Definitions - Helping
Tampa November 3, 1985 Workshop*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
[This particular subject is still somewhat confusing for me. I misunderstood the Good Sam story; and still am confused about when "helping" is harmful. I have discovered that when people figure out for themselves what they want to do; it works a lot better for them than any advice I could give. Yet, I'm still tempted to give them my opinion. I also find that I'm best capable of deciding what I need to do for me--especially since I've been an adult. We join this workshop as someone asks about "helping".)
(Another thing that causes discussion is the idea of helping others or letting them help themselves. Quite often this has been a point of big discussion in that……)
Oh, I'm happy to get in on that discussion. We don't seem to agree with the idea of "helping" anybody. We said we make a contribution--we didn't say we "help" these other people.
Now if I want to help you--I have to look down on you and see you as in some way inferior to my exalted state. If everybody's equal, there's nobody to help, is there? We can contribute to the party, but not to an individual.
So first off, I don't see any value to the idea that I want to be a people helper--that, to me, is only an egotistical trip to pat myself on the back that I’m above everybody else. So from my exalted height I can look down on you. I'm always happy to contribute. If somebody says will you help me, I say, "No!" I like you.
Have you ever noticed what happens with the people that you tell yourself you have "helped"--after a very short length of time they act like they wish you'd get out of the way. They don't like being "helped" very well because you are making them feel "inferior" while you to feel "superior" for having "helped" them. They resent it.
So I would suggest that we forget all about the "help" question, helping is that I'll make some little contribution to the party--not to you but just to the party. In other words I like to cook, so if I go in and cook a big meal and set it out--that's just a contribution to the party. It's not "helping" anybody because every one of them could eat all right without coming to the party. So I'm not "helping" people. I don't want the idea of "helping". Does that help where you are.
(Well, one of the reasons in the illusion world is that I'm in business. I get 1,000 calls wanting me to help them in one way or another. How do you find that line that you walk.)?
I would just think in terms of contributing to a number of customers--1,000 a year, that's what you want? We make a contribution to 1,000 ………... If they say they need some help, why we agree with them. Actually they're rattling their mechanical talk. I would not think in terms of "helping" them. I don't care what other people say and do.
I have people who call me up and say, "My whole intention is to "help" people."
Then I revert to the old "why" question which I know there's no answer to and I say, "Why do you want to do that?"
And they say, "Because humanity is suffering."
And I say, "Well they're suffering." "Do you know why they're suffering?"
They go through some stuff; and I reply, "The reason they're suffering; they've had so many people trying to help them."
So basically that's "why' it is. There's no answer to a "why" question; but the more "helpers" there are, the more miserable people there are around. If you don't "help" anybody, they get along pretty good.
The people helpers read the "Good Samaritan Story," which is altogether about something else--it wasn't about helping or taking care of the downtrodden or anything else. It's about whom would you lay your life for. That's all it's about. There's only one you'd lay your life down for and that's the one that got you "woken" up a little bit. Did you ever read the story? Is it about helping people?
What was the question that the story was told in response to? What was the end of the question?
The man came up and said what would he do to gain eternal life. He was told this story. The story said, "Love the Lord, thy God with all thy mind and all thy heart and all thy might and love thy neighbor as thyself."
And the man said, "Who's my neighbor. He wanted to know that. So he was told the story. And then the question was put. Which of these people proved himself a neighbor to the man in the ditch? -- The guys that beat him up and put him in there?--The three big party officials that went by and ignored him or the guy that got him out of the ditch. Who was his neighbor? The guy that got him out of the ditch was his neighbor. Now that is what the question was all about.
People read that and they jump to the conclusion that you should go out and be a neighbor and say, "Everybody's your neighbor?" No, not at all--only the guy that got you out of the ditch. You ought to read that, read the question that starts it and read the question that ends it.
No, it said that greater love has no man who lays down his life for his friend. Who's his friend there?--All those jerks there that beat him up and put him in the ditch--those outlaws. No. Is he supposed to die for them--not on your sweet life? Is he gonna allow for the doctor, the lawyer and the priest who all went by and left him lying there. One said he was a drunk. One said he was a bum and the other one said something else. They each went on. But the guy who pulled him out is his neighbor. Now he can do anything for that neighbor, that friend. But nobody else does he have any obligation to--no duty either. He doesn't have a duty to them at all. Now that one [neighbor] he picked up a certain duty to--the guy saved his life. Now he has a duty--love him as he loved himself
Now, of course the way some of us love ourselves, that wouldn't be very heavy anyway. It has nothing to do with being a "goody good" going out and "helping"and all of that. I've listened to it be read and they left both questions off of it. They just told about this wonderful Samaritan who went down the road, saw a bum in the ditch, got him out, took him into town, put him up in a nice hotel and paid the bill for a few days. They just talk about that--Good Sam. He was just an intelligent guy that saw something to do and took on the duty lookin' after the guy; not because he "should", it was his way of making a contribution to the party--that's all. He didn't help; he made a contribution, ok?
The story is not about what the Sam did, but who was the neighbor to the man in the ditch. Who does the man in the ditch have a certain obligation to? It was nothing about the other guy.
(You just mentioned loving yourself and people don't do a very good job of that. Is that because of the awareness?)
Because he's fragmented and finding that the "awareness" is in conflict--so how could it love itself?
We have a certain young man who calls us frequently that is thoroughly fragmented--solid. And all those different fragments fight each other all the time; they don't like each other. There's no love in there at all. There's no consideration for the other one--it's only continual faultfinding. If any of us is fragmented, why we don't really love ourselves, we are still at war within. So the whole bit of this story that we talked about is about the things that is necessary for the evolvement or the completion of man, a person, a human being. One is that they would have to love their neighbor as themselves.
You first got to love yourself before you can start loving the neighbor. If you don't love yourself, I'll guarantee you can't love the neighbor. And, again, that the neighbor is not anybody and everybody; but one that has had some affect on your life--raised you out of the mire.