- Luke 17:21
Week 6 Assignments
- Disidentify and observe the operations of the self. Observe (without judgement) the behavior of the NOT-I’s and their motives, conflicts, emotional reactions, etc.
- Write a list of the NOT-I’s I observe in self.
- Observe instances (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, statements, etc.) of greed, pride, and vanity. What are the images one holds about oneself? What does one do to protect and defend that false picture of self?
Week 6 Transcript
We have been observing how X functions, how I functions, how the body functions, and today we’re going to start taking up the task that we will be with for a long time, but one of the most interesting tasks anyone ever undertook: that of I dis-identifying from the self, from the not-I’s, from John or Mary, as the case may be.
The word used for dis-identifying in olden times was to “renounce” or “to dispose of” – in other words, cease owning it. If one renounces the self, one ceases to claim it. So to dis-identify is to cease to claim, cease to treat the same as I, to renounce it – it is no longer. Another word that was used was to “deny.” So, I deny that John is I. John is a piece of conditioning, a whole group of conditioned things that makes up a personality.
Now all personality, all the many “I’s” or the aspects of self or the conditioning that makes up personality is serving the Four Dual Basic Urges, which are called in some literature:
The urge to gain pleasure and comfort, to escape all pain, to gain attention, and to avoid being ignored or rejected, to gain approval and to escape disapproval, and to gain a sense of importance and control over other people and to escape the sense of inferiority or the inability to control others.
The personality is referred to in some material as the Scribes and the Pharisees – that they were intent upon having the favorable attention of man, of gaining their approval for their pious behavior and of believing and doing as they were told by authority – “The Law”. And of course the “A” side of that situation, the one that wants to complain to get its way, stick up for its rights and blame was called Gentiles. But all of it makes up the personality and there is two aspects of it, and it’s at war with each other. There is an enemy within to the enemy within. Now I neither identifies with the Scribes or the Pharisees or the Gentiles. It renounces them both. It dis-identifies from ‘em and reports merely what is going on in that thing called “personality” – it is now serving X, which is its nature. It is the Awareness Function of X and it is being obedient to its nature – to be supplying accurate information to X as to what’s going on.
Now the house has been taken over by usurpers and the first chore of I is to observe the usurpers, report them to X, and X will take care of renderin’ ‘em inoperative or removing ‘em or whatever it does. However one will notice that when once or twice, when something is really observed and reported to X, that one doesn’t see that particular not-I again. Another one will take over and be quite as effective in its effort to serve Mammon, but they will be diminishing – every one, one observes.
Now, before one takes up this dis-identifying, which seems like something strange (it’s something different than anything we’ve ever done) the first thing one does, of course, is to question the purpose of living. As long as we accept, take for granted that the purpose of living is to gain pleasure and escape pain on all levels – having attention, having approval, having a sense of importance, being able to control and manipulate other people by whatever means we use… and to avoid being ignored or rejected (or at least find an excellent justification that says they were pretty stupid if they did that), always avoid disapproval (or if not, justify that the person that did the disapproving was picking on me, not seeing clearly, etc.) and the sense of inferiority. As long as these are identified with, I is hypnotized, is serving Mammon because all of ‘em are an effort to keep that. No matter what goes on, it is serving Mammon. So, dis-identifying is to renounce, deny as being I, the self. It is to dispose of it and see it as an object.
Now as long as we have as the purpose of living is to be non-disturbed (that of Mammon) we are dependent upon everything that offers it, regardless of whether it be Communism, whether it be some other ideology, whether it be a person that I gain some pleasure from. And if “I” am dependent upon that pleasure then “I” am dependent on the person; then “I” must guard and watch and “I” will feel jealous if they give any attention to anyone else. “I” will be fearful least “I” lose that source of pleasant attention and there is very apt to be violence. The inner man is in a state of violence as long as I is hypnotized by the not-I’s and it is asleep.
As I stands aside and is the observer, dis-identifies, denies the self, renounces the self and begins to report to X what’s going on in that self, what is happening in that house that was really rightfully it but now is pushed out because they have taken over… then one is reporting to X and is obedient to one’s nature. And that is the greatest obedience there is. And without obedience to one’s nature, one is identified and being disobedient to one’s nature because one is serving Mammon and one is dependent upon every suggestion that offers pleasure and comfort or threatens pain.
Now the things that one renounces, of course, is called “riches…possessions”. Now, let’s talk about not the house and the car and the property and the bank account which all the self does possess and we will leave it possessing those things. But let’s observe that it possesses opinions of which it prizes highly and considers that, “ “My” opinions are always correct and that other people’s are always wrong and that “I” must defend these opinions.” And you have probably observed a considerable amount of violence reported to X – a great emergency and X prepared tremendous amounts of energy to defend a mere opinion (that may or may not have any validity whatsoever and no way of checking it out.)
One’s ideas that one has accumulated here and there are great possessions, great riches to the conditioned self. And so we observe: I observes John defending opinions, claiming opinions, claiming ideas as his. And he frequently says somebody stole his ideas because somebody else is doin’ somethin’ similar. And he feels very mistreated and he sticks up for his right to have sole possession, or at least the credit or honor for that idea. He also claims thoughts.
So, John says “my” thoughts. I observe John claimin’ thoughts and I can observe John’s thoughts. I may not be able to observe anyone else’s. But I can observe John’s thoughts because I am assigned to observe this earthling, this self and I observe those thoughts. I see that “A” puts up a thought, and then “B” puts up a counter act and this is called “thinking.” And basically they’re set off by associations, which is pushing a button. So John had his face pushed in the Bermuda grass and beat up by a neighbor kid when he was five years old. Today he is allergic to Bermuda grass because ever’ time he goes by the Bermuda, he is about to be reminded of that kid that pushed him in the grass. He has a big account against the kid. And, so he begins to cry and sneeze and feel mistreated. And it’s said that he is “allergic to Bermuda grass.”
To observe thoughts is most interesting because they’re set off by association. And when it sets off one in “A’s” association, “B” gets one that counteracts it. And the person says, “I’m going to do this” from “A”; and then “B” sits up and says, “Yes, but this might happen if you do that!” And then begins “A” to set up another idea as to what it would have another thought. Then “B” says, “Yes, but…” Or “B” originates an idea that we will do a lot of good and gain a lot of attention by giving $1000 to the Boy Scouts. But “A” says, “Yes, but if you do that we can’t get the boat and we do want the boat.” And “B” says, “Yes, but if we get the boat we won’t be able to give the $1000 and somebody might say that we were just showin’ off.” And “A” says, “But it won’t be showin’ off. It will be providing something for the family to enjoy. And I’m getting it all for the family.” And we can listen to the justifications.
So I will observe thoughts – the thoughts of “A”, the thoughts of “B” and the resultant contention going on between until one can overpower the other and talk in the name of I to report to X. But now when I is observing this going on, their story is intercepted by I. I is now the mediator between self and X. Before, I was hypnotized and the self was speaking in the name of I directly to X. Now I is on the job and is the mediator. And it screens all the material that the self is ramblin’ around with. So there begins to be an entirely different state of affairs. No longer can the self report directly to X because I has awakened from its hypnotic sleep and arose from among the dead ideas and is now reporting what is going on in the self. It reports what I has is a treasure and where I’s attention continually is – the false “I.” The false “I”, the self’s attention is all on the treasure of the Four Dual Basic Urges. It holds this out as the great treasure and it continually attempts to gain it. It uses every contention to both “A” and “B” to get it.
And the self is ever involved in war and it never gains the non-disturbed state; it’s always a little held out in the future. But as one I, the real observer, begins to observe this, one realizes that the Four Dual Basic Urges are a fallacy. It is an illusion and that the struggle towards that illusion is the disintegrating factor that has brought man to a disintegrated state from fighting jungle wars to each other, to hating each other, to contending constantly and that within, there is the battle going on between “A” and “B.” This outward world is merely an outward expression in society of each individual’s inner state. One sees that one is (while identified with the not-I’s) is bringing about all the things that the not-I’s say they don’t want. They want pleasure and comfort but they’re doing everything possible to bring about dissension. They want attention and they do everything possible to have one ignored.
So, as one observes this one has a complete change in values. But we will not start to work on the values yet. I is merely observing the action of the self, all the many not-I’s, all the bits of conditioning. One is observing personality. As one observes this, this personality becomes rather passive. It is as an object being observed. It is a thing that is being observed much as one would look through a microscope and observe bacteria on a slide. It is purely an object or a thing. Now this is the beginning of awareness of self. The beginning of self-awareness is the beginning of Objective Awareness. Now all of our days we have been subject to whatever went on. We saw it as self – “I” was the subject. “And how did this affect me? How did this affect?”
Now as I observe the not-I’s, I observe John, I will observe him building accounts against Mary and against ever’ other person he meets. He will be building accounts against the government. He will be building accounts against someone that he hears speak out in public that is opposed to his ideas that he feels in some way is a threat to him. He will see him… I will observe John indulging in self-pity because of something that happened long ago and because he was mistreated today. Somebody failed to give attention to John. Somebody failed to give approval when he felt he was entitled to it. He put on a good act; he was a Scribe or a Pharisee and nobody really gave him any great praise for it. He’s horribly disappointed.
Mary, I observe Mary (when I’m the lady), I observe Mary being very upset because no one noticed her new dress. Now I doesn’t own a dress. And I doesn’t own Mary. I is observing Mary. But Mary owns a dress and Mary has a new dress and it’s very lovely accordin’ to Mary (and possibly to everbody else) but, “Nobody noticed it and nobody gave her a compliment and nobody gave her any approval or attention and she’s very upset.” Now all this does not get to X anymore because I is observing this. Mary takes care of the children (“her” children, if you please) and I observes Mary feeling that the children are obligated to her because she fed them and clothed them today and she washed their clothes and they should be obligated to her and do what she wants ‘em to, when she wants ‘em to. And we might, I might observe Mary making the children feel guilty. It is an excellent means of controlling. And if she doesn’t control, she feels inferior. If she controls, she feels pretty good – she is powerful now, she is important. The children look up to her and feel obligated to her. I observe Mary making John feel obligated because she cooked a good dinner or because she cleaned the house up very well. And if John doesn’t notice these things, woe be to John.
So, I observes the play going on in the bits of conditioning. It is as though one were above a house and looking down into a house that had no roof or a transparent roof and could see all the things going on in that house. Maybe some kids are in the bathroom makin’ a mess and Mother’s in the kitchen, cookin’, and another one is trying to gain some approval somewheres by painting a picture or by doing a piece of work or whatever it may be. One I is observing a house full of not-I’s, which about half of ‘em are opposed and trying to undo the intentions of the other half. One half is serving Mammon by complainin’, stickin’ up for rights and blaming; the other half is trying to serve Mammon by trying to please everbody, by believing and doing as they are told by authority. And they quote books and say, “You know this is what you should do and this is the necessity and this is absolutely necessary!” And they try to please Mammon, gain Mammon, serve Mammon by appearing to be different. And there is a war going on.
This is called conflict. It is called struggle. It is called resistance. I observe these and does not try to stop them, but is merely observing and reporting to X of what’s going on in this house. This group of not-I’s really make up two nations, the Gentile and the Jews. The Jews live by the law: please everbody, believe and do as you’re told by authority, and appear to be different. The Gentile says, “Hang all that! It’s important to have my way right now and the way to get it is to complain. So I will put on a demonstration in the streets. I will put on a protest meeting (which is a form of complainin’). I will stick up for my rights to do as I want to by any conceivable sort of violence that may arise. I will be sure and describe what’s to blame.”
So we’re really observing peoples as well as observing not-I’s, because they really are people.
So, we will make us a chart: “The not-I’s I have observed in self.” And we will keep a little running track of ‘em. Now we will get reminded if we forget, we will be reminded by news stories of protest meetings, of people stickin’ up for their rights, and for all the blame that you might hear as you read or watch the news. You will see many people being blamed for everbody else’s difficulty. Somebody will blame somebody else for pollution. Somebody else will blame somebody else for higher prices, for inflation. Somebody will be blamin’ somebody for starting a war or not stopping a war. And this will be a reminder that such is going on within and maybe that will wake I up.
Now we said that I would take a nap quite often. But ever’ little shock will tend to awaken I and put it back on the job of observing the not-I’s, the self, John, Mary. And as one observes this, one finds there is a cleaning out of many of the not-I’s. I begins to think it’s rather funny that all these not-I’s are so busy serving an ideal called Mammon – the ideal that instead of experiencing everyday existence and living, and experiencing a more conscious state of being, that unknowingly each and every one is trying to serve an ideal of being non-disturbed, of gaining pleasure, gaining attention, gaining approval and importance, and being very upset if they’re ignored or rejected, or have any pain or are disapproved of, or find it incapable to get everyone to do what they want them to do when they want them to do.
So, we will keep us a chart, a nice sheet of paper.
And I observe this not-I doing so and so. I observe this not-I doing so and so. This is to keep I awake. The chart being around the house will remind I to get back on the job.
I is very weak. It’s been hypnotized since shortly after birth and it has of course not developed; it has remained weak. It has remained little while the personality has taken over and has become very powerful. And as one observes this personality that is serving Mammon and that one side of it has Vanity (it has a beautiful picture of itself as being very holy, very righteous, very wonderful) and Pride is on the other side defending it, it’s the only place that they cooperate: Pride defends vanity. Vanity is of “B” and Pride is of “A.” So, let’s observe Pride and Vanity.
We will also observe this self that when it does gain a little attention, or a little approval, or a great pleasure, or a great amount of attention, or a great amount of approval, no matter how fortunate it would be from someone else’s viewpoint, it is very quickly that Greed makes it want more, better, and different. This is the trick of Mammon, the Four Dual Basic Urges. No matter how much they should receive, they are never fully satisfied except for a very few minutes. And then the greed says more, better, and different.
And let’s observe Greed only in this particular week, along with watchin’ the not-I’s. We’ll see that when there is gratification of the senses, gratification of the urge to have attention, gratification of the urge for approval and even gratification of the power urge, the sense of importance that it’s never quite enough. And that very quickly Mammon says, “But that’s not quite enough. Let’s have more. Or let’s have better. Or let’s have different. Or let’s have it given for a different reason.” And as we observe this we will see many not-I’s that will not appear again in a few days. So let’s observe them. Let’s do not condemn or justify them. We observe and record: “What not-I’s I have observed this day.” And each day we will keep a runnin’ list of ‘em.
Now one or two may seem to you that it’s the same one but they’re excellent masquerade artists, so one that was attemptin’ to please people may appear not to be gone. Now the whole mess of pleasers won’t be gone because there’s many ways to please and each one of ‘em is a separate “I.” Remember that each piece of conditioning became a separate “I.” So one “I” pleased by smiling, another “I” pleased by waiting on someone, another pleaser “I” pleased by giving compliments, another pleasing not-I gave favors of various and sundry kinds. So, there is many pleasing not-I’s. There is many “I’s” that want to be different; they have many different ways of being different. Almost everything that one has heard complemented through the ages, a not-I jumped up and says, “That’s me!” and he begin to practice his art. And there is many authoritative not-I’s, there is many complaining not-I’s, there is many belligerent, stickin’ up for rights not-I’s… and oh, what a multitude of blaming not-I’s they are.
We will observe and watch the termites cease to be quite so thick.