- Luke 17:21
Week 35 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 ants and bees. Note how similar their organizations and behavior are to humankind. Observe any similarities between the visible world and the inner world. What is the relationship of the bee and ant stories to the Garden of Eden story?
- Is it true that the Teaching is available wherever you look? Check it out.
Week 35 Transcript
There is a very ancient story that is an excellent Teaching story that covers many areas. We will discuss the story, and we won’t bother to read it because we feel that everyone is familiar with the story. It is a story of the Garden of Eden. The story is that at the beginning of mankind, man was put in a garden where everything was almost utopian. Everything was just about as non-disturbing as it could possibly be, but man was given one tiny chore to do: “To dress and keep the garden.” While he was about dressing and keeping the garden, he was told there were two trees in the garden. One he was particularly warned not to touch. The other he was told nothing about.
The one tree that he was to avoid was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the day that he even touched the tree or that he eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, in that day he would die.
Now, of course, the Garden of Eden story in its literal aspect has been taken by many as to be the origin of mankind, and that the subsequent happenings of maybe eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was that he later became a degraded creature and needed to have something done that would bring him back to his former state. Of course, the former state is always considered to be the utopian idea of non-disturbance.
As we proceed to look into this story a bit, we see first that the Garden of Eden could be very comparable to the uterine world where man originates, where he has a purpose when he is born into the garden. Now as he is born into the garden, he has available to him two trees: THE TREE OF LIFE and THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. He is given the chore of dressing and keeping the garden. The garden is the Awareness. The man is I. He is to observe the Awareness and to dress it and keep it, evolve it so that he is in continual contact with the creative spirit.
Now, he is given a helpmate, which is the ability to learn. That is Eve – the ability to learn, to form a personality which is a necessity and of use in growing. One would never know how to get one’s clothes on if one didn’t have personality. One wouldn’t know how to drive a car. One wouldn’t remember where one spent last night and wouldn’t know how to get back home. So, this is the necessary helpmate.
But the helpmate was tempted by a serpent who came down out of a tree of some sort or other. Of course, as in all parables and Teaching stories, serpents, animals and everything can talk in the same language as man. The serpent of course represents the sensations. Man began to experience the sensations, and he [the serpent] told the personality [Eve] to eat it. However, the personality having some effort here, and in order to illustrate the story, said “The day we eat it we will die.” However, the serpent said, “Oh no you won’t die; the day you eat of it you will be as gods – knowing good from evil. And that the only reason the gods told you that is that they don’t want you to be like them.” So, the helpmate ate of the tree and found it desirable to her and gave her husband to eat of the same tree, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
Let’s go slow and look. First there was held out a future reward for doing something: one would know “good from evil” – as though that were some great prize – and one would be as the gods. And if one didn’t eat it, one would of course remain only a being in the Garden of Eden.
So, the senses always tempt us that here is knowing good from evil and we begin to think in opposites – “This is good, this is bad”, according to whether “I” particularly like the sensation that may be experienced at the moment. One has set up an ideal of knowing what ought to be and one has died, because one has, at that moment, begun to serve mammon. One is serving the earth and is not serving God – is not dressing and keeping the garden. One has ceased to keep the garden. One is certainly not dressing it and allowing it to flower into what its purpose is.
So, man is given a purpose to be on earth. That purpose is to evolve into conscious oneness with Spirit. To realize His nature. I is to be the function of X…
To serve it and to dress and keep the garden of the personality, to guard it against suggestions, to guard it against all the things that the senses report as being good or bad, to be able to see all things as What Is and the Value of What Is. Seeing in value is to see on a term of measure, to see relative value, but is to see nothing as bad, nothing as good, but as what is. As one does this, one is dressing and keeping the garden.
In our efforts of the past many weeks, we have been trying to weed the garden. We have found from long neglect that the garden has grown up with many unusual poisonous weeds that prevent one from realizing one’s true nature. Now, man has an aim – to be a conscious reporting Awareness and one with X, Spirit. When he begins to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he knows what’s good and what’s bad, what’s right and what’s wrong, what should be and what should not be. He has eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He is now thinking in opposites, he is judging. He is not reporting What Is, nor the Value of What Is. He is dead to his purpose. He has missed the mark.
The ancient meaning of the word sin is from an old Greek word which means missed the mark. An archer would shoot at a target and if he missed it, the word has been translated into English as sin. So, sin came into the world, and the world is each of us, and also all of us. Sin came into the world when man ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and man dies. Each individual dies at that moment. I is dead, as we saw in the story of the prodigal son. “My son which has been dead, has come to life,” when he woke up and began to start on his way back to hit the mark, instead of missing the mark. He has been lost and is now found. In other words, man has lost his way. And each of us lost our way.
When we were born, we started serving the Four Dual Basic Urges. We knew what was good and what was bad. We knew how, we thought, to get that which was “good” by complaining and a little later by sticking up for rights. Later we were forced by society, those about us, to try to please, and to believe and do as we were told by authorities, all of which threatened us with pain (which is bad according to the senses) in the future sometime if we didn’t do and believe as we were told. And that we would have great rewards back in the Garden of Eden – a place of non-disturbance – if we believe and did as we were told. Then, of course, that was good to believe and do as told, and bad not to believe and do as one was told.
Then it became good to put on a front, to put on a mask, to be as the Christ said – a hypocrite, and to pretend to like those who didn’t appeal to us, to say what we thought was expected of us – to put on the mask. And if “I” could just appear to be different, then everything would be wonderful. But that didn’t work and so then we wound up blaming. If we have an “ideal”, we must always blame. So man missed the mark. He sinned. And the wages of sin is death.
And as man has continued through the ages, he only increases his sin of trying ever more to build a utopian world where the ideals will all be realized. There will be no Second Force to interfere with it. And after all, Second Force is the expression of the divine being, of X, to attempt to give one a reason for questioning the purpose of living and turning about. But is not every utopian idea an attempt to build a society wherein there is no Second Force? There are many, many Teaching stories through the ages to try to point out this fact.
The story of the Tower of Babel, wherein the people decided to build with their own efforts a tower that would reach to heaven, to the place of non-disturbance which was their idea of heaven. So, they used brick for stone and slime for mortar. In other words, they used substitutes for the real thing. So they began to build all the ideas of security and everything that would bring about the non-disturbed state, a classless society, integration of all the people. No telling what all they used… some sort of socialistic idea where everything would be security from the cradle to the grave.
It says that God looked down on it and said, “Let us go down and see what the children of men are doing.” They took a look and said, “We’ll destroy this.” So, blap! it went. Those people were scattered and that, of course, is used in its literal sense to try to account for all the many languages. It says that man ceased to understand each other.
As long as we use the language of opposites: this is good, and this is bad – If I tell you there is a good restaurant down the street, but when you get there you find all they serve is very hot Mexican food and you simply can’t stand hot Mexican food, you have an ulcer or something – then would we understand each other? You would say, “Why did he ever tell me this was a good restaurant? I can’t stand to eat this stuff!” So we say something is good or something is bad. It relates purely to the personal taste. And another person has a different taste, so how do we know what each other means? When we say something is bad, it means that it doesn’t appeal to this particular taste. It may appeal to your taste.
You may have something that’s right or wrong. It depends upon where you were born, in what society you grew up, and what authorities you had. One area it may be quite good to drink coffee, and in another one it’s bad to drink coffee. Another one it’s good to dance, and another one it’s evil to dance. So it all depends on what has been taught as right and wrong, good and bad, all the many opposites. So, man’s language is in confusion. Even though they all speak the same ethnic language, seldom does one understand the other one because we speak in opposites, and opposites mean different things to different people.
Then there’s the story of Sodom and Gomorrah where the people had pursued pleasure to the utmost. Messengers came and said they were going to destroy the city. Abraham pleaded if there were 50 would they spare it; they said they would. If there were 40, they would, 30 they would, 20 they would. And finally, they would spare the city if there were only 10 people in the whole city working at WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIVING instead of pursuing mammon, the land of the opposites. The city was destroyed leaving only the man who was working to be conscious, who was working on the purpose of living – Lot, and his family. And even his wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt, as the story goes.
So, as we observe there are hundreds of stories, not only in the literature we refer to as the scripture, but all manner of other stories that points out where man missed the mark. And when he missed the mark everything is utterly destroyed.
There is a legend that at one time prior to man being on earth – and you know according to the creation story, man is the newest creature on earth – and the story is that long before man was on earth, the ants were, possibly, approximately the size that men are now, and that they developed a great society. They were given the possibility of evolving and being one with Spirit. But instead, they missed the mark. They wanted to organize the perfect society wherein there would be security from the cradle to the grave. There would be no Second Force. And so they continued in their efforts over many, many centuries. They finally devised the perfect socialistic society.
Much like the Tower of Babel, the gods came down, took a look and said, “They will organize the whole thing; this has no meaning. They have missed the purpose. They have done this. Let’s give them what they want.” So suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, those 6-foot-tall people called ants were little tiny creatures a half an inch or less in length. They had their great cities called anthills; and they were great builders. And they build and everything was owned in common, and everybody had full employment. Everything was perfectly organized; and, of course, they could always know what was going to happen. A few Second Forces still hit them, but everything else was day-in and day-out the same endless existence.
Could you imagine a more horrible existence than to be aware that there was no possibility of change? That all you had was this dreary day to work, scurry about, run hither and yon, gather food, tear out rocks, make buildings, build underground cities so they would be protected from the possibility of atomic fallout. And everybody was fully employed, doing the same thing, keeping on. The perfectly organized society where there is full employment; everybody has security from the cradle to the grave. But you know what’s going to happen. Tomorrow’s going to be like yesterday and like today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow on.
We have often said, if we are going to build a hell, we would make a place where you could go about your usual affairs, but always know everything that was going to happen from the day you were born to the day you die. Of course, knowing the future, there would be no way to change it. You would just see it coming and there it is. It would be an existence without any meaning. It only has one meaning: serve mammon, gain pleasure, escape pain, be non-disturbed until one dies. And of course, it says this is what happened to the ant folks, that they became the anthill. Tiny little creatures with an endless meaningless existence. Nothing can be changed. It is all set – the perfectly organized society. It is possible that it is not only a legend.
Sometime when you have time, go out and look at an anthill with all the ants scurrying about. Then go stand somewhere on a high building and watch people scurry about in a great city – one of the large ones somewhere. Watch the freeways, fly on an airplane over a city and see what you see. It is remarkably similar to the anthill and remarkably similar is the philosophies that we see everywhere today being held out as the ultimate philosophy – to build the perfect classless society where everybody has security from the cradle to the grave. And where the state operates all. Everything is totally organized, everything is under it. The only argument is: which state’s going to run the whole show?
Then the legend continues that the next wave of beings on earth that were given a chance for self-evolvement were the bees; and that the bees fiddled around for a while. Some of them worked towards evolving, but paid very little attention and didn’t value. They had the Teaching. It was given to them, but they didn’t use it very much. They put little value on it because they had eaten of that Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and knew that “all good” was to obtain the gain side of the Four Dual Basic Urges and that “all evil” was to fail to escape the escape side of the Four Dual Basic Urges.
So they, too, began to organize. And as they organized, they finally developed the perfect organization – the total socialistic society. And they, too, were made into little creatures that had their hives. They had learned to fear overpopulation, so they made all the workers sterile. They are great chemists. They know exactly what to put in the food supply of the queen bee to make her very fertile. They know exactly what to leave out of all the other creatures’ supply of food, and they are all asexual. They have no sex whatsoever. They have potential sex, but none of their sexual organs develop. They are merely armed workers that work forever for the hive. There is no possibility of evolvement.
There is always one queen running it. There are provisions made for a group of queens. But the first one that emerges from the cell, of the queen cell, ready to take over the hive, her first act is to destroy by stinging through the cover of the cells of the others. If two should emerge at the same time, they fight until one is dead; and the one remaining kills all the others. So there is an undisputed dictatorship. They have been rendered so completely mechanical that the whole hive is one living organism, and each individual is only a cell in that organism – totally, completely organized.
Now, man has been given by the various Teachings through the ages a group of people together as a school so they could understand each other. That was a very loose organization that certain people were working together so that they could understand each other – that they could see where one was missing the mark by the various activities of those about. Somebody is trying to gain their way and one sees how one reacts to it. So, this [the school] was set up as different types of organizations whereby the Teaching could be taught. It cannot be taught in solitude. So, we have organizations like families. We have organizations like villages, and states, and churches, etc. – various kinds of groups that have been put together to make study of the material, of the instructions, the Teaching, possible. We found out that there was a certain power and value in these groups. So of course, when carried to the ultimate – to make one worldwide group of totally socialistic ideas – that it is one group with one head, and instead of being a teacher, he is a controller and he is a teacher for mammon, yes. He teaches the whole purpose of living is security from the cradle to the grave, from birth to death, and it’s death from beginning to end.
Sometime as you look about, see if you would like to live in a beehive where you know that each day you go forth to work. You have enough for subsistence, but you don’t eat the honey. You only eat what’s left over. You don’t get the royal jelly which produces the queen and the drones, which are the few males that are around. It is a matriarchal society where everything is done because of threats of future punishments or offers of rewards. It’s been done so long they don’t even have to use that now. The honey has a sedative in it. And while the young hatched-out bee, which is still undergoing its development (we might say it’s still in utero) it is fed with a substance in the honey that puts it in a drugged state. If you don’t believe it, eat quite a large quantity of honey sometime and see…and sometimes it doesn’t take a great amount… and see if you feel somewhat drugged. The bee is kept in a drugged state so that it has no incentive until it is hatched out fully evolved into a bee, to work until it dies without any possible chance of any evolvement or anything else. They gained their goal, their heaven, which is really a hell.
Whether this be true or not, or whether these are only parables, as usual, to illustrate a point, it is a legend. But it is a legend that is so near us that possibly we could observe the bee. Or we might even get a book and read how bees really operate inside that hive. You might study the anthill and see how it operates. Formerly, they had sex. It’s gone. In the case of the ants, formerly they had wings which would represent the ability to soar above the usual, the mundane. They represent Spirit. That’s gone. At one time they had sight and in the case of the termite, a particular branch of the ant family, the sight is gone. All they do is grind away day-in and day-out. It sounds like it could be the description of hell. It is very close to us; and these creatures may give us a parable where we can observe whether we are going towards the mark, or whether we are shooting back over the shoulder and looking in the wrong direction.
Possibly it’s about-face time; that one would turn from serving the Four Dual Basic Urges in any aspect, in any of the ideologies purported by the Four Dual Basic Urges. And possibly it would be time that we looked towards WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MAN? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIVING? Is it just to gain pleasures and escape pain and that’s what it’s all about? If it is, it’s a very worthless mess. But it is NOT the purpose of it. Anyone who applies the ideas of the Teaching and values them enough to really experiment with them, will discover that the Four Dual Basic Urges is like all things from mammon – it is a lie. And that that is not the purpose of living, it is only a little tool that possibly helps one to see that organizations are not to be in control, that they are put together to give a working situation. And one would cease to value all organizations; and one would see that they only have value for a very limited length of time while one is studying, until one can study wherever one may be.
And this is, of course, what we have been working for – that we can have Teaching wherever we look. The visible world is a parable, or a great symbol, of the inner world.
Let’s observe ants and bees. If it happens to be winter when you are looking for this, you won’t have to wait very long. And you might even observe what they’re doing this time of year. But if it is spring, summer or fall, you will have plenty of ants and plenty of bees to observe and see if you would like to live in that society that has no possibility of any evolving, any change. It took tremendous intelligence to set it up, and it’s absolutely mechanical in going. Just like it took tremendous intelligence to make an automobile motor; but once you turn it on, it just runs. It is a machine.