Dialogue # 11: The Marketing of Ideas, Bringing Alive the Spiritual Forces that Make Wonder Moments

September 25, 2012                                                                                   

[In this dialogue I wanted to think through how to engage the minds of an  audience, however small or large, wherever  people gather, in online blogs, at conferences–for whatever reason.  I called the process the marketing of ideas. Some teachers and thinkers do their thinking out loud in the presence of a group. It can be effective, and from talking with Steven, I thought William Everson might have used that approach in  his Birth of a Poet classes at UC Santa Cruz, when Steven was a TA. 

Doing Philosophy.

M: You told me earlier what it was like to be in Everson’s “Birth of a Poet” course at UC Santa Cruz.. How did he actually conduct the class? You referred to him giving his meditations. Would he actually generate them right there during a session?

H: Well, he didn’t bring notes. He never spoke from any kind of an agenda. He might bring a book or two. Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the main text for the course. We would read a chapter every week. And he would bring some of his poems and read some of them aloud when the spirit moved him.

A thinking process that I really like

Wittgenstein

M: Ludwig Wittgenstein, the philosopher whom I mentioned earlier, used to have sessions in his rooms  at Trinity College, I think it was, at Cambridge.  He  would just start in and develop a dialogue with whoever was there. He did his original thinking in those sessions, carrying on thought experiments on the spot, “doing philosophy” as he called it, generating his thoughts  as he  went along.  I think that’s  similar to what you and I are doing here.  We’ll start out, and we’ll say, “Let’s see where this leads,” and  we  follow that  through.  It’s  a thinking process that I really like. That’s why I was asking you about Everson because it sounds like he was comfortable with just sitting down and generating the session as he went along. Someone else who did that sort of thinking was Krishnamurti.

Krishnamurti

The Purpose of Dialogue Is to Enter into an Energy Field

H: Can we tie this in with McTaggart’s The Field. In the opening pages she’s talking about an energy field. Whether we’re talking about cells or whether we’re talking about the place of thought in the mix, that’s the unifying level.

QUOTE: “Doing philosophy” isn’t so much pointed toward arriving at some great concept for other people as to enter into this energy field, this genius field, if we want to define  genius  in that way, where  everything is understandable and understood. 

M: Right. So, as I was saying earlier, you and I start this kind of a dialogue and it almost always evolves into a deeper probing. Your bringing the energy field back into this dialogue makes me  think  that the very purpose of this kind of “doing philosophy” isn’t so much pointed toward arriving at some great concept for other people as to enter into this energy field, this genius field, if we want to define  genius  in that way, where  everything is understandable and understood.  I have  a couple of friends who would fit that definition. I think  we  can get  a sense  of what  that’s like when dialogues go on in this way. You start out at conceptual discussion and things  begin to open up, and then you go into it.


“Doing philosophy” isn’t so much pointed toward arriving at some great concept for other people as to enter into this energy field, this genius field, if we want to define  genius  in that way, where  everything is understandable and understood.

H: I think what you’re getting at is the way to do it, you know, what McTaggart’s getting at, what she points out in the introduction: that she’s writing for the general reader.

M: Right.

H: And I think what you’re getting at is how to make a conference like I put on at UC Santa Cruz in honor of Bill Everson applicable to the ordinary person.

The Marketing of Ideas

M: Yes, I’m very interested in that, because I think that’s the biggest challenge. But I do think there are ways to do it—by this sort of dialogue for one. I think a person could get good at it. I was talking earlier about marketing, and the idea is that you want to get whatever it is you’ve discovered – un-covered, I’d say–across to the public. That’s the biggest thing for me right now, figuring out how to do that. For example, when I was discussing a manuscript with a McGraw-Hill editor, he said you don’t want to write the greatest book that is never read. How do you get people to read it? I’m interested in the concept of marketing.

We can segue directly to your concept of spiritual democracy. How do you get people interested enough to enter into a dialogue with your book, with the ideas put forth there? Marketing isn’t only something for Madison Avenue; it’s for people like you and me too. That may sound crass but not if you think of how the great spiritual forces in the world told their truths. Madison Avenue could learn from them! You, Steven, are very likely to be going forward with ideas we’ve been exploring, through workshops and programs and books and all kinds of venues. So finding ways to present what you have to offer–the marketing of your idea–will be a key to your success. You have a clear picture of the concept of spiritual democracy. So now you have to market that, that is, get it across to ordinary people., As you know, Christ, Buddha, shamans, mullahs, poets, they all used everyday language,  and  they told stories, parables, aphorisms, and the like. I don’t think you’ll find academic language anywhere in their teaching. Since I still want as many people as possible to engage with the ideas in Realms of Gold, thousands of people, I’m going through and clean up the way I come across

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Reader and Writer, Speaker and Audience, Teacher and Students, in Harmony

How to market it is the key. That’s what I was getting at. In the sense I’m using the term, marketing is simply a matter of communicating your ideas.  That’s why  I’m experimenting with the Internet. I can get feedback within a day or two. You could call it test marketing, and you can keep editing and adapting till you and your readers are in harmony. One thing I do know is you don’t want to bore people to death, if you’re doing a YouTube, for example, you don’t want to record more that ten-minute video. Also, I’m  adding ideas from my book Get Your A Out of College to my website and connecting it to aspects of Realms of Gold. It would center directly on how to get through school without being bored to death, but the same approach applies to getting through your life without being bored.

The same approach works for both.

One’s Investment in the Process

The first question is Why are they bored–Why is anybody bored in life?! So I’m starting off with the matchstick puzzle. I can get a lot of mileage out of that simple little puzzle. In solving the puzzle, everyone in a group, of whatever size, has an investment. The big pay-off is an insight into their own selves. For you and me, that’s also in the direction of spiritual democracy. That’s the secret of a good class, getting everyone to invest a piece of themselves into the mix. Did Everson do that? Did  he  invite them to participate, or did they just sit quietly and listen?

H: Some took notes, some were just sitting quietly and listening, some were half asleep, lying down. But for the most part, everybody was quiet. There was no discussion, no question-and answer process.

M: If I were you I would begin to concentrate on how to do presentations that are absolutely riveting. (Sometime, we ought to have a dialogue on how to do that.) I know you’ve seen the video of Jill Bolte Taylor at a TED session. That talk was tailored for the TED style that was attracting ardent participants. A presenter wasn’t allowed to talk for more than eighteen minutes. It would be instructive to study their technique. I’ve read that people couldn’t tear themselves away from those presentations.

H: Yes, everybody who comes to any presentation wants an experience, and the key is to sharpen the techniques, and that opens it up to an actual experience. And it’s transformative. When it comes down to it, people are looking for an entrance way into the Field.

M: Exactly. And we’re back to the Field again. Nice segue.

Providing a Channel to the Realms of Gold

H: And so the gift of the presenters is to provide a channel for that. And the best way to do that is through language that captivates the audience, electrifies.

M: It does seem to be the most effective way, and there are many reasons for saying that.

H: It could be music, if you were a musician.

Thought Is Physical.

M: Yes, music would open it up, but I’m not so sure without cognitive processes, linguistically putting what you know into a physical form, that the transformation would go forward. There is this fundamental value of conscious thought, the  fact that thought is physical. That seems like a central fact–that a thought is embedded in the physical brain through synapses of electrical energy and that thought affects the entire  organism, and  that that organism is at the center of everything. So, then, a thought affects, not just the organism, but everything else as well. That’s an understanding that we’ve been building over these months.

H: As for music, I think Beethoven got that physicality in the Ninth Symphony when he put Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” Ode an die Freude, in the last movement. He saw that he needed conceptual ideas to bring the brotherhood of humanity together, to unite the world with the joy and love of the Cosmos… Oh, on another note I want to show you a picture I just had reproduced. It ties in with what we’re discussing.

[Steven goes into another room and brings back a photo of doors he discovered in some cliff dwellings in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.]

M: I really like that. I like the colors and everything about it. It reminds  me  of that picture of the cosmic explosion of the shaman in the cave, going back farther and farther toward infinity. That’s great, isn’t it, like going forever into the soul.

H: It is, isn’t it?  My brother, Richard, just edited this  Doorways picture, photographed  at Chaco Canyon in, I believe, 2007. Rich’s edit brings out the Gold. This picture is now a meditation on some of the subjects we’ve been discussing together, the Field, spiritual democracy, light, Cosmic Christ, indigenous  Americans, poetry, vocation, and  Realms of Gold.

I have a sense of entering into multiple dimensions when I look at it. There are four doorways, leading where? Notice also the golden light that appears to be burning at the  top entranceway on each of the first three doorways.

Painting the Life of Things

M: What the artist does in a painting is meld his spirit with shapes and colors, and the result is an illumination of the life of things there, specifically in the brush strokes but also the illumination of thing-ness in general. The spiritual forces which have made it–the artist’s spiritual force and the Force, the energy, he releases and imprisons on the canvas. That could just as well be captured in a photograph like this as well as in poetry or music. I’ve seen Ansel Adams’ great photographs, the ones that are lit with piercing glances. But once I bought a big coffee-table book of his photos, not the ones he  himself had chosen but one’s someone  else had put together after his  death.  Well, they simply did not  have that  force, those cosmic forces. That was a great learning experience for me. I gave the book to the Salvation Army.

Lit with Piercing Glances

Well, back to connections. What I’m getting at is that you’ve been filling in a lot of blanks with me about the  artists and philosophers, about paleontology, archeology, anthropology and all the connections among them, the Joseph Campbell work, and Jung, of course… I was looking up the lines of Marianne Moore, for you actually, “It must be ‘lit with piercing glances / into the life of things” that Lawrence Ferlinghetti put at the beginning of his book, When I Look at Pictures. Then I ran across this Sorolla painting and click, click, click,  all those separate things came together–and were connected all along. So what’s  been happening is, like the Sorolla paintings, our Samuel Miller [1807—1853] boy and girl primitives I told you about and our discovering the originals in the de Young, those isolates coming together into a lovely pattern. All that brings to the fore the question of these things being random, or emerging because we are primed and ready to receive them. And if that’s so, then there’s a key here about how to see the world more clearly.

Important shifts in thinking often occur in interesting synchronicities.


Important shifts in thinking often occur in interesting synchronicities.

H: I was just thinking of the reference to Ferlinghetti because of the  Everson Centennial  and that article that was in the San Francisco Chronicle about Ferlinghetti just the  week before, and you mentioned you had read his  book.  This idea  of coincidences–McTaggart  actually uses the word synchronicity. She  has a chapter on sharing dreams, and the  German phrase for it is Das ganze Feld. This is interesting. I picked up her book again and I actually opened it up to this exact page, and I want to read this to you: “Important shifts in thinking often occur in interesting synchronicities.” Just that opening line . . .

M: Um Hum.

The Light from the Far Door

H: This idea of shifts  in thinking… I took that picture in 2007 when we  were in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. It’s where the ancient astronomical site  was  situated strategically  for the Anasazi culture; it’s where they had their kivas; the largest kivas in the Southwest were in this very canyon. This is a doorway inside of one of the pueblos that has this interesting symmetry to it.

What I like about it so much is the light that comes through from the far door. It’s fully illuminated.

M: Yes, it is!

H: If you go through the succeeding doorways it looks like it’s opening into a golden light, a realm of pure gold.

M: Um, hum. It does, doesn’t it!

H: In a way it’s a metaphor for what we’ve been talking about, like going into the field of the unconscious. I think it’s fair to say that the Zero point field is a zone of mystery in the collective unconscious Jung was talking about. It’s an energy Field.

M: I think Jung would have been happy with that.

H: He would have.

Science, the Foundation for the Intuition

M: That would have reinforced what he was saying. In fact, it grounds his intuitions in a way. You said last time that he proved the collective unconscious. I thought you said that with some assurance. I would have said before that the objective psyche was a theory, though a very compelling one. But I thought, without having looked into it deeply, that he had amassed a tremendous amount  of anecdotal  information and  empirical evidence. But connecting it with the Zero point field really illuminates the work he did and gives it grounding in the so-called hard sciences.

H: Well, Jung thought Einstein’s work was exciting. They knew each other, and Jung understood what Einstein was working on. Jung had him to his  home  for dinner a few times. He knew a number of famous physicists. In fact, Jung analyzed over 200 dreams of Wolfgang Pauli.

Pauli is the physicist who helped Jung work on his monograph on synchronicity and gave him some scientific inspiration for his ideas. You know that passage we just looked at about thinking being stimulated by interesting synchronicities, such as your picking up that Ferlinghetti book.

That’s an example of what Jung is talking about.

M: And it goes on all the time.

H: Finding that interesting link to the artist that you were unaware of.

Piercing glances into the life of things

M: Yes. I had both Ferlinghetti’s When I Look at Pictures and the painting over our bed and had seen them both, and then just this week those  two seemingly  discrete pieces of information came together. They were floating in separate spheres, and now they merged into one larger sphere, both now in conscious awareness.

H: Yes, finding that interesting link to the artist is an “ah ha” moment.

M: Well, it’s quite a delight for this to happen. By the way, I brought you this copy of When I Look at Pictures because there’s a Klimt  in the  book that Ferlinghetti  accompanies with a poem he wrote after looking at the painting. He does this  with twenty other famous  paintings. So, I’m going to ask you to look at the painting closely, really closely, and then read Ferlinghetti’s poem. I used to do this with my classes. We’d do the surface-features game with the painting. Each person would point out one detail in the  painting, and we  went around several times. One of my students sent me a postcard from Europe later on. It was a Klimt. She had seen a painting in a museum and knew instantly that it was a Klimt. That class sent  a lot of Klimt specialists out into the world! So that’s what happened to me. When I leafed through Ferlinghetti’s book and saw the “Promenade on the Beach,” I said to myself “I know that artist! That’s who painted our picture!” so from Ferlinghetti I learned his name  was Joaquin Sorolla (1863—1923). Then I had the good luck to find ours among over 400 of Sorolla’s paintings on a website on the Internet. I could feel it all pulling together, like reading a good detective novel, all the clues coming together. So, look at the Klimt as long as you like and then the poem.

H: O.K.

M: About your doorways picture here, the way I look at pictures, without even thinking about what you described–which is a nice add-on for me and which I probably would have come to eventually–for me, first of all, is colors and shapes arranged  within the frame  of the  photo… If I saw that in a gallery I’m sure I’d like to have it. You said you just had it  reproduced?

H: I’ve had it all these years and only recently put it on a web page I did, and it looked so good I decided to have it enlarged.

The Synaptic Flash

M: I think we can take what we’ve been saying right back to memory and the Field. All these things are there in the Field, not in some physical past but here in this moment, all of them; they’re all here and available for that synaptic flash of connection. How this works is exciting to consider. What keeps coming back up for me is that poem by Yeats that you called to my attention several months ago. It’s called “Memory.”

One had a lovely face,
And two or three had grace,
Buit charm and face were in vain
Because the mountain grass
Cannot but keep the form
Where the mountain hare has lain.


What he talks about is what remains where the  hare  has lain. Charm and face are in vain. In vain because what’s durable is the hologram, the impression on the  field. It’s  the imprint on the self–I could say, on the cellular structure–that remains. So the physical woman fades away, but the imprint remains. After all, as Einstein said, reality is an illusion, albeit a very compelling one.


What’s durable is the hologram

As I read through The Field it becomes clearer and clearer that, though I stub my toe and it hurts, what we call physical reality is a way to get at the energy field that is our true home. I can’t think of any argument that can refute that fact.

H: The world picture, too, is an interesting thing to start with. I’m going to throw you a curve now that the Giants just won the 2012 World Series. [Both laugh.] This is something Everson said when I was interviewing him.  You know that Confucius said a picture is worth a thousand words. Everson said, “Confucius said a picture is worth a thousand words, but it took words to say it.” What do you think about that?

Too Cozy with Our Conclusions

M: Huh! We should always take our selves down a peg or two. We get too cozy with our conclusions, and we stop looking. For me it constantly comes back to the realization that you can sort things out and come up with a profound statement. But you have to throw it back into the mix. You have to refresh your ideas, breathe new life into them. Someone was talking about words and things, words and things. “No,” someone else responded, “Words ARE things.” They are physical just the way my so-called flesh is physical. And, it does seem unarguable that the entire physical world is indeed the Zero point field, or we could call it energy, though that’s probably too broad a term for a physicist.


The trip to Safeway is a human hologram flowing through a memory field!

McTaggart describes a fascinating experiment in which the  immunologist  put strong amounts of an antibody in a water solution, made a solution of one tenth of that and poured it into the next bottle, put one tenth of that into the next pure water and so on to see the minimal amount needed. It turned out that the weaker the solution the  more  powerful the effect till they couldn’t find the antibody at all in the  final solution–it was  virtually pure  water–but it still had the most powerful effect. The water had the memory of the antibody. The mountain grass could not but keep the form where the hare had lain. That’s fantastic. What I draw from that is that everything is based on memory. It has nothing to do with the physical act. It’s what’s carried over from that.  Once you get the  knack of tapping into the  memory field, you can use it to deal with going to Safeway. I can see that trip as a human hologram flowing through a memory field. It’s mind-boggling. Gee, I think that’s a keeper:

Resistance to New Ideas

H: That’s a fascinating idea, and McTaggart mentions a critique published in Nature  expressing some doubt. So often in science you find resistance thrown at the  researcher in order to force the researcher to prove the theory. It can be a powerful deterrent to presenting new ideas. The researcher risks alienation of his fellow scientists. I think this idea is powerful because it shows, going back to Jung and his idea of the collective unconscious, how many people tried to discredit him.

M: Oh, yes, to this day.

H: I had a little experience of this myself when I was doing research at John F. Kennedy University, after taking Everson’s course. I set out to prove the theory of the vocational archetype, because I believed that this idea of the Field is something that anybody can experience through a vocation. Vocation is the doorway into the field, into the  realms  of gold. It has to be a way whereby an equivalence or equality is achieved through shared fields. That’s what I mean by spiritual democracy. You could use field as a metaphor, vocational fields, to verify that.

In the Poetic Mode at Cocktail Parties

M: Could you hold that thought? When I go to a cocktail party, the kind I would like to go to would be among people who realize that they are bringing a field, and  I am bringing a field, and the idea is through language to bridge those fields so that the fields can merge. What does happen instead, almost always, is that you talk in superficialities. But one of my games is to gently slip beneath that level when a crack opens. That happened recently. Someone was asking me about what I do. They are always asking that. I told her about my latest book. She wnted to know what it was all about. I said, “Well, it’s about a lot of stuff, but what I could say is that when we are having this dialogue, we have the opportunity to move beyond a more general level to talk at a more intense level. As we go about our lives, we have the opportunity  to experience them more intensely.”  She said, “I think  I would  like your book.” I said, “I know you would like what  I’m talking about.” I do, because everybody does.  I hope  that didn’t distract you too much.

The Cocktail Party

H: No. In fact, it gets right back to what I was  talking about through another interesting segue and that’s something my former Jungian analyst Don Sandner had read. He had been a literature major. While he was deciding what profession to pursue, he read a book called The Cocktail Party.

M: Oh, yes, T.S. Eliot.

Bridgework

H: In it, the protagonist finds his calling to psychiatry. The cocktail party is the theme of the book. [First performed in 1949 in London, the play received considerable critical approval,] So Don decided to pursue a career as a psychiatrist based on that play. I think those types of interesting stories between the fields of literature and psychiatry and psychology intrigue me because of the bridge among fields.

M: Yes. What you have done is bridge a whole lot of fields. And by the way, doesn’t the word field as used in describing a profession add a new depth to the more conventional meaning of it!? You center on Jungian psychology, but that involves almost everything else!

H: My research studied the way vocation is confirmed through the dream life and how powerful dreams can be in the career decision-making process.

M: Is that what you were getting at when you said you were doing that research at JFK University and ran into some opposition.

The Nuclear Symbol

H: I developed this hypothesis and I was using the empirical method of the nuclear symbol, that there is a nuclear symbol at the core of the human psyche. It’s filled with energy. The personality, you could say, is an energy field. So dreams from very early childhood or memories, as you were saying, from early development are often associated with this act of vocational discovery. Jung had a very powerful dream at the age of three that helped confirm his vocation.

M: Do you remember what it was?

Memory in the Cell

H: Yes, He was out in a field and he found and underground cavern going down into a chamber. He went down into it and found a very large phallus seated upright on a golden throne. So there’s the gold for you. It was a very large phallus. And it had an eye looking motionlessly upward and aura of light around its head. This is a three-year-old child.

M: Wow!

QUOTE: Psychic  Antibodies

H: He remembered this dream in mid-life. But  Jung’s  vocation was  discovered earlier  than that recollection of his early childhood memory.  This discovery  was made through a dream that he had that led him to specialize in medical science in his early twenties. He had many interests he could have followed— archeology, philosophy—and the dream helped him specialize. But he was always pursuing a scientific vocation. That was his primary vocation, science. He was like these scientists in the way he approached his work. This idea of an antibody memory that you were just talking about intrigued me because about four years ago I sent a paper to the Journal of Analytical Psychology called “Psychic  Antibodies.”  I got this idea intuitively through a poem I wrote back in 1989 or 1990 called “King Snakes.” The king snake has its own internal antibody  against  rattlesnake venom.  Intuitively  I also saw something related to that in my study of children’s fantasies, in their sand-play fantasies. And I’ve seen it in dreams as well. What you’re talking about is a memory in the cell itself, the antibody as a memory. That reminds me of my hypothesis of psychic antibodies. I think that theory is in advance of where our field is right now.  My paper was  returned.  It  wasn’t quite the time for its emergence. I’ll publish it someday. The idea that the psyche has its own anti- toxins that can fight against psychic infections that come  from the  environment, the  social field, the cocktail party. A critical teacher, for example, can plant a very toxic idea that you’re not worth anything. So you have to find your own inner connection to the self to protect yourself against that.


The idea that the psyche has its own anti- toxins that can fight against psychic infections that come  from the  environment, the  social field, the cocktail party.

M: That brings me to this thought  I have every once in a while.  When I think of these dialogues we’ve been having, I think, These are really good; these are profound. Then I think, What would somebody like Wittgenstein, the philosopher I told you about earlier, or Jung, think about what you and I have been saying? Would they punch holes in these ideas? Would they think our ideas are shallow or ill conceived?

H: I don’t think so.

M: Well, that’s what comes over me sometimes. It would be like some big-shot in the field stepping in and ridiculing your work.

H: And it has to be presented in a way that is very readable and flows. The other thing is that we seem to be on a track that appears to be moving toward something.

M: But I think if I were editing it, I wouldn’t want to take out the stumblings. Sure, we should cut out the stuff that doesn’t move the play forward, probably a third or more. But you  want that exploratory process.  It’s  like going into a good novel or a play. That carries a What’s going to happen next? engagement.

H: I do agree with that. I’m excited about where we’re going with this idea about marketing spiritual democracy right now.

This Is the Way You Need to Go.

M: Well, I have those waves of doubt that come over me, but then the antibodies kick in and I think, Well, screw it! I think the vocation is saying, This is the way it’s going here, pal; this is the way you need to go.

H: That’s good.

M: I find these dialogues pulling together everything that’s gone on before. And that’s really nice.

H: I just sent one of the poems from the journals I’ve kept over the years to Norbert Krapf, who  was  the  poet laureate of Indiana.  He said it’s a great poem. I called it “Wholeness,” but I re-named  it “Psychological  Age,”  because I was talking about our entering a new age.

Psychological Age

Do you want to know how to heal yourselves from the overwork of civilization? Watch your dreams. Wake up at 4:30 A.M., on consecutive summer mornings. Read a good book, look at old pictures, paint, dance, or write poetry.

Do whatever it is you have wanted to do for a long time. Do not hesitate even for a moment.

Have a light breakfast, exercise a bit, open the doors and windows of your house. Let the air and the sound of the birds rush in to penetrate the morning silence.

Know that whatever happens in the workday world cannot shake you from your discipline.

For in the morning you are free.

Do not expect yourselves to be masters of the Art,

Do not expect Dante, Shakespeare, or Michelangelo. Know that we have entered a psychological age.

We can all be poets and artists now, after Whitman.

Granted we will not be great, like the great masters were great; but we will be great like ourselves.

You can use poetry to gather up the seeds of your wholeness now.

For what is truly great in us now is the psychological; that is what is truly great in this century after Jung and Everson..

It will take many poets working together to put down the meanings of analytical psychology into poems.

This century will produce artists and poets who will be true representatives of psychological consciousness for centuries to come.

It is the Democracy of the body and soul that matters now, Not the eloquence of our speech.

The men and women who will lead us into the future Will be bearers of the same essential message:

Poetry and art are means to individuation and wholeness.

So what kind of an age is it? And what’s the aim of this new age? I don’t like the term “New Age” so much. It’s got all those connotations that have a ring of superficiality.

I Know All About That.

M: That’s the problem I see here. You could probably go out on the street and find some twenty-five-year-old who could recite exactly what you and I are saying, and it would all be superficial with him. Sure, he would say, I know all about that, blah, blah, blah. And he could lay it out for you, and it would be totally superficial. And that’s what’s annoying, because they are “getting it,” but they’re not getting it at all. It’s the  new jargon.  Everything that you and  I are exploring is not grasped. They might know of the Zero-point field. They’ve seen plenty of science-fiction movies where you go back in time, and so forth. “Oh, yeah, yeah, I know all about that.” But they don’t. That bugs me. But that is the veneer you have to chop through.

Let’s go back to vocation. The only way you can get to it is to calm down and stop knowing everything and let yourself go through those passageways in your Doorways photo, or into a cavern deep inside yourself. I don’t know if you’d need an axe or just some quiet meditation. Of course, it could be either.


I don’t know if you’d need an axe or just some quiet meditation. Of course, it could be either.

That brings me to distance viewing, which is discussed in The Field too. I think there’s enough evidence to say that people really can sit here and visualize something going on in Poland, or in Pennsylvania, in great detail. Some people are really good at it, but ordinary people can learn to do that too. I’ve never done it, but I never really set my mind to it either.

H: People have their own particular gifts.

Distance Viewing

M: Yes, I agree, but the researchers who conducted some of the experiments tried out randomly selected people, and they could be trained to do it, too, with a little bit of practice.

They call it distance viewing. The CIA had some amazing results using a couple of guys who were known to be especially talented in it.

H: There are clairvoyants who can do that.

Clairvoyance — Clear Vision

M: Right, but they tried ordinary people like Clark and Steven and got statistically good results with them, too. That’s the significant thing for me, the implication that we may all be able to tap into the field and access connections with music, math, anything humans pay attention to.

H: I think everybody, under the right conditions, has access to ESP phenomena. This is something Jung was studying back in the first quarter of the last century. I did my dissertation at Rosebridge Graduate School where I got my doctorate working with Jon Klimo who was the chairperson. He wrote the book Channeling. He’s become internationally famous for that book.

He speaks of the idea of distance viewing. He studied a lot of the research out there in this field.

It’s fascinating. ESP, of course, is part of parapsychology. I think we do have a capacity in the mind for that and there are people who become specialists in it.

M: You may live to see it become part of our everyday lives.

H: We are seeing it. Channeling does provide techniques for people to develop these cognitive functions.

Staying Whole

M: What if we began that with kids in grade school?

H: Yes, children are open to that reality too. That’s what I was getting at. I learned how to observe empirically the psychic phenomenon of psychic antibodies in children’s sand-plays. They were actually creating portraits, getting back to pictures of psychic antibodies in the sand tray. I was taking pictures of this real phenomena with my camera. I have some of them on slides.

M: Could the kids learn to use their antibodies deliberately?

H: They did, and that played a part in their transformation.

M: Becoming whole again?

H: Exactly, becoming whole again and healing the psyche.

M: Maybe this is connected, but something that’s been driving me nuts lately is this 2012 election. I read in the San Francisco Chronicle two days ago that I’m not the only one. Lots of people are feeling very anxious about it. I think this is something new. I’ve never seen this kind of behavior among voters before, not to this level. People are frantic. They can’t take their minds off it. One woman said she’ll wake up at three in the morning and go check the Internet to see what the latest word on it is.

H: That’s interesting, but I’m not getting as caught up in it, for some reason.

M: Here’s what I’m getting at, though: the collective opinions out there almost infected me. I started getting nervous, too.


[Psychic Infection  Here is a link for Daryl Sharp’s online Jung Lexicon, which contains terms and concepts that come up in this book, as they were used by Jung himself: http://www.psychceu.com/Jung/sharplexicon.html]

H: That’s exactly what Jung means by psychic infection.

M: I despise getting that psychological disease. I had that kind of infection one other time in my life. I resolved I would never let that happen again.

H: That’s a psychic antibody working for you.

M: Yes, that’s exactly what I think is going on.

H: Thoughts can be psychic protection against intrusive antigens. The psyche has its own immune system. And it needs to be protected.

It Has to Wash Away.

M: You can’t just say I’m not going to be upset. It has to wash away. But you have to set it in motion.

H: And washing away is the right metaphor for what we’re talking about. I got this also from looking at a movie, and that was The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy throws water on the witch. She says, “I’m melting.” She washes away.

M: The insights in that movie are profound. I looked up the author, Lyman Frank Baum [1856—1919], and it turned out he wrote children’s books. But I don’t think anything else came close to the understanding of psychology he displayed in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Sometimes, I think, conditions in the field are so synchronous the writer seems almost to be taking dictation. Frank Herbert did that in his book Dune. He never came close to it before or after.

Liquidation of a Complex

H: That’s called liquidation of a complex, but I use it in terms of a toxin. This is actually medical terminology. Toxins are liquidated through water. Water is used to wash away.

M: And to add to that, thinking about the memory the water holds, you could take away that particular antigen completely, and the memory in the water would do the trick.

H: The psychic antibody is a memory. That’s powerful, and I’m glad you called attention to that chapter because I hadn’t read that closely. I skimmed it this morning, and it’s interesting.

M: Well, I was losing track of what the Field is all about, and I started re-reading it more thoughtfully. My problem as a thinker is that I can’t keep track of all these details. I have to do what we’re doing. I have to bring them to the surface through dialogue, through reflection. So, yes, the memory in the cell is exactly the same thing Yeats was describing in his  poem.  I have to wonder how he could be so insightful, so aware. “One  has a  vision. One  would  like another.”

H: He had a poetic sensibility, an ability to capture a unitary picture of the world.

M: Yes, but how could he possibly know what these scientists worked so hard to discover or come to understand. As a poet, it’s pretty damned amazing, don’t you think?

Zero at the Bone

H: Not really. What  it takes  is  receptivity to something like what  I call a vocational archetype. I know the term doesn’t quite work for you. Maybe another phrase will emerge as we talk. But let me just finish my thought. We were talking about, for example, the Zero point field, and Emily Dickinson wrote, “Zero at the bone” and capitalized the  Z.  “The lightning struck me every day,” she says elsewhere. It entered her and lighted her within with these bolts of illumination. And that was the energy field that she had tapped into. You see the same thing in any field where there’s excellence, brilliance. We saw it this summer again with Usain Bolt when he ran that 100 meters. It’s become a cliché, the  lightning symbols.  Let  me  return to what I was saying earlier about fields, a field such as track and field, and an athlete like Usain Bolt can help clarify what I am getting at. They called him Lightning Bolt.  He’s  the  fastest man in the world in the 100 meters. When you see a race like the one he ran this summer, that kind of excellence is a manifestation of the field in action. The same with language. Sometimes when two people are thinking together and enter the Field and drop down into it, lights can go on and people can get a feeling for it. I think that’s what people really want.

Merging the Physical Being and the Field

M: You need to know consciously what you’ve been experiencing and what that’s  all about, and then you can do  it yourself. I want to tell you, though, as I was sitting here  that I realized in answer to your question of when this got  going for me  that it probably got  going long before I thought it did. I majored in mathematics and English, and people would say they were so different. But I said, no, they interact with each other.  As I began to see connections between them, it reinforced both of them. So I was seeing all things as connected even then, even then. I don’t know if it goes farther back to when I was  a little boy. I guess I didn’t exclude anything from my realm of interest. It could have been gardening or carpentry or painting a house or whatever. As far as I could see, it seemed to be the same stuff, involving your physical being in the Field, which of course is infinite.

Anyway, as you were saying, when two people start discussing this  the  way Wittgenstein would be doing philosophy, with ten or twelve people in a room, you begin to open up that Field. That might be what Everson was doing in his meditations. You, Steven, were the other part of the dialogue. You were engaged. People taking notes, I would say, were not doing it as well. I don’t know about the guys who were half asleep. Maybe they were doing it better. They might have been absorbing it in a way they weren’t aware of.

H: I think finding ways of making this accessible is a great idea. We could explore TED more.

Cocksure Certainty—the Enemy of Clarity

M: There’s an article in the New Yorker I might be able to dig out for you about how TED works.  As I said, they are always booked. [Of course, as I edit this dialogue in 2019, TED has expanded almost exponentially.] But people know they will be getting a presentation that’s going to be extremely fascinating. I’ve also seen an article that finds its flaws, which is fine, because we need the debunking as well, as you were saying earlier. This is what I was telling you earlier because every once in a while something comes over me that says This is ridiculous. We need that leavening to keep ourselves from becoming too cocksure. We need to be more gentle about it all.

H: Modesty is a key to it.

Fresh, Open, Like a Child

M: If not, you become a zealot. Like one of those crazy fundamentalists who don’t doubt their own self-assurance. You always have to come to each new dialogue like a child, fresh, open. Then the Field becomes accessible. You can release yourself from its grip. It doesn’t matter what happens on November 6. On the other hand, I feel sorry for you younger people who will have to live through Romney if he gets elected. [Laughs.]

H: You’ll have to live through it too, Clark

M: True, but America will be almost irredeemable by the time he’s done!

H: I don’t think he’ll win. Besides there’s the women’s vote! How many women want to vote for someone who’s planning to take control of their bodies?

Planting a Redwood

M: How could any woman? I don’t understand that. How could they let anybody do that to them? I must say one thing the anti-abortionists did make me think about is what a life is. To say you can’t stop a fetus from growing is like saying you can’t stop a grain of corn from growing. It’s a sin that it doesn’t grow. It fell on fallow ground. I know that sounds harsh, but my point is that we take life all the time, some of it brutally.  I know that for most women, when they have an abortion, it’s a major, major problem. It’s not something you do lightly. And that’s the key to it.

H: Hearing you talk about the grain of corn, reminded me of the redwood trees. I was out yesterday with Lori planting four new redwood trees out along the trail here, four four-foot redwood trees. It felt so good to put those trees in the earth and water them and to know that those trees will outlast our generation, even seven generations, 2000 years perhaps. Whatever we do to the Earth, those trees will hopefully eventually outlast it all.

The Labor Is the Point, Not the Fruit.

M: That’s a beautiful thought, but as I was saying earlier, we don’t have to have that thought  in order to plant a tree. There is a story in Image about an old farmer who was planting a fig tree when the king came by and asked how old he was. A hundred, he replied. Well, let me know if you live long enough to see it bear fruit. Well, he did and took a basket of the figs to the king. But living to see the fruits of your labor wasn’t the point. The point is  that you  do this and you’re participating in it. It’s what’s going on right now that’s the value. If you live long enough for some figs, that’s really great, but that’s not the point.

Author: Clark McKowen

I taught English at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area for over thirty years and probably taught over 20,000 students during that time. II'm still interested in how beings of any species learn and why, and I write books and articles about these things. My 2000 book of haiku, Ligonier Sightings, is an appreciation of the Chestnut Ridge area of Southwestern Pennsylvania, where I grew up. All of my books can be purchased on the internet. Most teachers say they love teaching, but I don't know what they mean by that. I loved being in a group -- under my guidance, to be sure -- and getting so absorbed in exploring an idea that we didn't care whether school kept or not. That's the kind of teaching I love. I love seeing a bunch of people's eyes light up. I love the feeling of discovery of any sort. I love enlightenment. That's what more or less gets me up in the morning, -- and I suppose is involved, one way or another, in everyhing you will find on this website and in just about everything I do, including building redwood decks or going to the dog park with our Boston terrier Gracie.

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