Week 27

Play Video
Week 27 Assignments
Week 27 Transcript
The Work

Week 27 Assignments

  1. 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.

  2. Write down what you call knowledge and opinion. Through what experience or experiment have you ascertained knowledge? Or, is that so-called knowledge, unproven opinion?

Science of Man

Week 27 Transcript

The Awareness, being 100% subject to suggestion 100% of the time, is in all Teaching, frequently given the order – or shall we say the Teaching idea – that watchfulness, being heedful, paying attention is one of the greatest things one can do. The reason for this is that man very easily is suggested into confusing opinion with knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE is something that one has gained by actual experimentation.

OPINION is something that a suggestion suggests is reasonable or logical.

Now suppose that we start at once on an experiment. This experiment will continue how long? Possibly as long as we care to work. So we will not complete it today; but we will get a good start on it. We will head “OPINIONS” and then on the other side of the same page – with a line drawn down the middle – we’ll put “KNOWLEDGE.” Now let’s see if we have some opinions that we have accepted as knowledge and as are yet unexamined. We will use some during this discussion period and we will continue to use them of course all the day long, each day, and we will repeat the discussion period every day to kind of keep us watching, being heedful, and paying attention.

Due to the fact that we are all 100% subject to suggestion 100% of the time, it is very easy to confuse opinion with knowledge. Now, opinions may be well to have as long as there is something that a person can begin to experiment with. But as long as one has not found a time, place, and circumstance that one can experiment with, it must remain as “opinion”; and therefore, only as a possible assumption to experiment with whenever the time, place, and circumstance presents itself. So let’s take some opinions that we might have:

Do we have an opinion that we know what we need?

Most often man feels that he needs thus and so and then everything would begin to work well for him. Now the Teaching says what he needs is SELF-OBSERVATION and certain ideas to aid in that observation such as observing the unpleasant emotions and how they arrive; observing the self and its expectations; observing self in trying to achieve peace within by coming to a conclusion. Man has an opinion that he can form decisions – that he is a decision-maker. He doesn’t usually realize that the decision is made for him by force of some external event and that all his thinking about coming to conclusions are only conflict and struggle within.


So the Teaching gives us what we need, but we also think that we need many, many other things. Now, let’s see if a child in the third grade knows what he needs in order to do well in the fourth grade. If he begins to be concerned and to be fretful about what he will have to have and what he’ll have to study in the fourth grade, will he do third grade work well? But is it possible that just the doing of the third grade work well, to the best of his ability, is probably the best preparation he’ll have for fourth grade? If he does the fourth grade work well, he is doing the best possible preparation for the next stage – the fifth grade, and so on.

Does a man, before he is born into the earth word, while in the uterine world, know what he will need in the earth world? Does a person in the earth world know what he should do so he will gain some other world? Has he read about the Kingdom of Heaven and imagines that it is a place that he goes sometime that’s beyond the clouds where the streets are made out of gold? Why we would ever want to walk on gold streets I don’t know, unless it would be that one has found that gold is valuable in the Earth world and it is one of the things men value most so he builds his ideal that even the pavements would be made out of gold. Did you ever try to walk on a metal surface all day? 

Also, one feels that the Kingdom beyond may be a place where there is no effort ever needs to be expended – that one is always in a state of rest. That on this world that is called laziness or slothfulness if one does not work. So what would be a sin here would be a reward in another world. Does that seem quite reasonable or is that only an opinion based upon the Four Dual Basic Urges? 

It is worthwhile to think about. Do we need a place where there is no “disturbance” where everything is without challenge, where there is no work to be done? But you see, the earth world had its work, the uterine world had its work to grow and develop from a single cell into a completed body that could survive in another world. Possibly here we need a spiritual body to develop in this womb called the earth world where it could operate in some other kind of world, a world called the Kingdom of Heaven which is said to be within man and is at hand. The Work says that we need certain things to enter that Kingdom – in other words that we prepare certain body growth – a spiritual body on this earth.

Do we have some idea, some opinion as to what being reborn is?


Do we have some idea that it would be some great, exalted experience?


Or do we discover by our own experimentation that it is I dis-identifying from the self, rising above the self, and observing that self?

Do we have an opinion of what God is?


We make it some ideal person, do we not? We even assume that it always does all the things to take care of one. We never consider from our actual experimentation that possibly that Spirit – the Spirit of God that’s within man – always does that which is appropriate for what the Awareness of man reports as being true and being good or valuable.

Do we feel, have an opinion that we know what is good?


That it would be good to be without Second Force? Do we feel it would be good to have a world where there was no expression of violence even though men are in a state of conflict within? Would there be an opportunity for man to question and challenge “what is the purpose of living?” unless he had all these unpleasant states like wars and various and sundry other things – unemployment, famine all comes about. Are they a visitation upon him or is it that which he attracts by his inner state of violence?

Now we’re not saying either these are opinions or knowledge. They may be an opinion to one person and knowledge to another, all depending upon whether one had experimented with it. What we are looking at is that we are prone to confuse knowledge and opinion. And we would like to be able to see, “This is opinion. I have not experimented with it. I am not fully conscious of it. I have not had knowledge of it because I have not experimented with it and seen how it works in actual practice because I have not had the time, place, or circumstance – or sometimes even the inclination.”

Do we each feel we know what is needed for all people? 


As one continues along in the Work and experiences a great joy, which one thinks maybe is the ultimate because it is so far different than anything one has ever experienced heretofore. One may think that that’s all there really is – this sense of peace and joy. However, one may find that that is infinitesimal compared to something else. How will we know? We will find out by continuing the actualizing, by actual experimentation, by actually living out ever idea of the teaching. We can begin to find out. One of the great ideas is to WATCH, to be heedful, to pay attention to everything that is going on in the things about us – to see the relationships.

Does man know that he needs a better state of health? 


Certainly he thinks he would feel better, but is his state of health exactly that which is preserving him that he may continue on? If he is in some state of confusion, if he is seeing something as being important and having a state-of-emergency feeling within him and a few days later he has a group of symptoms as a normal adaptation – change in function, a change in sensation, and possibly even a change or an alteration in the tissue cells – does he feel this is abnormal, knows that he would be better off if these things were not taking place?

And if he begins to see that there is some relationship, does he feel that it ought to be closer together so he would recognize it and that everbody else would recognize it? You see, then he wouldn’t need to study: it would be obvious, it would be a demonstration to him.


Man seems to be designed to be an evolving creature. He started as a single cell and evolved to a human body in the uterine world. He starts as an infant and evolves into a grown body in the man-made world. And then in the real world he can evolve from an infant awareness to having a grown-up spiritual body. You might say that when I dis-identifies from the Awareness and begins to observe it, as in a state of a single cell, but that as it accumulates knowledge based upon experiment it begins to develop a body. And it might even get to the point where that body can be born into the Kingdom of Heaven – another world. And one is born into the Kingdom of Heaven as an infant and then one begins to grow, to be an adult in the Kingdom of Heaven.

One sees that most of the time an opinion is that “all things ought to be made obvious to man.” But do you suppose that many little infants in the uterine stage, while they are going from one cell to a completed baby’s body in the uterine world, if they knew what was comin’ in the earth world, wonder what would happen? Do you suppose most of em would give it up? So possibly we always will be, have challenges. And possibly the further we evolve, the greater challenges we could be able to handle. Some may have experimented and discovered this and it is knowledge to them. Some it would only be opinion. Please do not accept any statement as being knowledge. It is never knowledge to you, to I, until we have experimented with it and found out for self.

If we were to show an orange to some person who had never had the opportunity to taste an orange and he said, “I don’t know whether I want to try it or not. Tell me what it tastes like. What is it? How will it taste to me?” – could you tell him? Or does he have to taste for himself? Now he may smell of it, he may touch it, and he may decide many things and have many opinions about the orange. But until he tastes of the orange he has no knowledge of the taste or texture of the orange as it will taste. He has no knowledge of its effects on him until he tastes it. It may be poisonous.

You know that the common tomato that we all use in the salads and so forth, and eat great amounts, and drink the tomato juice, up until relatively few years ago was considered to be deadly poison. Because the botanists said that the plant was a member of the family of the deadly nightshade which is basically a very poisonous plant: its fruit is poisonous, its sap is poisonous, its bloom is poisonous, and everything about the deadly nightshade. The tomato is in the same family of plants. So of course, it was the opinion that the tomato was a deadly poison.


Some peculiar man back in the hills of Kentucky decided to taste of it one day. It didn’t kill him. He found it was pleasant to taste and he enjoyed it. So he took a whole basket full of em to the little county seat and sat on the front step of the courthouse and eat his basket of tomatoes. Now of course all the people stood around to watch him die. He didn’t die. And sooner or later they experimented for themselves. But the fact that he didn’t die or that they didn’t know what that tomatoes’ taste was until they themselves tasted of the tomato.

So man is this way in about everything. He has so many opinions and the opinions are great limitations to him.

Does man have an opinion that he knows what all the future is like? 


And who really can tell him what the next world will be like? Who can tell him what the Kingdom of Heaven is until he experiences that Kingdom? How can someone tell another what it’s like to be in a constant state of love until such has been experienced – for self. You can’t tell another. You could write all the beautiful words, you could write lovely poems and sonnets, you could write songs but until a person experiences it, he does not.

Now another peculiar idea is an opinion. As a person has experienced some emotional state when he is not getting attention or approval from some person that he desired their attention and approval – that had given him comfort – and he feels a sense of jealousy, which is a form of fear, you know what he will usually call it? He will say it’s “love.” So that is only an opinion. He heard a word and having heard the word, he formed an opinion when he had an unusual inner state of being – an emotional state that he wasn’t familiar with. So he said, “Well, that must be what this is – that’s love.”

So man has some great emotional upheaval in his existence sometimes. He becomes excited over something and he says, “This must be rebirth.” But as we observe, he still goes on with his struggle to gain the ideal – the belief that the ideal is good, and that “what is” ought to be changed into the ideal before it would have any value – that it at the moment is not only valueless but is actually harmful and bad. He will experience Second Force, some resistance to his way and get all upset. He may even become arrogant and feel he knows everything now because he had an emotional state that he hadn’t had before. And that he has heard the word “being reborn”, so he assumes – he has the opinion – that he has experienced that state. He has not experimented to find out what it is like, what it is.

Another person may feel that they are an entirely new man because they get up feeling quite differently one morning. Something nice has happened and they feel very wonderful and he says, “I’m a new man.” How often have you heard someone say, “I feel like a new man today.”? Now really what does the new man function like? What is he like? No one will know until they’ve experienced the death of the old man, the old man based on serving mammon:


based on complaining

based on stickin’ up for rights

based on pleasing

based on believing and doing as they’re told from suggestion

based on trying to appear to be different

based on blaming

based on pride, vanity and greed – greed to have more, better, and different

and a false picture of I – all of which are based upon opinions.

So we are going to make us a list of opinions. Now let’s be careful, let’s be slow, and let’s be as thorough as possible because this list is very long. And as we see that something is an opinion and that we have heretofore believed to be knowledge, we have become cleaner inside. Because confusion is adulteration. 

Opinion is an adulteration of knowledge. And when one has put it all in together, one has committed spiritual adultery. One has mixed up opinions and knowledge. One is not cleansed in that area. So we will take the time to go through the opinions. We will listen to opinions from other people, we will read opinions in the newspaper, and in the magazines, and in various books. We will hear, see opinions on television, we will hear opinions on radio. We will see how many of those opinions unknowingly we have subscribed to. By being aware of these opinions, one is further cleansing the heart. One is growing in wisdom. One is growing in knowledge because the false knowledge is an inhibitor of growth of real knowledge.

And no opinion can be called knowledge. But so much we have been taught: “Well, we know so-and-so because it is an opinion – it is logical and it is reasonable.” And we say we “know” this because we’ve experienced some spiritual… pardon me… some emotional state somewheres along the way and have considered it to be a spiritual experience. Without experimenting on it, we have just had something happen and we haven’t checked out that particular emotion before.


So the unusual emotion arises in a person, and we are quite prone to assume or have the opinion that it belongs to the realm that has been given certain names. We might find that we have a very strong belief in some opinion and we have heard of the word “faith” so we may say that is faith. We may have a very strong feeling of regret or guilt and we’ve heard the word “repent” and we decide that must be repentance. “Now I have repented.”

But one continues on still trying to fit the ideals into place, to gain ideals. One’s still trying to gain pleasure and escape pain on all levels so one is still serving mammon. And, of course, one hadn’t experienced what one thought. One has not had faith; one cannot still make up one’s mind. But one at some moment had something that seemed so reasonable and so logical that one had a very strong belief in it. One may have been given a suggestion that if certain things occur that this will increase one’s belief.


And of course when we suggest something to another – and the human being, being 100% subject to suggestion 100% of the time and without at least having identified to some degree from the self or having observed it – one is controlled by suggestion. One might have this given experience and feel that they had a verification from some heavenly realm that what they have read or heard was true – was truth itself. And of course, it was only suggestion. One has not really experimented and one is incapable of experimenting to any great length of degree except on the physical realm. But one is incapable of spiritual experimentation until one is aware of the self by I dis-identifying from the self and from having observed it for a while. Having observed its total subjectivity to suggestion, one is incapable of spiritual experimentation.

So first things have to come first. Because one has a strong belief or a strong suggestion given which seems so real, one has not had spiritual experimentation. It is utterly impossible until after one, is I has dis-identified from the self and has observed it to at least some extent. This is the first experiment that leads one to be aware of the confusion of opinion and knowledge or fact.

Have plenty of paper to put the opinions on. And you probably will need very little to put the knowledge on. 

We will also separate the opinions into the ones through the week that we can experiment on

and the ones that at the present time, place, and circumstance is impossible to experiment with. So they will have to remain as hypotheses that we will experiment with, when and if a proper time, place, and circumstance comes about that we can experiment with them.


“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. ”

- Luke 17:21