Exercises - SELF-REMEMBERING
Excerpt from Daytona Workshop 5/24/80*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
[When we join this workshop Dr. Bob is talking about self-knowing. We're becoming acquainted with the not "I's" and how they work. We've learned that they are conditioning and suggestions we haven't "checked out" from the past. We've learned that we listen to them, believe them, and that they begin to run our everyday affairs and make a pretty good mess of things--not to mention the internal emergency we feel with the anger, guilt, fear and insecurity emotions that require "adaptation" to restore the body to balance. Dr. Bob divided the teachings into two parts--self-knowing and self-remembering. We join the workshop as he leaves self-knowing which is described on other pages in the web site and as he discusses "self-remembering". ]
What we have been talking about so far today could come under the heading of "self knowing". Self knowing is something you can spend a reasonable length of time at and then be through with. You can see very quickly how all the not "I's work, what they do and how they convince you to stay in a state of anxiety or conflict at all times.
Once you have become fairly familiar with them, I think you could drop off "self knowing" and say I'm through with that, I know about them. I frequently tell people that anything more than 6 weeks spent at "self knowing" is a waste of time because you're just redoing the same thing over and over and over again. The same not "I's" are going to be saying the same "durn" thing this year as they said last year and the year before that and 10 years ago.
Then we can start another subject that we never really end. It's called:
You could call it lots of other things; but I guess that would be just as good as anything else--so we'll call it that. SELF REMEMBERING is something you can do every day of your life and possibly every hour without having any great difficulty.
If a person were in the state of "self remembering," they would never be in any turmoil or hassles. In certain literature it would probably be called being in a state of meditation at all times--not sitting down getting yourself all unconscious and floating off, but really being something you're aware of. There's a tremendous lot of things goes around these days called meditation that is simply the old practice of auto hypnosis. So that we're not interested in. This is in really being aware of something and you're aware of it at all times.
So we will put four questions here that really is what one remembers. What am I? The next question is: Where am I? The third one is What's going on here? And the fourth one is What can I do?
Now I believe that we would all agree that if a person couldn't answer these questions in some form or other, we'd have to say the person is in a state of amnesia or insane. Would that be somewhere about right? You don't know what you are, you don't know whether you're a grasshopper dreaming you're a woman, or a woman dreaming you're a grasshopper or what's going on. You don't know what you are, you don't know where you are, you don't know what's going on, and you haven't any idea what you can do. You'd be in a mess. But I think most people are.
The old teacher that wandered around over in Europe a good many years ago called Gurdjief said that the only thing you'd really find out in this world is knowing what's going on here. So, we added out a little bit further and say you can find out four things--What you are, where you are, what's going on here, and what you can do.
Now if you have those and you're aware of that, we'd say you're in a constant state of meditation and that you were self-remembering and that you couldn't possibly have a problem. You could accomplish just about anything you wanted to "do"--I said do, I didn't say "have." Now, of course, if you wanted to do it, why you would probably have something as a "by-product" of it; but that's not the point.
So let's take as best we can, What am I? Well, if you look about a bit, you find that you did very little, that you can recall at least, to get here. 'bout right? You don't remember putting out any great effort. You got here. So you're here at the planet and you arrived, I believe, like everybody else did--broke helpless, naked, no knowledge of the language, and you found a couple of slaves to look after you, provide you with all your necessities until you could do some on your own. Is that about right?
So, we've come to that point that we can become somewhat aware of what's going on.
So what am I?
Obviously you arrived without any effort on your part, did nothing to take care of it and found yourself well taken care of. You've had food, clothing, shelter, and transportation ever since you've been here. Right? And you really didn't earn a whole lot of it except the last little bit of it. You had a couple of slaves look after you that did everything you needed. You might have "gritched" at 'em, griped about it and thought they didn't do enough; but come to think of it, what more should they do, they were slaves anyway. They did a pretty good job of it--not the way you and I would like to become accustomed to, but they got you by.
Could you say that you're a privileged invited guest? You've had the privilege of being alive, being on this place and having food, clothes, shelter and transportation plus a number of other things ever since you've been here. And you did nothing to get it.
There is an ancient story told that a man, a great man, decided to put on a party one day. Of course he decided several weeks ahead. He sent out invitations to people to come a certain day, and he put on a mighty feast. He killed the oxen and had a bar-b-que that wouldn't quit. So when all the bar-b-que was about done with all the potato salad and coleslaw; he sent his slaves out to tell the guests to come to the party. Dinner was ready. Without exception, it said that all of his peers turned him down. One said "I just bought a new John Deere and I got to go try it out." Another one said he just got married and he had to take his new wife down to Miami on a honeymoon. Another one said that his father just died so they had to have a funeral and he couldn't fiddle around going to parties. This went on and on with the excuses. So when the runners came back and reported to the man who was putting on the party what had happened [in their endeavor], he got very "ticked off". He got all upset. He said, "I won't invite any of them." "I will send you out the hedgerows, and the alleys and the lanes and on skid row; and you get all those bums and "off" people and crippled people and etc, and bring 'em in because my house will be full."
I think that's us. So here we are and we had no reason to even been invited to the party in the first place. But we got to the party; and then of course, we didn't believe it; so we felt somebody had shanghaied us and pulled us in here and we've been griping about it ever since--cause it's not different.
(Different than what?)
Than it is.
The folks just didn't put this "party " on properly, that's all. So we "can" say I'm a privileged invited guest. Now I think we can go through that. It spells pig. So we're here without any ado. I'm a privileged invited guest. We could also look.
Where Am I?
Well, obviously we're at a very beautiful estate called earth. I've had the good fortune to travel around over quite a bit of it and I found it all a very beautiful estate--everywhere I've been, it has been different--some is desert, some is wet, some is green, some is dry. But everywhere I've been it has been very beautiful and very well set up. Everything is there that needs to be. So we could say we are privileged invited guests where? --at a beautiful estate called earth where Life is the host. I think you could study that--disprove it--don't accept my word for it. Go to it and try to disprove it. I think you'll find is just about that.
Then we can ask:
What's going on here?
Well, that's all we have to do is look around and we can see there's a big party going on. There are all kinds of people playing all kinds of games. The only thing about it is that very few people know what they are. They don't know where they are, and they certainly don't know they're at a party. They don't know they're playing games. They take it for real. They act like this is very serious business. It's still a big party 'cause you look around and everyone is playing games. Now you see a bunch of people together playin' games, you have to say it's a party. The host invited us; and, of course, we gripe a lot about the party not knowing what's going on--we think it's all kinds of stuff. We gripe about the other guests a lot. That right? I've noticed that people keep coming to the party and they keep going away. If you're obnoxious enough, anybody will send you home. We're a guest at Bob's house. I think if we all got obnoxious enough, Bob would get up and say: "Don't you think you ought to go to the grocery store, or down to Miami, or over to the Bahamas." He'd get rid of us if we became obnoxious enough. And I notice there's people that get obnoxious. So while you're at the party--this big place, you can run around and gather up a lot of the things at the party--somewhere it's called the furniture of the place. I've seen some people gather up a great amount of it. If you were at somebody's house and you went around and saw the silverware and said, "That's pretty valuable these days," and you kept putting stuff in your pocket, the host would probably think you're a little eccentric inasmuch as he invited you. He wouldn't say you're crazy, he'd decide eccentric--that's a nice word for it. But about the time you got ready to leave, he'd say something like, "Well, thank you for carrying the silverware around, but you can leave it right here on top of the TV." Now you don't get to take it away with you.
So in the last several years there have been several people who accumulated a great amount of the furniture in their possession while they were around the party. Some of them you've heard the names of like Howard Hughes, J. L. Hunt, J. Paul Getty; but you notice when they left the party, they didn't get to take anything with them. They had to leave it here. It's all here and somebody else is playin' with it now. You don't get to take anything away. So I don't see any reason of knockin' ourselves out to accumulate the stuff we can use freely. You can use everything at the party, can't you? You've had food, clothing, shelter, transportation, interesting things to do, interesting other people to be around, delightful companion or two here and there, right? You've had it all. So there's nothing you need to accumulate. You can use it. We've been a guest of Bob and his wife all day; and we don't have to accumulate his stuff. We've just enjoyed it, is that right? We don't have to take the chairs with us, or the coffee maker, or the cars, or the beds--we have free use of it.
(The authorities I accepted told me that I should go to school and get a doctorate degree, then go and get a good job at tremendous pay. Then I should get married and have only two kids, along with two cars, a house and a boat and that would make me happy.)
Well, did you try that?
I know one or two people that did. I didn't notice they were any happier than anybody else. But the point is I think you could see what's going on here. It's a big party. Let's ask the question that when you find yourself a guest at a party, what can you do. That's a simple little point, you only need to recall the last question actually.
What can I do?
If I'm a guest at a party, I can be what to me is a good guest. That doesn't look like it's so hard. I don't know what a "good" guest is; but I know what "to me" is being a good guest. I'm a guest in you're home, ok? Being a good guest to me is not going around nosing in your dresser drawers and all these things--it's none of my business. It's like people asking; "What's Life all about and why are we here?" Why did mankind ever be invented and so forth--and 1,000 other "why" questions--it's none of your business. The folks that put on a party, put on a party. If I don't want to play, I can leave anytime I want to. I don't have to put up with it if I don't like it. So to not be a good guest is wondering "why" the Host put the party on. The next thing is not to wonder why he invited YOU of all people. I don't have to worry about that. I figure that a Host who invites a bunch of people into His home must have thought the guests were all interesting.
Do you invite people to your house sometime? You feel they're interesting to you--or you're afraid they'd get mad if you didn't invite them. Basically, I think in this instance we got invited because we're all interesting. Now maybe my interest doesn't go the way of some of the other guests; so I don't have to associate with any guest I don't want to. I can just walk around them. I don't have to play any game I don't want to. I can play with the ones I want to and not play the ones I don't want to. I have tremendous freedom. I don't have to play with anybody I don't want to; and I don't have to stay around and listen to anybody I don't want to. The Host found him/her interesting--I don't find any fault with him/her.
[End of tape]
The party is interesting to the host, He keeps it going. I figure if he ever gets tired of it, that's the end of it. He'll send us all home, at the same time, back to the alleys and freeways and skid rows and what-have-you
Right now the Host seems to find us interesting.
When I ask What Can I Do, I simply do what, to me, is being a good guest. Now there are three ideas that seems to me to would appeal to me as a good guest.
I would be considerate. In other words I would consider the other guests, the Host and the estate. So I would not want to "mess up" any of them. Now I figure considering the Host means not "griching" about what he invited me to--that's part of being a good guest. I wouldn't think of coming to you when I'm a guest and saying, "Why don't you have this." or "Why don't you have that." It's fine just like it is.
I would be harmless to the best of my ability. I wouldn't do anything that would be harmful to the Host, or the other guests or the estate. It's not hard to do, just don't make a mess. It's simple.
I would make some little contribution to the party. (Not because I "should," or "ought to" or "have to"--simply because it is my way of saying "thank you" for being invited to the party). But if I can contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood in whatever part of the party I'm sitting in, that's a reasonable little contribution. I can contribute by whatever means at my command to a pleasant harmonious mood. If you have a wild headache and I can relieve your headache, why that contributes to a pleasant harmonious mood. If I can cook a good dinner and you enjoy it and everybody has a good time, why that's a little contribution to a pleasant harmonious mood. If nothing else, I can just tell a story.
There's a lady in California that when she writes, she always starts her letter off, Dear Storyteller. So I think that's very interesting, at least I can tell a story that contributes to a pleasant harmonious mood. You can always do that. You can always make some little contribution to a pleasant harmonious mood or you can say, "Hello." You can not get caught up in all the gossip and griching that goes on in the world.
If you did that, it's probably one of the greatest things you could ever do. We have found that a pleasant harmonious mood draws people from far away.
We one time ran a restaurant and we were far out in sand hill on a horse lot--way away from town--with no signs, no publicity--just let people find out about it. Our only deal for promotion was a pleasant harmonious mood at all times. We drew people from all over the world--truly! I have a guest book to indicate such. It drew people from all over the world--so it's a very powerful thing.
Now I try to convince people that if you just drive down the road on the freeway pretty thick with cars--I maintain that if you are in the car by yourself and you had a very pleasant harmonious mood, that everybody on the freeway feels better within at least 10 miles front and back of you. Now that wouldn't be such a bad thing to do, would it? Everybody feels better. The traffic starts moving better and tempers quit flaring, and you can go from Orange County to LA in 45 minutes. If you go out there all grumpy, it takes at least and hour and a half to two hours to get there because it ties all the traffic up. It's remarkable what you can do with a pleasant harmonious mood.
None of these are because you "have to," "ought do," or "must do"--it's simply because we as ladies and gentlemen would like to say "thank you" for having been invited to the party. It's simply my way of saying "thank you."
We've talked about purpose frequently. So I made me a purpose a few years ago that I would be what to me was a good guest--simply that. I "will" to do that. There's no conflict. There's no struggle. Nobody interferes with it--all second force disappears. No one interferes with me "contributing to a pleasant harmonious mood" or "being whatever to me is a good guest" at any time. Nobody fusses at me, nobody interferes with it, and nobody accuses me or gets in my way or anything. So would you like to live as a totally free individual without any resistance to your purpose? It does keep you busy--I haven't had any spare time since I started that. I work on an average of more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week. I haven't had to look for a job. I haven't had to look for occupations. I'm simply doing "what, to me, is a good guest" and I enjoy every minute of it. It doesn't wear me out from the fact that I spend long hours. I'm a healthy tired at night, but it's good for sleeping--I don't need any Nyquil.
There's no interference from anybody to keep you from being what to you is a good guest. Nobody will say a word about it--in the first place nobody knows what you're doing. (Laughter)
So you have a "purpose and will" in complete harmony and there is nothing to interfere, and you'll certainly be busy--and, by the way, so far I haven't starved. I'm fairly well provided for at any given day. I never have any for tomorrow, but I've got enough for today and that's the time I can use it. I don't see any reason to accumulate "the furniture" and then have to leave it at the front door when I go out anyway.
It all boils down to one thing--"What Can I Do Here?" That's knowing:
What you are?
Where you are?
What's Going on Here? and
What You Can Do?
Even the not "I's" can't fuss about that. We've talked about how to get along without listening to them--they don't even have anything to say. We know they're there. We also know that if I tried to do something else, they would annoy me right away. Right now I don't hear one of them because I'm simply doing "what, to me, is being a good guest"--not because I "should", or "ought to" or "have to" or "must "If I do it because I should do it--man will I hear from the not "I's". But I don't do it for that reason--it's simply my way of saying "thank you." If somebody does you a good turn, you like to say "thank you." Well, I think we got a tremendous good turn simply experiencing what it is to be alive--we weren't supposed to have been here.
So I'd like to say "thank you" and the only way I know how is to be, "what" to me," is a good guest"--that all boils down to contributing to a pleasant, harmonious mood wherever I am--that to me is SELF REMEMBERING. It is to me being in a constant state of meditation.