Exercises - A New Program
Now if you should suddenly decide today you were going to throw that old conditioned program out and you didn’t replace it with a new one, the old program will be back because you gotta use a program of some sort or other.
Some two thousand years ago, a man told a story and said you cast demons out of people (demons would be messed up programs). And that the demon went out and wandered in dry places and came back in a few days and looked and found its old house was swept and cleaned out and the draperies were pressed and hung up, but nobody was there. So it moved in and brought some of its buddies with it, and the last day of the man was worse than the first—so it was really in a mess now.
So let’s look at what we could possibly replace this old program that did nothing but create chaos. You’ve looked at the program, you recognize you have it, is that right? And has it made you a bundle of joy or has it been a bit of effort all these years. And you wondered where and why did all this happen to me—one of our favorite questions is “why did this happen to me.” It happened because we had the program for it—it’s bound to happen. Doesn’t matter what or where, and it doesn’t matter whether we’re 20 years old, 30 years old, 50 years old—it’s been running that many years, and if we’re 70, it’s been running that long. So now we’re going to start a new one here and say this is a program I’m gonna put in. Now we can experiment with it; and if you don’t like it, you can throw it away; or if you find it begins to work, you can use it. And if you want to modify it to fit you’re particular purpose, you may do so.
So we’re gonna put here that we’ve got to have a purpose. Otherwise, we’re not gonna function. We’re gonna build a brand new program; and we’re going to see how it works.
So the new program is: Instead of what can I get (so to speak, to be non-disturbed), it says, that my whole program is that I’ll make some contribution—little ones. I’m not going to make big ones—just little ones. I’ll make little contributions to Life. Now the reason I would like to do that is that I already have everything I could possibly want. I have food, clothing, shelter, transportation, interesting things to do, interesting other people to be around. What else do you want?
Do you have all that? What else do you want? You want to be happy. Forget that junk because the minute you try that, you begin to check up to see if you are, and you feel miserable. So, I don’t want to be happy. The struggle to be happy is the most misery-producing situation man plays with, ok? So we’ll forget that. It says man has the “pursuit of happiness”, and they put that in the same category with “rights”—let’s forget that whole bit.
Now we’re going to figure out some methods to obtain this program we set up here. I’ve noticed that most people like to have a little attention. Have you noticed that? I can give it to them—it doesn’t cost me a dime. I can give out great gobs of it—I can give out tons of it today. Does that cost you anything?
I’ve also noticed that people like a little approval. Doesn’t cost much to do that, does it—doesn’t cost any more than it does to find fault with them, does it? You do one or the other—all the time—and it’s much easier (according to the old program)—you go around finding fault with them. Now we could give a little approval, is that right?
And I can aid everybody’s image of themselves. I can’t tell them they’re important because they’re not. But I could have them have a good view of themselves—that you’re very worthwhile on unimportant events. I could do that, couldn’t I?
This one says, “What could I do?” to gain all this down here. I’ll tell you the one—instead of complaining, I will be thankful. First thing you wake up of a morning; you’re thankful, #1, that you woke up. #2, that you’ve been around and there’s probably some coffee in site, somewhere, available or whatever else you like. They’ll be things to do. So you can start off by being thankful. You might as well continue it all day. Now being thankful is a mood; and we said you live in that which you radiate. So you would be thankful. Now I don’t think there’s a person here, obviously that can’t wake up with an awful lot to be thankful for every morning. And you have something to be thankful for all day. You have water available when you want it—food—clothing—a jillion stores that they bring stuff from all over the world to set it in front of you to try to entice you to buy it. So we got a jillion things to be thankful for—not we’re not talking about Pollyanna being thankful because it’s the thing to do; but because I wake up and say this is what’s really going on here. I’m thankful I have food to cook every night. I wouldn’t want to be where I didn’t have anything to cook, would you? I’ve noticed that I don’t have to do much to cook, and I cook about every day. The stove does the cooking; all I do is prepare it and put it in there—takes about 5 minutes. So we can be thankful.
Now instead of trying to stick up for my rights, I will recognize that I have great gobs of privileges---I’ll recognize privileges. And I will use my own common sense—what little I have—to maintain my privileges, enhance them and get some more. Now I have no rights that I can conceive of; but I have privileges; and if I treat you nice of my own free will in accord, you’ll probably let me maintain what I already have, as far as you’re involved—you might let me enhance them a little bit—and who knows, you might grant some extra ones after while. It’s generally true—I found out over the years that you can extend this quite a ways. Now I have no rights and no need for any—I can’t conceive of a need for any right, do you? I don’t need any rights. So now that can go along. We can certainly recognize that we have privileges, work to maintain them by our own little efforts, as much as I want to—enhance them if I want to and gain some more.
Now instead of trying to please everybody—remember we got to have a program. We’re going to custom-make, built-us a computer program called the brain. Instead of try to please everybody, I can do something I can do—that’s impossible, but I can treat everybody—everyone I come in contact with simple good manners. Did you ever read Miss Manner’s column in the newspaper. You can treat everyone with simple good manners and it doesn’t cost you anything—and consideration. I consider that they’ve never heard of their computer program that they’re operating on, so I can go on. That’s one thing I can be considerate of—that they don’t even know what they’re operating by. So there’s nothing to be in contention with them or anything, and I can treat them with simple good manners—not now all of them will reciprocate. Who cares---most of them will. But who cares whether everybody has good manners or not, I do—that’s all that counts. And I’m considerate of these people that they don’t anything about the program they’re living by, so why should I be upset by anything they’re doing—it’s merely a mechanical program coming out.
Instead of believing authorities, I’ll cancel all authorities. I will use experts. If I want my car fixed, I take it to an expert on fixing cars. If I want my toenails trimmed, I’ll go to an expert in toenail trimming—pedicurist. If I want my haircut, I got to somebody who cuts hair. If I want something else, I hunt up experts—telephone books full of them—but they are not authorities. They can’t tell me what to live by—think by—or anything else; but they can be of great use. So I use them but I don’t call them authorities. I call them officials, but not authorities—they have an office to do. Today they call police authorities—they’re not, they’re officials. So we want to separate those out a little bit. And we just don’t have any authorities—because who can tell you (like the poor lady asked me, “What happens when you die?”) She wanted an authority. I said, “Go check it out—be your own judge—I don’t know.” If I’da told her some long story, she would have bought that, maybe; but then she would have gone to somebody else next week and asked them; and she’d probably get another story. I’ve read all the stories about it myself, have you? Some say you go into a long deep sleep—some say you’re immediately born into an exotic world—some you go flitting off to heaven—or you go to hell. Maybe that’s where you were already, I don’t know. And it goes on and on—they can tell you lots of things. I don’t know, so I don’t have to accept any authority. So let’s just mark off all the authorities. I will use experts and officials—they’re all right. I’m glad they’re around; but I’m going to keep it clear in my head what they are.
Instead of improving myself, I will develop a talent or two. We all have a lot of talents we haven’t had time to develop because we’ve been so busy being non-disturbed—well, trying to be—so that we didn’t develop certain talents. So you’re being an actress now. Is that a talent or is that one you’re developing? Now, you’re developing the parent deal. You didn’t have that one for a long time, now you do. Some people take that real serious—don’t! I go pick up my little one at school every once in a while, it’s a private school. There’s a bunch of folks running around and there’s one girl out there every day, and she’s walking up and down the parking lot making all kinds of noise how the school isn’t taking into consideration the parents. She takes it very serious. Don’t take it serious, it’s just a normal organic happening—that’s all. It’s there, but just develop a little talent, but don’t take it serious. It’s like playing basketball or something. So we can develop a talent or two.
Now we get over here. Now none of these is in conflict you will notice. Not-a-one of them is in conflict with anything else. Now the others over here that we’ve been living by all these years—the three on one side is totally in conflict with the other side. So obviously you’re going to make messes all the time. Now there’s nothing in this new program that’s in conflict with anything else—not-a-one. So instead of saying “Why did this happen.” What’s the cause of it—what’s to blame.” Let’s put us a new question here. What Can I do? What can I do now—here? Now maybe there’s nothing, so I’ll just go on and let it alone—it’s none of my business. If it’s none of my business, I’ll let it alone. But if there’s something I can do, I’ll go ahead and do it—it’s what’s in front of me to do; and I don’t think “Do I like to do this, or not like to do this?”—it’s in front of me to do, and I can do it, and I’ll see to do it.