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Excerpts - Should's & Ought-to's

Excerpt from Maryland 12/78 Workshop Tape 1, Side one*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

[Check back in "Basics" (tape 2) on this web site to where not "I's" come from to further understand where the "should" and "ought to's" originate. Now we go to the tape as Dr. Bob begins with the question, "Where do the "shoulds and ought to's" come from? Dr. Bob says……]

Where do the "should's" and the "ought to's" come from?

Long as there's so many of us we can have a round-table discussion. How much authority do "they" have over you; and authority merely means they were an author of it. So "they" wrote it or told you or spoke it to you--but does it have any further affect on you NOW?

(It would take away they're approval.)

Well, so?

(Say you "bought" what they said and made it an "ideal" for me. Now I'm saying to myself, "This is what I "should do" and I begin to carry it around all the time.)

Well, you didn't "say it", you felt you "HAD to do it". Nobody willingly accepted a "should or ought to". It's like she said, an authority within said, "Now if I don't please them, or act like I do all the things I "should do", they won't like me any more. Is that what you're saying?


Is that all that valuable?

(I think so.)


(To not be disapproved of.)

Well, if it's an "authority" that's yelling at me to do something "I don't want to do", then I don't see that it's nearly as painful as the adaptation is--[all the worry, fear, and insecurity that the body has to adapt to in stiffness, soreness, etc.) adapting to the mobilized and unreleased energy created by the conflict over whether to do what the "authority" says or do what I want to do.

In other words, I would rather that you disapproved of me than me to feel exhausted and worn out and barely able to get around because I'm so loaded down with trying to please you when I don't want to. Which one would you rather do, come to think of it? Do you want to go on with all this load [the shoulds and ought-tos] on you or drop it.

You see I talk to people for several years and they generally tell you the same thing. They have the same situation they had two years ago and three years ago and twenty years ago. They're still working on the same conflict. Now there's no use to talk about a conflict unless we intend to get rid of it.

I don't have to insult people or not get along with them because I don't have the same likes or dislikes they do. All I got to do is allow them to have theirs. If they still want to fuss, I can pull what's known as a "Hank Snow", I can MOVE ON.

Hank Snow had a theme song called "I'm a-movin' on.".

If somebody is so insistent, or you've made someone your authority--come to think of it , what authority do you have now that you are grown up?

(I've got something, but it seems too complicated to me.)

Let's go into it now. It's very complicated but everybody's involved in it, not just you. Whatever you're involved in, we all either have been, are, or will be.

(Say someone says to do something. You say OK because that's what you want to do at the moment because you put them in as your authority. But then you decide you don't want to do it after you think about it--you want to take away the authority you gave them.)

Why would you give anyone the authority after you're grown up? When you're a kid you can't help it. When you're grown up why would you keep giving anybody authority over you.

(Probably because you want their help.)

You want to avoid a responsibility, so you lay it over on them. You think, if I do what they want me to do, then everything will be all right. You tell me what to do and I'll do it and we'll get along fine. What I really want you to do is to tell me to do the things I already want to do. But above all if I'm going to make you my authority, I want you to tell me to do what I want to do.

(Then you change your mind about that after a while.)

Well, that's all right--you're always free to change your mind.

You see we want to avoid responsibility. If I make somebody an authority after I'm grown up, then I want to ask you "what should I do". I'm wanting you to tell me to do something different so it will counteract some other authority I have or had [probably in my head] who told me not to do it. If you tell me I can, then I'll go ahead and do it and if it shouldn't work out well, I can blame you for it.

Isn't that why you turn things over to other people to have authority over you is because you don't want to be responsible for the outcome?

(I don't want to do something 100% of the time. Sometimes 10% of the time I want to do something else.)

Well, it doesn't matter if you want to do it 100% or 10%--just this moment is all we're talking about.

(But in the long run I don't want to do it, so then I get somebody to help me to not do it.)

But if they should say, "You better go on and do it anyway," then you're all upset with them. You see we want to avoid responsibility. We first got caught up in the conflict of having the things we "should do" and "ought to do" which I didn't want to do. Then there was the things I wanted to do which somebody criticized. Now I want to get out of the responsibility of even deciding what I want, is that right?

When you ask for an authority, you're wanting to get out of the responsibility of choosing what you really want--you want somebody else to do it. People spend a great amount of time praying for God to tell them what to do; and X says, "You choose whatever you want to do and I'll help you do it, but I'm not going to choose for you."

You see the Hebrew folks way back down the road said, "You tell us what to do and we'll do it." But that's turning things upside down. You choose what to do and you got all the power of the universe to go with you; but nothing's going to tell you what to do--that's your responsibility.

We always want somebody else to tell us what to do and then I will gladly go do it. If it doesn't work out well, we say, "Well, you told me to do it; and I did, and see what happened?" "It's all your fault."

So, we want to avoid responsibility.

Now would it be so difficult if I could choose--"What do I want to do". Now that's going to change. It's not going to be the same thing day in and day out--in fact it won't be the same thing many times today. One time today you want to do one thing; and another time today you want to do something else. Is that so hard to do.

(I want to have money in the bank and I want have a new sofa too.)

No that's talking about what you want to have. I'm not interested in that. Don't confuse having with doing.

I'm asking what you want to do. Man is designed to do and the sofa's and the money in the bank are by-products. If you were functioning anywhere near your capacity, you'd have so many of both, you wouldn't know what to do with it.

As it is, you're functioning at such a small level of efficiency that we can't have this and that, we have to have only one, is that correct. Now let's get around and see what you want to do, and then you won't have to talk to me about the couch and money in the bank and all this stuff.

That's not talking about what you are doing, it's talking about what you want to have. When you want to have, all you're doing is wishing--and you wish in two directions. I wish I could have the money in the bank but I also wish I had a new couch. If I take the money out of the bank to buy the new couch, I won't have any money in the bank and then I'll worry every time I sit on the couch. If I leave the money in the bank, I'll have the money in the bank; but I'll fuss about this old couch every time I sit down on it.

You could have both if you could get out of conflict. You see, conflict is the disintegrating and limiting factor. The only thing that we have as a disintegrating and limiting factor is that we're a bundle of conflict--sometimes all we can do is barely get up enough energy to walk across the floor, huh? Sometimes can't even do that.

What is the conflict? We are asking for you at the moment to say, "What do I really want to do?" If I want to be a conscious being, I want to be doing "what to me is being a good guest" and nothing nor nobody keeps me from it.

Now I didn't say that everybody in the world approved of me; in fact, they don't. Thank goodness. But a surprising number of them do--believe it or not--and that's more than enough for me.

In other words, I don't have to have ALL the attention in the world. I don't have to have ALL the approval in the world. And I don't have to have ALL the appreciation, but I got all I can use, ok? I got a daily sufficiency of attention and approval and appreciation. I got enough.

Now there's some people who don't give it, ok. The waitress this morning didn't like me coming in and bothering her for a cup of coffee. She had one packet of sugar; and I like a lot of sugar, so I really poured it in. Oh man, she thought that was terrible! I was fully expecting her to come back and tell me that it would give me hypoglycemia, but she didn't. I'm sure she thought of it.

So what difference does it make if a few people disapprove of me in the world. I got plenty of approval. I don't want to eat all the food in town today, do you? I don't need all the attention and approval. And certainly I have enough pleasure and comfort. I got all I can handle.

Not that doesn't mean I don't ever experience a little discomfort, or what you might call pain; but so what, I got a lot of comfort and pleasure in this world. I got enough for me--more than enough. I got more than I know what to do with--let's put it like that. I got plenty of attention. I got plenty of approval. And I have plenty of appreciation. Now that doesn't mean that somebody doesn't disapprove of me once in a while; and somebody doesn't ignore me now and then, and that somebody doesn't express appreciation ALL the time. A lot of them don't--so what? Haven't you got enough.

Now when you're doing what you want to do, you have your desire to do. You will to do it; and you will have turned loose tremendous amounts of energy. You have become--shall we say--powerful. Do you feel powerful when you are frustrated, in conflict, in the agony of decision--or do you feel you can barely make it today?

I want to do so and so BUT……………………..

I want to feel free BUT…………….

I want to do this BUT……………………

That says I'm not going to do it. I can't use "Will" because I don't really "Desire" it.

Do you have a lot of things you'd like to do BUT………………

You feel that you should or ought to do them But………………………

You immediately tell yourself (doesn't matter about the rest of us), but you tell yourself some, to you, excuse. I might say you think up some invalid reason why you can't do it.

The favorite one is, "I don't have the money."--or

"My husband won't let me."--or

"My wife would get upset."--or

"The kids would get upset."--or

"The kids are not through school yet."

Any excuse is better than none for not doing it, is that right?

(Question. Back when you were talking about "desire" and "will' and marriage of these two aspects--esoterically; apparently there's an esoteric meaning to divorce for adultery.)

Right. "Adultery" is what this "awareness" got into--it took up a lot of "shoulds and ought to's" and said get away from that "desire"--or that "will" that wants you to do something because you should or ought to. Adultery is following all sorts of authorities, as our little friend said a minute ago.

(As I remember, the saying is the "desire" is divorcing the "will". "Will" is the adulterous.)

"Will" is an "adulterous", yes; because it's going to do what it "should do, ought to do". It went after a strange man--a strange male. This "desire" is it's mate, ok? Now here comes along a suggestion out here that says you "should do this" or else you will experience a little difficulty, then the "will" will go after that--like everybody says, "I have to do so and so." Now that is adultery. The natural husband is "desire". The false man that she runs after is all kinds of "shoulds and ought-tos and have-tos"--illusions of ideals. So the "will" is out playing around with that and it says--divorce her, get rid of it and start over clean---get a new "desire" and a new "will" and be done with it.

If the "will" is so weakly and so conditioned that it's going to do nothing but what it should do and ought to do--get rid of the thing, let desire start a new one, totally different--so we've established a whole new family over here. Desire says "This is what I want to do." Will says, "I can't do that because I have to do what I "should do."--it is practicing "adultery" then.

We might say that practically everybody was split asunder when we first started out in this world because institutions are afraid of a natural human being--one who desires something to do and wills to do it. That's very threatening to all institutions. Institutions are not interested in you being "awake" or "conscious" or "efficient", they are interested in obedience. Institutions tell you that obedience to do what you "should do and ought to do" is the highest attribute, is that right? [See Tape 4, The Two Worlds in "Basics" on this web site to learn more about "institutions" and the four Great Games.]

They want to have all of us limited to a certain amount and then "they control us"; and we do what we should do and ought to do. The average family doesn't try to raise up conscious children, they try to raise "good" children. Most of you have had kids--you try to raise "good" ones. Thank goodness we fizzle sometimes.

(I tried that.)

In other words you put as many "shoulds and ought-tos and have-tos" as you could and thank goodness the kids rebelled a little bit.

(A whole lot.)

We all want to rebel, including you. We all want to take off. People tell me, "I wish I could just get away from everything and be free." But they wouldn't because they'd take along all the shoulds and ought-tos in their head with them. So it's no use running off to the wilds of Africa and be a hermit because you're going to take all your shoulds and ought-tos with you. They are now internalized, and the "shoulds and ought-tos" go everywhere you go.

The whole bit is to see them for the fallacy that they are and kick them out and start you a new family.

(What if in the process of doing what you want to do, you cause others to feel like failures or feel really hurt--so much so that you see symptoms.)

I have never found that to happen. They have physical symptoms, but I didn't make them happen. I said that is what I want to do, to be what is to me, is being a good guest. Now so far I haven't seen it harm anyone.

Now I've seen some people get upset because I wouldn't do what they wanted me to do--and they got sick; but honey, I can't breath for those people. I can't think for them. And if I did what they wanted me to do, as your next door neighbor just said, they'd decide 10 minutes later that they didn't want it anyway. So they wouldn't like it no matter what I did--so they'd get sick anyway.

Have you ever noticed that when you tell somebody you want them to do something; and they do it--and then after a little while, you wish they'd quit. Huh? You changed your mind.

[This is a very valuable idea to observe and work with; but as always, the not "I's" will try to use it to create havoc. For instance: The taxes need to be done. The not "I's" hypnotize the "awareness", misusing the idea we've been given "to do what we want to do" instead of listening to the "shoulds and ought-tos." The not "I" then uses the idea as a justification to not do the taxes which can create havoc not only within but without. Dr. Bob tried to clarify that statement by having us ask ourselves, "What is to my advantage?" So sometimes when I want drop a "should or ought-to" and it doesn't feel right, I clarify it in my mind by asking, "What is to my advantage to do?"]