- Luke 17:21
Week 31 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.
Observe how far in Agape I have evolved, how much of it I have really experienced and am experiencing at this time.
Observe and note where I have turned away from Agape and gotten caught up in vanity, pride, the six decisions, judging, seeing in opposites, the Four Dual Basic Urges… in other words, how did these actions prevent experiencing Agape in my Life?
Week 31 Transcript
Many methods of teaching have been used to bring to awareness, to each student, that various things that they felt they had accomplished was not completed by any means yet. One of the very common ones was to give a series of instructions as to behavior; and then put up the challenges so that the person would very quickly have an opportunity to see if they could live up to all these things that they felt they could. Now of course, vanity – that false picture of self – always tells self that one can behave anyway one chooses.
The old story of the people as they faded away from the Teaching was, “Just tell us what to do and we will do it.” And of course they usually wound up not being able to do it. But vanity stays in us many times for a long time. The great student of the Christ known as Peter one time allowed that he would never deny the Christ, even if it should mean death. And the Christ said to him, “You will deny me three times before the night is over.” And of course, we all know the story that some little girl began to come around and in a certain tone of voice said, “You are one of those Galileans.” And she said, “You are bound to be with Him because you speak with a Galilean accent.” Each time he denied. And on the third time he heard the rooster crow. In other words, his vanity took a mighty blow. He realized the vanity that was still within him because he had something that he wasn’t even given to do, but he volunteered that he could choose how he would behave.
But you see, there are little bits of conditioning that lurk around in dark corners and while it doesn’t show up in the ordinary circumstances, it shows up in very unusual circumstances sometimes.
Now such an event will be a portion of a parable that we will discuss for a moment. This is found in.
Luke, Chapter 6, starting at Verse 27
Some rules of behavior are given. It is told about how a person in a STATE OF AGAPE, one who had grown in Agape – not just having experienced it a little bit – how such a person would behave. Such a person is described. Of course, most of the disciples, no doubt, felt that they could carry this out.
So, let’s listen to see what it says. And as long as we are going to use it (and we practice our assignments) we might as well take this one for a personal assignment. It will tell us how far in Agape we have evolved, how much of it we have really experienced and are experiencing at this time.
He says, “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who slander you.”
Do you think you can do all of those things? We could easily think we can until it happens. So, this is why we do everything in relationship. Somebody somewhere in the next few days will hate you, hiss about what you are doing, and they may even curse you in one form or another and say very naughty things about you, and they may slander you in one form or another. And then we will find out, will we not, as to whether we have experienced this degree of Agape that the Master Teacher was speaking of.
It continues, “And to him who strikes thee on the one cheek, offer the other also. And for him who steals thy overcoat, do not withhold thy suit coat either. Give to everyone who asks of thee; and from him who takes away thy goods, ask no return.”
Don’t try to call the police to get it back or anything. After all, where did the goods come from?
“And even as you wish men to do to you, so also do you to them.”
Now of course, this is called “The Golden Rule.” Did it ever occur to really think how we would have men do to us that we would do to them? Obviously, it is not talking about if you like rare steak, that everybody you would give a rare steak to, because some of them wouldn’t like it. So possibly in Agape, as understood and experienced from a deeper level, it might be that we would consider other people. And that’s what we really would like them to do –is to think about how we like things, our tastes, our viewpoints, etc. And we’d like them to be harmless to us – not necessarily to do us so much good, but to be harmless. And that they would make a contribution to the environment – to all the things around life that would make it, shall we say, more livable and more worthwhile for everyone concerned.
So possibly if we consider these three: we would be CONSIDERATE toward all, HARMLESS toward all, and make a CONTRIBUTION to Life in a broad sense – not to any given one, but what benefits all mankind that lives on earth. That is something to think about as to what is meant by “The Golden Rule.” Now, we’ll continue.
“And if you love those who love you, what merit have you?”
You know, we can sometimes feel quite proud of ourselves, or feel that we have merit because we have been kind or considerate to some people that we are associated with. But if they are kind and considerate to us, or if they like us, or if they approve of us, then certainly it’s easy to approve of them.
“For even sinners love those who love them.”
That seems to be, and we could even carry it further and say apparently even the lower animals like dogs do that.
“And if you do good to those who do good to you, what merit have you?
For even sinners do that.”
Anyone does pretty well, returns favors quite often. If you invite one person to dinner, they very shortly will feel to invite you to dinner or to some other sort of entertainment. They will return that “social obligation,” I believe it’s called.
“And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive in return, what merit have you?”
If you loan where you know you will get your money back, that’s real easy, isn’t it? Provided one has it to loan… and certainly whether it’s money, whether it is a cup of sugar, whether it’s two blankets, or whether it is a roll-away bed, or an automobile.
“For even sinners lend to sinners that they may get back as much in return.
But love your enemies.”
Consider them, be harmless to them, and some contribution that will aid their way in some way or other.
“And do good and lend not hoping for any return, and your rewards shall be great, and you shall be children of the most high. For He is kind toward the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, therefore, even as your Father is merciful. Do not judge that you shall not be judged. Do not condemn and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you shall be forgiven.”
Cancel all the old Accounts Receivable by bringing them to awareness and where you feel no one owes you in any manner, form or fashion. Someone had borrowed a hundred dollars even – cash money – a few months ago and haven’t paid. Do you build an account not only for the hundred dollars, but for his mistreatment of you, his deceiving you because he hasn’t paid back as agreed? These are things sometimes one might think of as not something one can do: it is a barometer as to what we have experienced, and what we still need to spend some time in self-awareness.
You know, observing the self is much like taking pickles out of a barrel. You open a big barrel of pickles and there’s some pickles on top. You take them out and there’s still pickles on top. They float up from the bottom. You can still take out another layer of pickles and there are still pickles. You can do this for a long time. Observing the self is very much that way. Some of us, because we enjoy a peace greater than any we ever knew, we cease to observe the self. And of course, those lurking ones begin to raise a family and very soon there are a great number of em again.
So what the Great Teacher is bringing forth to his students is that they can have a means of finding out if they have experienced love – Agape in any increased degree – or have they only had a smattering of it, a hint one might say, which is so great above the world of total contention and lack of understanding that it seems like a miracle to the person who experiences it. But that’s only the beginning.
And as one continues, one will find much more that interferes. If one would take on these various, shall we say, rules or challenges which are really what they amount to, that the Great Teacher handed to his students, and if they tried to live by them and observed what happens in the school called Life every day, they would find there were areas where there was very little Agape having been experienced. Possibly that would renew their intent to observe self and be aware of all the lurking things that still hang around that are very subtle, and somewhat different from the more brash ones that we observed when we first began to dis-identify from and observe the self.
The various not-I’s are very much like foxes. They are rather bold when they haven’t been hunted; but once the hunters with the hounds begin to hunt the foxes, the foxes become much more cunning, and the not-I’s are very similar. Sometimes we need a hound with a very good nose to smell them out.
“Do not judge and you shall not be judged.”
This is a very interesting one to see whether one thinks in opposites: this is good, this is bad; this is pretty, this is ugly; this is right, this is wrong.
This is something where one observes. You see, to judge is whenever we think in opposites. To describe would be to see in degrees; and to be able to use descriptive adjectives rather than judging adjectives or opposite adjectives to express. You see, judging is probably one of the more common things and it is so common that we take it for granted. And even if we have observed it, we are constantly with people who do judge. And being 100% subject to suggestion 100% of the time we are apt to fall into the suggestion again. We continue.
“Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.”
Add up all those old accounts and drop them over and sure enough, you find that you have a tremendous load off your back because when you forgive, you have laid down a terrific burden. You have been forgiven.
“Give and it shall be given to you; good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall pour into your lap.”
But you know, we don’t quite trust that. So, we have $200 and we see somebody and that would greatly relieve them of much misery; and it would be an expression of mercy to give them possibly all $200 of it, or say even $100 of it. And we begin to think, “Well, I’ll need that for the rent, I will need that for the car payment, I will need that for so-and-so. So, I will give them a good word and try to see what I can do to “help” them.” But we don’t turn [give] it out because we do not trust the endless supply of X.
However, one cannot do this as an act of will. One can only do it as one experiences Agape. And it is interesting when one finds out what one has not been able to experience. Then one can begin to look at what has been obstructing it. You see, all the states of the spiritual man – AGAPE, FAITH, GRACE – are all available to us at all times, but we have them blocked off by various obstructions in the self until we cannot express them. We cannot experience them. So it is not a matter of making an effort to gain something. It is to be aware of the obstructions, and these obstructions bring to light – very carefully, very beautifully if one applies them – as to what the obstructions are. And as we continue here, we might see more about these obstructions.
“For with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you.”
In other words, as one is able to see all mankind as an expression of X, and even though they may be what we call uncouth – as the lady said “they just don’t have any couth” – or it may be that we feel that they are not polite and that they are not worthy people. But we are then comparing them to an ideal. You see, “the ideal”, which is one of the major ideas of the world, that all the rest of the world is based on, is based on ideals. And ideals, of course, are all serving mammon. Many of them are subtle and they hide under many nice justifications. But as we apply these things that were given to the students as a means to work with, to discover for themselves what their obstructions were that prevented them from experiencing Agape more fully.
Now this continues. And he spoke a parable also to them. He added another one after this.
“Can a blind man guide a blind man?”
Obviously on the literal level, no. But he’s talking about a man or woman who is blind to the obstructions in the self, things that are still hidden away: talking to X in the name of “I”; still giving false information; still seeing “what ought to be” as opposed to What Is; seeing What Is and seeing value only in what ought to be. Will not both fall into a pit? A pit of depression, a pit of the unpleasant emotions, and possibly all the way on down to the various adaptations that go with that.
“No student is above his teacher.”
Now we begin to see possibly why this discourse took place. Some of the students felt that they could be given the powers to do the things that the teacher was doing. They wanted to be like him, or maybe even a little greater. You know, greed, vanity and pride ask for some strange things sometimes.
“No student is above his teacher, but when he is perfected,” which means completed. He is completed in all the spiritual experiences.
He may have undergone already CONFESSION, SURRENDER, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, he may be a NEW MAN and he may have experienced a glimpse of AGAPE, of LOVE. But he is not completed in it and only as he observes these obstructions to get even, to stick up for his rights, to have attention, to have approval, to have what’s fair, to get over blaming, to quit trying to believe and do as he is told by his authorities, quit hoping that he can behave anyway he wants to just by putting on a front – in other words, escape the ideas of the Scribes and the Pharisees.
“But when completed or perfected, everyone will be like his teacher.”
In other words, the teacher is capable possibly of complete AGAPE, FAITH, GRACE and the student when perfected or completed will be like him. But the student thinks, “Give me and then “I” can do the things you do. Tell me how to have faith.” So He is pointing out here how one will experience greater spiritual experiences, higher spiritual experiences of Agape, Grace, and Love.
“But why do you see the speck in thy brother’s eye and yet do not consider the block in thine own eye?”
The eye, as we have seen, is the inner perception, that which perceives, that which puts the value on. It is the AWARENESS FACTOR of the awareness aspect of man. He says, how come you are so capable of seeing a little flaw in your brother? Your brother told a little fib or your brother did this, but you don’t see that big block in your own eye? In other words, one has felt that one is much further advanced than one is, one has experienced much more than one has.
This is vanity that’s forever painting the false picture and trying to convince man that he is more aware than he is – that he has already gotten all the pickles out of the barrel. But He says you’ve got a big block in your eye and you’re wanting to pick a little speck out of the other. In other words, these people, these students were wanting to go out and get other people all straightened out. Possibly somebody was sick. “How come I can’t heal him? Give me the power to heal him!” But you see, there are certain things that obstruct that, and when the obstructions are removed it is the natural state of affairs. It comes about as natural as breathing.
“And how canst thou say to thy brother; Brother, let me cast out the speck from thy eye while thou thyself does not see the block in thine own eye.”
So easy we think to judge the other person and to see their flaws and faults. And how can you see a flaw or a fault in anyone unless we have an ideal to compare them to? You see, there is so much that always comes back to that ideal.
So, we try by experiment to behave in a certain way, spontaneously, under living conditions. Now, we can each sit in a room and say, “I don’t care what anybody says to me, I’m not gonna get mad. I don’t care what anybody says to me, I’m not gonna get upset about it.” But then we let them walk out and in a few minutes somebody really does do a certain thing, somebody strikes someone, or somebody decidedly disapproves suddenly. And we find that the great claim that one would not get angry and etcetera has all dropped because one has certain hidden areas that react.
And this is not something to feel badly about, but is something to feel very thankful for. It is why such experiments as this one we’re just reading about are given. Such stories are told so that one does not become negligent in observing the self. Even though we’ve been doing it for many, many weeks, there is much in the self because it is recharged constantly by suggestion, and some overlooked because they had not been activated at an earlier stage.
So, the idea of self-Knowing does not end with discovering a few things about self. It does not end with discovering that I have a tendency to complain, that I have a tendency to stick up for rights, now and then; and that I have a tendency to cow-tow to those that I think are greater than I or that I want to impress; or that I still believe and do as I am told by those people that I look up to and accept as authorities. We are discovering that it’s very easy for a person to try to put on a performance, behave in a certain way because he thinks he can do it by will power and therefore, that his conduct will demonstrate his great inner strength. We can all do that conduct on the stage. We can all do it when everything is going smoothly when there is no Second Force coming by.
But, you see in the real living situation of everyday existence in the school called Life, or in a special school put on, there is always the resistance to one putting on this front. And then one discovers very rapidly that there are areas one hasn’t observed, and discovered, and reevaluated, reported to X as having no value because they’ve never been seen. The Great Teacher continued;
“Thou hypocrite. First cast out the block from thine own eye, and then thou will see clearly to cast out the speck from thy brother’s eye.” And He still continues, “For there is no good tree that bears bad fruit. Neither is there a bad tree that bears good fruit, for every tree is known by its fruit. For from thorns men do not gather figs, neither from a bramble do they harvest grapes.”
Not from complaining and sticking up for rights, from blaming, from putting on a front, from quoting various and sundry authorities, does one gain anything on self-improvement ideas and only they work when there is no Second Force.
So you see He’s saying here that how you will tell when the man has experienced the higher spiritual experiences. Even the person who never heard of the first word of the Teaching and could be less interested if he heard of it, treats those that treat him nice. He lends to those that he hopes to receive back from. He returns social favors. In fact, he is a real nice guy as long as he thinks the other guy is gonna be a nice guy to him. He continues;
“The good man from the good treasure of his heart,” – from his spiritual frame of reference, his spiritual body – “he brings forth wonderful things” because they have all been experienced.
“And the evil man from the evil treasure,” – all the conditioning which is the treasure of the conditioned man – all the ways of defending, sticking up for rights, keeping a good false picture of self, standing up for what is fair and etcetera, – “for from the evil treasure bring forth that which is evil,” – which is merely another word for conditioned – “for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
That’s when one is in a challenging situation – when Second Force comes along. I can speak out of the mind when everything is going smoothly, like being on a stage and having learned one’s part; one speaks out of the mind. The moment there is a challenge, then one speaks forth from what one considers to be good or valuable. And you see, that’s not under the control of the watchful little conscious awareness of the fifth decision that says the whole purpose of living is to be different. One can do this beautifully as long as one is on parade and showing off; but very quickly it cannot be done when there is a challenge.
And this is why the Man laid out the many things that said when these things, which are very decidedly challenges, attack you and come across your experiencing, then you will know how little of Agape you have experienced. You will know why you have no Faith as yet. And you will know why you do not understand Grace.