School Talk 42 - The Necessity of Purpose
Today we’re going to talk about the necessity of having a purpose, a consciously chosen purpose. Now every once in a while we’ll ask somebody “What’s your purpose?” We’ve talked about purpose many times. They say, “I don’t have any purpose, but we could not function unless we had a purpose of some sort or other.
Now the purpose which we all started off with as little infants which we have chosen to call “the reactive purpose” or we could even call it “the animal purpose”—is the whole purpose of living is to be non-disturbed, and everybody works at it in no uncertain terms whether they are aware of it or not—in fact 99% of the people are not aware that that’s what they’re doing and so that is one that is called human nature.
We say that anything that is acted upon a number of times becomes second nature and this one was certainly acted upon since the day we were born; so obviously it is at least more than second nature—it is what we would call purpose. It is human nature, and so human nature is that the person is trying to be non-disturbed by gaining pleasure and comfort; attention and approval and a sense of importance of being appreciated or trying to escape pain on all of it’s forms or that we’re trying to escape being ignored.
So we do many efforts in order to have some bit of attention, and we also work very hard to avoid all disapproval and no matter if we have to kowtow to people and do all sorts of things that we’re really not interested in doing. And, of course, we work very hard to convince ourselves that we don’t feel inferior.
Now we hunt up many many methods. So with this particular tape we are furnishing a little piece of paper that will list a number of these methods that people use to attempt to be non-disturbed.
Now before a person would really change their purpose, they have to achieve a certain number of these methods. They have to achieve a few of them and find out that they don’t work, or they still feel that if I could just get it, everything would be all right. If I could have a million dollars in the bank, I would be all right. If I was married properly, I’d be all right. If I had this, iI had that, then I would be happy. I would have achieved and fulfilled my purpose. So a person has to achieve a certain number of these or there’s no way they’d even consider starting a new purpose.
So let’s look through some of these methods of trying to be non-disturbed. A person sets up a goal to have X number of dollars in the bank or to be married by age so and so or to get to travel around the world by a certain day. So they set goals; and of course, these are promoted by all society as being the greatest things in the world a person could do.
Now there’s nothing wrong in having goals as long as you know that it’s not going to make you happy--no matter how many times you achieve it. It may give you some convenience. Maybe it will get you something you want, but it’s not going to make you happy. For instance, I know a man who made it his goal when he was a rather young man, about 17 or 18 years did to win prizes as Mr. Universe through body building. So he achieved it all right. He became a great body builder, and he did win the prize or the title of Mr. Universe and on one occasion, he told me that you had to make a choice. You’d could be a body builder and hurt like hell, or you could just go ahead and be a lump and feel pretty good. He had won all these prizes and now he didn’t know what to do with because he couldn’t quit. He still had to keep on because if he slowed down he hurt even worse now.
So we could have goals. Some people feel they could buy it, and so they spend great sums of money trying to buy the four dual basic urges—that’s pretty hard to do—in fact it won’t work. No matter how much money you might have to buy it with, you won’t get it. Some people use it by demanding their rights. They take courses in assertive training, and they join groups that make protests to have all their rights, but after they get them, they don’t know what to do with them--they are still just as miserable as they were before they got the rights. Some people, of course try to gain the four dual basic urges by complaining; and they can do a wonderful job of it. Some of them are task masters of complaining, but that still doesn’t make them happy.
Some of them try it by having all kinds of distractions. They might be involved in going to all the sporting events. We might be involved in going to all the discos in the world. They might have a 101 other kinds of distractions that we could indulge in. We might sit in front of the TV all day—day in and day out--but it still doesn’t produce the four dual basic urges. Maybe for a few minutes, the person feels all right because they have been adequately distracted by sufficient stimuli on the outside.
In the recent years there have been a lot of people making head trips. They’re going to analyze their head and they’re going to figure it out. They’re going to do things and practice various and sundry techniques (which are not usually called) but which are all self hypnosis, and they have certain hallucinations and all these other good things, but they still have not achieved the four dual basic urges because the four dual basic urges by necessity is going to be conflict.
Some, of course, practice positive thinking and they think positive about everything even up to the point of being Pollyannaish, but it still doesn’t work. Some even try attempts at magic. They use certain amounts of chanting to try to get themselves into a state—so all of these are going on. Many people have used various and sundry drugs to achieve a state—feeling if they could just have certain experiences, then they would have achieved the four dual basic urges, but that hasn’t helped.
Some have used dieting—some with the idea if they lost enough weight, they would be happy. Some with the idea if they lived pure vegetarian it would do something wondrous for their insides and to their heads. Some use alcohol to a great extent to try to be non-disturbed in some way or other, and granted, if you drink enough of it, it will be non-disturbed for a while because you’ll be unconscious; but unfortunately, we always wake up, usually to a wonderful hangover which is pain in it’s intense degree, and then we need some more of the “hair of the dog”that bit us to get off of it and get the shakes calmed down a little bit.
A lot of people use sex. They figure if they have it in a wide enough variety and a never ending supply, and so there is a good market these days for various sexual stimulants. Men take aphrodisiacs and go to the adult shops; they’re called, to try to keep themselves stimulated and to have more and more and better and better sex, and they still are not happy when they get through with it.
Some people use religion, and they go to one brand of theology to another trying to find something that will get them non disturbed—they try the Eastern variety, try the Western variety, the in between, and the far out.
Some think if they could just get power to control other people, then they would be very happy. So they try all the techniques of controlling and they still come out like the others. A lot depend on government—if we could just get the right government, then we’d all be happy—you know everything would be taken care of, all unfairness would be eliminated in the world—we’d all be important. So we all switch from conservatives to liberals, and liberals to conservatives; and republic to some other democracy, and democracy into socialism, and into communism, and back out again, and still everybody is aggravated and upset.
Another good one these days is pop psychology classes. You go to two weekends and you’re going to be totally transformed. You will then be able to gain all your goals and everything. But when you get through with the two weekends, you were told you didn’t quite get it, and so you should go back and take two more weekends or a different advance class—you can usually find a way to keep on going.
Another way that people have tried is setting up various and sundry forms of institutions and groupies and communes and communities and all will be fine, but we haven’t found any that worked yet because the four dual basic urges can’t work. And, of course, then some people are going to get there by tearing down whole institutions that have been around for a while, and that usually is an exercise in futility because the institution has more funds with which to keep themselves going than the ones that’s going to tear them down--so that doesn’t get very far.
And then every now and then we read where if we could just have a total revolution in some little place in the world, everything would be all right, so we go out and kill a few million. I guess the ones that get killed are probably non-disturbed after that, I haven’t had any of them come complaining about it anyway. So I guess they’re non-disturbed.
And one that’s fairly “in” right now is a lot of people committing suicide. That’s supposed to get you out of this horrible world and get you into one that is all rose petals and orange juice—so they try that one every now and then. And, of course, we could all retreat into a fantasy and build ourselves a wonderful fantasy world—they sometimes call that being totally psychotic; and if you’re not street people, you’re liable to wind up in a mental hospital somewhere. But who knows, that comes the nearest to working of anything I’ve seen other than suicide. But even that’s not very pleasant.
Now when a person has worked on a number of these and has accomplished a reasonable degree of success in some of these, they still find that they’re far from being what they call being happy or people who are integrated or have a purpose. They’re still struggling—they don’t even realize their purpose—all these were only methods to be what to them was an unconscious purpose.
So we try to point out that it is essential to have a consciously chosen purpose. So once we’ve seen that these things here that we have just enumerated plus hundreds and hundreds more of which are in the same general category which we won’t particularly talk about but which everybody’s acquainted with, and you can see if you stop and look that they are all efforts to be non-disturbed on the earth plain.
Now as long as we have a living body and we live on this planet earth, we’re going to experience a certain amount of disturbance. It’s going to get cold. It’s going to get hot. It’s going to get wet. It’s going to get dry. It’s going to be noisy around us—there’s going to be people who are uncouth. A lady in Albuquerque told me one day that certain people just didn’t have any couth at all. So we’re going to run into people without any couth; and so we’re going to be somewhat disturbed.
This living body must adapt to this ever changing environment on this planet earth; and no matter which lovely resort we seek out, even this one we live in around here in nice lovely Scottsdale and Phoenix and the valley of the sun, it still can be a little disturbing at times. I recall last summer when it got to 122 degrees. It was a little uncomfortable to hustle out the door, but we survived and probably the better for it, who knows. We all got tans without even going outside—we just scorched a tan. So we’re always going to have that.
Now when we begin to see that one thing that is not a valid purpose for an adult person—we can begin to switch around. Now we have made available and continually remind people in every way we can that there’s four basic questions that are valid questions to ask. Four valid basic questions to ask: What am I? Where am I? What’s going on here? And What can I do?
Now we have given some tentative answers and might as well kind of review those a minute or two. Now we don’t say these are absolute, but we say they’re an adequate answer for these questions. What am I? We can go back and look that we arrived on this earth world about the same way—naked, helpless, probably most of us just found out we were coming, they didn’t really ask for us.
So we found a world well equipped—they had a fantastic system of supplying food and shelter and transportation—all these systems were here and we had a couple of people to look after us that we might say were practically slaves, and se what are we? We could come up with “I am a privileged invited guest” and it would be hard to disprove it---I can’t prove it, but it seems to me it’s kind of like sitting here—I can’t prove it, but it is a self-evident fact. So I think if we look just a little bit, that what am I? I’m a privileged invited guest at this planet earth. It would fit in the category of being a self-evident fact. They can say, “Well, they’ve all been hypnotized, they’re just saying you’re here.” You’re only a figment of an imagination.” So you cannot prove a self-evident fact. It would appear to me that it is a self-evident fact that we’re privileged invited guests at this planet earth.
Where am I? I’m at the planet earth. The big estate is here, and it has everything that we can see that we need for our physical survival at least—at least we’ve all been surviving on it for a varying number of years, and still are today; and we didn’t get anything from outside of this earth to supply our physical needs, so it must all be here. So it’s a wonderful estate to find ourselves in.
And when we say; What’s going on here? Again it would be a self-evident fact that there’s a big party going on. When you see a lot of people all doing a lot of different things, running around having their little games to play—the traffic game, the marriage game, the business games, the entertainment games and any place you want to go—we’d have to say that there’s a big party going on; and we could say that it also is a self-evident fact that very few people are aware that there is a party. So they are all struggling and fighting within themselves and amongst themselves in order to be non-disturbed, and they certainly don’t see it’s a party. They don’t see where they are and they don’t see what they are; so obviously, then, they don’t know what they can do.
Now the last question is “What can I do?” This is where we could begin to come up with a purpose. Something I can do. Now we all have certain little talents. Some of us may be artists. Some of us may be a musician that’s retired, like John over here—he’s great concert organist that’s totally retired. Now he plays tunes with knives and forks in the kitchen with a stove. Somebody else may be a great designer, or somebody else may be able to do a jillion other things. One could cut my hair and so on. So that’s all just talent that we could exercise and is not our purpose—those are ways we can earn a living, but they’re not one’s purpose.
Now we want to choose a purpose that would be a ready frame of reference and no matter what activity I was engaged in, it could be used. If I’m driving on the highway—I want that frame of reference to be there ready—that’s what I’m acting upon—that’s my purpose. If I am working with another person in any kind of contact, I’d want that to be there. If I’m in purely a social kind of setting, I’d want that to be there.
So I came up with one which would fit me. Now we say there’s a whole bunch more—a jillion of them. As many as you want to pick out, but I will share with you mine. So this is something that would fit in any area of living—work, play, social, home, family, travel, etc. This would be a frame of reference—the purpose I would use in whatever one of these activities I was involved in. So to me is to be what to me is being a good guest. I looked and said, “Well, I’m a privileged invited guest at this beautiful estate called earth where life is the host, and there’s this party going on and I’m out here with all these other guests, so I can be what to me is being a good guest.
I met a man the other day that said he had picked as his purpose to be a peacemaker no matter where he was, and he found the biggest part of his activity had been to make peace in his own head which I think was probably a very worthwhile use of it; but he found that there was other places he could be a peacemaker. He could put people at ease around him, so he was a peacemaker and he found that this was a very delightful purpose. Now he can use this method, this frame of reference, this purpose, whether it’s at work—whether he’s playing, or whether he’s just home with his family, or whether he’s sitting on a commuter train, or whether he’s driving on the highway or whether he’s only off by himself with all the noise going on in his head. He can still work at being a peacemaker, so his purpose is to be a peacemaker.
It certainly would be a worthwhile purpose if somebody said I’m going to be a “living example” of agape, that impersonal love. So you could hunt up as many as you wanted to. Now you can only have one purpose at a time. You can’t have two or three. You can’t be trying to be non-disturbed and live out one of these chosen purposes. You can’t do that. You can’t have two or three purposes even though they were some other kind. You can only have one purpose at a time. So if a person, then, would consciously choose their purpose, it would fit into any situation you might find yourself in. It becomes a way of doing things. It becomes a way of working. It becomes a way of communicating with other people. It becomes a way of fitting in in any situation. Nobody has to know what your purpose is, and you don’t have to run around felling people that’s your purpose—I think they would probably after a while discover you were changed from a general rule, and you no longer fit in.
They probably would not see you as an ordinary person very long, and then if you did tell them about it, they say “Well, you could do it, but you know, you’re a super being, you got 'borned' different.” But you see, we’re all ordinary human beings, and if you’ve taken on a purpose and you live that purpose, you become unordinary—you become something very different. Certain literature refers to the people who have done this as the changed ones. Because they’re altogether different from what the general run of humanity is out there and the conflict, struggle and resistance to anything and everything that comes along is not there. They are not disintegrating. If they’ve put together and have a purpose, they are an integrated being and are considerably different.
Now there’s one other thing besides assuming the purpose. The next one is to assign oneself the discipline or the will—we say that purpose and will are two sides of the same coin. Now once this purpose is established, it then becomes the necessity for the will to carry it out—something I really want to do and that does require a certain amount of self-discipline to keep at it. Otherwise it would be like a goal somewhere—you know you’ve had a lot of goals you worked at two weeks but a little second force comes along and you’re napping, and you started something else. Some other little second force came along, so you were off in another direction. So most goals don’t happen—they’re like most resolutions for New Years. They last maybe until January 7th.
So this requires a discipline—we call it self remembering. Remembering “What can I do?”--and be about my business. So if one practices self-remembering, that is remembering what my purpose is and acting upon it.
Now the more we act upon something, the more it becomes our nature. So if we act upon it for a reasonable length of time, we might say that that purpose now has become second nature—the old nature was to be non-disturbed. Now then we got a new purpose and we can act upon it until it is second nature, and you really don’t have to think about it anymore. You really don’t even have to bother with it if you’ve run it for a while. You’ve seen that every time you found yourself slipped away, instead of sitting crying, saying I can’t do it, it was just move back on it and act that purpose out. In a reasonable length of time, it has become second nature.
Most of us here drive an automobile to some degree of proficiency. We don’t have to think about the knobs on the dashboard, and we don’t have to think about the pedals on the floor. We don’t have to think about what we do with the wheel. It becomes second nature to handle the vehicle, that somewhere about right? You don’t even think about the thing. You can sit and drive and carry on a conversation about a mile different from what you’re doing. Any of us that have a certain skill like cutting hair, you don’t have to think about it, you just do it and you see the result walking down the street in a little while. Obviously its second nature to you, you don’t have to think about it, right?
Now by the same token, it also works with the way we deal with other people; and so if we have this purpose, it becomes second nature. Now if you wanted to use the fancy words which we do not choose to use, you could be referred to as one of the “changed ones” or you could be referred to as a “new person” because you have a whole different purpose than somebody else. So anybody that has a different purpose than somebody else is going to be a different person. You can’t be the same one.
So you could say you’ve been born again, but that word has been around lately too, so we’ll leave that off. But at any rate, you can see that you would be a totally different person—we would say an integrated person rather than disintegrating. Now integrating means that you are using all the methods possibly that the original purpose had any value for. Number one, you got to survive, so you got to have food, clothing, shelter and transportation, but you do that by working. But you can get it by working with your purpose rather than just struggling away at it and fighting about it.
You probably would do a certain amount of pleasing people, not because they needed to be pleased, but because it’s to your advantage to do so. It’s to my advantage to be what to me is being a good guest. It results in me pleasing a certain number of people, but the purpose is not to please them at all. My purpose is to be what to me is being a good guest, so it works out the same. So then you would say that you have integrated all aspects of “being” into one setting.
If you were living agape, you’d have all that. You’re still going to take care of yourself; you’re going to be a responsible person. You’re going to do work, but it’s the way you do the work, and what your purpose is. So we cannot overemphasize that it is essential that each and every one choose their own purpose. We’ve given some for instances here. We even have one up on the wall. One Miss Bonnie put up that one thing I can do, “I can contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood wherever I may be.” Now that is a reasonable purpose if you want to look at it. It would be a reasonable purpose in the kitchen or at work. It’d be a reasonable purpose to contribute to a pleasant mood at home—a pleasant mood wherever you go whether you were there for work or whether you were there as a guest or a customer. You could contribute to a pleasant mood on the highway. It’d be a lot safer than what it is when everybody’s out there with a 2,000 pound weapon running at each other and threatening to push you off the road because you got in my way--and “Where did you get your driver’s license-0-win it in a crap game”. This purpose would fit anywhere. So there’s another one up there on the wall. I can contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood--that’s my purpose—contribute to a pleasant mood.
Now you also find that it’s contagious when you’re doing your purpose. It rubs off on a certain number of other people who are also going to act upon it to a certain degree. They’re going to be unknowingly using that purpose at least part of the time because it has kind of slipped upon them.
So let’s all take on the discipline of number one, choosing our purpose and the second one, spending as much time remembering that this is my purpose, and I’m going to act upon it today, and I’m going to act upon it all day long. Now we will forget and fumble every now and then because we do have a habit of acting out the old purpose, but we can start as of now with a new purpose and act upon it because as we act upon it--practice the discipline to put it in there which is just a little power generating technique anyway.
Very shortly it becomes second nature, and you will find that your life is a totally different situation, and we’d say you have used the teaching material possibly to its highest point. We’ve told people, well, you can forget all the rest of the stuff we have talked about and given you which was all preliminaries to try to get to somewhere where you would have a purpose and act upon it enough that it becomes second nature.
So we’ve talked long enough. We have time enough for a question or two. You got one there little lady? How about you?
(I heard a little saying that says if you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for anything.)
Well, that’s probably about right, but you’ll be striving to be non-disturbed, is that about right? So we’re not sticking up for our rights or standing for a thing, but we do have a definite purpose, ok?
Any other comment? Is there any question? John you got anything to put out here? Ok, we’ll call it a day and to the best of our knowledge and intention, we can be here next Monday at exactly the same time.
Everybody have a lovely time and have fun working.
*Audience participation is in parenthesis.