School Talk 36 - Power vs. Being
Today we’re going to talk about power and being. Let’s assume for a few minutes that you were suddenly given the ability to have considerable power. We’re talking about spiritual power. That whatever you made up your mind to do, why it would happen. If you made up your mind that some very ill person was going to be well, they’d be well. By the same token because power’s power without any ability to check one way or the other, it doesn’t make any difference—it’s power. So if you made up your mind somebody was going to fall over dead, they’d do that too.
So most people that I talk with all over the country that call me about many different things—many, many wish for power. Now they say only power “to heal” or “power to get things to happen” like they want them too. They want a job for themselves. They want a job for somebody else or they want a tremendous amount of money—win the lottery—doesn’t make any difference, you know, just whatever it is. They’d like to have power to make up their mind. I’m frequently asked for in that category—they want to make up their mind and then it would happen.
Now let’s consider for a few minutes that much power was given to us. Do you think that you could handle such a kind of power or would you be tempted somewhere along the way to use it for something where it wouldn’t be to somebody’s advantage. What do you think about that?
Now “Being” is about the person’s nature. Now “Being” is how you would use power. So for lack of a better word of any kind, I will say the degree of goodness of the person. I don’t like the word good, but it is the only one I got handy at the moment. The degree of goodness of the person. Now if a person could not conceive of ever wanting to do anyone harm, let’s say that they were past that through some way or other—that would be a high state of “Being”. If they had power—no matter how somebody mistreated them or did whatever to them, they wouldn’t use that power to injure or get revenge or get even or whatever thing came along. Neither would they use that power to cause somebody else a loss—no matter how much it profited them.
So in all our studies and teaching that we try to carry about and study, we don’t talk about the person arriving at a place of having a tremendous lot of power. We try to talk about the state of Being. Then that they can be in charge of that state of being so that in no case would they, if they should happen to have power sometime or other that they would use it for revenge or something that is detrimental to self or others. We all do have power of some sort right now.
You know any of us could handle a gun probably and kill somebody or we could use a knife and kill someone or we might even get down to picking up a rock and banging them in the head with it. We could do physical harm to people right now. But our amount of power is usually rather limited, so that how much we can do is limited. So if you have a small amount of power, the temptation is small. If you have tremendous amount of power the temptation would be great--Is that possibly right Barbara--that if you had a lot of power the temptation would be much greater?
So it takes a much higher state of being to handle an extensive amount of power than it does if you only had a small amount of power--so a small amount of being is capable of handling certain things.
Somewhere I think it’s in Headlines, we put a little “blurp” that said who would trust an 8-year-old kid with a 30-aught 6 rifle to play with. We might give him a pop gun with a cork in the end of it to play with, but we wouldn’t give him a 30-aught-6—it’s too much power for that type of being to handle.
Let’s consider for a moment the things that add to our being. Number one, of course, would be to eliminate the purpose of living to being non-disturbed at all times. That would be the first thing that would be essential. As long as we have that as our main purpose of living--recognized or unrecognized--we could not be trusted with a tremendous amount of power, I don’t think, because sooner or later someone would ignore you or reject you; and it would hurt. So you would automatically come up with “I gotta stick up for my rights,” or some other things that are based upon the whole purpose of living being to be non-disturbed. Now no matter what—if we had that decision, we could not be trusted with a heavy amount of power, that’s all there is to it.
So the first thing if we’re going to increase our state of being to a higher level which would be in a position to handle more power and not succumb to some temptation to misuse it in some way or other, we would not only get rid of that purpose of living, but we’d probably form a new purpose of living--a purpose like making a contribution to life--something on that order. Maybe it’s only contributing to a pleasant mood, but at least we would not be into things that would cause anybody any harm. We say that one of the two or three things that we would want to do if we were being what to us was a good guest was number one, to be considerate of the estate and the people and everything in it. We would be as harmless as we could possibly be and we’d make some little contribution even if it was only to make a contribution to a pleasant harmonious mood. Now if that was our whole purpose in living, we could probably be trusted with a considerable amount of power because we would never find a place to misuse it. It would not be abused in any way.
Let’s suppose that tomorrow morning one of us woke up and that we were in a position of power that we could be invisible at will. That’s a pretty good power. Just “at will”--I’ll totally disappear—you don’t see me anymore. I’m not here. I could walk in the bank. I could walk behind the counter and nobody would see me. I could take a handful of loot, stick it in my invisible pocket and take a walk. Nobody would ever know. Now do you think you could handle that kind of, say, power? That you could be totally invisible all at once. Or would you become an invisible peeping tom in a lot of situations. You know visible ones get in trouble, but just think if you were invisible what all you could check up on. You don’t just have to be into taking loot off of people or robbing banks or taking all the cash registers in all the department stores down at Penny’s. You could go checking up on a lot of people couldn’t you? And would you have that temptation do you think?
(I don’t know.)
So we see that power is something that is not to be handed out lightly; and even though a lot of people come and want that power and, you know, possibly the power is available, I think it is. With certain exercises and activity we could have a lot more power than we usually use every day. But again, it is a dangerous thing to be given out without first knowing that the person’s state of being has increased to the point where there’s not much temptation in that person’s to do things that could be detrimental or harmful in some way to other people.
So what all the esoteric teachings in the world always advocated most is that one increased one’s state of being. A person with a high state of being is a person who would not, under any circumstances, no matter how tempted, how convenient it was to do so, would not do anything that was harmful or detrimental to another person. This has been taught in many writings—for example, “if somebody steals your coat, why give him the shirt also”. Let him have it, who cares. If he makes you forcibly carry a load for a mile, we’ll say, I’m going to carry it for you for another mile.
Now all of this is talking about states of being. It is not advocating that you become a “do-gooder” or becomes a doormat for anybody—what it’s talking about is that you increase your state of being to such a point that you are no longer controlled by greed--by lust—by envy or pride in possessions and many other things. That, all right, here I am, I’m alive, that’s about all that needs to be, and I can do about anything that comes along to do for somebody else. In other words one might become a servant.
One of the writers wrote that the greatest of all is the one that’s the most of a servant to all. Of course, most of us think in the terms of being able to have gobs of servants and having all the other people doing the “crap” work for us so we don’t have to do it. That’s the way we think. Now if we suddenly had power to have everything I want, I’d probably have a whole houseful of slaves--maybe? And you know it would be nice to have them and preferably the government feed them so I wouldn’t have to pay them—the government would put them on welfare and then put them to work. That’d be even better than before the civil war.
So there are many directions that we could begin to think of when we think about wanting power. We could ask ourselves, could I, do I have an adequate state of being to handle the power that I would like to have at this moment.
Now we frequently read of somebody who wins a tremendous big lottery ticket across the country—a million dollars or more. Most of them are incapable of handling it that we read in stories in the papers. Pretty soon, they are in debt, broke, owe everybody they meet, trouble with taxes and the whole works. They are not having the state of being to handle that kind of money. It probably takes a considerable amount of state of being to handle a considerable estate or a degree of wealth.
Now many, many people tell me they just would love to have a million dollars and they want a million dollars. They want to be a millionaire, but again that is in the same category of having power because that much money is a certain amount of power--even in inflationary times. It is considerable amount of power and would require a decided state of being to have and handle it. Now can you imagine anything more frustrating to you than if somewhere along the way you won the million dollars or more in the lottery? We’ll say that for lack of a better place to acquire that kind of power, and most of us don’t look like we have rich relatives, so we’re going to have to depend on the lottery. If we got the lottery and won a million dollars, in a year you could be flat broke and in debt. Can you imagine the remorse you might feel within yourself that you had it and blew it or cracked up with the responsibility all in less than a year? That would be pretty rough. That’s being worse than not even winning the lottery. Let’s face it.
So if we can see that power is always available not only in the form of spiritual power but temporal powers (from Marsha from the dictionary -
pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly: temporal joys.
which could be from a million dollars in your pocket all of a sudden. Could you handle that or is your state of being such that you would be wheeled away by many temptations to do this thing and that thing and the other thing and be carried away with impulse and whims and all sorts of other things.
If you had three wishes granted to you, that’s considerable power right there, is that right? If some day a pretty fairy would come along and say, “Here, you got three wishes” and so you could go use those three wishes any way you wish--you could be set for life or you could get yourself in a mess, is that right?
So the couple that I knew about, an old man and an old lady worked hard in the fields every day of the week and they were coming home from work late one afternoon—a winter day. They’d been out digging in the cold and doing all kinds of hard manual work, and they were on their way to their little mud hovel and for many days had prayed every day when they got through work that they could meet the good fairy and get three wishes.
So a little fairy came flitting down the path in front of them with her little wand and stars around her head and said, “You’re request has been heard.” “Today we’re granting you three wishes.” “Now they will be the only three you have the rest of your life, so use them wisely.” So she disappeared and the dear old couple went on towards home in great joy talking in their great glee of how they had it made. They had three wishes and they determined very quickly with their limited state of being that they would not waste these wishes. They would hold them for a while, while they duly considered everything before they made the wish--any one of them much less all three of them.
When they got to the house, they fired up a little fire and the old lady was cooking the only thing they had in the house to eat—a few drops of oil, some flour and some water and she was going to make gravy to pour over some dry bread that was left over from the day before, and that was the last thing they had in the house. But that was totally immaterial. They weren’t going to waste their wishes on just wishing for food for that night. So she was stirring this old iron skillet with this old wooden spoon her husband had made for her when they were married 25 years ago. She was stirring the pot with that old wooden spoon. She thought, “Oh what a great joy and a wonderful life.”
Well, it was boiling too hard on the old spoon where it had been around the rim of the old pot too many times and practically worn through. The spoon broke and she said, “Oh drat, I wish I had a new wooden spoon and flap, there a new spoon appeared in her hand. Well, there was one wish gone, and she had no more meant to do that than anything, but her state of being was such that she had no control over what she said or did.
The old man, of course, got very ticked off at this stupid woman he had for wasting a wish on a little old wooden spoon. and he could have whittled a new one out in an hour for her. He began to berate her and scream at her and finally he said, “I wish you had that old spoon up your butt.” And bam, there it went. And. Of course, it took the third wish to get it out.
So now they were back in the same place that they started.
So now you can see the state of being of these people—they weren’t prepared to handle power. Now three wishes is great power--potentially, but you see with a state of being that you are not in charge of your own inner state, every insignificant little event that comes along provides a challenge which one might just react to instead of being in a state of being clear of “What’s going on?”. Now if you only had two wishes, you’d be pretty well off. If you only had one, but they blew three in a matter of minutes when they had firmly determined within themselves that they were not going tot take it lightly They were going to wait until such time as they could really see what it was they wanted and that they could use their wishes so that they would be set for life. So you might say that they won the multimillion dollar lottery and were flat broke in 30 minutes--and didn’t even have anything for dinner because they were arguing that the gravy burned—and so they had nothing.
Now this is an illustration of states of being. We have discussed it many times that if we could in some way or other always set out that we’re going to be in charge of our own inner state. After you get the three wishes or won the million dollars in the lottery, it’s too late to start. The time to start is now. But, you see, we spend all of our time wishing for multimillion dollars cash or for little homes or great businesses or whatever—I hear them all day long. The phone rings and somebody tells me what their wish is, and they usually ask me to get it for them.
One lady came one day with a list of about eighteen. It started off with a yellow corvette and finished with an affair with Warner Erhart, and in between was get married to a very rich man after she had the affair with Warner Ernhart, and to be carried away and treated as a Queen—and she was about as beautiful as a mud fence. Now you think I am exaggerating, I am not. I still have the letter. If you ever need to look at it, I’ll show it to you—she said just get it for me, you know, like all I got to do is—plupp. pull the string and get it. But had I had the power, would I have been doing her a favor? All of it was me, me, me, me and what can I have for me and my, etc. And it was 100% occupied with self.
Now that is, shall we say, less than a high state of being—I believe I can say it that way without being insulting. It was less than a high state of being that every thought, every idea, and every conception is about number one. I’m going to get it for me, mine and so forth. There’s no thought of service, no thought of whether Warner Erhart would be interested in having an affair with her. Whether some rich man would want to marry her and let her take him for a ride which is essentially what she had in the whole letter.
So all of this determines the state of being that is very low. It is totally occupied with self.
Now a high state of being is occupied with about anything and everything in the world except self. It is not a total concern with what am I going to have, what am I going to get, how are they going to treat me. A high state of being is concerned with life—that which is outside of us and around us and being.
In other words, could you imagine a “divine being” totally interested in what was happening to him. That’s why when I read the stories in the Old Testament, I laugh. It’s a teaching story, but most people take it for being real or literal. It reads that the God was jealous because the people didn’t burn tallow for him last night or whatever. One can’t imagine such things because that would show a God that was only interested in self. So the god of the Old Testament is “B” in the picture of man; and the devil is “A” in the picture of man--and they fight all the time. I expect that out of not i’s, but that’s not for real.
So we can see that now, starting today, right here, let’s see that instead of asking for power and thinking about power, let’s begin to think, how I could increase my state of being. Here’s an opportunity to do all sorts of things I could see around me to do and to go ahead and do them. You don’t need to make any big production about them or anything else. You just do them because they are there to do; and so go do it and get it out of the way.
There are all kinds of places for service. There’s all kinds of places where you can relieve a bit of misery as long as you’re attention is not on you. But if attention’s on you, all you do is add to everything out there.
So a higher state of being is the thing that man could strive for and the one he doesn’t usually strive for. He usually strives for power, but before you can have power, you must have a state of being that can tolerate the use of that kind of power whatever it may be. No matter if it’s simply, I got a job, you got to have the state of being that can take care of the job, or you don’t have the job very long. If it is to have a degree of money, it is that you would have the state of being that could take care of that kind of money and handle it and use it properly.
If it is to have a companion or whatever, it may be it is that you would have the state of being to handle the companion and not be all tangled up and tied up in knots and fighting and scrapping all the time, because all the scrapping is in how do you affect me, not the other way around.
And so if you were going to have the power to heal, you also have the power to kill. They’re one in the same. It’s a power, and if you had the power to destroy, and you’re still in your total interest in number one, you would be tempted to use it--or would use it even without temptation like the story of the people—they weren’t even tempted, they were just impulsive. They totally were not in charge of their inner state of being in any shape, manner, or form or fashion. So the three wishes were wasted and they weren’t going to get any more so long as they live. But they had everything that they could have possibly used, ok?
Now by the same token, I find all sorts of people who do all sorts of exercises. They’re chanting and doing many many things to get power; and let’s face it, you can get a little bit that way. I’m the last to say you couldn’t. You can, but if you don’t have the state of being, a higher state of being than the power is, it will always be destructive to the person who gets it. In other words, it will destroy them just like I’ve seen people inherit a considerable sum of money, but it destroyed them just to inherit $100,000 or $80,000 or $150,000 or $200,000. It destroyed them. They became totally knocked out because they don’t have the state of being to handle it and use it in any way.
By the same token, I’ve seen people gain other kinds of powers and they can’t handle it—it goes to their head. So when people ask me to generate or give them, or do something, or they ask me how—what should I practice in order to have power, I don’t talk about that. I act like I didn’t hear it and I start talking about how to increase your state of being. How to be in charge of your own inner state; and we talk about being in a state of being that you can be beyond temptation. Shall we say that you are capable of handling it?
Now there’s a story told about the great teacher that started out in the world to be a tremendous service, and he was going to have tremendous power; but the first thing is he was tempted for 40 days and nights with all kinds of things—offered doing miracles--jumping off the top of tall towers and not getting a bruise or break a bone. That he could rule the whole world--that he could convert stones into bread and more. And he said get lost man, get lost, get lost, indicating he had a high state of being.
If you hadn’t had anything to eat for 40 days and nights, wonder if you would be a little tempted, huh? So people think that power is a wonderful thing, but it is a horrible mill stone around your neck if you don’t have the state of being to handle it.
We have about five or ten seconds to go. Who’s got a question, comment? Shoot me down. You got any? Nothing to go? John?
(I wouldn’t want any power then. Is it a by-product like you talk about?)
Well, not necessarily a by-product. It is a gift of grace given to those that can handle it, and not many qualify, ok?
All right inasmuch as there’s not many questions, I must have made that as clear as mud, so we will stop for now.
*Audience participation is in parenthesis.