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Exercises - Re-Evaluating the 6 Decisions from The Picture of Man

Excerpt from 4-21-91 workshop at Port Orange

Now let’s re-evaluate these basic decisions which each one of us is living by that makes up the self.

So it’s not the whole purpose of life to be non-disturbed, but we would like to have as much non-disturbance as possible, ok?  I’d like comfort.  I’d like attention.  I’d like approval, and I would like to feel useful.  I don’t feel so important, but I’d like to feel a little useful in the world, so I look and see where that is.

I don’t like pain.  I don’t like to be ignored.  I don’t like to be disapproved of, and I don’t like to feel useless.  But I’m not useless.  I can take a wee look at that.  I have a certain amount of approval.  I have a certain amount of having attention.  Do you?


You get lots of it.  Once in a while we got pain, but that just tells us to do something a little different and it will get all right in a little while.  So we can re-evaluate these, 6 decisions and keep them; but we can re-evaluate in the light of common sense.  You see, we were infants, and less than five minutes old when we made that decision for non-disturbance so we didn’t have much experience to go on.

So now in the light of experience, we can remake this decision.  We grew up with “it’s important to have my way right now.”  That’s the way the baby made it when he was a few hours old, and you don’t have to have whatever it is you want right now.  We would like to have our way, but it’s not important.  It is interesting to have your way, but you don’t have to have whatever it is right now.

The next one says, “It’s important to stick up for my rights.”  We looked at that a minute ago.  We really don’t have any rights, we have gobs of privileges, but we lose some of our privileges by sticking up for them-- thinking of them as “rights” and sticking up for them.  We got all angry and agitated and all that goes with that emotion.

And is it really important to please them?  You don’t have to please people.  I can treat them with simple good manners—that easy enough?  Just use simple good manners with those good people.  You can treat everybody that way.  I think they can see that.  I’m responsible to keep my wits about me and treat you with simple good manners, ok?  All right?  You can treat everybody with simple good manners, and then they don’t fight with you very much.

And we can see that it’s important to NOT believe and do everything we’re told by those we inadvertently made as authorities.  We can begin to check it out.  We can check it out to some degree, and the rest of it we can ignore, but we can treat the authority as though he was “right.”

(ha ha from the audience) 

When you do that, there is no problem at all.  Yes sir, I can agree with you.  I can treat him as though he is right, and that keeps him happy.  You can just “coo”,---just nod your head or whatever, but you can then go on about your business, you know.  So treat him as though he was right, ok?  That’s really all he wants anyway—and it’s just for that moment so who cares.

And when I observe “It’s important to improve yourself”, I look at that one and say.  That’s all right, I don’t think there’s any great need for improvement in me, but I can develop myself.  I can get a certain amount of worldly education, and use it for that.  And I can keep the body in reasonably good shape by doing minor exercises, not any big stuff, but a little bit.  I can walk around or move each muscle and joint in the body.

And then comes up the decision that if he, she, they and it and everything else were all different, I’d be just fine.  Well, people are not going to be different, and I’m going to be fine without them being different. 

I’m going to leave them like they are.  So this is really a “cheating way out”.  It’s a way of being responsible or able to respond to blame.  So that’s the whole blaming situation; and everybody’s got somebody or something to blame for all the situations they’re uncomfortable with.  They go to such extremes of blame because they’re miserable--they’re trying to get something different and it turns out to not be different. 

The person is not going to be different from what they are right now, no matter how much I fret over it: and we’re not going to be any different than what we are right now.  So, I can look at that with a big “ring of sale”, as they say, and let everybody be what they are.

Now I haven’t had to give up any of these decisions, I have only re-evaluated them in the light of experience of all the misery I’ve put myself through.

I really use the experience instead of just numbly going on and using these six decisions as they were made at birth.  I see that they were all unconscious.  They are the source of motivation for our actions until we re-evaluate them. 

So we are saying that we can just modify them a little bit.  That way you can live quite peacefully with them.  Now you can’t use the unconscious version and the re-evaluated version at the same time.  Don’t try to use two at one time—just one at a time—that’s what gets you in conflict when you use two of them.  So if you try to do that you’re going to get upset.

Now this is knowing the self.  The six decisions are all here.  They’re in every one of us.  We can look at them and re-evaluate them.  We’re not going to have to unmake them and start out with a clean slate like you were just being born again.  We’re not going to do that.  In fact you would have to make very similar to the same ones--the same six unconscious decisions--if you were going to get along in the world, if you did try this just being born bit.  That right?

So we can re-evaluate all these decisions.  They are sometimes called not “i’s” because they act up and motivate us to do things that’s not to our advantage.  So we can just remember to re-evaluate, that’s what self remembering is all about.

For instance, I’ll just leave off “right now.”  That’s all!  I don’t have to have my way right now.  I’m going to get my “want”, but just not right now.  I’ll get it in a little while.  Give me a little time and I’ll get it. 

I can take off that it’s “important” because I find that when I make anything important, I’m very angry or resentful or both.  So I don’t make it important.  Instead, I can find it interesting or find something interesting to do with it.  You’ll find that it’s an interesting way to work.

I’m not sticking up for my rights, but I’m going to protect my usual run.  Maybe it’s a privilege I can enhance.

And it’s not important to please people, but it is kind of worthwhile to use simple good manners--that’s good enough.

This one here.  (pointing to “believe and do as my authorities say) I’ll consider what they told me, look it over, take my time, it’s not important; but I can take a look, consider and then make up my own mind about it.

So we can start living a very comfortable existence without conflict as soon as we re-evaluate these basic decisions that everybody has.  There’s nothing wrong with those unconscious decisions, but they just aren’t exactly correct for living in this manmade world. 

So we can just remember to re-evaluate them.

There is the source of conflict and struggle in every day existence, and you don’t need it.  It tears up the body and creates barriers in relationships.  And, you don’t need to try to totally eliminate or change these existing six decisions; we can just re-evaluate them a bit and put them in proper perspective in light of experience.  Ok?

Now that would take care of that arrangement for a bit, I think.  Now first off, is there any question on this? Got a question?

(The question that comes up a lot around me is “I see that I’m making it important--now how can I not make it important?)

Just don’t.  You usually say the words “I’m not making it important,” but you continue to make it very important right here.  So stop it here and don’t’ say the words.

(Is the way out of that to be free to experience whatever it is at that moment?)

Why sure.  You’ll get your way in a few minutes, ok?  Don’t bother.  I get my way all the time.