PS-8 (With Excerpt from Mattew Commentaries)
TO: ALL PROCESSEANS
FROM: ROBERT DE GRIMSTON
Brethren, As it is,
Another cycle is ended. And The Process moves into yet another phase of the Game.
In October of last year all the signs indicated that I should reinvolve myself in the creation of a new Process structure. I had a vague idea of the form that structure would ultimately take, but I could not impose my idea on the actual task of reorganization. Instead I simply followed the signs and allowed the situation to take its course in response to the various pressures which the Processeans involved channelled into it.
The instinct in many to recreate a replica of the old structure was naturally strong, and it was very fascinating to watch old patterns emerging in new forms and under new disguises. But even more fascinating was the fact that without any pressure or resistance from me (every reality was given a full opportunity to stake its claim), the patterns found no foothold, and each one eventually faded into the past.
We finally proved - if any of us needed proof - that whatever structure we might try to create for The Process, the Game will only allow the appropriate structure to emerge and become established.
In a part conscious anticipation of the outcome of this restructuring phase, I've spent a great deal of time with Processeans in Toronto, stressing the fact that The Process offers no secuurity, in the sense of being something to lean on or cling to; it's purpose is to help Processeans to discover their own security within themselves. And this has also been my last message to the Processeans in Boston.
And for those of you who've not yet heard it, I'm enclosing with this letter an excerpt from the Matthew Commentaries which makes that very point.
In brief, the new Process structure will not provide - for anyone - a solid, tangible, organised security point. It won't - at this stage of the Game anyway - provide a physical focal point, a central place of worship, an emotional bow-wave, an exclusive group of ministers, problem handlers, mediators, parent substitutes, prefects or mentors; nothing, in fact, onto which a would-be Processean can transfer his own personal sense of responsibility and then cling to for protection from the pressures of the human game. Nor will it provide the dangerous trappings of ranks and titles and uniforms, behind which a would-be Processean can hide his personal sense of inadequacy, and thereby avoid the painful task of coming to terms with it.
There's nothing inherently wrong with any one of these elements, but twelve years of experience has shown me how quickly and easily we all of us slide into using them to avoid what we have to go through in order to transcend.
Now The Process has been good to us. Because before pulling the security rug out from under us, it gave us the alternative. Process teachings, as they stand, take us a long long way towards having no need of that rug. Many Processeans, unfortunately, never found that out, because the external security point which the old organisation represented, obscured the need to Žnd it out. Many Processeans didn't bother to discover security within themselves, because they were well provided for from elsewhere. As long as they could lean on the structure, climb its rungs, play its games, follow its rules, and wear its identity instead of bringing out their own, what incentive had they to grow and expand and become stronger within themselves. Some even mistook their increasing identiŽcation with a structure that seemed to be growing stronger, for an increase in their own strength. So this Žnal disappearance of even the promise of a new security point to replace the old one, may come as a shock to some of you.
To put it bluntly, you're on your own.
If you have used The Process to strengthen yourself, you'll be undismayed by this because there'll be plenty of opportunity to go on doing that through a continued study of Process teachings. But if you've never gone beyond the point of seeing The Process as a crutch, or a status symbol, or a source of identity and signiŽcance, then you'll probably feel let down and insecure.
But I predict that whichever is your reaction now, eventually you'll be glad that the illusion is Žnally gone, and that The Process is emerging as what it really is, a stark and challenging way to transcend the human game, and not just another means of protecting yourself against it.
For all of you, and many others too, there'll be an opportunity to study Process teachings regularly and systematically, and to apply them, not within the false security of a protected Process reservation, but surrounded by the stark reality of the human game. Because that's the only way you'll attain and recognise that degree of invulnerability which a true understanding of Process teachings gives you.
But the experiences of the past six months have done more than finally remove the last agreements and expectations of building a cosy replica of the old Process structure. There was one other job that had to be done.
In the Old Process we tackled all the God patterns one by one, by means of a series of very intense `enactments', in which each pattern combination in turn was thrown into relief by certain members of the `inner core' of the organization, so that all of us could learn the full nature of the pattern - particularly at its most negative - and also so that the pattern itself could go through a kind of catharsis, a death and rebirth point.
There was nothing predirected or artificial about these enactments; they were completely spontaneous and the emotions and manifestations involved were real. But there was always a part of some of us which could remain detached enough, even at the most painful points of the drama, to recognize the symptoms of a major enactment, and therefore to be able to carry it through to its often agonizing but subsequently releasing conclusion.
In this way we tackled the LS pattern, the JC pattern, and the LC pattern, in that order. But just as we were about to move in on the JS pattern, the JS pattern - in character, and of course as a part of the enactment! - had other ideas. And naturally - as their part of the enactment - all the other patterns submitted, believing themselves to be either inevitably - or in many cases thankfully! - subject to the JS reality. Consequently the Separation happened. And no one believed that it could have been prevented.
That's power. Emotional power. The power of suggestion. And that's the particular area of power which is dominated by the JS pattern.
Well, anyway, we all slipped out of that particular enactment. So of course The Process had to come round and run through it once again; but this time with no escape clause.
And we did. We started setting the scene and reenacting the earlier stages when we began to collect Processeans together in Boston in October. By November a brand new - or perhaps a continuation of the old - JS enactment was well under weigh. And when the Boston group came to Toronto on the Ides of March, we swung into the final stages of a very intense and emotion-packed drama, which needless to say involved several strong JS personalities, right at its centre and carrying most of the weight of the enactment.
It's enough to say that this time we came through it and out the other side, at the same time concluding the final stages of eliminating the old illusions of what a Process structure should be. (And incidentally the timing was no coincidence, because there's a direct connection between those illusions and the negative end of the JS pattern. Structures which offer security in return for service make ideal vehicles for an emotional power game).
One year ago it seemed that the Old Process had come to an end. But it took one year to prove that to the satisfaction of all concerned, and also to complete the work on an enactment level which the Old Process had started. Now all that has been done.
During the next few months I shall be working on the new cycle, which will give Processeans the chance to study Process teachings without the distraction of creating or trying to relate to a formal organised structure. Meanwhile I shall be in England, contactable at the following address: 65, Iverna Court, London, W.8, England.
Ken Humphreys will be putting out a completely independent newsletter from New York. So if you want to contribute or subscribe to it, contact him.
If any of you want to form Process groups, hold Seminars, Assemblies or other rituals and activities, you're free to do so on your own decision. But the true strength of The Process depends not on the formation of groups, but on the gradually expanding number of growing learning Processeans, living in the world (the human game) but working towards no longer being of the world.
The Survival Centre is still a vision of the future. Perhaps there will be many more than one. My task will be to help Processeans to grow towards that sense of invulnerability and detachment which a study and application of Process teachings can give them. Yours will be to live whatever kind of life such growth directs you into. In that way we can build a real and valid bulwark of Process Power, a power of awareness and transcendence, to replace the crumbling human power of guilt, fear, anxiety, and insecurity.
This particular function of The Process is expressed in the I Ching by Hexagram 57; Sun, the Gentle, (the Penetrating, Wind), which is the hexagram of homecoming, after 56; Lu, which is the hexagram of wandering in a strange land.
`Sun' has the quality of gentleness, "which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots. The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness ' Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation, but by inßuence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument."
And this is the nature of Process teachings. If they are studied and applied with a calm relentless regularity, the effects are gradual, but real and lasting. Also, if they are publicised, they may not take the world by storm overnight, but an awareness and understanding of them will spread slowly and unceasingly. And that is the destiny of The Process.
You'll hear from me again,
So be it,
19 A doctor of the law came up, and said, `Master, I will follow you wherever you go.'
20 Jesus replied, `Foxes have their holes, the birds their roosts; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'
There is no security in HUMAN terms for the follower of Christ. Christ piaces no reliance upon material things, followers. He will not CLING to them at any cost, therefore His followers cannot DEPEND on them. Nor is He willing to subject Himself to any human value or agreement or structure at any expense, therefore His followers cannot depend on those either. He is prepared, if necessary, to be an outcast, therefore His followers must be prepared to be outcasts also.
Jesus makes the point that if following him wherever he goes simply means geographically or physically, it is not a real committment. Because geographically and physically he cannot guarantee that there is ANYWHERE he can go. There is no security for him on that level at all, not even the security of freedom of movement, let alone a stable base from which to operate. NOTHING for him, on that level, is certain. Therefore nothing is certain for his followers. And this, he says, is important to realise before committing yourself to BEING one of his followers.
To follow Christ one must enter a vacuum in human terms, an area which neither demands nor expects ANYTHING on a material or social level. The only solidity within that human vacuum is Christ Himself, which means the knowledge which He offers. That is one hundred percent reliable. It can be depended upon, and lived by, at the expense of every material consideration, without fear.
Now that of course is an ideal. If we had no doubts, we would not be in the human Game at all. But those who test that concept day after day against their own diminishing uncertainty, can vouch for its validity. The Universal Law NEVER changes - unlike the bank interest rate, or the price of food, or the level of unemployment, or the value of stocks and shares, or the cost of living in general, which are subject to CONSTANT change.
But strangely, and often miraculously, material prosperity usually comes to those who have truly relinquished all dependence upon it or demand for it, and instead settled for Christ's set of values. "Set your mind on God's Kingdom and his justice before everything else and all the rest will come to you as well", said Jesus in Chapter 6 verse 33. And it does, whenever it is required.
Christ and His followers can be rich or poor. They can live in the lap of luxury or in the depths of poverty. They can be here at one moment and gone somewhere else the next. They can be welcomed or cast out. They can be clothed and fed or left naked and starving. For them it is equal; the current requirements of the Game; manifestations to use, or from which to learn; lessons, opportunities, tests, signs; but whatever they are, they are never more than the accidence of life, as opposed to the essence. And only the essence of life, which Christ and His teachings represent, can be validly leaned upon.
This essence of life is nota person, or even a philosophy, but a power; the power of knowledge and understanding and awareness. It's the power of knowing that there is something there beyond the reach of human reality, something that permeates all existence, something within, something that stands behind and beneath what can be touched and felt and seen, something that governs everything with a Law that never changes and can be relied upon utterly.
Some of us have to understand it intellectually before we can completely know it; we have to see the inexorable logic of its machinations, Žtting the parts together like a jigsaw, until a meaningful picture emerges. Others of us can at once feel its presence intuitively, and the Žtting of the parts comes afterwards. But too many of us are looking for somewhere to lay our heads, safe and secure within the bounds of human values, so we see this all embracing substance as a kind of divine representative of those values. But the image is as unreliable as the values themselves, so we must continually reinforce its existence with rigid morality, or pious rectitude, or spiritual euphoria, or holy condemnation, or other-worldly virtue; none of which has anything to do with Christ.
This is what Jesus meant by "teach(ing) as doctrines the commandments of men." (15:9). And incidentally, whoever sees THAT as a holy condemnation, and preaches it as such, is doing it! And that means all of us, at one time or another. It's so much easier to take human values and give them divine status, than to take a superhuman truth and use it to analyse, and eventually disarm, ALL human values. Human values we understand too easily; superhuman truth is something we can only understand by reaching beyond human values.
Now it's not difficult, is it, to grasp the meaning of Christ having nowhere to lay his head in a physical and material sense? But the concept must be taken further than that.
`Master, I will follow you wherever you go, and whatever stand you take on any issue, whatever code you embrace, whatever principles you advocate, whatever camp you join, whatever party you support, whatever viewpoint you represent.' THAT SEEMS like a real committment. But Jesus would have given the same answer. "I cannot offer material security, that is easy to accept, but nor can I offer the security of a definite stand on any issue, or a code, or principles, or one camp in favour of another, or one party, or any fixed and rigid viewpoint. These also are parts of the structure of human values. They are not my security, so they cannot be yours either if you follow me. I am not here to take a moral stand, or to praise one set of principles and condemn another, or to support one party against another, or to advocate any single viewpoint. I am here to lead you into a world which transcends ALL those things (the escapist raises his eyes with hope) and is yet deeply involved in every one of them." (The escapist is downcast. But both he AND the enthusiast are mystified).
This is the crucial paradox, which has been lost. The concept of detached involvement. Nowhere to lay one's head, not even on a rigid moral standpoint, and yet no escape from any standpoint, moral or otherwise. The concept of being IN the world - completely - and yet not OF the world - not even slightly.
And the vast majority are unable to contain the paradox. The vast majority therefore divide in two; on one side the cross is a symbol which endows a particular moral code with divine status, on the other it is a lure which draws us into a world of pious unreality. But Christ supports neither faction - although He sympathises with both, as is His wont.
Now noncommittment to any moral standpoint does not preclude the acknowledgement that some activities are desirable and others undesirable. Part of Christ's involvement in human values is separating the desirable from the undesirable - not on the basis of morality, but on the basis of wisdom and a knowledge of the Universal Law. He analyses, and assesses, and then comments. The moralist simply reacts, and then judges. The escapist simply ignores or dismisses.
It is clear from the New Testament that Jesus did sometimes react, and sometimes he reacted negatively, and became irritated either with the Pharisees' hypocrisy or his own disciples' stupidity! And it would be absurd to regard Jesus as some sublime paragon, ßoating permanently six inches above the ground with never an uncharitable thought in his head. To channel the Christ spirit effectively, in a function which involved a complete understanding of the human predicament, Jesus had to EXPERIENCE that predicament. He had to EXPERIENCE pain and guilt and fear and misery and futility and anger and blame and self-pity and hatred and confusion, and every other negative human emotion - as well as all the positive ones - in order to understand them. And that means he had to CREATE some fairly undesirable effects in order to receive the same in return. The idea that Jesus, of all people, was without sin, is an anachronism. The concept of sin was something he HAD to understand and analyse, so it was something he HAD to experience.
So let's not claim that Jesus never judged or blamed anyone. He was human. But he taught the UNDESIRABILITY of blame and judgement. He sought a means to rise above the human state, and paradoxically, part of that means was to become deeply involved with the human state. Only the EXPERIENCE of blame can truly demonstrate to us the UNDESIRABILITY of blame. But it has to be an AWARE rather than a blind experience. We must detach at some point, and analyse the consequences of our blame, rather than giving it full credence and ignoring the effects created.
This is an aspect of detached involvement; to enact, examine, analyse, and learn from what is undesirable, rather than condemning it or justilfying it.
So Jesus offered no security whatever within the HUMAN structure. But he offered TOTAL security within the UNIVERSAL structure, and he offered a standpoint THERE from which to experience, understand, and thereby eventually become FREE of the human structure.