School Talk 47 - Start Here and Now
Today we’re going to talk on “Let’s Start Right Now.” I’ve had many many calls and many, many conversations. We had a workshop three days ago, and talked to people—lots of people—and I heard over and over and over, I simply can’t remember to keep a new purpose. I’ve tried and I’ve made a new purpose, and I’ve tried and tried and didn’t get anything to happen, and I forget it all the time.
So we’re going to say: All right, let’s forget the new purpose for the time being. In the first place to say that I have a new purpose is not a new purpose. It is when I see the necessity of it and apparently a lot of folks didn’t see the necessity of it.
We’re going to say let’s start with the old purpose that we’ve had all of our days since the day we were born which is to gain pleasure and comfort and to escape pain and to gain attention, escape being ignored, to gain approval and to escape all disapproval, to feel useful and appreciated and to avoid the feeling of inferiority.
So let’s start right now and we’re going to get that. Now lots of times we’ve talked that you couldn’t get anywhere unless you give it up. Now we will qualify this one a little bit. As long as you live on the earth plain, you are going to be subject to pain. Pain is something that comes and goes, usually rather rapidly, and very few people endure great agonies of pain. But an awful lot of people have misery—almost 100%. Misery is the outcome of conflict or the struggle to have “what is” turned into “what ought to be.” I’m miserable—I don’t have the ideal I’ve dreamed up or a number of other things of a similar nature. So we’re going to say that it is totally unnecessary to have misery. Now you may have pain now and then; but in the meantime, you can have tremendous amounts of pleasure and comfort. You can gain attention, you can gain approval, and you can gain a certain amount of appreciation.
All we’re going to do in this particular session—and that you’re going to practice on for a few days, hopefully, is that you’re going to use a different method to gain this. Now we’ve always used the method of complaining, sticking up for rights and blaming. Or we have been a “goody, good” two shoes and we have tried to please people that we didn’t want to please. We’ve quoted some authority to try to prove to them that they should do what I say, or we have gone into some agonizing situation to improve ourselves—whatever that may mean, I don’t know. I wouldn’t know how to improve a human being. I wouldn’t stick on an extra leg or an extra arm or another head or anything of that sort. I don’t know, you’d look pretty funny if you had three eyes, for instance--one put in the middle of your head and one down on each side. So I wouldn’t know how I could improve a person, but we could, possibly, use a different method than simply trying to use these old “pat” methods that we have done mechanically. This will require a little bit of attention.
So let’s say that I want some pleasure and comfort. I can gain it by a little effort in that direction. I can somewhat choose how I will behave or what manner I will live. I don’t have to go through the routine of stuffing my insides and then upchucking it. I don’t have to choose to go totally without food. I can use a little common sense in how I eat. I can use a little common sense in the amount of exercise I do, and I’m not into running three miles or pushing iron all day or anything of the sort. I’m only talking about moving a little bit now and then. We would leave off most toxic substances that we aren’t well adapted to anyway. And that we could probably feel comfortable most of the time. And that we could have a certain amount of pleasure.
Now let’s also take that if I would like to have some attention, I can get attention a number of different ways. I can do something worthwhile for instance. I can put on a show. I can put on a party. I can do a whole lot of things, and I can get all the attention I want. I only want to check up that I’m willing to pay the price for the amount of attention I want. If I want an extreme amount, I guess I would have to be willing to pay an extreme price for it. But you can have it if you are willing to pay the price for it.
The same would be true for approval. One of the greatest ways to gain a little approval is to give a little bit. In fact, if you want a whole lot of approval, it would probably be well to give a lot of approval. If you want just a little bit, that’s all right. Again, it’s there for the paying for. Everything seems to have a price in the manmade world. And these are manmade world motivations or desires or wants. So we could certainly have them if we’re willing to pay the price. Now I hardly think you will get a lot of approval by demanding it. I just don’t think that will work very well, and I have seen a lot of people demand approval, but they didn’t get much. They got some attention, but not the kind they wanted. So we can have approval if we are willing to dish out a little bit.
Now let’s take a little appreciation. Certainly I can give a little appreciation here, yon and elsewhere. It doesn’t cost a lot; and of course, all of us have many, many things going on everyday to appreciate. The very fact that we are alive is one great big appreciation. One can appreciate that I have friends and companions and associates and interesting things to do. Those are some things to appreciative, and it doesn’t hurt a bit if one expresses one’s appreciation to them. Some people seem to think that you’d wear it out if you ever used it. But I hardly think that this is the case. I think we could give a lot more appreciation than we ever do; and if we did, I’m sure that a certain amount of it comes back your way.
Now let’s take the other side—pain. We didn’t want pain. Nobody likes it very well; but if we stopped to look at it, we’d be in one terrible condition if we were suddenly rendered so that we could not experience pain. So if some injury happened to your central nervous system and you could no longer feel any sensation that was painful to you, you would be in a very, very dangerous situation. You could be injured and never know the difference. You could eat something that was toxic or poisoned—tainted food for instance--and you’d never feel bad. You wouldn’t have an upset stomach. You wouldn’t feel nauseous or any kind of pain. So you could go along and fall over after awhile with ptomaine or botulism. It’s not the best idea in the world. You could stick your finger in a piece of machinery or on a hot stove at home and you’d never know the difference until you smelled it cooking. So having the sensation of pain is something to be very thankful for and appreciative. It is only there when we need to check up on something. If it is more less a chronic pain, it’s saying check up on your lifestyle. If it is a temporary one, it says check up on the immediate situation. So it is very essential that we have pain and something to be very appreciative of.
When we are being ignored, it is usually because we are ignorable—that’s a good word I think. I never have thrown it out before; but you know, there’s a lot of people that I find that it’s better to ignore than to pay attention to them. If you pay attention to them, they’ll set in to bore you to death. So sometimes it’s very essential that we “make ourselves” where we have some reason to have attention or to not be ignored. I’m doing something worthwhile, or perhaps I just look fairly well. If I’m dressed fairly nice, I notice that people turn around and take a look. So that tells me that it is worthwhile to pay attention to how I’m dressed—whether I’m clean, whether my hair is combed, my shoes are shined or whatever the case may be. Otherwise, I could look like the general mass and be ignored. And there are certain places I go I like to be ignored.
Then there is having approval, and I want to escape disapproval. If I don’t put out any disapproval, I find I get very little back. If I start disapproving of about everything I see in sight (to show I’m superior to all this world we live in) there’s going to be a considerable amount of disapproval coming my way. So the best way to avoid disapproval is to “no way engage” in disapproving. What really do you gain or what do you prove when you disapprove of a situation, a person, an event or anything else that’s going on? Now there are some things that I would rather not have around; and I think the most appropriate thing is to do something about it instead of disapproving.
Now the big one down at the bottom is, of course, we want to escape the feeling of inferiority. Now most of us started out in the world being little folks; and so we couldn’t reach high places, and we couldn’t pick up hammers, and we couldn’t reach high places, and we couldn’t do a lot of things. So we decided that those grown-ups were much superior, and that we were inferior. And then I guess a lot of times we got put down by other kids and such. So we mostly all started out with a decided feeling of inferiority. A peculiar thing about growing up is that you grow by such a little degree that you don’t realize you’ve grown up. If we did, there would be a lot more grown-up people in the world. A lot of people have grown up bodies and technical educations, but they have infantile approaches to people, situations and events. So all feeling of inferiority is an infantile.
Now if you stop to look, you’re not like anybody else in the world. Nobody else is like you. There’s no two of anything. So you’d have to say that you are a unique work of art. Now I get magazines and books every day that tell me what the prices of various places of “unique works of art” are selling for. They go for tremendous prices these days. So you have a great value because you are unique. You’re different from everybody else. So when you start comparing yourself to any one person—you could probably say that person can fly a jet airplane, and I can’t. Fine, I can do something he can’t do or she can’t do. So what’s the difference? I’m unique and can do other things. So any idea of inferiority is that you get a bunch of dolls and set them on top of a big table somewhere and you can turn them all facing in different directions or some of them going forwards and some of them going backwards; some of them going north and some going south, and you’d have to say that the only difference is that each one is different—they’re doing different things. That doesn’t make one inferior or superior to another. It only says we’re different. I’ve had people say, “Well, I know I’m different, so therefore, I’m inferior.” Well if they’d only look a little bit, they’d see everybody’s different; and thank goodness I’m different than everybody else because I’d hate to have everybody look exactly like me. If I went down the street, I would have to go thumping on a guy and tell him my name because he couldn’t tell by looking at me—we all look just alike. Wouldn’t that be a horrible state of affairs? So let’s be thankful that we’re all a little different.
So as we can probably begin to see, much of this “whole bit” we observe and say, “Well, all right, my purpose is the four dual basic urges.” “I’m going to spend my time getting them.” But one thing I’ll do while I’m trying to get them is to change my method. Now you don’t have to change your purpose, just change your method of getting them. Now obviously if we use the method of complaining, sticking up for rights, blaming and all the rest of it, we’re not being thankful for anything. So if we looked at what the difference is between those methods we have used up to now and the method we are talking about today to achieve a high degree of the four dual basic urges is the difference between whether I feel thankful for what’s going on and what’s happening, or whether I’m sitting and complaining because everything is not like some ideal I have dreamed up.
Now we looked at pain a little while ago. We saw that it is something to be very thankful for, if it occurs. If it’s a chronic deal, let’s check up on my lifestyle. If it is an acute one, let’s check up on the present situation. So we can all see that we can be thankful for pain. We can be thankful if we’re ignored. We’re saying; again, check up on your lifestyle. Life tells us constantly what’s going on, and we don’t pay any attention.
So if we paid a little attention, we could see that everything we call unpleasant is a great gift of life—that we could be in a decided state of being aware and being thankful. If we recognized what these states are. If somebody is disapproving of me, they more than likely have very good reason for so doing. It’s not that there is a vendetta against me or that the world is a horrible place, or that these people don’t like me. It’s probably that they have a very good reason to, from the way I’m behaving. The way I’m attempting to gain the four dual basic urges. So I would say if I’m getting a lot of disapproval, it’s a voice from Life saying loud and clear “check up on your lifestyle,” and see what you’re doing that’s causing people to disapprove of you in a very wide range or even very few individuals. Sometimes people get along very well with everybody outside their immediate family or circle, but maybe because they use simple good manners when they’re outside. But they decide they can dispense with good manners at home—everybody knows me, why should I be nice to them. They ought to know, they loved and appreciated and all that. But, truly, how would they know unless you let them know once in a while.
So if we feel inferior, it’s because we haven’t checked up really what’s going on in the world, and seeing that what we are is a unique work of art—different from everyone else in the world. So, again check up a little bit. So if we would simply use what intellect we have, we would see that all of a sudden we could be thankful for an awful lot of things we have complained about and felt depressed and miserable and upset about, and have raised a lot of noise about all of our lives. That really they are things to be very thankful for. By the same token, we can all see that we do get some pleasure and comfort, and how often have you thought to be thankful for it. It is something to be very thankful for and if we are thankful for it, we are somewhat aware that it’s available and that we can have it. More often, we take what pleasure and comfort we have for granted. We think why should I be thankful for it, I should have had more. But we sure don’t take the pain for granted. We make all kinds of noise about that.
We don’t look at how much the body’s feeling good. Let’s say the knee hurts. Well, you can complain and complain about how terrible the knee is; but if you check up, you’re ears are working pretty good. You’re eyes are working pretty good. Your skin’s in pretty good shape. You can walk pretty well, even though there’s a gimpy knee. You can use your hands quite well. You can eat quite well. Your heart’s beating. You’re breathing and everything’s going on pretty well. So at least 99% of you is doing well. So that’s something to be thankful for—and thankful that there’s only one little knee that’s not feeling so hot. That and other pains gives and opportunity to check up on your lifestyle or the situation, and you can always do something about every what is.
So what we’re trying to point out is that one barely small thing you could change is that you start working with being thankful most of the time instead of complaining, sticking up for your rights and blaming and crying and feeling depressed and sorry for yourself all of the time.
If you just looked, you would see that you have much to be thankful for in all directions. That you would start feeling thankful, start acting thankful that there are so many things that you have going your way. That you would realize suddenly that you have a very high percentage of the four dual basic urges.
Now I’ve recognized that it’s very difficult for a person to form a new purpose as long as they’ve never achieved one before. So if you achieve the four dual basic urges, you then know how that can take place.
Then you’re pretty well ready to be free to make a new purpose. As long as you’ve never achieved the four dual basic urges consciously, you probably feel that nobody knows what they’re talking about if they say “the four dual basic urges don’t work,” because you’d believe that if you were comfortable, and you had pleasure, and you had lots of attention--you had lots of approval, you felt appreciated and worthwhile, that the result of having all these basic urges, you would feel very happy. You probably would be, but most people have never achieved that because they’ve used an incorrect method to try to achieve them. The incorrect method they used is complaining, sticking up for rights, blaming, pleasing without wanting to, and a bunch of other things.
So the urge is still there to gain the four dual basic urges. Now we’re making it very plain that you can have the four dual basic urges. It takes very little except paying attention and changing your methods. Now if you tried to start a car by jacking up its front wheels and turning it over on its side, I doubt that it would work. You could try a number of methods except the one that usually works best which is to put the key in the switch block, give it a turn; and if the battery is charged up, it will start. So you can do that, but if you used other methods, they wouldn’t work. So the fact that we have always used incorrect methods to try to achieve the four dual basic urges does not mean that they are unobtainable. (from Marsha………one of the methods I’m continually discovering that I have somehow forgotten or “believed” that it was “bad” to ask for what I want. Funny, yes, but somehow the conditioning has said otherwise. What unconsciously happened is that “I” expected others to “read my mind” or somehow see what I need or want. How simple to just ask for what I want. And if they say no, why the Teaching ideas are there for observation; and who knows, there might be a “Yes! Of course!” and all the needless inner conflict has been eliminated.)
Now the wiser people that I have run into around the world have achieved the four dual basic urges. They have achieved something they call success; and then they said that didn’t amount to a whole lot. That’s simple and easy, anybody can do that; and they set out to actualize other potentials. But it would appear that if you haven’t actualized achieving the four dual basic urges to a very high degree, you still feel that is the only thing there is to gain. That any other purpose would only be another way to gain it. So the purpose doesn’t have anything to do with gaining it, but the method which one uses does. So let’s concentrate on the effort of achieving the four dual basic urges by using different methods than those which we have formerly used—that has proven over and over to not work.
And we, of course, begin to blame other people for not having the four dual basic urges. We’ve blamed our mates. We’ve blamed our family. We’ve blamed our past. We’ve blamed an unhappy childhood. We have blamed the present government. We have blamed about everything and anything under the sun. In the Teachings, we have tried to repeatedly say that nothing, nor nobody is to blame.
So let’s forget about blaming and let’s say I’m going to experiment with having a totally different purpose. Now I’m still going to work at achieving the four dual basic urges, but with a different method. I think you will find that you can achieve it in a matter of a few minutes or a few hours or according to how much you want to struggle with it. You might as well do it immediately; and when you have achieved the four dual basic urges, and you can do it on a reasonable consistent basis, then, possibly, you would see the freedom to form a totally new purpose. But until such time as you have actualized to a high degree the four dual basic urges, I think most of your effort to form a new purpose is rather halfhearted; and that the real interest is in getting the four dual basic urges.
We still possibly work at it as though I’m entitled to it. We’re not entitled to anything, but we have the ability to gather it up. You have all the potential to actualize, achieving the four dual basic urges—today, if you want to. Now if you’d rather not do it too suddenly, you have all the time in the world. You can wait until tomorrow. You can wait until next week. You can wait until whenever you want to. I see no particular reason to wait, inasmuch as we have struggled away to achieve the four dual basic urges unconsciously all of our lives and have used methods that are almost guaranteed not to work.
It would appear that it would be a most interesting and delightful experience to achieve a high degree of the four dual basic urges by running some experiments on using a totally different method than one we have always used. Now, yes, there is a catch in it. You have to pay attention. Isn’t that terrible! You will need to pay a little attention to what you’re doing. It seems to me it’s not very safe to go struggling through the world without paying attention to what you’re doing. There are an awful lot of big trucks out there on the street, and there are a lot of fast automobiles, and there are a lot of other things that can go haywire—even if you put yourself in your quiet little bed. There’s a lot of things that feels a lot safer and better if you’re paying attention. So let’s pay attention and see if we cannot achieve a high degree of the four dual basic urges this week. Now don’t feel that this is being facetious or that it’s being funny or anything else. It is saying that until a person achieves a certain degree of success at something; he is in no position to start something else.
So if it has been difficult to attempt to form a new purpose of living, it would certainly indicate that you haven’t achieved consciously. So perhaps you could see that you have the capability of achieving the four dual basic urges whenever you care to do so.
So let’s go to work on it, and the easiest thing that I could suggest to do is you could change your basic attitude from fault finding to being thankful. Now if I find fault with you, I’m not being very thankful for you. If I am very thankful for you, I’m not finding any fault with you. So I am very thankful for you, I’m not finding any fault with you. We are thankful for everybody in the world because everybody contributes to something.
It is interesting to note that if you picked up the simplest thing, a cup, a spoon, or a piece of clothing and went to try to figure out how many people were responsible for you having that object at a very reasonable price, you would find that everybody was directly or indirectly involved with it—probably included just about everybody in the world.
Sometime when you want to drive yourself up the wall, sit down and try to figure this out. Who all did the thing or what was the product made out of—we’ll say steel. Somebody had to mine iron. Somebody had to mine coal or coke. Somebody had to mine other things, and they had to put a big furnace together. The people that ran the furnace had to eat as well as all those other people doing the other things. Somebody had to produce food. Somebody had to produce shelter; and so we look, it seems that everybody is involved in the simplest things we have from a loaf of bread to the watch on your arm to a piece of furniture or anything else that we may have.
So when we begin to realize that it is not at all difficult to have a state of thanksgiving for about everybody. It becomes more and more difficult to be a faultfinder. The more we are thankful and the less we are faultfinding, the more we realize of already having the four dual basic urges.
So we will leave it there today and you can practice on this. We are open to listening to your comments on it. You can write. You can call. You can do it in person—whatever you like. We would like to hear how you’re doing at actualizing the four dual basic urges by a different method than that which you have used all your life unconsciously.
Ok, we don’t have much time for questions today, so we will stop there and we will have questions on it any day in the week, next week, whenever you want to.
Thank you and good evening.