Explanations vs facts
Being comfortable with the unknown vs wanting to be secure
The what and the how
One area of man, when he begins to dis-identify from the self, and to observe the self, is frequently missed. We find in many, many people as they observe the self, that there are certain things that are not noticed because they are so generally accepted as being of great value. It seems that the constant suggestion from without and the suggestion from within cause I to fail to notice that this is a very decided deception--a piece of conditioning that may prevent one from experiencing certain higher spiritual experiences.
We will refer to explanations, and we will probably call them sacred cows, because "explanations" are what we feel are necessary in the conditioned man. He always feels an explanation is necessary for every phenomena.
It might be interesting to look at the word "ex-plan-a-tion." "Ex" means it has gone away. It was "plain," and it has gone away from plainness. Here is a simple fact. It has a certain value, but immediately that peculiar word "why" pops up and says, "Why did it do that?" Man can string words together or use one word with a question mark after it, and feels he has asked a question. The word "why" is really not a question. Somewhere we read that "why" was a scorpion with a thousand tails; and every time you broke one off, it had two more grow in its place. No matter what explanation you get for one "why," then the next question is "Why that?" "Why" is it that way? So an explanation is given. We don't require an explanation for a given phenomena. It is there.
I don't require an explanation as to "why" the temperature is 68 degrees or "why it suddenly falls to 22 degrees". It did. The point is "What do I want to do about it? What do I see is the fact? What is the value that would be required? But we have been told, especially by the decision that says, "believe and do as you are told by your authorities", that we must believe and defend our explanations. In other words, they really are only SPECULATIONS. We believe that the speculation is the one and only explanation that is acceptable, and to question the explanation is to question the authorities because what they really give is an explanation--and we know that we must not ask any questions--or question the veracity of the explanation of any given authority because the authority gets quite disturbed if we do.
When there is a provable fact involved: the car won't start because the gas tank is empty, we make a discovery of that fact rather than have merely an "explanation". Now, if we say the gas tank is empty, and the car won't start; we have made a discovery, and we have verified that fact by checking the gas gauge, shaking the car, or sticking a match down in the gas tank (that usually will answer you very quickly, I am told). We make a discovery of facts, and those don't require any explanations at all.
You see, people only fight over explanations. They don't fight over facts. The fact is something that is agreed upon that there is a given event taking place, but then the "explanation" for the event causes considerable hassle among people.
The explanation of a dream can be used to my advantage, but the human mind can get hung up on all those explanations. One can take any dream state or anything else, and use it as a symbol; and consequently, they can be very useful to illustrate a point--to describe a parallel--to get across something that you want to do.
An explanation has uses, but is not to be accepted as fact--or that it is the only explanation. We have frequently suggested to people that if they could see at least two explanations, they wouldn't get hung up on any one explanation. They would know that explanations are all tentative, and something that would lead to discovery. As long as we have two or more explanations for a given event; then if we are really interested, we could begin to experiment to discover a fact--then we no longer need an explanation. But if we only have one explanation, we are very apt to defend that explanation as being a "fact", and this defense of explanations can lead to many things. Vanity accepts one explanation as fact, and then pride defends it. This can bring about world wars--believe it or not.
Great numbers of people attach themselves to an explanation and they gather together in agreement. What would you call that then?--great numbers of people accepting an explanation and gathering themselves in a group in agreement? We probably would say that that is an organization, or an ideology, or some such thing.
If you want to get yourself in some good trouble, maybe even risk your life, go question those explanations of that group. You will find that they are quite concerned in maintaining the explanation as a "sacred cow". It is considered "sacred" and no one must question it, because the questioning of it indicates heresy--and you may find your very life's existence threatened as a living walking being.
But if you'll always give at least two explanations for everything, you will find that you do not have to defend them; and it is interesting if we will pursue a number of things that we have as explanations which we have accepted as facts--they may prove to remove many obstructions to experiencing other states of being. [from Marsha…….that could be from the state of fear to the state of vital interest.]
So this week we will make a chart that says: EXPLANATIONS - ARE THEY FACTS?
We will begin to look at many things that were, heretofore, accepted as a fact that really are only an explanation of a given phenomena. Now, where there is only one explanation of a phenomena of which we cannot make a discovery, we can leave it alone; but most often we feel that we have to form an explanation, or somebody comes along and provides an explanation--and many times we have set ourselves up in a place where we will be in a state of confusion. We may even start defending it when somebody comes along and questions it, and we unknowingly have an idol.
But if one will observe "for everything that we don't know about", that there is a given phenomena, (and we can't see how all of its workings are), we will see that one can form two or more hypotheses which is the scientific means. A scientist knows that his hypotheses are only tentative, but it gives him a start for his means of working. We can start with an idea or with the hypothesis that it is possible for a man to have a higher state of being. Now, that is only a hypothesis, and we know it is such.
We also start with a hypothesis that it is possible for a man to dis-identify from the self and have a point of awareness,--I, that observes the "self" without condemning or justifying. It is to be totally acquainted with the self over a period of time. That is a hypothesis. But then a hypothesis is subject to an experiment.
So we can begin to experiment. If the experiment seems to carry out, we can advance the hypothesis to a state of a theory. Then if the theory has many more experiments run on it, all in the attempt to disprove the theory--not to prove it--make every effort to disprove the possible hypothesis or theory--then it advances to a state of high degree of probability if we cannot disprove the hypothesis.
But an explanation is taken as an article of belief, (ordinarily called an article of faith) and on this explanation we are either loyal, or we are disloyal. We either defend it with our very life; or we are weaklings and are not strong in the faith of believing this particular explanation.
Testing the theory
It is most interesting to begin to ask people "why." Know what you are doing--that you are asking a really unanswerable question, and see what they can do. When they have given an answer, then ask the next question: "Why do you think it is that way? Why do you think that this explanation is correct? Why is the world so formed that it is?"
We can observe from self-observation that the infant made a decision that the whole purpose of living is to be non disturbed. We can observe "self" and see what it is working at. We could go around and check out as many little ones as we can find, and there is usually quite an adequate crop of them. We will find that non-disturbance is what he is working on. In other words, his behavior, his attitude, everything about him indicates what he is really valuing. Now, we don't have to say "why" he is doing this. I don't know. Do you? He does. We could give some tentative hypothesis that he comes into a world and finds all sorts of stimuli, but that is a parable.
The picture of man is a parable of the existence of every man. A parable is a parallel. So the fact is, that we see the child does this; but we don't know "why" he does it.
We have frequently heard the question: "Well, "why" did the Creator put man here on earth when he knows that he would make this decision and begin to serve mammon?" You see, that is a hypothesis. The question is improperly put. We don't know the answer, but the point is we can work with the fact. We can work with the fact that man is conditioned; but we could hypothecate and philosophize for the next thousand years as to "why" man is subject to conditioning. "Why" does he become conditioned? We can only observe a fact, and a fact we can always deal with. The explanation cannot be dealt with because it is only a hypothesis. It is a possible explanation based on something in the mind--imagining or coming to some conclusion without the process of experimenting with the idea.
Now if one is always giving explanations to find out "why" something is, then one is on a merry-go-round; and one goes round and round and round. But if one is experimenting to see WHAT IS, and to see WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT, then one is on a straight and narrow path. If you will observe, you will find many more people asking "WHY" SOMETHING IS, rather than experimenting as to WHAT IS THE FACT, and WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT. WHAT IS the value of the fact? While "what is" really does exist, "it has a value". We will see that the conditioned mind, the conditioned self, is very busy making explanations, defending explanations, and hypothecating as to how the situation can be prevented; or what the "ideal situation" would be that would be different from WHAT IS. They will explain how man would be better off under another circumstance; and nobody has ever tried it yet. So man CAN live without explanations, but most often we live by explanations--one which we must defend.
So we are going to observe this week these explanations, and it is very easy to discover what an explanation is. It is an answer to a "why" question. Now all of us start off in childhood asking many "why" questions, "Why this?" A mother calls her child and says, "Come in the house." The child says, "Why?" Mother says, "Because it is getting dark or it's getting cold." He says, "Why is it getting dark or cold?" as the case may be; and she says, "It is because the sun is going down, or because there is a cold front coming through." He says, "Why does the sun go down?" And mother says, "Because the earth turned around." He says, "Why does the earth turn around?" And mother runs out of explanations and says, "Shut up and come in the house!"
To be caught in explanations is to be in a prison--a prison where one is caught in a trap that goes round and round and round like the cage that a squirrel is in. One is constantly defending the explanation, and other people have other explanations for those same phenomena; and they are defending theirs. Do you know what happens? A fight! And a fight on a certain scale is called war, and on a certain other scale is called "world war."
So the idea of being secure at all times possibly demands explanations, because most of us seem to be uncomfortable with the unknown. So in order to gain comfort and pleasure when we meet a fact, and it is somewhat unknown to us--then comes the scramble for an explanation. Once we have come to the explanation, then comes the defense of that explanation. So we observe, again, that a person is not interested in explanations unless he is seeking for security. This search for security demands an explanation, and then the person has a false feeling that he is no longer in the unknown. You probably will observe in whatever town you live that there are many palmists, astrologers and fortune tellers - all of whom pretend that they are capable of telling the person the future. So they are quite busy. Now if the person is uncomfortable with the unknown, he will seek the quackery of fortune telling. If he is quite comfortable with the unknown--seeing life as ever changing, unfolding; and knowing that X will always handle every situation as it arises--then there is no struggle to have the unknown made known by an explanation, foretelling, prophecy, or any other such thing.
The Christ advised people that if they were picked up by the judges or by the police and taken to the magistrate, they were not to plan their defense--not to try to figure out what they should give as an explanation of their behavior because as they were in a place where words were required, they would be put in their mouths at that moment.
This is knowing X, knowing that whatever one reports to X, X does the appropriate thing for what is reported. But you see, when one is looking for explanations, and to foretell the future--to have everything known because one is insecure with the unknown--one doesn't believe--one has not experienced--or one hasn't even seen the manifestations of X.
One who does not see the manifestations of X, at least, must be considered very blind spiritually. One has seen a dead body and sees that it can do nothing. One sees a living being, and that that body is performing all sorts of intricate actions--that something invisible--something that is not material--that something invisible is bringing about all that functioning. That something invisible--when it is there--there is beauty, warmth, intelligence, activity, great skills, and great grace of movement. In the split second that that something--which we refer to as X (Spirit), is not there--then it begins to be cold, rigid, has no motion, and falls flat.
So anyone who doesn't see X is, of course, blind; and only the blind seek for explanations to try to make them comfortable in the darkness. But the explanation is not a light. It is only the promise of a light. Man hungers for light, and light he can only have when he discovers for himself that I can observe the "self" and that begins to throw all manner of light into that dark area--much of whose corners are filled up with explanations.
So we are going to observe the explanations. We are putting more light into that area called the self. Possibly we are putting a light where we had forgotten to throw the light before because the not "I's" who provide all the explanations have seemed to be so respectable. We never thought of looking at explanations as "bits of conditioning" based upon the "urge to be secure" which is the "urge to have the ideal", because the only hope for security is to have the ideal of non disturbance.
Being comfortable with the unknown
So when one wants security, one wants assurance. One doesn't want an unknown; but you see, it is always unknown--what the next moment holds is unknown. What would have happened if you had gone somewhere instead of what you are doing at this moment--had you gone out to a party, had you gone to a show, or had you gone to visit some neighbor? You don't know what would have happened.
You see, we live in an unknown that is a challenge moment to moment; and what more joyful state of existence could there be--to live in a continual state of surprise--of wonder--without trying to be secure by knowing "what ought to be" and not trying to be secure by explaining every phenomena--by stating every situation with a philosophy as to the explanation. One can "see a fact" and "can see the value of the fact to one at this moment". X then responds; and one doesn't need to have the explanation. One doesn't need to know the future. One doesn't need to have security.
There is a legend told by the Hopi Indians that their villages are never built by a river because a man who has his fields by the river can gain irrigation, but the Hopi's fields are on the high barren deserts and high mesas--he has no irrigation ditches in his field; so he must live by his faith--his ability to contact his God--and that the rains come. It is an interesting thing that maybe we could all live on a high mesa far from the river of "explanations" so that we can depend on reporting accurately to X THE FACT and the VALUE OF THE FACT as we see it at the moment. X operates upon it, and no explanation is required. In fact, it would be rather a fallacy. It is like trying to live where one could always have the irrigation water; and of course, that water really doesn't provide much except it gives one a feeling of assurance--that I know--that I am not in the unknown because one is frightened of the unknown.
Obviously, we see that we can ask "why?" That is possible; but can you ever answer it? Or is "why" the scorpion with the thousand tails that when you break off one, it grows two more. In order to see the WHAT of any situation, we don't have to know "why" the WHAT IS is present, and we don't have to know HOW to do anything about it. X is quite capable of taking care of the HOW. We only give X the WHAT, and the VALUE OF THE WHAT IS to us at this moment. We don't have to say why it happened. X is uninterested--only mammon---and mammon enjoys this because it keeps everyone in conflict and struggle. If there is a literal devil, I can see that one of his greatest tools is the one word "why" with a question mark after it, because then he gets people to invent explanations. Once one person gets an explanation; and another one gets an explanation--they can fight. If one person gets a explanation and gets many others to agree that his explanation is correct; and, at the same time, another person gets many others to agree that his explanation is correct on the other side, then we have war and we have mutual eradication of human beings. It is the ultimate of sleep.
Possibly we can be awake somewhat more if we are aware of the explanations that we have not taken out and examined in the light of I observing the "self". Much of the self is explanations, so we may have ignored this little corner of explanations. It hasn't been specifically brought up before.
So this week we are looking for explanations. We are going to write down the ones we have that have been accepted and have not been investigated--and we are going to see if they are of any use to us. If they can be investigated, one can make a discovery; and it ceases to be an explanation--it is a fact. If it cannot be investigated, one sees the uselessness of the explanation in the first place. IT ISN'T GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING.
In the wintertime when the temperature is 14 degrees below zero, should I go into a long explanation as to "why" the temperature is 14 degrees below zero--or should I build a fire?