- Luke 17:21
Week 14 Assignments
- Disidentify and observe the operations of the self. Observe (without judgement) the behavior of the Not-I’s and their underlying motives, conflicts, negative emotional reactions, etc.
- Write down the four ideas of the world. Observe if the self lives by these ideas. See if you see them working in all the things you come in contact with.
- Keep records of all the time things go fairly well and one takes the credit and who or what one blames when they don’t.
Week 14 Transcript
One of the great tragedies of Vanity in mankind is that it makes him believe he knows much he does not know. When many of us come in contact with a technical word in a subject that we’re not real acquainted with, we at least look it up in the dictionary. But if we are studying a very technical subject about the Science of Man – and if there is several text books about, about the Science of Man – there are things that are written down that are a challenge to man if he should find them and they are highly technical, highly scientific, but they use ordinary words in a very technical sense. And we read these books, which we know are loaded with many kinds of information. But Vanity says we already know it because we know one meaning for the word that is there. And we assume that we, of course, know all the meanings of the word.
One of those common words is the “world”. One man said, “Fear not, I have overcome the world.” Really a better translation of it is, “I have risen above the world.” Another place it says, “Keep oneself unspotted from the world.” Now, most of the time we think of the world as the Earth or at the best the society all over the Earth. We never possibly stop to find out how it’s used in this very technical sense in the way of the Science of Man.
So suppose we inquire into it a bit. And as has been said before, take nothing for granted; take nothing because it is said. But investigate, experiment with it, and find out for self.
The conditioned self is a picture of the world. And there is four basic ideas that makes up what is called the “world” in the technical sense of the Science of Man.
The first of these ideas is that there are IDEALS. There are “what ought to be” and that man is capable of knowing what ought to be, that he knows what is good, what is bad, and he thinks in opposites. He knows what is right and what is wrong. He thinks in opposites, he judges constantly. There is an old, old story that says they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was told that if they eat of it, they would die. And of course, man doesn’t believe that today because everybody thinks he knows the opposites, he is capable of judging, and he believes he is not dead.
But I, the Awareness Function of X, is dead. The conditioning operates in the name of I and tells X many false information. And it is death to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And every one of us eat of it, and we did die. And we are in this effort of slowly, carefully studying the self, attempting to arise from among the dead and be alive by being aware of the self. So the first idea of the world is that there are ideals of what ought to be and that they’re, of course, opposite to those things that ought not to be. And that man thinks he is capable of judging.
Many places he reads, “Judge not,” and he thinks of it as a moral code. And then he justifies it by saying, “Well, I will judge justly,” and he still judges compared to the ideal and he is still dead. So, the first idea of the world is that there are ideals.
The next idea of the world is that it’s possible to SELF-IMPROVE the self as it is. Only just improve it and thereby actualize the ideals to have everything like it ought to be. Now of course, the basic decision, the basic motive, the basic means, basic purpose of living is the Four Dual Basic Urges to be non-disturbed. And that is what one has set as the ideal.
And then the next six decisions, three in “A” and three in “B” on your Picture of Man, are attempts at self-improvement. Now if you go through all the ideas of self-improvement that you may have ever been in contact with, you will find they’re all there.
You can behave differently, which is number five. You can believe different things because someone told you to believe it – number four. You can do certain ritualistic performances or you can do all sorts of things that are commanded in one form or another, behave in a certain way, believe and do as you are told by your authorities. You can blame all manner of things. You can blame negative thinking and you can try to think positive. And of course, thinking positive is trying to believe something you believe to be a lie, or you wouldn’t be thinking positive – you’d just agree with it and go on.
So all the efforts at self-improvement… And the libraries are full of books on self-improvement. There is institutions from one end of the earth to the other bent upon self-improvement of the man and of other selves. So we always are trying to self-improvement – whether it’s improve this self or to improve that other self so I won’t be disturbed.
And then of course the third idea of the world is that one will have SIGNS AND DEMONSTRATIONS as to how well one is self-improving. If one is reasonably comfortable, has a reasonable amount of wealth, one takes that as a sign that one has improved considerable.
If one should suddenly lose their wealth, they will find something to BLAME, which is the fourth idea of the world. So one has a sign that one is either succeeding in self-improvement when things are going reasonably well; it has a sign that something is interfering if one is not doing so well.
If one loses one’s health, one finds something to blame – a diagnostic term. One says, “I am a victim of arthritis.” So arthritis, some sort of entity, which is flying around in the air and says, “There is John, I will bite him,” or, “There is Mary, I will attack her.” Another one is a victim of multiple sclerosis – there is something called multiple sclerosis that floats around in the air and periodically it sees someone and says, “I’m going to attack them.”
So we have something to blame when things are not going well. And we have self-esteem that we have succeeded in our efforts to self-improve when things are going fairly well to our liking. In other words, we’re having a certain amount of pleasure and comfort and not very much pain; we are having a considerable amount of attention and very little being ignored and rejected; we are having quite a bit of approval and we’re not having too much disapproval right now, or none. And we have a certain number of people that we can control – we feel important. And if we can’t control them, we feel inferior.
But for every time we have a pain, we look for something to blame. We never accept that maybe I am doing something. That is only reserved for when things are going well. When things go like we want them, we said our self-improvement techniques have worked. When things go like we don’t want them to accordin’ to the Four Dual Basic Urges, we find something to blame.
In this, of course, man is blind. But these are the ideas of the world. And we would like for you to write the four ideas of the world down. And we would like for you to observe if the self lives by these four ideas. That there are ideals of what ought to be, and of course, what ought not to be, which is good and bad, right and wrong, should, should not – the “Land of the Opposites” and what is used as a basis for judging self and others – conflicts, struggle, resistance, all the way up to wars. That one looks at all the efforts one puts in to improve the self and improve other selves. That one also keeps somewhat of a record of all the times things go fairly well, one takes the credit. One never gives any credit to X. “I can walk. I can type. I can eat, I can digest my food,” and all these many things of which one hasn’t the faintest idea of how it even takes place. “I can see. I can do all these things.” You see, no credit or glory or honor is ever given to X. It is all is taken. And then when things don’t go well according to the Four Dual Basic Urges, one doesn’t take credit for that. One finds something to blame, which is we have looked at as building accounts against people, which is to load a grievous burden again on “self” to carry around. And one, which we have looked at or at least are being looked at somewhat.
Now, man has built many philosophies on how to self-improve, how to achieve the ideal, how to achieve that which he lists as being good.
Now, the Science of Man is not a philosophy. It is a series of experiments and observations that is given to us that we may experiment with them, observe with them. We could say that it might be a Light with which we could look in dark places, places we have never looked before. And then we are using it.
If we accept it as a philosophy or as an ideology, something to be quoted, argued about, organized, build an institution about, of course we have not understood it. We have not valued it. It is only some interesting words to use. It is a series of instructions as to experiments. It is a series of possibilities of something existing that we had not looked at. It throws a light on many things; but it is always left for each one of us to experiment with, to use it, to verify, to find out for self. Without doing this we, of course, only heard the Teaching and did not use it.
Now, there has been many people who have heard the Teaching and they have attempted to make a philosophy, or an institution, or an ideology out of it. Now, we will look and see what some of these efforts have resulted in. We are not condemning them or justifying them. We are only turning a light on what happens when one attempts to use the Teaching other than experimentation and for self-discovery – when one tries to use the ideas it presents as an ideology or to build an institution about.
The first thing that in using the Teaching for an ideology, a method of self-improvement, if you please – which of course is an ideology – the first one is that we will be “tolerant” of people. Now tolerant means – when we verify it and use it for a minute and experiment with it – is that I see that you’re very inferior to me, you’re very much less intelligent than I am, and you’re not near as good a person as I am. But I will tolerate you because this is a technique of self-improvement and it will help me achieve the ideal of being non-disturbed.
So I will tolerate you and you possibly will give me some attention and you might even give me some approval. Now tolerance is, of course, to look down on another person and to put oneself in an exalted position. One has a picture of oneself as much better than that person that one is tolerating. So this is another expression of Vanity and further Vanity that one knew what the Teaching meant without experimenting with it.
The second idea that the ones who heard about the Teaching and used it as a philosophy, the second idea was “Faith”. And they have twisted faith into meaning gullibility; believe what you are told by someone who set up an institution or some such ideology. And you believe it because some authority said to believe it under pain of future punishment. Or possibly if you do it and accept and be gullible and say, “Yes, I believe,” you shall gain a great reward.
The next term is what is meant by “Grace”. Grace, to the person who is using it as a method of trying to explain, to make a philosophy, finds that they can say when things don’t go well, “Well, it was the will of God.” “It was the will of the Father,” when things don’t go well.
In other words, they even blame God for things not going well. But certainly they would not accept the responsibility of saying, “I goofed”. Because Pride must defend that beautiful picture of self and so there is always saying everything was, “the will of God”. So they define God as having whims – a capricious being who one day gives you something and lets you get it because you worked for it and did all the good things. Really, you very seldom hear anybody give credit and say it was the will of God when something happened well. They brag about that. They did it. But when things don’t go well, then it was the will of God.
And so they have defined Grace – they use the word “grace” – but they define it so that it comes out to be the whim of a capricious God. And when things don’t go well, it was the “will of God”. When things go pretty well, though, “I am very successful, my techniques of self-improvement have really worked.”
And the next one they used, of course, was “Love”, which is from an old Greek word “Agape”. But they took it and made it into somewhat of a form of “tolerance”. And the first one that we mentioned and said was tolerance… [realizes he’s covered this and corrects himself] I’m sorry…
It is that the person would see the Teaching as “Self-Knowing”, which was an idea and they twisted it into being identifying with an institution or with an ideology: “I am a Communist, I am a Baptist, I am a Methodist, I am a Hindu, I am a Zen Buddhist.” All of these would be to identify with some ideology and they used that in the place of Self-Knowing.
So when they attempted to make a philosophy out of the Teaching, they heard the ideas and they wanted to self-improve.
So they took the idea which we have been looking at of “Self-Knowing” and turned it into identifying with an ideology.
They made “Faith” into gullibility.
They made “Grace” into having God to blame when things didn’t go well. If one wanted to be pious and not blame someone, it sounded like they weren’t blaming, saying, “It was the will of God. It is a cross I must bear,” which means a burden to them.
And the other one was that “Love” really meant tolerance – to look down on you – which we used first.
Now, there is certain experiences that the Teaching teaches will come about. We’ll take that up in our next discussion next week, but we are now looking at when it’s turned into an ideology or a ritual.
The first thing that they took in their hope of self-improving was the idea of “Confession”. Confession when it’s used as an ideology means, “Come tell me all the places you didn’t live up to the “ideal” I have set for you.” Now, you have all manner of things to confess, do you not? You didn’t do some of the things you were told to believe and do and you did things you were told to believe and not to do. And you didn’t put on the front, you didn’t behave differently every time. And in some way or another you didn’t please. Now you’re loaded down with all sorts of things that you must confess. You’ve sinned.
Now, the word sin is from an old word meaning “miss the mark” – one had an aim and didn’t quite make it. If one of us has an aim to observe the “self” today and somewhere’s we go sound asleep and identify with the self, in that word we missed the mark – we sinned. It is nothin’ to get all upset about. It is to wake up from it and go on again.
Here one failed to live up to doing what one was told to believe and do according to one’s authorities and so they confessed. One man goes and tells another how he didn’t live according to the ideology, according to what he had been told, so he felt miserable, regretful. “B” is accusing because “A” got the nod. “A” got the word in and used the name of I and got to X and got something done. And “B” woke up a few minutes later and sets up all this noise now one should confess. And of course there is a simple bit of relief. “B” got its revenge for a few minutes and so it feels better, but very shortly it wants more, better and different. And the person wonders if they really meant their confession as is used in the ideology as a philosophy.
The next thing that was supposed to be one was “surrender”. This meant altogether something different in the Teaching as we will see later. But to the individual in the ideology, it meant surrender one’s life and will and purposes to the institution that was built around some ideology or some philosophy of some man.
And then, of course, was “repentance”. Repent meant, when made into this idea, a feeling sorry, a guilty feeling – sit down and feel guilty and it was supposed to do something wonderful for you. Did you ever feel guilty long enough about something you might have ever felt guilty about to get over it? If you stole a 50-cent piece when you were a little kid, how long did you have to feel guilty in order to say, “I have truly repented.” Or was it always repenting as they use the word? Repenting is altogether different as we shall see next week.
And then came the word “baptism”, which obviously is from a word that means to be washed, and so we dip them in water. We don’t necessarily use soap or anything. We dip them under – a ritual – and it’s supposed to be some great change. Great multitudes of people have been dipped under water and still found they had Greed, Pride, Vanity – still struggling for ideals, still feeling they knew what “ought to be.”
Then, of course, they heard the idea of a “new man”. So a new man obviously had to exist in a new environment, so they came the many ideologies of building a utopia, which is still very much in evidence today. “We will build the ideal society, the ideal environment. We will build what ought to be. We will build the utopia.” And then the person who lives in this utopia will naturally behave differently because everything is so utopian. And when he lives in this utopia he’ll have a different attitude. He will be very thankful to the builders of the utopia, he will be very obedient to the builders of the utopia. And he will not ever get upset, or aggravated, or annoyed.
And we will have a beautiful beehive with gobs and gobs of worker bees, and one queen bee – never a king bee, now; just a queen bee. You know, the mother always controls by using threats of punishment or the threatening of the cutting off of reward. The male psychology says, “Earn it, man!” So there’ll be a queen bee when we have the utopia. So far, of course, no utopias have happened. But the first utopia we read of is the Tower of Babel. They were gonna build a tower that reached to Heaven… and of course it fell into ruins. And so far, every utopian effort has fallen into ruins.
Now after the new idea of the new man which was to be in a utopia – “All we’ve gotta do is to build a utopian society where there is no classes, where there is everybody cooperating and everybody does all for the society. Utopia. Then everybody is going to behave differently, of course, and everbody is going to have a pleasant, peaceful, domesticated attitude.
And then there was the idea of what it would be like in this utopia. Of course, they had that word of “tolerance” – everybody would tolerate everybody else. And how do you feel when you are being tolerated? Somebody is looking down on you and seeing you as very inferior. But they are tolerating you because they are putting you down by saying you are inferior. But they are being very tolerant. They’re tolerating you. How would you like that?
And then they would be “condescending” in this utopian world. Everybody would be condescending to everybody else, treating them like they were equal while you know very well they are not equal by any means, “But I will be condescending to them.” That is the philosophy of self-improvement, isn’t it? We will be condescending to everybody. We will treat them very nice is simply the old fifth decision that says, “Appear to be different to them.”
And then, of course, was to be “helpful”. Now when we want to help someone – not work with them, but be “helpful” – the first thing we do, of course, is look down on them. We are tolerating them and we are condescending to them and we are going to condescend to pull them part of the way up to our exalted height, to this exalted Vanity picture of “self”, this entirely false picture. So we’re going to condescend to help the person part of the way up to the exalted height. “And I will get lots of approval, and lots of attention, and a lotta good pleasant feelings, and a lot of sense of importance because I’ve really controlled him while I was getting him up a little bit.”
And this is all done for show so everybody will see it. We write in magazines of how well we’ve done this and what great work we have done and, “We have helped the downtrodden, and we have raised them up.”
You know, if you wanted to work with someone, you wouldn’t let it be known. A Teaching idea is “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
In other words, everything is done without even the recipient knowing that anything is being done. You are workinh with him. And he thinks maybe he’s doing you a favor by working with you.
And then of course there is the idea of “competition”. To gain, to get something, to see how much we can sell so that that tells us how successful we are. And we are really calling that “making a contribution to society”. We are really seeing how much we can sell them, how much we can get from them. Now, this is what the Teaching turned into when it was not used as a science where one experiments with it and discovers for self, but is what happens when it’s used as a philosophy or as an ideology to build an institution around in order to have a power structure; and where it is accepted as fact without experimenting on it and accepted through that Vanity that says, “I already know what each and every one of these things mean.”
Now for this week, we would like for you to take these ideas of the world and the ideas the philosophies have used to promote these ideas as self-improvement. And see if you see them working in all the things that you come in contact with, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in religion, or whether it’s in healing arts, or whatever… and the various transactions of your everyday existence.
Check it out. Do not take anybody’s word for it. Find out.
Next week we will take up how the ideas work when they are used as experimentation. And there will be experiments to run on them.