Question:     I've been practicing self-observation and self-remembering for a number of years and mentioned this to someone recently and he said that it was impossible to remember myself. I asked him what, in his experience, made him come to that conclusion and he said that only a false I can practice self-remembering and anything done by a false I logically produces false results and therefore self-remembering can never be a real activity. I was at a loss for a reply when I heard that and am curious as to what you would have told him.

    I don't know what I would have said to him. You're ``here,'' he's not.
    I'm going to make some assumptions about the situation, since it wasn't fully described, because that is the job: first ask, ``What is going on here?'' and only then ask, ``What can I do?'' I don't know if these assumptions are correct. They're just based on what usually happens, and may not be what actually happened.
    Two people were in a conversation, passing energy back and forth for their mutual use for pleasure. One asserted a statement about something which, from their experience, was of great value to them; most likely hoping for agreement which would, they believed, deepen and reaffirm that value.
    Instead they received an assertion that the thing which was of such value to them had no value at all -- in fact it was just a delusion and could not actually exist. The next natural reaction is to feel attacked -- one did not receive agreement. Those who are attacked naturally defend.
    Yet no defense is possible when one is discussing an experience from the inner world other than persuasive logic, or an attack on the attacker.
    In the outer world, one could at least point out the thing itself. In the inner world, there is rarely a way to do that: how can you take the person there and show it to them without their agreement with the process of doing that? For some inner experiences this might take quite some time and effort for preparation on their part, wouldn't it?
    Yet that is equally true in the outer world, isn't it? What if you had visited the Himalayas and seen something that seemed absurd to someone else? Could you ever convince them of what you had seen without taking them there and showing it to them? What if you could not get them to agree to the effort necessary for such a journey?
    Many years ago I met someone while they were taking a walk and considering all that they had done in their ``spiritual'' pursuits. They were in the process of making it okay to decide that it was all an illusion, and giving the game up and making it okay to live a ``normal'' life and forget all about their desire for something more to life than grabbing at pleasure and avoiding pain.
    They were invited back to the apartment I was using at the time, after they finished walking their dog. During our conversation at that apartment, they confided that they had decided that everyone who worked with spiritual ideas was just deluded, because it had never amounted to anything for them: in their own experience.
    Grace was invited into the apartment. For a while, the presence of Life was palpable and with us, for anyone just a little sensitive, as a very real being. The fellow was asked if he was noticing that some One was with us at the moment. Fortunately, he experienced it, he did not deny that something was happening.
    It was suggested that there might be something to the whole thing after all, and he worked very hard from that day and experienced for himself.
    Even that which can be demonstrated does no good if the observer refuses to observe. No argument or discussion or explanation will suffice when someone will not agree. If a demonstration can be arranged, great. Even then, the observer can always make up some other explanation that fits with their preconceptions. At that point, there is nothing that you can do without force, violence. So, what's the point?
    Do I really need someone else's agreement to validate my own experience?

    This whole question brings to mind the quandary facing psychology. Conditioning has been discovered. It is now understood that one simply cannot perceive without conditioning altering perception to fit. Now what?
    This interesting situation has been dealt with by many for a very long time, and is called ``spiritual teachings.'' Psychologists generally either ignore the problem since they can't really deal with it and just pretend that it is irrelevant and act as though people can be responsible anyway, or fall to the other extreme and say that consciousness is just a biochemical and biomechanical illusion.
    No generality is always true.

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Copyright © 1995, 1996 by inX.SendMailCompiled July 18, 1996.

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Science of Man's Conscious Self-Evolution