(M.J.E. Spirit / Sat., 9 Dec., 2000)

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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Saturday, 9 December, 2000

      Higher Self: Well, come on, my friend; feel free to speak your thoughts.

      Michael: It's been a long time, and I'm rusty. I don't know where to begin.

      Higher Self: Never mind. I know you wish to speak with me, or else you wouldn't have started this session.
      By the way: welcome to the 2000s!

      Michael: Oh, no - not that! You know perfectly well the 3rd millennium doesn't begin until the 1st of January, 2001.

      Higher Self: Please note that I said "Welcome to the 2000s", not "Welcome to the 3rd Millennium". Undisputably the 2000s began nearly a year ago, if by the "2000s" you mean those four-digit years which begin with "2".

      Michael: Well, okay. I guess I concede that. I just get a bit tired of ignorant people who can't even count properly assuming that the 3rd millennium began at the start of the year 2000. I mean, a millennium is up when a thousand years have passed, and if the year 1000 was the thousandth year (which would be why it's called "1000"), then it's obvious that the first millennium wasn't up until the thousandth year was completed. Therefore the second millennium began at the start of the following year - that is, at the start of 1001. A simple matter of counting shows therefore that the third millennium doesn't begin until the start of the year 2001. Q.E.D.

      Higher Self: You've just neatly solved one of the great trivial media debates of the last few years. But people probably got deflected from that way of reasoning things by the so-called "Millennium bug" that it was feared would cripple computers. And of course, because of the way older computers store year data, the appearance of the "2" digit is relevant in that. Whether it is or isn't the beginning of a millennium is of course irrelevant to the computer affair - but people didn't stop to think of that.

      Michael: And what a fizzer the bug was, too. And to think some survivalists and New-Age people were busily stocking up food, preparing to hide in nuclear shelters, setting up wind-powered electricity generators, and so on, in preparation for the great disaster they thought would befall the world as the computers in control of everything collapsed around them. Why, the worst that I heard happened was that a ticket machine in a bus in Hobart refused to issue tickets to passengers because of the bug!

      Higher Self: It was indeed a great fizzer. But perhaps it focused people's minds on the dependence humanity has on technology, and on the fact that it could possibly fail, and that this could have serious consequences.

      Michael: Well, that may be so, but I don't see what we can do about it now. We are already dependent on that technology; it's a fait accompli. And if Isaac Asimov is right, it can't be undone now - not least because, without that technology and without the high-energy consumption that tends to go with it, the earth could support only a couple of billion people. If we were serious about wanting to undo that, we might have to call for a few billion volunteers to commit suicide so that those remaining can continue to live. I don't see much evidence of that many prospective volunteers.

      Higher Self: Quite so. I agree that a naive "abandon technology and energy use and go back to nature" approach is not viable. And people will never voluntarily do it, anyway. Asimov points out that at no time anywhere in history have people at large voluntarily given up any technology once it is accepted.
      But of course it would be possible for present technology to be used far less destructively, and indeed for new technology, including energy use and computers, to develop, but in a way that enhances your planet and all life on it, rather than one that is destructive, as is now predominant. Alas, given the rabid "economic rationalism" that is so rampant in many societies currently (which I think is pretty irrational, actually), I don't see any signs of a change of direction in the immediate future, at least.
      But I suppose you know this already.
      I notice you've stopped using the name "Bivalia" in these dialogues.

      Michael: Yes. I never really felt at ease with it, never felt convinced deep inside that it was in fact my Higher-Self name. But, since Lady Hilarion back in 1994 told me that it was my Higher-Self name, I was prepared to go along with that and use it for the time being, until something better came to me. And it never did. I suppose it didn't worry me a great deal, since I never seemed to attach the same importance to one's Higher-Self name that many of the people I was mixing with at the time did. I mean, some of them changed their Higher-Self name four or five times, and it all seemed rather faddish to me.

      Higher Self: No doubt it was sometimes - but those people were obviously trying to tune into their Higher Selves (and your world would be paradise if the majority of people were sincerely trying to do that), and their successive names were attempts to get closer and closer to the essence of their Higher Selves as expressed in their Higher-Self names. Because, as I think we've discussed before, names can convey the essence of something. In spite of what Shakespeare said to the contrary, "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet", I think we agreed that something would feel different if its name were changed. So there was a good reason behind those people's numerous name changes, even if it seemed a bit faddish at times.

      Michael: Oh, I wasn't criticizing it; just saying that somehow I couldn't get into it myself.

      Higher Self: That's fair enough. No-one ever told you that you had to do that.
      Anyway, what prompted you to drop the name "Bivalia" now?

      Michael: Well, there was one particular thing that clinched it, actually. I've recently been putting these dialogues on my web site, for the convenience of people who want to read them - people I know who have expressed interest in so doing, because I'm not going to make the pages public, and they don't link directly off the public part of my web site, with book reviews, lists of books by authors, and so on.[a]
      Anyway, I know that my web site is already on at least two search engines - Google and All the Web - so that means anyone who uses those search engines can find my pages if they enter search terms that are included in those pages. I think the search engines found my pages because Ray G.'s site in England links to my site (as does mine to his), and the "spiders" employed by search engines to trawl the web can follow links from one web site or page to another. That's how I think those search engines found my web site. (Strange, all the spider metaphors that have grown up around the Internet.)
      Anyway, I visited those search engines and entered the name "Bivalia" to see if my private pages with our dialogues were also referred to in the search engines. I didn't think they would be, because there are no links anywhere on the Internet to the private pages containing our dialogues, and I thought therefore the search engines wouldn't have found my dialogues, because they need links (so I thought) to find them. But I wanted to check and make sure.
      When I entered the name "Bivalia", I found no evidence of my dialogues - but, to my surprise, I did find other references to "Bivalia". And it turns out it is the Latin name for mussels - meaning "bivalves", I suppose.
      Well, I somehow found this a bit deflating, and it didn't seem credible to me that my Higher-Self name would be the same as the genus name (or whatever) of mussels. Not that I have anything in particular against mussels, but I have no special interest in them, either, and I suppose I thought my real Higher-Self name would feel a bit special, somehow. And "Bivalia" never did feel special, and it didn't after I discovered this. If one has a Higher-Self name, it didn't seem to me that this was it, anyway, and I didn't feel like using it after that.

      Higher Self: All beings in the universe do have names, you know. Any entity's name is, in a kind of universal spiritual language, the distilled essence of a description of who they are and what they are about. But beings in spirit often have names that are not pronounceable in Earthly language, and are not spellable in any Earthly alphabet. Your speech and writing are of the physical plane, and on higher levels, the names which exist there use the language and spelling that are native to that level. But an Earthly name can approach the same essence that a higher-level name has, in something like the way a two-dimensional picture approaches the reality of a three-dimensional scene. So that is why New-Age people seek to know their Higher-Self names, and appear to attach a lot of importance to them. It does act a bit like a radio beam that enables them to tune into the essence of their Higher Selves which they can only see an aspect of, not in full. But it would be a mistake to make it the be-all and end-all, and if you don't resonate to the idea of being so preoccupied with it, just leave it for now, and focus on methods of tuning in to Spirit and to your Higher Self that you find more productive - such as writing these dialogues, for example.
      In actual fact, it's far better to think up your Higher-Self name yourself from inner intuition, rather than just accepting it from someone else. Someone else may be psychic enough to tune in to one's own Higher Self to some degree, and from that may divine a Higher-Self name that is in tune with that person's Higher Self to some extent; but it is unlikely that they can tune in as closely as that person himself can. (And you understand that my "himself" is a generic one applying to all people - it gets tiresome to keep saying "him or her", "he or she", "himself or herself" all the time.)
      This is why I have not told you my Higher-Self name in these dialogues. The actual name cannot be spoken or spelled in Earthly language, so this is not a matter of my being difficult or evasive. As for an approximation you could use, there are any number of approximations that could be suggested, and each would have its own limitations. It is up to you to find out the approximation that best serves you at this time, which may be different from what best serves you at another time, so that is why I don't suggest an approximation now. One I chose arbitrarily would be unlikely to be the best for you at this time; that can be found only by you yourself pondering it, thinking about it, feeling into it, and intuiting the most suitable approximation yourself. Anything I suggested to you now would be no more useful than "Bivalia" was, and you probably wouldn't use it anyway because it didn't feel right, or just didn't feel real.

      Michael: Well, these dialogues represent my best attempt at tuning in to you; but they don't suggest to me even the merest hint of a Higher-Self name that feels right.

      Higher Self: All in good time. Don't worry about it. It will come to you easier than you expect if and when it is important to you. Meanwhile, you can follow other avenues in the search for Spirit. You can call me "Higher Self" if you like, or revert to "Counsellor" which you used in 1990 and 1991, or even "Richard" if you like, which you tried briefly in those dialogues, and found didn't work all that well.

      Michael: I was rather fumblingly trying to find a name to address the Counsellor by (who I now suspect was just you), and had to have a name to address him by.

      Higher Self: I wouldn't try to force it if I were you (well, I am you, of course - but you know what I mean). Just use "Higher Self" for now - not as a name to address me by, if you don't feel comfortable with that, but just as a label in these dialogues to identify my words by.

      Michael: The "Conversations with God" books are similarly dialogues between Neale Donald Walsch and God (not his Higher Self) -

      Higher Self: Aren't the two the same - one's Higher Self and God? (Pardon me for cutting in.) You could call me God if you like - or Spirit (as you did once before).

      Michael: Hey, just a minute there. I would question that God and one's Higher Self are exactly the same thing. I accept the idea that the connection between the two is far closer than most churches tell people, and that there is a sense in which by contacting God you are also in touch with your Higher Self, and vice-versa - but not that the two are exactly identical. Surely, at the very least, God is a superset of one's Higher Self, or (to put the same thing the other way around) one's Higher Self is a subset of God.

      Higher Self: Yes, quite so. I was not thinking of mathematical identity when I equated the two, but rather of the final result: that is, you would get very similar results if you were talking with God, and thought of your partner in conversation as being God, as those you get talking with me, and thinking of me as your Higher Self. But, with your usual literal mind, you picked me up on it. I should know better, and should tailor my language to suit the way your mind works. (Don't worry - my mind tends to work like that, too, as your mind is simply a projection of my mind; but I like to occasionally relax that manner of thinking.)
      When one talks with God, God of course channels his thoughts through that person's Higher Self anyway (it is the only way he can reach a person, and to even speak of doing it another way is itself rather meaningless); and when you talk with me, I am in touch with God, and he lies at the back of everything I say. So in a manner of speaking, it's all the same thing anyway. And that's why you can have different people receive information from God, and for it to be different in certain respects for each person, and yet in each case it may really be God who has talked to them.
      At any rate, God and one's Higher Self are not as different as you may think (if you accept the view held by many people), and don't let church-oriented people tell you otherwise: many of them are into fear and separation, and I don't think that's a path either you or I want to follow. So you might like to try having a conversation with God one day, or with me, and addressing me as God (which will give the same results anyway).

      Michael: Well, maybe - it might take a bit of getting used to, calling you God and having direct conversations with God himself. And I don't model these discussions on the "Conversations with God" books, as interesting and good as they are. And it's worth remembering I started having dialogues with you before I ever read any of those books, and there's a general similarity, but it's not all that similar when you look closely - so no-one can accuse me of copying Walsch's idea.
      Anyway, I was just about to say that in his books, he doesn't even label the two parts of the dialogue at all (his own, and God's) - he merely distinguishes the two speakers by using a different typeface. And in creating my web page, I've adopted that idea myself. But I do want to label the parts, and not rely entirely on differing typefaces to distinguish the parts. It may be a bit confusing at times (although in those books it's usually fairly plain) - and besides, on the Internet, because things are not truly standardized yet, you cannot count on fonts, typefaces, and the like appearing correctly on other people's computers. Depending on how they are set up, it's possible the different fonts might be ignored, and all the text appear the same - and it's one of the basic principles of web design that you can by all means use such devices to clarify things, but you mustn't ever rely on them alone to convey important information - the document must still be fully understandable if nothing more than the basic text displays; and that's another reason I want to use labels - apart from the fact that I just want to anyway, for clarity.

      Higher Self: Well, fair enough.

      Michael: I don't know how I got onto all that. I have a feeling I was intending to lead up to something, but somehow got distracted.

      Higher Self: Well, it's nice to see you again. Don't worry about that; just enjoy the chat. I've always made it clear that such chat is part of what we do together, that it's not all serious and purposeful. It all helps you to become more aware of me, helps you become more unified as an entity.

      Michael: It's been nearly two years since I had a dialogue - the second break as long as that. And I seriously expected never to write another dialogue ever again. But I suppose going through the files to put on the web somehow focused my mind on you, and made it easier to start a dialogue after all.
      But I think there's a reason why I haven't been able to have dialogues recently. I seem to be less spiritual now, seem to have less faith, even of the tentative nature I had before, in you or in God or in anything spiritual. I seem to be going through a darker period now, in spiritual terms, even though materially my life is probably better than it has ever been before - largely because, at long last, after many difficulties, I have completed my move out of the Trumper St. place, quit the place, and no longer have to pay rent for it.
      For the three years or so that I wasn't completely moved out (although long since living in Healesville), I felt unsettled, unable to do certain things, unable to focus on things like reading. I still felt tied to the place, and worried about what might happen if the landlady found out about my bad floor, even though it wasn't my fault. I told her about it when I quit, and she didn't seem to blame me. Of course now she or her husband have seen things (I drove past once and saw a whole lot of wood, no doubt ripped from the floor, stacked outside in the driveway), but since I haven't spoken to them since I quit, I don't know what they think of that now. They know where to contact me if they want to, and, while the condition of the floor is unfortunate, my conscience is clear, because I didn't cause it.

      Higher Self: You don't have to justify this to me. We went through this once before. It's over now; you are now free to move on to other and better things.

      Michael: Yes; well, as I was about to say, I do feel freer now, with that millstone removed from around my neck, and I want to do more reading, and I want to visit Adelaide to visit the D.s (old family friends I've always felt a connection with somehow), and, who knows, I might even be able to do some composing of music again -

      Higher Self: Kuthumi is waiting to guide you, as soon as you wish to ask him. Remember we discussed that once before, and you did start to compose something very good, in memory of your grandmother, a little while after asking his help.

      Michael: Yes. Well, maybe - although I must say I seem to focus less on the Masters now than I did before. No insult to them, of course - but I just don't feel so sure of all that Masters stuff, ascension, and all that.

      Higher Self: No offence taken. The Masters themselves have promoted the idea that they are there to help people when they need it, but not to make anyone dependent on them. And it's a good sign that you don't focus on them so much now, and act more in your own power - but it's always nice to keep them as friends should you feel so inclined. It's up to you whether you wish to call on Kuthumi, of course.

      Michael: Anyway, I was just saying I might feel freer now to do various things, such as composing, maybe writing - whatever. And I might visit the Cocos Islands some time in the next year or so - something I've wanted to do for years. As we've discussed before, coral atolls seem to fascinate me, and that is a convenient one to visit: it belongs to Australia, and is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
      But, in spite of this freedom on one level, I seem to be going through a darker period spiritually, and am more full of doubts. I haven't written dialogues with you for two years - and my supply of haiku verses (another way in which I sought a more spiritual awareness) seems to have dried up completely, after a mere 18 verses, and writing further ones seems even more remote than further dialogues with you.

      Higher Self: I wouldn't worry about it. It will come back again if and when you need it, as if nothing had happened at all. Worrying about it would do more harm than the mere fact of not doing it any more. Things come and go, and it's best not to try to force them.

      Michael: I actually feel a nostalgia for those verses now, and am sorry that seems to have passed. And nothing seems to have come in to replace it. As I say, I just don't seem to be living spiritually any more. I speak to Spirit less often now, and just find all this spiritual stuff less convincing.

      Higher Self: It's a phase you're going through. I don't think you've lost your inner ideals, the inner world of the imagination, so I really don't see anything to worry about, although I can certainly understand your desire to be able to feel the reality of all this more explicitly. But one of the limitations of your world seems to be that it is necessary for one's spiritual growth to go through periods like this, where not much seems to happen, where you seem to flounder round in darkness, even seem to go backwards at times.
      If anyone is so secure and sure in their faith that they never go through this, I tend to suspect they have been to some extent brainwashed in their faith, that they have accepted it on outside authority, not because they've fully thought things out and arrived at that truth from within. Or if they have truly arrived at their faith from within, it at least makes me suspect they have (for the time being) stopped growing, and are stagnating. Although even that may be a phase they need to go through, and it may ultimately contribute to their growth - for everyone will grow spiritually ultimately - there comes a time when it cannot be prevented, because it is the nature of humans to grow spiritually, as surely as rivers flow downhill and finally reach the sea. It's as certain as that in the long run.

      Michael: Some would say the very opposite, that the inherent nature of humanity is corrupt and sinful, and separated from God, and that, but for the grace of God, they would sink forever into darkness. Some of them call that Hell, and use all sorts of horrible imagery to describe it.

      Higher Self: Well, we've discussed this before, and I think you know what I think of that. Those are limitations of awareness those people create for themselves, or accept uncritically from others, or from scriptures. Just because others say that is so, it is no reason why you have to accept it if it feels deeply wrong to you in some way.

      Michael: Well, I wasn't saying I accept that view; I was just pointing out that your statement that it is the inherent nature of humans to grow spiritually is not accepted by all people. In fact, amongst those who have any spiritual belief at all, I think it is a minority belief, at least in the society I live in.

      Higher Self: Quite so. But I know you don't accept that view yourself, because it feels deeply wrong to you in some way.

      Michael: Well, I don't quite know where this latest bit of conversation leads.
      But I think one of the reasons why I was reluctant to have a dialogue was because I was afraid my recent pessimistic view of anything spiritual would dominate, that I would be unable to have you say anything positive and inspiring: you'd either support my pessimistic view, or else try unsuccessfully and unconvincingly to say nice inspiring things. And if that happened, the last balloon of pretension that these dialogues are spiritual, that they are anything more than a delightful fantasy or charade, would be pricked, and you would effectively be dead as far as I was concerned. And I didn't want that to happen, so I tended to put off writing a dialogue. As long as I didn't actually contact you, I would at least keep alive the hope that I could if I wanted to.

      Higher Self: Well, I'm sorry if you've felt like that recently.
      But so what if you did have a dialogue, and I didn't perform up to scratch? We both know that channelling is not a perfect way of receiving information. (Although I know you've distanced yourself from the concept that you are channelling me in these dialogues, that is in effect what it is: you are tuning in to me, a spiritual entity, and trying to receive information from that spiritual entity. And that is what channelling is.) If I don't seem to perform adequately, it might be for no more reason than your own state of mind - because a channelling can be adversely affected by a poor or depressed state of mind.
      Now, just between you and me, that mightn't matter. We can just be friends, and we don't have to feel that we're performing up to a sufficient standard; but if you were to do public channellings of the Masters, or even of me, your own Higher Self, for instance, it might be a bit different, and it might not be advisable to do that if you felt depressed, or felt it likely you might be depressed on the appointed day. And I know you have never felt the slightest desire or urge to channel in any more public way than by these dialogues, and for good reason - it is not a role that is appointed for you at this time. And by making the dialogues available to others later on, you can be of benefit to them; but by writing my words at the times you are best able to receive them, instead of doing "live" channelling, and being subject to your state of mind at the time, and being unable to correct anything once it is said, you circumvent that problem. With the emotional problems you tend to have, written channelling was just made for you - and I don't recommend you try voice channelling at this time (not to mention the fact that having your speech recorded would make you nervous, and people will want to do this, and it would make you nervous and inhibit the purity of your channelling).
      I think you worry unnecessarily about it all. Just do dialogues whenever you feel like it. It really doesn't matter if periods of several years go by without doing this. Shortly before the recent two-year break, we tried an exercise when for several consecutive days we had a short dialogue, just to show that you can contact me on an everyday, casual basis. You chose not to keep doing that long-term - but you know it can be done, should you wish to, and should you find it helpful. But there is no "must" about it - there is no-one judging whether your dialogues come up to scratch, either in terms of frequency or quality.

      Michael: Yes, I suppose I was afraid that this dialogue would be lacking in quality, not up to the usual standard. And I do think most of our dialogues are very good - and I do think this one is not quite up to that standard, although it's not nearly as bad as I feared it might be.

      Higher Self: Well, whether it is or isn't, I would urge you not to judge it at all. It's what you need to do at this present time, and it's not at all helpful to go ahead thinking this dialogue is a good one, or this one is not so good, and so on. Who sets the standard by which you judge them, and what is that standard?

      Michael: The standard is difficult to describe, but I can certainly feel it. I guess a dialogue is good when it is interesting, brings up wonderful ideas, conjures up a sense of magic or wonder such as some of them have done.

      Higher Self: Well, that may be so - but the dialogues vary. And it is just as important to work through bad feelings as to revel in good ones with me. And I make no judgement about which is better to do, and want you to do both of those things. Indeed, it is important for you to deal with negative feelings as well as indulge in positive ones.
      As to who does the judging, certainly I do not. God does not. If anyone else in spirit happens to be aware of what we're saying, and if they see fit to judge it, it's none of their business - and no concern of ours how they judge it. Really, that leaves only your ego, your rational, conscious mind, doing the judging. I don't condemn your ego for doing so at times, and fully acknowledge your ego's right to judge things. But just don't take it too seriously; if your mind judges something we talk about, just accept that and then think about it from my point of view. That's all part of the process of growing: you don't angrily or forcibly reject the stuff your mind comes up with, but accept it with love, consider it, then put it aside and think it through from other points of view. That ego point of view will weaken in time if you do that, and fall more into balance.

      Michael: Yes, I suppose you're right. And I don't regard that ego point of view as all-dominating. But I suppose I can't help being dominated by it at times, even if it isn't really what I want.


      Michael: Well, I feel as if this dialogue hasn't quite reached a natural conclusion, but I seem to be at a bit of a loss what to say.

      Higher Self: Don't worry about that. The thing is just to talk with me, to become easy with sharing your thoughts and feelings with your Higher Self. That is more important than the actual things we talk about, even though those can sometimes be important.

      Michael: Well, there was one thing I might mention, but I somehow don't feel like embarking on that now. It might take a lot of time, and I want to go and get something to eat now (at 11.00 p.m.). And I feel it might also lead into very murky areas that I would challenge you to be inspiring about, and it might thus trigger my fear that my dialogues become an obvious pretence which I can't keep up any longer because the illusion is finally shattered for good.

      Higher Self: I would welcome your challenging me on anything you like. But remember what I said about how to regard it if I can't seem to come up to scratch. Your Higher Self is not something that's only there to come up with brilliant answers, and I would certainly not want to regard all our previous discussions as great, profound teachings around which you could write scriptures or build a religion or start a church. (God forbid that anyone should try to build a religion around anything I say; I would say to them, "Go within and seek your own wisdom from your own Higher Self rather than accept uncritically what comes from someone else".)
      No, I am with you as a guide and companion, and I will always try to lead you to those things that form the undercurrent to your life, that can cut through the worries and cares of life, even if at times those deeper things seem swamped at times.
      Go on - speak your thoughts.

      Michael: Already, your slightly evasive answer there is starting to hint at what I just said I feared.

      Higher Self: You will fail at times to receive what I say, or will put your own thoughts into my mouth, think it's coming from me, but doesn't measure up. Nothing is surer. I am not omnipotent, and I cannot completely change your whole state of mind. I can't give you neat, infallible answers to every conceivable problem that may come up.
      And haven't you noticed, when someone or some religion does purport or appear to give completely comprehensive, infallible answers, how utterly inadequate those answers are? They are usually fear-based, and I try not to use any fear at all as a factor in our discussions. When I love you and all beings so much, how could I possibly consciously and deliberately use fear in an attempt to influence you or anyone else? If I do occasionally, it is due to fallibility - not because I think fear has a proper role in spiritual growth. From where I see things, it doesn't. (And please do pull me up and tell me if at any time you think I have slipped into fear-based thinking.)
      And haven't you noticed that those same religions are usually very authoritarian? I don't support the idea of making people believe anything through force of authority, but rather encourage them to develop their own awareness, so that they arrive at answers on their own, with any spiritual help they are willing to receive. Truth arrived at in that fashion is far more important, and is more truly absorbed, than any concepts merely accepted from outside authorities - even if those outside ideas happen to be totally true. (Another of my little sayings or aphorisms.)
      Don't put me on a pedestal I cannot remain securely on. If you absolutely depend on me to come to the rescue and infallibly fix any discouragement you experience, you are putting me on too high a pedestal. I would rather be on the ground with you, helping you in whatever way I can. Sometimes I can give answers - sometimes I can't, but will just be with you in your difficulty or depression, or whatever the problem is.
      If on some occasion you come to me and I don't seem able to perform up to the standard you expect, leave it for a while, and come back after a good night's sleep. Things always seem different the next day. But don't make a decision that it's all over now, that for now and forever more I am nothing more than a pretence that you cannot sustain any more.
      And so what if I am a pretence at times? Perhaps pretending certain spiritual things is a valid way of expanding your mind, of considering possibilities, of thinking about new ideas. If you do cease (for the time being) to believe in my reality, then use these dialogues purely as a literary device to write about your own concerns. That will still be useful as self-therapy if nothing else - and my influence will still bring to bear and keep you connected with spirit, even if you are quite unaware of it. And it won't even matter if you become completely atheistic, so long as you keep that connection open - that connection to something higher and broader. And it won't matter in the slightest what you attribute that to, whether you think it is spiritual in nature or not - just so long as you don't close off that connection to all that is wonderful, all that you have spent your life longing for, even if you didn't know what it was. That awareness of something wonderful has remained mostly undimmed in you, regardless of whether you have been going through an atheistic, unspiritual period or not.

      Michael: Well, thanks. Perhaps that explanation has redeemed the pessimistic feelings I was starting to get upon hearing your acknowledgement that you may fail me at times. I will bear that in mind.

      Higher Self: Thanks for being with me, and for your faith in me.

      Michael: I think I'll finish for now. I might come back tomorrow, or even later tonight (which will be after midnight, and therefore tomorrow anyway). So I'll see you later.

      Higher Self: Good-bye, and remember: I am always with you anyway, whether you are thinking about me or not. Farewell for now.


[a] Thursday, 4 October, 2001 - "I'm not going to make the pages public, and they don't link directly off the public part of my web site...":
      They do now, as of Wednesday, 6 June, 2001. I reached a point where it seemed a good idea to make the material publicly available. I don't expect that many people will read it, or that many of those who do read it will be sympathetic to what it says; but it may be just what one in a million people need to read in their search for Spirit, and I felt a bit more willing to take the risk of being criticized by unsympathetic people who happen to read it.
      You can read the reasons for this in the note
"Why this web site was formerly not linked to from my main web site, and why the link is still not prominent" on the front page of this web site. [Back]

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    on occasions up to Thursday, 4 October, 2001.