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Definitions - What is a School?

Excerpt from November 3, 1985 Workshop in Tampa*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[Dr Bob starts out after the break with the subject of what a "school" is.]

A lot of people talk to me about a school. They would like to attend a school. They'd like to know what's done in a school--schools of "teaching" and "integrated schools" and sometimes they're called "esoteric schools." I'm going try to talk about how to have a school wherever you might find yourself even if there's nobody else in sight or anything else.

You can go out here and get in your little boat, it cracks up and you wind up on a desert island somewhere; but you can still have a school, all right?

We will talk about what constitutes a school.

To be in a school there must be material. Now that material--we have tried to see--is available to people in any number of ways. Any one of the materials we talk about could be used by itself and still achieve the same thing. You don't have to have it all.

Of course, it's very interesting if we get one little bit of information, we can say, "Well, if I had more better and different, I could do more." But you can take any one idea and it will work quite well.

You can take the idea of "two worlds" and look at it for a little while and that's all you'd ever really need if you wanted to look at it. You could take the "picture of man" and without going any further, you could understand anything and everything that needs to be done that you could do that would put yourself all in one place.

There's a lot of little ideas thrown around that anyone of them will work. We put out several only because different people might catch one, and another person might catch another one--and it's not because they need it all. That should be a relief to anybody. If you catch one idea and you can use it--that's all you ever really need. If you establish a little point of awareness, that's all you really have to do. That's always involved in everything.

So first there must be some material. We have seen that the material is available and it's out here, and there are many places you can get the material.

The second thing is there must be a student. Now that's where the trickery comes in. If you're really a student, that becomes, shall we say, you're prime mover? That's what you're interested in--shall we say--you eat it, you drink it, you do the whole bit with it. It isn't a hobby.

I'm appreciative of many people that I associate with across the country that it is a hobby. That's fine. They're at least potential students, so I like for them to be around. But the student that is on the job at the moment says "That's all there is." I may work at a dozen occupations, but that's just to earn my daily bread. The real occupation is that I'm a student. That's it.

And thirdly, there must be a crew. In other words it takes a little bit to set it up.

We got all the set-up within ourselves. We can watch all those little things we put up like the "complainer", the "sticker up for right", the "blamer", the "pleaser", the "'quoter' of authorities" and the "self improver."

Now when we set up one where there happens to be more people--that's not on a desert island--those people are all around us. There's one that will personify every one of those. You know a complainer? That's one very necessary for a school.

You got to have a "complainer" around because the "complainer" sets up and constantly checks up to see if you are really in earnest. If you're not, you'll get upset with the complainer.

If you are really working as a student you will see that the complainer is pointing out something for you all the time. That you probably start complaining because they complain so much. You know, what's the difference.

So we have all the people, the crew, that best personify one of the basic not "I's--the one that makes everything so they don’t' want to be disturbed at all--the whole purpose of living is to be non-disturbed. we can usually get one of those. We can get one that is a good complainer. We can get one that is an excellent "sticker up for rights". We can have a "pleaser." We can have a "'quoter' of authorities"--they're busy studying and every day they meet you they quote the authority for that day, whatever they heard yesterday or last night. You know all those good folks. And then there is the "self improver" that constantly tells you how you should improve yourself and how you should fit this standard, and that standard and so forth. And then there's the "blamers", and they're the easiest ones to recruit. We can find those everywhere. But we recruit these people and keep them around when we're playing the game of running a pretty good sized school--why we recruit one of each of these.

Now we chose them--not because we're going to change them, or that they are going to evolve, or that they're going to integrate--they're probably going to be the same--20 years from now--doing just what they're doing today. They're an absolute necessity when you're operating a school--to keep them around. Sometimes we have to pay their expenses a little bit--but they gotta be there, cause then there isn't any doubt that you're not being reminded of what's going on all the time. They very worthwhile.

If you go back and read a lot of teaching material--incidentally the bible is a book full of teaching material. I've heard people say, "Why in the world would they have a Judas?" I 'spect he was the top paid "crew member" there. He knew what to do because he could go out and say, "Well, we're not getting enough money for this." "We're spending too much." He was the treasurer, I heard, of a little band of people.

All of these people are essential. Now if you're going to study something and you were in a very un disturbing environment like the "ivory tower" bit where everybody was all in accord and every one of them was being more righteous than thou. Everybody was sitting there being very integrated, what would you ever learn.

You know if I lived with all the rest of the people who were conscious, I wouldn't need to be. What would I need to bother with it. They're all going to treat me nice. They're going to be good to me. They're going to understand me when I act up. Why should I "wake up." I only want to be around all those non-disturbing people.

If you're going to have a school, you don't want to change anybody around you. You want them all to be there, and you want to be able to see them purely objectively, with no condemnation nor no justification--they're just there. And they can remind you if you'll just allow it. Now if you don't want to be reminded, you try to "straighten them out." If you don't want to be reminded of what you're doing, try to "straighten them out." You find fault with them. You try to fix 'em. You tell them what they "ought to do" every once in a while. You ever go through that a little bit?

But you see nature provides us with schools all the time. Only thing is we don't recognize them. So we all, without going out of our way India, or to Pakistan, Afghanistan, or to Arkansas, have a school in operation directly about us at any time. It does require that you want to be a student, and that you put prime value on it. So if there is a student, I'll guarantee you school is in operation, ok?

You've been around awhile and said things--does what I'm saying make a little sense to you?


If you are a student, there is a school there for you. You don't have to go out and travel around the world or anything else to find it because it's already there. What are you going to find out as a student. You're going to see illusions for what they are.

I asked a man who I attribute to teaching me something of value one time what one should be most interested in looking for. He said, "If you want to know the truth, you look for illusions because when you've seen an illusion for what it is, you've seen the truth of the matter." And if you're going looking for truth, he said, you're just turning over rocks. And usually all you find is bugs worms, and so forth under rocks.

So when you're going to look for truth, you don't have to look very far--look for illusions.

Now is the idea that the whole purpose of living is to be non-disturbed an illusion. It sure is. Is it an illusion that the best way to gain the non-disturbed state if it was possible to have it, to complain? It's about the last way in the world. But do you ever hear anybody complain? I've heard people complain because other people complain so much. And I had one lady come to me complaining because she complained so much. I said, "Fine, go complain some more--get a belly full of it."

But is everything that you need is right here? So school is here, you see an illusion. You see that believing and doing as you're told by authorities is an illusion because the authorities don't agree. So which one of them are you going to listen to? If you listen to two or more you're really in a conflict. You're really in a turmoil.

So this can go on that you are constantly--you have a school available to you wherever you may be. You don't need to pick up stakes and run anywhere in order to have a school.

Now sometimes people come and ask us and we go through the motion of putting on one, but all we do is to create what's going on anywhere. We just are sure the right ones are there all the time. We get them all there--get a whole crew.

We have the complainers, the sticker up for rights, and we have all these folks. We call these people the degree team. They're there to be sure that there is every effort made to get you upset, if you're going to be subject to getting upset. They're going to suggest that this whole thing is a big farce. "Bob is trying to just take advantage of us." "He's got us all snowed." They are all there doing their thing. They do it very well, they're experts at making dissension. Did you ever work someplace where there's somebody in there constantly getting to everybody and suggesting the whole place was in a turmoil and it needed to be made over and all that. He's a "D" man. He's good. He's doing his job real well.

Of course, most people if they think of a school, they would think of it somewhere where you had nice discussions and quiet times and that you would be enlightened. No, you live in the world. We said this morning we had the two worlds, and the school exaggerates the man-made world. That makes it easier to catch on.

Somebody asked me one time how I come up with all these little spots in the picture of man. I worked in a mental hospital one time--I interned there. those people were exactly like everybody on the outside except it was exaggerated--that made it easy to see. When I could see it in them, I began to see it everywhere else all right. So really you learn from them. That's all it is.

So you can have a school if you decide to be a student. A student is truly committed to being conscious. We said this morning that your necessity had been increased, or you found it necessary to do so. Now if your necessity is not increased, you have a hobby. I enjoy reading lots of things. I enjoy giving people talks, and I enjoy studying various and sundry things. But unless my necessity is increased to the point where the teaching is my purpose--my purpose become finding out "what's going on here." So, we would come up to find out exactly "what's going on here."

So the student has four questions. (See Self-Remembering)

What am I?

Where am I?


What's going on here?

And when you've answered those things……

What can I do?

Now if those are urgent questions to you for any reason, then you're a student at that moment. You're definitely a student. And everybody around you, the whole world is a school that is trying to give you the answer to those, or trying to tell you that you're foolish for asking the question, whichever one you're looking at.

Anybody want to try those questions for me? they are considered by people with considerable insight that those are the only four valid questions. And they say that any other question as far as esoteric teaching is concerned or scriptural understanding is concerned is an invalid question. You know an invalid question is another word for invalid--the rest of them are sick questions. So to stick to these four.

How long have you been asking these questions?

(Most of my adult life.)

So, for a long time, but they're not easy questions, are they?

(No they're not, but a person does begin to come to some conclusions.)

Yes, and sometimes conclusions are touchy. So we're going to come to some observations on those four questions. I won't come to any conclusions. I don’t' think a conclusion is the always the best thing to do with it.