VISIONS OF A NEW ERA
TO: ALL PROCESSEANS PS-6
FROM: ROBERT DE GRIMSTON BOSTON OCTOBER l974
Brethren, As it is,
When I spoke to some of you in New York last July, I made the point that I was not at that time planning to reorganise The Process on a practical level; that I would encourage, advise, and support any of you who wanted to do this on your own decision and in your own locality, but I would not be personally involved.
Part of my reason for not involving myself and starting my own re- organisation was that I wanted to know if The Process had momentum on a practical level, whether it would regenerate itself without my direct participation, or whether it would fade away and become a soul without a body.
Even now, I can't be sure whether or not I'd have allowed it to die. But that question no longer arises, because it didn't. Or at least it did, but it was very fast reborn, not only on a spir- itual level -- that had already happened -- but on a practical level as well. And now I'm satisfied that, even were I to depart altogether, The Process would go on, not simply as a fading memory for Processeans, kut as an active and operating force in the world.
Once I put every ounce of my energy, interest, and enthusiasm into the creation of a physical vehicle for The Process. I invested myself totally in its growth and development. Now, if and when the time is right, I want to do the same for the re-creation of a new vehicle for the new Process. And I want to invest myself tot- ally in the growth and development of that.
Two things have come out of the past ten years for me. One: an entire spiritual structure has emerged in the form of Process teachings and theology. Two: I've learned the dangers and the limitations, as well as the positive potentials, of a physical structure.
The spiritual structure was no more than an embryo of what it is now when it first began to build its physical vehicle around itself. As a result, that vehicle was never a true expression of its creator. It was a beginning, and it had within it the POTENTIAL for fulfillment and life orientation. But inevitably -- because The Process enacts everything without fail it seems -- it follow- ed the pattern of the human cycle. The soul created the mind as well as the body, and thereby became trapped by both.
Let me read you an excerpt from Phase Two of 'The Tide of the End'. 'Freedom from the Mind'. I recorded this in 1967.
"Where there is no conflict, the soul is free. It's free to go where it chooses to go, and be what it chooses to be, and it's free to create and uncreate bodies for itself, to change them, manipulate them, and discard them at will. So that soul and body are at one with each other, and the soul is in complete control of the body.
"And conflict is of the mind.
"And the mind comes between the body and the soul, separating them, taking control of the body from the soul, and then imprisoning the soul within the body, which now belongs to it. Thus it controls the body, and, through the body, the soul. So the being is trapped.
"And the mind is a machine created by the soul for its use in man- ipulating the body. But instead, the mind takes over the control of the body, and uses it to imprison the soul. And that is the human predicament."
That was how it was with The Process. A soul trapped within a death-oriented body.
That's not a disaster, any more than it's a disaster that you and I, as human beings, are, at this moment, trapped within death- oriented bodies. It's simply a part of the cycle of the Game. Death-orientation comes before life-orientation.
But now The Process, in a sense, has no body. It has no physical structure. It's free. And to carry this harmonic of the cycle to its proper conclusion, it must now create for itself a life- oriented body.
But what kind of a body would that be?
What kind of a structure would be life-oriented for The Process? .
Well, ideally, the body is a perfect, undistorted, outward expres- sion of the soul. It's the practical manifestation of a spiritual intention.
So in order to answer the question, 'What kind of body?' we must first examine the nature of the soul.
Now the soul of The Process is the wisdom contained in Process teachings. But wisdom on its own is nothing. As beauty doesn't exist unless someone experiences it, so wisdom only has value in- as-much as a being contains it. And the wisdom of The Process is contained to one degree or another within every Processean.
Processeans themselves, collectively, are the soul of The Process. You and I are the soul of The Process.
So the answer to 'What kind of body?' is simple. One in which every Processean present and future, has the opportunity to express himself fully and freely and without constriction, to the limits of what is possible at any given stage of the Game.
And the difference between death-orientation and life-orientation is the difference between living in a tiny house with tiny rooms, door- ways only a few inches wide so that we can only squeeze through them sideways, ceilings only five feet high, and no windows, and a huge transparent geodesic dome with levels, stairways, enclosed and open spaces, natural areas, man-made areas, and an infinite view of the outside in all directions.
Processeans need a structure which is adaptable and changeable, and offers scope within it for the realisation of every positive and constructive aim.
That's one limitation which The Process lays on Processeans. To keep their aims and activities as far as possible to the positive end of the spectrum. But a Processean observes that limitation, not because he's prevented from doing otherwise, not because he's afraid to do otherwise, but because his own knowledge tells him that THAT is wisdom. THAT is survival. Not bare survival, not mere survival, but REAL survival.
Real survival is maintaining a state of maximum or close to max- imum possible fulfillment and satisfaction through every stage of the Game. And a Processean is someone who seeks the means to do just that.
Survival doesn't mean being physically alive, or remaining within the bounds of sanity, or avoiding catastrophe, or staying out of trouble, or keeping a solid bank account, or having a roof over your head, or having enough to eat. Each one of these MAY be an aspect of survival at some point in the Game. They all have their importance -- in context. But survival means being able to relate to every situation, no matter what it'might entail, in the most positive, constructive, and causative manner that's possible at that moment. And that includes changing it for the better, if that's possible, or recreating it closer to your requirements, if that's possible.
Now with that definition of survival, a Processean has to begin with his own state of mind, his own knowledge and understanding of himself and the Game. Satisfaction come from inside not outside. But from that standpoint of growing awareness, he can then begin to mould his environment in such a way as to add to his own potent- ial for survival. He can begin to create a structure for himself, within which he can exist and operate most effectively according to his knowledge of what real satisfaction and fulfillment mean -- for him. He adjusts his relationships with people, with objects, with the world as a whole, with nature, and with the movement and direct- ion of humanity, to give himself the best opportunity for survival in his own terms.
It's selfish, yes. But a Processean knows that there's no such thing as selflessness. The difference is between self blindly id- entified with a single, isolated, personal human existence, and self perceptively identified with the overall Game. And that's part of the crucial difference between knowledge and ignorance of the Game. Knowledge of the Game expands a person's scope from see- ing himself a~ a mere individual human being, struggling alone in an alien and hostile environment, to seeing himself as part of a group, a race, a world, a universe, the Game itself.
And that knowledge itself is a vital aspect of survival. Because without it we feel vulnerable to everything that goes against us -- or even threatens to go against us -- on a human level. And if we FEEL vulnerable, we ARE vulnerable.
I, as a single, isolated, human existence, am vulnerable. I can be destroyed. But I, as a part of you, as a Processean, as a cosmic existence, as a part of the Universal Game, am invulnerable. I cannot be desroyed. And that goes for all of you. In fact that invulnerability is available to every human being who chooses to take it, simply by rediscovering himself as a Universal Being.
That's the first and most important step towards survival in the terms that I've described it. And Process teachings, which form the spiritual structure of The Process, are the means to take that step. The next step is to create a complementary physical structure, by which we can move from invulnerability to maximum fulfillment and satisfaction.
Already some Processeans are attempting to create such a structure. Others, who have been part of one which failed to give them satis- faction, are naturally wary of the whole idea of structures. But remember this. The Process began and developed from a simple, individual, mental therapy, into an active and purposeful organis- ation, because even then, in 1964, it was clear that the human structures were starting to collapse, and also that there was no way back from that direction, only a way through and out the other side.
The collapse is no myth, as more and more people are now beginning to realise.
So to those of you who are reorganising, a reminder, that any structure you create, may -- and should optimumly -- relate sympath- etically and to the best advantage on both sides, to all human structures as long as they remain, but it should not be ultimately dependent on any of them. Your final aim should be for a structure which gives you the greatest possible scope for survival, and at the same time is FREE of all human structures, in the sense that it cannot be undermined by their collapse.
That was the original aim of The Process.
Now to those of you who are wary of reorganising, another reminder. You're alive in this world, and you will be for some time to come. Unless each of you goes into the desert alone, and learns to live independently of ALL structures, which is fine and may well be your particular way of survival, but unless you do that, you'll continue to be dependent on a structure of SOME kind through which to achieve your aims. So you have a choice. Either to remain dependent on structures which are fast collapsing, or to create one of your own -- or to become part of one -- which, by its very nature, cannot col- lapse as long as someone is alive to maintain it.
I have a vision of such a structure. In practical terms it's not a new or an original idea. But set within the context of a Process scale of values and priorities, and based on Process knowledge, it has a unique potential.
I visualise a community of Processeans, able to support itself in any circumstances, alone if necessary and without the help of any human establishment, able to change its location without difficulty, adapt to its surroundlngs without effort, and to maintain a spirit of fulfillment and enthusiasm in the face of any contingency. It would relate constantly, and positively, and usefully, to the out- side world -- as long as there was any outside world to relate to -- and it would turn no one away who came for help or sustenance. It would be able to obtain or create whatever it needed, with an exclusively Processean ability not to need what it could not obtain or create. It would enjoy to the full what it had, and not feel any demand for what wasn't available to it. It would make the op- timum use of every asset, and never regret or complain of any def- iciency. It would always aim for the most satisfying results for everyone, but always accept whatever manifested. And its doors would always be open -- in both directions.
Now the fact that the human structures are collapsing, doesn't mean that in making this dream a reality, Processeans can't use and lean on the human environment -- as long as our aim is always to move in the direction of no longer NEEDING to use or lean on it.
Noah didn't build his ark on water. He was given time -- not much but enough -- to build it on dry land and solid earth. But he built it to survive when that dry land and solid earth were lost beneath a deluge that he knew was coming. And he didn't stop building until his ark was ready for that deluge.
We don't have much time either. But we have enough. And whilst the human structures last we'll use them, but for the purpose of becoming free of them, not for the purpose of becoming an integral part of them.
I have a vision, but I also have a plan for making that vision a reality. It's down to earth, it's practical, it follows a logical series of steps and stages. Again, it's not new, it's been spoken of before. But if this is what Processeans want, now is the time to begin putting it into effect.
I won't go into all the details here. But briefly, it involves the establishment of self-supporting local Process Chapters, allowing scope for all degrees and levels of participation, making use of all talents and abilities, and with a constant eye on and hand in the creation of the main Survival Center. While this is happening, the basic planning of the Survival Center will go forward. Every- one who wishes to may be involved in this. Then, when we have the means, we'll choose the location, and start more specific planning and actual building.
But the first step is the most important. The establishment and development of active and productive local Chapters. Because they will provide the means and the manpower for building and operating the Center. THEY will make it possible. So the faster they move and grow, the sooner we'll realise the vision.
* * * *
Now hopefully, that's where The Process is going on a practical level. But we're not only a group; each of us is an individ- ual also. And that's important. Our individual existence matters just as much as our collective existence. Our personal differences must be given as much recognition as our common goals.
So the next move is for each one of you to make some personal dec- isions; not snap decisions made on the spur of the moment or on the impetus of someone else's enthusiasm, but carefully weighed decisions.
Think over what I've said. Think over what The Process is for you. Give yourself time Don't just respond to my intensity of feeling in this matter. Assess your own. And the first question to ask yourself is: "Am I a Processean?" -- and now I'm not talking in the wider sense which includes everyone who searches beyond the outward manifestations for something deeper and more lasting; I'm talking in a more specific sense. And here's one way of answering that question. Ask yourself: 1. Do Process teachings strike a positive chord in me? 2. Do I feel a particular link with other Processeans? 3. Does the Teacher seem to know what he's talking about? Two out of three 'yeses' makes you a potential Processean. Three out of three makes you a real Processean!!
But your answers must refer to an overall feeling, not just an in- stantaneous reaction. You must all be free, within the privacy of your own thoughts and values and priorities ard considerations, to come to your own conclusions. And also, let me say this now, quite categorically, and hopefully lay an old and restless ghost, there's no stigma on any person, who at any time, for any reason, changes his mind and decides he no longer wants to be part of The Process. Only an organisation unsure of its own validity rejects someone who ceases to be a member. In The Process, all are welcome, but equally all are free to go whenever they choose.
Having decided whether or not you're a Processean, the next quest- ion -- if you ARE a Processean -- is perhaps more difficult, and one which many of you have asked yourselves time and again without finding a satisfactory answer. "What is my function as a Process- ean?" Well, don't try to answer it all in one go. Take it step by step. Answer these questions.
What is The Process for me?
What kind of relationship do I want with other Processeans?
Do I want to work with them, live with them, occasionally meet them, or just correspond with them?
Do I want to be in any way part of a Process Chapter, or do I want to have no attachment at all to the structure of The Process?
Do I want to learn Process teachings?
Do I want to contribute in practical terms to the Process venture, either financially or with my own talents and abilities?
Do I want to spread the message of The Process?
Do I want to work with Processeans full time or part time or not at all?
Do I want to provide a link for The Process with other groups, organisations, individuals, institutions or structures?
Do I want to retrieve goods or raise funds for The Process? If so, on a large scale or on a small scale?
What else could I do which would benefit both me as an individual and The Process as a group?
Now here again, there's no stigma on changing or terminating your function at any time. But be fairly sure of your practical com- mittment before putting yourself in a position where others are relying on your continued help and support in a project. And don't be offended if you're denied a particular position or func- tion on the grounds of previous unreliability! No rejection is implied, but when practical ventures are involved, practical qual- ities, such as reliability as well as plain ability, have to be taken into account.
On a spiritual level, your committment to The Process is not to me or to other Processeans, it's to YOURSELF, but your inner GOD- self as opposed to your human self. It's for your own spiritual survival as a Universal Being and a child of GOD. But on a PRAC- TICAL level, any committment that you make must necessarily involve others, and although this certainly doesn't mean that it's irrevoc- able, it does mean that others must be considered if and when you want to change it. So bear that in mind when you're feeling your way into your Process function.
The ideal Process structure should be for Processeans to lean on temporarily, to build or support or expand in whatever way is right for them, and to be trapped by NEVER.
Finally, The Process belongs, on a spiritual level, to none of us. It belongs to the Game, as we belong to the Game. But on a prac- tical level it belongs to all of us, not just me, or me and a few others, but to all Processeans. If you like my vision of a new Process structure, we can build lt together. If you don't, then let me know what YOU have in mind, and maybe we'll build that as well. But don't build for me, build for yourselves and one another, including me as one of you.
The Process is yours. And my reward will be the knowledge that all of you can find within it the greatest possible personal and collec- tive satisfaction and fulfillment. In a word: SURVIVAL.
So be it,
[ Signature: Robert ]
The only road to Life passes through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.