Story of Andrew and clown suits
Giving teaching to others in depth
The idea of the world of improving the self and most especially of "improving other selves" so that everything will be "good and wonderful" is constantly being suggested to one as a very desirable endeavor. One sometimes gets caught up in this. To illustrate the point, let's study a little parable; and we will consider this parable in relation to everything that we see for a while.
Andrew, a student of living, spent much time pondering heavy over unusual and ancient books. He spent much time in his library, which was made up of many shelves of books. He usually had three or more on his large table open for study at all times. Early one morning after studying his books all night in search of the truth that would free him from his sense of frustration of not understanding how so much confusion, pain, misery and misunderstanding could plague the human race, Andrew left the books and walked out into the morning sun. As he walked along the dirty streets of the village where he lived, he came upon a man and woman screaming vile words at each other, gesturing wildly with their hands towards each other. This is the sort of thing Andrew hoped to find the truth to prevent. Soon the man bodily struck the woman, pushed her to the ground, and ran away. Andrew helped the woman to her feet, and was rudely pushed away by the woman, who ran into her house without so much as a thank you or a backward look to Andrew.
Andrew walked on his way; and as he came to the business section of the city, he came upon a store owner berating an employee for some past event, some minor failure. The big employer towered over the little employee in a most threatening way. Again, Andrew was filled with pity and inner agony at the lack of truth that made such behavior possible. Just then one of the employee's allies arrived and ran up to the employer and plunged a knife into his back. The employee and his ally dragged the employer into the shop, locked the shop from the inside; and all was quiet.
Andrew went on weighed down with a deep sense of guilt that he had been unable to find the truth from all his years of study of his books to prevent such crises in human relationships. He had seen so much misery in his short walk already this lovely morning. As Andrew ambles on his way toward the edge of town, he saw that a circus tent surrounded by circus wagons had been set up during the night. In hopes of escaping the feeling of depression for his lack of discovery and the many crises he knew were in the world, and all the agony he saw going on, he decided to go to the circus. He had never been to such a "waste of time" in his life as all his possible free time had been spent in search of the truth to remake the world into a safe, secure and happy place. Andrew walked about the circus grounds with all the hurry, noise and short tempers of the circus tent show people until show time. Then he was seated near the center ring in the big top along with lots of other people shoving each other and arguing over who had what seat.
Suddenly there was a blare of band music and the center ring was filled with clowns. Just in front of Andrew a man clown and a woman clown, acting the part of man and wife, loudly berated each other, threatened to strike each other and miss, almost falling down. Finally the husband clown connected with one of his wild swings and knocked the wife clown down to the ground. All the people including Andrew are convulsing with laughter. Then a very sad looking clown came to the wife and got her up on her feet. She clobbered him and went to the door of the stage. Still more laughter. Quickly to the other side of the ring another word battle broke out between a large employer clown and a little employee clown. Another clown came up behind the little clown and jerked a four foot sword out of his baggy pants and proceeded to run the big employer clown through and through. Then after excitedly running about, while the audience including Andrew, howled with laughter, the two little clowns dragged the big employer clown away by the feet. The entire big top was a din of laughter.
Suddenly, Andrew had a flashback in his mind of the morning and realized he had just seen a duplicate of the morning events in the village at which he was so disturbed, except that when the events were acted out with clown suits and masks, he found them very comical. Andrew's face shining with enlightenment, arose and left the big top while the band played on. Andrew had found the truth he had so long searched for. He had seen the joke and nothing in the world needed to be changed--JUST SEE IT LIKE IT IS--THEY ALL HAVE CLOWN SUITS ON, BUT THEY DON'T KNOW IT. Andrew, for the first time in his life, is seen walking through the streets of the village smiling and swinging his whole being, seeing all the people in the village with their clown suits and masks. A quotation from one of the books came to his mind "KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL MAKE YOU FREE." Andrew really felt free. He has seen the truth, which is another way of saying he has seen the joke.
As in all parables, it is not in exact parallel, but it illustrates the point that the conditioned man acts out many things. He has many troubles. He is frustrated and aggravated. He indulges in wars - all mechanically. He does not understand WHAT IS GOING ON, because first one "Not I" and then another takes over. MANY COMPASSIONATE SOULS, ALSO CONDITIONED WITHIN, MAKE A GREAT PRODUCTION OF TRYING TO BUILD A SOCIETY, TRYING TO BUILD SOME KIND OF CIVILIZATION WHERE ALL WILL BE SERENE, QUIET AND PEACEFUL--AND WHERE ALL THESE CONDITIONED PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER--AND ALL WILL BE LOVE.
You see, this is what happens when a person comes upon something and doesn't have the Teaching to give them a point. They think it can be done with mechanical means: "If we could just eliminate all slums, we would then have everybody so happy because they would be living in beautiful houses." Of course, they think living in beautiful houses will make them happy!!! They haven't wandered over to the other side of town and seen the people who live in mansions and beautiful homes with costly furniture, lovely carpets, surrounded by beautiful volumes of books, and that they are still miserable inside.
You see, we are all caught like Andrew - thinking that something on the outside can change the situation. We are deceived by the appearances of the physical body, and we hear the words, we hear the moans, we see the tears, and the agony of man. We feel that something could be done. We try with all our might, but nothing is done except interference; and one gets clobbered for it as Andrew got clobbered by the wife when her husband knocked her to the ground and he went away.
But in the circus, he begins to see it in a different light because here it was exaggerated. They had on clown suits, which says this is a parody of everyday existence. If you have ever observed clowns, you will see that their basic technique of producing laughter is that they take insignificant events and make them very, very important. And as we wander about observing all those wonderful people, who are conditioned; we can observe that "I" is sound asleep, and that those make up the greater population. They have never had the opportunity to wake up because they have never questioned the purpose of living. Without questioning, they don't get the opportunity. They go on and on year in and year out. EVERY CONCEIVABLE KIND OF EFFORT IS MADE TO MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE, BUT NO EFFORT IS EVER SPENT IN TRYING TO WAKE THEM UP. IT IS ALL BASICALLY TO TRY TO PUT THEM TO SLEEP. You see, if they are disturbed or upset, then what we want to do is make them comfortable, so then they will sleep. Of course, in their sleep they may have nightmares; and they get a little violent here and there--maybe very violent, but it is not due to intention. It is not due to evilness in the person. It is due to conditioning, and as we understand that this conditioning comes in two versions: one from the very early establishment of the being, to stick up for his rights, to complain, and to blame; and from the other side, which was conditioned by the environment - to control him to make him be what is called "good," to be non disturbing to others-the two sides setting this conflict into existence.
One sees conflict as the basic, behind all manner of violence, between all manner of disorder, whether it be physical disorder in one person commonly called "dis-ease," whether it be called mental disorder--emotional upsets--or whether it be to the extent of crime (as we call it on the streets) - where one person is trying to survive at the expense of another. Another one is totally involved in drugs. It is all from the conflict, and the conflict is two basic ideas of conditioning, two basic ideas to gain the "ideal of the world". So as we can observe all these things, (and without having any self-knowing, it might arouse our compassion. It might arouse our sympathies, and we might even begin to be a "do-gooder," a so-called social worker of one form or another). We may try TO SALVAGE THESE PEOPLE. NOW, TO SALVAGE THEM WOULD BE WONDERFUL, BUT IT WOULD BE TO SALVAGE THE AWARENESS from that area which has been lost.
After all, the Great Teacher said he came to seek out and save that which was lost in the House of Israel. What has been lost is our CONSCIOUS AWARENESS. What needs to be salvaged? To salvage the awareness which is sometimes called the soul or the psyche. WHO CAN DO IT? ONLY THE PERSON INVOLVED. He must have TEACHING from a higher mind, from a realm beyond any human mind. Some human mind can bring him the principles, the ideas of the teaching--but only the person can apply them. When he can apply them, he is salvaged. He salvages one spot by one spot, square inch by square inch in the realm of awareness. He salvages it from the conditioning, from the four dual basic urges, (as it is sometimes called), of mammon. He takes that soul away from mammon. That "self" that mammon originated is cast out. This could be called "casting out demons." It is also called "raising the dead," getting I up to be the observer. It is called "cleansing the leper," because all those bits of conditioning are leprous. They are a destructive element to the awareness. They have diseased it - made it not-at-ease - totally brought it into destruction. It is to "heal the blind" because the one is blind as to "what is" and what one's purpose is; and what the purpose of living is--the whole idea of being on earth. All of it is lost in that completed thing. So it is to raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out demons, and heal the blind.
All of this is what one is doing when one is observing the self. Then I remembers to be on the job. Yet all too often we do not value that sufficiently. We see it as of a small value. We begin to see relieving pain as of greater value.
You see, pain is not bad. It is a signal. It is X speaking. But we put more value on relieving pain than we do in remembering to observe the self, to observe suggestion, to observe the world, to observe the great games that are going on. We put the value on relieving pain not only in self, but in others. Of course, pain in others (some times if we are sympathetic), gives pain here. But sometimes that pain is of great value, and it can be used. It may increase one's necessity to the point of remembering to observe the self. To observe all the negative emotions and what they bring about--to observe the tremendous load one carries of the accounts receivable against almost everyone one has ever been in contact with--the accounts receivable against society for allowing suffering in the world.
You see, the hero of the story, Andrew, had great accounts receivable against life because he said it was evil and bad, and that somewhere he could find the truth that sets men free. He found it somewhere along the way when he saw that one of the things is not to make things important, and when it was acted out in a parody, he saw it as something that is conditioned into man. He saw the truth; and that as one can see that truth, one is free within. One then has taken the beam out of one's own eye; and it is possible to work with another to get the speck out of their eye. One might provide them with the mirror. One might provide the water to wash it out. One might provide something that another could work with; but you see, we ordinarily start out to do all these things while we still have some pretty large impediments within.
When one has sufficiently removed the obstructions by having observed all the things and reported them to X, and X has removed those obstructions, one will EXPERIENCE SEEING DIFFERENTLY. One EXPERIENCES LOVE. One EXPERIENCES FAITH and GRACE. One is CONSIDERATE which means one is considering everyone that one is around. One is considering THEIR TRUE SITUATION. One is considering the source of the behavior--one observes and knows that it is not willful--that it is a piece of conditioning that is telling X a falsehood, and that X is operating upon that misinformation as though it is true, because that conditioning speaks in the name of I.
So when one observes this, one begins to value the TEACHING--one begins to value observing--and one begins to value one's nature as being the observing function of X - the awareness function. Then one begins to serve.
Before one is a master, one is a servant; and until one sees that a servant is faithful at all times, one could not be entrusted to be a master. The servant is necessary; and it is a time when one sees joy in the serving--not because one feels one will get a reward--or because one feels it's degrading--or that one is hoping to avoid any pain--it is simply seeing the nature of man and being that servant - serving X.
How do we serve X? By reporting WHAT IS and the VALUE of it; by reporting what is: that there is a piece of conditioning, by reporting the situation around one accurately--then one is serving X. Possibly one would never want anything else if one really discovers the joy of serving X. Possibly one would wish that one could continue in that capacity forever. Truly one will, but one is given other chores in the outside world--in the outer world. In the inner world one is always a servant.
In the outer world one serves in a different way, and that way is to share with others when they are asking, when they are questioning the purpose of living; one shares with them little by little - not all at once because one does not throw more and more seed on the rocky soil if it's going away. One doesn't throw more and more seed on shallow soil. One does not throw more and more seed in the brambles. One throws seed on good soil. So one plants slowly, very slowly. It is not the speed. It is the completeness. It is not the number of people. It is giving what is needful to the person who is asking. If one gives more than the person can use at that moment, one is being harmful to that person because they will only scatter it around. So one gives to each according to their ability to assimilate it. You wouldn't give a great amount of food to a little child that couldn't assimilate it. If he didn't eat it, you would feel upset. We give him what he can assimilate. As Paul says, "We give pap to babies, infants, the young in Christ." The young in the teaching receive pap, milk, things that are easy to handle little by little.
Strong men can eat stronger food. So of course, stronger material is given--ever a more challenge to observe another facet of that monster that has taken over the awareness, the "self" which has taken it over - a two-headed monster, "A" and "B." As one observes more and more facets of it; then, of course, one can give more and more of the teaching, but one is extremely heedful of where it is given and how much is given at a time. To give more than a person could eat would be harmful to them, to force it down them, to cover them up with food; but one serves it graciously as it is capable of being used. A little gives strength; and in a little while, they can assimilate more. So let's be very heedful of what we share, but never with the idea that they shouldn't have it, but with the wisdom of seeing how much is of value to the person at this moment, because there is an abundance. Somewhere it is said, "You have been freely given. Freely give!" Yes, but you are given step by step and by the same token, we give step by step wherever it is. It requires considerable awareness not to put out more than the person can use at a given moment.
There are many stories of people having received three wishes; and after wishing the wishes, they really had nothing more when they completed their wishes than they had before. There is an old story about a very poor couple in the feudal days of Europe. They were so poor--in utter poverty--and everyday they prayed that some celestial creature would give them three gifts.
After many years, one time a celestial creature did show up and said, "You have your three wishes. Use them wisely." So the old couple sat down and began to very carefully consider how they were going to use them. They told themselves that they wouldn't be rash and use them suddenly. The dear lady was preparing the only food they had in the house, some oil and water to make a gravy that they could pour over some dry bread they had. So she was stirring the gravy with an old wooden spoon that she'd had since they were first married. It was probably their one and only wedding gift - a wooden spoon. It had been around and around the rim of the skillet for years. They were so delighted, and while talking about what they were going to do with their wonderful good luck (that they had the three wishes), she snapped the spoon in two. She said, "Oh drat, I wish I had a new spoon." Instantly, in her hand-clap -- was a new wooden spoon. Her husband became very indignant and very upset--highly emotional--and said, "You have wasted one of our precious three wishes, and we'll never get another one." And he got all worked up; you know, the conditioning went into effect. She was to blame...she had ruined the whole ideal...he got so excited that he said, "I wish you had it struck down your throat," and-blap -- there, it was down her throat; and, of course, they had to use the third wish to get it out!
So people can only use what they can use--what they are capable of--and any other given to them is a pure waste.