(M.J.E. Spirit / Letter (Feb., 1994))

Spirit Dialogues

Explorations of Spirit
by Michael Edwards

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A letter to all my dear friends, from Bivalia [a]

(Issued through Michael James Edwards of Camberwell [b], Victoria, in 1994:
26 February - 1 March, 29 - 31 March, 13 May, and 28 October.)

My beloved friends,

      I am Bivalia, and I am writing this letter to you from the future (as it would appear in your time-stream). And in "my beloved friends", I include all my personal friends and family and acquaintances into whose hands this letter may fall at any time, any people on similar or very different spiritual paths to that which I followed, who may identify with any of what I say here; and indeed anyone at all who may chance to read this. I send you all my love.
      Since I have ascended and found my way in this whole new way of life and got to know how things work, I just had to write back to you all to let you know how things are: for one thing, because I am so pleased and happy and fulfilled that I just had to share it with you; and secondly in the hope that what I say may help any of you who are yet to ascend or who have started your ascension and who might benefit from another's experience.
      This letter is quite literally from the future. The body which is typing this letter for me may appear to be a rather unremarkable fellow who is still grappling with the concept of ascension, and this body is the one associated with the "I am" presence known as Bivalia: myself, that is. But I am ascended, and writing about how my life is now, and I am sending it back in time through the body and mind known as Michael Edwards, so that those who are his contemporaries and who are ready to receive this message may be able to read what I wish to share.
      Please do not be too quick to regard Michael Edwards as ordinary, or as a failure. Whatever his problems, there is much more to him than may meet the eye, because, as I can now testify, he did make his ascension, and his ego did unite with the being known as Bivalia, who is writing these words now.
      However little you may suspect it, Michael Edwards in your time and dimension already has the makings of a being who has become (in our time and dimension) one of our greatest composers in the ascended realm. I, Bivalia, am that composer; and, while you may, in your present time, have to take my word for that, after you have ascended you will in due course come to see that this is so. There are quite a few others here who will back up such a claim.
      I do not say this to boast, but merely because the intention of this letter is to tell you what my ascended life is like and what I am doing. Ego does not count in this new life, but I tell you about such things as an example of the wonderful things we can all do after we have ascended.
      I will tell you a little more about my life as a composer later in this letter, as well as some of the other things I am doing. And I tell you about my wonderful accomplishments not in a spirit of "Aren't I clever? Look at how much I can do" but of "See how wonderful it is to ascend, and what wonderful accomplishments we will all make, of which these are examples".
*                     *                     *
      There is so much to tell, I hardly know where to begin. But please bear in mind that much of what I will say is very personal in nature, and is not purporting to be a general formula for how to ascend or for what ascended life is like. These are matters which are completely individual for every being who ascends.
      I grant the existence of broad universal principles such as God, love, unity, freedom, and so on, which have their definite nature, and which do have an effect on ascension. But when it comes to the detailed procedures on how one should ascend, it is difficult to make rules. If there are general principles akin to immutable laws in this area, I do not know what they are, and often when I have had ideas about what they might be (or other people have laid down such principles), they have later been confounded by subsequent events.
      I am now wary of formulating such principles; but if they exist, I hope they can be gleaned or inferred from the particulars of what I will say, but I will not consciously try to extrapolate such principles. Rather, I just want to tell you how wonderful it is, and give you a taste of what ascended life is like. I do not seek to prove ascension to you (that probably cannot be done); rather, I seek to give you such a wonderful taste of it that you can't wait to ascend yourself, that you feel "I just must do this myself".
*                     *                     *
      Perhaps the most remarkable thing about ascended life is that there are no limits save those you make for yourself. If only you can transcend doubts and self-limitations, nothing, absolutely nothing, is too ambitious, grandiose, or outrageous to aim for. This means that ascended life is quite literally what you decide to make it.
      And the good thing is that even those of you who have not ascended yet can start making life what you want it to be. I would go even further and say that I believe that this is true even of people who are not even thinking about ascension, who do not even know of it, although such people are often designing their life in a less controlled way, because they are not so conscious of the effects their thoughts are having on themselves, and therefore they are more prone to making mistakes, and thus manifesting things in their lives here and now that they don't really want.
      This principle applies even more strongly once you have ascended. You can reach a stage where you only have to think something, and it is so. It takes a bit of practice to get to that stage, but the more you practise, the easier it gets, until it finally seems quite effortless.
      It might be a reasonable approximation of truth to say that merely thinking a thought creates what we may call a thought-form in the astral plane, mental plane, and so on. This is so whether or not you have ascended.
      A thought-form is a structure, I suppose - I can't think of any better name for it, although in some ways it is a living thing or entity - made out of astral matter, mental matter, or whatever kind of matter exists on each plane it manifests on, which somehow embodies the very essence of the thought which created it, in all its detail. In a sense it is the thought. It is tied to the thought in some essential way, and is not merely a picture of it like a portrait of a person or a picture of a town or a mountain. If anything, it is the subjective experience of thought in your head that is the picture - or blueprint might be a better analogy - rather than the thought-form.
      Feelings, spiritual ideas, and the like also create their own forms on their own plane and all higher planes, and although they have their own character and work according to their own principles, they can be thought of as analogous to the thought-forms I've just described.
      It's very difficult to describe what all these forms on various levels are like. They can be seen with clairvoyant vision, and their appearance can vary infinitely: it entirely depends on what they represent. If you are interested enough in this matter, there are books in your dimension in which artists have tried to give their representation of what these forms look like. (For that matter, with clairaudient hearing, you can hear them, and similarly with other senses, including various senses which don't correspond to any physical senses.)
      If you have not ascended, and are still living mainly in the 3rd dimension, perhaps partly in the 4th (the realm of intuition and feeling), these thought-forms are not sufficient in themselves to fully manifest that idea or thought on your 3rd-dimensional plane. This is fortunate for you, because otherwise you would be constantly buffeted about like a leaf in a storm as every passing thought you had instantly manifested for you physically.
      Just think about it for a moment! Bear in mind the consequences of that next time you are angry with someone and feel like hitting or even killing them. Next time someone is angry with you, be thankful their thoughts and feelings are not instantly manifested in physical reality. I would hazard a guess that if your thoughts and feelings were instantly and fully manifested, your world would not work for even five seconds before collapsing into total chaos. Everyone would be working at cross purposes with everyone else. You must have complete control over your thoughts before you are ready to handle the power to manifest through thought alone in the manner just described.
      On your plane, sustained and disciplined holding of an idea is necessary to manifest it, usually accompanied by the appropriate physical actions. In a sense, thought-forms, feeling-forms, and so on, could be regarded (on your plane) as an embryo of reality, which you can choose to nurture into full growth if you so choose, and do the appropriate things to make that so.
      In the ascended state, in the 5th dimension, it would be closer to the truth to say that the thought-form, feeling-form, or whatever, is reality. On your 3rd-dimensional plane, you have thought-forms, feeling- forms, and so on, and then you have physical reality, and these two levels are quite distinct from each other. You would probably lump together forms in the levels of thought, feeling, spirit, and so on, as "occult" or "supernatural" or "spiritual" (even though these are in fact several different levels), and in contrast to that, the physical manifestation would probably simply be called "reality" or "the world" or "the universe".
      In the 5th dimension, such distinctions as "reality" and "the occult" do not exist. In a way, thought-forms and so on are physical reality, all at once. This is why it is so important to have complete control of our thoughts before we ascend, and why in fact we cannot ascend without doing this. (If you want to ascend, and feel you are a million miles from having control of your thoughts, do not despair. If you decide to ascend, and work on it, these things will, in their own time, fall into place much more easily than you anticipate. You are receiving much help from the 5th dimension. All of us here love you dearly, and want to give you all every bit of help you will let us give.)
      There is only one safeguard in the 5th dimension against instant manifestation of passing thoughts, and it is one we have created ourselves, rather than it being inherent in the 5th dimension. Although we have complete control of our thoughts and feelings, we like to be able to relax, to allow a certain degree of casual thinking or feeling to take place without having to be constantly on our guard as to whether we want it to manifest instantly.
      A general safeguard we have adopted is that casual thoughts or feelings do not instantly manifest, but as they pass through us, we can just let them go if we choose, and nothing will happen. Yes, the thought-form does come into existence as we think the thought, but there is a sense in which it does not become fully real. For it to manifest fully, and become reality, we must definitely will it, even only for an instant. There is no effort to it, but there must be that instant of willing it to be so. If we don't do that, the thought-form may exist but has no effect, and fades away as the thought that created it fades away. This safeguard was effected by the simple expedient of creating an automatic block which filters our thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and which confines their effects to certain safe regions of space in close proximity to us, which are part of our own personal space (the only way I can describe it in your language) until we decide to lift the block.
      This is not an inherent property of the 5th dimension, that we must consciously will something to be real before it is real. The inherent property is that these things are instantly real; but we have manufactured this safeguard of willing something before it has any effect, and the safeguard is itself making use of the fact that whatever we think can be instantly real.
*                     *                     *
      I want to address the idea that some people have, that ascension itself is difficult. Although Michael Edwards is open enough to receive this message, some of which goes against his conditioning, he does have the concept that ascension is difficult. Well, I would have to say that it is difficult if you make it so; but you do not have to do that. Just let go of the idea that it is difficult - again and again, if the idea keeps coming back - and eventually it will let go. It can be marvellously easy if you decide to make it so.
      Michael did have difficulties in the months following his first awareness of the idea, but finally got clearer on it, and things fell into place, as he got used to me, his Higher Self, and talked more and more to the Masters, and indeed even to Father/Mother God Himself/Herself.
      (If talking to God seems more difficult than talking to the Masters, as Michael found it, simply adopt the idea that God is just as loving and approachable as the Masters, perhaps even more so, difficult as that is to imagine.)
      In particular, Michael had difficulty with the idea of letting go of things in his past, even to the extent (as one of his friends suggested he do) of maybe disposing of old books and other belongings he had had for some time but was not using currently. For a while he was troubled by the idea that he would have to dispose of these things, and be irrevocably parted from them, and he felt he just couldn't do this.
      A time came when he said to himself: "Hey, this is very difficult for me. If I regard that as an ironclad condition for ascension, I'm making ascension difficult for myself. I don't need to do this. I don't have to make ascension so dependent on such a difficult thing. I probably won't ascend if I do tie it to conditions like that. I'm going to make ascension easy and pleasurable, not full of fear and anxiety. Perhaps I will eventually dispose of the stuff, and if so will do it without fear or regrets; on the other hand, perhaps this isn't yet the time for that. But either way, I will enjoy and use those things if I want to, and on the other hand, will just leave that aside for a while if I want to. But the attachment to those things will gradually fade, very easily and without trauma, as I get more and more enthusiastic about ascension, even if ownership of them continues for some time. But most importantly, I'm just not going to let this be an issue at present. If I make it a big issue, it will simply be a stumbling block, and I've decided not to let that happen."
      In the end, Michael didn't feel obliged to physically dispose of those things before he was ready (but kept that option open as a future possibility), but the attachment grew less and less, gradually and imperceptibly, not in any great dramatic way; and he did make his ascension, and it was according to his wishes, that it just didn't become a big and traumatic issue like it could have become. And that was because he decided that it would be that way.
      And now that Michael has surrendered his ego to me, his Higher Self, he now regards as quite unimportant whether or not he continues to own those things, or anything at all. If the books, for example, were to go, he knows full well that if he wants access to what the books contain, the universe can provide that information in full detail to him now that he is ascended. He knows, and I know, that the whole issue was nothing more than a paper tiger.
      There is no outside authority who lays down the one and only way of ascending, and if someone appears to present themselves that way, I would urge you, my friends, to listen carefully to what they say in case some of it is valuable, but to take with some caution any claims or implications that such- and-such is the only way of ascending. If you disagree strongly enough with something that is claimed by someone to be essential for ascension, make it a challenge to prove them wrong: not for the sake of saying to them "You were wrong and I was right" (as if it were a game of one-upmanship), but for the sake of knowing inside yourself that your way of doing things is as valid for you as their way is for them. At the same time, try to be humble enough to change your mind if indications come that you really were wrong about something, and perhaps even to acknowledge the other person's ideas with good grace if it turns out he was right after all. Being open in this way is much more important than being right itself is. Better to be wrong a thousand times than to be dogmatic and closed-minded.
      This isn't a game of point-scoring, of being right and the other person wrong; it's a game of us all just ascending and sharing our knowledge and helping each other in the most enjoyable way possible. All of us can be right in many things, and wrong in many others, and what's right for me might be wrong for you, and vice-versa. We cannot afford to be too sure that something we believe in is right for everyone in a universal way.
      Of course, I am talking here about particular methods or techniques or conditions, not about such fundamentals as developing love, contacting your Higher Self, and aligning yourself with God, because those do seem to me to be essential for ascension. I hesitate to be dogmatic about even this, but at least I can say that I have not yet discovered any alternative to these fundamental principles. (I did say at the outset that on the broad level I believe certain principles almost certainly are universal.)
*                     *                     *
      Well, I'm getting bogged down perhaps in philosophical points, and wish to return to what ascended life is like. Actually, because there is no limitation here (which is probably the most important fact about it), it is difficult to describe things. Perhaps I should try to describe what my life is like now, and you may get the general idea of what it is like, and apply that to what you would like your ascended life to be like.
      Here is one way in which ascended life contrasts sharply with 3rd- dimensional life. In the3rd-dimensional world, there are only 24 hours in the day, only 7 days in the week, only 52 weeks in the year, and so on. In other words, time is limited, ultimately to a life-span of rather less than a century, in most cases.
      Almost invariably, there is far more that you would like to do than this time allows, and you are almost constantly faced with the painful choice of whether to do this rather than that. This is difficult enough when both of the things are things you long to do, that you truly believe to be good and worthwhile. Often, the choice is not merely between two different things, but a dozen or a hundred.
      But of course, things are complicated further by the fact that some of the options are things you don't really want to do at all, but are obliged to do for one reason or another. Earning a living, for most people, would be the biggest item in this category. Perceived duty to friends, family, society, religion, and a multitude of other things, would be another form of this sort of thing. In other areas, you are prevented from doing what your heart wants to do by limitations such as not having enough money, talent, or whatever: or, more precisely, by the deep belief that you lack these things, which in practice amounts to the same end result.
      In the ascended state, things are quite different from this. Time isn't the same here as in the 3rd-dimensional world. It's impossible to describe, but perhaps one way of putting it is that if time in the physical world is one-dimensional, a single straight line running from the past to the future, time here has two dimensions, and is a whole flat plane rather than a mathematical line. Or maybe it is even 3-dimensional, covering all of space rather than just a single line. Or maybe even more dimensions. It's difficult to say, because this is only a rough analogy.
      Here is another way of putting it. On your 3rd-dimensional Earth, in your time-frame and in unascended state, you all have 24 hours per day, and that can't be changed. Only the perception of how fast time is going can be changed slightly, by your emotions at the time. By this I mean the well-known feeling that time speeds along when you are enjoying yourself, and plods along when you are not, and positively grinds its way along when you are in pain or difficulty. But this only changes the subjective speed of time to a limited extent; apart from this, it is by and large true that you move through time at the fixed rate of 24 hours per day, and you cannot either increase or decrease that.
      Well, here (still on Earth, but in her ascended state and in your future), we can in a manner of speaking fit more than 24 hours in a day if we want to, and so even the present moment is unlimited time-wise, instead of a single point of time as in your world.
      Perhaps another way to look at it is that, whereas on your 3rd- dimensional Earth you have a body that can only be in one place at a time, doing one particular thing at a time, here on our 5th-dimensional Earth one can (in a manner of speaking) manifest further bodies at will, which can be doing different things in different places, but each of which is fully oneself, just as much as in your world your one body is yourself.
      Please don't take any of these models too literally. This is just a rather inaccurate attempt to give you some idea of something which really cannot be put into your words.
      Anyway, the practical consequences of this expanded concept of time (which is very real here, not merely a theoretical idea) are that you don't have to make difficult choices between doing this and that. Here you can have your cake and eat it too. That is one of the most wonderful aspects of ascended life. It deserves repeating: in almost all aspects of ascended life, in almost all matters of choice, you can have your cake and eat it too - provided you believe you can. (Although, that becomes so obvious after a while that no-one I know has any difficulty in believing it.)
      There is time to do everything you want to. And you do not have the spectre of death hanging over you as many people do in 3rd-dimensional life, so that even if time were still linear, but merely infinite, there would still be time for everything, although some things would have to wait a long time; and you probably know how frustrating it can be to have to wait even for something you know you will eventually be able to devote time to.
      But no, time is not linear: there is not only time to do everything you want (no matter how many things that may be), but there is time for them all at the same time, difficult though that may be to comprehend. As I said, there is no limitation here at all. Not only can you do everything you want to; you can do everything you want to this week or this day, if you choose, although we do not necessarily choose to multiply time like that without good reason. It's entirely up to our own choice.
      (By the way, before I continue, this is a good place at which to explain a little trick of semantics I want to adopt to make my explanation easier. I sometimes talk about "here" as contrasted to where you are; at other times I refer to "Earth" or "yourEarth", referring to where you are as contrasted to the ascended state where I am writing from. Of course, I am writing this from Earth, and I am presently on Earth just as much as you are. It's a bit misleading, perhaps, to talk about "here" and "there" as if we were in two totally different places. But of course what I mean is that I am writing from what is your future, and the Earth I am on presently is very different from the Earth you are on. You are in my past, and I am in your future. The Earth I am writing from has fully ascended into the 5th dimension, whereas the Earth you are receiving this on has not fully ascended - or perhaps has begun to ascend, but to a degree that is not yet outwardly manifest. Rather than explain all this every time I must contrast my time and condition with yours, I will continue to refer to where you are as "Earth", and to use "here" to mean the time I am in, here in the 5th dimension.)
      (By the way, before I continue, this is a good place at which to explain a little trick of semantics I have adopted to make my explanation easier. I have already several times talked about your 3rd dimension as contrasted to my 5th dimension; sometimes I refer to the latter simply as "here". This would seem to imply that I am here, but you are not, which begs a few questions that perhaps I should not beg. Since I am on the Earth at least sometimes, and you are all the time, it might seem as if I shouldn't distinguish where I am by the word "here", if I am not applying it also to where you are.
      (Of course, what I mean when I refer to myself as being "here" is that I am on the Earth in its 5th-dimensional aspect, in the ascended state, and in what you would call the future. This may seem to be cutting a few corners, because one might suppose both you and I are in the same place (if not the same time). Well, in a way we are and in another way we aren't; "here" and "not here" are concepts that almost don't apply in the 5th dimension, because we can be in different places simultaneously (of which I will speak more later). If I am at a given moment on the Earth, I am in that sense in the same place as you - we are both "here"; but because the Earth is now (in my time) ascended, and in the 5th dimension, in another sense I am not in the same place (or the same time) as where you are, which is not (in your time) ascended - and therefore you are not "here" (as I see it). Nevertheless, despite all these caveats, for the sake of being able to quickly and easily refer to this difference in times and dimensions, I am going to continue to refer to my time and dimension as "here". Language was not designed for 5th-dimensional concepts, so if I am not to be tiresomely laborious, I will have to cut a few corners here and there.)
      Before I give you some idea of how we might fill our time here, or at least how I choose to, I would like to expand a little on some of the other 3rd-dimensional limitations I mentioned above, and how we transcend them. I mentioned time as one such limitation which we can rise above once ascended, literally by willing it, and gave you some idea of how that is done - or at least how I do it, because I concede that others may other ways of dealing with time.
      Another limitation I mentioned was lack of money. Well, we don't use money here anyway. While it may be true that some people here may own more things than others, if you bothered to count it up (and I haven't yet met anyone who has bothered), differences between wealth and poverty simply aren't relevant here. You can manifest anything, material or otherwise, that you choose here, so if one person has more belongings than another, that is nothing more than personal choice; and because you can also dematerialize things you no longer need (for the time being, at any rate), even that difference may change tomorrow. Number and type of belongings are simply not an issue here of the slightest importance. Belongings are simply something you have for a particular purpose, and we have a very functional attitude to them. There is no status or prestige attached to them.
      Besides, I am cutting a few corners here talking about owning things at all. (Obviously, I have to cut quite a few corners to give you a flavour of ascended life in 3rd-dimensional language.) In truth, we don't really own anything at all. You don't in 3rd-dimensional life, either, but that fact is transparently obvious here. Rather, we make use of parts of the universe, with a feeling of gratitude.
      With the permission of God, and of the universe, we take parts of it, and mould them in certain ways with our thoughts or with our bodies, in order to accomplish various things. Then, when we no longer need those parts of the universe, we simply relinquish them to the universe. Then, if we need those things again, we are permitted to take temporary possession of them again; and so on.
      But we don't have a grasping attitude to possessions like many 3rd- dimensional beings do. And we certainly don't have the slightest desire to harm others in order to take control of them or anything they are temporarily using. That is completely counter-productive, and goes against everything we stand for and hold dear.
      An attachment to possessions is really a fear-based attitude: the fear that you may not have enough of what you need or want, so you grasp at as much as you can. In the ascended state, we realize that fears are groundless if we can but let them go, and we have learned how to let them go. The universe itself provides us with everything we need, and everything we want also, without us having to have an attitude of possessing it.
      Although there is no law against selfishness in the 5th dimension (because there are no laws here at all in the 3rd-dimensional sense), no- one here would even think of trampling on the rights of others simply to further their own material interests, or indeed their own interests of any sort at all. A person who would consider doing this simply would not have ascended yet, because this sort of attitude is completely contrary to the spirit and essence of what ascension is all about.
      It's not so much a matter of such a person not being good enough to ascend (as if ascension were some sort of elite thing, which you can qualify for if you get enough marks in the examination of life); it's more that it's simply a contradiction in terms to talk of such a person ascending. To talk about an ascended person who has a competitive self-interest is a bit like talking about an honest person who habitually robs banks. Ascending means (amongst many other things) rising above this sort of competitive self-interest.
      The things that count here are people, and matters of spirit, although we do not hesitate to enjoy the more material things if we so feel like it. (Not quite everything is very holy and spiritual, and by no means is everything serious. We have plenty of fun here, as well as our more serious interests.)
      The other limitation I mentioned in connection with 3rd-dimensional life was the perception of lack of talent to do what you want to do. Perhaps in some cases there might have been a real lack of talent, although probably less often than many of you might think. In any case, it has the same end result, whether you lack a talent or merely believe you lack it. The end result is that you stifle creativity. Even if what you call "lack of talent" is real in some people, and it is not merely talent stifled by such things as lack of self- confidence, it is merely a limitation that body has taken on for that life-time; I want to be clear that it is not an inherent limitation that belongs to spirit.
      Even in 3rd-dimensional life I believe that such problems can be overcome to a much greater extent than is commonly believed; but in the 5th dimension they cease to be problems at all. You simply have any ability or talent you want to have. There is no such thing as wanting to do something, but resigning yourself to frustration because you lack the talent. If you don't already have it, you simply get it. The problem is as much a phantom here as are the problems of time shortage and poverty.
      In a general sense, all these problems, which can be quite real in the 3rd-dimensional world, are examples of the same basic thing: poverty - a lack (or perceived lack) of something, whether it is money, time, talent, creativity, or anything else. And poverty simply doesn't exist here. It would be an oxymoron to talk about poverty here, simply a contradiction in terms. It is as meaningless as talking about darkness that is full of light.
      In fact, it would not be a bad working definition of ascension to call it the overcoming of poverty or lack of all sorts. If you still perceive, or have, poverty or lack of any sort in your life, then by definition you have not yet ascended.
      So a vital aspect of ascended life is this ability to manifest whatever you want in your life. Many people who are still not ascended, but are well on the path, are starting to find even 3rd-dimensional life like this. With reference to your time-frame as you read this message from the future, you will very likely find this increasing as the Earth herself completes her ascension.
      But the flood-gates will really open once you ascend; you will then have the full working-out of the basic precept that what you will to be so, will be so. The examples of this which some people are experiencing already in the 3rd-dimensional world are merely a foretaste of this. I'm thinking here of such things as manifesting a parking spot in a busy street just when and where you need it, or meeting just the very person you needed to meet for some purpose, and similar things. They are mere fleabites compared to what you are about to experience.
      The first major example of this that I personally experienced was the experience I have already described, where I feared ascension would be hard, and approached it a bit like a very stiff examination I was afraid I might fail, and finally decided I wanted to make it easy, and found I was able to.
      God, the Masters, the universe, are not trying to catch you out, however much it may, in your more pessimistic moments, appear that way. They all want you to ascend, perhaps even more than you yourself want to. If only you knew how much they long to see you face to face again, how much love and energy they are pouring into each and every one of you. If you could only perceive this, I am sure you would be so overcome with longing for the same thing that you would renew your intention to ascend, and let nothing stand in the way.
      So, I made my ascension easy just by deciding to make it so; when I saw how well this worked, and I got accustomed to the general principle, I started to let myself go wild. I got all sorts of wild ideas, and was delighted to find that I could make them come true. Perhaps it took a little effort to begin with, but it got easier and easier. In fact, I am pleased to be able to tell you all that life gets easier and easier, more and more fulfilling, as you go along, without any limit as far as I can make out. Although many people may believe the now-famous words quoted from a poet by an Australian Prime Minister not generally noted in the field of philosophy, I am very glad to be able to assure you that Malcolm Fraser was very limited indeed in his belief that life is not meant to be easy. (The quote he gave was not even complete, so the words he quoted are in fact a little out of context.)
      Life is easy here, and getting easier all the time, although I don't mean by that that we are all lazy and decadent. And I am making more and more friends, being filled with more and more love, and have the delightful company of the Masters whenever I want it (and it's wonderful how, despite how busy the Masters are, they have so much time to spare to be with me whenever I want it, and the same for anyone else, ascended or not, who requests their company); and I am even coming ever closer to God all the time.
      It really is too wonderful for words, and I hope these words urge and inspire you on to your own ascension. I really look forward to meeting you all in time, and I can assure you that the Masters, and God too, are as pleased and full of joy at each person's ascension as if that person were their only loved one in all the universe.
      Here I am talking about the Masters as if they were a group above me. Well, I must be honest and tell you that I could be considered a Master now, although I haven't quite yet fully got used to the idea. I caught myself talking about them, as a group, as if they were above me, because I am not fully accustomed to the idea yet; but it may not always be that they are above me, although obviously many of them have been Masters much longer than I have.
      I don't want to boast about it, but in writing this message, I must tell the truth. We all become Masters once we complete our ascension; I am not claiming anything special for myself in this regard.
      However, I must qualify my remarks by pointing out that although we in the ascended states do have individual bodies, at levels above the physical the idea of separate beings is much less important than it is for you. As you go up the levels, astral, mental, and so on, individuality becomes less pronounced, until at the top level of pure spirit, there is no division of individuals at all.
      Yet in losing individuality at the highest levels, that should not be taken to mean a watered-down sort of idea of life without any substance or character. Just the very opposite. In losing individuality, we gain far more than we lose. Life is more full of variety and meaning and fulfilment, not less.
*                     *                     *
      I'm circling round the problem of trying to describe ascended life, because words really are inadequate to describe it. As a start, just imagine all the desires of your heart, all the wonderful things you've longed to do all your life, all the places you've wanted to visit, all the people you've wanted to do things with. All these desires can be fulfilled to your heart's content in the ascended state.
      Do you ever feel an unidentified yearning or longing deep inside you? You couldn't possibly describe it in words, but, vague as it seems, you know you would recognize it instantly you saw or experienced it. Do you ever find quite everyday scenes or experiences seem to arouse a deep longing, as if there were something wonderful or spiritual in that experience that would not ordinarily be associated with it? Do you ever have the feeling that the things you do which are most important to you are somehow connected with this sense of wonder?
      If you have experienced many hardships in life, do you ever have the feeling that this sense of wonder that seems occasionally to beckon round this or that corner, just out of sight, is the main thing in life that enables you to maintain hope? Do you ever see a sunset or a rainbow or a thunderstorm or a moonrise that somehow seems momentous, somehow seems to hint, in private ways, at wonderful things to come one day? Do such things ever seem to have a special sort of magic to them, almost as if they were a scene in a wonderful and moving and inspiring story?
      These (as far as words can describe the ineffable at all) are some of the ways in which I have occasionally felt hints of my heart's deepest desires. And I can assure you that ascension has led me ever close to those desires. They are continuously fulfilled in a way that does not exhaust itself, so that you feel satisfaction in their fulfilment, yet realize there is always more to follow, so that you do not become bored through having nothing more to do or to achieve.
      These are the things of spirit, much more than the pressing concerns of everyday life, much more than the rat-race of society's treadmill. In fact, it is very likely that the source of that longing is directly from the things of the heart, the things of spirit. If that longing seems attached or associated with some physical object or experience, which logically would not have such deep meaning, I would suggest that the physical thing or experience seems to have that feeling simply because in some respect it reminds you of something spiritual, which is the real thing you long for, and the physical thing is really nothing more than a pointer to it.
      While you may want to enjoy the physical experience which has this ineffable suggestion about it, it might be a mistake to seek the spiritual too much through that specific thing. It is my experience that if you pursue the sense of wonder too intensively through that particular experience, the suggestion of wonder tends to fade and disappear like a mirage. It then may bob up again later on at a moment when you are not expecting it.
      But if you just let things happen, just enjoy the experience without trying to grasp at something which can't be grasped anyway, then that magic which can make even physical experiences so sweet and so poignantly nostalgic will tend to linger longer, and come up in all sorts of other places too.
      It's a bit like trying to enjoy butterflies. If you forever try to chase every butterfly you see, thus to enjoy its presence all the more, you will not catch them, and they will just move away from you. And I would suggest that, if you were lucky (and quick) enough to catch one, you would not enjoy it anyway.
      On the other hand, if you don't try to catch them, but just pause a while to enjoy them and then go about your business, just enjoying seeing them when they happen along, you will find that they will alight in front of you all the more because you are not chasing after them and scaring them away. Perhaps it's a poor analogy, but it at least hints at the point I'm trying to make.
      I realize that, even if you do things that way, by not trying to pursue the wonder that occasionally comes into life, but simply enjoying it as it comes, it somehow fails to satisfy. Although it seems poignantly bittersweet when it happens, it is somehow evanescent at the best of times, let alone if you desperately try to pursue it. I know this only too well, and Michael who is giving you this message knows it only too well also. It has, in various guises, been one of the big concerns of his life. It is largely this great hope which has largely kept him going through many difficulties.
      Although I can promise you that in ascended life the fulfilment you long for, which these snatches of magic merely hint at, will be satisfied, I'm not sure that it can be fulfilled fully in 3rd-dimensional life. As I've indicated, I think it is in its essence a longing for that which is not earthly anyway, and that the things on Earth you think you long for are merely reminding you of something spiritual. They cannot in themselves satisfy such desires of the spirit, no matter how intimately they seem bound up with that longing.
      Because of this, perhaps I cannot give a completely satisfying answer to this in 3rd-dimensional terms. But I would suggest that you will, even before ascension, get ever closer and closer to this great longing, if you earnestly follow some sort of spiritual path, or self-improvement path, or path of serving others, or whatever you deeply believe in, and stick to what you know to be right. Follow the indications of your conscience, and give as free rein to the imagination as you can.
      Deliberately do imaginative things you would not normally see any point in doing. Be whimsical at times. Don't be too serious; let a little lightness and fun into your life as often as you can. In fact, more than just a little. Get deeply involved in something creative or some hobby that truly captures your interest. Perhaps none of these ideas is a magical formula to finding and fulfilling your heart's desires, but in combination I believe they will help you get closer to them, and will also help prepare you for ascension, should you choose that option. If you feel you can't or won't choose that option, don't close your mind to it. You may change your mind on that one day, and you may be much closer than you imagine to being ready to ascend.
      Meanwhile, of course, many of you must devote much time to mundane everyday concerns, such as employment, housekeeping, or any other obligations you have undertaken. I'm not suggesting that you can, or even should if you can, devote all your time to some spiritual method, or to hobbies or imaginative activities.
      Although you may be obliged to continue these more everyday things, please do not lose sight of the things of spirit. However much you are occupied with mundane concerns, if you do not completely lose sight of the things of spirit, they will always be there to give you hope and comfort, and will not desert you. Know that one day these deepest heart's desires will be fulfilled. If you cannot for any reason devote much time explicitly to working on spirit, or if you are plagued by doubts that you somehow can't remove, just hold on to it in the background, as a foundation of all that you dearly hope for.
      And if you feel you have truly lost the thread of spirit, truly lost contact with your innermost heart, do not despair. If you have strayed very far from the path, further opportunities will come for you to come back to it. I want you all to know that nobody, absolutely nobody, is ever lost beyond hope. Please take my word for it, that the Masters, and God Himself, never abandon anyone, no matter how hopeless such ones may consider themselves to be, no matter how hopeless others may judge them to be.
      Also, my friends, please consider the idea that you may not be nearly as far from the path as you think you are. Do not be overly pessimistic on this, whatever faults you may believe you have, because it can be a very difficult thing to judge how far off you are, without complete knowledge of your whole situation in life, emotionally and spiritually. If there is any region of doubt, give yourself the benefit of the doubt!
      Even as an ascended Master, I do not know all the answers to the great questions of life, and I am wary of being dogmatic about anything; but if I am to be dogmatic about anything at all, it is this: that those religions or philosophies that have a doctrine that claims that certain categories of people (or any other being, for that matter) are lost beyond hope for all eternity is sadly mistaken and tragically limited.
      As Michael Edwards, for many years I already perceived such ideas to be wrong, and was always repelled by them. I found myself unable to believe in such religions, no matter how many airtight arguments their proponents put to me that I couldn't refute. Even if God was like that, I didn't feel I could respect, love, or worship a God like these people were describing to me.
      As Bivalia, I still have this attitude just as strongly, and perhaps with more conviction than Michael Edwards had. It is totally against everything I cherish and believe in, and it is simply not my experience of the Masters, or God Himself, that they ever abandon anyone at all, for any reason whatsoever. It pains me, and I believe it pains the Masters, and God too, to see many people living with the spectre of hell dangling over them, filling them with fear and dread. They may outwardly believe they are safe from hell's eternal torments, but are they ever completely free of the fear that they may stumble and be condemned? It must be like living your whole life on a tight-rope, always having to guard against falling, never being able to relax for a moment lest you fall.
      People may limit themselves through wrong or ignorant choices, but they can always come back onto the main path as soon as they choose to, no matter how many times or how far they have strayed. And if through negativity they have reached a point of being unable to decide to come back to the Light again, the Masters are always standing there, willing to lavish help on them the moment they can receive it. In fact, they long to help such beings who have badly strayed. Nothing gladdens them more than to see such a one turning at last in the right direction.
      And such people will be offered experiences from time to time which will help them see the truth of things as it affects them, although it has to be conceded that these experiences are sometimes painful; but such experiences are offered them with the highest of intentions.
      Although my discussion of the fate of people who stray from the Light was a bit of a digression, I allowed myself that, because I feel quite strongly about that, and think it was well to tell you my views on that, especially since many prominent religions or denominations would have you believe that certain classes of people are lost forever.
*                     *                     *
      I still haven't told you in detail what my life is like in the ascended state. Each time I try to work up to it, I seem to think of something else that I want to say, which fits in especially well at that point, and, because I have persuaded Michael to be receptive to everything I'm giving him without judging or censoring it, it's just all coming out higgledy-piggledy.
      In the embodiment known as Michael, my main interests were composing music and writing stories, and, more recently, writing computer programs. I suppose those are still amongst my main interests, although I have broadened my horizons in a way time allows here, but which 3rd-dimensional time probably wouldn't. These interests have also featured prominently in a number of previous incarnations, because all one's different lives do seem to have a thread running through them.
      (Perhaps an interest in computer programming is new to the embodiment known as Michael, at least as far as recent embodiments go, but that interest can be traced back to Atlantis, where computers certainly featured in the technology of those times, and the interest was renewed in my life as Michael, for the first time in quite a long time. It may be of interest to know that, in Atlantis, one of my embodiments had a mixed relationship with computers, because he did a lot of work with them, but was also hurt as a result of their misuse by others, and that accounts for why, before Michael became interested in computers - took to them like a duck to water in fact - he actually had something of a fear of computers: quite a revulsion to them, in fact. But the fact that this was overcome with much less difficulty than one might have expected indicates, partly, that the underlying interest, stemming from Atlantis, was sufficiently strong to counteract that. Not only is that a factor: perhaps Michael ought to be given credit for using considerable courage to face what he quite strongly feared, and allowing himself to like it; because a previous interest in computers, so long ago also, need not necessarily have been sufficient in this life to overcome that fear.)
      Of course there were some previous incarnations where I sometimes had different interests than those I had as Michael, and some of those interests have been sufficiently lasting to have also contributed in various ways to my way of life now.
      In the ascended world, we do not have to earn a living like you have to on your 3rd-dimensional Earth. We do not eat in the way you do, but live off the energy which surrounds us, and anything else we need or want, including our homes, we can manifest by willing it into existence.
      But not needing to earn a living doesn't mean there is no work to be done; our motivation simply isn't for money or other self-gain, nor for ego or prestige, nor in order simply to survive. We do it because we want to. It is not compulsory, but I would say everyone here wants to do something useful, and chooses a field they are suited to, which makes their heart sing, and which also benefits others in some way.
      You would be allowed to slack here forever if you wanted to, but I think that ascended life, with the stupendous powers that bestows, would quickly become unbearable without some creative and useful channel for expressing those powers. But of course we have periods of rest and relaxation, which is quite a different matter.
      Of course, we all want to share the ascension with everyone who hasn't yet done it, and we want to let you know how to do it, and to help in whatever way we can. But, aside from that, I do have an area of interest which is perhaps related, but not exactly the same.
      As Michael Edwards, I long resisted the idea of karma, the idea that whatever you do in some fashion comes back to you in like manner. Putting it crudely, according to this concept, if you murder someone, you could expect to be murdered, in order to balance things up. Then, when you went into it a bit more deeply, you had the slightly more sophisticated view that the karma, or forces, you set in motion by that act had to be balanced up, and you had to do that, but it need not necessarily be by being murdered yourself. There might be other ways, but even so, they were liable to be difficult, and full of hardship and pain, and they would very likely be very dreary and time-consuming, paying off your karma inch by painful inch. (Of course, the good things you do would come back too, but it's the bad things that caused me all the problems in accepting the concept.)
      I found I could not accept this basic way of growing spiritually, no matter how many people tried to explain it to me, no matter how many books discussed it, no matter how strong and airtight the arguments for karma were. At a very deep level, I could not accept the rightness of pain and tragedy being such an integral part of the whole universal system of spiritual growth for beings everywhere.
      It seemed to me that most of the arguments for this were based on some sort of analogy with earthly, 3rd-dimensional aspects of life, and this never seemed good enough. On a crude level, karma could be seen as some sort of cosmic reward and punishment system. It would be argued that just as we must reward and punish children to prevent them going wild, and sometimes reward and punish adults to prevent anarchy, so must we do the same on a spiritual level.
      Admittedly most of the arguments for karma I encountered were more subtle than this. Some people drew quite a precise analogy with Newton's Laws of Motion, about equal and opposite reactions, and the like. It was never obvious to me that laws of pure physics could self-evidently apply to moral concepts like karma, and no-one could ever give me a good reason why such an analogy should hold.
      It was sometimes taken for granted that justice could only be served by some sort of accountant's view of right and wrong, that the accounting books of karma should balance up to the last cent, and it was far from obvious to me that this was the main concern. I did not believe, and still do not, that two wrongs make a right, that justice is best served by an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. I must admit that I still don't entirely understand karma, and still find it something of a riddle. Even with my greater awareness now, karma does sometimes give the appearance of applying in certain situations, and I don't pretend I can understand how or why, because it doesn't feel right to me. I don't know whether, or to what extent, God approves or condones the existence of suffering; but I do know that He is so full of love it could bring tears to one's eyes, and that the suffering of any being hurts Him as deeply as it does that being, or maybe even more so. I have attempted to seek answers from various Masters of great love and knowledge and experience, but I still haven't got to the bottom of it. Perhaps, as I grow in knowledge and understanding, I will understand this riddle one day.
      It was sometimes held by those who justified the common understanding of karma that the most important thing for us was to grow spiritually, to grow closer to God, to leave behind the more negative or destructive aspects of our character. (I have, and had then, no dispute with that general idea.) It was held that sometimes, only through pain and suffering could we learn these lessons, especially if we remained blind to spiritual truth, and to learning it consciously and voluntarily. Some people even considered such experiences to be beautiful lessons to be learned, an idea which always made me cringe. Such an attitude, however spiritual it may seem, always struck me as insensitive to the suffering of others.
      I thought it monstrous that the most horrendous tragedies in life were somehow ordained for our spiritual growth. No-one would condone a loving parent using torture or disease or starvation to discipline a child; why should it be any more justified here? And it made no difference if someone pointed out that from the view of spirit such suffering was, in a relative sense, no worse than a light smack given to a child; spirit may think that, but it was the physical human being who was having to do all the suffering. And I thought that no matter how you juggled things to make it all seem justifiable spiritually, there was no getting round the fact that horrendous and totally unjustified physical or mental suffering was being imposed, supposedly at the will of (variously, according to various people) God, the Lords of Karma, the Masters, the Angels, or the Higher Self of the individual concerned.
      It made no difference if someone said to me, "But no-one's imposing that suffering from outside onto you against your will; it's your own Higher Self that's doing it." It still seemed to me that a part of the being capable of feeling and suffering (namely, the lower self) was still having that imposed from without itself, the lower self. If this was the explanation, it made it obvious to me that the higher self and the lower self were to some extent differentiated beings with different points of view, and that therefore a breach of the will of the lower self was still involved. And respect of free-will was always held to be paramount, above all other considerations.
      And if some suffering is the result of choices made by the lower self, almost always that suffering was unintended by the lower self, and therefore the choice was made without a full awareness of the consequences of that choice. I never thought a choice of the will was truly free choice unless it was made with full awareness of the whole situation, which would include full knowledge of the consequences of each possible choice. And of course, much suffering was not in any way the result of choices made by that lower self which had to do all the suffering.
      So, in short, I was wary about arguments in favour of karma which were based on some sort of analogy with the way the limited 3rd-dimensional world which surrounded me worked. And I was greatly bothered by the various ways in which the suffering and pain involved in karma were attributed to Spirit, which was supposed to be in charge of the whole process.
      I had always thought Spirit generally was good, a sort of ideal source of goodness, and it truly amazed me to hear people so often trying to explain the workings of ultimate goodness (spirit) by drawing analogies with the imperfect and limited physical world we were all in at the time. It may be true that suffering is unavoidable in this realm, and for purposes of correction or discipline it might sometimes be necessary to impose suffering on someone, such as when we discipline children or jail a convicted criminal. But I would only advocate such measures because in the state of limitation in that dimension it may sometimes be the only way that can be thought of to deal with the problem, not in the least because in some sort of spiritual ideal way I think the offender "deserves" suffering. Indeed, the very need in some situations to take practical measures against wrongdoers that involve pain and suffering is itself an inherent symptom of the spiritual problem.
      I was always totally repelled by the idea of deliberately imposing suffering on a physical person for the purpose of spiritual growth (regardless of whether we attribute that imposition to the Higher Self, Lords of Karma, or whomever), and I always thought deep down there must be a better way than this. Even if this was how it was currently working, surely that could be changed, and wasn't quite an immutable law of the universe like so many people believed.
      So along came the concept of ascension, with a whole philosophy which to some extent accorded with the traditional New-Age ideas, but which was also overturning quite a few of the old ideas. And one of the ideas to be overturned was the traditional view of karma, which interested me very much indeed, making me feel this was the best news in the spiritual realm I'd heard for a good many years; and I somehow felt vindicated in my years-old feeling that karma just didn't seem right; it felt deeply wrong somehow, and offended some fundamental part of my spirit, and violated everything I held dear, and believed in. This may well be one of the early factors that caused me to become interested in ascension in my life as Michael Edwards.
      As I learned a bit more, I found that the general belief was not quite that karma was being overturned universally. People who were ready to ascend would be entering a new system where karma didn't operate, but the old traditional system would apparently continue in full strength in the 3rd dimension, for those who were not yet ready to ascend.
      Well, of course, as I felt more and more sure I could ascend, I felt considerable personal relief at this new development, and felt as if I'd been released from prison. But I thought to myself, personal interest aside, this really isn't good enough. I really thought it would be good if karma, with the appalling suffering so intimately involved with that whole system, could be abolished for all beings, for all the rest of time. But it doesn't appear that this is an option yet.
      I've taken a long time to work up to it, but the area of interest to me I mentioned before relates to this. According to the traditional idea, karma is totally universal for everyone, and yet here, with the ascension of the Earth and of many humans, it was being abolished at least for certain people, or at least in certain dimensions of the universe (5th and above). It was at least a start: if it could be (and was being) abolished for some, perhaps in time it could be abolished for all.
      I did not know before ascending if anyone in the spiritual hierarchy was working on this or not, and even in my life as Michael Edwards, such an idea occurred to me from time to time, over many years. Without conceit, I honestly believed (and still believe) that if this problem could be solved it would be one of the greatest favours that could be bestowed on the universe.
      Just think how wonderful it would be: to rid the universe of pain and suffering for ever, and yet have non-painful ways of allowing people to learn their spiritual lessons. And I am optimistic enough to believe even that once such alternative methods are in use, they will be more effective anyway.
      One of the things I have been doing in the ascended state is looking into this whole question, and trying to determine if ways can be developed to abolish pain and suffering once and for all from the whole universe, regardless of whether one perceives beings as "deserving" it or not, and yet working out other ways for people to learn whatever they need to, and growing spiritually, by non- painful methods, and perhaps even working on developing such a system. It has become one of my pet projects, in a manner of speaking.
      I said I did not know initially if anyone other than me was interested in this problem; certainly, as far as I can recall, I never heard anyone in my 3rd-dimensional life as Michael ever so much as mention the problem. A disturbingly high number of compassionate and sensitive people seemed quite happy to accept karma and pain as a fact of life, or at least resigned themselves to it. Even if they had to acknowledge this as a fact of life, because their experience and knowledge made it obvious, they did not ever seem to be outraged at it, and never seemed to see it as something that might somehow be changed for the better. It amazed me; to question the system, and to challenge it (and maybe change it, if it were factual) was an obvious proposition to me from quite early in my involvement in such areas of philosophy during my life as Michael.
      Well, of course I shouldn't have assumed I was the very first to think of my proposal; it just happened that I didn't in that particular life happen to meet anyone who had latched onto the same idea. But I have met a number of such people in the ascended state, and we are looking into the problem, with the blessing of many of the well-known Masters, and of God Himself, and there are a number of promising avenues to look into.
      I cannot describe them in any detail, because I cannot think of any 3rd- dimensional words to describe the ideas involved adequately.
      One avenue I can describe faintly is rather analogous to the idea in human penology that jail, fines, etc. are not always the best way of rehabilitating offenders. Instead, there is the concept that they misbehaved because of some deprivation in their life, or some psychological or emotional disorder, or because of some dreadful trauma in their life. The idea is to try to correct those problems, and then (at least in some cases) the person will reform.
      Of course, in the limited physical world, this does not always work, falls into disrepute, and is criticized by hard-liners as the idealistic wafflings of hopeless left-wing idealists, and the like; but I don't think we should be too quick to transfer to the world of spirit these perceived weaknesses in the general idea of rehabilitation as against punishment. The analogy falls down because, unlike the physical world, the world of spirit is unlimited, and it is my firm belief that if something is wrong that causes a person to act wrongly, it should be possible to fix that in such a way that the person will not wish to act wrongly any longer.
      This is only a vague analogy. Please don't regard it as a full explanation of one of the concepts I and my group of friends in the ascended state are working on, to be proved wrong or found fault with. The analogy gives you only a faint taste of the idea we're working on, and should be accepted only in that light.
      I also realize that, for simplicity's sake, I cut a few corners in that analogy, such as by equating karma in the traditional sense with punishment, when I am perfectly aware that even the traditional idea of karma is more subtle than a mere matter of punishment or reward; but I'm only trying to give you the flavour of my point, not trying to present a formal proof of its correctness.
      In connection with abolishing karma and installing a whole new system, there are other ideas worth exploring too, which are very difficult to explain in words.
      But, so far, there is nothing whatever to indicate that we cannot devise ways of eliminating pain and suffering from the universe one day; and the sooner, the better, as far as I am concerned. I think the very existence of pain and suffering is a great blot on the whole universe, even if I've personally escaped it for good. It's like a chain: the universe is only as strong as its weakest parts, and I am anxious to see this weak part of the universe healed and made stronger. This is why, in collaboration with a group of like-minded friends, I am spending so much time on this problem.
      If I regard the existence of pain as a blot on the universe, I suppose I am denying the complete perfection of the universe, which does go against a certain New-Age orthodoxy of belief. Well, I regard the matter as largely one of semantics; it all hangs on how we choose to define perfection, and misunderstandings and disagreements are liable to arise because different people have different concepts of what "perfect" means, and are unaware that we have different concepts. To make things worse, we sometimes are led to believe wrongly that the dispute over what is nothing more than semantics is a dispute over an actual matter of fact or principle.
      As Michael Edwards, I occasionally found myself involved in discussion with someone over some philosophical point (such as whether or not the universe is already perfect), and we seemed for many minutes to be in heated disagreement. Then suddenly some remark by the other person made me realize that in fact we were substantially in agreement in our real attitudes; we were simply using words differently, assigning them different meanings, and this gave the impression that we had a fundamental disagreement over facts, not merely over how words should be used.
      I won't waste time trying to argue whether or not the universe is perfect. But perhaps the universe is itself evolving, that in the beginning it had only certain potentialities which had to be fulfilled. Perhaps one of the purposes for our existence is to help the universe evolve, maybe even to help God evolve (if God can be considered separate from the universe). It cannot be denied that pain has existed and still does for some beings. It will be a great step in the universe's evolution when pain is no longer unavoidable, and I hope my modest efforts will contribute to this goal.
*                     *                     *
      Of course I spend lots of time in other ways too, and have more personal interests; but even those, I believe, are contributing to the welfare of others, and to the welfare of the universe in a sense. But I shouldn't claim too much credit here, because in the ascended state it is difficult to do anything at all that doesn't help others in some way.
      In fact, one of the things I like about life nowadays is that I can spend as much time as I like on the pain problem just described, and yet it in no way interferes with my other activities, or time I spend just enjoying the company of friends without actually working with them on a specific project.
      I still compose music, and I'm happy to be producing some pretty wonderful stuff too. In fact, I've found I'm at last able to fulfil all those wonderful plans for pieces I tried to do as Michael Edwards, but for various reasons was unable to do. I can now fulfil those plans in all their full detail, more wonderfully than I would ever have dared to hope for in that physical life.
      In the to-ing and fro-ing of life, I've lost many of the papers on which I wrote ideas, something which would have devastated me once, even made me feel suicidal; but I've found it just doesn't matter now. I can remember anything I want to from any of my past lives, and can access the akashic records if I want to. There are in fact various distinct methods of recovering any fact in the universe that has ever existed.
      (In doing this, we all scrupulously respect the privacy of others who want certain things about themselves to remain private. I am pleased to be able to say that such violations of privacy are simply unknown here. I do not know of a single case of this in the 5th-dimensional realms.)
      Of all my faculties as an ascended being, this ability to recall any desired fact or idea is one of the ones I most value, mainly for the sake of being able to reconstruct all those ideas which I thought were so wonderful, which although they had their origins in 3rd-dimensional life were sufficiently good that even now I believe those ideas to be very worthwhile in essence, if not always in the actual way I worked them out (or started to do so) during my 3rd-dimensional life.
      And of course in 5th-dimensional life they can now be fulfilled even better than they could ever have been in 3rd-dimensional life. I have in fact written most of those pieces now; the remaining few of those old ideas are coming along well, and there are a few that I've just let go because they didn't seem so good after all. And of course I have had multitudes of wonderful new ideas since ascending, and have used many of those too.
      Everything in my composing life has just worked out perfectly. I can now reconstruct old ideas, no matter how scattered and disorganized they were originally, so well that it's just like having a sort of spiritual computer to organize and classify everything. It's almost like waving a magic wand.
      The music I write now is so good that it's probably better than anything the great musical masters wrote on your 3rd-dimensional Earth; but that's not to put myself above them, because they too have gone on to greater things. If only you could hear what they're producing now, it would make your heart melt. But I really think I'm not too far behind, and I'll keep going. There's never any need to stop here because you've reached the limit of your capabilities. There are no such limits here (as I think I've already said several times).
      Besides, I've been oversimplifying things here talking about writing "good" music, going on to "greater" things, and so on. There is a sense in which this is so, but there is also a sense in which it counts for less than it does for you, because we do not have a competitive way of thinking, comparing ourselves with each other as being "better" or "worse" at something. Each one of us is just himself (or herself), and in many ways it means nothing to say one is better than another; it's like trying to compare apples and oranges. And yet in another way each of us is improving all the time. I suppose it's a bit of a paradox, and I can't really explain it to you; you'll just have to see what it's like when you get here yourself.
      One of the fascinating things about music, and the other arts too, is the way they exist on many different levels, and have beauty on each of those levels. And when you have a grand overview, you can also see how the different levels correspond to each other, or you might say translate to each other.
      For instance, music on its simplest level is nothing more than a pattern of sounds. But when you look into it, or feel into it, or think into it, you can see that it's more. On one level it can be an evocation of a place or an event, and on another level, it is the expression and amplification of thoughts; yet further, it is also the expression and amplification of feelings and emotions. There are further levels where it expresses pure spirit, and so on.
      The same is true of all the other art-forms too, each in its own manner.
      An idea which many composers use here was one that was developed to an extent in the early 20th century by the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (a good friend of mine now). During this incarnation, he wrote an orchestral piece (called Prometheus: The Poem of Fire) which he intended to be accompanied by coloured light effects which he actually notated in the score. Although it is (speaking from within your time-frame) more often performed on Earth without these lighting effects, it occasionally is, and it gets varying reactions from people.
      And towards the end of his sadly short earthly life, Scriabin also planned a vast work called "Mysterium" in which he intended to go further with the idea of unifying music with colour, and with other art-forms too. It would be a union of almost all the senses, with music, coloured lights, perfumes and scents, singing, acting, dancing, all combined in a sort of multi-media extravaganza, but infused with Theosophical symbolism. He saw this proposed work as a sacred ritual, something which would uplift all humanity. Unfortunately he died before he could do any more than sketch 50 pages or so of the music, together with a few pages of text to be sung by the chorus.
      Well, he has completed this work now, and it certainly is stunning, although perhaps disconcerting for many because it is virtually unprecedented for anyone to mix together so many different media of expression. He is a real pioneer in this area in the ascended realm, just as he was on Earth in your time-frame. Although it is still in your future, I can tell you that this work has, since the Earth's ascension, been made available for performance.
      I am quite interested in the use of coloured lighting (in a much more subtle way than the relatively crude methods used on Earth at the time you're reading this), and have experimented with it quite a bit, with quite good results. But as for going the full hog, perfumes, dancing, and the works, I have rather mixed feelings about that. While it is interesting, I don't feel ready to work in this area myself yet.
      But even using sound and light alone is quite stunning, because so many more octaves of sound are available than the 7 or so earthly music normally uses (although sound may not be quite the right word; perhaps it's more like an astral, mental, or even higher equivalent of sound; in another aspect, it's an amplification of thoughts and feelings arranged in just the right way); and in light too, we have much more than the single octave of light vibrations that the 3rd-dimensional human eye is restricted to: in other words, in the slower vibrations we can go far into infra-red and beyond, even into microwaves, radio waves, and so on; and at the other end, we can go into ultra-violet, and beyond that into X-rays, gamma rays, and even further. So even if we restrict ourselves to sound only, or to sound and light, the possibilities are considerably greater than in music as you know it.
      The uniting of different media and different art-forms I've been describing is well-based in theory, because there are definite ways in which the different art-forms are related to each other. This is difficult to describe, but I will try to give you a hint of it.
      You will remember that a little earlier I described how each of the arts existed on several different levels, and how each level was subtly related to all the others. I used music as an example, but it is equally true of each of the arts. (It is also true of other areas such as science and philosophy, but I won't go into that now.)
      Well, not only does each art-form (considered by itself) exist on these different levels, with the levels being interrelated, but each art-form is related to others too. (It is really just an example of the ultimate fact that everything is united, but the idea is much easier to understand, and to illustrate, in specific examples rather than as a general fact.)
      This means that there is a sense in which music can translate into painting, and painting into poetry, and poetry into sculpture, and so on. The correspondence is amazingly exact really when you go into it properly. If you have a piece of music, just as an example, there is one possible painting, and one only, which is an exact translation of the piece of music. A person skilled at such translation can listen to the piece of music and create the exact painting that represents it in the art of painting - or vice-versa, of course. And equally such a person can translate it into poetry or literature or sculpture or dance, and so on.
      Because the various art-forms themselves are different, on a more superficial level, the thought-forms representing the music and the painting are quite different; but deeper down (or perhaps I should say higher up - at a more fundamental level anyway), they are exactly the same (assuming the translation is indeed accurate), because the same fundamental thought or feeling lies behind them both. At that level, the thought-forms are exactly the same (assuming an accurate translation, of course). This ultimate level is the level of true, pure spirit, where everything is totally united.
      If you accept the idea that one art-form can translate to another in this manner, so that you can have different artistic representations of the same basic idea (and it is a fascinating area to explore, too), it is only one step further on to conceive the idea of a work of art that itself incorporates different art-forms in the whole, instead of being solely in this or that art- form.
      There are two fundamentally different ways you can combine different art- forms.
      Firstly, you can translate exactly the same basic idea into several different art-forms, and present them all together as a unified work of what you might call multi-media art.
      The other thing you can do is present one thought or feeling or idea in one art-form, and combine it with other art-forms which are expressing different ideas or feelings or thoughts. Of course, to avoid a disagreeable (or meaningless) clash of ideas, the different ideas, etc., which are so combined should be compatible or related in some way, but they may nevertheless be different in detail. They may merely be different aspects or views of some fundamental unifying idea, or they may be more fundamentally different but still compatible.
      The result is an agreeable blend of difference and unity which can be incredibly moving at times. (Even in the 3rd-dimensional realm, artists have long made use of the technique of juxtaposing opposing ideas for maximum impact, sometimes in a subtle blend, and sometimes with stark contrast. Well, we do exactly the same on a broader scope.)
      This second method of combining the different arts (involving the combination of different ideas in the different art-forms) is more difficult to use than the first method of combining exact artistic translations of exactly the same idea, and is much more subtle, and requires much finer artistic judgement. It is also considerably the more common method of combining the different arts.
      Although this sort of multi-media art is quite common, the idea of creating art-works purely in one art-form has by no means died out. There are plenty of artists who sometimes produce just a painting or a piece of music or a poem, without any other artistic elements at all, and there are plenty of people making up their respective audiences who prefer this some or all of the time. And works which are in only one pure art-form, in the traditional manner, are still extraordinarily powerful and inspiring. There is no sense in which this more restricted way of creating art-works is inferior. It's nothing more than a matter of preference or mood which one you prefer. Even within each individual art-form, the possibilities available are so much broader than they are in 3rd-dimensional worlds.
      Just within the realm of painting, for example, not only do you have a much wider range of frequencies of colour available, in the way I explained a bit earlier (going beyond ultra-violet and infra-red, and so on). Quite apart from that, it would be truer to say that painters work with light itself more than with dead pigments which merely reflect light. And that light can be either still, or moving in all sorts of dynamic patterns.
      And in music, although I can't think of a neat description in 3rd- dimensional language as I just did with painting, there is a sense in which sound is more real and alive than in 3rd-dimensional realms, in a way quite analogous to the difference between light itself and pigment which merely reflects light. And we are not limited by the sorts of things that limit 3rd- dimensional musicians, such as the fact that they have only 10 fingers, and can play only one instrument at a time. If a performer on the 5th-dimensional piano wants to play more than 10 notes, he can manifest as many fingers (or their equivalent in the 5th dimension) as he or she needs; and there are ways of doing the equivalent of playing many instruments at the same time, but more is not necessarily better in these things (although it can be at times), and musicians seem to prefer to make performing a group activity, with each playing just part of the music, even though a single performer could engineer a way of doing it all himself.
      In sculpture, you are not moulding matter so much as you are moulding thought-forms and feeling-forms, using certain techniques. In dance, you are creating exquisite patterns of energy through various movements and transformations of your light-body.
      And so on with the other arts. In every case, it is analogous with the 3rd-dimensional art-form, but so greatly expanded in its meaning and techniques.
      Because in any art-form you are really giving more permanent form to thoughts, feelings and ideas, there is a sense in which merely by having thoughts, feelings, and ideas - merely by living, in fact - you are creating works of art. (Of course, if we don't know how fully to control them, they may not always be pleasing!) You and I (whether ascended or not) constantly create thought-forms and feeling-forms which could be regarded as works of art, although they tend to be less permanent if not expressed explicitly through some art-form. This may be the origin of the idea that living itself is an art, the greatest art, although it clearly isn't that in the traditional meaning of the word "art". And of course, the great thing is to learn to live better, think better, and feel better, so that what we produce is more and more pleasing, both to the self, and to others - to the universe and God Him/Herself. From another perspective, this is what ascension is all about.
      In connection with my discussion of the various 5th-dimensional arts, I would like to thank my dear friend Serapis Bey, who, in a few passing remarks, inspired some of the ways I have expressed these ideas. And, by making those remarks available to the embodiment of Michael Edwards in a book he channelled through Tony Stubbs, he helped Michael's mind be receptive to ideas which he may not have been otherwise perceptive enough to receive. Thank you, Serapis. [c]
*                     *                     *
      Moving on to other aspects of my artistic life in the 5th dimension, I now know a great many of the famous composers, and some of them are amongst my dearest friends. There are of course many who never achieved fame in your world, who are also doing wonderful things. Fame counts for nothing here; in a manner of speaking we are all equally famous.
      We are all inspiring each other in a great cross-fertilization of ideas. While we each develop our own style, which is generally a continuation and expansion of the characteristic styles each of us had in the 3rd dimension, we are not nearly so concerned here with originality for its own sake as composers in the 3rd dimension can be. The big thing here is simply to write what you feel deep inside. Using a consistent style is merely a tool to this end, and is considered dispensable the moment it starts to get in the way rather than help that greater purpose.
      These composers I know particularly include many I felt an affinity for in my life as Michael Edwards, some of whom were rather less well known and regarded in the 3rd dimension, but whose music I nevertheless greatly treasured, and whose friendship I now treasure as well. That affinity I felt in the 3rd dimension was nothing more than a reflection of a much deeper spiritual affinity that had existed for some time even before I was born as Michael Edwards.
      Apparently many of these composers were more aware of my existence than I ever dreamed of. And it seems to have turned out that, although things in that particular life of mine went wrong and messed up my composing efforts for a time at least, there was a great deal more to my musical talent in that life than anyone (including myself) dreamed of. (Only occasionally in that life did I get subtle hints that there might be something big hidden there.) And of course, I've built on that since ascending.
      In fact it turns out that in this particular life I was already in contact with a number of well-known composers; the dreams I occasionally had about them were in fact the scattered memories of those astral meetings. I was doing nothing less than having composing lessons from them, although it was to be some time before they bore fruit in practical terms. The dreams did not seem to be of music lessons, but it seems that, even back then, I did have other dealings with these composers on occasion.
      I am also building a career as a performer on what I can only describe as the 5th-dimensional equivalents of the piano and the organ, and I have also conducted 5th-dimensional orchestras with some success; but I think, even now, as in the 3rd dimension, I still regard composing as the very heart of my musical activities, although performing has become very important too.
      I love performing much of the great music that exists here, by all sorts of different composers, and putting my feelings into it; but I also like to perform my own music, of course, which I can honestly, without conceit, say I think is extremely good. Many people have found it very inspiring.
      I have also had very satisfactory results channelling some of it to various planets still in the 3rd dimension in the hope of inspiring the people there. It gives me great pleasure and fills me with love to see that I have had some success here, although obviously I can't expect to lift all these planets up to my own level single-handedly. But, in my own little way, this is part of the whole idea.
      We have regular concerts here, and the range and quality of the music, and the standards of performance, leave any of the great cultural centres of your 3rd-dimensional planet for dead. As well as performing in such concerts, I frequently go as a member of the audience just to enjoy it.
      I am still a student here. No matter much you get to know about music, there is always more to learn, and there is infinite time in which to learn it. Although I associate a great deal with many musicians, there is no clear distinction between student and teacher. We are all students and teachers of each other, and we greatly enjoy this exchange of learning and technique. We are all helping each other to get better and better at what we do.
      In much the same way as we can materialize our homes, bodies, or anything else, we musicians can instantly conjure up the score for any composition ever written, for purposes of performance, study, or if we feel like reading the score while we listen to a concert (which, here as well as on your plane, is one of the very best ways of learning more about the techniques of music).
      Indeed, it is interesting to think about in what ways a score is quite a different thing in the 5th dimension from what it is in the 3rd. Of course, in the 3rd it is a printed representation of the notes making up a piece of music, using accepted conventions of notation, plus instructions on how to play those notes.
      In the 5th dimension, a score can be various things, including this. We do have musical notation here, a set of more-or-less arbitrary conventions of visual symbols for various elements of music, such as pitch, loudness, and so on. (Because music is so expanded here, the system of notation is much more expanded as compared with musical notation in the 3rd dimension.) And, like all artifacts in the 5th dimension, such a score can conjured up at will and then dematerialized when we no longer need it. Fundamentally it is a series of ideas expressed in visual form, not just a printed book.
      However, such a system of notation is more or less an arbitrary set of conventions. You probably remember how I described earlier the way in which one art-form can translate completely accurately into another. Well, an odd consequence of this is that the painting equivalent of a musical composition can serve quite literally as the score for that piece. If a musician doesn't know a particular piece, and he is presented with the painting version of that piece, he could look at it and sit down and play the piece quite accurately from that painting.
      However, this is not usually done, except perhaps as a party trick. It simply is not the easiest way of reading music from a visual representation. Firstly, a painting takes up much more space than a more traditional score, and secondly, the methods of translating from one art to another are highly complex and sophisticated, and to do that mentally while actually playing is not easy. While it is true that we are without limitation, and this definitely can be done, nevertheless we don't make a habit of doing things the difficult way when an easier way exists that gives just as good results.
      Traditional musical notation (in its 5th-dimensional expansion) is not like a painting, and is not really an artistic version of the music itself. It is a more-or-less direct visual map of what notes to play when, a sort of shorthand representing instructions on how to play the music, and doesn't have visual meaning of its own; but it is much easier to mentally translate into notes during performance, because it was designed for that purpose.
      There is an in-between type of musical score, in between traditional notation and a painting which is the translation of the music. It is not a painting in the usual sense, but it's a bit more than just musical notation. It is a sort of map of the music, which simply shows its musical shape in visual terms, and which, looked at in detail, shows all the notes and other details that a score would indicate. I suppose it's a bit like an abbreviated and compressed version of the painting, leaving out all the parts that express feelings, thoughts and so on (because it is not the purpose of a score to express such things in itself), leaving in only the parts that contain the instructions on how to play the notes. Of course, when you actually follow those instructions and do so with feeling, the music you produce will create the appropriate thoughts and feelings.
      It's difficult to describe beyond that, but some musicians prefer to read music from this type of score, especially if they are the sort of person who has a strong visual orientation. Others who are not so visually-oriented find it a bit more difficult to read from than a traditional score, but it's not anything like trying to read music from a painting, which as I said no-one does seriously on a consistent basis.
      As to the actual physical (so to speak) form of a score, we do not have to worry about such practicalities as whether the music is in print or not, since we simply print it astrally in an instant, I suppose a bit like a computer screen with pages, only much better. Nor do we have copyright problems here like in your world, which are designed to protect the income of composers and performers (without any great success that I observed while living as Michael Edwards), but which serve simply to restrict availability of music for purposes of study or indeed actual performance. It is a wonderful thing that we have none of these problems here; we really have worked out a much better system - here, and it all works out fine.
      Much the same thing is true of all other creative works, such as books and paintings. They are universally available to anyone who wants them. And the foregoing description of the different scores musicians use applies in a parallel way to anything else that requires notation of some sort, such as choreography or poetry or mathematics or science or philosophy - lots of other things, in fact. For instance, in mathematics, you can not only think it, but you can see it, you can feel it, and you can even hear or smell or taste it too, if you translate it into the appropriate medium. And so on for just about everything else. There are no barriers here.
      And, while on the subject of making art available to anyone at all, we have techniques of making absolutely perfect reproductions of paintings, sculpture, and the like, so that everyone who wants to can enjoy them, not just a privileged few. Because the copies are perfect, no artistic value is lost. The snob value associated with owning a rare work of art is not a factor here, although, in your dimension, so many people, even those who do genuinely appreciate art, seem so caught up in this that they seem quite unable to separate the prestige factor from purely artistic factors, so they mistakenly believe that unlimited perfect reproductions would reduce the artistic value of the work.
      I can only say that their outlook would not find much agreement amongst most of the people I am close to in the ascended world. Perhaps there are others here who would not agree with what I am saying.
*                     *                     *
      Another interest of mine which has borne fruit is computer programming. It is true that we don't need physical computers now, although some still exist as curiosities, or in the hands of hobbyists. But the serious work of the world is done now on at least the astral level, or maybe the mental and higher, depending on the abilities of the people involved and the needs of the problem. Although we can will any condition into existence, we have to be clear what we want, which in a complicated problem is not always simple.
      There are theorists at work on a sort of astral equivalent of computer science, who are working out the algorithms of what I can only call the mechanics of astral manifestation (and mental and higher manifestation too). There are subtle ways in which this can be automated in a way roughly analogous with computer programming in the physical world. This is vaguely related to Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality so topical in your world at the time you are receiving this letter, but in many ways is quite different. It's impossible for me to describe beyond that.
      I'm not talking about anything that physically resembles computers as you know them, but simply processes indescribable in 3rd-dimensional language, whose methods and techniques are in some ways analogous to 3rd-dimensional computer science.
      I have made contributions to this field, although it's not quite as big a thing in my life as the other two main things I've already described. But I often do my own "computing" projects in the higher planes as a sort of hobby, much as I did computer programming in my physical life, not as a profession but as a personal interest.
      Another curious area of research, related to this "astral computing", that has developed has been based on the premise that the akashic records are like a huge database on a hard disk; and certain beings here are working out new ways of accessing and organizing this data, in ways quite analogous to your 3rd-dimensional computer scientists organizing databases and then writing database programs to access and organize the data, a process known in your earthly computer science as "querying" the database.
      Yes, I have dabbled a little in this too, but you can learn to access the akashic records quite well without such methods, even if your instinctive methods are at times a little less streamlined. Using the querying methods may give you the information you ask for in a very organized way; but using the older instinctive methods sometimes gives you something extra which you didn't ask for, and which can sometimes be very valuable, a little akin to the way creative artists can use their intuition to get more than they planned for. Sophisticated as akashic querying the new way can be, so far it is not able to give you that extra bit intuition can give you. It gives you what you ask for, no more, and no less. It will, I think, be a long time before the innermost workings of intuition will be reduced to complicated computer algorithms.
      Another aspect of this work which is more closely related to computer science as you in the 3rd dimension know it is the development of computer technology which we do not need ourselves but which could greatly benefit 3rd- dimensional worlds, and which will be introduced to them as soon as they can handle it without completely destroying themselves with it.
      I'm afraid it would be very dangerous at the present time in your 3rd- dimensional history to introduce this technology to your dimension. You are busily in the process of destroying yourselves with what you already have, quite without the help of something like this which is even more powerful still by quite a few orders of magnitude. We dare not give this to 3rd-dimensional Earth yet, but since the Earth is shortly (as you read this) to complete her ascension, she will have no more need of this technology; but it will be our pleasure to introduce this technology onto other 3rd-dimensional planets as soon as we feel sure they can use it properly and without destroying themselves.
      I have also done some work in this particular area of computer technology, but once again it's not my main area. But there's no doubt that I have a natural aptitude for this sort of work, and further involvement in the future is a real possibility.
*                     *                     *
      As for writing stories, it's more difficult to describe what I'm doing here. What I'm writing now is not exactly like stories as you know them on your present Earth.
      If you stop and think about it, practically all stories you know, or can conceive of, in your world, whether good, bad, or indifferent, involve pain and suffering and conflict of some sort. Some stories just sensationalize such things for entertainment of sometimes dubious quality or upliftment. But even the very best revolve around some sort of conflict or pain and deal with its resolution (either happily or tragically, or sometimes ambiguously).
      The problem with writing stories in the ascended world is that pain and conflict don't really exist. There is nothing to write about - at least nothing meaningful. To be sure, we could make up hypothetical situations of suffering, or even write about pure 3rd-dimensional life, for the sake of writing a good story, but since we don't have these experiences any more, such writing loses its point and seems contrived and artificial.
      What we can write about is the various worthwhile things we enjoy doing, and our feelings about them, and our dreams for the future (yes we still have dreams, but we have a greater sense of confidence in our ability to fulfil them than we did in the 3rd dimension), but it turns out that such writing, even if it's in the form of prose (or the 5th-dimensional equivalent) is more akin to poetry as you know it.
      We are more concerned with evoking subtleties of feeling and thought, further developing that sense of wonder we are generally closer to than you are in the 3rd dimension with your occasional fleeting glimpses, than we are with developing story plots, building up tension, and all the other traditional ingredients of story-telling. It seems to me that this is the inevitable result, in terms of literature, of the fact that ascended beings have left behind that aspect of human nature that enjoys hearing about (or even witnessing) the suffering of others, whether real or fictional.
      We have films of a sort here, and they follow much the same trend as I just mentioned for writing. I said "films", but they involve all the senses, and are much closer to what computer scientists in your world call "virtual reality", and the viewer can interact with such films, changing the course of events. But this is not such a big thing as you might expect, simply because with our unlimited abilities to travel anywhere in the universe instantly, and to manifest in reality anything we want to do, we are not so interested in simulated versions of events or places we can visit in person just as easily.
      I might as well add, for the benefit of any readers who don't know much about virtual reality, that it is a computerized simulation of some environment or location. You wear a specially-designed helmet, and special gloves; and in the helmet are screens onto which the computer can project images, and sounds can be transmitted too. The gloves can transmit tactile sensations to the fingers through electrodes or vibrators of some sort. Other sensors in the helmet and gloves can detect hand or body movements you make and send these to the computer, which accordingly modifies the sensations it sends you, so that the environment the computer sends you changes in response to what you do.
      For instance, if you are in a simulated forest, and you turn your head a little to the left, the helmet picks that up, sends it to the computer, which in turn swivels your visual image to one side correspondingly. Possible future developments of this whole idea (as of the 3rd-dimensional time this is being transmitted to Michael) include things like wearing a body stocking which can transmit tactile sensations to the whole body instead of just to the hands, and which could also detect movements made by any part of your body. This simple description of virtual reality as your computer scientists are developing it gives some idea of what 5th-dimensional movies are like.
      But, as I said, this is not such a big deal here as in the physical world, simply because simulations of anything are of less interest when we can at will have the real version of anything we like. We can instantly go anywhere we like, so we don't need movies of far-away places to experience them. If we make the movies better and better, things reach a point where the movie is indistinguishable from the reality, and is the reality in a manner of speaking.
      Your 3rd-dimensional scientist, Arthur C. Clarke, pointed out quite rightly that developments in transport tend to inhibit developments in communications, and vice versa too. That is also true here in a sense; but in another way, it could be said that the distinction between transport and communications has blurred, as both areas have merged into each other. It's one of the many examples of the way in which features of life here we take for granted have no exact equivalent in your dimension, where everything is divided up into different fixed categories much more than here, where everything is very fluid and changeable.
      But, coming back to writing, there is another department of writing that is more akin to story-telling in the usual sense, and that is the writing of stories or poetry dealing with more 3rd-dimensional concerns, for the purpose of channelling or otherwise introducing them to 3rd-dimensional worlds. Such writings are intended for the spiritual upliftment of such worlds, and usually have a more spiritual tone to them than most of your current stories do, although we hope they entertain as well.
      We are especially pleased when we are able to write such a story that imparts a spiritual message so naturally that the reader absorbs it and acts on it, but does so without ever suspecting he was being "preached at", so to speak. Of course such influence is imparted without emotional manipulation, or by such techniques as subliminal messages, so no question arises here of using literature to violate a person's free-will. It is quite similar to the way in which your own artists inspire people through their works.
      I am involved in both these types of story-writing (the second of which of course has to be reduced to 3rd-dimensional language), and like to use them to express some of the ideas and concerns which are closest to my heart.
      You find, once you've ascended, that you have a burning desire to share with others (ascended or not) those ideas which mean a lot to you, although you don't get all evangelistic about it, and you only share with those who are willing to listen without being pressured into it. But it is sweet indeed when you do meet such individuals and they love what you're telling them.
*                     *                     *
      I think I am leading up to the end of this message to you, my friends; but I would like to tell you a little about the more everyday parts of our lives, what we do for recreation (or what I do anyway), and so on. (I'm largely speaking for myself, because everyone does things very differently.)
      There are many other areas of interest too that I have, which would take far too long to explain, and for which I'm not sure I could find 3rd- dimensional words. And even if I could theoretically find the words, I might in fact be unable to, because, although I'm writing this from a consciousness far beyond the conscious mind of Michael Edwards, I am nevertheless having to filter this through his mind and his way of using words (to say nothing of the need to beam these words backwards in time, which can cause a few difficulties one must pay attention to). Still, I think, considering his situation, doubts, fears, etc., at the time he is typing these words, I think he is doing very well.
      But one of the wonderful things in ascended life is that, although we speak English, or German, or Russian, or any other language we like, or at least a 5th-dimensional version of it, there is the wonderful way in which language itself is expanded to include such concepts for which 3rd-dimensional words don't exist. And of course, here we don't have to speak words vocally (although we can if we choose); we can communicate with each other by pure thoughts, using a sort of thought-oriented version of our own language. And we find that the more purely we use the 5th-dimensional version of our native languages, and the more we transcend the 3rd-dimensional version, the more we find that all our different native languages are all part of the one universal thought-language anyway. It's really wonderful. But I got side-tracked there.
*                     *                     *
      There are many things we do which are quite like your own earthly activities, such as games, sport, travelling, and so on, but which are much less limited. Some of these activities, such as sports, are physically-oriented, but of course our bodies are marvellously light and just soar wherever we want to go, or even go somewhere else just instantaneously. More intellectual games of the chess type exist here too, but they cover more dimensions, in a manner of speaking, and have more aspects. And I mean that both in the sense of metaphysical dimensions, such as the 5th I have often spoken of, and in the purely physical sense in which you might increase the number of physical directions a game operates in, such as 3 or even 4 or more dimensions. Thus you in the 3rd dimension have expanded versions of some games which are regarded as very difficult and intellectual, such as 3-dimensional chess, 4-dimensional noughts and crosses, hexagonal chess, and so on; and such newer versions of traditional games give some idea of the way such games are expanded in the 5th dimension. But because our mental powers are much greater, they are not regarded as especially difficult.
      Also, such games are essentially competitive, in the sense that there is a winner and a loser. While we play such games without attaching too much importance to who wins, and certainly without letting any feelings of ego depend on this, we also have other games where players cooperate to achieve a certain goal, where it is not a case of one player or another winning. A few such games do exist in your 3rd-dimensional world, so the idea is not entirely new to you; but such games do not seem to be common or well-known.
      And of course we in the 5th dimension have a great sense of fun and play at times, so that we have our equivalent of things like "He" or "Hide and Seek". We don't have any concern about whether we appear frivolous or childish or not; we just do what we feel like and whatever seems right for the group who are together. It is quite a sight to see a group of 5th-dimensional beings playing what virtually amounts to a form of Hide and Seek.
*                     *                     *
      We all have what you would consider psychic powers of various sorts, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, telepathy, the ability to dematerialize and rematerialize physical bodies (or to do the same with any objects), the ability to control matter with pure mind power, and many other things - all the usual gamut of psychic abilities, in fact. Some people have developed such abilities more than others of course, but anyone can acquire any such ability if they want to.
      The thought-forms and feeling-forms I have spoken of before, we can see if we choose. But we can choose to attend to them or not to, a little like you might focus on or ignore specks of dust on a window-pane. But because thought- forms are visible if we choose to see them, it means it would be very difficult to tell a lie in the 5th dimension.
      Not that we have a problem with people who tell lies; but if someone did, it would be transparently obvious because it would show in their thought-forms; and even if you were not looking at the liar's thought-forms, the person would just feel like a liar. It would be the same with any other sort of dishonest or hurtful activity. For all that we can literally read each others' thoughts and feelings, we do respect the privacy of others if for any reason they want something to be kept to themselves.
      However, despite this, there is a sense in which the concept of separate people doesn't really count. At the ultimate level of spirit we are one, we are indivisible; "us" and "them" are just irrelevant concepts. But all the same, at lower levels than this, we still have the illusion of being different people, which can be a useful concept at times, like in playing the games I just mentioned before. It also enables us to share things with others, which is always such a delight to do.
      But it is an illusion only of differentness, quite sufficient for the purpose, but not ultimate reality. It is a convention we adopt when it suits us. Perhaps there will come a day when we don't need it at all any longer; but we are quite happy to enjoy it in the meantime.
*                     *                     *
      We still have our physical bodies, and they look much like you would have known them in your world, but they remain young in appearance and abilities. I'm talking about how they appear to us, because, being 5th-dimensional, they would be invisible to you in the ordinary way. (We can, however, project a visible form into the 3rd dimension, but it is not our normal mode.) We can dematerialize them and rematerialize them at will, which gives us the ability to "teleport" instantly from one place to another, without any need to physically traverse the intervening distance. This makes transport of any sort, as you know it, quite unnecessary here.
      However, we can and do create what you might think of as spaceships which we can use to travel in if we like, which sort of double as a place to live in while travelling. They are in fact a manifestation of our higher bodies, not merely a physical or even astral or mental artifact. The ships Ashtar commands are of this type, and are truly magnificent to look at and visit.
      I think the best way of describing ascended life would be to say (perhaps rather facetiously) that it is like being alive and dead at the same time (thinking of "alive" and "dead" in fairly traditional terms). We still have a physical dimension to life, but it's also like the traditional interval between reincarnations, where you are in the astral world, or higher, depending on what suited your needs, and our life is like this in the sense that all those realms are accessible to us, and we can leave our bodies at will (with or without dematerializing them), so we can live in pure spirit form if we like.
      Some of those who have ascended originated on other planets or realms of the universe, and have chosen to return there. Some have stayed on the now- ascended Earth, but thanks to teleportation of our physical bodies, or to our ability to leave them and travel astrally or even higher, we can visit each other as if we simply lived next door to each other.
      Just on a physical level, we can visit anywhere in the universe we choose, land on any planet we like (protecting ourselves if necessary against atmospheres or conditions which we find uncomfortable).
      Then there are the astral realms, mental realms, and higher. These seem to go upwards infinitely, and although we tend to explore these progressively upwards, instead of jumping up randomly to levels we don't really understand yet, there are as far as I know no hard and fast limits as to how high we can explore.
      Our spiritual development itself continues upwards, seemingly without visible limit. We certainly do not stagnate after we ascend. There is too much to do, too much to enjoy, too much to share with others. I understand that because God Himself is infinite, even when we finally merge with Him, that itself is only the beginning of a process that can go on infinitely, getting better and better all the time.
      We do sometimes visit other places for a break, for what you would call a holiday. We can go there instantly, but sometimes soar to our destination through the intervening space for the sheer pleasure of it.
      There are many planets we can visit, and there seem to be realms which are not exactly planets, but just vast infinite places of some sort (the only way I can describe it). The variety of locations the universe contains on all its levels is simply stupendous. There are planets which have day and night, seasons, and the like, and those which don't. There are realms where there is a whole natural world something like that which you know in your world, but where life is based on higher principles than the ruthless survival of the fittest.
      So many of these realms have so much beauty to them, as even your 3rd- dimensional world does. There is plenty to satisfy nature-lovers, bush-walkers, bird-watchers, and all who love the beauties of nature.
      Another fascinating thing is that we have the ability to see and commune with other kingdoms of beings, such as fairies, angels, devas, and so on. There's a whole hierarchy of beings either unknown to 3rd-dimensional beings or dismissed as myths or children's fairy tales. There's a lot more truth to these things than many of you suspect. And it is really beautiful to be able to see these other forms of life, to be able to appreciate how different they are from 3rd-dimensional life, and to be able to make friends with them.
*                     *                     *
      Another intriguing activity to many of us is to explore the world of dreams. We don't need to sleep here, but we can if we feel like it, and we do have dreams, that is, astral or higher projection at a less conscious level than usual.
      What we have discovered is that even the dreams we had as 3rd-dimensional beings had much more reality to them than we believed at the time. The reason those dreams often seemed so nonsensical and garbled was that they concerned matters of higher dimensions than the 3rd, which simply couldn't be expressed accurately in 3rd-dimensional terms. What we considered to be garbled dreams was the best our limited 3rd-dimensional minds could make out of them.
      Of course, there were some dreams which even on higher dimensions did not have a great deal of significance or meaning, but nevertheless they did have some corresponding reality on those higher dimensions.
      But other dreams were highly significant. You may have had dreams which, although overtly unrecognizable and even jumbled, nevertheless seemed to have something familiar and emotionally meaningful in a way that could not be described. There may have been places in those dreams which seemed hauntingly familiar, even though you were sure you had never seen them before; or you may meet people in dreams whom you have the feeling of knowing quite well, even being close to, whom nevertheless you think you have never met before, who seem completely fictitious. You may do things which on the surface seem quite nonsensical, even impossible in physical terms, yet which have the peculiar feeling of having their own consistency, of being meaningful in their own terms; it's almost as if the very laws of physics and perspective in the dream world are totally different from those of your waking world.
      Very likely these are the dreams that are in fact most meaningful on higher dimensions. You were visiting higher-dimensional places while you left your body at night, meeting people in those realms, and doing various things with them which might be quite important.
      One of the satisfying things we can now do in the ascended state is to revisit those places and renew those acquaintances and activities. Our 3rd- dimensional dreams were a world of their own, and we can now quite literally explore those worlds at will.
*                     *                     *
      Our everyday life is quite different from what it was in 3rd-dimensional life.
      We build houses for ourselves, by willing them into existence. Because there are no limits to the way we can design our houses to suit our needs, their designs vary much more than do those of your physical houses. They vary so much in fact that it would be impossible to describe a standard pattern.
      We can change place of residence as often as we wish, even to the point of being like a gypsy, with no fixed place of residence; but most of us tend to settle in a place we love, near those we feel especially close to. We can turn our house into a spaceship at will, and vice-versa. Distinctions of the sort that dominate 3rd-dimensional life don't seem to figure here much at all.
      We don't eat physical food like you do, although we absorb energy from the universe. This can be automatic, although we can if we like turn it into a sort of spiritual food which we consciously ingest. We can even give it different flavours if we choose, but this equivalent of eating just isn't nearly such a big deal here as it is on your present Earth, or on other 3rd-dimensional planets.
      We have an active social life, which I suppose is roughly analogous to your social life, although we can communicate on many levels, emotionally, mentally, and so on. There are languages of the emotions, intellect, spirit, and so on, which are vastly more expressive than your physical systems of body language, facial expressions, gestures, and the like.
      I know I said before that at the most real level we are all one, and that would sound as if it would make social life impossible, just a nonsensical concept in fact. But I also said there are lower levels where we can perceive ourselves as separate, and this does enable us to have a social life which is at least analogous to the social life you experience. In those areas where we perceive ourselves as separate, it is only done because it enables us to do various things we enjoy; and it is ultimately done for the benefit of the unified "us".
      We do have marriage here, but it is not regarded as the only standard pattern of life, like people in your world tend to regard it. You do not in any way feel different or excluded if you happen not to be married. Many of us are still married to the person we were married to in 3rd-dimensional life, but there is no obligation to remain so married. Those of us who made mistakes in 3rd-dimensional life and married the wrong person are now either single, or married to someone else. It is extremely common to find that the person one is married to is one who is a soul-mate or twin flame. That is not necessarily the person to whom you were married in your 3rd-dimensional life.
      Because we have ascended, our marriages work well, and we do not know divorce as you know it. Occasionally a couple decide to part, but is just regarded as a change in living arrangements, not as a divorce with all the emotional implications that has of a relationship breaking up destructively, and so on. If a couple decide to cease living together for the time being, or even permanently, they frequently remain close friends thereafter; occasionally they part and go different ways, but such parting is always done in a spirit of complete love.
      We do not have sexual relations in a purely physical sense like you can do, but we do have what might be thought of roughly as physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual equivalents, all in one, which are actually much more satisfying than physical sexual intercourse can ever be. We hug each other physically quite often, and in fact, we do not pay much attention to distinctions between physical relationships, emotional, mental, and so on up the scale. They all tend to merge into one another.
      Such relationships are made without regard to gender, as we are realizing that gender is largely a 3rd-dimensional attribute (which after all frequently changed from one incarnation to another) which we may (for the time being) have chosen to continue in the ascended state, but which is not inherent, and which becomes less and less important as time (so to speak) passes.
      We can give birth to children in a way analogous to how you do it, but it is not such a big part of life here; newly ascended beings often tend to enter our realm in the bodies they had on a lower dimension. But nevertheless a form of what you may call childbirth does happen, although it is much more than simply a matter of physical union. Even though you have the feeling on the 3rd dimension that sexual intercourse involves your whole being, it is only the physical part that is absolutely essential for the conception of a child. Here, our equivalent of sexual intercourse involves the whole of our being to an even much greater extent than it does in the 3rd dimension, and unlike that dimension, all of that involvement, on all levels from physical to pure spirit, is essential for the well-being of the child. Sexual intercourse on the 5th dimension in fact is an elaborate process, almost a ritual, which is designed to give the newly-born being a foundation of love and security on which to start life in this realm.
      But there are other people of a nurturing inclination who do not give birth in this way. Some of them specialize in providing temporary homes for beings who have newly ascended in their old bodies while they get used to living in what for them is a completely new way of life. In some ways it is akin to being a family for them, and the same sort of family intimacy is involved, and these beings attend classes where they get to learn all the various things they need to know to live as an ascended being, although this bears very little resemblance to schools as you know them.
      We tend to wear clothes, not by making them out of dead material, but by growing them (the only way I can describe it) from our auras. We choose styles which we feel comfortable with, and pay little attention to fashion as you know it. You occasionally see trends spreading, but the whole process is much less intense than it is in most of your societies, because it is not driven by intense commercial forces, but merely by the remnants of tendencies even ascended beings still have slightly to follow good ideas they observe in other people. Some people (at times) do not wear clothes at all, and this is considered quite acceptable. There are no indecent exposure laws here.
      We have parties of a sort, which can be great fun (I've found Sananda to be very good company at such events, and I've developed a wonderfully close and loving relationship to him as well as to a number of other well-known Masters such as Hilarion, Archangel Michael, Ashtar, El Morya, Kuthumi, St. Germain, Serapis Bey, and quite a few others).
      We may have our parties here, but here we also seem to devote more attention than 3rd-dimensional people do generally to more intimate time spent with close friends in ones and twos, where we share ideas of some depth that we both hold in common. And of course, we frequently, although not always, collaborate with close friends and colleagues in the great life missions most of us have taken on. The decision whether or not to collaborate is based purely on how we think it will affect the task to be achieved, and ego considerations do not come into it.
      Some things of course, such as work in the various art-forms, tend to be more personal, although even here collaborations are much more common than in your 3rd-dimensional world, where ego can be more of a consideration. (I must try to remember that where I am (for the time being) is the same planet as where you are, but of course, I'm crossing a time gap in contrasting "here" with "your world".)
      Where we collaborate on anything, such as a work of art, or any of the many missions we undertake, the sense of separateness is less than for instance when we play sport or games, which depend to an extent on the concept of separate people. In the great missions of life, however, and in creating works of art, the sense of separate people is not important, and thus collaborations between groups of people can be so close that it almost seems like one person anyway - just "us" working on the job.
      We tend to adopt a regular schedule or timetable of some sort, but we are very flexible about it if the need arises, and are not so bound to such schedules as you in the 3rd dimension tend to be.
*                     *                     *
      It occurs to me that I have not said anything directly about what the ultimate purpose of life is, even though I think much of what I have said alludes to this indirectly. Yet you must be wondering if I know what the purpose of life is now, or at least if I am closer to knowing this.
      The answer is yes and no. I suspect the real answer is infinite, that it is something we get ever closer to understanding, yet never fully do. In fact, there is a similar phenomenon as can be found even in the 3rd dimension to some extent, where the more we know on any topic, the more we realize how much we don't know.
      In 3rd-dimensional life, many things are done not for their own sake, but because they contribute to some purpose greater than those things themselves. For instance, few people wash for the fun of it; they do it for the greater purpose of not smelling. A great many things in your world are of this nature, and very likely, if you could simply wave a magic wand and have such things done, you would be glad not to have to go to the bother of physically (or mentally) going through the actual movements.
      Other things would seem to be done because of sheer enjoyment, just for their own sake. Eating and sex are like this for many people, even though those activities do have purposes of their own, and can be seen as means to those ends.
      But, all the same, a sceptical mind can question even these things, even question the purpose of doing enjoyable things, even consider them utterly meaningless and pointless - even at the same time as thoroughly enjoying doing those things! Enjoy it or not, there is still a philosophical point to the question of pointlessness or meaning.
      But you see, my friends, it is a dead-end path trying to answer the question of the meaning of life by finding greater purposes than those you already know, because those greater purposes can also be questioned in the same way, and so on ad infinitum. Even when you get to purposes relating to God, you can still say things like, "What's the purpose of God existing?" or "What's the purpose of finding God?", or even "What's the point of finding out the purpose of life?"! You can prove the entire universe, on all dimensions, utterly meaningless by airtight reasoning of this sort. You can say that meaning and purpose are themselves meaningless concepts, and are no more than human invention, and that the universe is just what it is, and no more and no less. Even if meaning and purpose are devised by God, they can still be dismissed as merely contrived or made-up, and with no intrinsic validity.
      And in a sense I agree with you, although I now see it is not nearly as simple as I believed when I was in the body called Michael Edwards, who was at times quite troubled by these seemingly abstruse questions.
      I suggest a slightly different approach to this matter. If anything seems boring or pointless considered by itself, simply see it as a means to some greater end that means more to you, or more to your loved ones, or more to God. (If it doesn't seem to you to contribute to such a greater end, well you might then consider not doing the thing that seems pointless, and just forget about it. Let's assume, though, that it is something you either want to do because of some greater purpose to it, or else that it is something that you just have to do.)
      Okay, if the greater purpose (either straight away, or later) itself seems pointless, repeat exactly the same process on that, finding a yet bigger purpose that it leads to, and so on as often as necessary.
      If you can (at least in principle) go on doing this forever without ever coming to an end, I would suggest that you have a mind-set that is determined to see the whole universe, and God Himself, as intrinsically meaningless no matter what, and I suggest you try to take a more open-minded attitude to this. At the very least, it has to be regarded as an open question whether there is intrinsic meaning to be found somewhere in the universe, if you just get big enough in your ideas. At least you could set the purpose of finding out whether there is a purpose to life. Seeing that you're here in the universe, you might as well do at least this; there would be nothing to lose, and I suspect it would be much more boring to go on living in a pointless universe.
      Supposing you're not this type of person, I'm willing to bet that sooner or later you will reach something that doesn't need to be explained any further in terms of yet greater purposes, or yet more meaningful meaning. It may be something quite physical and worldly, or it might be highly spiritual, or anywhere in between; it doesn't matter in the slightest. You can then live for that, and be content to accept that as an interim purpose, even if in the back of your mind there is the thought that ultimately it's just yet another step in this chain.
      I can tell you that some of the purposes of life as we see it (there are many purposes to life, not just one!) are to enjoy fellowship with each other, to get ever closer to God, and to make the universe an ever better and better place for all beings; but of course, these purposes may seem just as pointless to some people as anything else can be made to seem. It would do no good to say that these purposes are qualitatively different in a way that renders them intrinsically meaningful, in a way that makes it impossible to dismiss them in the reductionist manner I've already described.
      If you are this way inclined, I can only say that experiencing these realities will induce you to think differently, and no amount of explanation from me will do the trick; and you can work towards experiencing it by various methods of spirituality or other types of self-improvement, or alternatively it will gradually come in this life-time or another, probably more slowly than if you worked towards it.
      But the whole thing is that you can't use reason about questions relating to the purpose of life; one must use faculties that few people have developed well in the 3rd dimension, such as intuition and mystical experience.
      But when you ascend, you begin to get delightful hints that the way to knowing the purpose of life might at least be beginning to look clearer. You find, for instance, that more and more all the loose ends of life are resolved, and are all neatly tied up, like the end of an "And they lived happily ever after" type of story; everything dovetails in a lovely way you could never dream of in advance.
      And this doesn't lead to boredom or stagnation, because, meanwhile, you are starting to do other things that are (for the time being) still unresolved. When those things are resolved, still other things are in progress in your life - and so on, forever. You are able to experience simultaneously the best of both of what might seem to be contradictory experiences: you can constantly enjoy the fulfilment of having completed things, and at the same time enjoy the interest of still having things to do.
      Here's another nice thing about 5th-dimensional life, too. You find increasingly that you can bypass those routine things of the sort I mentioned before that you don't really enjoy doing, but do simply because they are a necessary step on the way to doing something more important. You bypass them by astrally or mentally automating them, by working out an exact way of performing them, then once that algorithm (as computer scientists in your world would call it) is fixed, it can be invoked merely by willing it, and you don't have to pay any attention to the details.
      It is quite similar to computer programming in languages like Pascal. If there is a series of calculations or other tasks you find you are frequently asking the computer to do, you can type them out once, and put them in a special package called a procedure, give them a name, then perform that set of instructions any number of times simply by calling them by name (the difference is of the order of a dozen versus hundreds or thousands of keystrokes). And you can go further too: a whole bunch of procedures can be encapsulated into yet another procedure of even greater scope, and so on as many times as you want.
      It is like that here. By doing this sort of thing more and more, you can live life at ever greater levels of abstraction, and think in bigger and bigger terms, and ignore the details more and more (once you have fixed them firmly in the beginning). Even in 3rd-dimensional life, life is becoming more abstract, with more and more processes which, if you look at them historically, really include a whole bundle of things that once upon a time had to be done separately.
      Just to give a simple example, a medium of exchange such as gold was at some time used to avoid all the inconveniences and uncertainty of bartering. If you wanted to buy something from someone, you simply gave him an equivalent value of gold. This was later abstracted further with bank-notes which are of little intrinsic value, but which are generally accepted as signifying value but not possessing value themselves. This method of transferring assets was further abstracted in things like cheques, credit cards, loans, insurance, stocks, bonds, and all sorts of other financial transactions.
      There are many other instances of this kind of thing even in your 3rd- dimensional world (of which my computer-like mind thinks computer programming in a procedural language like Pascal is the clearest example); well, in the ascended realms, this sort of abstraction can continue literally without limit, as far as you like, and can be applied to any field of activity that you desire; and you have all of eternity in which to refine these processes.
      And there comes a time when all this seems to tie in with the hierarchy of ever-broadening purposes I mentioned before, where each (if it comes to seem pointless) can be given meaning by a reference to some yet greater purpose. And with each level of abstraction, you get a broader and broader view of the universe, and you are less and less troubled by questions of meaning. It all falls into perspective more and more, and there is no end to how far you can continue this process of abstraction, and how far you can transcend (by the processes already described) the nitty-gritty details, which nevertheless do get looked after. You simply keep building on your own achievements and learning, and those of other people too, because we share things with each other, and do not have a possessive attitude to such things.
      The ultimate purpose of life as I see it is this ever-upward spiral into ever-more dizzy and glorious heights, not some sort of static goal or destination. God is not sitting at the top of the spiral (which doesn't have a top); rather, God is the spiral itself, in entirety.
      And would you have it otherwise? If the ultimate purpose of life were something fixed, you would be in a terrible dilemma once you got there, because there would be nothing more to do, quite literally. No, it never ends, but all along the way you do achieve quite definite things, so you are not constantly plagued by a sense of incompleteness, in the way you often are in 3rd- dimensional life.
      I cannot say much more about the purpose of life than this, because it cannot really be summed up; but I hope this explanation has at least given you the flavour of how we see this matter, and I hope it gives you something to work towards, and something to look forward to.
*                     *                     *
      Well, I suppose I could go on for ever about all sorts of aspects of 5th- (and higher-) dimensional life, but I have to draw this message to a close at some point. There is always the possibility of my writing you a second letter, and I think I have covered most of the important points about life in the higher dimensions. I cannot write a book about this at this time; but I just wanted you to give you a general idea of what my life is like as an ascended Master; and if you want to imagine your own life as ascended Masters, you can simply invent whatever you want, following my example here in a general sort of way.
      Above all, please do not accept everything I say as being authoritative, as being immutable laws about how the ascension is, or what things are like after it. This is simply how I have found it to be. To quote a little saying that does the rounds amongst people interested in ascension, the universe rearranges itself to fit your concept of reality.
      Just decide what you want to do, what you want life to be like, and forget about what is "possible" or "impossible", forget about what other people think, forget about what seem to be immutable laws of nature. Most of these things are simply opinions people hold, which have become sufficiently widespread that they have taken on the appearance of universal laws.
      The laws of nature may (perhaps) not be determined by what people believe, but they are the ways of 3rd-dimensional life, and that is being left behind. The Earth herself is ascending (as you read this), leaving that behind, and if you want to do the same, you are welcome to join the Earth in her ascension.
      This letter was addressed to all my friends, which includes everyone I was close to as Michael Edwards, and other acquaintances I did not get closely involved in over a long time but whom I enjoyed knowing for the short time I knew them; and ultimately it includes everyone who reads this, and for that matter everyone who doesn't; it includes all beings everywhere, because at the highest level of spirit we are all each others' friends, and we are in fact all one. We are all a part of the loving God of all the universes, and we all love Him/Her, and He/She loves us completely.
      We may at various times in our journey through life appear to be separate, and afflicted with pain and hardship. I still don't know why this happens, and (as I explained earlier) I hope to be instrumental in changing this state of affairs one day. However, even under the present system, please be assured that it will all come to an end one day. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can't see it yet; and that light is more glorious, comforting, inspiring, and loving than you can imagine. That light is God, and He will never abandon you, no matter how far you stray, no matter how many times you make the same mistakes, no matter how many incarnations you really blow.
      Just hold on to what you know is right, follow your heart and your highest feelings. Anything that gives you a sense of wonder, just hang on to it, whatever other people think of it. Do that which makes you feel good inside, that which brings you closer to any other beings. Don't become too rigid with dogmatic beliefs, no matter how noble and inspiring they may seem, because they may be right now, but truth can change as the universe itself changes. Accept beliefs if they help you now, but be willing to drop them in favour of something else if they don't seem to fit any more.
      Just try to keep doing these things even if life becomes discouraging. These are the things that point to God, and to the fulfilment of your heart's desires. God longs for you to come home again, just as much as you do. And you do long for that, even though you don't realize it. At the innermost level, it is really the only thing that you truly long for.
      I look forward to welcoming you into the 5th dimension when you are ready to enter it, and I look forward to sharing with you our journey back to God. I love you all, and it will be really great to be with you in the ascended state, perhaps in much less time than you may think.
      My fondest love to you, my friends. May we meet again one day not too far ahead.


*                     *                     *
      And now, in closing, I would like to address some words to Michael Edwards, who is receiving this letter from his future and from me, Bivalia, his Higher Self, his I Am Presence.
      My dear one, I know how difficult you find life, and my thoughts and feelings are with you. I know you are full of doubts about the ascension and how this holds you back. I know that other people have given you answers to those doubts which are supposed by them to be sufficient to deal with the doubts; and I understand why from your point of view those answers have so far not been sufficient to deal with them.
      I'm not at all sure I can give you a super-answer beyond what you have heard so far that will wave the magic wand and remove those doubts. I think you are going from one person to another trying to find a sort of ultimate answer to your difficulties, and each time, you either get an answer you have already heard many times, or you get a new one which doesn't seem good enough.
      I urge you to think about these answers again, and see if there isn't after all something in them that will help you. But even if, after most careful consideration, you find in all conscience that they are not sufficient, I would like to suggest to you that perhaps the very seeking of answers may not be the best approach for you to follow.
      You see, my beloved, the very idea of considering doubts and then trying to find answers from others to answer them is based on the assumption that you can use reasoning to dispel doubts and fears, and that, if only you get a strong enough answer, it will disprove the doubts. I'm not at all sure that these matters work on that level of intellect and reasoning. I know you have difficulty in even understanding this, let alone accepting it: you are very intelligent, and have lived most of your life with intellect as the very foundation for your way of thinking.
      I urge you to please consider other ways of approaching this matter. I so much want you to get on top of this, and not have to suffer these difficulties for any longer than you have to. You may have a strong intellect, but you do have other faculties too. Perhaps you have neglected them a bit in recent years, but they are still there, waiting to be used.
      Just think about all that lovely music you once wanted to compose, and still want to. Intellect may be involved in organizing the composition of music, but it certainly is not the source of the very inspiration which first of all gave you the original idea of the music. Think about the way, when you conceive a passage, you just know what key it should be in. That is intuition, and feeling. Just think about the emotions, the intangible atmosphere, you want to express in the music. That is feeling too. You do have it, you know.
      Coming back to the doubts, I suggest you sidestep them, in a manner of speaking. Don't try to refute them intellectually, whether with your own ideas or those of other people. On the other hand, don't try to deny them. Trying to think or feel what you know is false is not the answer. Just defer them for the time being, with the intention of sorting them out later when you are better equipped to do so. If they keep coming back, just acknowledge them in a relaxed way, and affirm that they will sort themselves out in their own time, probably in a way much better than you could presently imagine, and don't try yet to sort them out with your mind; and then focus your mind on that sense of wonder that occasionally comes out in life. Try to feel it as well as think it.
      I know you have spoken of that sense of wonder to various people; I know that has in a way been the whole underlying theme of your life, the whole purpose of it, the thing that has kept you going so far. You have been aware of it for as long as you can remember, from early childhood onwards, even if you couldn't have then found the words to describe it. But you knew perfectly well what it was, and you still do.
      It expresses itself in many ways, big and little, ordinary and unusual: the magic in a piece of music or a story, the sense of atmosphere in a sunset or a moonrise or a late-afternoon rainbow, the excitement of a science-fiction novel, the wonderful vistas opened up as you contemplate the planets or stars, the occasional unaccountable feeling of something momentous and wonderful that could be about to happen, even if in everyday life no such thing is about to happen, the idea of hidden worlds of wonder that seem suddenly to beckon round a corner.
      Another aspect is the feeling of delight I know you've had in watching the willy wagtails on the nearby fence, or in throwing crumbs towards sparrows at your feet while eating a meal on a park bench.
      That sense of wonder, that thread that links together so many things for you which are otherwise quite unalike, also appears in things one would not normally associate with such feelings, but which you do so associate, or have done. Don't be put off simply because you find wonder in something that you perceive that others consider completely ordinary or pragmatic or even silly. You don't actually know whether other people do regard your sense of wonder about something misplaced, because they have never actually said so. And if one day they do, it is nothing more than their opinion - and the opinion of someone whose reality is quite different from yours, and who doesn't understand the way things are for you. I know you are self-conscious about what you fear other people may think about something you are interested in, but which you perceive to be unusual.
      Trains, interstate trains, were something that had this special magic for you. They were one of the great loves of your childhood. You seem to have left that behind in recent years, to have lost interest. But they were always something you were a bit self-conscious about, in a way you weren't about music, or the beauties of nature.
      Another thing of this sort is actually something that seems to cause you many conflicting feelings, and has done for quite a few years recently. I know you have come to feel quite squirmish about having your voice recorded, and you don't, in most situations, like listening to recorded music. And you have taken a certain dislike of cassette recorders generally.
      But there remains the fact that, before cassettes came into common use, you were very fond of tape recorders, the sort that use reels of tape. That was another of the great loves of your childhood. It has to be said that they were, and perhaps still are, if you didn't suppress it, one of those things with a sense of wonder that you felt self-conscious about, because you felt that such things shouldn't have a sense of wonder associated with them.
      And even though you have bad feelings about cassettes now, and have never really accepted them, that feeling in recent years has relaxed at least sufficiently that you now own a few cassette recorders. Perhaps your feelings about them may be mixed rather than entirely bad.
      I also realize that, on top of all this, your feelings about them, and about sound equipment generally, are also poisoned by the way such equipment is so often used by people in all sorts of places so as to inflict their choice of music on you against your will. This has become more prominent in the last decade or two, and of course further complicates your bad feelings about sound equipment generally, which is now nothing more than an instrument of torture for you. But I think you remember a time before this when you did not feel so bad about this, when it wasn't a problem, when this happened much less often, and when you used to enjoy listening to recorded music yourself; these were the days when you enjoyed using tape recorders yourself - perhaps 20 or 25 years ago.
      I'm not saying you either should or shouldn't pursue interests such as these ones I've just mentioned, any of the things I've been mentioning which interested you in various ways at various times. But they are things that have had a certain magic to you, however unusual this may seem to many people. What I am saying is that I feel you should not try to cancel this special feeling simply because they seem unusual things to have such feelings about. If you find yourself doing this, you might like to look at why you have done this, and reconsider whether you should continue to do this.
      In particular, the tape/cassette issue seems to be coming up a lot recently. It may well be that now would be a good time to look at it more closely, and consider changing some of your feelings on this, rather than just trying to wish the whole matter away. There has to be a reason why it is coming up so much now, and if you look at it squarely, it may cease using up so much of your energy uselessly. You might even come to feel quite good about it one day; after all, as a child, you didn't merely accept tape recorders; you actually positively liked them. I would suggest that as a child you probably found it just as easy to talk into a microphone as to other people, and quite possibly nearly as enjoyable too.[e]
      I've diverged a little there from the sense of wonder I was talking about, but it seemed a good opportunity to bring up a matter that it can't be denied is quite prominent in your mind at present, and causing you quite a bit of stress.
      But to come back to the sense of wonder, the magic that can touch your everyday life if you let it, and don't swamp it with negative thoughts, I urge you to regard this magic as the central force guiding your ascension, not the doubts you have about various aspects of it, not whether you are following the ascension "rules" closely enough or not. I'm not proposing that that is a general rule; but it is obviously the thing that touches your heart the most.
      Or you might find it worthwhile to consider another approach to the matter of this sense of wonder. This matter is so important that you should not overlook any way of bringing it more and more to life.
      What about the way you played with a group of children recently at the home of B. and G.? [f] This may be an unfamiliar experience to you, and you may feel a bit uneasy at being with children, but while you may have felt a bit embarrassed at hearing that the children found you very funny and child-like, but enjoyed your company, isn't it possible you were secretly pleased that they liked you? Hearing how the children regarded you may embarrass you, but there was no indication that these remarks were made in any other than a kind way.
      You may have the potential to get on well with children, such as your own nephews and nieces. I know that you don't in any way associate children with that sense of wonder, which is why I described this as another approach to the matter; but being with children can be a good way of cutting through the dross of your life and just enjoying the here-and-now. If you want to find other people who know about the sense of wonder, you might find it more often in children than in adults, who have often let the grind of life smother that feeling that everyone knew about early in life.
      I know your young niece Katherine is quite awed by your piano-playing ability that you tend to downplay. You might find that she is fonder of you than you imagine. I know you were thinking perhaps of visiting her at home and playing the piano for her. I think she might like that, and I think you might enjoy it too. Katherine is a nice young girl, and perhaps you could develop a good relationship with her.
      So I have just reminded you of several things that have, or have had in the past, a sense of wonder associated with them. There are many others too. Individually, the feeling evoked by each of these things, which I know you have been aware of all your life, may not seem much, but collectively they all point to something quite real and wonderful. The direction they all point to is the direction of ascension, of the 5th dimension (and higher), the direction of your Higher Self, the direction of God Himself.
      In telling you about all these various things that evoke a sense of wonder and magic (or which could do so), I'm not telling you anything you don't already know very well. But you have become jaded about some of these things, and I'm just trying to remind you that that feeling does exist, and hoping to inspire you again to take more notice of them.
      Perhaps you are being a bit too intense about the ascension process, reading books, talking with everyone, going from one meeting to another. There is nothing wrong with doing all these things; but, on the other hand, it wouldn't hurt if you let yourself have an occasional break from all this. You are worrying whether, as a Light Worker, you are doing enough, earning your keep, in a sense. It doesn't work like that; it is not an examination you have to pass. It might do more good for the world in the long run if you just decided not to worry about that so much, and perhaps just follow that sense of wonder you know about so well. If you just hang on to that thread of truth in your own life, as Sananda advised you to do, and as you have already been doing for decades, and do nothing more, it will be sufficient to assure your ascension. No-one who endeavours to follow truth and their own highest feelings will miss out.
      You don't have to feel that you may miss out if you don't meditate enough, or do enough visualizations, or talk to the Masters often enough. You have had two messages from Sananda addressing your doubts, and just think how encouraging they are. Sananda is very fond of you, you know; if you could feel his love for you, it would melt your most hardened doubts and fears, cut through the shell you have put around your heart. He's not going to let you miss out unless you decide not to ascend.
      If it turns out that there are things you have to do upon which ascension is absolutely conditional, such as (for example) doing the ground ascension process, or anything else that may come up, you will be guided to that at the right time, and it will all happen so that later on you will wonder what all the worry and fuss was about. Until you receive inner guidance to do anything like that, I suggest that you simply don't need to worry about it. Don't feel that you must do it in order not to get left behind, and don't reject the idea out of hand, either. Just remain open-minded about any ideas that come up, and if there are things that you have to do (things that you have to do, not necessarily things that others have to do), it will come up all in good time. Since I know that in your heart you do want to ascend, when anything necessary to do comes up, you will find that you want to do it; there will be no issue of having to struggle with yourself, steeling yourself to do something you find unattractive, and the like.
      My dear Michael, you do not need to worry about anything at all really. You have so much help from the 5th dimension, and higher; there are so many people who are barracking for you. If it is any comfort to you, if it inspires you, I am able to tell you that you have the personal encouragement and deep love of Sananda, Hilarion, Serapis Bey, Ashtar, Mother Mary, Kuthumi, Archangel Michael, Saint Germain, and El Morya, no less, as well as myself, of course. All of them care for you and are giving you what help they can - as of course I am too. But you must be open to receive help; we cannot force anything on you against your will. And there are a lot of composers whose music you love who are helping you too, which I know would mean a lot to you.
      And I can tell you, your attitude is not really so bad as you sometimes imagine. You have much less to worry about than you imagine, as Sananda told you so clearly on both the occasions he channelled answers to your questions.
      You are really doing very well. You have had a difficult life so far - there is no doubt about that - but you haven't fallen under yet, and none of us here really think you will, now that you've come this far. Despite very good reasons for having doubts, for adopting a completely nihilistic attitude to life, you haven't lost the thread of spirituality that has in subtle ways run through your life in various different guises. You have shown great courage over the years in your quiet unobtrusive way. You have kept your eyes, your mind, and your heart on things that are ultimately good and spiritual, and have not even been tempted to succumb to crime, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drugs, and selfish hedonism of the sort that ignores others' rights, even though these are ever-present traps in the society in which you have spent your life.[g]
      Every time you feel discouraged or depressed, just remember Sananda's words to you. They are perfectly true, not exaggerated at all, stupendous as those words seemed to you. You are a very special person, destined to do great things for the universe.
      We all love you, and will continue to help you. You only have to say or think any of our names, any of the Masters or myself, and we will instantly be with you for as long as you want.
      Keep your chin up, dear one, keep your eyes lifted up. Continue to follow what you know is right, and you will have all this difficulty behind you much sooner than you now imagine. You are already on the way, and we are very pleased with what you are already doing.
      There are many of us here who have great love for you. I hope these words are of help to you now. I am Bivalia, and I farewell you now, Michael, leaving my love with you, and the love of our Mother/Father, and of Sananda and many other Masters, with you also.


Note to the reader of the preceding letter, from Michael Edwards:

Sunday, 27 February, 1994

      The letter just given was written by me in response to the repeated suggestion of a friend, Jo R., that it would be good for me to write an "ascension wish-list", that is, a list of what I would like ascension to be if I could have anything I want, without considering whether or not it should be considered possible. She suggested writing this in the present tense, although she didn't suggest the letter format I have used.
      The above letter also incorporates her suggestion of using my I Am Presence name, Bivalia, which was told to me during a healing by Lady Hilarion about a month ago. It could also be seen as incorporating yet another suggestion Jo made to me earlier on, namely that of acting as if something were so, even if I don't believe in it with my everyday consciousness. So the above could be seen as a spiritual exercise in several ways all at once.
*                     *                     *
      The letter reads like it was channelled by Bivalia through myself, Michael Edwards. I was tempted to leave it as is, to be taken as a channelled message if the reader so desires, or otherwise as simply an exercise in imagination, if the reader prefers to regard it that way. And I am not going to explicitly deny the possibility that it was channelled from another entity, such as my Higher Self or Bivalia, that it may indeed be a message from the future.
      However, honesty obliges me to add this note giving my own personal conscious viewpoint. I did ask Bivalia to help me in writing the above, after outlining briefly what I was trying to do, and I asked the help of Lord Sananda also. I may not feel sure whether such help is available (and I think the letter itself indicates in places that I (Michael Edwards as against Bivalia) do have doubts about the reality of spiritual things), but there certainly is no harm in asking for the help because at least of the chance that it is available.
      For all that, I cannot claim that this letter definitely is a channelling; I do not have absolute knowledge or awareness that it is, and I feel bound to point this out. It didn't feel like a channelling, whatever that should feel like; in fact, it felt rather similar to previous occasions when I have written stories, or letters, or diaries, or other writings - and none of them ever seemed like channelling to me. In common with those, it took a bit of effort to start, but after that came with relatively little effort; I didn't have to stop for long periods to think what to say, but was typing pretty well continuously (at a speed which is somewhat faster than handwriting would be).
      At the risk of sounding overly negative or doubting, or as if I'm trying to pull my Higher Self, Bivalia, down to the level of my personality or ego with all its limitations and conditioning, I feel bound nevertheless to add these reservations, because it would seem to me to be quite wrong, dishonest, and irresponsible to represent any message I had written as a channelling unless I myself had a deep conviction that it was indeed such. I do not wish to mislead any readers who might put stronger significance in my words than those words deserve merely because readers have been led to believe my words were channelled directly from the world of spirit; and such representation without inner conviction strikes me as being quite unethical.
      I don't explicitly deny the possibility that channelling took place. I leave that for you to decide; but at least you can decide that with the help of relatively complete information about the way the letter was written. That is the purpose of this afterword.
*                     *                     *
      I must admit to being a bit disturbed by Bivalia's silence on such questions as whether the ascended Earth has day and night, or seasons. Given that he did mention that some worlds have these and some don't, you would expect it to be an obvious thing for him to say whether the Earth did or not; and you would certainly expect him to know the answers to such questions. Another example is that he did not say whether he, or ascended beings generally, have regular periods of sleep. You may find other matters too on which he is silent, even matters you would have expected him to talk about almost as a matter of course.
      If by any chance this letter was channelled from the future by Bivalia, I can only suggest that perhaps he was limited in what he could pass to me by my own limitations in understanding and knowledge; and there is still much about the ascension philosophy that I am very vague and uncertain about (like, for instance, I do not have any idea of whether the Earth will have day and night, or seasons, once she has ascended). And of course, if the letter was only the product of my own imagination, the absence of certain details may be due to the fact that I simply do not myself know the answers to all questions about the ascension, because I have not yet done it.
      I have just opened myself to what seemed to come into my mind (whether it came from Bivalia, or merely from my own imagination), and have not attempted to censor it along the way. By the same token, I have not attempted to force information that did not seem to be forthcoming, so I decided to just let it be that Bivalia appeared to pass on very little about certain questions.

Thursday, 31 March, 1994

      After leaving this letter alone for about a month, with approximately 22 pages done, I have come back to it and added several more pages interspersed throughout the already-existing pages, elaborating on topics already discussed, and occasionally introducing new topics. I have also done some editing of the letter: touching up here and there, rephrasing, correcting errors.
      I don't consider any of this to be cheating. I firmly believe it is an inherent part of the medium of writing that one can go back and revise, add bits, and further develop ideas, building up on what was written previously. If there is any chance I had spiritual help in writing the original letter, then I think it is just as likely I also had such help in revising it, and I did it on this assumption.
      I am aware that the last few pages, addressed specifically to me, which came after most of the rest of the letter was complete, may seem a bit self- indulgent, and I feel slightly awkward about this. However, they seemed to come out the way they now stand, and I decided to allow them to come out in full, in keeping with my general approach of writing this whole letter without censoring it with my rational mind. Only so can I maximize the chances of it coming from the higher part of my mind. If I show this letter to other people (and it was my intention right from the beginning that it would be shown to interested people), I suppose they will also read the personal bit at the end. Well, I think I will just have to throw caution to the winds and take a chance on how that will be received, and what it might cause people to think of me. I think the sort of person who can read writing such as this with interest will not think too poorly of me after having glimpsed some of the more personal bits of my soul.
      While, as I have already said, I don't claim that this letter is channelling, or even automatic writing (which I suppose is very similar to channelling), most of it came with an ease and spontaneity that may suggest such an origin. I didn't have to do any major rewriting or reorganizing - just a little adjusting here and there, a little bit of replacing words or phrases with more suitable or accurate ones.
      I don't know if it's unorthodox or not in automatic writing or channelling to type instead of write, as I have done (if we just imagine for a moment that this was a channelling). I can imagine that there may be traditionalists who would not have a bar of such new-fangled methods.
      I do not see any reason why it should not be possible to do it this way, however. I suppose, if you have the belief that this would not work, it would cause it not to work for you; but if you don't have such a belief, I see no reason why it shouldn't work. In fact, I firmly believe it would work better for me than would handwriting, and I had no hesitation in doing it exactly the way I have - if it was a channelling, that is. And if it wasn't, well I would imagine the issue to be of even less concern.
      While this letter was primarily written for private reasons, I hope it is of encouragement to anyone interested in ascension who may chance to read this. Even if some of what I have said is unequivocally wrong according to some strong beliefs some readers may have, I hope at least that the "wrong" statements will induce such readers to think anew about why the things I've said are wrong, and to perhaps reconsider why they feel so unswervingly sure that my statements are wrong.
      And if any of my readers think the concept of ascension is so way out as to be simply unthinkable, at least I hope some of the ideas will stir their imagination, perhaps their hearts too (the "sense of wonder" and so on), even if they have to translate it out of all recognition into terms of their own belief systems. After all, I firmly believe that many of the ideas I have discussed are, in essence, deep universal desires of all humans of whatever belief (or lack of belief), and it seems to me that most, if not all, religions seek satisfying fulfilment to such basic desires.

Monday, 31 October, 1994

      It may occur to you that you have been reading this letter many months later than the date given at the top of it. There is a reason for this, which it might be well to explain, as I felt a bit awkward about telling people about this letter, about how I would finish it soon, while in fact for a long time it was not forthcoming.
      The reason for this is that for quite a few months I have felt there was something more I wanted to add to it, another topic I felt ought to be covered, and I was hesitant to release it until this was done. However, I thought the topic might be difficult to cover, and that I might find it very difficult to explain it properly, so I put it off and put it off for ages, and in fact rather dreaded broaching it. (I will in due course tell you what that topic was.)
      However, just a a few days ago, I was printing some other things to show someone (a friend called Ra Leah), and I thought that it was time to print this (after finishing it), no matter what. If I didn't do it now, perhaps I never would; and yet wasting what I'd already done seemed unthinkable.
      I was due to visit Ra Leah last Friday evening (28 October), and decided to print all the things I wanted to show her prior to that. I printed some on Thursday, but because I had trouble with many of the printers at Swinburne University (where I sometimes print things, because I don't have my own printer), I didn't get as much printed as I thought I would, when I finally found a printer that would do what I wanted it to.
      The computer room closed for the night, and I went home, where I had other things to do before Friday night also. I decided to get up early Friday morning to go back and finish the printing, but unfortunately the other things I had to do kept me up most of the night, and I finally decided that if I wanted to finish the printing on Friday (which I was determined to do even if it killed me) I had better not go to bed at all, but simply stay up into Friday. I had to continue using the very same printer, because it was the only one in the whole computer room I had found that would work for my particular word-processing program, and I would be sunk if someone else got to it before me, so I had to be there at 8.30 a.m., when the computer room at Swinburne would open. Perhaps I could finish within a couple of hours, go home and nap for a few hours before going to Ra Leah's channelling session. (Other people doing printing could use other printers, which seemed (mostly) to work for them; but I was using a different word-processing program from what most of them use, and for some reason many of the printers won't work properly with my program.)
      So I stayed up all night and set out on foot for Swinburne just before 8 a.m., a 30-minute walk. (Because I wanted to call in somewhere else on the way, this would be more convenient than catching a tram.) I was already feeling rather bleary, but by this time there was no question of not doing it. The Masters Serapis Bey and Sananda kept me company on the way, and maybe other Masters too I didn't call by name. And I think Bivalia (my Higher Self) kept me going during the hours which followed. (Thank you all for your help.)
      I printed the other things and then faced the problem of finishing the letter you've just read before printing. I thought a few more pages would cover the topic I had been meaning for about half a year to add. I wondered if I would be able to do it when my mind was so bleary, and when I just felt like falling asleep; but I decided to try none the less: if I couldn't do it, nothing would be lost. I felt as if I had shortened my life by a few years, but just went on anyway.
      Well, I did it, and I think it turned out all right. Although this letter began simply as an imaginative exercise, perhaps Bivalia really was channelling it, and it all just seemed to pour out, despite my state of mind. It was well into the afternoon by now, everything having (of course) taken rather longer to do than I had counted on. It was obvious that if I finished and printed the letter the same day I would lose all chance of even napping before I went to Ra Leah's, but I was firm that I was going to do it if time allowed.
      And time did allow - just. I added a few pages; before I tell you which ones they were, you might find it interesting to see if you can tell which pages were the added ones, written when my mind was in such poor condition. I printed the entire document out (except, of course, for this last section to the afterword being written a few days later, which I will print out as soon as I can).
      I finished everything at about 5 to 6 that evening, and I had to go home to get a few things for Ra Leah, for which I had no choice by this stage but to get a taxi (and also to Camberwell station after I got the things); catching a tram on my usual route part of the way to Ra Leah's would be far too slow by this stage. (I caught two trains instead of a tram and a train.)
      I got to Ra Leah's in time and gave her the various things to read I had promised her, but I am afraid my attention span during that evening's channelling may not have been what it should be, and it's possible that my tiredness caused me to make remarks to Archangel Michael that I might not have usually had the cheek to say; I hope he will excuse me. (Things like, when he mentioned the Sananda plane, I couldn't resist saying, "Is that the plane Pontius Pilated?" and saying, at the end, "Good-night, Mike.") I am afraid my critical faculties were not as wide awake as usual that night, but it didn't seem to matter.
      Perhaps you are wondering which parts were the ones I added to the letter, and I will tell you rather than leave you in torment. The portion in question both begins and ends with a row of three asterisks, which I used to mark off major topics within the letter. The portion begins:

      It occurs to me that I have not said anything directly about what the ultimate purpose of life is,...

and ends with:

... and I hope it gives you something to work towards, and something to look forward to.

No other parts were changed, other than correcting a few little awkward bits of wording I found here and there.
      I leave it to you to judge whether the effectiveness and clarity of this passage was adversely affected by my bleary state of mind. I might revise it one day if I find later on that I think it was so affected, but so far it seems all right.
*                     *                     *
      In some ways, writings of this sort (and the dialogues between my Higher Self and my ordinary self, some of which I also printed that same day) seem monstrously egotistic and self-indulgent, just a pompous way of saying nice things about myself, and I do sometimes feel awkward about this. With other people, there are vices I find much more offensive than self-conceit, but all the same I don't want to see myself as conceited. But countering this (and probably what keeps me going) is the fact that a number of people have really liked reading this sort of stuff, and think it really is my Higher Self channelling. It seems quite an orthodox New-Age sort of thing to do, to write things of this sort, and causes no problems with New-Age people generally.
      Although it may be a bit glib and too easy to use the phrase "The New Age" to describe the sort of metaphysical teachings many of the people I mix with follow, I can't think of any other convenient name for this whole cluster of teachings, beliefs, attitudes, and practices; and the sort of writings I have been doing would seem to fall firmly within this category, despite the doubts I still have about the metaphysical teachings.
      Many Christians, atheists, scientists, and people of all sorts of other ways of thinking have criticized the New Age for gross self-indulgence, even selfishness, and I have often thought there is some truth to this; indeed, I have met New-Age people who seem to all but proclaim, "Yes, it is self-indulgent, but that is all right; we are all wonderful beings and it is perfectly proper to think well of ourselves and be self-indulgent." Well, whatever one thinks of someone who says (or implies) that, you at least can't accuse them of hypocrisy. They may be living that way, but they teach it too, and don't pretend to be all self-denying.
      I must admit to feeling some unease at this self-indulgence, when at times I think I am a very shabby being indeed, not the glorious wonderful being New-Agers say we all are; it seems to me that truly great people never say to anyone how great they are, but in fact are rather humble, and just get on with whatever has to be done. Still less does it seem to fit me that I am (apparently, according to channelled Masters) one of the starseeds or light-workers, Masters who incarnated into this planet from other higher realms to assist the evolution of the Earth and of humanity. But I have nevertheless been told things by Sananda (through two different channels) that would seem to very clearly imply that I am one of what is admittedly a fairly small select group. I don't quite know whether to believe this or not, but the idea certainly seems to appeal to me, and I think it has been behind many of my attempts to channel my Higher Self; and then when other New-Age people read these, they seem to think what I have written merely confirms the truth of this idea that I am a starseed.
      I hope all this is true, and I try to be as open-minded about this (outlandish as it may strike some people) as I have always tried to be about any religious or spiritual ideas that I encounter. Of course, there is emotional appeal to the idea. Firstly, I am part of a select group of high status, which perhaps has some ego appeal (although I am glad to be able to say I don't go around all day in a haze of conceit thinking all the time that I am a starseed - perhaps if I did big-note myself about it, it would be evidence that I am not one after all). Secondly, it would seem to mean that great things lie ahead of me, instead of struggling through incarnation after incarnation, which has undeniably great appeal to me when I am more than a bit fed up at the struggles of this life. Certainly it is not claimed that only starseeds are about to ascend in the near future (to the contrary, the Masters (and I too) would like to see as many of humanity as possible ascending in the near future); but if I am a starseed, it seems to add a bit of shine to the idea of ascending, all the same.
      So there is no denying the appeal of the idea, and I concede that that may have blunted my critical faculties which would normally have rejected the idea long since as being unreasonable and eccentric. I am in fact a little surprised at myself for retaining an interest in the idea so long; it is not at all characteristic of myself. If I can't yet quite claim to believe fully in the Masters, ascension, or anything spiritual in fact, I do at least seem to take these ideas more seriously than any other spiritual ideas or beliefs I have encountered in the past, and I do seem to think at least that they may possibly be true, and I do seem to think about such ideas from day to day with a degree of prominence that would at least seem to indicate that I may be coming round to fully believing in them. I suppose only time will tell whether this will in fact happen or whether I will wake up to myself and realize with acute embarrassment that I have wasted years of my life on a self-indulgent wild-goose chase. I think one or the other will happen; I don't think the uncertainty I feel about these specific ideas is a stable state that will continue indefinitely into the future.
      Call this writing conceited if you must, but I hope at least that it will be of interest to those who read it, that it will stimulate their imagination and strengthen their longing for the eternal I seem to mention so often in writings of this sort, and it is even my hope that it may be quite inspiring to those whose thinking is already on similar lines and who can feel a connection with much of what has been said, possibly said directly by Bivalia himself, my Higher Self.

                                        Michael Edwards.


[a] Friday, 16 March, 2001; Wednesday, 25 July, 2001 - "... from Bivalia":
      I do not use the name "Bivalia" any more, and do not particularly feel this to be my Higher-Self name; and, truth to tell, I never did really feel that it was. See
Bivalia in the Glossary for a brief explanation, both of how I came to use the name, and why I later ceased using it, and the dialogue on Saturday, 9 December, 2000 for a more detailed discussion of this.
      However, many of the earlier documents and dialogues I wrote about spiritual matters, higher self, and so on, are very much a product of the time I wrote them, in contrast to later ones (say from about 1996 onwards), which attempt to take a more universal, more general view of Spirit, less bound to particular ideas I had at one time. Of these earlier documents which are largely a product of a particular time of my life, this letter is probably so most of all, and it has many features which clearly tie it to the time it was written, and the circumstances I was in at the time, and the things I was preoccupied with: such as the interest in the concept of Ascension, discussion of personal issues that pertain particularly to that time (especially in the personal note to me at the end), and also the use of the name "Bivalia". Accordingly, I do not feel that I can now go back and strike out things like that without destroying the integrity of the document, which, although a bit dated now, contains enough of the essence of my spiritual outlook to be worth preserving. Indeed, the document was written in response to a suggestion from a friend (as explained in the "Note to the Reader" at the end of this document) to get used to my Higher-Self name (which I had recently been told by Lady Hilarion), and my way of doing this was to write a document as if it were a letter to me from my Higher Self.

      I might add, by way of clarification, that this document has much more an element of whimsy and fantasy to it than do my regular dialogues. The dialogues discuss issues in my spiritual life (and sometimes my everyday life) in a fairly realistic, matter-of-fact way, and speculative ideas appear within the context of life as we see it in an everyday sense; but this letter from Bivalia is written on the assumption that I have ascended and become one with Bivalia, and am now writing a letter in the future and sending it back into the present for me or anyone else I share it with to read. It talks in the first person and present tense from that future point of view, and regards Ascension as a fact, something that has already happened, and goes on to discuss various aspects of ascended life, and contrasts them with everday life today. This may be speculative to some extent, because different people have different ideas about what ascension is, and what ascended life is like, and I drew freely on those ideas which seemed intuitively to make some sense to me, and freely mixed in ideas of my own when they seemed to fit.
      I now feel my outlook at that time was too dependent on near-future Ascension, which is after all something we cannot be sure about - and predictions of near-future events such as disasters and Golden Ages do, after all, have an abysmal record for coming true. Giving Ascension too important a role in one's overall outlook might lead to regarding one's spiritual growth as depending on Ascension, which doesn't seem a good idea to me. (The dialogue for Friday, 13 March, 1998 discusses the idea of one's spiritual life depending less and less on beliefs about particular matters of supposed fact, and points out certain disadvantages of having one's spiritual outlook being dependent on particular set beliefs which after all may one day be shown to be incorrect or implausible or outdated in the light of new insights.) One can be open-minded about whether Ascension will happen or not (and about whether it is a purely individual thing you do when you are ready to, or whether it is something that will take place for the planet as a whole - or some mixture of those two possibilities); but meanwhile you have to deal with life as it is now, and do what you can to grow in awareness now.
      If I want to keep this document, I cannot change this focus on Ascension now - it was my viewpoint at the time. There are a few other features of the dialogues that I do not feel to be valid now, and my way of dealing with that is to write annotations to them, explaing anything I feel needs to be explained, clarified, or corrected, since I feel it is too late now to actually change the text of the dialogues. However, the prominence I gave Ascension in my outlook is the main thing about all the contents of this web site that I now feel to be inappropriate.
      But the view of Ascension I developed at the time has a lot in common with the general view of life after death that I've had for some time, so alternatively you could read this document as my vision of what life after death is like, particularly at a far future time when union with God has been accomplished. I say "far future", because I do not believe it is likely that we are completely transformed immediately after death, merely by the act of dying, into spiritual perfection. It seems much more credible that spiritual growth continues after death, and that ultimate perfection should be regarded as a far-future thing for most of us - whether or not we incorporate the idea of reincarnation into the scheme of things. And if there is an after-life and we keep growing, and finally reach self-mastery, union with God, perfection (however you want to term it), this is not dissimilar to what Ascension is normally considered to be. So one possibility is that Ascension may take place in the life after death, and at some indeterminate time, not necessarily the near-future. Seen in that light, Ascension seems a much more likely possibility than it might seem on face value, where it is a rather unlikely-sounding event in the near future, while we are still in this world, happening to the planet as a whole, and maybe with special divine intervention from outside humanity. [Back]

[b] Thursday, 15 March, 2001 - "... of Camberwell, Victoria":
      This was at the time I wrote this document; I no longer live in Camberwell, or indeed within the suburban area of Melbourne at all. The combination of a desire to live outside suburban areas and high suburban property prices have permanently exiled me to rural or semi-rural areas, and I now live in Healesville, which is about 10 miles beyond the eastern limit of the suburban area. [

[c] Saturday, 20 January, 2001 - "Thank you, Serapis.":
      A bit of name-dropping, perhaps? - believing, or pretending, that I know such an exalted being as Serapis Bey? Perhaps. Maybe I was going overboard a bit, at a time when the Masters were a relatively new concept to me; I got caught up a bit in the novelty of it.
      I have presented this document unaltered, warts and all, because it does capture the feeling of the spiritual involvement I was caught up in at the time. And it is to be taken as a flight of imagination which may contain nuggets of insight, not as a serious statement of truth, or even personal belief.
      There is not as much conceit as it may appear for me to represent myself as personally knowing Masters such as Serapis Bey. Amongst many people who believe in the Masters, they are not remote gods, even though they are perhaps god-like in many ways. It is not a sign of my special, elite status for me to personally know Masters; part of the whole view of the Masters I was immersed in at the time was that they are on our level, seeking to help us, not great majestic beings up there in heaven, like God on his throne, looking down at us, and deciding whether or not we are worthy of their consideration. According to this view of the Masters, anyone at all can know them, simply by approaching them - and many of us have known them in past lives, going back perhaps many thousands of years. There is nothing at all unusual in the idea of my knowing Masters, or the idea of my having been involved with them personally long ago, and in passages where I talk intimately of the Masters, no elitist implications about the lofty company I keep were in my mind. [

[d] Saturday, 8 February, 2003 - [Following paragraphs, addressed to myself personally]:
      The passage which now follows is perhaps the part of this entire web site I feel most uncomfortable with. The passage I'm referring to begins at the footnote reference that you just came from ("And now, in closing..."), and goes right down to Bivalia's name several screens down ("... and of Sananda and many other Masters, with you also. Bivalia."). This entire passage has come very close on a number of occasions to being excised entirely. There are a couple of reasons for this (and it might yet, at some future time, vanish into the big bit-bucket in the sky - or at least into the murky and private depths of my own hard disk):
      Firstly, I feel it embodies certain stylistic clichés of the New Age that perhaps I followed a bit too slavishly at that time. The tone I adopted (or Bivalia or my Higher Self, if he really is the source of this document) is very characteristic of the New Age generally, with its combination of a rather elevated tone and an almost tender intimacy - I fancy there is more than a whiff of California here. Compare this with the
channelled reply I got to a question from the Master Sananda in October, 1993, and I think it will be unmistakeable what kinds of influences worked on me here. The entire document on this page is rather in that style, and is perhaps the most New-Age document on the entire web site - but the closing words addressed to myself perhaps show the style at its strongest. However, I have left the document here, because, even with all its faults, it does reflect a key phase of the development of my spiritual outlook over the last decade or so, and I don't think I could now concoct anything that reflects this as accurately or in as much detail.
      I think, in general, I feel a bit uncomfortable about having written a passage like this on my own. It may be one thing for Sananda channelling through a medium to address me in such a way, or for the medium herself to do it - if in fact she wasn't channelling from an outside source. Whether the channelling aspect is real or not, it did seem to be a sincere answer to a sincere question I posed, and if the style adopted is that elevated but intimate New-Age style, so be it. Perhaps part of my discomfort stems from a personal difficulty I have with emotions, more than that way of talking in general.
      But it somehow seems a different thing for me myself to write words addressed to myself, and represent them as being from a higher plane, as if the words of wisdom were being dispensed from on high to myself for my own benefit and edification. While I was making a sincere attempt to get in touch with my higher self, and the entire document, including this troublesome final section, came out effortlessly and naturally, just tumbling out as fast as I could type, there is a certain uneasy feel of phoniness and pretension about parts of it that I can't quite rid myself of. It seems a bit narcissistic, and it's probably the very type of thing that causes many people to think New-Agers are "up themselves", and reminds them of the tackier elements of American culture. (My apologies to any New-Agers or Americans who read this and are offended at my remarks. This is not necessarily my own opinion; but many people do have this perception, and, whether these characteristics do or do not in fact belong to either some aspects of American culture or to the New-Age movement, they are characteristics I don't personally feel entirely comfortable with.)
      I don't know. Perhaps I'm being hard on myself, and I can see other, more favourable ways of looking at it; but I just can't quite rid myself of that feeling.
      The other thing is that this section talks, very intimately, about personal memories that perhaps are best not shared with others. It seems to sentimentalize them a bit, perhaps makes them seem deeper and more significant than they really were. This could be the sort of self-absorbed navel-gazing indulgence that causes people to deride the New Age, that sometimes attracts the derogatory label "D. & M." (deep and meaningful - with an implied sneer in the abbreviation, as if the corniness and kitschiness of it is too obvious to need pointing out).
      However, it is obviously a phase I went through, and the fact that I feel uncomfortable probably itself indicates I've at least partly come out of that, without (I hope) throwing away the essence of what growth I made at that time. I've just reviewed the question once again of whether to remove this entire section (something I've been contemplating for a few years), and it has narrowly escaped excision for the time being. And my justification for leaving this document here in its entirety (and swallowing my discomfort about parts of it) is that it is, at least, a vivid picture of the stage my growth was at in late 1993 and early 1994. [Back]

[e] Saturday, 8 February, 2003 - "I would suggest that as a child you probably found it just as easy to talk into a microphone as to other people, and quite possibly nearly as enjoyable too.":
      This is not quite true, actually. But it is true that I felt easier as a child about speaking into a microphone (or to any kind of machine) than I do now, and the tape recorder I had at the time was probably the closest thing I had to a toy (not being given as a child to playing with the usual kinds of toys). I don't think I've ever felt comfortable about my own recorded voice, but perhaps it didn't bother me so much then.
      I was probably a bit antisocial as a child, but I enjoyed talking to the right kinds of people, at least, and I doubt that speaking into a tape recorder could ever have been compared with that. [

[f] Sunday, 9 February, 2003 - "... recently at the home of B. and G.?":
      B. and G. were a couple who regularly attended some of the New-Age events I was going to at this time, and I visited them at home a few times.
      I feel it best not to give their names in full, since the names they were using were unusual enough that it might identify them, if anyone reading this page was in the Melbourne New-Age scene at the time. And the names were Higher-Self names, and I do not know if they are still using those names. (Since putting these pages publicly on my web site, I have disguised most names of real people by replacing them with initials. I don't really see any problems with anything I've said about others - but it seems a prudent thing to do nonetheless.)

[g] Sunday, 9 February, 2003 - "You have kept your eyes, your mind, and your heart on things that are ultimately good and spiritual, and have not even been tempted to succumb to crime, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drugs, and selfish hedonism of the sort that ignores others' rights, even though these are ever-present traps in the society in which you have spent your life.":
      Has my Higher Self actually fallen into the mistake of judging, in a blanket fashion, whole categories of behaviour? Or, if we assume that my Higher Self's thoughts have been filtered through my own mind, have I fallen into the trap of prejudice myself? Moreover, the behaviours in questions are ones which are the frequent target of morals campaigners and conservative preachers, but are not always self-evidently harmful to others in an inherent sense. Is my Higher Self a closet wowser, and has he accidentally betrayed himself? Or am I, and have I, in receiving the thoughts and filtering them through my own mind?
      A paragraph like this, in another context, could very well come, almost word for word, from a Christian tract contrasting the straight and narrow spiritual path with such supposed debaucheries as sex, drink, and drugs.
      Well, as I reviewed this page just now, it occurred to me that this passage could possibly be read this way - but perhaps most likely by people who already think like that. I suppose nothing I say will dissuade people of that opinion. But I want to say that I don't entirely follow such a view myself. I think my Higher Self was referring to the excess of those behaviours, not to all instances of those behaviours, however moderate or regardless of the context.
      Let me take them in order, and comment on them, since I don't want to give the wrong impression here:
      Crime: I think all people (except those who want to commit crime) would agree that crime is bad, if we exclude the marginal case of "victimless crimes", where the issues can sometimes be murky, and genuine arguments raised in favour of them. (Some of the things I am about to mention appear to come into this category.)
      Alcohol: I drink occasionally - never more than once or twice a week, usually when eating with someone else and I'm offered a drink. I think drinking too much is unwise (but this is surely obvious to everyone), but I certainly have no issue with anyone drinking regularly (and more frequently than I do); it is entirely their own choice.
      Sexual promiscuity: I don't make a moral issue out of this, but I think it can be dangerous behaviour, both physically and emotionally. But, once again, people (especially those who have a regular partner) have to weigh up the issues and make a considered decision on this. My personal belief is that one should be very cautious about this. It's very like standing on the edge of a cliff: I couldn't say it's automatically wrong; but I would say that it's wisest not to do it, or, if there is good reason for doing it, to be very careful and take suitable precautions. (Of course issues can come up which make the matter more murky, such as questions of whether a married person is cheating his or her spouse, and so on.)
      Drugs: - presumably meaning illegal or mind-altering drugs. This is not a moral issue to me either, although I think using these drugs can be very dangerous indeed, and my opinion would be to abstain altogether, unless you truly know what you're doing. (Yes, I know there have been spiritual traditions that used such drugs to do things like astral travelling or other mind-altering or out-of-body experiences. It would be arrogant for me, knowing nothing about such traditions, to say it is wrong for these people to do it, and I would regard this as something that governments and police forces should keep well out of.) Still, the use of legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol is often said to be more dangerious than the use of L.S.D. or marijuana or heroin - and governments often hypocritically rant about the evils of heroin, while making huge amounts of money from taxing tobacco and alcohol. So I think we shouldn't confuse the two issues of morality and legality, which are quite separate things.
      But the whole issue of drugs (especially their excessive or ill-judged use) should, in my opinion, be very firmly treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue. It is because of the absurd and puritanical attitude to drug use by Western governments and societies that drugs are tied so tightly to the underworld, and that addicts need to resort to crime to raise funds to pay the artificially-inflated black-market drug prices engendered by their underworld status.
      When are we going to have a civilized and rational attitude to such things? I see no rationality in framing laws in such a way that more people feel they have to turn to crime (especially when it could be arranged otherwise), then building more prisons to accommodate these criminals.
      Selfish hedonism of the sort that ignores others' rights: Note the qualification: selfish hedonism, of a sort that ignores others' rights. Not just any hedonism altogether. (I understand this term has various uses, slightly differing from each other - but I'm assuming here the common meaning of neglecting supposed deeper or more important goals of life in favour of a frank and uncomplicated enjoyment of the pleasures of life.) I have no problem with this either, except when those qualifications come into play. If any behaviour (hedonistic or otherwise) grows to the point that it causes one to ignore the rights of others, then that is the point where I think it begins to step out of line - not before, regardless of whether the behaviour, in any degree, offends some people's sense of what is right or proper or moral behaviour. In other words, I judge behaviour on the effects it has on others, not on what certain prescribed religious or moral rules say about it. I believe my Higher Self entirely agrees with me on this.
      "... these are ever-present traps in... society.": This is undeniable: whether the behaviours themselves are good or bad, it is certainly true that excesses in them are very common in our society, and trip many people up.
      Anyway, the point is that, while my Higher Self did point to the behaviours listed as frequent traps in many societies, it is the excess indulgence of them that causes the trouble, not just the behaviours themselves. The text as originally written (which it is too late to tamper with now) perhaps doesn't make this quite clear enough. [

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This page created on Friday, 8 December, 2000;
annotations added or amended, or links to other pages added,
    on occasions up to Sunday, 9 February, 2003.