School Talk 10 - Illusions
Beliefs about myself
Comparing myself to others
Feeling inferior and being criticized
"I don't know" department
(Audience participation in parenthesis)
Ok. We'll try to talk about something. Inasmuch as I've had about ten phone calls today that all have the same subject, we'll talk about that. We've had several other subjects, but about 10 of these were about people feeling very uncomfortable in the world because they had certain illusions; so we're going to talk about illusions today.
Now most illusions are something that we hold to be true that are not true. If I felt that this cord here was some kind of a poisonous serpent, I would be having an illusion--I believe something to be true that is not true. I believed it to be true that it was a serpent; and actually it's a piece of wire, so I would have an illusion going on.
We also have many other illusions that we hold to be true--a lot of things that we have believed. So we can check up on beliefs. Now very frequently a person has a belief that they are inferior to somebody else or to many people. Most people have some area that they feel a bit inferior. That is always an illusion because you're not inferior, you're merely a little different. There are no two human beings alike, so there's no way to be inferior. But most people have a bit of an inferiority feeling that they have going on.
A lady just told me a few minutes ago on the telephone that she bought a very beautiful coat in the Orient recently-a beautiful fur coat. The moment she got the fur coat, she became very ill because she felt she was not good enough to have an expensive fur coat. Other people tell me all sorts of other things that they do not feel they deserve--or they cannot have something that's very nice because they have an idea that they have all kinds of flaws. Again, a human being can't have a flaw because you are a unique work of art-there's not another one like you in the entire world-no matter what! There may be somebody that resembles you a bit, but they're not like you, so you're not flawed because you're not like somebody else.
So I'd like to give those that want to to run an experiment the next few days that you find (every now and then that you write down--you better carry around a pad and paper with you because you'll forget it otherwise)--beliefs you have about yourself. People have all sorts of beliefs about themselves.
Now we have beliefs about many other things. For instance, I talked to a lady just a couple of days ago who told me she was in the process of dying. She called to tell me good-by as one of her dear friends--she was checking out no later than today because she couldn't even get across the floor without having a heart palpitation and having a pain in her chest and down her left arm. So she knew she was dying. I made some uncouth comments and told her what to do. She said, "Well, I don't have gas." I said, "I didn't ask what you had, I told you what to do". So she did it and then later in the afternoon she called me (the same day now) that she was going to be dead before night. I told her again what to do. Then she called later and said she had just walked three miles, and she rolled a wheelbarrow full of dirt four times across the garden. She was dumping dirt. She was feeling wonderful. Now what did we change. She had an illusion--she had a false belief that because she had certain symptoms, that she was dying with a heart condition. Having had a little more experience than she had at dying people, I decided she had a little gas pocket in her belly and gave her something to get it gone, and as soon as the gas pocket loosened up, she quit with all the stuff.
So now here is a situation where a belief could have killed her. If she'd kept it up and had not done anything about it, she probably would have checked out before the day was over. So beliefs are very strong; but most beliefs, in fact, I would go a little bit farther and say all beliefs are illusions.
Now, if you believe something, you haven't checked it out yet. You have only accepted it because you heard a certain amount of misinformation or a lack of information over the years; and you have put it together as having a certain meaning--and as long as we have that idea that all "this" means "that", we will live by our beliefs. So one of the appropriate things to do is to get rid of all beliefs; but first you have to recognize you have the belief. Now you can get along without beliefs because you can check up on a lot of things; and there's other things you can just leave them in the "I don't know" department. That's not such a bad one.
Some man told me the only way you could really know truth was when you'd seen an illusion for an illusion. He told me that the first statement of truth that most people ever made was when they said, "I don't know?" But you know most of us don't like to be in the condition of not knowing. We profess to know something even though we don't know it. We have a belief; and therefore say it's true, but we really don't know. It might be just as well to put all these things you can't check up on in the
I DON'T KNOW DEPARTMENT.
It's not so bad to have a great big "I don't know department". It sure is a good place to store a lot of junk you hear every day of the week from somebody here, there, and elsewhere.
Most people believe that there are diseases out there floating around in the ceiling; and that they all have names--that one of them might look at me today and say, "I'm gonna bite John." You know, there's one named Leukemia or one named pneumonia or one named something else, and they're out there floating around, and they're going to attack you.
That is not the way it works by any means; but people have that belief; and so they explain every illness in that way.
Another good belief that most people have is that you can't live much past 70 years because if you do, you're on borrowed time--as if you're allotted by some chance story a long time ago, that you can live only 70 years; and when that's over with, goodbye. You also have a belief that every year you must begin to look older--feel older--and you are older, and you're falling apart at the seams.
People don't do that until they've accepted those beliefs. I know a few people who don't accept that belief and they're much much older than that, but look better than any of us do--but it's an interesting thing to find out.
Most people believe that there's no chance for you to regenerate. Once you've gone over the hill, that's where it is. You're over the hill, and down you will go; but maybe that will be changed around.
So let's take for our little chore this week that we will check up on all these beliefs that we have that we, ourselves, have not checked upon. If you do, you don't believe it any longer, you know it. If you only believe it because you got it from "an authority"--that's what we call a not "i".
One of them is "believe and do as you're told by your authorities". The "authority" told you to "believe something and you believed it" with all your being-lived by it as though it was true, and you have never checked it out. That is not very worthwhile nor is it to your advantage; and it's much much simpler to find out exactly WHAT'S GOING ON or put it in the "I don't know" department.
Now if I ask a dozen people what happens to the person when they die-well, some will say "they go to heaven", some say, "well, that one is bound to go to hell"-another one will says "they're reincarnated", another one will says "they are blapped out; they went of sleep and that's the end of the show"; and everybody has different beliefs. The beliefs are firm--they just think they know all about it. But the fact of it is, we all have to put it in the "I don't know" department. Would that be where you'd have to put it? Would that be where you'd have to put it? You don't know, do you? So let's leave it there, don't come up with all these wild things.
I know people a couple of years ago were all accepting a certain guy's full-page ads all over the country that he was going to trot out the return of the Christ no later than May 1st two years ago.
Well, finally that didn't happen so he just took off, but in the meantime, he had accumulated a considerable amount of wealth; and he had published full-page ads in the most expensive newspapers in the U.S. such as the N. Y. Times, the L.A. Times and the Dallas Times Herald and a whole bunch of others across the country. With these full-page ads and he had gobs of people believing it. Now they'd call me up and ask what do I think about it. I said, "I don't think. I don't know anything about it, so I don't bother to think about it, you know, what difference does it make--I haven't thought anything about it, not going to". I told one lady that when the day came, I imagine she could answer her own question; and I happen to know her--she's a very good friend and she's calling me until this past three weeks ago, what happened-he took a walk and went back to Australia with the money. That's all I know. So what else is there too new and different?
So, let's take for the next few days that we will check out the illusions or beliefs. Do it for a few days at least,--I would rather say much longer, but knowing that most people won't stay with it much more than a few days, I'll say a few days and then I'll remind you again someday.
Let's keep a little note pad around and write down what I believe; and then if you can check up on it, check up on it--and then you won't believe it any longer. You'll know one way or the other. If you can't check up on it, immediately, then put it over in the "I don't know department"--and further more, it really doesn't matter.. It really doesn't matter. If you can't check up on it, it doesn't matter to you. That's all there is to it.
You'll not have to be what I have heard called faith because the only definition I have found to accurately describe faith, as it is used, is gullibility. So you don't really have to be gullible. To me, the word faith means the ability to make up your mind singly; and not to accept something just because somebody you've made as an "authority" told you--so I would call that being gullible.
So let's see how many of these things we can put on paper. If you like, I'll talk with you about them. If you can look at them, more than likely you won't need to talk to me about it--you can just say, "Well, phooey, I don't know anything about it"; furthermore, what difference does it make to me anyway, ok? What, really, difference does it make.
So let's see if we can eliminate many of these illusions or see them for what they really are-that they are illusions. All these beliefs are merely an illusion; and when we see them for what they are; and when we've seen the truth-the truth is a great liberator. I think most of us would like to be liberated from considerable burdens we tote around with us all the time. Maybe we're not really thinking of them as burdens; but when you look at one and see it for what it is, you will find that it's like having thrown a heavy bag off of your shoulder.
There's deck of cards called the tarot cards; and one of the first pictures is the picture of the fool. He's carrying a great big sack on his back-it just has old broken bricks and things like that in it--but he has to pick it up anyway and carry it wherever he goes. So most of us carry a heavy burden without really knowing what we're carrying around. So if we check up through the simple way of seeing "what are the many things that I believe that I have never checked up on", and WHEN WE DO CHECK UP ON THEM, WE SEE THEY AREN'T FACTUAL, then we find that we have been able to throw that big bag down--that big bag is full of old broken bricks and old concrete blocks and pieces of scrap iron from here, there and elsewhere-we just drop it down. Any questions, comments? Tell me a challenge or what-have-you. OK?
(What happens when you look at these beliefs, they just…………..)
Well, when you see it's not true, you don't believe it anymore. Suppose that you got a mistaken idea when you were a kid that three and three equals nine; and you found out one day it only equals six. What would you do with the idea of nine? That's the end of it, isn't it? Ok? So when you see that a belief is not true, you can set it down. That's why there's a great sense of relief. You don't have to bother with that burden anymore, ok?
(Well, every time one pops up, you got the note pad with you?)
Write it down and then check it out and see if it's really true or is it just something somebody laid on you one time or other down the road. Ok? You might find there are a whole slew of them there. Especially ideas about all your failings. Ok? That's a heavy one. Most of us have a great burden of those to carry. Mama said, "You knew better than that!", and so I began to think I knew better than what I did; but actually when I checked up on it, I always felt that what I did was right, proper and justifiable. I didn't know better or I wouldn't have done it. So I got rid of a big load of guilt on that little illusion. You know it didn't take but a minute to get rid of years of guilt. I knew better?-mama told me I did; but I didn't because at that moment it seemed the proper thing to do at that moment.
The Mule Story
One time I was at a little country school party. I walked out the door, and some kid gave me six firecrackers. I wanted to share the firecrackers with my friend, and so I lit one and threw it up in the air. Down it came and exploded. There were two mules hooked to a wagon that had an organ that they had used at the party. The mules took off for parts unknown at high speed, and the organ went bouncing out of the wagon and fell into something like 700 pieces. Everybody said, "You knew better than to throw that firecrackers!" But, no, it seemed the right thing to do. I was being a good kid and sharing the noise with the kids. I didn't see those damn mules and all that stuff. I didn't put all that together, so it was the thing, to me, to do--but everybody tried to make me feel guilty about it.
You know everybody is trying to lay a guilt trip on you if you'll look around a little bit. They're all trying to get you to feel bad or inferior in some way. That's the favorite indoor sport of a lot of people is to make somebody feel guilty; but as soon as I saw that everything I ever did-at the moment I did it-it felt right, proper or justifiable, I got rid of years of guilt. Who wants to carry that stuff around ok? Any other questions? Yes?
(Someone's always trying to make me feel inferior.)
Yes, everybody's trying to lay it on you one way or another.
(Do you not buy it and go on your way?)
Yes. If you see that the "whole idea of inferiority" is based on the idea that there are standards for human beings; and if you'll look through this bunch here, small as it may be--there are no standards-everybody is different. Every person is a unique work of art; and if there's only a unique work of art (which we took down from the unicorn and the dragon and so forth over here)--and if you look at it, there's not another one in the world like you--thank goodness. So there's no way to say that you, me or another person is "bad" or "good" according to some illusion in someone's mind. So, you're not like anybody in the world-so there's nothing inferior about you, nothing superior about you--you are unique, ok? I think even your mother would agree with that.
(The person when they keep doing that, there's no reason to try and change them.)
No, I'm not going to try and change anybody else, I won't do anything for anybody unless they ask; and I have to be sure they're asking accurately, ok?
(Then they'll keep saying those things.)
Oh, they'll go right ahead and have fun if that gives them pleasure. Let them tell me how inferior I am ten times a day-doesn't matter to me. I know better. I got it figured out that anybody that doesn't like me, just has damn poor taste. Who worries about people with poor taste? Ok? So let them say anything they want, ok? All right another questions, comment?
Ok. We will intend to have another talk next Friday at 4:30 pm. They are usually short, but very much to the point. Anytime any of you are around, and want to talk through the week, all you gotta do is say so and we'll find time and place to do so, ok?
Have fun, we hope we see you all Sunday at a nice auction where we talk a different lingo, but it's fun too.