Masthead Image


Unknown Workshop*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[I'm not sure which tape this came from, but the exercise is certainly valuable. It is a worthwhile effort and the results are fun to watch and experience. It is sometimes difficult to remember to use "choosing how I'm going to see people" and the temptation is to stay with the derogatory picture we have of a person. Sometimes the picture originated from an experience we had with them. Sometimes the false picture came from an opinion we accepted from a third party. Whatever we have accepted as a "picture" of anybody is static. We will automatically act on that and increase misery and lower our "state of being." Thanks to this excerpt, we can discover that our derogatory picture just may be "false"; and we can change it into something that works for us which can aid us in "keeping the mood up" and "not making anything important."

We pick up this excerpt as someone is stating to Dr. Bob that they believe that in a romantic relationship, the other person makes them happy. And what is happy anyway? My discovery is that "happy" kind of comes and goes and my "inner state" has a lot to do with it.]

Here we go:

(In romantic relationships, another person is making you happy)

Oh, I wouldn't think so. No, No, No. I've very happy that I have her around; but she's not making it. No doubt, the way I see her certainly contributes to my well being.

(Ok, contributes to it then.)

I said the way I see her. You see, if I looked at her like she's gonna be picking on me; and I'm dependent then, I'm getting myself in a box. You'd be far from what you this is happy. I can choose how I'm going to see everyone. Now once I make up my mind how I'm going to see them; I put it in the intellect. Then that's where I'm going to see them from now on.

(Slow down--it's easier with some than with others.)

It is? I think I can choose how I'm going to see everybody. Now I'm particular how I choose to see some people. I think I can choose how I'm going to see anybody in this room, or any other people.

(Now Robert, someone can walk through that room in a fairly high state of being, right?)

Like the one in the door there.

(She walks in and I pick up on her state of being, and it's very pleasurable to be around. That doesn't take a lot of work on my part either.)

I choose how I'm going to see Miss Joy. I chose to see her as a very dynamic lady a long time ago.

(I know you told me.)

That's the way it turns out, ok? But I choose to see her that way. Now somebody else could choose to see her as a damn show-off. I choose to see her as a very dynamic lady. I did that a long time ago. Now I could just as easily have seen her as a "show off."

(It's much nicer to see her as a dynamic lady.)

It sure pleases me much better.

(Well, she sort of is--you know what I mean?)

She's just as much of a "show-off" as she is a dynamic lady if I allowed myself to see her that way, right Hon? We can do it either way. Even she knows that. I can be described as "smart ass" with the greatest of ease--probably very accurately, it's according to how you choose to see me.

Now we can choose how we want to see everybody.

Now we think that "I AM A GREAT JUDGE OF HUMAN NATURE." That's the misconception--we're not! I see people like I want to see them. If I want to see someone as the most lovely human I've ever met, that's the way I'll always see that person.

(I'm doing something wrong Robert.)

I wouldn't doubt it, what's that?

(I don't know. It's awfully hard to see them so that I have a nice "state of being.")

If I saw Miss Joy as a SA some time ago, now I have a very hard time seeing her as a dynamic lady. I would keep going back to the old way until I kicked that one out and said "Well, I don't choose to see her that way." "I'm not going to do it, I'm going to choose to see her this way." In other words, I can change the program in any computer in the world, right? But you've got to know what's in there first--you can't have both the "new one" and the "old one" because then you get gobbledygook when it comes out, ok.

What we basically try to do is reprogram this computer. The intellect is a computer. The intellect is a, product of education. It is a product of our own choices. It saves tremendous amount of time because we don't have to check everything out by being aware of everything we do and say at every moment. We've got certain conclusions about our activities. We are able to do them automatically with the programming we have in the intellect such as driving a car, typing, etc. This works well for activities, but not in how we see people.

Now we go along and put one in there; and then sometime later we decide to put another one about the same thing. Now I couldn't carry two [opposing views] about [someone.] I couldn't do that without getting utter confusion; so I have to throw out the one that I don't want.

So periodically I drive some where just floating along to go make a call or to another town in the car. I use that time to check on what's in the intellect--how I see various and sundry things, people and events and so forth. Now I cannot have this and this in here at the same time. I can put both views in there, but then I've got nothing but chaos coming out--conflict. So, I say well, this one doesn't fit my purpose at all, I'm taking it out and leave the one I want. Now I can function fine, ok?

If you have two mutually exclusive ways of seeing the same person, situation or event, it won't work--you'll have conflict.

(She is someone who has a fairly confused state of mind.)

That's very possible [and is] a way of looking at it. Now we could say that's one way of seeing it. I could see some other.

(She's also very energetic.)

[You could also see her as having] a very quick mind. She can have many subjects in the same minute. She's quick on the uptake.

(So would you say seeing it as confused would be inaccurate--it wouldn't be factual.)

It would be whatever you want to see it. I choose to see her as having a very rapid mind; but I could also see her as confused--whichever I choose is the way I'm going to experience it.

If you look at it as [though] she's very quick--she can handle many subjects in a minute.

(Is that factual?)

I don't know that ANY of them are factual, it's the way I choose to see her for my association with her.

(Is there a certain ability to see things as they are?)

In people--no, they're all changeable. People are like we choose to see them.

(I don't think there is a thing that is a fact.)

Hardly, there really isn't, it's the way I choose to see them, do you see. You chose to see someone near you in a slightly different way one day when we were talking. Would you mind sharing with how you had been seeing her before you and I talked--smart-ass of the first water. And then we decided to see her as different--as a person who was attempting to express their freedom, is that right? Now which one would you rather live with.

(The latter, naturally.)

Did she have to change--or was the only change the way you chose to see her? That's all. You started seeing her as a different person and now you're good buddies. Before they were at each other's throats. It was "how you see her" was the only thing that changed, is that right Miss Margaret? So I choose to see everyone as at least a very lovely person--at least interesting.

(I can see somebody as being lovely and confused at the same time.)

Quit true, but I don't bother with the confusion 'cause then I usually have to have something to do with them sooner or later; and if I'm trying to deal with a confused person, I'm all torn up. If they are a very lovely person we get along fine. They always treat me as I see them; so I choose to see everybody as in pretty good shape. I like' all.

(I'm trying it out.)

How does it feel? Now [remember you] knock out the old one

(First I've got to knock out the old.)

You can't have two viewpoints. I can't see you as a wonderful person and as a ____________ also--now that we can't do. So there's no certain way that people are; because they will respond to you about how you see them. Right on. Now then, that is the major misconception of the world that I am a GREAT judge of people.

(I think you said that people will respond to you as)

the way you see them.

(Would it be appropriate to say they tend to respond to you from how you see them?)

That would be accurate. They would have a great tendency to respond to you as you see them. They may respond to her as she sees them, to Margaret as she sees them, to me as I see them--which might be altogether different.

(And if they see themselves very strongly--differently than I see them, that's going to be a factor?)

Well, it would probably be a factor; but most people haven't decided how they're going to see themselves, thank goodness.

(I have contact with someone who kind of wears me out; and she thinks I'm a total non-achiever; and so when she's around me, she tends to tell me how much I should be doing. She sees me as just a "do nothing" That really is very wearing and I don't quite know how to handle the situation.)

Well, I'd agree with her and not bother with it. I would agree "I'm the greatest non-achiever in the world." I have been considered for some top awards as the greatest non-achiever in the world and go on about your business. You think "I should please her and be an achiever." That is a

not "i" talking out of her mouth. So you just ignore it, or always agree with it and exaggerate it.

So you've are being considered for the prize for the greatest non-achiever of the year. They have Emmy Awards for the best actress of the year. So you're getting the Emmy for being the best non-achiever in the world.

(She'd buy that.)

Good. I'd let her have it.

(That'll shut her up.)

You'd better believe it will shut her up. So I would see her as a person "who is a great believer in any kind of achievement"; and you are practically assured of achieving the award as the greatest non-achiever of the year. That will take care of that.

So we knock out the old way of seeing someone; and we put in another one. When we begin to see them that way; we will "in some way" treat them that way, and they're going to respond. They may have a very powerful way of seeing themselves from what we see; but very few people have a very powerful way of seeing themselves.

I used to know a man. If you walked up to him and said, "What a wonderful person you are and I like you." He would say "I'm a bastard, I got the personality of a rattlesnake." I used to agree with him that he had the nicest rattlesnake personality I've ever knew. And so before he died, he had his son to promise solemnly that the only person that could speak at his funeral was me. He said "He calls it like it is."

So I went to dead Harry's funeral. I said the eulogy very simply. "We're here to do for old Harry, the only thing he couldn't do for himself--get rid of his remains. Let's get him in the ground. The undertaker got very disturbed and upset and felt it wasn't dignified enough; but I knew what old Harry would have wanted said--so that's what we did. We kept shooing the undertaker off to get old Harry in the ground. Ever attend a service like that one? It was pretty good. He made a specific request that I was the only person that could speak. He was this nice old guy that wanted to be seen as the "toughest" guy around, that's all.

Now "you are" about how you choose to see yourself also. That is another point. How do you see yourself Marilyn--as a victim of other people's behavior.

(No, I don't.)

Ok. Do you ever see yourself as a victim of how other people treat you.


So you see yourself as a victim and it would be very hard for me to convince you that you weren't. I've tried that. I sell diligently--I'm a pretty good peddler. People come in and try to sell me on being a victim; and I sell very hard that they are not. It takes a lot of stuff, and I seldom get the sale made. If they do, they get buyer's remorse and want a refund before morning. That's the way they see themselves.

If you should see yourself as the luckiest gal in California--don't take in the whole state, there's others that will argue with you. You can have the northern half, ok? Now you can't see yourself as the luckiest lady in northern California and also as an unfortunate "thing" that really shouldn't be entitled to have anything nice or wonderful. You can't do both. Now you've been seeing yourself, which you told us a little while ago, as someone that had a lot of things she wasn't entitled to. Remember that? You see, you weren't thinking then, to tell us how you saw yourself, and so you told us--flat out. You see yourself as a person not entitled to a lot of the things you have. Now you can't keep that picture; and also the picture of the luckiest lady in all of northern California.

(I've got to clean the [mental] house.)

You've got to throw one or the other out; because they're mutually exclusive--I wouldn't say they're opposites, just one excludes the other, right? One negates the other one. Then you've got confusion in there.

Now I think it would probably be easier to get rid of the one that says "I'm not entitled to nice things" and replace it with you're "the luckiest lady in northern California." Now frequently we have the misconception that you can just put a new one in and get rid of the old one automatically; and they both blow up. You lose the whole schmear, is that right. You're "patching an old garment with a new piece of cloth" which makes the tears worse, is that right? You cannot have both viewpoints of yourself or of another.

That goes for everyone in here. I've got to have a front man.

Ok, let's have some comments about any misconceptions that's commonly about. We have run through some for instances.

The strange thing is that most of us have very few misconceptions--believe it or not--very few--but those few that we have are very far reaching. So it doesn't take any great long drawn out thing to get rid of them.

Now we can go through the little thing on the picture of man. #1 it's a misconception to believe that complaining is going to get your way. #2 Sticking up for your rights which "you don't have" and the 'belief in' it is not going to get you anywhere. and #6 Blaming is a bar against doing anything about anything. And #3 believing pleasing people is necessary, it's not--you choose to see them a certain way is what changes them--not trying to please them every minute. And #4 believing and doing 'what you're told by your authorities'--we've all seen that doesn't work because there's so many authorities--they're all telling us something different. And #5 certainly we can't improve ourselves cause we wouldn't know how to make one cell much less build a new human being. So we don't know to do that, ok?

Now what we can do, is to choose how we're going to see things. Now the way we've been 'seeing' is by going by that one that says "believe and do as you're told by your authorities." For instance, "that person wears a beard, they're a con artist." The list goes on and on and on. Now they're all portions of those six we just rattled off. The seventh one, of course, is that the whole purpose of living is to be non-disturbed. Now I'm going to do my dead-level best with all the effort I have not to be disturbed; but that's not my purpose in living. My purpose is entirely something else.

Our misconceptions have far reaching affects, and one of them is that certainly people do not present themselves as they really are. They present an ever-present myriad of things, and so I'm going to "choose how I see you"--and everyone else.

(And what about the friends who put me down?)

You call those friends huh?

(Before I even see this woman, it seems I'm on the defensive)

So now then, let's knock out that she is always picking on you. And let's see her as a person who is always trying to be helpful--poor soul. You know the greatest 'bores' in the world are those that are trying to be helpful. You know that, don't you? Ok, now what's she really trying to do.

(Straighten everybody out?)

She's really just trying to be helpful--not to straighten you out, but to be helpful. She has all this great insight that she's got to share with you to be of a help. She wants to be a people-helper. I get one in here every once in a while that says "I'm a people helper myself." God forbid. That's just what she's doing. Now she is a very lovely lady. She wants to do something for you, it's just she doesn't know how very well. Now she does know how to rub you the wrong way--is that right? You see her quite differently. Now you have to cancel "how you see her right now"--that she is a "busybody."

(She's going to be my houseguest when I get home, so I'll get working on it right now.)

So the "believe and do what your authorities have told you" say that you have to be a good judge of human nature to get along in this world. That right? And they didn't tell you that you couldn't know anyway; so you'd better choose how you are going to see each one, ok? And you can kick out the old ideas you had and put in a new one at any time.

(There seems to be a misconception that causes the mind to be resistant to eliminating the original idea.)

Oh sure, you got it from one of your authorities and you're never supposed to question your authorities. You're not supposed to question an authority because if you do, you are becoming a quack--very rapidly. This is why we resist ever changing any idea that we have.

[Here a different slant on the same subject. I find people like to tell me their problems. I've always heard myself say, "I understand." I truly think I do; but as time goes on, I find I rarely have a total picture. They've had different experiences. They have a different set of values and are involved with people whom I don't know. Sometimes they don't even know where they want to be. I'm sure that I'll say, "I understand" many more times in my life; but I want to remember that what I'm really meaning is, "I agree."]

Newport Beach Workshop #9-10

(One time this one was talking, and I said, "I understand." You said "Take that word out of your vocabulary"--don't ever use that word. Would you like to elaborate on that a little more.)

Yes, basically people say a certain line of logic; and then say they understand it. I think we only agree with that logic. To "understand" to me only goes to "one purpose" and that is the same as "agape" which means that I can see clearly that what anybody does that at the moment of doing it they feel it to be right, proper or justifiable. To say "I understand" basically means "I agree" with some given statement. The person says "I understand that; now they are saying they can agree with it. And I'd just as soon if we're going to agree, say we agree, but agreement really doesn't mean anything.

If I was going to re-do the word, I would probably say, "I can do that now."

(Is the disadvantage that one then stops....)

Once you say "I understand," it's like saying you "know" somebody. Now you never "know" anybody because they're "changing every moment." But if I decide that I "know" somebody and they are "a bad person." Then no matter what they do, I see them as being "a bad person," I experience them as being "a bad person," and I have nothing but unpleasant experiences with that person.

But if I change the whole makeup, I'm going to look at that person as they are "right now," even if I don't come up with a different viewpoint. Most of the time, most people are behaving nicely, and I can begin to experience them that way.

So when we say we understand something, we've come to the end of our investigation of that something. I put that in the "I know" department, and I like to keep an awful lot of things in the "I don't know department." I think it works better there.

I don't know anybody, because I'm only "knowing" you and I like "knowing" you; but I would not want to say I know you, because then I've settled the matter and I'll never experience you as you are moment by moment--I will only experience that "I know you" picture.

I prefer to be "knowing you" at the moment and that is a much more interesting delightful, dynamic experience. I am "knowing you" by moment, by moment, by moment with no preconceived mind set that this is "the way you are."

[So if we practice the exercise of "knowing people" at this moment; we are not only "in the moment"; but we are also not stuck with a static picture of any person we know.]