School Talk 39 - Ideas are Tenants
(audience participation in parenthesis)
talk covers: Purpose = ideas = thoughts
"how to" with self-remembering
We put up a sign today that says we are going to talk about ideas are tenants. So ideas are based on purpose, and all of our thinking is based on the ideas we have. We always think ideas and we're talking about our living situations--not the kind that decides if you're going to have pork chops for dinner.
So as long as our purpose is to be non-disturbed in life, which seems to be most people's thing; and the way we're going to be disturbed or non-disturbed is what we think about. So one person thinks if they're loved, they will be non-disturbed. Another one thinks if they make a lot of money, they will be non-disturbed. Another one thinks if they avoid working, they will be non-disturbed; and it goes on and on and on. And then, of course, we can add to that the thinking that if we could get all the other people all straightened out (so they would do what they "ought to do" and behave in the way "they should behave"), then I'd be very happy--no doubt.
So, we can consider what our mind is basically occupied with the biggest part of every day. It might be a very interesting subject to pursue-as to what the mind is occupied with. In other words, what are the thoughts running through the mind which are based upon ideas; and the ideas are based on our purpose.
So it would be well if we could begin to notice what we are mostly occupied with in the thinking arrangement all day long. You think that might be worthwhile pursuing Miss Mary?
And do we keep it occupied basically with things we don't like?-I think that would be one of the things that we might discover that--the mind is considerably occupied with--what we don't like.
Now what the mind is occupied with most of the time seems to be the thing that we will actualize in our experience a considerable amount of the time. So if I'm occupied with the things I don't like, I will be generating, to a great degree, a lot of experiences that I don't like. It seems that "like" produces "like" in this world. If we plant corn, we get corn. If we plant potatoes, we get potatoes. If we plant weeds, we get weeds. Sometimes we get weeds without planting them very much; but basically, we don't pay attention to what the mind is mostly occupied with day-in and day-out.
It would be interesting to begin to observe and see what kind of tenants we have; after all, this is the house we live in called the body. If it is occupied with things we don't like, things we're finding fault with, things we are displeased with, things we are in some way worried or upset about most of the time, we have that kind of a tenant living in us.
Now if any of us owned a house, and we found we had a tenant in it which was very destructive, (they were tearing the doors off the house and knocking holes through the walls and yanking the plumbing loose and breaking windows and etc), I think it would behoove us to get that tenant evicted--and in as short an order as we possibly could-you'd get them out, would you not?
You'd want to get rid of them.
Now the tenants that live in our mental apparatus everyday are the basic thoughts, ideas, and purposes we have. If they're very destructive to us and we find they were causing us to be aged (which is equivalent to the house having holes knocked in the walls and windows broken out and general unkempt appearance around the whole house), we would get rid of them; but instead, we seem to take it for granted that we're supposed to get old and decrepit and wrinkled just because so many months went by. If we saw that the destruction was because of the tenants we keep in the house all the time (which is the general ideas that run through the head-call them ideas, call them thoughts, call them whatever you like), they're still there; and what those ideas are, basically, is occupying the house all day, is that right?
If we choose to, we can throw out any undesirable tenant, but first we'd have to RECOGNIZE that the idea is a tenant and it is undesirable-then we could throw it out. But, basically, we don't get them thrown out. We take it for granted that that is absolutely necessary--and that we are recording the ONLY fact that could be out there. That idea is that I'm totally entitled to be upset with everything that's going on, and I don't have to like the boss, and I don't have to like this person and that person and different circumstances.
Suppose that we had a tenant in our house who was constructive. They kept the house in order and running smoothly--they kept everything up to snuff--kept the grounds looking good--you'd be pretty proud of that tenant, is that right? We can all have the kind of tenant we choose in this house that we call the living being. We can have whatever tenant we choose-as long as we take the effort to be aware of what kind of tenants we already have that we don't like that live in there today. And, of course, it's every day because you can't go a day that you don't have a continual activity going on in your head, is that right?
There's something going on there all the time, so you always got a tenant.
Now basically we habitually have the same tenant. Once in a while, maybe, we have a visitor to the regular tenant, and they may behave fairly nicely or something, but those don't count. We're looking at the one that habitually hangs around in there all the time-in other words the permanent tenant.
If you would care to pay attention, you would find that you habitually stay in the same tone--as we talked a time or two about the tone scale. Nobody is 100%. I will take that back. A few people I've met are 100% apathetic day-in and day-out. Some of them are fearful day-in and day-out. Some of them are angry day-in and day-out; but most people are habitually in one of those lower states of being or tones. But there is company comes in once in a while; and it changes a little bit, but not very frequently. Most of the time there is a habitual tone or a place that we live. In other words, we have a habitual set of ideas going through the head all the time. That about right?
It's the same general set of ideas going through the head; and if we should pay attention to them, they are so boring. We definitely would want to throw them out because it's the same old crap going on within day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out that "so and so has caused this" and "so and so caused that" and "so and so did this" and "if so and so would only straighten up and fly right". If you happen to read the columns in the newspaper-you might read "Dear Abby" once in a while or something similar which is a pretty good indication of the mass mind that's going on.
Now there's always something out there for somebody to complain about; and some of them are just plain ticked off and "got to get it out of their system" so they lay it on "Dear Abby" or "Dear Abigail"-they lay it all out--all these endless complaints come through.
Complaints are one of the things that I have noticed the most--and I'm on the phone enough with people all over the country that I think I have a fair cross section to look at. Now a person's thoughts may all be complaining. Their ideas are that if people would just "straighten up and fly right", or "situations would get right", then they would be very happy people, right? That's all-and so they spend their days and probably most of their nights complaining about something-somebody usually, or persons, or the general run of circumstances. So if one spends all their time complaining, you are planting things that you don't like, dislike, and so forth. So complaining has a great tendency to bring about those conditions around you that you don't like.
I know one dear lady who has been complaining to me for approximately fifteen years that she doesn't have a man in her existence. She complains every time I ever listen to her. Now you don't only complain with words, you can complain with tone of voice. You can complain with droopy eyelids and a pathetic look or like you were singing a sad and woebegone country western song. I have told her several times that I don't see why any man would want to sit around and listen to her complaining. She tells me she's going to quit complaining when she's "properly loved". But you know, I don't think she's going to get there unless she starts first not complaining. And no matter how long and how much I talk, she's still finds that there is something to complain about.
Now I don't think it would take any great effort for us to sit here and spend the rest of the day complaining and trying to see what all we can find about "what's wrong here". If we look we can see that the human being's, mostly are, very lonely. Most of them are feeling that they're not loved very much; and most are desperately wanting to be cared for--to be considered--to be liked. We can set out to say that this person here looks like they need to be loved a bit, or they need some friendship-just good old friendship, I'm not talking about romantic love--in every case--by any means. We're talking about that somebody cares something about me. They appreciate me or like me. Now you can dish that out through the day. So if you were looking for all the people that you see that was in need of having some friendship, attention, and approval-they're there. We could probably be doing that instead of complaining; and wonder what would be the results around you? If everybody you came in contact with casually or otherwise--that you gave them something to feel like they were appreciated--that they had, at least, one friend, and that somebody cared something about what happened to them. Would your day then be spent with a whole different viewpoint?
Now the major thing that most people have to complain about is that they pay 100% attention to self. "I" is the soul subject of their concern, their thoughts, their ideas, their purpose--every idea is about them.
Now we have in technical jargon the term neurotic. Well, a neurotic person is a person who is about 90% attention is on themselves and 10% is, of necessity, on something else-it's work or something around them.
Now we also have a jargon word called psychotic. That's a person who is kind of out of touch with the world around them, and is usually incapable of supporting themselves or doing very much of anything worthwhile; and they do an awful lot of things that are not worthwhile. The psychotic person is 100% involved thinking about how do I feel--or where did that thought come from--or why did that happen, or why did this happen to me--how come I am in the poor pathetic position I am. So the psychotic person is the person who is totally interested in "I", "me"--nobody else-the thinking is all to the exclusion of the rest of us. It is called psychosis or psychotic situation. If you could get one of those people to turn their attention outwardly for a few minutes (which is very difficult to feature-but if you could so do), they would no longer be psychotic as long as they could keep everything turned outwardly.
But again, as we said, most people are habitual. So psychotics are habitually involved with themselves. You can put 20 psychotics in a room, and they won't speak to each other all day. Each one is totally wrapped up in themselves. He or she doesn't see those others sitting around over there, and I'm not "wolfing." Go to any mental institution in what they call the severe ward where there is nothing but psychotics, and there's not a one of them saying a word to anybody else-they're all sitting there totally wrapped up in themselves.
Now if you go down the hall to a less severe ward where there various neurotics, they're not quite so bad off. They do once in a while scream at one of the others in the room, and say, "You stepped on me!" or something like that--even though he's clear across the room. Now most people that are neurotic don't manage to wind up in a mental hospital because they can stay on the outside and tell you their sad stories. Now you can find them about anywhere, but once in a while they do pay a little attention outside of themselves when something stimulates them. You cannot even stimulate the total psychotic to look at anything outside themselves.
So the worst possible thing you could be thinking about is yourself. It leads to some very severe disorders in this world. It could be psychotic, it could be neurotic, but that's according to how involved you get yourself in it. So the worst possible subject is to be considering self over and over and over; however, we don't eliminate self-knowing a little bit by recognizing not "I's." We have repeatedly told everybody that six months is long enough time to spend on studying not "I's, and after that, they're boring. Not "I's" are very repetitive and very boring, so we don't want to be spending a lot of time on that.
Now self-remembering is remembering WHAT I AM DOING and WHAT CAN I DO. Well, I can direct my attention outwardly; and as long as my attention is outwardly, there is very little thought going on-there is something totally different called attention--and attention is vital interest and enthusiasm in things around you and what you want to do.
Now most of what's here on the blackboard has been experimented on at least a few times--with being enthusiastic or being vitally interested in some person or project around us-something other than ourselves; and when we're doing that, we're working at our highest level--if I may say so.
Now when we get totally involved in checking up on ourselves, we're usually working at our lowest level. So there's all kinds of people around us-none of us are hermits. So there's people around us all the time; and every one of those people has a need. They have a need to have attention. They have a need to have some approval. They have a need to have some appreciation. They need just a little friendship here and there because it's been demonstrated for thousands of years in China that if you totally ignore somebody, it is fatal.
They had a form of punishment they called ostracism. So when somebody in the community did something that they considered a crime or decidedly misbehavior, the other folks all got together and decided on punishment which was ostracism. So the person was a "no" person. He or she didn't exist. If he walked down the street, nobody said, "Hi". If they went in a store, nobody said, "What do you need?" If they went in a restaurant, they were not seen. If they sat at the table, nobody came by them. Nobody said, Do you need a cup of tea?" or "Do you want a little tofu?" or anything else. They just went on their way. Well, pretty soon this proved to be fatal.
So when you want to destroy somebody, you put no attention on them. Now it's slower; but a much more miserable state is to put all the attention on ourselves. We don't even see other people's attention. It's like the dear lady who wants somebody to love her, but she still complains morning, noon, and night. I'm quite sure she's had a few men who looked at her and decided that they could be interested in her. She is a very attractive lady, but she wouldn't know it anyway because she's so wrapped up in her misfortunes that she wouldn't know if some guy was making a reasonable gentile pass at her. If he went up and pinched her bottom, she'd probably know about it; but she would think that was an insult and wouldn't get along with him any way.
The point is that we have charge of what we do put in our head--what we think about---the ideas that we live by--and our purpose. We can be totally in charge of it if we pay attention to WHAT IT IS, and if WE SEE THE VALUE OF IT.
Now most people don't ever see the value of what thoughts are going through their head, and they think it doesn't make any difference; but I think we could just observe a little bit--first in ourselves--as to what's going on in there. Now it's not getting all involved with yourself--it's just seeing what kind of activity is going on in there, ok? Certainly I think every one of us can add a little bit more gentile loving activity to it if we paid some attention to what I am generally occupied with. Just generally-I'm not talking about every minute--I'm not talking about being occupied all the time. So you can get just a general drift of ideas and thoughts running through your head. You can start any time--you want to today? Could you? Could you start off with what nice people you've seen today, and how nice and cool it is outside today.
Now, of course, I've lived in Arizona a bit and there are days that the temperature exceeds up to 120 degrees around here; and we scream, then, about it being too hot; but today it's about 60 degrees, and everybody's freezing. Durn it! It just won't stay in the right place, you know that? Now we'll have to say we probably have the best weather in the world, if we're interested in weather being on a fairly even keel; but how many people have you heard today--including #1--has been complaining about it being cold or dreary today. I think it's pretty nice. I don't have to run the air conditioner, so that's all right-turn the heat up a little bit, that's good too.
But it's a point that we can be aware that we habitually fall into traps of always seeing the lousy in everything, huh? What's wrong with it?-there's just something wrong here. It isn't like it "ought to be." Now that's a trap we can fall into, or we can create a new habit of seeing things in a pretty good light--no matter what. Now we don't have to turn into Miss Pollyanna who found that everything, no matter what, was great. We're not even suggesting that you don't recognize somebody is making an awful loud noise around you; but you know, I notice that most people make a lot of noise--feel they need more attention than they're getting; and noise is the only way they can get it. They may not get any approval, but they can get attention.
If you observe little folks once in a while, you'll see that little people--babies and children--do a lot of things to get attention. If you give them approval, they're pleased with that, and they like it. But if you don't give them approval, they're going to get attention. I'll guarantee you, they're going to get attention because if there's one thing that will attract attention, it is a baby crying real loud, or a screaming little kid; and they can sure do it when they're not getting their attention.
So it's probably just as well to give approval. Now most people equate approval with being loved to some degree, like friendship. I have not seen anybody that I could not give some sort of approval to, have you? You can always find something to approve of them--even though it was the boss, or it was a customer. Some of them are kind of grumpy; but nonetheless, they're just grumpy like the baby is--they're going to have attention, so why not give them approval.
Approval is a fairly rare commodity in this world. I don't know if you're aware of that or not--it's not really running rampant all over the place. There's far more complaining than there is approval going on-and have any of you noticed that, huh? Have you noticed that? So you could supply a much-needed commodity--some approval. Now you could decide you would be occupied with giving approval all day long, and then you are inviting an altogether different kind of an experience coming your way than if you were continually complaining most of the day-or having complaining thoughts. Maybe you don't complain out loud-maybe you just suffer in silence. That's the way most people do-they suffer within.
But you might discover that you could put whatever ideas, thoughts and purposes you wanted to within, and you can have whatever kind of tenants you would prefer. I think if you only considered it for a very few minutes, you would prefer to have a tenant who was "to your advantage" to having in your house rather than one that was tearing it up, is that somewhere's close to right? Now I know we're all very young, so at this stage of life, we don't recognize how much we can be tearing ourselves up. Did you know it will even change the color of your hair eventually. It will even change the texture of your skin; and a lot of other things--not because so many years went by-that has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's the kind of tenants that's in the household. So 20 years from now, would you like to look about like you do now?
Wouldn't hurt your feelings a bit?
(No, it wouldn't.)
Keep the right kind of tenants in the house. If you get crappy tenants in there, it's going to mess up that pretty body--I'll tell you that-same for you and for you, and for you and you. John and I have been here so long, we already got wrecked. But even if we change, at this late stage of the game and keep the right kind of tenants in the house--believe it or not--it does regenerate considerably.
Ok, I've talked long enough; let's have a little conversation here. Who's got a word to add, or challenge me, or throw me off--tell me that you've never had any tenants in your house?
(So the tenants are the thoughts an also what you can do?)
Playing the Conscious Role
WELL, WHAT YOU CAN DO IS AN IDEA THAT YOU HAVE BASED UPON A PURPOSE.
FIRST YOU HAVE A PURPOSE, THAT BRINGS ABOUT AN IDEA.
THEN THE IDEAS BRING ABOUT A JILLION KINDS OF THOUGHTS AS TO HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO IT, OK?
So what you can do is first a fundamental purpose. What kind of purpose do you want to do; and let's say that you wanted to be what, to you, was a good guest--that would be your purpose. So, then, you would know what you can do. Then you have an idea how to do it; and your thoughts would be concerned with that. Ok?
Playing the victim role
Now let's say that you decided you were a poor unloved unfortunate lady; and so your unconscious purpose will be to tell everybody in the world how unfortunate you are-what a victim you are. Your purpose, then, would be demonstrating the victim role, ok? Then what you would do would be to be a "victim of the best order"--more so than everybody else you know. Then your ideas would be as to how to prove to everybody around. "I'm a victim" and your thoughts would all be about "victimization". Does that help answer that one all right dear?
Next comment, question, point? Who's got something to say here?
(I want you to talk a little bit more about the Pollyanna thing because you mention that from time to time-that's not what your talking here, being a Pollyanna.)
Pollyanna was one who set out that no matter what happened, she found some nice little something to say about it, ok? And, of course, Pollyanna was possibly better off than all the people around her; but we don't want to be Pollyannaish. Pollyanna would be in a big car crash; and she would be thankful only four people were killed-that's Pollyanna, ok? So instead of getting out and picking up the pieces and patching them together which is working with WHAT I CAN DO, she would have sat back and said, "Well, it's nice only four of them got killed, and only three cars were involved in the crash and there could have been six." So Pollyanna is the one who was always looking for "what's good in the situation." Sometimes it was stretched to the extreme. We're not trying to do that.
That answer your question all right dear?
(That's kind of irritating isn't it?)
Yes, being a Pollyanna can sometimes be a little trying. So we're not looking to be a Pollyanna. We're not trying to tell everybody else how wonderful it is, we're trying to take charge of what tenant I have in my head, and I'm going to keep it that way. Ok?
We'll have another talk next weekend, next Monday at 2:00 in the afternoon, all things being equal.