Lesson 3 (Part 1: Completing the Picture of Man)
This Discussion includes numbers 5 & 6 on the diagram below which were not included in the last update.
As we have been doing the work for the past two weeks, we are probably beginning to notice various and sundry thoughts racing through the mind that say things like this, "There isn't anything worthwhile in this." "Drop the whole thing." Some self-improving "I" comes along and says, "You're really a mess." "This is terrible, I don't want to find out these things about me!" You may think you "should" do a great amount of suddenly changing the whole thing. Another "I" says, "What is the use, this doesn't change anything, it is just making it worse." Now .... all of these are very natural occurrences, and they happen to everyone who takes up the study of self to have self-knowing. All of these doubts have come along because one begins to discover certain things that are not exactly pleasing and not in keeping with vanity, especially as we write them down and look at them. But it is essential. The first thing is to be knowing self so that the self may undergo a transformation. If one doesn't know the self, there is no hope of a transformation. One may hide the self, keep it under cover, and be blind to it, but it still destroys. So let's continue our work, bring it to awareness, be conscious of it, and pay attention to it. While it may not be very pleasant at this moment, it definitely has GREAT VALUE.
This time we will complete the picture of man we have already started (the picture of man as we find him in his conditioned state). We have the basic idea that the whole purpose of living is to be non disturbed. We have four ideas of improving the self in order to actualize this non disturbed state.
- To complain. This hasn't worked so far.
- Sticking up for rights. This hasn't worked so well and often brings a violent reaction from others.
- Trying to please people. It sometimes works, but it creates an inner havoc.
- That one must believe and do as one is taught by authorities. Whether in newspapers, books, television, what someone says, or by some authority figure we might run into in our affairs.
We have been writing down how we practiced each of these. Now, the next decision that the infant makes is:
- THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE DIFFERENT.
In other words, the way I have been getting along to this state has been quite a conflict, so "I should be different." So here comes the effort to put on a front. It is the thing to be, to do so...........people will approve of me, give me attention, and that I will look good and that I can approve of "self". But it is all on the outside. It is not due to an inner state of really "discovering that here is a way to behave, a thing to do." It is to put on a front to impress people. This has been referred to as the Scribes and the Pharisees.
(Definition of Scribes and Pharisees from Headlines):
Scribes and Pharisees are the teachers of the people at any one period of time who are not concerned with the inner state of man but only with his outward behavior--with ritual for the sake of ritual. They put so much emphasis on minute details of behavior and make these so important that their followers are constantly in a state of anxiety as to whether or not they are performing correctly. The result is they are kept from self-observation and re-evaluation, for re-evaluation would mean they would have to question the authorities. For such the penalty is usually great.
By trying to appear to be different we build barriers over the four we looked at last time, and we are usually unaware how they work. We give them other names. We don't describe them as we have very bluntly in this picture we are now building.
So we have on the "B" side, above the one that says please everybody, that IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE DIFFERENT. This is different behavior the person is trying, and every so often the others react. One has an explosion of temper. One has an explosion of resentment. One has a fit of jealousy, or whatever, but they will continue to appear. Then, of course, we only give those other names and we try to describe them differently as well as appearing to be different. But this doesn't bring any peace to the person's being, and the child (probably 7 or 8 years old now) makes another decision. He decides:
- It is important that everybody else be different. (BLAME!)
Over on the "A" side, he comes up with a very solid decision which we will put opposite the one that it's important to appear to be different. This one he has discovered that "it's really everybody else's fault that he wasn't always different." So he says that his whole worthwhile thing here is to establish who's to blame--so we can just simply put BLAME here.
Now, when a person blames somebody, he tries to get them to straighten out so that they will do what they ought to do and then, of course, "everything would be fine for me." Then I could go on in the illusion that I am quite different because there would be nothing to upset the appearing to be different by putting on this particular mask or by behaving differently.
There would be no challenges if everybody else would just be different, so we build quite solid accounts against everybody we come up with to blame. Now, this is a very fundamental school idea - that we build accounts. In other words, we establish blame and say that the person owes me an apology, or they owe me damages, or they owe me to behave differently. The school idea says, "This is the burden that every human carries." It is what ages a person. It is what gradually disintegrates the person over a period of time. One big aspect of it is the "accounts receivable" we have against all people. It is blaming and that they should do differently. The child decides that if everybody else was just different, then he would be just as peaceful, pleased and happy as he can be. But they are not different so they're to blame and they do owe me!
We now have 6 basic ideas of self-improvement and the big ideal, so we have a picture of man, each of us, as we are in everyday life - until we have studied ourselves and observed what goes on for a time. This time is not indefinite. We will be doing it in a reasonable number of months or weeks, but it is not going to be gone tonight. We do want to be aware of it. We want to be conscious that it is going on. So we will add two more sheets of paper to observe. Another page in the book.
Write down when "I ought to be different." Every time you notice "I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT" or "I am putting on a particular front and fancying up the story a little bit" - write it down. Again, this is not for other people to read - it is for your personal use.
On another sheet, write down all the people "I BLAME" and what they would have to do in order to pay the debt. Now, someone, no doubt, has apologized to you. Did that end the hurt? Or are you still nursing it a little bit? Recall the incident and see what kind of a feeling arises within you. Say someone cheated you and then apologized, or they forgot your birthday or the anniversary, or promised to take you to a party and forgot all about it and didn't arrive until hours later. They apologized and said how sorry they were. Let's recall those incidents and see if there is still a decided feeling that they "owe me," that they "mistreated me," or a hurt feeling. We won't see all the incidents but we can certainly add a little to them each day, and each bit we add is knowing a lot about this conditioning that is controlling our existence, and if we may say, IT IS DESTROYING THAT EXISTENCE.
First, it is in conflict, is it not? "A" against "B" and "B" against "A." The real person with a will is not even there--that is a myth we read about up to this point. Someday we will have a will. Maybe all the conditioning can be gone. But at this moment we are only interested in knowing about the conditioning and watching it work. Without being aware of this conditioning, how it works, we wouldn't even believe it is there. It usually comes as quite a shock to any of us to discover what is really within. It is as though we have a lovely home and we suddenly find that it is infested almost to the point of destruction by termites - we would be quite shocked. If we never find out about the termites, we won't do anything about it until the house falls in and then it will be too late. So we might see all these things about conditioning as termites, and that they are slowly but surely sapping the strength of one's being. We have every reason to observe them.
For those of you who have been checking back for the completed picture, I'm sorry it took so long, but "making a living" was a first value during the season. Of course, I value putting on a front on the job. I don't see any value in displaying a "bad" mood. I often find that as I begin the performance and "act" up, that by the time it's over I "am" up and all those thoughts that told me everything was not going well were in truth--liars. The "work" of seeing that "It is important" that "I" be different is personal ........ and only for the page in the book.
I'd also like to add when I observe others "blaming" that a not "I" jumps up and says, "They shouldn't be saying that about so and so." It's difficult to remember that that also is a not "I" and our job is not to change others-- it is only to observe without criticizing, judging or blaming. It's just "so and so" is blaming, or "self" is blaming. Then one can be about a new purpose of which we've only suggested: "KEEP THE MOOD UP AND DON'T MAKE ANYTHING IMPORTANT."