- Luke 17:21
Week 18 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.
Watch and observe temptations this week.
Week 18 Transcript
Adolescence and childhood are times of great temptation. There is so many things that seem desirable and one has not the ability to obtain them; so one has the temptation to obtain them by devious, quick methods. That is in the physical world of growing up in the physical body while the “self” – the personality – is developing. As one enters into the Spiritual Life, one begins to grow in the Spiritual Life and form a Spiritual Body, nourish it with self-observation, with observing other selves, with observing what is, with seeing relationships, with seeing how things work, with seeing what is and seeing the value of what is.
Along about this time comes some rather unusual temptations. One has certain serenity. One has certain peace. One has certain functions. One is behaving in a different way, one is experiencing a different state of being. One may be even experiencing small intimidations of Faith, small indications and can use Faith in a small way – may even be experiencing Faith in a very, very small way may even experience Grace a bit.
Temptation comes along and this temptation now is quite different than it formerly was. The old temptations that one was acquainted with was the temptation to identify with the not-I’s, with mammon. Now the temptation comes in another way. This temptation is the effort of the not-I’s that have been cast out, of mammon to identify with I. I has become more powerful, is growing. And the not-I’s begin to be very jealous of it and mammon is very jealous in all directions.
There is a great story told of the temptation of the Christ. That he went through many things and he was in the wilderness fasting for forty days and forty nights. “Fasting” means that he had experienced something; but he was fasting from Faith, and from Grace and possibly from Agape to any degree. Fasting means one is without food. He was without food that seemed to make the inner being – the Spiritual Body – grow. And as he returned from the desert, he was met by mammon who tempted him. Now, mammon is experienced as thoughts, experienced as suggestions from without. The first thing mammon said to him, “If thou be the son of God, if thou art the servant of the Most High,” – in other words, if thou see that thou art a function of X and that thou art serving X instead of mammon – “command that these stones be made into bread.” In other words, see the truth of something. “Stone” is a literal truth; and to make it into something good, usable, valuable – “bread.”
Now, there’s many parts to this little question. “If” is the first place. So, first off, mammon is trying to start doubt in the person. “Are you really serving mammon [speaker meant X] or are you deceiving yourself?” “If you be this, then you could do so-and-so,” and he set up a condition of proof. The only thing that mammon was saying, “If you’re the son of God, if you’re serving mammon, [speaker meant X]” – he didn’t say you might experience peace, that you might see things differently, that you might be behaving differently, that you might have a new state of being. No….he said, “If you are trying to cast doubt, you will perform a wonder.”
You know, the “world” – mammon, the ideal – always looks for a sign, for some credentials that one is a certain place. This credential is not outwardly. It is what you are experiencing, is it not?
There’s no way you could make a sign or a demonstration to another person. It is what you are experiencing.
But here comes the temptation to perform a wonder, to have a sign that one is serving X. “If you are serving X, you should have a sign.” Now, that is a trick of mammon, of the ideals. It says, “If you are doing something so wonderful, you should have a sign.” Here is the world trying to get the adolescent back into its power.
And the Christ did not respond to that temptation; he didn’t try to show his credentials, he didn’t have any proof to offer that he was serving X. He only said, “It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” In other words, I’ll live by the Teaching. I have been experimenting with it; I find it to be true, I find it to be valuable. And I don’t need to demonstrate to anyone, to any man of the world that’s talking about ideals. I don’t need to demonstrate that I am serving X and I don’t need any signs and demonstrations because I’ve experimented for self. I have discovered the Teaching to be true and that it is very valuable.
He is talking about the Teaching which no man claims credit for. Everyone says it came from a higher mind, it came from another realm. No matter who carries it, who transmits the Teaching or by what method, no one claims, “This is mine.” The Christ himself said, “The Teaching is not mine, it is Him who sent me.” So he had found the Teaching valuable and he said this proceeded from the mouth of God, from a higher mind, from a different realm than the education of the man-made world.
So he didn’t succumb to that temptation. But mammon wasn’t through yet. He said, “If you really be the son of God, it is written that you shall stand on the spire of the temple and jump off and you will not bruise your heel,” because it is written that X will not allow his servant to bruise his heel. In other words, again try for a demonstration to show off – to demonstrate and to gain attention and approval, which all seems rather nice, doesn’t it? That we could have attention and approval and that we could demonstrate? And then, of course, people would “believe” and more people would come to the Teachings.
But you see, one can only come to the Teaching by one’s own experiment, not by having some grand demonstration. Because then they would only believe of the demonstration and they would hope to find a way to improve themselves that they could perform the demonstration. Or that they could gain the benefits of the demonstration. But man comes to it because he’s questioned the purpose of living and he pursues it to try it out for himself. He is not convinced by anyone nor by any sign nor demonstration.
You see, this is always the hope that everyone, that they can perform a demonstration. Somebody performed a healing somewhere, somebody got well and somebody says, “Obviously, that is the truth. We must follow that.” Some man produced something else. The Christ told certain of his students that they didn’t believe because they hadn’t experimented with the Teachings themselves, that they hadn’t had any inner strength in themselves, that they hadn’t experimented. But they only believed and followed him because of the signs they had seen when he healed the sick, raised the dead, made many loaves and fishes out of a few loaves and fishes. In other words, when he practiced Faith, they believed in it because of the benefits to the physical man, not because they had experimented with it and found any aspect of the Teaching to be correct.
This great temptation that the Christ underwent is the same that every one of us undergoes. First, the temptation to perform a wonder and get a sign so that I can prove to myself that I am serving X, that I am doing something real. The first is the attempt to doubt the self without a demonstration – I, even, is tempted to want a sign. Then the next is a sign that other people will recognize something – that is to jump off the spire of the temple, a very high point. Jump to the ground and not get a bruise on the heel, not to be injured in any way, which would be certainly a sign and a wonder. Again the Christ said, “It is also written that Thou shall not tempt the Lord, thy God.” In other words, one doesn’t show off with the idea that X will protect him from his showing off, trying to gain attention and approval. He knows that X does what one sees as truth and what one sees as good.
And he couldn’t see any value in jumping off the temple because all it would be doing was serving mammon, gaining attention and approval, possibly having a great number of followers who were not interested in challenging the idea of what is the purpose of living and beginning to know for themselves. They’ve see something, they say, “That is a wonder,” and they want to follow it hoping they will find some technique whereby they can achieve the ideal and gain great attention and approval for themselves and power over other people. The Christ said, “It is written thou shall not tempt the Lord, thy God.” In other words, I won’t put on a performance that I really know is not worthwhile but it will only be worthwhile to serve mammon.
Mammon wasn’t through yet. So he took the Christ to a very high spot way up somewheres and said, “Look, here is all the kingdoms of the world and they have all been delivered into my hand. And I will give them all if you will fall down and worship me.” Now, we’re all conditioned and we’re all tempted to worship mammon, the ideal, to have the Four Dual Basic Urges. And the greatest one, of course, is power over others. And so mammon offered power over all the people in the world if one would worship him. He was saying, “You are something great; you have great powers. You have accomplished great things.” So Mammon was trying to identify with the enlightened man, but the enlightened Being had nothing to do with him. He would not accept the power over the others. He said, “Get behind me.” In other words, “Personality, you go behind me. You may be a tool for use in some of the practical affairs of building a house, but you will be under control.” So nothing tempted the man.
Now, we will all be subject, are subjected to these temptations – temptations to have power over others. This is one of the reasons that Faith is not experienced very early because it could be a power over others. It is why that it is withheld for a while – to see if we have the patience and we have the understanding and the compassion, and if we can see other’s lines of thought in their conditioned states. That even though they may produce very horrible things, one understands that but by the Grace of being, there goes I. That one could have done any of the things that any other human has done or ever will do while one was in the conditioned state. And one can understand that that person is operating by the only light that they have – the “self”, the “conditioned being” – and that mammon, which is darkness, is the only thing.
So the poor person is functioning in darkness. And when one begins to see this, Agape is increasing in power and possibly one can begin to experience some degree of Faith. But being the power that it is, one would use it sparingly and one would not do something for self. If one made up one’s mind to achieve a something for self, even if it was healing, it would be for a demonstration or a sign and it would be caught in the trap. After all, I have the greatest gifts there are, do we not? That everything that happens is a gift that gives me reminders, gives me some being, some opportunity to grow and develop the Spiritual Body that is the real man, that which is indestructible. Because it is based on what?
On experimentation, upon building on a firm foundation of having acted upon every aspect of Teaching to find out for self if it be true. This is referred to as having built one’s house on rock, on a firm foundation. Because there is temptations – floods, there is rain storms, there is winds. There is ever’ kind of temptation. There is ever’ kind of Second Force that may come by. But when one is fully aware of the value of Teaching, of the fact of it, and has experienced it and has experimented with it, has acted upon it, these floods and so forth do not break one’s state.
How many of us at this moment could stand the temptation of performing a wonder, if we could?
Of putting value on demonstrations rather than on that inner serenity and knowing from experience and knowing the self and knowing other selves, seeing what really is going on, and seeing the relationship and understanding temptation when it does arise. How many of us could withstand the temptation to take over the whole world and rule it – to have everything go just like I want it? It might be that it would be difficult. And if we have the ability, if we tried to perform these wonders, one would be caught in the clutches of mammon. Mammon identifies with I.
There is an old Russian saying that when the devil is hungry, he will eat flies. In other words, he would much prefer to have I identify with him – mammon, the Four Dual Basic Urges, the ideals of the world, the ideas of self-improvement, the ideas of having signs and wonders to prove one’s greatness. And the idea of blaming if something don’t work just exactly right. So as long as he can, he would rather you identify with that. But if you begin to observe the “self” and see it for what it is, then it puts on a disguise and attempts to identify with I. It says, “You are wonderful, you are superior, you are great,” and tempts in a very subtle way.
Now, there is any number of temptations that will arise. So we are going to make a study of temptations this week. You are at the state of being where you will experience many of ‘em. There will be someone ask you to do something, that you are tempted to do in the way of performing a wonder, of showing how great one is. One will find that there is temptations of doubt. If one is really doing something, one ought to have certain visible, demonstrable talents to demonstrate. But one doesn’t. One is only has what is evidence to I – that I am serene, that I am peaceful, I am seeing everything in an altogether different way. And it is not anything that I can show you.
None of us can show our inner state to another. We can only put on the front. We can only do that number five in an attempt to impress others. What for?
The Scribes and the Pharisees fell victim to this temptation of mammon. You know, the Scribes and the Pharisees were the descendants and students of a school called the House of Israel. They had been given many Teachings. The literal ones on the outside were symbols or parables of the inner Teaching. And they had succumbed to the temptation to have power over others. They had accepted ruler ship because it said, “You are worthy; and they, of course, are not worthy to have all the inner Teachings – so lets give them outward performances.” And of course, this is what happened.
We described it in the teachings of the world when it was used as a philosophy, when they took the Teaching and perverted it for the uses of the world – a philosophy. This was caught in the temptation of allowing mammon to identify with I. Then they begin to be tolerant of the little folks and said, “They couldn’t understand it so we will give them ritual. We will give them commandments that they will live by because they are not capable of seeing the inner meaning.”
Pretty soon it was even forgotten in one or two generations, or four or five or six or eight generations; it was totally forgotten that it had an inner meaning. The Christ said they only cleaned the outside of the cup, the outer man. They put on a good show; they performed beautifully. They were good manneredly but they did many things to gain attention and approval. They prayed in public places. They gave alms, would be sure they had someone to go in front and announce that the great so-and-so was going to give alms. It was done for attention and approval like jumping off the temple spire and not bruising one’s heel. And of course they accept the power over other human beings, and to control their destiny, and to control their ever’ action and their behavior, and to keep them in subjection by threatening them with the wrath of God. And offering them some sort of a reward sometime later, but not in this world.
You see, the temptation hits all people. And the fact that we are students of a great Teaching that come from some higher mind, that we can experiment with and to discover ever’ aspect doesn’t mean that we can go to sleep someday and sit on a nice soft pillow and that everything will be fine. To serve a great Being – X – requires that we stay on the job.
What is the only thing that Awareness can do? Is BE AWARE. It is aware of what is and aware of the relative values of it. The more it builds the Spiritual Body, there is more there is the awareness of the value of each “what is”.
This is what the growth of the Spiritual Body is about. It is called WISDOM – seeing the value of. TRUTH is seeing the fact plus the value and that is seeing the Truth. That is reporting to X and that is one’s job. But one doesn’t come to the point where one no longer needs to report to X, because that is the nature of one. One is the Awareness Function of X. One is the Son of a King. But one doing that doesn’t give one the privilege of ease and comfort, but gives one the responsibility. And when one accepts that responsibility, one is free – free to experience whatever may arise freely and report it to X and report its value. This is being a conscious man.
This is arising to a state of being known as Objective Consciousness.
And Objective Consciousness has states of being where one has unusual abilities. But one never allows anyone else to see them if at all possible. These abilities occur when they’re needed and are not something to be shown off.
They’re not something one can command. They’re something that’s there at the proper time, place and circumstance where they would be. It is not something that I can do, but something that X does because it reported [he corrects himself] it has been reported to accurately. Whenever, it could have happened at any time during one’s existence; no new power has been attained. Only one has developed one’s Spiritual Body to see what is and to see the value of what is.
Had one seen this when one was 4 years old, X would have done the same thing. But you see we have never seen what is very well. We didn’t see what it was related to, what its meaning was; and we certainly didn’t see the value of it because we saw value only in the “what ought to be”, in the ideal. And we compared what is to the ideal and “what is” was seen as of no value. Only “what ought to be” was of value.
Now we are seeing that “what ought to be” is valueless – that it is an illusion and we’re no longer struggling toward it. So we can see more clearly what is and what it’s related to; and what all things is involved in “what is”. Then we can see the value to it. And this is having knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is seeing what is – knowing it from moment to moment. Wisdom is seeing the value of it.
In certain Teachings, Wisdom is called wine and Knowledge is called – or Truth of seeing it, what is true – is called bread.
And when we combine bread and wine, we have a fit offering to X. It is the only acceptable offering.
And one must observe what is true and what is valuable. And we’re constantly being subjected to the temptation that ideals are valuable, that they come under different names now; they’re not called gaining pleasure, comfort, attention and approval. They’re put under other names: they’re “helping people”, which is really a means of feeling in control of them. It is a means of harming a person because we’re trying to say they’re not responsible beings. It comes in ideas like “being considerate”, only instead of considering, it is condescending. But you see they can be twisted so very easily. And so we want to look down on someone. It is to make a contribution – but not a contribution, but to do something “worthwhile” for them so that they will be in a less disturbed state. We cannot see that disturbance is that which continually occurs that increases man’s necessity to check and to question mammon, the Four Dual Basic Urges.
When these are checked – and one only checks them when one is not comfortable – because as long as everything’s comfortable, it seems that it’s very desirable. “Why should we check it?” It’s only when Life increases one’s necessity because of the disturbance that’s going on that one begins to question.
So if we were trying to prevent everyone from having any disturbance, one might say that one was being very harmful and was being very condescending. And it all sounds very good, very wonderful unless one is aware and alert.
And then one sees mammon in his tempting business of trying to identify with I, the Observing Function of X.