Life is a school-when teaching present (Tape 30)
We so frequently look for something far and wide that is directly with us at all times because we don't know how to recognize that WHICH IS. One of the things that you and all the rest of us frequently hear people mention is they want to come in contact with a school; a school that teaches man of being awake, a school that teaches man to know God--to be aware of his inner being, and to realize a different state of being. He realizes somewhat that a school is necessary. He looks far and wide. He may go to Turkey. He may go to India. He may go to the Near East. He may go to South America or he may go to almost any point on the globe looking for a school.
However, let's somewhat describe what a school is. A school is a place where people that are conditioned in various stages of challenge to what they are looking for, are brought together. Now this is in every area one stops. It is in everywhere you work. it's in every home and it is in every group of people that get together. There are people who are all intent upon gaining pleasure and escaping pain, unknowing to themselves that that is what their whole purpose is--that they are just working at it because this conclusion was made very early in life. They are all trying to get it in their personal relationships by complaining, sticking up for their rights, by blaming, by pleasing, by believing and doing as told by their authorities, and quoting what their authorities said to others, trying to get others to agree with them, and trying to gain agreements, getting very upset when someone doesn't agree with them--especially if someone has formerly agreed with them and no longer agrees. Everybody is trying to put on a front and behave like they think other people want them to behave so they will gain approval and attention, etc.
When a school is set up, really no structuring is done. It is only bringing the people together in a given area. They are already together some place, so life is the school. Everyday living is the school. The teaching is not a man. The teacher is all these people doing whatever they are doing when referred to certain ideas which we have considered. So a school is where a group of people are, and where there is one person, at least, who is conscious of the teaching and is able to see what is going on in the various relationships between the people involved in the light of the teaching. Each of us has the teaching. Each of us can see every relationship we are in. Seeing in light of the teaching, we see that one person is contending with another or that one group is contending with another because of their different ways of attempting to gain pleasure and escape pain. They blame when there is none [no pleasure]. We see that there are ideals. One group has one ideal; another one has a different ideal. Each thinks everybody ought to know the same ideal. Therefore, each thinks that the other knows what is right, proper and justifiable, but they go on doing wrong anyway, which when seen in light of the teaching is impossible. So as one observes, LIFE IS THE TEACHER.
All the many different experiments we have run and the different observations we have made that include other people, is to make it possible that each of us recognizes that life is the teacher and that the teaching comes from somewhere, and we have it. We can apply it and it is valued; and it becomes ever doubling in value. It is like the people that received the talents: A man received 5 talents and he made 5 more - he valued it. Now do you suppose that if he had 10, he could manage to make 20? And if he had 20, he could probably make 40? This is when one has the teaching. One begins to see that it applies to every facet of interpersonal relationships between people, and that people are all doing what they feel is right, proper and justifiable; and that they do not have to be coaxed into being a part of a school - they already are - and that the school is present wherever man is, if there is the Teaching.
Now a group of people together without the teaching is called "darkness" because there is nobody about to understand; but if the teaching is present with a group of people, two or more, then a school does exist; and life with all of its many challenges of everyday [living] is the teaching. As a person observes this, one begins to experience a great joy regardless of whatever one sees because one knows that here one is being given demonstrations of every point of the teaching. One can see a person build accounts. Someone, no doubt, by now has come to tell you their problems. They seem to recognize everybody that is a student over a period of time has a certain serenity that attracts people that are disturbed; and they want some of that serenity. So they come and tell you their story. They may not be wanting to get rid of the problem, and they may not have yet questioned the purpose of living; but they will appear. And they want to tell you their story; and as you hear their story, it is the story that we have looked at over and over - the picture of man - two of them in relationship, each one with a different ideal, each one wanting to gain pleasure and comfort, attention and approval, and to feel important. Each wants to control the other and each one is fighting them.
We see so frequently a man and wife that, no doubt, think a great amount of each other as far as a conditioned person is capable of doing. In other words they have a great "dependency" on each other which is generally called "love." They have some feeling of dependency and they've heard the word love, so they put it on it. Certainly they have been attracted by eros. One is attracted to the other as a sexual mate. However, they have many interpersonal relationships other than sex. So, of course, it comes about that each wants the other to be controlled. "I want to control you." "You want to control I." So then the flight is on! The man accuses his wife of always trying to control him by nagging or by being overly dependent. She, in turn, blames him because he wants to be too independent, because he doesn't care anything about her and that he only uses her. And of course, this is a school but there is one factor lacking. We have the physical setup of the school; but neither of them understand the teaching. If one does, then there is a school. So a school is not a school until the teaching is present; and in order for the teaching to be present, there must be one who is a student of the teaching. As one is aware of the teaching, and uses it as a light to observe the everyday affairs that goes on in all the relationships one enters into--every interpersonal relationship through the day--one realizes one has been in a school all day long; and that one need not move out of one's house to find a school. That the school is there.
People have traveled far and wide but the Christ said, "Don't listen to people who tell you that the Christ is in the desert, or that He's in the mountains, or that He's in the inner chamber. Know you not that the Christ is within you?" So always if you have the teaching, then all the rest of the necessities for the school is provided by everyday life all around us.
Now, if we have the ideas of the school and forget to use them, then we have been to school all day and we were asleep and didn't know what went on. The whole idea of mankind being asleep means that he forgets or never did know the teaching, so he has no way of interpreting or understanding the outward manifestations of the interrelation between people as it relates to the inner man. The inner man is asleep; and without having the teaching, there is no way the inner man can awake. So we have a very great gift -- a gift which we use everyday and with the constant knowledge that we are in a school. Being aware of being in a school, we begin to see relationships that we never did see before.
We also see that in the school there is the constant effort of everybody in the school to set up ideals for everybody else, unknowingly. Once in a while somebody that is very conscious as an observer is not setting ideals, but ideals are being suggested to that one frequently; and if one should cease to observe for a few minutes, one may find one has been captured by an ideal. Once one has an ideal, one has made something important. And when one has made something important, one is an idolater for a few moments. And of course, all the stories of the great beings, who have been teachers through the ages, that on their way, they were tempted by every conceivable thing. It doesn't mean all is lost; it merely means one took a side road, and they got out on a side road where there are all sorts of things--one got off of that straight road that started at the narrow gate--and one is off.
But thank goodness, there is always a reminder so one can get back on the road. Some of us have studied and read the Book of Ecclesiastes on his many side trips. There is also a rather interesting book that, while not accurate in all its manifestations of describing the teachings, does have a certain amount of this trip--it is called "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyon. You might find it interesting to read. The writer had some of the teachings and some he didn't quite understand; but however, it is worthwhile if we care to read it. You probably read it as a child in an English Literature class somewhere and found it very boring and very far out. However, it is a rather interesting parable.
It is very interesting to see "what ought to be" being suggested constantly in the school. Now, when the school is brought together in a given spot-- and not using the one of everyday life as we are using now--you will notice that almost everyone has a "what ought to be" for all the rest: "They "ought to be doing more than they are doing", they "ought to be more awake", they "ought to understand better what the teaching said in any of the discussions," which usually goes on almost everyday; but everyday there is repetition of the day before as we are doing and assignments are made - it is also interesting to see how few seem to find the time to carry out the assignments. Why? They haven't seen the value of it. They haven't questioned the purpose of living yet. So the people in a formed school, you might say a formal one, are very exactly like the ones in everyday life. Many cannot see it has any value to it. It is very interesting to see how much bragging and blaming goes on. Many brag that they have seen more than others. They brag of every insight they have. They brag of the outcome of what they have discovered in every experiment that they ran. And they blame when things don't go to suit them. Again, it is still ignoring what? X-- Spirit is left out because Spirit is not sensed by the senses. It is sensed by the inner mind. It is sensed by being aware and seeing relationships.
It is very interesting to see in everyday existence, that a person can be given a privilege; and after they have had the privilege a little while, they mistake it for a right and feel very indignant if it has been taken away. Most of us see someone in everyday existence in a business or somewhere else that have been given a privilege. They have the privilege; and in a little while maybe the circumstances have changed, the business has been sold, or whatever; and they no longer have that privilege that was just given as a free gift by grace, you might say. All of a sudden they are very indignant that they are not having it. They feel they are very unjustly treated and that everything is unfair because they don't have this privilege any longer. But you see, privileges come and go. Seldom do we do anything to maintain them, enhance them, or gain any more. We only take a privilege for granted; and in a little while, consider it a right and start sticking up for it; and that, of course, is the best way in the world to lose a privilege.
Now what do you see when you see all things in relationship--all people in relationship is a school? It is very much as if you were looking at a circus clown. Most of the time a great number of people are making very trivial things very important. This is a very worthwhile place for everyone to pay attention. You know, the whole act of a clown is to take a very insignificant event or situation and make it very important. Of course, that is considered humor because it somewhat reminds us of what we do; and we don't have to think of it at the moment because the clowns have on clown suits. Suppose we begin to observe of all the trivia we make important. Every once in a while we all go to sleep yet--everyone of us--and when we go to sleep, the greatest tendency is to make a very insignificant something very important. Now, everything basically that we experience is an event and all events are what? They are here and they are gone. An event comes to pass and it passes for sure; and we are quite prone to make it very important.
Suppose someone bumps into you in a moment when you are a little asleep. Is it quite prone to make something important out of that? That the person was a blundering idiot, or what have you. It is also interesting to see when some driver in another automobile on the highway or freeway suddenly makes a maneuver that forces some change in direction. We have to wake up a moment and make a correction in the way the car is going to avoid a collision or some other accident of one sort or another. Do we see him as being asleep, or do we see him as being very negligent, sound asleep and somebody worthy of blame? That's when we forget that we are in a school because the school teaches us that we are to see all these people as asleep, and sleeping people do what? They do all sorts of funny things, don't they? But you see, we can begin to act like the clown - we can make a very important event out of an insignificant thing, because the man swerved in the road and you swerved out of his way, and X responded beautifully, no accident, no scratches, no cuts. Then how long do we sometimes stay indignant about it? How long do we blame the man? How many times do we repeat the story of that weirdo that we saw on the highway on the way home from work today? Something else.
We begin to see relationships in every group as a picture of man. So whether we have an organization that we might work with, or whether we attend some organization or other that we are around, or where we stand off as an observer and observe, we see the picture of man. If we read news events of the various conflicts between nations and between various powers, we will observe that there are two pictures of man, regardless of the size of the conglomerate, and that each feels that the other is mistreating them. Each is making insignificant events very important.
Another thing we may notice that in observing situations that the events are not all closely related together that are really related. You know things go one speed, we see the relationship. If they go much slower than that, we don't visually see it. So we usually don't inter-comprehend it because we have become totally dependent upon the visual stimuli. For instance, if a rabbit runs down the road and 45 minutes later a dog comes by, one seldom sees relationship between dogs and rabbits. However, if a rabbit comes scurrying by, and a few seconds later a dog comes scurrying by, we see a relationship - the pursued and the pursuer. But if there is too much time lag, we have already been distracted by something else, and we don't see that. This we have referred to somewhere as seeing a group of symptoms and the stress that precipitated it. This goes a little slower than the dog chasing the rabbit. This is usually spread apart 72 hours. If you were to see a fox go down the road on Tuesday and on Thursday afternoon you saw a hound coming down the road, you would probably not think of the hound as pursuing the fox; however, such may be the case. At least, there are many fox-hunters back in the hills of Kentucky and Missouri and Arkansas who can tell you that a hound can pick up a fox trail three days old. You will have to check that one out for yourself.
However we do see that we can begin to see there is a time lag between things that are in relationship. A person may eat a tainted food and several hours later become ill. There was a time lag. So our assignment for our practice this time is to see relationships between things that move slower or faster than man usually sees.
If some things move at a very high velocity, one doesn't see it at all. A bullet, for instance, one doesn't see. One can only see the effects of it, but there is still a relationship between the man who aimed the gun, and the deer who fell many feet away. Even though we did not see the bullet between, we comprehend that such is the case because of our experience with guns and missiles of various kinds.
Now we are going to use the same methods of seeing various interpersonal relationships which break into dissensions, and various things as not related on the immediate stimuli, because obviously, sometimes the immediate stimuli is not there; but it is due to a more remote stimuli, one of which moved at a higher velocity or slower velocity than which the visual apparatus usually can observe. For instance, you may be in a restaurant and you may observe a man come in and sit. And somebody greets him and lays a menu in front of him; and pretty soon he's giving the waitress a hard way to go. You cannot see any relationship between what the waitress is doing and the man's anger; but if you will observe that individual a little more, you may see that there is a more remote stimuli. Maybe he had a run-in with someone down the street two hours ago and he is still seething. So anyone who gets in front of him is going to hear his wrath. Now, what we particularly want to observe in this is the delay between the stimuli and the reaction in self. This is to give us more comprehension of others. We possibly cannot observe all the others - maybe a few who are in fairly close relationship - but certainly you can observe "self" on delayed stimuli or on anticipated stimuli. One may be expecting some unpleasant events to arise and one gets worked up inside as though it has already happened.
There is a little parable: A man had a flat tire on a lonely country road late at night. He went to change the tire and found that he had left the jack at home in the garage. So he had no jack to change the tire. He looked around and saw a light in a little house about a half mile away. So he thought about it and stomped the ground quite upset, thinking, "whatever made me leave the jack out of the car?" Then he remembered it was because his wife had asked him to get it out to fix her car. So he blamed her for a little bit. Then he started trudging down the road towards the light. As he was going, he began to anticipate something like this: "These farmers won't understand a man coming up here in a suit - they don't trust city slickers. He'll think I'm a city slicker, that I'm wanting his old jack and going to run off with it." By the time he got a few feet further, he anticipated in his 'dream' that the man would want a $10 deposit for the jack, and that he would have to pay it to borrow the jack, and be humiliated that he was thought of as some kind of crook before he could go fix it; and then he would have to take the jack back and get his $10 back and he would be delayed much longer. By the time he got a few more hundred feet, he decided that the farmer would probably want $20 deposit for the jack; and he was pretty much disturbed with himself. You see the man was sound asleep. He had been hit by second force [resistance] and forgotten everything, and maybe he never did know the difference; we don't know that part. But at least, he was touched by second force and by imagination. A little further on his way, he decided that the farmer would want $50 deposit on his jack, and this was just getting him worked up into a lather of temper. Just before he got to the house, all the lights went out. So then he was sure that the man had gone to bed and would be very angry when he got there and asked for the jack. But he went on anyway - the necessity had been increased until he had to go. He got to the door, tapped on the door, and somebody stuck a head out of a window and said: "Yes, what do you want?" And he said, "Oh, you and your blankity-blank jack, take it and go to hell!".