School Talk 41 - Personal Power
Today we’re going to talk about personal power. Everybody seams to want power; and now and then, somebody comes and says, “I’ve been studying this material for the last seven years, and I haven’t gotten anything out of it.” We’re well aware of that—we say we know you wouldn’t get anything out of it.
So we talk about acting upon the information, and they say I forget. So obviously that doesn’t work very well. So if you forget, well you forgot to use it, and you might as well have not studied it in the first place.
So today we’re going to try to consider something in a different light, and maybe it will have an affect of staying with us a little bit. Personal power is the power to accomplish whatever one sets out to do, and an absolute essential for any personal power could be discipline. Now discipline doesn’t mean you’re going to stand over yourself and fight and argue and so forth--it means that you are going to evaluate things to a certain extent. If you wanted to learn to drive an automobile, you would have the discipline to sit in the car and drive it, even though it jolted around a little bit until you got used to it.
If you’re going to be a typist, you sit in front of a typewriter and put your fingers on it until pretty soon the fingers know exactly what to do. But if you never practiced typing, you never practiced driving, you never practiced flying an airplane, under no circumstances would you ever become proficient or perhaps we might say you would never have the power to do any of those things.
So this, then, means that one takes on something other than the four dual basic urges as their purpose. So we first have to come up with a purpose. Now we all have the urge for the four dual basic urges. We want to be comfortable. We sit and think we’re going to do all sorts of things, but we’re not going to do them today. So as long as I don’t do them today, they don’t get done. So it’s very easy to say, “I’m going to do all these great things, and I’m going to do this and that.”
Let’s say that one of us wanted to be a body builder, and we were going to develop big muscles. We go down to the nearest Nautilus or other health club and we buy a membership. We keep our membership paid up for five years, but we never go down there. If we do go down there, all we do is sit in the whirlpool and let the bubbles bubble around us. Then we say at the end of five years, these health spas, where you develop muscles are no good because I belonged to one for five years, and I’m still a weakling. So I think anybody can see the joke in that.
If one would want to have personal power--spiritual power--one first takes the discipline to say I have an idea that I want to accomplish certain things. I want to have certain abilities—so then I will study something. I will take up an idea and a very simple one. One Idea that we make available constantly is that you can feel, act, think or stay in your same rut. You can think, act, feel, and develop about anything you want to. So first, we determine us a purpose.
Now having a purpose is no good if we only have it for today--It’s like our person who belonged to the gym but never went there except to sit in the whirlpool. If one never picked up a weight, never pushed one of the machines, never exercised then nothing is going to happen. The simple fact of just belonging to the gym is not going to make you a bodybuilder.
So we will see that we first pick us up as a purpose, and then we will act on that purpose. Now to act upon it requires a certain amount of self-discipline--that we will act upon it. You also know that in each case of typing, driving a car, flying an airplane, or body building, that we had to continue on a more or less regular basis—mostly a more regular basis. So if we only practiced once a day and then six months from now we practiced again and a year from then we practice another one, we’d never accomplish anything. Nobody would become an expert typist. Nobody would become an excellent driver to get a driver’s license to drive down the street. Nobody would be able to get to fly an airplane. So it requires the perseverance or the continuing at it.
This is where the discipline comes in—that we have determined that this is our purpose, and we have made it our purpose adequately enough that now we have a discipline to continue doing it. This is now will power, and if I have really decided what my purpose is—not just some wishful thinking, then I’m going to practice. If I’m going to practice or act upon it over and over, I’m going to do it on a consistent basis. When this happens, one develops the power, a personal power of accomplishment in a very short time. It really doesn’t take seven years. It doesn’t take three years--it only takes a certain amount of discipline. It is a process that is different for each person.
Now all the sciences are called disciplines. If one take up the study of anatomy--you would have to have the discipline to study anatomy, and you’d have to be interested in it—you’d have to be “determined” you were going to do it.
If one wanted to be a physician, one would take up the discipline of going to school and studying it, thinking about it, being involved in it, and you’d be involved in it morning, noon, and night. In other words, you’d begin to live it. By the same token, if you were going to be an artist—if you had a talent in that direction--you’d be involved in it every day. This would be your lifestyle. It would be to be involved in it and the same thing is if one is going to be a person with personal spiritual power—it requires the same dedication, the same intention, the same purpose, and the constant doing--we’ve knocked off inertia. I’m going to get up and do it because this is my purpose.
Now purpose and will as you recall goes together. If you really have a purpose, you have a will. But also as an opposition to that will and that purpose, you have inertia from the old first decision that I just want to be comfortable. We become so mechanical; we work by that law of mechanics that a body at rest remains at rest until acted upon by an outside force.
So a real purpose is precipitated (from the dictionary--
to hasten the occurrence of; bring about prematurely, hastily, or suddenly
from an outside force, but along with it must be the determination to do so. it’s so easy to say, “Well, I’ve read this material--it sounds good--I listen to it--it sounds good--I think about it once in a while--it sounds wonderful, but breaking an inertia to do something about it—to act upon it is the essential that so many leave undone.
In many cases, a school is set up wherein somebody continually, more or less in an authoritative form, puts people to work to force the discipline upon them. This school is operated, of course, on covering a wide area, and we’re not about to run around and tell everybody you got to get into motion. We tell of the necessity of it. We describe it. We point it out over and over, but this person must have the determination to practice and put it into effort and work--that portion of this business of putting it into affect and acting upon it, and determining that self-discipline which is the power.
If you’re only under the discipline of somebody else, it really doesn’t do a lot because the minute the discipline isn’t there, you don’t do it anyway. So the only thing that the outside discipline can do is to point out the necessity of it over and over. So we will point out the necessity.
If one can see that what I really want is to be truly an integrated person, one is in charge of self--not one in a state of conflict--not in a constant struggle with anger and quilt and fear and subject to going into the “pits” and all these emotions.
People frequently come in and say, “Oh, I’m in the pits today.” “I’m just depressed.” So we remind them again that it’s not necessary to stay here, and it sometimes takes a considerable amount of effort to get the person to even make a weak little grin because it requires no effort to remain in a state of self-pity--in a state of anxiety--in a state of worry. Those are old conditioned states that are carried over since infancy, and we’ve practiced all of them until we’re extremely proficient at them. In fact you might say that it’s second nature.
So now the only way that we will replace that with “power personality” and a “power living” or personal power is that we become and work and practice with perseverance and diligence over and over until it becomes second nature—and it will. It will become second nature and undo all this stuff of conflict, struggle and resistance that everybody indulges in--that brings about illness--that brings about deterioration or old age. It seems that we could see that a little bit. But first there has to be a true determination that I’m going to take charge and that I’m going to do it all the time.
Now everybody’s going to slip a little bit here and there, but if they determine that they’re not going to slip, they wake up almost immediately when they slip under. Now anybody is liable to wake up of a morning feeling about any way. You may wake up feeling you are a bundle of energy. You may wake up that there is a 1,000 pound weight lying on your shoulders. You may feel jumpy from how you slept and what kind of dreams you had last night. But, you can immediately begin to take charge by the time of the first coffee—you can be in charge if you want to.
Now this is discipline. So every sense of power, that any human has, comes from the sense of discipline. You take any wonderful athlete--he wasn’t born that way. He may have been born with a talent towards that, but unless he practices it over and over and continues that practice, he will in no way become a great athlete that draws these fantastic paychecks we hear about. He would merely be another “has been” that one time went out and played on a sand lot.
Now it seems that people will take on a certain amount of self-discipline to actualize a given profession or an occupation or to go to work to earn a paycheck—maybe a very inadequate one, but they will do that because of a feeling of necessity.
Now nobody seems to have a feeling of necessity to be a person of personal power. It only looks desirable, and the things that look desirable we put off until tomorrow. I’m going to do it, but not today. So we are talking about doing it today. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, but I’m going to do this today.
Now in order to get ourselves in the state of mind that will be determined—the person of determination—the choice of whether we stay a weakling—(controlled by all kinds of circumstances and “chance sayings” that this person or that person says)—or whether we are going to be in charge and deliberately doing it--putting forth this effort. We have to see that our purpose is of prime value, a matter of life and death!
Now I don’t think that most people want to totally disappear, but if I’m not interested except “Well, I’d like to make a lot of money.” “I’d like to have a happy home,”--but I want all this to just happen. I don’t want to put forth any effort on it. I would love to have a great profession, but I don’t want to have to go to school and study anything because that’s a big nuisance. I think everybody would laugh at me if I said this is what I wanted to do.
We have people come in and say, “I want to go into the music field.” I say, “Well, what music talent do you have?” They say, “Well, I don’t know, I think I have some.” So then I say, “Do you play a musical instrument?” And they come back with, “No.” And I go on, “Do you write any music? Can you transpose music and make a new rendition?” “Oh no, I don’t know anything. I don’t read music, but I want to be in music?” “Do you want to go to school or a conservatory for a few years?” “Oh no, I don’t want to go to school.” So they’re saying I want something to fall out of the ceiling and happen to me.
So we frequently talk about making up the mind. Some people have felt here is some magic. If I make up my mind, I will be a great musician tomorrow, why that’s what will happen. So they try to make up their own mind, and they see very well that they can’t because they don’t believe they could—so they call me and say will you make up your mind for me that I’ll be a great musician. The answer is no—not unless you’re willing to do the discipline to go through going to music classes and to teachers and then finally to a conservatory. But, you see, they don’t want to do that.
We all like to have great spiritual power—being able to help people and to move objects at a distance and to just make up our minds that everything will happen. All of this is within the realm of possibility--we do know that; but not to somebody who has no discipline--is loaded down with inertia--who hasn’t practiced the material that has been made available to them for an extensive amount of time and effort and without the discipline to carry that out--to be happy with the discipline; then, of course, that person’s not going to have personal power.
A person walks in and says, “Well, I’d like to be a healer.” I think that’s nice thing to do. You get a lot of attention, a lot of phone calls—fine, you can be. I think anybody could work as a healer, but it requires considerable discipline to get the mind to where it will work singly and without conflict. Now if I was to say that; “Well, I’m going to be a great musician tomorrow, I’m going to make up my mind.” Now this person doesn’t know one note from another. The notes look like fly specks on paper to me—they’re a little more orderly, but they look like that, and I don’t know what they mean. I don’t know one thing about music. I don’t know about timing. I don’t know anything about music except enjoy hearing it. I admire people who can perform it. Enjoying music does not make a great musician.
Now if I said tomorrow I’m going to do that—I haven’t made up my mind, I’ve only said some words because the minute I would say them, everything in me says “Like hell you will.” I don’t know a thing in the world about it. I don’t know anything; and so if I wanted to play the Hammond organ which I love to hear. I would have to go through some discipline—quite a bit, and no doubt some time or other I could play the Hammond organ, but inasmuch as I’d just as soon listen to somebody else do it, i don’t have to go through that discipline because my purpose is something other than being an entertainer.
I like doing the job that I do and I am fairly well disciplined that that’s what I can do—day in and day out. That’s where my prime thoughts and actions and motives are. So I’m not interested in being a musician, but I could be, and it would not come about just because I would say I’ve made up my mind I’m going to be a great organist. Now I don’t have an organ and I don’t see one note of the music from another; so obviously something in me says, “No, you’re not going to play the organ tomorrow.” So that would be that I’m only saying words.
Now we want to be somewhat aware that just saying words is not doing the thing. I could walk up to somebody and say I’m President of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, but that does not make it true because i’m not; and so I would say that and what would be the difference of telling somebody that I was the President of Chase National Bank or saying I’m a great pianist or an organist. It wouldn’t make any difference because I can perform neither one. The minute that I am making these statements—if I cannot perform at least to some degree-I’m clear out in left field. If I said I’m a great musician and can’t play one note, pretty soon someone’s going to say, “Will you play?” I’m going to run out of excuses not to do it sooner or later. If I tell somebody that I’m a great financier and I understand about finance, pretty soon somebody’s going to challenge me, and I will have to demonstrate that I don’t know anything about it.
If a man says I can fly an airplane--I’m a pilot. We say well what kinds of planes, and he says, “Well, I can fly a twin Bonanza.” Well, let’s go out to the airport and rent a twin Bonanza; and if he knows that he’s doing, he’s happy to get in and take off. Now if somebody was only making positive statements and you get out there, he’ll “chicken out” because he knows he can’t—he has not made up his mind. So when we’re talking about making up the mind, we have to have done the thing or have practiced on it enough and had enough discipline that we know that we can do—then we say we can make up our mind.
Now making up the mind is a technical subject, and it does require that we have practiced, involved ourselves in it until I know without saying a word about it that I can do it. Now then I’ve made up my mind that I can go out here and do it. If I say I can build a house, well, I could imagine that I could get a house built, but until I have practiced on it and worked at it and seen that I could get it all together without a bunch of pieces that don’t fit, I’m not a house builder. If I practiced putting pieces together with somebody who knows what he’s doing until we’ve got a house up two or three times.then I know I can build a house. Then we can say I’ve made up my mind.
So making up the mind is to make up the mind to a state of knowing, not wishful thinking. It is a state of real knowing and the knowing probably comes there only because I have practiced enough discipline to act upon whatever the subject is until I know that I’m ready to perform it. To merely be seeing it is only trying to impress people--and impressing people pays about as much as, well, not impressing people because they don’t pay you either way. It’s easy to tell somebody you impress me, but so what.
I’m not interested in impressing people. I’m interested in knowing in myself that I can do this or that or the other thing. Then I can make up my mind, and when I can make up my mind, the obstruction better get out of the way. But I already know I can do it.
Now to say I made up my mind this morning to be an organist would be no threat to anybody that is in the organ playing business because I won’t be there, and I’ll never get there. Now, if I got an organ. took some lessons. and I practiced hour after hour every day--because that was my purpose to be good on that organ--then eventually I could say, “Well, I made up my mind to be a concert pianist or an organist,”--now I can go out there and do it’, and I’d know I could do it.
So we don’t go through the foolish motion of attempting to make up our mind until we can be in a state of knowing—I know this. And by the same token that anything that comes along that we know we can do, we have already made up our mind, so they go pretty well together—the fact of knowing is our certainty and making up the mind. You haven’t made up the mind until there is this certainty.
Now if I have practiced some purpose in my mind long enough, and I’ve practiced it with all of me, with the body, with everything in me, and I’ve been out there doing it; then beyond every shadow of a doubt, I can have a certainty of doing that. One man may say, “I can fix your automobile for you”—he has been a mechanic long enough, he has practiced at it, he knows the theory of it until he has a certainty he can fix that car, and we can hand it over to him.
Another man has that certainty about repairing a watch, another man has that certainty about playing a Hammond organ. Another one has that certainty about putting together an electric recording device or using it to do something that hasn’t been done. He knows enough of the fundamentals of electronics that he knows he can put that thing together, and he can make it work. Whether he’s ever made that particular instrument before, he knows the fundamentals and he knows he can do it. Now this is called making up the mind and this is where personal power is supreme.
So without discipline, there is no feeling of power. There is no sense of power and without the practice of discipline over a period of time, nobody has any power. It’s just easy to go out here and talk about things. We can sit around the coffee table and philosophize all day or stay there until midnight tonight and philosophize about it. Somebody can say, “Well, I don’t think that you can do that.” And somebody can say, “I know you can do it.” And there’s “ifs and then’s”, but there is nothing that can be taking place without discipline.
Now all the fourth Way teachings is concerned with somebody having discipline. Now whether it takes somebody to stand over another one or not was at one time easy enough to use. People went to a certain place. They had a person who worked with them all the time to force this discipline on them. We feel that we have evolved to a place somewhat beyond that, and that no one person has the time to discipline a few dozen people. The message of the Fourth Way is so needed in the world that we need every possible method under the sun that can make it available to a great number of people. Now it’s not expected at all that a great number have the self discipline to do anything about it, but we do feel that it is the only way that today it can be assimilated with the immense population that exists in the world—that is in a way that anybody who is really sincerely wanting to do it would do their own discipline.
So self-discipline is one of the things that one goes about to develop first before they decide they are going to be a student of the Fourth Way because without discipline, nobody ever knows anything—only a bunch of words.
They know a bunch of ideas, but they can’t practice those because they have never practiced—that means acted upon it—they never have done it consistently.
So if we could offer something for this week. We could determine that I am going to practice acting upon a purpose. First I’m going to have the purpose, then I’m going to act upon it, and I’m going to act upon it continuously. I may slip and go to sleep for a few minutes, but I’ll wake back up in just a little bit and I’ll go to Work.
In a few weeks—in a very few weeks, you would find that you begin to have the sense of power and the sense of being able—that you can make up your mind because you have a certainty that you can do certain things. You have practiced them over and over and over until you know that it’s practically second nature—after a very much little while longer, it will be second nature. Then you don’t have to practice it. That teaching material and the action upon it and the application of it has become second nature.
As far as we can see, we will be here next Monday. In the meantime, let’s do a lot of practice so that next week when we come in, we can say I had a certainty that I can make up my mind to a degree about something. I’m sorry, there’s no time for questions today.