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School Talk 2 - Role Playing (1)

(audience participation in parenthesis)
[Brackets for clarification]

I thought as long as there was a whole bunch of us today, this big crowd, we'll talk about role playing.

Now it seems to me that we're all playing roles whether we know it or not. Everybody plays a role-that's the only thing you can do. Now most of the time we're playing some unconscious roles; and so we don't think those are of any value because their mechanical. So one of the things we see is a person playing a role; and this is unconscious playing of roles-you're just doing it without knowing it. Like being a "complainer"-complaining you know--there's some excellent complainers out here that play their roles to the hilt; and they do it extremely well. Would you say that's right John?

And then there are people who are "sticking up for their rights". Now that's another role to play. Stick up for rights. Somebody told me if you don't stick up for your own rights, nobody else is going to, but I could never find out what mine were. I found out I had a lot of privileges and every time I mistook a privilege for a right, it was the best way I found to lose the privilege; and I kind of like to keep all those privileges I got. You like to keep yours? And if you mistake it for a right and start sticking up for it, it takes wings and flies away right quick like. So do you have any rights that you can think of?

(I have privileges.)

That all--that's all you got is privileges, lots of them, but don't mistake them for rights.

Then we have people that play the role of being a "pleaser". They're into pleasing roles-now we hate every minute of it, but we play it anyway. Quite frequently we find ourselves pleasing, but hate every minute of it; but keep on playing it day in and day out. We got to play that pleasing role. Now we're unconscious--we're playing that role-we think it's something that we have to do and it's necessary. [we see it as right, proper, justifiable and unavoidable]

And then there are some of us that become the "authority" role. We know everything. If you don't believe it, just ask us. We know about what's right and what's wrong about everything, and how come.

Then, of course, we come along with the people who play the "self-improving" role. They're always working on that, either gain weight, lose weight, getting a new education, getting a new skill or straightening other people out, some little thing. They're always improving-never quit improving-get awful tired of it too.

Then we have the "blamer" and the "fault finder". You know people who can see what's wrong with everything. Did you ever notice that? But, of course, none of us would do a thing like that. Nevertheless, these are the unconscious roles; and we find that if you just look around a little bit, everybody's playing one or more of these roles--and totally unaware they're playing the roles.

Now what we're talking about is maybe it would be rather nice if we could start playing our roles consciously. Do them deliberately--whatever it may be. Now if you want to be a blamer, for goodness sakes, play it consciously. Do it deliberately--you're setting yourself up see what's wrong with everything and everyone. Most of us couldn't play those roles consciously over here [when we're awake and observing without criticizing or judging self].

We just couldn't quite hack it; but unconscious, we can do it continually. So now in playing a role, there's only really three things that a human can do. We think we're broad and can do many many things, but when you get it down, we can think (I don't know about that) we can act, and we can feel. Can you tell me anything else any of you can do. Tell me anything else you can do? You can think. You can act. You can feel, is that about right? You know of anything else you can do.

(Or you can just be.)

Well, that's being, you're going to be all three of those when you're just being. You're being one of those. Being is feeling, isn't it. You're thinking, you're acting, you're feeling. You can't get along without them at any moment. You're going to be doing one or more of all three of them. You can cut off thinking for a few minutes once in a while, but you're still feeling and you're still acting. You're sitting up, you're breathing, and you're seeing and so on. So this is all that a person can do.

So how we put these together may determine much that is of value to us-if we want to look at it? How do we think, act, and feel. So let's say that I wanted to play a certain role. Anybody got a role they'd like to mention here? What kind of role would you like to play? Make it a conscious role now, not these unconscious roles-we can do those unconscious roles, God knows. Give me a conscious role you'd like to play? How about you?

(I'd like to play the role of being successful.)

Successful in what direction?

(Whatever that may be.)

Whatever that may be, Lord only knows. Well, we'll try to figure it out. I'm not sure that one knows what being successful is unless it is something you aren't now.. It could be that that's the way one plays the self-improving role-highly probable, don't you think?

(Highly probable.)

OK, let's knock that one off and say we're not going to bother with being successful,


I don't know how one would go about knowing whether you were successful or not. If you made $100,000 a year, would you be successful? If you're making $50,000 now, yes. If you were making $200,000 this year and next year made only $100,000, why you'd be a failure, is that right?

(I get your point.)

You got the point, so we can't talk about success.

Let's talk about something else that you'd like to play a role. Let's say you played the role of selling, ok? You're into that racket, are you not?

(I'm working my way in, yeah.)

I've been doing it all my life and the hardest thing to sell is to sell people on feeling good, but we work at it all the time. It's the hardest sell in the book. So I'm always working on the hard sell. So we're going to work on that one. So now we'll talk about selling.

(That is a role.)

You can see that is a role; and if you play it well, you make a lot of money. And if you don't play it well, you get very discouraged, upset and have all sorts of problems-you might even start playing the role of self pity over here on this side; but it would be unconsciously.

So let's talk about selling for a minute. So we'll think first, how would you feel if you were what you consider an excellent salesperson. How would you feel?

(Oh, is that like what do I think?)

No, I'm not talking about what you think, we're talking about what would you feel. Would you feel--would you say--enthusiasm would be the most essential part of being a sales person.

(I'd say it's a very big part of it.)

I say it's about 99 9/10-the other 1/10 is knowing about what it is you're talking about, OK? That only takes 1/10th.

So, let's say that you would begin to think, "How would I like to feel?" That's what you're thinking apparatus is going to say-"How would I like to feel?" Not just on the product, but everything in you're whole existence. You're an enthusiastic person, and you can see one now and then on the street-however, not very often. Most of them are more like self pity, tired, woe-be-gone, sad, angry or any number of lower states of being, but you're gonna be enthusiastic. And enthusiasm is a word that comes from the great word meaning the fire of the gods--the fire of the gods--the power of the Gods.

Now if you were enthusiastic, how would you be acting? Do you think anybody could tell it by just looking at you.


Yeah, how would that enthusiasm carry out? It would carry out in the way you walk, in the way you stand, the way you look, the way you talk, the way you move, the way your facial features express--everything. Is that right? Even the way you wear your clothes--they are the same clothes; but you wear them differently when you're enthusiastic than you do when you're not, huh?

So you could then begin to act-would be the next thing. You would act like you're enthusiastic. You did you're thinking over here to see how you would like to feel--feels is way off over here. So if you begin to act enthusiastic, wonder how you would feel in a little while? Because it is the fact that as you act, you will feel. And as you feel, you will act. It's a two-way street. It's like any of these. If you begin to act this way, pretty soon you feel that way, is that right? Huh? If you feel like you need improvement in some way or other, do you begin to feel like you're lacking in a whole bunch of ways and you "should" improve.


That's because you're unconsciously acting that way, do you see? So we did our thinking to determine how we'd like to feel way over here. Now we can begin to use it further to say how would I be acting if I felt that way already. There's nothing to keep you from putting on that act, is there? So you could begin to act that way.


If you would choose, that would be a conscious act rather than an unconscious one. Now as you begin to act, you would then begin to feel. And as you think act and feel, so you will be.

If you were acting enthusiastic, you would then begin to feel enthusiastic; and people will buy from you for the fun of it. Really! Now we are not taking this as theory, we know what we're talking about-we've run experiments on it.

Howard was with me on one experiment where we set up a restaurant way out in the country--never ran an ad, never made an announcement that we were open. We never put a sign on the building nor on the entrance to it; and it was 35 miles from a town and out a dirt road at that--in the middle of a horse lot after you got out on the dirt road. There was not a sign or anything that said we were there; yet we did over 2 ¼ million worth of business in a year. NOW THE ONLY THING WE DID DO WAS TO SEE THAT EVERYBODY THAT WORKED THERE HAD TO ACT ENTHUSIASTIC. That's all! They had to have a good mood-we defined good was enthusiastic, pleasant, and delightful to be around. [… I've also heard on other tapes that they had a garbage can outside and were told to dump all their unpleasant emotions and problems in that garbage can. They could pick them up after work if they wanted to; but they were not to bring them into the restaurant.]

Now the staff acted this way, and people came from-well, we had a guest book; and I don't think there was a country in the world we didn't have somebody's name on it. One man came in one night and said, "I was referred to come here, could you guess where?" I said "No." He said, "In the airport in Zurich, Switzerland, a man told me that if I ever got to El Paso, to be sure to come out here to this restaurant.'

So the only thing that we could claim--other than that we treated people awful nice and also gave them good food and good service with consistency when they got there, but for them to get there, there were no ads, no signs, no nothing other than in the place was enthusiastic. So we know that it can have an affect on people up to 45 miles away because they got there; and the only way they got there or knew to get there was the enthusiastic good mood. There was nobody told them. We made no announcements, we run no ads, we put up no signs, we made no billboards-no nothing, and they got there anyway. So the enthusiasm had to at least have a drawing affect for 45 miles away-at least that far, ok? So all we did was act on this enthusiasm.

Now, let's say that each of us begin to act enthusiastic today. Do you think that everything around you and everything in you're environment, all your affairs would undergo somewhat of a change?

(They will.)

How about that? what about you? Think there'll be some change?

(If you're motivated and if you're……)

Well, that's "if" you're motivated--you know I hear about motivation a lot. Basically, I haven't figured out what it is unless it's just simply put that I truly want to. So if I want to do something, I can always do it. So my motive is I want to. Do you want to act enthusiastic?


One of the by-products is that you will probably sell more than anybody else in the company, I'll guarantee you that, ok?

Now that looks like a simple round-about way to go about it, doesn't it? Could you do that? It's just a role you can play. Now you're already playing some role all the time; so it's not that you're starting to do something you haven't been doing. It's just that you took up a different role.

If you were in the theater, you would probably hate to get typed as only being able to play one kind of role year in and year out whenever you got an acting job, is that right? Wouldn't that be kind of boring? But how many of us have been playing these roles all of our life? Huh? So it looks like we stereo-type ourselves into roles whether we mean to or not. Now, let's do something different and play a role that we think would be fun. As well as that, it will make you feel good, make you much more beautiful; and make you a lot more money.

Now what's so tough about that? Is there enough incentive to do it, or would you rather go on with those unconscious roles because they don't take any effort. See, on these conscious roles, you are the director, the actor, you write the script and play the lead and direct the part-the whole schmear, ok? You ready to take on a new part? I will go along and do that for a price.

(ha, ha, ha from the audience)

Now Ill charge you a very healthy price I will assure you. Could you just do it all on your own, huh? Mary can you do that?


Will you?


It doesn't mean anything to me, it's up to you.

(I know.)

It means nothing to me, it can mean an awful lot to you, huh?

Did you ever start going out with some guy or the guy's going out with some girl and you acted like you were very much in love with her for one reason or another or him for one reason or another; and that feeling of relationship wasn't all together there at the moment. How did you begin to feel in a little while-rather romantic? It turns the whole body on, it gets it all going, doesn't it? Huh? I'm only offering the boy/girl relationship as a demonstration that some of us have, at least, played one of these roles now and then, huh? Makes all this happen, doesn't it?

You think and act and feel; and it all goes to work, and very suddenly you are feeling very romantic, is that right?


Now let's think and apply that to anything else we want to do. Is there some other role that someone would like to play? What other role, Mary? What role would you like to play?

(I want to describe the role I want to play. I was watching a reaction within that was going on by being ordered around; and I thought, that's kind of an extreme reaction.)

You started sticking up for rights there?

(Right, so I thought, well maybe I'll just consciously do the same thing. I'll just see how it goes. It was awful-real uncomfortable. It was almost more uncomfortable than being ordered.)

So you tried ordering someone around while you were doing it consciously?

(Well, I started out…….)

And pretty soon you didn't want to play that role at all.

(I was getting caught up in it.)

Yes, well--you always get caught up in it. You can't play any role and not get the feeling that goes with it. You can't do it just halfway-you have to get with it. Huh?

(Is it a conscious thing?)

Well, you're still going to get the feeling whether it's conscious or not. You can't act without getting the feeling-you can't feel without getting the action that goes with it. You see, it's automatic-that's the way it works.


So you see, most people get it backwards because they feel first. You get up in the morning and you feel something and then you start acting like you're feeling? And then you think to try to explain why you're acting that way. That's where the word "FAThead" comes from. That's unconscious, that's why we're talking about choosing a role.

(Ok, I have a role.)

Ok, what's the role?

(Just a delightful pleasant companion.)

Well, that would be kind of enthusiastic or at least up the tone scale to vital interest, huh? So you'd at least be interested and an interesting person, how's that?


You can play the role of being a very interesting person. Most people would find you very interesting.


Really! that's right! But you might as well fire it up one more notch and be enthusiastic.


Just that little extra notch adds that extra something that goes along and makes the difference between "just is" and really vital do you see?

So you could do many others. I could give you a hundred of them up here; but let's say you wanted to play the role of banker. Well, you'd begin to play the role of being a banker. You'd work in a bank, etc. Say you wanted to be the role of a weight lifter. Let's try that one on for size. How would you do? Want to play the role of a weight lifter. Howard what would you do?

(Start acting like it?)

And how would you act like it? You would start swinging weights around and then you would get stronger and stronger and stronger as long as you played that role, is that right? Long as you lift those weights, you'd get stronger.

Now most of us have played the role of being an auto driver. How'd you do it? Did you sit at home and read books about it, meditate on it, think about it, take classes in it or did you get behind the wheel of a car and start driving. You would act like you were a driver to begin with, is that right? You had to act the part. You first had to figure out, kind of, how a person does it. They sit in a certain seat and hold on to the wheel and stick their feet on the floor and do various and sundry things and pretty soon you're driving a car, is that right? How'd you get there-by wishing for it? By hoping for it?-thinking positive? Or did you do it by going and starting actions like the role of a driver? First you're a little jerky and jumpy and all that kind of stuff; but pretty soon it clears up and you get moving, is that right?

So it happens with everything that we do. When you said that you wanted to play the role of being a pianist, what would be one of the first things you'd have to do? You would sit in front of a piano and put your fingers on the keys and thump them a little bit, right?

If you're gonna be a singer, what do you do? Sit around and think about it or do you start singing a little bit. You would start using the singing voice, and try to get along with it. So in all of our occupations and activities, we have to play the role, is that right?

Now we sometimes play the role of auctioneer. Well, you know how you get that way? You don't get it by thinking about it. You got to get a hold of a microphone and a bunch of speakers; and start rattling words off. You say a lot of words until they begin to flow good, an then you can start putting the words the way you want them. If you heard us practicing sometimes, why you'd think we were absolutely nuts because we're not talking numbers or anything-we're saying words. We use words that are tongue twisters until our tongues don't twist no matter how fast we go at it. How do you get to do anything? You begin to play the role.

So I highly recommend role playing: And let's choose a conscious role knowing that there's only three elements in the role playing--these three right here. Now that's not so hard to do-to think, act, and feel. You put all three of them in to work in playing your role.

In you're enthusiastic role, you would think enthusiastic; you would act enthusiastic and you sure would automatically feel enthusiastic; and when that's around other people, they do things for you--and they break their necks to get near you-they come from all over.

A couple of weeks ago, I was down in Austin Texas giving a talk on the weekend to a lot of people; and one man kept looking at me. Finally he said, "Hey, didn't you used to be in El Paso?" I said I had been thee. He said, "Did you run the Cattleman's Steak House." I said, "I was there". He said that was the most wonderful place I ever went, and I never felt so good in all my life. I used to go not because I was hungry, but just because I wanted to feel good. And I always took all my out-of-town guests there because they sure felt good and everybody talked how good they felt there.

Now that was only from having about 65 people playing the role of being enthusiastic. That's all it really was. It was by having about 65 enthusiastic people around, because it took about 65 people to run the thing any night we had it open. It took about 65 people; and with all of them acting and playing the role of being enthusiastic, it rubbed off on everybody that came near the place--and their still talking about it, ok?

So it's a pretty good stunt to play; and what's to keep you from doing it?--absolutely nothing I can think of except inertia. Just plain old inertia--I don't want to move so I won't do anything, huh? That about right?

(That is it.)

That's about it. The only thing that can prevent it from going on is just plain old inertia. There's nothing at all that can prevent us from doing it.

Now, I've talked a bit and sort of laid the ground rules here of what we're going to talk about--playing a role. Now let's have everybody join in. That's why we got a table in here with chairs so we can all sit down. Now, let's have comments, questions, insults-anything you can feel in the mood to do. I'll take a shot at it, ok?


(What about being a parent?)

A parent. That's a good role. How do you play it? Well, there's lot of different ways of playing the role-do you want to play the role of a conscious parent, or a nagging one which is the one most of them play. And you know, many play this role, the complainer, pleaser, and authority role. That's about the way it's usually played-unconsciously--right?

(I don't think you could play this consciously.)

No, you couldn't play them consciously because you'd see that wasn't the way to do it.

(I want to do it consciously.)

Well, let's see what it would mean to be parenting--I believe that is the fancy word these days--you're parenting, is that right?

(Yes, I think so.)

The only reason for parenting is that the child would have an opportunity to be it's own way--without getting in too much trouble on the way, huh?

Do you work better when you're told you have to do something, you must do something; or when you are given the opportunity to figure it out for yourself-- you decide it's what you want to do or what you feel is to your advantage. Which way do you work better?

(When I feel it's to my advantage?)

Well, how about talking to the little folks about what they feel is to their advantage with what light they have, huh? Is it to their advantage? And that can include what is to their advantage to have attention and approval.

Now their going to get attention come hell or high water. They may or may not get approval, but if you can give them approval as the way to get attention-(positive instead of nagging)--you give approval for the things you'd like to see them do; and do the best you can to ignore the others. Ordinarily with the unconscious route, we give a lot of attention for the things we don't want them to do; and kind of ignore them when their behaving pretty well. So they're going to get attention. So what are they going to do when they have a little hunger for attention every day. They are going to do something that they know is going to get it-something that you'll gritch and scream about it, is that right? Is that about it?

(That's it.)

So how about giving attention and approval for what you would like to see them doing; and ignore, to the very best of you're ability (if it isn't too super dangerous) the things they're doing that you don't want to see them do.

If it's too dangerous, why put a stop to it; but most of it's not, it's just noisy, isn't that right?

(Are you suggesting things like they don't clean their room.)

Oh yeah, ignore it.

(What about if they don't want to go to school?)

I let them stay home.

I had a couple of kids got left with me one time; and I told them that they did not have to do anything. You know, you're told you have to go to school; and you have to clean up you're room; and you have to eat your dinner; and you have to do this and that. Well, if anybody tells you you have to do something--you bow your neck-is that right? I bow up my neck, and so does everybody else and kids are no different.

So I told them right off the bat, they did not have to do anything. They didn't have to go to school, they didn't have to eat, they didn't have to go to bed; but I also talked about what might be to their advantage. So we got it around to what was to their advantage was to do certain things. Now one of the things I said was, if you feel good all week, you get $2.00 allowance on Saturday morning to spend any way you want to. If you've been sick any time through the week, you don't get your allowance.

(laughter from the audience.)

(Bribing them.)

No, I wasn't bribing them. Just giving them motivation; and so, you know, they were never sick-never once.

I told them they didn't have to go to school. Well, the little girl never tried it out, but the boy did. He stayed home for a week; and I said he can stay home--I don't care. [He missed his friends-they were all at school.] But after about a week, he said, "I'm so bored with this, I can't stand it". "I'm going to school," and he never did skip school anymore. But he didn't have to go to school, he was going to school because it was to his advantage--or he could--or he got [a privilege] to go to school, ok?

(What about going to bed, same thing?)

Same difference, I don't care, it's all right. Pretty soon they found they felt better if they went to bed at a reasonable hour, ok? Now I was put to bed at 7:00 pm when I was a kid; and I never was a great sleeper; and I'm still not until this day; and I was usually awake until 2:30 am in the morning before I went to sleep anyway. Now they had me in bed. I got so I hate beds. I hate them to this day--horrible things--I don't want to be in bed--that's the last place I want to be-liable to die there--most people do.

(What do I do when the teacher calls and says you're child has fallen asleep in school.)

Well, I'd say let him nap awhile and then turn him loose. You know, the teachers are not an "authority" over me, or the child, or anybody else. Ok? Mostly the kid will get where he won't go to sleep. You see, they have a lot more gumption than you think. They do, but when they HAVE to do something, they're going to rebel by bowing their little necks and making you sound off as long as possible, ok? So if you treat a person somewhat with simple good manners-just because their little, doesn't mean their not a person, ok?

Do you like to be told you have to do this, and that and you've got to do this, and so forth?


Of course not. Do you go out and keep yourself up until 4:00 am and fall asleep going to work the next day; or fall asleep at work?-very seldom.

(Well, I did it when I was younger.)

Well, I know, but that was because they told you you had to get to bed too, wasn't it? Mother was in there saying, you got to get to bed. Mary, as the child, sees mother as very authoritative; and as a child you'd show her, right quick? You knew, you didn't have to. Now don't motivate the kids to have to show you--they don't have to. You know that as well as I do.

(As a child, I abused myself and my body.)

And that was to try to prove that you didn't have to be what they said, is that right? Otherwise you wouldn't have been "sticking up for your rights". But you see, when you're bowing your neck, you stick your neck out at everything else too.

So the worse thing that a parent can do is start telling kids what they have to do, and what they must do, and what they can't do. Now obviously they can do all sorts of things.

Now if you tell them they've got to respect you and no talking back, they know good and well they can- and I, also, know they can. But if you say, "You can talk to me any way you want to, but it will be to your advantage if you treat me nice because I will purr better then. You see, I give allowances and do all sorts of nice things."

Now this "room cleaning up bit", that seems to be one that is of great contention for families--terrible reactions and motions toward each other. A lady came to me one time and didn't have a problem one of her own, understand, it was her daughter, named Dorothy, that had all the problems. Dorothy's room looked like a pig pen; and according to Mama,--Dorothy did nothing. She threw her clothes on the floor. She did absolutely nothing to help out in the house; and I had a long recital about this. So, I finally said, "I think I could probably aid a little bit if you will do what I suggest." (end of tape

(beginning of other side so some instructions are missing, but you can fill in the blanks easily)

Now make sure that Dorothy's within earshot. If there's nobody you know or can think of to pull this stunt, just get the phone, hold the button down, and act like you're talking to somebody. You tell them how nice Dorothy is beginning to take care of her room; and how proud you are of her; and that she's beginning to pick up her clothes; and that she's even helping around the house.

She said, "Well, I'd be lying!" I said, "So what!" "If there's any trouble and wrong in what I'm telling you, why I will spend your time in Hades for it. You go on and do what I'm telling you. We kept this conversation going on and on. After about an hour and a half of hard sell, she finally agreed to do it.

That's the hardest sell in the world is to get people to feel good; and she didn't want to feel good. She wanted to gritch about that kid. So, I didn't' hear from her for approximately a week; and she called about a week later. I said, "How's Dorothy?" after our good mornings and so forth. She said, she's crazier than you are. I said, "Well, what's going on?" She said, "Her room's immaculate. When I got home from work yesterday, the whole house was clean." "She had vacuumed the floors and put away everything plus taking out the garbage--without Mom telling her a thing".

But what from?--from hearing her mother say several different times on the phone through the week.
"Dorothy is taking care of her room".
"She's acting grown up with it".
"She's helping me with the house".
"She's helping with the chores; an I don't have to tell her anything".

Now she was lying like hell the first day, but not very much afterwards, ok? Now do you think you could use that routine a wee bit.

(I think I can do it.)

Can you see where it's going to work a lot better than being a constant complainer so that the kids become totally mother-deaf? You know they hear you complain so much that they become totally deaf to it. They just turn it off. They got a little switch here in their ear and, boom, your nagging words are gone.

(I think I could try that, but……)

No, don't try it-----------DO IT. Huh?

(But when you're dealing with more than one parent…..)

Well, try to convince the other one to use the same method. Perhaps you could maybe let the other parent overhear you on the telephone that this other parent is beginning to do such wonders with the kids. You know, the other parent is merely an infant with a grown body and a technical education--so what's the difference, ok?


You see, just because we're talking about kids doesn't mean they've got to have small bodies-they don't have to be little folks. Ok? Does that help answer your question?

I'll guarantee you that grown ups would like a certain amount of attention and approval--preferably approval--and they're going to get some attention one way or another from some place or another -- quarantee it. Ok? So you might as well dish it out-what's to your advantage, ok? Does that help answer your question about parenting?

Glenda, did you have your finger up?

(I was going to say it really works.)

You've tried it once. Well, that was on the older kid, not this younger one. Worked fine on the other one, but not this younger one here. Ok?

What's the next comment, question or something we can talk about here for a minute. Throw us out something. Let's talk about roles.


(I recently found myself in a situation in my job environment where there were several people that felt that smoking was very bad for your health, refused to have it be anywhere around them.)

Anywhere's near in their environment.

(Clear down the hall four doors down.)

That's bad. I recognize that the further away the worse it is.

(…and I wasn't quite sure….)

It becomes "potentized" like the old Homeopathic remedies and really gets to you.

(I wasn't quite sure how to handle that situation. I was told the first day when I walked in by the person who had been there the longest: (and was the toughest and biggest producer) that because he felt that way, everybody was stuck with his feelings. He didn't smoke and certainly hoped he didn't have a problem with it; and I did have a problem with it.)

You did have.

(Yeah, I like to smoke.)

Now, what's the problem?

(I guess the problem was that I felt insecure about my situation.)


(I have remedied it.)

How did you remedy it?

(I didn't remedy it--they moved our the offices; but I'm still putting up with it, but at least I'm in a different room. I requested that they put me in with someone who smoked.)

Or with nobody.

(Or with nobody--and that's what they did.)

Well, then they could put signs on the door like they used to on the railroad cars, that said, "colored folks back here." We got to have somebody to discriminate against in this world.

(Whether it's smokers………………….)

or blacks or pinks or whatever you might be; so why not just be one who takes it graciously and go on about your business. I pass the word around that my cigarettes have no caffeine whatsoever in them; and most of them don't pay any attention to it and go on about their business. My coffee doesn't have any nicotine in it; and that hardly ever bothers anybody, so I always put that out and make a joke out of it.

It was strange--there was a couple that went through all this struggle in California. A pair lived together that were professional writers, you might say--they were ghost writers, basically. If you want something written, they'll write it, and put your name on it. They both liked to smoke, but you know, the pressure was so heavy with the peer pressure; so they quit--and they were nervous wrecks. Well, they saw me smoking and wanted to know how come? I said, :Well, I get these in the health food store; and I buy these cigarettes here with the red and white packs. I get them in the health food store, and I showed them that mine didn't have any of those stamps. That's when they used to have stamps on them, but the reason they didn't have any stamp was I was buying them in Mexico--and they don't have stamps on them in Mexico. I said I got them in the health food store; and so they have no nicotine in them-they are just as harmless as they can be. Well, they bugged every health food store in Los Angeles trying to find those cigarettes; but they were firmly convinced now that it was all right to smoke as long as they don't have any caffeine in them, honey.

(There's a lot of people running around that feel not just strongly, but they're trying to get bills written up to where you can't smoke.)

Oh, I know. I'm well aware of that. Most of them are ex-smokers.


And they're the "real baddies", the ones that never did smoke don't give a darn; but the ones that have been smokers are still tearing their shirt pockets off reaching for a cigarette. So they get real upset about all that stuff.

I met a guy one time that had a shirt that had a hole in it. I'd see him every day and every shirt he had had a hole in it worn right through the pocket where he used to keep his cigarettes; and so he was climbing the wall. One day we were talking; and he said he hadn't smoked a cigarette in fourteen years. I said, "You sure have been craving them fourteen years--look at the hole in your pocket?". He went reaching for them every time somebody had a cigarette or he even thought of it. He said, "That's right." I said, "Well, why don't you just have one and quit tearing your clothes off over it. He smoked a cigarette and said, "It's the first day I've been comfortable in thirteen years." You know--what the hell. I don't see anything wrong with it. No doubt, one of these days it will be made almost as impossible to smoke as it used to be to be "colored" So they finally quit-they became known as blacks; and that solved that noise. So, we'll get some kind of name for our terrible habit; and go on about it, ok? Next comment.

You see, honey, I try to make jokes out of it rather than be serious about it. Because if you ever be serious--oh man, you're in trouble.

(Well, I did, I got in a "right" confrontation with their "right" not be around smoke and my "right" to smoke--so what are we going to do about it?)

Neither of you has any "right". So I'd tell him so, Ok? You don't have a "right"; but you have a privilege; and he has a privilege of walking away from you if he doesn't like the way you smell--so that's all right. I think the way you look will probably overcome the way you smell so he'll probably stick around. Pretty soon he won't mind how close you get to him, honey. He'll be lighting your cigarettes for you; and going and buying you new brands and all sorts of things.

I've made it a practice to buy every new brand I see. I saw one the other day that said "Sterling". Have you seen those in the black package with silver letters--designed in a very beautiful package. So I bought it. I have the package with 19 cigarettes in it in case you want one.

(Are they nasty tasting?)

Well, not to me-smoking, that's a matter of taste. But anyway they were a pretty package.

Another question, insult, comment?

(They say honey goes a lot further.)

You'd better believe it-for anything other than pickling. But Mama told me honey caught more flies than vinegar did; but I never did care much about attracting flies anyway. So sometimes I use my vinegar, but it's done funny anyway. What?

(You were talking about what stops us from….)

……playing any role you want to?

(…not playing the unconscious roles we keep playing habitually from inertia…..)

I said that's all I knew it was, what else is there?

(What about fear?)

Fear of what--fear of disapproval?

(Fear of not succeeding or fear of not being able to do it?)

Oh. Well, you've been playing these unconscious roles without fear of being able to do them

(Those came naturally.)

Well, you've been pretty good at those, so I think you'd be pretty good at any role you want to play. No, I don't think it's fear of failure because we admit you're going to be a little sloppy with the first attempt on any chosen role, is that right? Whether it's driving a car, selling computers or cutting somebody's hair or trimming their toenails, it doesn't matter what. Even having a kid and learning to play the parent role can be a little sloppy at times, ok? I don't think it's fear, I think it's plain old-I don't want to pay attention long enough to do it. It's Just being responsible enough to take care of our own affairs, ok? It's so easy to play the victim role and so difficult to play the responsible roles.

Now, I've said it out in it's lowest terms, honey. It's so easy to play the victim role, and it's so difficult to play the role of being responsible for number 1 [yourself]. Now, it's easy to be responsible for your children WHICH BY THE WAY IS SOMETHING YOU CAN'T DO because you can't breathe for them--you can't eat for them--you can't sleep for them-nothing else. You can't pay attention in school for them; but, oh you can make that serious and long; but when it comes down to old number 1, "I don't want to be responsible, I want to be a victim". It only seems to be much easier to get by that way.

(How about a role of being in a boy/girl relationship?)

What kind of a relationship? Boy/girl stuff?

(Yeah, boy/girls stuff.)

Well, you can play the role of being a pleasant relaters, I guess that's the other side of it.

(Pleasant relater?)

Or you can be the role of a bossy, bitchy one. Which one do you want to play?

(Well, I'd rather be a pleasant relater.)

If that's what it is, anybody keeping you from it?

(Anybody keeping me from it?)

Anything keep you from it.

(I guess only myself.)

You guess or do you know?

(Well, I know that. I think I may be cooperative.)

Oh well, that has nothing to do with it, if you had a cooperative partner, then you would automatically do it; and it wouldn't be a role, you'd just be cast in that.

So why don't you be the role; and then more than likely, he will cooperate a little later if you're pleasant around him. It's awfully hard to bitch when everybody's pleasant. It'd be nicer if you'd do it first, but as I just got through saying, we love to be victims, and so you unconsciously see yourself as "I'm a victim of this S.O.B. I live with; and if he would just straighten up and fly right, then I would feel so wonderful."

That's this one here we call blamer-faultfinder. We play that role to a fare-thee-well, right? Probably both of you play it; and when two people in the same house are playing the same role, that leads to friction, sparks and fights of various degrees of intensity, right? It frequently ends what's called a relationship; and now they're called ex-relaters out there somewhere.

(laughter from the audience)

Something like that. We used to relate, but we don't relate anymore. That's an ex-relater. You know we used to have husbands and wives-now we have relaters-the husband, wife business--that went out quite a while ago; and now we have relaters, ok? Think you could handle that?

You take charge. You take charge. You play the role of the being a pleasant soul; and if he doesn't want to live with it, tough. But I'd say that he probably likes to be with somebody pleasant.

Did I tell you about the guy from California three or four months that told me that he came home from work one day and his live-in girlfriend relater of three or four years had left a note on the kitchen table and said, "It's all over with-I'm gone-don't try to find me." He said that was Thursday afternoon when he came home from work. He said, "I didn't sleep all night." "I couldn't work Friday morning." "I was in a real mess. Then about 2:00 pm Friday afternoon, I kind of got a hold of myself and said, "I'm not going to let this wreck my whole weekend."

I tell these people that call up with their sad woe-be-gone crushed love affairs that story; and none of them seem to think it's funny. I think it is. I think that's long enough to be torn up over a relationship-from Thursday afternoon until Friday at 2:00 pm. That way you lost one night's sleep and couldn't work all the next morning-then it's time to get it over with--don't let it wreck your whole weekend. That tells you how important those things are, ok?

Ok, another question, comment, question.

(If you wanted to select a role, how would you go about selecting one?)

One that appealed to me. I'd just play any one that appeals to me. I don't have to think there's any right role or wrong role to play. It's just one that appeals to me. Do you have any roles that appeal to you?


Probably? I think so. I'd think one would flash by every now an then.

(I'm a builder, I make things. I like to create things.)

Well, then play the role of creator. Play the role of creating.

(Most of the time I get stuck in work in the role of fixing other people's faults, failures.)

Did you try it once.

(Are you saying it just tends to go that way unless you…..)

You don't have to go, you can change any role you want to, play any one you want to, change them whenever you like-they're all yours and that's the nice thing about them, you're not stuck with it.

(Can you do two at the same time?)

Not at the exact moment; but I can do two in a day obviously-several a day. I wear many different hats in a day. So I can wear many hats in a day--but not at the same time. At the same moment, you can't stand up and sit down; but you know one can follow the next moment. Ok?