Exercises - Competition Tape 47
(audience participation in parenthesis)
[brackets for clarification]
[This teaching idea comes from my teacher through Donna Lancaster's newsletter. If you would like to receive her newsletter, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, here is some material from our teacher that I didn't have. We join the workshop as he says: .........Marsha]
"What will people think" is our biggest competition item, isn't it. I'm afraid you'll think I'm kinda "dopey"; so I will have to "compete" so that you will think more of me than you do of her, right? Ever watched that little "game"? So I will compete for "what will people think". And I will try to get you to think of more approval for me than you do for her.
Is this society?
Do you want to live in it?
There is nothing in that but war and death at it's end.
That's all it has-whether that war is an "internal war in myself" called "conflict" or whether it's a war with the rest of the world called world war III-atomic wars. It doesn't make any difference as long as it is an expression of this [competition]. It all starts off with "competition".
The division "within" man brings about division between "man and man". He talks about brotherhood but then he competes for the brotherhood, huh?
(How about those people who have to go off to war? Would you say that that would be competition?)
I didn't say that, did I?
I never thought of it. I was talking about man's division within himself. Does he have a division within himself?
(Apparently he doesn't want to go.)
Does he have a division within himself? If he didn't have this division, he wouldn't go. If he is this man, [without competition within] he wouldn't go at all-he would never be invited to go to war; but if he has a division within himself, what difference does it make whether he goes or doesn't go--in one place or another, he's still fighting violent anyway, isn't he?
(He's competing with the world, how can you control that?)
Step out of it. We just said that. We said step out of it.
(If he doesn't go, he's going to be a conscientious objector.)
I don't know that that's the only alternative because that's still a "competitive system". If he steps out of society-(that means he steps out of this world of competition and division within himself)-well, it's an internal thing first. Once he's outside, they will not ask him into their wars. I'm sorry, I could explain that a little further, but I don't think I want to right now. He just won't be invited. But as long as he has a division within himself, he's violent anyway. So whether he's making demonstrations to say how terrible the war is; or whether he's making demonstrations to make the war work, to enhance it, so to speak, --it's the same difference, isn't it? He's still in "competition"; and he's still got a division within himself, and he might as well be one place as the other. But once he is no longer "competitive within himself"-he sees the whole idea of "competition"; and sees the fallacy of it; and steps out; and will not "compete with anyone"; and he won't be invited to join in anybody's war. He won't be invited, much less requested. He wouldn't be invited.
But you see, we seldom step out of society. We're always just gonna fight it; and make the other side work better. In other words if I'm a good A-side, I'm gonna make the B's get in line to be A's. And if I'm a good B-side, I'm trying to make the A's get in line, so it's still "competition", isn't it?
So we see "competition" everywhere. Now can you just step out of it? That's the whole idea. Step out of it is to be non-competitive within oneself and without oneself-to be at peace-within oneself and on the outside. How much effort does it take? One just makes the decision or the conclusion to do it because one sees the fallacy of this. Can you see the fallacy of this? Can you see that the division starts within the person-they're violent inside; and this is just the sequence it takes on the outside.
Now if I go out and organize a group to demonstrate against the establishment, have I stepped out of society? No, I'm still in there "competing"; and still expressing my division within myself, is that right? Then I can say I'm opposed to this, but somebody else says, we'll we're opposed to what you're doing; and the fights on. But now let's say that I'm just not interested in either side of that little noise, and I just will not "compete". I'm going to do what I'm interested in-I won't be invited to be in anybody's war. They wouldn't let me in if I went and asked them. Can you kinda see how that would be right quick!
I think you can if you'll think just a minute.
You see we like a certain amount of this "competition" because we always think we're gonna win for a while here. I'm gonna win out over the others. So we don't want to get rid of "competition", we just talk about it.
I want to make it all "my" way, and we're gonna win in this "competition"; and so we like it because it gives us a sense of power.
So I decide I'm gonna organize enough people to demonstrate against the establishment until I have it the way I want it; and then I'll be running the establishment, is that right? That's the story of "Animal Farms". Did you ever read that little book? So then I'm just saying the pigs will run it better than Farmer Jones-I'm the pig, of course. And so we will organize and do. Now did that end any "competition"? It didn't end a bit. How about just steppin' out of society.
(One of our noble virtues of self-discipline…….(couldn't hear rest of sentence)
………….oh, that's just side B competing with side A-what difference does it make. So we're just getting more violent every day, and saying we're getting better, is that right? It's just the animal farm story all over again. It's a more acceptable violence; but it is a violence, and it will break out; and it will create wars after while because pretty soon you'll get so proud of your self-discipline that you will try to force it on me, is that right? You'll get so carried away with how proud; and your vanity, and pride, and your self discipline, that you will try to force it on me. So I'm liable to "buck it", and then we got a fight going.
So if we want to end war-if you're interested-if you're interested in brotherhood; and if you're interested in Christianity, you would step out of society. I'm not talking about the various "ism's" that pose as Christianity; but the Christ talked non-competition if you will vaguely look and see. He taught that was being in the world but not of it was to step out-to be non-competitive. Don't resist all these things.
Some guy comes along and takes your coat? What'd He say do? Did he say get you a club and go clobber him over the head, so he won't get away with it, or call the "fuzz". He said, "If the guy makes you tote his suitcase for him for half a mile toward the airport", that you do what?-that you just go on--non-competitive, is that right? Do we work that way, or are we out "competing" all over the place, huh?
We "compete" all over the place? How about just coming to an end with all the "competition"; and say I'm gonna do what I love to do, do what I like to do, and I don't care how much more you have, how much less you have, I have no concern with that.
Now to set up a culture starts with one individual who is non-competitive. Then two people might see each other and they might say, "All right, I'm not competing and you're not competing; we could operate in the same area a little bit."
Would the thing be then that we would start cooperating, or would we have the very minimum of cooperation? Which would it be?
Would we cooperate, or would we set up as our purpose to cooperate a lot. Or would there be the very minimum of cooperation? Which would it be?
A very minimum, yes, because if we're going to cooperate, then we're going to have to have competition as to which one's decision we're going to do. Now, I got to get her, as a judge, to watch between you and me then, don't we? But we're going to have the minimum of cooperation just when you and I both see it to our advantage; and we'll dig the ditch out there--why we'll go do it. Afterwards, you'll go do your "thing" and I'll go and do mine. There would be the minimum of cooperation. Could there be peace in such people then? If somebody else comes along, they can do likewise, can't they?
Now we have a story that there was such a place set up one time. It was called the Israelite nation--before they got kings--they only had some judges around. Everybody did what seemed right in his own eyes. In other words it was a culture. (tape blanks out for a while)
If a culture were to be aware that barbarism might overcome, then you'd be in constant vigilance to continue to be in a non-competitive state, and not get caught up by suggestion somewhere, right? This is always the poison; and it develops the division within the individual to bring about division in himself. Then his culture goes into a barbaric state. We have many stories of the rise and fall of many nations.
Always it starts by a teacher coming and teaching a culture and getting a few people to go in that direction. It grows and multiplies and rises up to great heights as a culture. And then the "poison of division" begins to get in, and it goes back to a civilization and "out" because it's rotten from the inside out.
Inside every human being is the split and the division. Could you think of anything that doesn't have parties in it?…….like conservatives and liberals. Is that merely the split here? [see the picture of man under "Illustrations" on the main web page] Churches have them--governments have them--businesses have them. Everything that makes an organization starts out with the liberal and a conservative element in it. This would be the conservative; and this is the liberal [A-side and B-side in picture of man]. Every person has this within themselves so they fairly express it outside.
Do you like the way you see the world running today?
You like to see what you see-the wars and the mistreatment of individuals, and all this-do you like that?
You know where you have to start to change it? Where?
Right here [picture of man]. If you step out of society, have you changed the world?
You've changed it, haven't you?
You've changed your world decidedly and isn't that enough?
And if you change, it might be an example for somebody else to come ask you a question.
You could talk about culture again, huh?
And there might be another individual go along. That doesn't mean they have to cooperate with you--minimum of cooperation.
They in turn might step out of society and see the fallacy of it.
And if you've ever studied mathematical progression, how long would it take to be a great great number involved in it. But we don't usually start that way, we start "competing" with somebody to control a group of people, is that right?
(Will you talk more about cooperation? It seems to me that cooperation implies "competition".)
It does, that's what I said. So there would be the very minimum of cooperation in a culture. But the first thing that usually gets sold is that we ought to have more cooperation here. It only sounds good.
(I don't see how you could have any cooperation without contention?)
Well, we'd only be working together, and you can call it cooperation. So we'll say that you're working at your house and you're making fly swatters. You just dig fly swatters. I'm over next door making plow-shares. I like plow-shares, huh? There comes a big rain, and the water starts running in both of our houses. So, if we go out there and work together a few minutes, we can divert the water, and then you can go back to making your flyswatters and I can go make my plow-shares.
(What if you wanted to divert it that way and I wanted to divert it this way.)
Either one, I'd let you go.
(….couldn't hear one word reply…..)
No, that would be "competition" if I got to arguing with you. So I'll let you divert it over my way if you want to. It suits me. I don't care. We just get it so it doesn't run into the houses--that's all. If you want to run it across my front yard, I don't care. I'm not going to "compete" with you. I wouldn't argue or contend with you.
(…..another comment not heard……)
What difference does it make. So you want to run it across the front yard, that's all right. So there's non-competition. And in non-competitive, there would be times when two or more work together for a common, worthwhile to them, advantage for a few minutes; and then each goes on about their business, ok? Because in cooperation you got to have somebody in there watching to see that you're doing your share.
(What percentage of the population perhaps lives without the division?)
Oh they're around. They live by themselves here, there and elsewhere. Not necessarily in a community - might only be one. They're individuals, and few of them are together.
One or two-they're isolated at the moment, but maybe there will be more of them because every time civilization is just ready to destroy itself, there's usually a few people see the advantage of a culture. They wake up. That's about the only way you can wake them up to it. Otherwise there's always the hope I'm going to win. So, I'm going to stay in "competition"--I know it's going to blow up, but maybe I can ride it two weeks longer.
It's like having stock in the market. You know it's going to go down, but you want to get that last profit out of it, and so you stay there too long, and the whole bottom falls out some night.
(…..couldn't hear……) [probably asking if became a hermit he would be stepping out of society]
No, he's still "competing".
(He's not doing his share.)
He's not even stepped out of society.
(How is he competing?)
He stepped out of society because he felt he couldn't win, but he's still in contention within himself. He's still in division. He's still trying to escape, not step out. He's escaping, and see if I think I can win. I'm still competitive and I'm still full of this-and he's still violent. So it's not the answer to be a hermit; you could live in the biggest city in the world and have a culture all your own because you're competing with no one. So you wouldn't have to go away, nor escape, nor run from anybody. You just cease "competition", and begin to do what you are interested in for the joy of doing it-and no competition with anybody over any thing. You're then living at peace with yourself, and with those about you--and the world in which you live. It wouldn't be exploiting yourself or another person or the world in which you live. You live in peace with all of it.
Is this kind of beginning to be a picture or a description of man as he is designed--not "as he has allowed himself to "be made into"--this internal bundle of conflict" which "results in" and represents outside division, and ultimately winds up with wars down here.
* [I have had several comments like, "I hope someday I can step out of society." I don't think it is to be seen as a permanent thing-just stepping out of the competition at the moment it is observed is all that is necessary……….Marsha]
Below is a definition of words as my teacher used them from
"The Place of Language in the Teachings"
Civilization - That which is made by people who make things important.
Culture - Freely experiencing life without competition, superiority or conflict.
Society - A form of competition based upon rules and obligations to protect "us good guys" from "those bad guys."
Here are some more:
Peace - Absence of competition.
Violence - Using psychological or physical force to get one's way.
Competition - A form of violence based on the belief "If you have it, I won't have it."
Play - Using skill and energy to enthusiastically accept a challenge. Playing "against the golf course instead of the golfers.