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(Tape 43)

Talk covers:
Working with others
Never try to solve a problem-instead…….
Struggle, conflict and resistance

Ordinarily we never pick up a book to read it, we don't listen to a talk, or sit down to have a private conversation with someone unless we have a practical purpose. We have a problem to solve; or we intend to gain something from it. That purpose is always seemingly predicated on the four dual basic urges of mammon--that "I" ought to gain pleasure, escape pain, gain attention, escape some disapproval, or "I" want to get over this sense of inferiority and feel superior one way or another--or "I" want to be able to control people. When we have this purpose, we block off the listening. We are listening for this particular purpose, so we turn off everything that doesn't seem to relate to it; and that which "I" feel might relate to it, "I" twist it around so it will fit. How much do we miss of what is said, in what we read because we are looking for one certain thing? We can go to "sleep" and go over rows and rows of paragraphs because we were scanning it to see where it would give us something we wanted. It is most interesting to hear a book quoted or even to "hear self quoted". It is most interesting! It doesn't come out at all like what has been said. If you had said it like the person quoted it, it would have solved a problem; and that was never the purpose of it in the beginning.

We approach things with a problem. We are never quite willing to let the problem sit for a while. We are always so busy finding solutions to problems, AND MOST OF WHAT WE CALL PROBLEMS ARE SOLUTIONS TO SOMETHING ELSE. It is, in all probability; that we have a lot of solutions and really no problems at all. {What is the solution to growth of a city? Isn't it pollution?} So maybe we can't stand too much more solutions. Problems are the outcome of the mind--the self--THAT IS STRUGGLING TO CHANGE SOMETHING. That's the problem - the mind that is looking to change something. The self wants to change WHAT IS into what it "ought to be", so that it will bring pleasure, comfort, attention and approval.

An entirely different type of mind or awareness must be present for at least a few minutes while one sees what is true. When you listen to anything; when you read anything; if you can set the problem aside, (DISIDENTIFY FROM THE PROBLEM}, and I does the reading, not allowing the "self" to get in and do all the judging. You know, "A" will say it's one thing, and "B" says it's another; and the turmoil is going on until one doesn't know what one has read. That's why it quoted rather oddly, because maybe "A" quotes it; maybe "B" quotes it, who knows?

WHEN YOU'RE NOT LOOKING OR READING FOR THE PURPOSE OF SOLVING A PROBLEM, YOU'LL FIND THAT THERE IS POSSIBLY SOMETHING THAT IS DESCRIBED THAT IS TRUE. Possibly if you are just listening to a discussion; and you are not listening for a certain purpose, you are listening to see what is being said--you are not going to apply it to making more money--you are not going to apply it to feeling better--you are not going to apply it to making your husband or wife behave better--or to get the children to behave; you just simply listen to hear what it says. It might be interesting. You see, if one is interested in everything, one is listening. But if one is in one of the "states of being" of the "walking sleep", one is "identified with the self", then one is listening to get over an anger--or how to get revenge--or how to get over boredom--or how to get over fear--or how to get over resentment--or how to get even, maybe.

YOU SEE, JUST LISTENING HAS ITS OWN EFFECT. {IT WORKS ON YOU - NOT YOU ON IT} - WHAT YOU'RE LISTENING TO - YOU HEAR A FACT, YOU HEAR A STATEMENT, YOU ARE PAYING ATTENTION. You see it as a "what is" description; you see some value in it regardless of what. It's just a truth. You know, an old statement is: "that it isn't all your struggles and efforts that make one free - it is the truth that frees one." But you know, we seldom ever just listen to see WHAT IS TRUE about what's being said; and what's the VALUE of it. We are looking at it for a purpose to do something--to serve mammon with it. You can't use anything that's true. It has its own effect, its own worth, and the very fact of discovering it, of uncovering it, brings about a complete revolution in the whole state of being, because that truth begins to be acted upon by X. One discovers truth. One doesn't use truth. Now, that "state of being", that total revolution--that transformation within one--most everyone seems somewhat interested in. We'd all like it. We don't know what it is, but we'd like to have it. But you see, we are a little afraid of a revolution in the being. What we really want is a revolution in the problems so the problems will all go away; but we have never seen that the "ideal" made the problem. We are trying to achieve the "ideal".

So you will be working with many people as the months go along. All of them will come to you with a problem. If you get caught in the trap of trying to solve their problem, they have caught you. If you can get them to see the "ideal" and not the problem, and they'll see the conflict and the struggle to change WHAT IS into "what ought to be." You get them to see that they have seen WHAT IS, but they didn't like it; and so they put value on "what ought to be"; and so they are in a "state of frustration" which is called a problem. They want "something" to fit some "ideal", and of course, we can't try to "help them get that ideal" because that would be contributing to their delinquency. We can only work the other way - to see if we can get them to question the whole purpose of living. If they can't, coo a while; and let them go.

Practically every person who comes to any of us has a certain thing that they want to be corrected, straightened out or something done to it. They don't come usually to find out what is making the problem. They don't come with the idea, "I don't know what's wrong, something is." They do not come with the idea, "I'm totally lost, and I don't know what the purpose of living is?" So we can let them work in the outer realm, the outer school, so to speak, for a while and see if they can begin to pay attention to "self". The first thing is to pay attention to "self" before one can do much else. That won't harm anyone if they don't do it--even though you tell them about it--and it doesn't waste anything even though they don't do it.

They come in wanting a person straightened out. They think they know what they need to have--if they could just find the way to "get it". They would like for you to "get it" for them; or, at least, tell them how to "get it". We can only go back to the Teaching, and we don't get sentimental and start "helping" people to get their "ideals". Even if we knew how, we wouldn't do that because as long as we aid them to "expect to work toward some ideal of non-disturbance--of non-challenge", then they can't see that everybody has a cross to bear--the cross of WHAT IS and the VALUE of what is. We all have to take up our cross; and then if we use the Teaching as a light , maybe that cross changes very decidedly; but it will still be WHAT IS and the VALUE of what is. But as we see differently, WHAT IS seems to undergo a transformation. And WHAT IS OF VALUE in WHAT IS, as we see differently, certainly undergoes a transformation. Of course, all the people who come to you with their problems, that problem, (that seems to be}, is out of their own confusion, and you certainly can't straighten it out.

You can't listen with wondering "what can I do about this?" We can only listen to them; and as we listen, we will hear the "self". We see the picture of man drawn out in words very clearly in front of us--IF WE JUST LISTEN. Then we can truly see the truth of what that person's difficulty is. We don't try to straighten out all their little things. "My husband drinks and doesn't treat me very nice." "My wife nags me." "My children don't obey me." "The boss is overbearing to me - he is very demanding, and he doesn't care a thing in the world about our rights" - and so on and on and on.

I think it was Winston Churchill who made a wild comment one time. He said, "Most everybody stumbles over truth every now and then, but they usually get up and dust themselves off and go on like nothing happened." The way we manage this is putting the problem aside. In trying to solve the pressing problem (that they wanted changed)--our attention can be diverted to it. Thereby, the truth that was handed out is ignored-and the whole difficulty that comes from a different direction is ignored.

So sometime we might use the idea that instead of solving the problem, lets see if we can understand the problem. Of course, the problem always turns out to be the self, sooner or later. Sometimes understanding the problem can get something started-it is to work with a person who has a potential, but it is only a way to see if you can actualize the potential to get them to see that there must be something haywire in the purpose of living that they have, (this whole idea of being non-disturbed). But, basically, most will not hear anything you have to say. There is nothing accomplished; nothing occurs, of course, when they only listen for a problem - "how to solve a problem". Today a letter came. It said, "Please send information." "My husband is in a mess and I hope he will read something that will straighten him out." He obviously didn't fit the "ideal".

So as we see what to work with people, we see that there is first a necessity to get the person to see that they have to find out something for self--that they can't go solving problems because most of the problem-solving only results in solutions--which are then seen as problems. The endless cycle of this wears them out. It is useless to work with someone unless something can be done. If the person is not in a position to work--to be knowing "self"--to consider something, and to make some discovery of WHAT IS GOING ON--then there is somebody else that one could be "working with" to more advantage. Who knows - maybe next week, next month, or next year, that person who couldn't work today, may get in such a state that their "necessity is so increased" that they will begin to question the whole purpose of living.

You see, one of the possibilities that we get caught in is that we have a tendency to be sentimental. The poor person is begging; (possibly with tears in their eyes, with a quake in the voice, and with a woebegone expression), and it looks like one would have to be very hard-hearted and very cruel not to try to help them in some way. But you see, here is where one sees WHAT IS and what is the VALUE of it. Unless one sees that there is no value in "being helpful", and that it is in all probability "harmful", and as we said, one of the things the person who has some awareness does is be considerate--yes, but he is HARMLESS. TO BE HARMLESS REQUIRES GREAT CONSIDERATION, considerable cognition, if you please; but to be "helpful" is so easy.

I can be helpful any minute. I can give a kind word--I can give a little reassurance--I can do all manner of things that will be "helpful".

The person may be very appreciative of it and "give me some approval" while I'm doing it, but I have been "harmful". I was not considerate--I did not make a contribution--I aided the person staying in bondage longer. Sometimes it would seem that one almost has to turn away in order to not see the agonizing expression on the person's face, to hear their quavering voice. But here is temptation-the temptation to be "helpful", but, perhaps, it is to see an "ideal" in the "self". You see mammon in all of his tricks bringing some pathetic poor person to you who says, "You always look so happy". "You always look like a light is shining off you", and "I know you could do something for me--Won't you please?"

If you try to give them some comfort, some pleasure, and relieve their pain a bit, you may have made them dependent on you. You may have gotten a good feeling out of it--but mammon caught us. He got us back to seeing the "ideal" of the world--that the whole idea to gain pleasure, escape pain-(maybe it sounds better if I say: to give pleasure, comfort, and to take away pain)--But you see this would be only "actualizing the ideal of the world for a few minutes", and then the person is dependent on you. Pretty soon you have a chain around your neck.

Some people who can understand, can work, and have come to the point where they have questioned the whole purpose of living; in other words, they are challenging mammon; but the others are still serving mammon, and they are still doing everything possible to gain pleasure and escape pain. They are the ones that will tempt you. You see, mammon uses them, I think, to bring you around, to challenge you to see if you will get caught trying to be "helpful" which, of course, is to get back into serving the world again.

Certainly one is not discourteous--certainly one is kind. But one continues to discuss: "Let's set the problem aside" or "Let's understand the problem". Now, you're saying, "You are in all this misery, but let's understand the problem." Then we go back to what a problem is. There is only one thing the person can really call a problem. That is conflict, struggle and resistance. They are synonymous--one and the same. One must be in a conflict with WHAT IS because it is not "what ought to be." One is struggling to change WHAT IS into what one thinks "ought to be" to achieve the "ideal", or one is resisting any second force--any resistance to what one has initiated and wants to do because that is what would make one pleasurable and comfortable. If one isn't looking for the "ideal", there is no such thing as second force interfering with what they have initiated because there is a "series of events" that they can "respond to it event by event".

So let's make a note of what is a problem! This is on one page because there will be people constantly inquiring of you, and they will have problems.

So what is a problem?

1. CONFLICT, STRUGGLE AND RESISTANCE.

2. HOW DOES IT COME ABOUT?
WHEN THERE IS A BELIEF IN AN "IDEAL" AND A STRUGGLE TOWARDS "WHAT OUGHT TO BE."

Then of course, there is conflict, struggle and resistance because one is struggling towards "an illusion". In order to understand the problem, one understands that the person is in conflict, struggle and resistance. This person begins to see "that this is the nature of their problem", one of those three aspects of the one resistance. Then they begin to understand the problem. They might begin to see that the "ideal is an illusion". If anyone sees the ideal as an illusion, they immediately have to question the purpose of living. If they see that the "ideal is an illusion", that it is purely a product of the imagination or suggestion from someone else's imagination, that over the years we have built up these ideals; and then the person starts to understand the problem rather than trying to solve the problem. So you might make another note: there is no attempt ever made to solve a problem. THERE IS NEVER AN ATTEMPT MADE TO SOLVE A PROBLEM.

3. The effort is to understand the problem.

4. The problem is always conflict, struggle and resistance between "what is" and what the person says 'ought to be" or the "ideal".

EVERYTHING COMES OUT AS A PROBLEM OR A FLAW IF ONE HAS AN IDEAL. THE IDEAL IS NOT REAL--IT IS AN ILLUSION--IT IS A FANTASY.

Disintegrating Factor

You might find it useful to make a little picture. On one side, two-thirds down the page, put WHAT IS. On the other side about one-third down, put WHAT OUGHT TO BE.

WHAT IS, of course, can be questioned of anyone; it is creation, is it not? Yes, that's agreeable.
"WHAT OUGHT TO BE" is uncreated. So UNCREATED goes under WHAT OUGHT TO BE.
If anything is created, it does exist. Yes, it exists; that is a fact. (so that goes under WHAT IS.)
Anything that "ought to be", that is uncreated--does not exist. (So that goes on the right-hand side under "WHAT OUGHT TO BE".)
Then under WHAT IS which is creation and does EXIST, one would have to say it is a fact. Yes, it's a fact. (So you would add fact to WHAT IS.)
On the other side, is it a fact? No! It's not a fact; it's uncreated--it doesn't exist--it's an illusion. (So illusion goes under the "WHAT OUGHT TO BE.)
OK. Then WHAT IS FACT IS TRUTH. Yes.

On the right-hand side the words all say it's a false impression, and one might get someone to see that they're struggling toward the pot of gold at the foot of a rainbow and that WHAT IS, is REAL, is FACT, is TRUTH; and "what ought to be" is uncreated-fantasy-imagination-illusion--and that one is trying to build an imaginary stairway from one to the other. One tries to achieve by going to the nonexistent, to a fantasy land, something that only exists as a product of imagination--some ideal state. If one works with people, this is sometimes a starting place.

Sometimes a starting point is the picture of man AS HE WAS DESIGNED and then as he is - that beautiful parable that tells the story of everybody's life--a very close parallel, starting with the conclusion that the "whole purpose of living is to be non-disturbed"; and following it one by one as he builds them up; seeing, then, that the struggle, conflict, and resistance is all within and there is no such thing as a problem out there.

ABOVE ALL, WE WANT TO BE AWARE OF THE SELF. The self will want to solve the problem, and I will observe and see that there is no problem; and I will take over the interview and begin to work with the person. It may, and it may not be that the person will ever awake sufficiently, at the moment at least, to begin to really "Work" to begin to observe self. They may be so entranced with the idea of the problem because it is not "what ought to be"; that they can't do a thing now. One day they'll be back again.

In the meantime, one has not "produced harm" anyway. One has only pointed out "let's study the problem" - not look for a solution. As one works in this way, one finds a certain number of people who honestly will use the work--see the beauty of it--see the value of it, and really apply it. One will be spared many who only want someone to make them comfortable. You can become, (if you're not careful and watch this trap), a mother or father figure to someone. They come to you for every comfort they can conceive of, and if at any time you're not available to comfort them, they will turn and rend you.

So one doesn't get caught in "solving problems." One will work with "understanding problems". One will work with anyone who wants to "understand the problem". One always seems to find time.

You may wonder why this is being discussed? You have already had a few people wanting to talk to you, because if you have applied the work, {as you have diligently observed the self, you look like a different person}, and someway or other you attract those people who realize there is a light. They want the light; but they don't know how to ask for it.

Then there are others who just see the light and are greedy to get it.

One must see who belongs in the outer school--and who can work on the inner levels, one who can advance to more worthwhile work, and who are actually candidates for transformation--and those who are only candidates for mammon.

Mammon has far more servants than Life does. I think you have observed that by now. Mammon has a greater number of servants than Life does. LIFE has few, and mammon has many. All that mammon does is consume them, and LIFE evolves them--transforms them--makes them creative--makes them bear tremendous wonderful fruit.

As one observes this, one sees who serves what; but what we are basically discussing is to be aware that it is possible to be "harmful both to others, and to self", because if one is harmful, one is caught back in working towards an "ideal". Whether you are working towards the ideal for this one, or for one out there, it is all the same. One gets caught by mammon.