Excerpts - Constants and Variables
(being in a state of knowing-"this" and "that"
[This is an excerpt from a tape which I forgot to note[
(audience participation in parenthesis)
We join the workshop with a question from my teacher……….
Are you the same person that was called by the same name 10 years ago.
Do you have the same body as that personality did?
Do you have the same thoughts as that personality did?
Do you have the same ideas, or should I say are you doing things differently then that personality of 10 years ago--thinking things that that personality had not thought.
Do you have a tendency to identify yourself as being the same because of the name which is constant-your name is constant. It's very easy to identify ourselves with our name; and consequently we identify others with their name; and then we say, I know.
(That is a good point.)
I know. I know Joe-but Joe is a constant/variable-that sounds like a contradiction in itself, doesn't it? A constant/variable is changing every moment. Now the name is constant; but the individual--the person--the being is a variable-ever changing. So could it be possible that any of us could say that, "I know you." Or "I know myself" without being erroneous in the idea; or would it be better to say, "I'm knowing you" --"I'm knowing me"
(That is a present participle.)
Is that what it is? I'm glad you know what the thing is-a participle, huh? So present tense I understand-presently I am knowing you. I don't know you at all-but I am knowing you.
(It's an ongoing process.)
I don't know me, but I'm knowing me-how's that? And if we can keep this idea as we go along, then we can approach everything brand new and fresh; and so we're just like Adam when he first got here-a real wonder.
Yesterday I was watching little Joshua look at the world out here; and it was a brand new place. He had just never seen this before; and he was really alert, wasn't he? He was looking the whole thing over; but we think we know it.
We know Malibu, we've been there--so we go around and never see a thing. If we watch you going to the town you live in, you don't see a thing. But if you go somewhere else, you gawk all over the place for a day or two-it's enjoyable though, isn't it? Of course when people go to New York, now, they don't dare look because they'll be called touristers. You can tell them too because they're so intent not looking at anything.
So, understanding that there are constants and variables is to retain a bit of sanity. I'm aware I don't know you; so then I can be knowing you. I'm aware I don't know Miss Mary over here, so I can BE KNOWING YOU. The person that existed yesterday just doesn't exist.
The Mud Puddle Story
The Greeks had a saying about it that says a man can't step in the same mud-puddle twice because the first time he stepped in that mud puddle he was a man who had not stepped in a mud puddle; and the second time he was a man who had just stepped in a mud puddle; and besides that the mud puddle, the first time was a mud puddle that hadn't been stepped in; and the second time it was a mud puddle that'd just been stepped in. So you're a constant and a variable at the same time-you cannot be a duplicate.
So it is in a state of knowing instead of "I know". We never know what's going to happen next; so then we're alert--we're alive--and are aware of it. Most people have set up that they know their wife, and she's a meanie--no matter what kind changes she has gone through, and so it results in, "I don't like this." "I want that."
And the minute you get "that" in your little hot fist, what is it?
I don't like it. Here it goes-the struggle that most people are in. I've just got to have "that." "I don't like this." And here is a strange thing that you will find running through everybody's mind. "I don't like "this", and "this" is always in the present." And they've got to have "that"--they make it into a goal and try to grab onto "that"; and get "that" into their hot little hand; and now the "that" becomes a "this", and we're back to "I don't like "this". So a person tears themselves to pieces to gain a goal; and once they get it, it's ashes, huh? It's ashes then.
(Can you explain how this relates to the 5th decision.) [self-improver-trying to be different]
Yes, it relates to about all of them-[the picture of man]--it relates to all of them-the one that "I ought to be different", that "you ought to be different", that "it's important that I have that"-that "I'll be non-disturbed if I get that". I'm disturbed some way or other, and so I want "that." And if I should ever finally experience that "calm serene feeling" for a minute--it switches to, "nothing happens around this dead place!"
Did you ever see it? Ever expect it? So you talk about, "I wish I had peace of mind." And one fine day it does, and it's "How do we get out of dullsville," huh?
(How do I get out of there?-by being alert?)
Well, you see, we play a tremendous trick on ourselves with our unconscious game of "this" and "that". I don't like "this", I want "that." And this is called
hiding happiness or well-being or "peace of mind" from yourself.
You tied it like a carrot on the end of a stick; and you hold it out here and then you're gonna try to run and catch it, huh? That about right? ---a 9 ft casting rod. You put the carrot out there on the end-that's what you're doing-and then your going to hold it way out here as a "picture in the mind" to try and run get it.
(Like a dog chasing it's tail.)
………something like that; only sometimes he can catch it.
(What is this called.)
Hiding happiness from myself. I'm seeking happiness…………I'm pursuing it--I believe that's what they called it in the Declaration of Independence, wasn't it. Pursuit of happiness-you hang it on the end of a string at the end of a 9 ft. long casting rod--hold it way out in front of you and then try to get it. And when you catch it, it becomes "this" and I don't like 'this". Do you like "this" or do you want "that."
("That" looks pretty good most of the time.)
And I can't stand "this"-how many people have you heard say, "I can't stand this, I don't like this, I've got to get out of this place." "I don't like this job." "I don't like this woman." "I don't like the set-up we got in this household at all."
…….and then we get rid of "this" thing at great expense; and we go out and set up another one---and the minute we get it set up what does it become?
(Same thing, "this.")
And what's your decision about "this".
(Don't like it.)
Simple, ok? So you see there is much to observe here; and there are many many ways for it to be working within. We've only scratched the surface of the constant/variables of "this" and "that." You will find it in some aspect of almost every person you counsel with or talk to-these constants and variables. We fell in love with this pretty girl and decided she was a constant-a living doll; and we forgot because her name was Mary that she was changeable. So the name is constant and we look at her and say, "She sure has changed, and I'm cheated." They've confused a variable with a constant and feel greatly cheated. Huh?
Wouldn't it be a mess if she hadn't changed?
So I want "that" and I have "this" and I gotta change it.