyone is, whether they're aware of it or not,
whether they are believers or sceptical, cynical atheists. As I think we've both
agreed on previous occasions, such distinctions are much less important than they
appear on the surface, and much less important than some religious believers will
Michael: To be quite honest, death scares the hell out of me, for two
reasons, I think.
Michael: One is the fear that it will be painful, that it will be slow,
and preceded by a long and painful illness or disability. I hope euthanasia
is easily available by the time my numbers come up, although on recent
performance by the Australian Senate, the outlook doesn't look good. Perhaps
it may be contrary to what most spiritual people believe (I know it is), but I
am a believer in euthanasia, in the right of the individual to choose it if
they feel their life is not worth living any longer, and I would like to have
the choice available, even if I never actually chose to do that myself.
Bivalia: Once again, don't worry about what "spiritual people" should
believe. If you believe in euthanasia, say so fearlessly and without apology.
From where I see Spirit, it is quite flexible about issues such as this, which
(as you just pointed out) most people who consciously follow a spiritual path
have fixed views on - much more flexible than those people are aware. You often hear people of a
certain spiritual persuasion suggest that suicide or mercy-killing is always
wrong, and that there are horrible astral regions to which they go and spend some
time. I can only say that, from where I see things, this idea carries much less
credibility than those believers think.
Those people may think extreme suffering is no excuse for taking your own
life, because their karma requires them to go through that suffering, and it is
in a sense ordained by God or their own higher selves.
To my way of thinking, this is akin to the thinking which religious people
commonly had last century, when anaesthesia first came into use, to the effect
that it was evil, because God, back in the Garden of Eden, had ordained that pain
was to be part of the human lot, and this was an impious and impudent attempt to
evade what God had decreed.
Well, of course practically no-one takes that seriously now, not even the
most narrow-minded Bible-believing fundamentalists. Of course, believers in
karma could have said last century that anaesthesia was wrong, because it was an
attempt to escape pain which was part of the patient's karma. But once again, no
believers in the concept of karma would say that now.
I don't want to get into karma now, but if we assume it is true, the fact
of karma would not in any way detract from the inalienable right of any being to
take whatever action he deems fit to avoid pain, provided he does not knowingly
hurt another being.
I put the usual arguments about the evil of suicide on about the same level
as the arguments about anaesthesia. It is just another technique to avoid pain,
and avoiding pain is not in itself evil or wrong. The most I would say is that
ill-judged suicide might cause problems in holding up the purposes for which a
person came to earth; but I would not consider that the effects of that would be
nearly so dire as has often been claimed in your world. In fact, I consider the
usual arguments given on this topic to be simply a part of the fear-based
spirituality that you (and the planet as a whole) are moving away from now. [b]
Michael: Anyway, I didn't mean to get onto suicide and euthanasia; I'm
not contemplating either at the moment, and I suspect the fear of death would
prevent me from doing either unless the conditions of my life really became
unbearable. But certainly the possible pain and illness and disability which
might precede death are one of my reasons for fearing death. But if things
came to that, I suppose I would look forward to death as a welcome release.
Bivalia: Of course. And it is welcome release to people in situations like
Michael: The other reason for fear is of a more theological or spiritual
nature. Put simply, I don't know if there is anything after death, or, if
there is, what comes after death. Now I'm not asking you to assure me that
there is life after death, and that what comes after is better than what came
before. I already know those are your views, but the point is that simply
hearing it in words (from anyone at all) will not convince me unless I can
somehow achieve an inner awareness of that truth.
I know this is the kind of argument that might have you saying "Big deal;
your quandary about death is no more than what almost every person on the
planet has to face".
Bivalia: Well, that is true, but I wasn't about to say it. The fact that
most other people face the same problem doesn't in any way belittle the problems
it can cause.
Michael: I think Phillip Adams has pointed out that humanity is the only
species that is cursed with the fore-knowledge of death. [c]
Bivalia: He's absolutely right, although I think, by using the word "curse"
he was implying that there is no way out of the problem. I know it's of little
comfort for me to say this, but the way out is for people, and humanity at large,
to grow in spiritual awareness, so that they can know death is not the end, that
wonderful, glorious things await humanity after death.
Michael: Meanwhile, the problem seems to be how to find purpose in life
when I know all will end in death, where I have no assurance of anything to
come after that.
Bivalia: I think the sessions you do with me are probably the best method
available to you at present to deal with that, or, more precisely, to grow in
spiritual awareness, which will by definition deal with the death problem. It
grows over the time, however, and doesn't solve everything all in one hit.
Michael: The problem is that I seem to believe, deep down in my heart,
that death is the end of everything. The scientific view of life says nothing
about life after death, except to say that there is not the slightest shred of
evidence for it, and when I hear some scientist say this (like on The Science
Show, for instance), I get a cold feeling in my guts, hating that whole
outlook, but knowing it is true, and that it pricks the bubble of
self-delusion I've built around me in the form of my spiritual life.
If I say that I have feelings, or an inner awareness, or an intuition,
about such things, the scientist would say, "Where's your evidence? People
get feelings about all sorts of things, some of them mutually contradictory;
but you can't prove this in any way at all." And I think I believe this view,
when I hear it expressed eloquently. And I hate it; but that doesn't make its
certainty go away.
Bivalia: I know what you mean. I don't really have any new answers. I
could reiterate things I've told you before, to stay with Spirit, with your
highest inner feelings, in spite of all this, and I see you are doing that
anyway. You obviously like doing sessions with me, in which, more than in
anything else, you bring to awareness all those inner spiritual intuitions and
longings that the scientists downplay; and I think, going by the fond memories
you have of some of the ideas we've discussed, that you do find this a comfort.
You would not have that if you totally followed that scientific paradigm of what
the universe is like, and how it works.
Michael: I heard someone on the A.B.C. comment about paradigms. Alan
Saunders was talking on The Science Show yesterday, and he described
what post-modernism is. It's a certain intellectual view of how one should
look at the world; the term is one I've heard much bandied about in recent
years, and it has to some extent become linked with political correctness, but
I've never quite known exactly what it was. But I did glean a sort of
impressions of what it is, and what Alan Saunders said last night more or less
confirmed this impression I'd gradually inferred.
It seems that post-modernism is the view that you cannot lay down one way
of looking at the world, such as the scientific one (which Alan Saunders cited
as an example). The scientific view, with all its rules or conventions about
reasoning, backing up with evidence, and all that, is simply one description
of the world amongst many others. He said that, according to post-modernism,
the scientific view is simply in the bus-queue along with all the other
descriptions of what the world is, and those others could be almost anything
at all. Relevantly for our purposes, one of those others could be the kind of
spiritual view we have gradually developed over several years in these
sessions. Needless to say, scientists tend to reject this view.
Bivalia: Well, we don't have to agree with them. I would say there's some
merit in post-modernism as you just described it. However, I wouldn't quite go
to the extreme of saying that anything goes. But the question of deciding what
is permissible as a hypothesis is not nearly so clear-cut as the scientists would
suggest. So I don't agree with the absolutism of science, nor do I agree with
the anything-goes of post-modernism; the view I would take would be somewhere in
between. I would say there are criteria for deciding what is a valid view of
life, and what is not, but that it is not possible to rigidly define those
criteria, and that in fact people would define them differently for themselves.
Let's see how this might apply to your own situation. I would tell you,
for instance, that the spiritual view you have developed, with my help, is
completely without foundation according to the scientific paradigm; yet it is
something that you prize, which has a sense of wonder to it that gives life at
least something of a purpose (which, if you follow it through, will become
stronger and stronger), a certain magic even. Would I be right in suggesting
that the hard scientific view would give you none of this, and would, if you
fully embraced it, leave you feeling very bleak indeed?
Michael: Absolutely. That doesn't really get rid of the problems, though.
Bivalia: No, it doesn't. But you will have to be patient about that. Your
world does have its limitations, and no amount of sophisticated debate between
us will get around that. But it will give you hope for a better future where
these problems will become less and less.
I don't want to go through a whole lot of intellectual arguments to prove
the reality of Spirit, because most of them can be refuted by scientists. And I
suspect that, with the scientific kind of mind you have, you already know most of
the arguments that would be used to refute putative evidence for Spirit.
I just want to put one idea forward along these lines. According to the
scientific view of life, an organism, or a being, as we might put it, is nothing
more than a collection of cells evolved to survive in a certain way in the
Michael: Yes, I guess that's how they would see it.
Bivalia: And the cells are made up of thousands of incredibly complicated
chemicals, which are interacting in various ways. Those chemicals are made of
atoms which are just exactly like any other atoms of the same elements anywhere
else in the universe. There's nothing magical about those atoms, those
chemicals; it's the whole complicated pattern of them that makes up a living
Bivalia: The human body, according to this reasoning, is nothing more than
a giant chemical machine programmed through chromosomes to develop the way it
does in the womb, and to survive by doing certain things, and to reproduce.
Michael: According to the scientific view, life can be nothing more than
this. Incredibly intricate and complicated of course.
Bivalia: True. But that doesn't matter. It's still a finite collection of
atoms interacting in ways which are completely accountable for in terms of the
laws of physics and chemistry. If it's incredibly complicated, that is a mere
matter of degree, and does not affect the fundamentals of it.
Michael: Yes, that would be so.
Bivalia: Intelligence is just the sum total of all the interactions within
the brain as it goes about controlling the body; it is just like a computer in a
sense, programmed in an incredibly complicated way, initially genetically; but
the program itself is modified by experience, so that you can learn from things
that happen to you.
Michael: Yes. There are computer programs now that can learn from
experience, so we're not talking about something totally unknown in the
mechanical or inorganic world.
Bivalia: Okay. I'm now about to throw a spanner in the works of this nice
tidy view of life which seems to account for everything - in principle at least,
even if the actual details are not fully known yet.
What about consciousness? What is it? Where does it come from? According
to the scientific view, I mean - we both know it derives from Spirit, and does
not originate purely in the physical world.
If a human being (we'll use that as an example) is nothing more than an
incredibly complicated machine, nothing more than atoms moving about and
interacting according to scientific laws, where the dickens does consciousness
fit into the picture? There would seem to be no reason whatever (according to
the scientific view) why that machine, no matter how intricate and complex,
should possess that peculiar attribute of consciousness, of self-awareness. I
mean, no scientist would suggest those very same atoms and chemicals in any way
have consciousness if they just appeared in the ground or in the ocean or in the
Sun. And it is a fact that most of the elements in the human body are extremely
common in the world at large, and there are a few which are rarer, but are still
perfectly ordinary matter. [d] Why on earth do they acquire awareness when they
collect together in certain patterns, in the form of living creatures?
Michael: Oh, I think they would say that consciousness is just the sum
total of all the patterns of activity that go on in the brain. It's not the
atoms or chemicals themselves, but the total, overall pattern of them.
Bivalia: Not good enough. It really doesn't explain consciousness. [e] It's a
mere article of faith amongst scientists (who would criticize the articles of
faith you and I hold) that those atoms somehow acquire consciousness. Where
does it come from?
Michael: Search me. I don't know that all this proves our point of view
Bivalia: I'm not suggesting that it does in a technical sense. It probably
can be refuted. I'm sure many scientists are aware of the consciousness argument
I just gave, and have ways of dealing with it. But the argument is worth keeping
in mind. If it doesn't prove Spirit, at least it seems to suggest that Spirit is
a credible hypothesis in that post-modern smorgasbord of paradigms we mentioned
earlier. You might like to focus on that whenever you find the materialistic,
scientific view of life too oppressive, and too credible. Science doesn't have
all the answers, nor the only credible view of life.
I'm not going to go in for science-bashing of the sort that some mystics or
New-Age people go in for. Like you, I have the highest respect for the
scientific method, used properly - but only in the areas for which it is suited,
namely investigating the physical properties of the universe, and the physical
workings of it. Within that area, scientists quite rightly claim that no more
reliable method of learning knowledge about the universe has yet been found. But
you are stepping outside that area if you try to use it to prove that Spirit
In short, it would seem, according to my argument, that if you were just a
body, without a spiritual essence of some sort, you would have no awareness or
consciousness with which to even ponder the problem. Even if your brain was
churning away like a computer, doing all the things it does, it would have no
more awareness than a computer does. (If we were to look into things in more
depth, we might find that computers do have awareness, even life of a sort, and
that everything material does, right down to atoms; but that's another story. I
was talking here about awareness as it's commonly understood, which is the way we
were using it in the argument just given about consciousness.) [f]
Michael: Well, I don't suppose it completely banishes my doubts; it's a
brave try, though.
Bivalia: The important thing is that, according to a materialist view of
life, consciousness, self-awareness, emotions are a genuine anomaly. There is
nothing about the scientific, materialist view of the world that in any way
suggests such things. (And you understand, of course, that I'm using the term
"materialist" in its philosophical sense of postulating that matter is all that
exists, not in the common sense of meaning "devoted to material acquisitions".)
Michael: Yes, I often do have the feeling of what you just said, that
consciousness is a real anomaly in the materialist view. (And, yes, I
understand the way you're using the term "materialist".) However, it could be
that this consciousness dies with the body though, that it is indissolubly
tied to the atoms of the body.
Bivalia: That could be true; but once we're clear that it is not just those
atoms themselves, it appears more credible that it can survive the dissolution of
those atoms which you call death. I never claimed this as a technical proof.
But it's one of many things you have to hang onto in those dark times when all
hope seems to be lost, when it seems overwhelmingly clear that the physical world
is all there is.
Take heart. Your position in life, your view of it, is not nearly as bleak
as it feels at times.
Michael: There's more than the scientific view that seems to convince me
that Spirit is not real. What about the plethora of religions and
spiritualities that exist around the world? If you look at science, it
progresses. Because it is self-correcting, invalid ideas gradually get weeded
out, and the sum total of scientific knowledge increases, and becomes a more
accurate description of the universe (within those physical constraints we
mentioned before as the proper domain of science).
Things are very different in the area of religion or spirituality. Ideas
there are never verified, there are oodles of competing ideas, and none of
them ever win out. Ideas may come and go, but the overall situation is as
chaotic as it was millennia ago, and there doesn't seem to be any real sense
in which spirituality has progressed. The same old ideas are being bandied
about as they were millennia ago. Surely, though, if there was a spiritual
truth, it would somehow gain ascendancy over the other competing ideas.
Bivalia: What you've just said is a good reason not to put too much faith
in dogma. Someone says God is one god, someone else says he's a Trinity.
Someone says reincarnation is true, someone else says there's a final judgement,
and you go either up or down for all eternity. So what? Big deal. These are
mere dogmas, mere opinions that certain people hold.
We've talked about this before. I'm not saying that dogmas are always
wrong; but in talking about them the way you did, you are trying to apply the
scientific model, and find out what the truth is in some absolute sense. And of
course the scientific method doesn't work in this area. That is the problem with
dogma in general.
So much of the time, when you consider people who are on a conscious
spiritual path, who think about these matters, interaction between them comes
down to something like this: A says, "I believe such-and-such" (or "I know
such-and-such is true", and B says, "Oh, no, that can't be true; this or that is
the truth, and here's why", and he gives various lines of reasoning. And so it
goes on, like an endless ping-pong match - back and forth.
This is so much mind-stuff, and it can be entertaining and interesting.
But if it is conducted like a debate, with a serious attempt to work out which
view is true, it will get absolutely nowhere. As you said, it hasn't in over two
millennia. The most I would say for this is that, if conducted in a very
open-minded and flexible way, it can bring to awareness certain ideas which may
increase one's spiritual awareness; but it will certainly not resolve matters of
spiritual fact in a black-and-white fashion.
Michael: That's for sure; I've been there and done that.
Bivalia: You certainly have. But tell me this: what do you believe
Michael: Well, I'm not sure. This is part of my problem: I don't know
whether I fully believe in God, afterlife, and so on.
Bivalia: Well, all right; what are the ideas you most seriously consider
Michael: Have you got a few days to spare? I certainly don't. I can't
give a neat summary of that, because it's rather subtle. Besides, we've
already spent hundreds of pages exploring that in considerable detail. Why do
you ask the question?
Bivalia: You gave the right answers. There would be plenty of people who
could quite easily answer "What do you believe?" with a neat series of sentences
setting out precisely what they regard as true and false, and who would be eager
to do so. But you tried to back off from that; you could not easily summarize
your outlook without all sorts of qualifications and conditions.
I was just illustrating the fact that you have already, to a considerable
extent, implemented a spiritual outlook which is a genuine alternative to dogma.
A person whose spiritual outlook is based largely on dogma says "This is true" or
"That is false", and so on. An approach not based on dogma is reluctant to say
that, but proposes possibilities with varying degree of certitude or probability.
I think a good spiritual outlook on life is one that is a way of looking at
life, of interpreting it, not a simple series of statements about what is true or
not, which cannot be verified anyway. You are not trying to prove this or that
dogma, so you don't need to be concerned about the fact that no one dogma can
gain ascendancy over another, therefore none of them have credibility. You are
not basing your spiritual life on dogma, so if any dogma is invalidated, it rolls
off you like water off a duck's back.
Michael: Hey, that's a bit too much of an easy way out. It may be true
that I have a subtle view that consists of many things I feel uncertain about,
but which may be true; but there is probably dogma built in. For instance,
the fact that I have these sessions with you is based on the dogma that humans
have a higher self, a kind of bigger and better version of their own
Bivalia: I don't know whether "dogma" is an appropriate term for that,
because that is something you are not certain about, and dogma, by
definition, is something you are absolutely certain about, and whose truth you
insist upon to others in a more or less authoritarian way. But even if we call
it a dogma, for the sake of following your point, I said you had "considerably"
got away from dogma, not necessarily "completely".
No-one has completely got away from it (except perhaps a completely neutral
agnostic who has no thoughts on the subject at all). Anyone who had got beyond
dogma completely would already have complete cosmic consciousness, and
would be in total, fully-aware union with God. If you or anyone else were in
that state, you would probably not be wasting your time keeping your awareness
solely in the physical world, unless for the fun of it, or for the purpose of
helping others who are less aware than yourself. If you had such a high state
of consciousness, I think you would be aware of it; you would have to be,
because cosmic consciousness, by definition, is awareness of everything,
including awareness of your own state of consciousness.
But if your hypothesis (I won't call it a belief, because it isn't really)
about the reality of a higher self is a dogma, it is a very weak one. As far as
I can tell, you have a pretty open view on the exact nature of your higher self,
and it is open to revision or adjustment in response to new insights, should they
come your way. It doesn't seem much of a dogma to me.
So, in summary, yes, you probably have quite a few dogmas, but the
important point is that your whole spiritual view does not revolve around them;
and as long as that is so, you are open to weakening or removing other dogmas
from your outlook, as you find that they don't serve you or anyone else well.
I suppose the test is this (and I think I've mentioned this in a previous
session): if it could somehow be suddenly proven that some putative dogma is
absolutely false, completely without foundation, how much adjustment would your
spiritual outlook require as a result of this? Might it even collapse
altogether? If it would collapse, or require adjustment to a degree that would
be traumatic, you have probably been too dependent on dogmas.
Michael: Still, it does seem that, because my spiritual view (whether
based on dogma or not) is just one of thousands, it surely can't be true,
can't have much credibility. At best, I only very occasionally meet people
whose outlook seems to share some small part of mine, and it makes me wonder
whether I've got it wrong somehow. Surely if it were true more people would
have cottoned onto it in a fuller degree, not just a bit here and there I
might have in common with a few people. It just makes me feel very alone
Bivalia: Yes, it is a problem at times. But we've discussed before how
truth is filtered through your own coloured glasses, so to speak, and therefore
does not appear the same to everyone. Truth appears differently to different
people, not because it isn't really true, but because people are individuals,
with their own personalities, their own outlook in life, their own needs, and
their own purpose for being in the world. You really shouldn't let that put you
off following the path that seems right to you.
And you must expect your view of the path that seems right to change from
time to time, and be willing to go along with it. I don't mean to be like a reed
in the wind, following upon a whim any new path that you happen upon; I'm talking
about when it seems over a longish period of time to be really something
Michael: Yes, I guess so. In giving you my rather pessimistic view, I
was just telling you how I felt often, not necessarily suggesting that it was
a proper rational argument about how things are.
Bivalia: And you do well to tell me how you feel about things.
Michael: I suppose I just long at times to find people whose outlook is
substantially similar to mine; but perhaps I'm longing for what is of another
world, not this.
Bivalia: Not necessarily; but this problem is one that often afflicts those
who follow their own path, and don't automatically follow the masses on a
predetermined path (such as a church, or a more-or-less fixed philosophy or
system of practice). But following the path that your intuition finds just right
will reach the destination quicker in the end than blindly following a
predetermined path. The mass paths by definition can't fit an individual's needs
as closely as can the right individual path (because they evolved to suit large
numbers of people at least tolerably well), and they include many distractions
which have to be dealt with.
To be sure, those distractions may be an essential part of someone else's
path; but the point is that a mass path, such as most organized religions, cannot
meet everyone's needs fully unless heavily leavened with a willingness to be
individualistic by the standards of organized religion. In other words, if you
choose to follow one of the established paths, a willingness to be a heretic
about issues that really don't feel right for you would be a considerable asset.
At the risk of sounding dogmatic and bigoted myself, I have to say that
following an established path exactly, and being unwilling to ever depart from
it, is unlikely to be the fastest path to growth, unless perhaps, by sheer
coincidence, that path fits your needs like a glove. This does happen
occasionally, and you have probably very occasionally met people who really seem
to flourish in every way you might desire, yet who are very orthodox in their
chosen religion, and revere their Church's teachings on every subject. But in
general it is not the best approach, because people's spiritual needs are very
Michael: Also, coming back to the idea that I feel lonely on my path, and
it even makes me doubt the validity of it, there's something else of a more
specific nature. I guess I have less contact with people on something
approaching my own path since Ra's channelling group finished a few years
ago. I see Ra herself less since she's begun a relationship with a friend,
Jim. I don't seem to see Shirley R. (who for years has perhaps been my
main contact with other spiritually-inclined people) so much any more.
Perhaps all this has its effect on me.
There are people, especially from one of the main religions, who say that
it's very important to belong to a spiritual community of like-minded people,
that this is at the very centre of a spiritual life. They often criticize the
New Age by saying it doesn't stress this enough, and that their path is mere
self-indulgence, that anything that feels good is okay.
Bivalia: This can be true of some people in that category, but the critics
you just cited are usually ill-informed about the New Age, or just don't
understand it. There are many New-Age groups around, and you have had contact
with one or two of them, so the critics who criticize the New Age for its lack of
a sense of spiritual community are just plain wrong. Those communities are just
usually less hierarchical and less organized in traditional ways than the
It is probably true that those groups do put less emphasis than the
traditional religions on the group aspect of spiritual outlook, but I would not
see that as a criticism, but just a genuine difference of outlook. To my way of
thinking, some churches are too group-oriented, so that individual spiritual
experience or intuition is not given its due, because it doesn't conform to what
the group believes (or has been indoctrinated into).
I agree with them that it is very good to be part of a group of like-minded
people - but not at the expense of sacrificing the integrity of what your highest
feelings tell you is your path. In other words, it would be better not to be in
a group at all than to be in one that is sufficiently incompatible that it
undermines the path you deeply feel to be right for you. A great deal more can
be achieved by a person working alone than those churches give credit for; and of
course, if you are alone now, there is always the possibility that you will later
find a group sufficiently compatible to work with. Your present condition
(whether in a group, suitable or not, or alone) is not a life sentence.
Michael: Well, I agree with all of what you've said about groups.
Shirley R. has got very interested in a process being offered by three
ladies, one of whom is her daughter Jo (or Jacinta, as she is presently
known). The others are Carole and Wendy, and all three are nice people, warm
and loving, and very funny at times.
Bivalia: Yes, they are, aren't they?
Michael: They are, but I do have a bit of a problem with what they are
doing. It's a quite specific program of consciousness raising, and it seems
Carole has it from Spirit that she is the only person in the world who is
offering this path to cosmic consciousness. I'm not totally clear, but I also
get it (partly from what Shirley has told me, and she understands it better
than I do) that this is really the only path to achieving this type of
consciousness. This rings warning bells with me.
Bivalia: Yes, it does a bit with me, too.
Michael: Not because I think there's anything even slightly wrong with
that they're doing, but because of the suggestion (and it's no more than a
suggestion) that they are the only people doing this, and that this is the way
to achieve God consciousness.
Perhaps this is one of my dogmas, but I seem to feel quite strongly that
one should be a bit sceptical of any path, however good it might seem in
itself, which claims, or even suggests, that it is the only one. And in fact,
the three ladies, with whom I had a few sessions, suggested I channel you and
discuss with you what I did with them. I suppose they expected you would
fully confirm that everything is right about what they are doing.
Bivalia: I have no problems with what they are doing, but don't quite agree
with the idea that this is the only, or even main, path.
Michael: That's what I thought you would say; but I don't think it's
what they would have expected.
Bivalia: I can't help that; I can only tell you the truth about things as I
see it. If you show this to them (and I know you have considered showing them
some of our sessions), it simply can't be helped if, because I've given a view a
bit different from what they expected, they conclude that you were not really
channelling me purely, at least on this topic.
Michael: I don't know if they would reach that conclusion; but it was my
feeling they might.
Bivalia: These things have to be expected; not everyone will agree with
your views on any spiritual topic. Don't worry about it; if there is still much
else you can share with them, go ahead and enjoy fellowship with them.
Michael: This was a few months ago that I was doing stuff with them, and
I haven't been back since. I don't know if I will go back or not; I have no
immediate plans, but I haven't ruled it out. Despite what seem to be quite
large differences in outlook, I suppose they have more in common with me
spiritually than do most other people or groups. And I do like them.
We got hung up on the fact that, when asked to voice-channel you, I froze
up and couldn't do so. This was perhaps the second step in their program, and
because I couldn't seem to do this, they spent endless time with me trying to
uncover the block, but didn't seem to think I could go on to any of the other
steps until I'd got around this. I thought this was a bit rigid, and really
thought it might be better to leave that for the time being, and go on to
other parts of the process. I believe contacting one's twin flame was to be
the next step.
Bivalia: It does sound a bit rigid, insisting on a precise order of
things. Perhaps they had their reasons; perhaps they feel a need to work in a
particular way. However, if anyone were to claim this is the only possible way
of working towards the goal, I would have to disagree.
Michael: They're not claiming that you're lost, that you'll never come
home to God (I think they quite often phrase it like that), if you don't follow
their program. Apparently there was a critical mass of people needed to reach
the new awareness through this process, and once that happened, the whole
planet would achieve it, bringing everyone along with it. It's a version of
the hundredth monkey effect, that an awareness of something spreads like
wildfire once the critical mass has achieved awareness of it. [g] Those who
didn't would still achieve the higher state, but do so unconsciously. (I'm
not quite sure what that means. It sounds like a contradiction in terms to
reach a higher awareness unconsciously, but I suppose it could be by a kind of
process of osmosis, rather than conscious, deliberate growth.)
That critical mass was apparently reached quite recently with this. So
it seems all humans are going to achieve this union with their God
consciousness (or however they phrase it) one way or another. Apparently it's
better and more fulfilling to do it consciously, though.
I suppose I agree it would be better to achieve this step in full
consciousness, by doing the process, which apparently feels indescribably
wonderful. But the goal itself seems so remote from me that I would be quite
content to achieve it by any means at all, consciously or unconsciously, and
not be too fussy about the means.
Bivalia: The goal is not as remote from you as you seem to think. Well, I
suppose if you feel you can't do the process yourself, you'll have to just do it
unconsciously, along with humanity as a whole. I wouldn't worry about it too
much. Do the process if it seems right, and if you can go along with it. But
leave it alone if that seems the right thing to do. I can't really tell you what
to do; it's really up to you to decide. I don't think the consequences of going
this way or that will be all that drastic.
Michael: Shirley's really going along with this, and seems to regard all
the things Carole and the others say as absolutely true. As both you and I
have agreed, I can't quite go along to this full extent, and it does make me
feel a bit cut off from Shirley, and I've been telephoning her less often
recently. I think this has added to the feeling of spiritual cut-off-ness I
mentioned before. I think Ra is probably now my main spiritual contact, and I
haven't seen her in person for probably well over a year, but just telephone
her occasionally. But we can share stuff like I can with no-one else at all.
Bivalia: Well, I hope you continue your friendship with her, in that case;
she is a lovely person, very open and quite undogmatic, spiritual qualities I
know you value highly. But don't be too quick to let things lapse with Shirley;
she and you have shared much over the years, and she does care about you, even
when you go through times when you seem to be separate.
Michael: But it can be difficult to talk with her when she relates
everything spiritual to this process she's doing, and I can't. I have nothing
against the process, but it just isn't the be-all and end-all to me; I suspect
no specific process, however good, could be the be-all and end-all to me.
Perhaps it's a limitation I have to get over. Maybe when something
is the be-all and end-all, I should be able to recognize it as such.
Bivalia: Maybe; but I wouldn't be too quick to conclude that anything is
the be-all and end-all. You want to be sure beyond all possible doubt that
something is before deciding to so regard it, in a world that is full of people
only too willing to have you believe their own approach is the be-all and
end-all, all the way from certain New-Agers to Christian fundamentalists, and
cultists of various assorted types. And if you did deem it right to consider
something absolute, there you are uncomfortably close to dogma again, although if
you walked the tight-rope just right it might be possible to be absolute about
something like that without falling into dogma. But it's an area to be very
Michael: I can't quite get rid of the feeling that this is just another
New-Age fad. I seem to remember that a few years ago, Ascension was the
thing; this was finally the culmination of one's spiritual growth, and
people's spiritual outlook on everything was related to Ascension. Shirley
was very much into that, and I, as usual, dabbled a bit on the sidelines. But
Shirley (and many other people, too) have put that into perspective. It was
valid, and interesting, and led to growth; but it was not any longer the
be-all and end-all.
I can't help feeling that the process being given by Carole and the
others is just another thing like this, and in a year's time it will just seem
to be yet another step in one's growth, just one of many ways of achieving
growth. Whatever claims are made, I find it impossible to see it as the final
climax of things when it is just yet another thing in a long series over the
years, one fad after another.
Bivalia: I would tend to see it that way, too. This seems to be the way
spiritual growth works in your world; there does not seem to be the slightest
indication that one particular thing is the one and only way of achieving
spiritual goals. You should continue to do what you are already doing; go
further with this thing if and only if it seems to your intuition the right thing
Michael: Yes, but the fact that it's just one thing in a long line of
spiritual fads that change as quickly as women's hem-lines is one of the
things that seems at times to persuade me that it's all just so much
moonshine, with no reality to it.
Bivalia: It may be, and it may not be. I would not be too quick to form a
definite opinion one way or the other on whether this, or any other idea that
comes and goes like women's hem-lines, has merit or not (except insofar as your
experience leads you to conclude one way or the other, for yourself). If and
when you do form an opinion, form it carefully and slowly, after much
consideration, and after consulting your inner guidance about how to regard it.
And always be willing to change it if that should be indicated later on.
The point is, though, that your spiritual outlook should not be dependent
on the world-view associated with any of these trends. (Perhaps the word "fad"
is a little unkind.) And, as far as I see it, your outlook is not dependent on
any of these things. You are open-minded about them, but you don't tie your
whole spiritual outlook to them, and are left fairly unaffected if any of these
ideas pass by without leaving a trace behind them (as quite often happens; I
don't think there are many people now eagerly waiting for
Ashtar's ships to lift
them up; [h] I would wonder about people still seriously awaiting the photon belt,
now that it's failed to come at least twice that I'm aware of, although there do
still seem to be some people who are into the photon belt). [i]
I think you have a fairly sensible attitude to these things. And, as with
the channelling, you have gained things of value from some of these trends, but
let them go when they seemed to outgrow their usefulness to you. If it hadn't
been for the channelling "fad" (if you want to so term it), you might not have
been led to channel your own higher self so productively, in a way that has led
to real growth in spiritual outlook, and which you yourself have called the most
significant spiritual thing you've ever done.
Michael: Yes, I don't remember if I said that in one of our sessions, or
just in conversation with Shirley or Ra or someone else; but, yes, I have said
that, and still regard it as true. Not that I'm certain of that, even; but
it's the best thing I've found spiritually so far, better than anything else
on offer, to my knowledge.
Bivalia: Just keep following the methodology you are already following; I
can't suggest anything better myself at this stage.
Michael: Another thing too, relating to spiritual doubts: I suppose,
also, I can't quite get rid of the feeling that my spiritual outlook (or any
spiritual system of belief or practice) is just an elaborate pretence to cover
the ugly reality of death, and emptiness beyond that.
Bivalia: I suppose it will seem like that at times; I'm sure even I myself
seem at times a mere construct of your own mind to cover that ugly reality. I
don't mind: construct away in your mind to your heart's content if it helps you.
But I think that your spiritual outlook, and your sessions with me, and all the
other paraphernalia, will in the end be worthwhile even so, regardless of whether
they are a construct of the mind or not. Gradually, I think you will come to see
that they are not; but, for as long as they seem that, I suggest you continue
with them anyway. If the worst comes to the worst, and the materialist view of
life is right, you will probably have enjoyed that materialist view of life, and
found the most sense of hope, by pursuing these constructs of the mind
as if they were real.
It's a bit like those characters in C. S. Lewis's The Silver Chair,
who came from the wonderful land of Narnia, into the Green Witch's underground
lair to rescue an enchanted Prince. The Witch, through her evil magic, had
nearly put Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum under her spell, too, and convinced
them that the dark realm of the Witch was all that was real, that Narnia was not
real, but just a kids' play-world; and they rallied around the the idea that
they would continue to live as Narnians even if there were no Narnia, that their
play-world beat the Witch's real world hollow. This actually enabled them to
throw off the Witch's attempt to enchant them, so they could make their way back
to the reality of Narnia.
Michael: Yes, I rather like that passage.
Bivalia: Keep it in mind if the materialist world seems only too real, and
Spirit unreal. That is an allegory, if you like, that is relevant to your
situation. Live for Spirit and God even if maybe they aren't real; you'll
probably find it more fulfilling than living for the materialist view of life,
which in the end promises only death and complete annihilation.
Michael: Perhaps you're right there. There's another thing I've done
recently that, in an odd way, has prompted rather introspective thoughts which
touch on life and death, and all the deep questions.
Over the last couple of days, I found my scores of the five Beethoven
piano concertos, and looked through them in some detail. They are quite
wonderful music, and I have all sorts of memories inextricably intertwined
with them. There is such a depth of feeling to them somehow, and they are
full of a certain emotional effect I can't quite describe, but which is just
somehow a typical Beethoven effect.
Bivalia: Ah, yes, I know what you mean. If only you knew from first-hand
experience of Beethoven's love for humanity and the world which just overflows,
it would melt your heart and reduce you to tears. It is not without reason that
his improvising had the capacity to reduce audiences to tears. He is a truly
Michael: I can't imagine that happening today in this cynical era.
Bivalia: Perhaps not; but your world sorely needs another Beethoven to
Michael: We can wish, I suppose.
Bivalia: Beethoven's music continues to benefit your world enormously even
after two centuries. And his love is still with your world, even if his bodily
presence is no longer there.
Michael: Perhaps, as you say, I don't have personal experience of
Beethoven's love; but I have a sense of it, not only through his music, but
because he put in an appearence in one of my dreams once, and there seemed to
be a real sense of his presence and personality, even though upon awakening I
could remember very little detail of the dream. But the general effect seemed
as if he was a very old and dear friend.
Bivalia: Dreams - not just any old dreams, but ones with this sense of
presence, with this intensity of feeling - often have much to tell us. This
could indicate a real relationship you have with Beethoven on the higher realms.
Before you dismiss this out of hand as a wish-fulfilment fantasy, I should tell
you that you - all humans, in fact - know far many more people of all sorts on
the higher levels than they are aware of. The very fact of greatly admiring
someone you don't think you know in person is often a clue to great and wonderful
friendships that exist on the spiritual level.
Michael: Perhaps. I hope you are right. Few things would please me more
than to know Beethoven, to count him as a dear friend. But I suppose you
would understand why I would not want to set too much store by such an idea
without having clearer indications that it is so.
Bivalia: Yes, of course. Don't worry. Real truth is never in the long run
threatened by doubts and scepticism; it overcomes them in the end. It is
pretenders to truth that are threatened by doubts and honest scepticism, and if
anyone proposing an idea seems unduly disturbed by doubts or scepticism, I would
take it as an indication to be even more wary about that idea.
Michael: I agree with that. In the right kind of company, I sometimes
call my tendency to scepticism my bullshit detector.
Bivalia: [LAUGHS.] I take it that I am the right kind of company.
Michael: I guess you are. I just meant that I am very selective about in
front of whom I use words like "bullshit". But I can be straight with you.
Bivalia: There's something very much amiss if one can't be straight with
one's own higher self.
Michael: Anyway, I was looking at the scores of Beethoven's piano
concertos, and numbers 1 and 3 in particular seem to be full of memories, of
rather a tender nature actually. Just nostalgic memories of childhood, of our
years in Adelaide, because that is where I first got to know these two works.
My father used to be very fond of number 3, which he sort of nicknamed
the "C-moll", which is simply the German for "C minor", the key it is written
in, which was printed on the front of the Deutsche Grammophon record
cover - in German of course, because the record label is a German one. I
can't hear any part of that work without being reminded of all sorts of
memories of that time, which is perhaps the 1960s.
There was also number 1, which I didn't know so well, and I'm not even
sure if we had the record back then. But I do remember a time when my father
somehow borrowed a copy of the score to let me study, and probably we must
have borrowed the record also, because I do seem to remember hearing it while
I followed with the score (which was not the orchestral score, but a two-piano
arrangement, with the second piano covering the orchestral part). But I feel
pretty sure we didn't own the record back then.
The slow movement is very tender, in A-flat major, and in what I call
Beethoven's A-flat-major mood, an especially tender feeling which Beethoven
seems to reserve for the key of A-flat major. But the E-major slow movement
of the "C-moll" has that feeling, too, so it's not quite exclusive to A-flat
So although I haven't actually heard either of these concertos since I
don't know when, I know them quite well, and I can read the score almost like
a book and hear the music mentally. And it brought up all sorts of feelings
about Dad, and Adelaide, and childhood, and all that. It also brought up the
fact that Dad is dead now, that we really didn't get on very well, and all
this made these memories all the more poignant, and bittersweet in a way. If
things had been otherwise, perhaps Dad and I could have got on better, but it
didn't happen, for the most part.
I reflected that both Granny and Dad are gone. I got on well with
Granny, not so well with Dad, but they were both presences in my life, and
they seem to leave a gap now they're gone. The family is gradually being
eaten away by death, and I found myself thinking life is now (for me) much
emptier than it was before.
I don't know what I want you to say or do about this; I just somehow felt
like sharing these feelings with you.
Bivalia: There is probably not a lot to be said; I can just be there to be
with you, and to share these feelings with you.
Michael: Death still seems like a tragedy to us humans, in spite of all
the assurances about life after death, and so on. I've never noticed that
Christians, who have an unshakeable faith in the reality of heaven and the
reality of God's ineffable love, grieve any less than others who don't have
Bivalia: This is so. I think the sadness of death is quite independent of
one's views about life after death. The separation is still painful, even if you
feel sure you will meet again. You are quite right about this.
If it is of any use, I can just repeat that assurance, which is true as far
as I can see things, because I know many people myself who have passed over
during your life-time, including your father and grandmother. They are with me
as I tell you this, having been attracted by the thought-forms created by our
discussing them - and they send you their love. Your father in particular would
not want you to feel too many regrets about your troubled relationship. Troubles
in human relationships come up in your limited world for all sorts of reasons,
and it is not always the fault of anyone involved. Although you often
quarrelled, bitterly even, there was no lasting malice on either side towards the
other, and it would be a mistake to take it too seriously now.
It is one of those games in life that all humans play at one time or
another. It all seems very intense and serious at the time; but in the end the
best attitude to take is to see it as a game, and to say, "The game's over now,
and I've outgrown the need for that", and not to take it too seriously, and
certainly not to indulge in guilt or crippling regrets.
Your father was very touched by the healing you gave him, both before and
after he passed over, and he assures you it helped him immensely. Those books
you lent him were very helpful, too, even though he didn't talk about it to
anyone at the time.
He is also very appreciative of the way, as a child, you opened him to the
beauty of classical music, particularly Beethoven, simply by following that
interest yourself and exposing him to it. Although, especially later on, there
were reasons (which we don't need to go into now) why you could not, for the most
part, share that interest in any active way, he still thanks you for opening him
up to that, and is glad that Beethoven's concertos evoke mostly pleasant memories
of him, in spite of the difficulties in your relationship.
We do have concerts in the higher realms at which music is performed, and
your father indicates he would like to go to one with you one day, sort of to
relive old times, to enjoy the good memories, retell old jokes, and perhaps to
laugh at the less pleasant bits as they are seen in a higher perspective from
which they seem less important.
Michael: Thank you; or please tell him thank you. I will follow that up
when the time comes.
Bivalia: I know that at times you have thought you had so little in common
with your father, and even seemed so mutually antagonistic, that you wondered if
you had spiritually anything in common, or whether, having spent time in the
world as father and son, you would both part ways after that and never meet again
spiritually. However, this view of having nothing to keep you together is not
true. There is more between you than you are aware of, and I see a high
potential for a close and lasting friendship in spirit. Your father agrees with
this assessment of things, too.
I can see the way in which looking at those Beethoven scores seemed to
reawaken in you an awareness of a whole part of life that is now dead, and how
sad this can be. Perhaps I can tell you that it is not really dead, because
nothing worthwhile, nothing in harmony with Spirit, ever truly dies, and those
aspects of your life, such as those parts involving your father, which you felt
could have been much better than they were, although over for the time being, can
be reawakened, and developed in wonderful new ways at a future time, if you and
your father so wish.
Michael: I hope it's as good as you say. But I suppose I'll have to wait
You know, I've been thinking of visiting Adelaide some time fairly soon,
but after I've completed my move from Trumper St. I just kind of feel like
seeing old places again, and I also want to visit Bob and Judy D., who are
old friends of our family I always like, and always visited in the 1970s when
I visited Adelaide on one of my train trips. But I wonder if that will kind
of reawaken the poignancy, the bittersweet, of long-dead memories.
Bivalia: It could, I suppose. There's no way of saying for sure. If so,
however, it would indicate things inside you that are still unresolved to some
degree, and it would do no harm to look at them again, and perhaps to try to
resolve them. This could either be a pleasant experience, or a rather sad one,
depending on all sorts of factors. But I think your outlook is sufficiently
strong that it would be unlikely to be traumatic. I wouldn't let it put you off.
Michael: Well, I wasn't suggesting that; I do intend to do it. But the
thought occurred to me. I think it could kind of be like a spiritual
pilgrimage in a way.
Bivalia: A spiritual pilgrimage can at times be a very good thing to do.
Michael: I just like the Adelaide hills, too, quite separately from
whatever memories they may hold. I will be able to drive through them,
exploring wherever I feel like, something I could not do as a child, being
unable to drive.
A curious thing is that Adelaide seems to have a number of what I call
magic spots: particular locations that, for no discernible reason, seem to
have a special atmosphere or presence, a kind of spirit, maybe. [j]
Bivalia: Indeed. Places do have spirits, and certain of these spirits may
resonate particularly with you.
Michael: It is not necessarily scenically beautiful spots, either. Some
of them are probably very ordinary, and were ordinary at the time I knew them,
but they just have this feeling for some reason, and awaken in me great
longings of some unidentifiable sort. These spots have even appeared in my
dreams occasionally over the years, and are a definite part of the inner
landscape of my dreams.
It reminds me of a New-Age radio program I heard a few weeks ago.
Amongst other things, and in passing, almost, the man being interviewed talked
about how, quite apart from the obvious ecological considerations, wilderness
and nature and beautiful landscapes are spiritually important to
humanity, and we should strive to preserve them as much as possible, for that
Bivalia: This is absolutely true. I think it would be obvious to anyone
who reads the pages we have written between us in these sessions, who takes note
of the various things we discuss about the spirits of natural things, the whole
spiritual view that has developed around this.
Michael: This man even said we can create our own sacred spots, I suppose
a bit like the Aborigines, even though sacred sites are not part of the
Bivalia: Well, I can only agree, and also note that your spiritual outlook
does not have to depend in the least on what you call "Western tradition", which
is only one outlook of many. These sacred spots you heard that we can create are
like these magic spots you spoke of; they are the natural things you have
discussed with me, such as Indian summer, or atolls, or sunsets or distant
bird-songs, or any of the other things that seem to you imbued with spirit in
some way. We've spent many pages discussing such things.
Michael: Yes, some of those pages are the ones between you and me that I
treasure the most. They represent the closest I have to a spiritual outlook.
Bivalia: The "closest", indeed! You have a spiritual outlook without any
apologies of that sort, one perhaps more sophisticated than that of many who
would loudly proclaim their spiritual life.
Michael: Look, I think we're getting dangerously close to a mutual
Bivalia: Perhaps. Once in a while does not hurt. With you, and with your
culture generally, I think the opposite danger is a much stronger one: that of
constantly putting yourself down, apologizing for the way you think, considering
it inferior, comparing yourself unfavourably to others (who are very likely doing
the same with respect to you), and the like. I don't think we need to worry
about you getting a swollen head. But I think you need a bit of occasional
Michael: About magic spots (I'm not sure I agree that "sacred" is the
best name, at least for me), I've noticed over the years that even purely
fictitious places in pictures can be magic spots. Does that stymie your
Bivalia: Not at all. What are the fictitious magic spots you have in mind?
Michael: In a children's astronomy book I had as a child.[k] Well, my
brother Peter had it originally, because he was interested in scientific
things as a child, but I eventually got many of his books. I still have most
of these books, in fact. This astronomy book has many pictures: not
photographs, but I suppose just paintings in that style which seem very
1950s-ish, when I suppose such pictures were apt to be used before colour
photography came into common use. It would have to be said, I suppose, that
the pictures are of little worth artistically, but, especially when you're a
child, things like that don't seem to matter.
The book had many pictures of imagined scenes of planets, which are
sometimes out-of-date now with respect to today's increased knowledge about
the planets, and there were also many pictures of the night sky as seen from
earth, and usually some earthly scenery was included in the pictures; but
there were also many short chapters on subjects related to astronomy, although
not a core part of it, such as the tides, weather, and the like. Because of
this, the book contains many pictures of earthly scenery, which is usually
rural, because such phenomena are best seen away from city lights. Sometimes
a small country town is depicted. And I suppose the pictures are vaguely an
interpretation of 1950s rural America or England.
Well, if you were to look at these pictures, there would be nothing at
all out of the ordinary about them; yet some of them seem to me to be magic
spots. (I think that's a term I've coined, and I'm going to continue to use
Bivalia: It seems a very good term for what you are talking about.
Michael: I can't explain it, but some of those locations are as much a
part of the inner landscape of my mind as some real places. I think I have
always found something a bit magical about astronomical things, and things in
the sky generally, such as sunsets, clouds, rainbows, and so on. Also, I
think a great deal about my childhood was magic, actually, whether real or
So, given your interpretation of why spots are magic (about my perceiving
the spirit there, and being in harmony with it), does this mess it up?
Bivalia: Not at all. It is possible for a person to make something up (a
story, a picture, a piece of music - anything at all), and for that act in itself
to create the thing on the astral plane or even higher. In most cases, that
astral form will have less presence - less spirit, if you like - than a so-called
real thing; but it may have a great deal of spirit if the person, or someone else
who appreciates the so-called fictitious thing, puts a lot of feeling or energy
So there is a sense in which those magic spots in the astronomy book do
exist in the astral world, although people who have never encountered those
pictures, or who have but don't care about them, will be apt to miss them in the
astral, unless they happen on them by accident, as it were.
Michael: Of course, I suppose the fact that these seem to be magic spots
says just as much about me as it does about those spots themselves.
Bivalia: To be sure; but that doesn't detract from what I've just said.
Michael: I suppose this has turned into a bit of a discussion about magic
spots, which seems to me to have the potential to make this one of the best
channellings I've done; but somehow I feel as if I haven't really got into the
heart of things.
Bivalia: We can always return to it if you have further thoughts on this
that you would like to discuss.
Michael: Well, I think I've covered most, if not all, of what I wanted to
say, and I must get to bed now and get a bit of sleep.
Bivalia: Well, it's been nice talking with you. And do remember what your
father conveys to you through me. I know it's been a bit on your mind since you
looked at those Beethoven scores. But things are all right, really and truly.
If you decide to visit Adelaide, I will be glad to be with you, and if you like
you could even invite your father and grandmother to be with you part of the
time, in spirit at least - particularly your father, with whom you share more
memories of those places than with your grandmother, and with whom you had a more
troubled relationship. That might be very healing to both of you, and it's worth
Michael: I'll think about that, although I must admit I'm not accustomed
to speaking to dead people and asking them to be with me. It seems a bit
pathetically sentimental to me, and smacks a bit of desperate attempts to deny
the reality of death.
Bivalia: Perhaps your mental model of such things needs a bit of adjusting.
Michael: Maybe. You know, this kind of brings up another thought I've
had from time to time, including recently. As we've discussed many times, I
seem to be constantly plagued by a deep longing for I don't know what, and I
have tentatively linked this with God, with Spirit, because this world doesn't
seem to contain more than the odd tantalizing suggestion here and there of
what I long for. But that longing, at times, seems connected with old
memories of childhood, and my memories of childhood seem to centre round the
family, because of course that's where I lived at the time. It's almost like
a longing for the family of my childhood, even though I know perfectly well I
didn't get on the best with them. But there seem to be enough pleasant
memories of that to make it seem rather sweet.
Is there any truth in the idea that fellowship with others, a real
closeness I don't seem to have so much now, is somehow bound up with that
Bivalia: There's no easy, standard answer to that. Yes, I would say it
could be very much linked with that. The need to share love, to share
experiences, to enjoy good times together, is a very basic human need. It is
probably unlikely that most people can be lastingly happy without some fulfilment
of those needs. Families at their best certainly can fulfil those needs.
However, I would not consider it a good strategy to make this the be-all
and end-all of satisfying that longing. At best, you might end up with some
lovely friendships, great memories, a happy life, but the longings still
unfulfilled. I really do agree with C. S. Lewis's idea that those longings are
for something that in full purity is not of the physical plane, and that it will
probably be fulfilled completely only in other realms. It can be partially
fulfilled in this world in all sorts of ways, of which good family relationships
are only one way, but Lewis is probably right in saying that the partial
fulfilment of the longing simply sharpens it, intensifies it, makes it all the
more poignant. But he also points out that the longing itself is so sweet that
one would not want to lose it.
Michael: I'm about the least suitable person to marry and have a family,
and I have no intention of doing so; but I have occasionally been tempted to
wonder whether doing so would be the answer to that longing.
Bivalia: I would be very wary of anyone who married and started a family
for that reason, and I think anyone who did so would be in for a lot of grief and
disappointment. It is uneasily close to regarding your family as a possession,
whose purpose is to satisfy certain longings. This is not a good strategy in my
view, however good and wholesome the longing itself might be.
I don't need to warn you too strongly, because I don't for one moment think
you would have a family for reasons of this sort; but, since you asked me for my
views, this is what I have to say about it.
The question of the unappeasable longing, as Lewis called it, is a subtle
one, and there are no easy answers to it in your world that I know of at
present. I do have certain views on the subject that relate to higher planes,
but I cannot really tell you them, or do any more than hint at them, because the
words don't really exist in your language to describe them.
Having a family can be spiritually fulfilling if done for the right
reasons, but this is a rather different matter from the situation you proposed.
Michael: I don't seem to have the usual kinds of motivation for having a
family, and don't seem to have the kind of love that it would need.
Bivalia: You know about love, but it expresses itself in different ways.
Perhaps it is inhibited a little, because (I don't think we need to mince words
over this) of the autism you had as a very young child, which still leaves its
marks even to this day. [l] I don't feel it is a role you are called to at present,
to marry and have a family. This may change even within this life, but it
doesn't look likely, and of course you probably realize it may not happen at all
in this life.
Michael: I have no illusions about that, and no suppressed desire for a
family (at least, that I'm aware of), so I am not dismayed at you saying
that. But because that longing at times seems bound up with memories of
family during my childhood, the question has occurred to me from time to time.
I think I really will have to go now. This channelling has been about
three times longer than I expected it would be, because one subject keeps
leading to another. I'm sure I could go on, now that I've got going, but I
have to call a halt sooner or later. Now is as good a time as any.
Bivalia: Yes, we've had a good session tonight, and it is getting late for
you. (I won't say what the time is, because I don't think you'll want to be
reminded of it when you read this years later.)
Michael: I'm not so sure it is one of our best sessions though. Quite
long, but not best.
Bivalia: I don't know that it's helpful to judge sessions like that, one
better than another. Each one is what you need at the time. After all, you
choose the subjects to talk about, not I.
Michael: Yes, I see what you mean, and I guess you're right in a way.
But this is not one of those sessions the very memory of which I will treasure
in months or years to come, like half a dozen or so others.
Bivalia: Well, never mind. I know the sessions to which you refer, which
you value so much, and they are on the whole the happier, more inspiring ones,
whereas this one has been a bit about more pessimistic subjects, death, the
pointlessness of life, and the like. But those things have to be dealt with if
they come up in your thoughts, and it is very valuable at times to discuss those
with me, and I hope it makes you feel better to do so.
Michael: I'm not sure; probably not right now. Time will tell.
Bivalia: Anyway, I know you came to me a little half-heartedly this time,
not burning with inspiration like a few times earlier this year, and I wanted to
make a suggestion.
Bivalia: I don't want these sessions to dry up completely, and I don't
think you do either; yet you feel this could happen because of the darker time
your life seems to be going through at the moment. We need to nurture the more
inspiring thoughts that keep you alive spiritually, such as the things discussed
in those half-dozen sessions you value.
You often feel reluctant to come to me unless you have some great thought
to share, and 6 or more hours in which to discuss it in a leisurely and detailed
I would like you to try an experiment, and have a session with me every day
for the next week, regardless of whether you think you have anything to say or
not. It doesn't have to be for very long; it could be literally for only one or
two sentences, a polite hallo, how are you?, if nothing else will come (or even
an impolite one, if you are feeling annoyed at the imposition foisted upon you).
I don't want you for a moment to force anything that doesn't want to come.
Michael: Well, I don't know. I think I see why you suggest it, but I
suppose it doesn't wildly excite me. If you could just be with me in the
explicit way a person in the flesh is, I suppose that would be very nice, and
just as enjoyable as being with a close friend. But typing is quite an
effort, you know, and I suppose I need to have a good reason to do it, not
just to type inanities.
Bivalia: I want you to get used to the idea of just being with me, your own
higher self, on a day-by-day basis, and not to think of me exclusively the way
you might a psychiatrist: you arrange a session when you have something you need
to sort out. Doing that is fine, but in addition, it might be a good idea to
just cultivate a friendly relationship, where we can just share pleasantries,
jokes, whatever. My feeling is that it might be good to give this a try.
And I'm only talking about a week, as a kind of experiment to grease the
wheels a bit. Of course I don't expect you to spend lots of time typing
trivialities over many years. But it might get you sufficiently accustomed to
being with me on a more casual basis, and then you could give up typing the
everyday trivialities, and relegate them just to your private communing with me,
and keep the typing for the important things you want to remember later, as you
are already doing.
Michael: Yes, I see what you mean. I can't decently refuse. I can't
conceal my low enthusiasm for it compared to the long sessions that really set
me on fire (and which I think set you on fire, too), but I'm not actually
opposed to it. I guess I'm not just good at small talk.
Bivalia: Actually, I think you can be very good at it at times. Although
our sessions are usually centred on some important thing you want to discuss,
some of them are literally peppered with humorous bantering and small talk, which
you do completely un-selfconsciously.
Michael: Well, perhaps you could give me a day's grace. This session has
overflowed more than a little into Wednesday the 23rd of September, and I'm
visiting my mother after getting some sleep. So would it be good enough to
begin on Thursday?
Bivalia: That would be very nice, thank you. It's not that I value small
talk so highly as that, and tend to agree with your way of using it to leaven
something more serious, rather than as a thing in itself. I'm encouraging you to
change your paradigm of your higher self a little however, to make your higher
self a more real part of your everyday experience. This may help do that, and
that is why I suggest it.
Michael: What would you want these mini-sessions to talk about?
Bivalia: Absolutely anything you like, trivial or momentous, humorous or
serious, profound or just plain silly, long or short. The actual content is not
the point of the exercise. It's just to help you change the mental model you
have of me, in a way I think you would like to change if only you could. I'm
suggesting a possible way of achieving that.
Just treat me as you would a friend or favourite relative you might
casually drop in to make a brief visit because you happened to be passing that
way. In such a situation you don't rehearse what to say, but it just happens
spontaneously without any thought. That's the way I'm suggesting you do this.
Michael: Okay, fair enough. But I must leave now, because I'm feeling
quite stiff and tired, and am losing concentration, and I think I've run down
on anything on today's agenda.
I should actually try gradually to get less nocturnal between now and
going to Adelaide, because I somehow think getting up early and enjoying
sunrises, dawn flowers, and the like would be a good way to do things.
Bivalia: Yes, dawn flowers are very nice, very spiritual.
Michael: Yes, I'm thinking of the Basho haiku I think I've quoted you
How I long to see
among dawn flowers,
the face of God.
With that, I think I will take my leave for now.
Bivalia: Fare thee well, then, my friend, until Thursday.