Excerpts - Comparing
Excerpt from Tampa, November 3, 1985 workshop *
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
[Through our everyday existence we'll hear people constantly comparing people which can include employees, love relations, parents, children, and on and on it goes. The desire to compare comes not only from "within' and from "others" around us, but also from advertising. Rarely does one think to question whether comparing is a valid idea. If we're selecting fruit at a grocery store, it is a very valuable quest; but when it comes to people, it is a self-frustrating exercise. Dr. Bob gives us a "sketchy road map" into how this "comparing of individuals" came into being. If we are aware of this, we can sometimes alleviate ourselves of some of the confusion we create for ourselves. We join this workshop as Dr Bob talks about the four great games.]
Then we have the healing arts. They set up a standard for a human being of normal. I happened to have been involved in that one for a number of years [as a doctor] and when I went to school, they told us in the opening announcement of the freshmen class coming in. They said for two years we would study the normal so that in the third, fourth, and fifth years we would be working in clinics. If we learned the normal, we could recognize the abnormal. That sounded very reasonable to me. So I diligently studied the normal for two years, which were charts, manikins, books and tables. You're supposed to be so tall, so wide, your blood pressure is supposed to be so and so--at all times regardless of circumstances. It didn't matter if you just heard that your grandmother fell and your kid ran off with somebody you didn't want her to, your blood pressure is supposed to stay the same--if you're normal. It doesn't, but that's the way it is.
So they had this normal. I never have, until this day, found anybody who fit it. So obviously everybody's abnormal. Being abnormal, that makes you a patient--and patients are a source of revenue. I like that. So you are now abnormal. Big business comes along and gets in the act and they tell you what's pretty. They set up a standard for pretty. If your house if more than three years old, it's not pretty--it's out of style. If your car's over a year old, it's gone. It's not pretty. Ties you have to get very frequently because they get wider and more narrow. There's a standard every year for how wide it is. The style now is skinny and mine are all wide. I've got some that look like chest protectors. They're "in." With the jackets, the lapels go in and out the same way. If you have a wide lapel, you're a hick. If it's skinny, you're from "hicksville." It's in the middle now. The latest dresses go up and down at the bottom. Right now they're headed for the ground. Not to long ago they were headed for other directions. If you don't have all the latest style, you aren't one of the beautiful people--you are ugly.
When you come to the conclusion by observation of this that you are bad, ugly, abnormal and out, you don't feel so hot. You are now ready for professional services and all the rest of it. Professional services come high. They give you the bad, ugly, abnormal and out for free if you notice--no charges for that. The remedy, however, to make you to be pretty, normal, good and in come very very high. The price is terrific--in heartache and in money, and in conflict, and in struggle.
So lets take a look at the real world. That's the world of real living beings--no two of which are alike. If there is no two which are alike, how are you going to set up a standard for it--tell me?
(Take an average.)
The average has nothing to do with it. I have never met the average person, have you? I've heard of him all my life! I studied him back here when I was studying the healing arts. I've never found him. He only exists in books, charts and ideology. He doesn't exist, so you can't take him. If you wait to have him for your companion, you'll wait forever. You won't ever get one. If there are no two alike then everyone is a unique work of art. Now there's great paintings that have sold for millions of dollars; but if there was a whole lot of prints made, how much are you going to pay for the print when you can get as many as you want. Would you pay millions for a print? No. The original one, you might go all out because it's a wonderful investment.
Each one of us is a wonderful investment. There's not anybody else like us. But you know we underrate that investment quite frequently--we're ready to sell out for nothing, practically. What do you rate your investment in being. You, how much are you worth?
(There's no price.)
You're priceless. In other words if anything is priceless or worthless it means the same thing. [joke] There is no price that you could conceive of. You are totally unique. If we could get that down to see that there is nothing to compare ourselves to.
When we are doing all this comparing and everything, we can remember that there is no two of us alike; so any of these things down here become totally meaningless. These four great games are kind of a trick we played on ourselves and allowed other people to have fun with us because we accept them as authorities.
So if you're bad, ugly, abnormal and out, you spend a lot of money to try to be what? Normal, you can't beat it because that person doesn't exist--there's no two alike, so who's going to be the normal?
Let's give you another for instance. Let's suppose that I decided to have a wooden statue built. I got fine hard wood and hired a great artist. He carves a statue of a woman--a beautiful creature. She'll be so many inches tall, so many inches in each direction that have perfect measurements. Say, I put it on a stand and roll it in here and said, "Here is the ideal." I'm going to have you come up, and also you and you come up and stand beside the statue. I think we'll find that none of you fit this ideal. Some of you will bulge over. Some of you won't fill out. Some of you will be too short. Some will be too tall. Some will be too wide. Some won't be wide enough. So everybody has a big flaw, don't they?
But now do you think I'd like to go spend an evening with this statue--or would I rather talk to an individual. You can talk, it can't--it's a piece of wood. That piece of wood doesn't give me any nice feelings. You see you'd rather have someone real over a stagnant standard or ideal, which is an illusion. The standard or ideal is a nothing!
So if one can see--I'm a unique work of art--instead of something else; you might be able to cease (that means stop) comparing yourself with anybody else, or any standard or ideal one has accepted along the way. You just cease comparing. That would relieve an awful lot of strain on you with all your comparisons.
You usually compare yourself with somebody else? Then you compare other people to other people as though there was some standard out there. So all comparing would come to an end. All fault finding would come to an end because all fault finding is because they don't fit a standard, is that right?
So if you stopped all your fault finding and all your comparing of this person to that person--comparing yourself to somebody else--if you stopped all comparing, it would relieve an awful lot of stress you carry around every day.
If you look at a vase with roses in it, every one of those roses are different-does that make any one of those roses better than any other.