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School Talk 56 - What If

(audience participation in parenthesis)

We're going to talk about what we have an image of today. You know everybody keeps a lot of images in their head all the time. You've got one up there; and of course, it's interesting to see what kind of image we carry around. Some people have one thing and some another. I've known one guy who only had two things he ever talked about so he constantly had an image-he always talked about girls; and he talked about airplanes. I told him one day that if somebody lifted the top of his skull off and looked in there, there would be a naked girl holding up a little airplane spinning around and around. So that was one image that he carried around. There's no danger of him getting one of these tapes because he's been dead now for several years. He took a strange girl out in his airplane and crashed it. So that took care of him and the girl both, all at the same time.

So people keep an image in their head. Now there are usually two images we work on. The first one is "how I see", or "what I think of me". In other words, how I see me. You got that one, don't you? You got that in there? Then we have another one over here-"How I want everybody else to see me".

So we have two images we work on; and of course, when we make anything important, we become anxious-that about right? That's the first thing that happens-we become anxious when we make things important. We make it very important how other people see us. That's about right, isn't it? We want to be seen as a very super, super, super person of some sort or another-calm, cool, collected, a genius, and all sorts of things. Some people I've known that had almost no coin of the realm make a very great effort to have everyone see them as very wealthy, very whatever; and some people want to be very dignified, and some people want to be very gracious-that's what they want people to think of them.

Now if you already thought that of yourself--if you really had an image of yourself as being all that wonderful person--you would never have to think about impressing people to have that-that about right? You'd just know they did. You could care less.

So the image we have of ourselves is possibly the most valuable one we have, or the one most detrimental--according to the kind we have. So if I see myself as quite all right, you know-I'm pleased with me--then I don't have to worry about what other people are going to think of me and any of that kind of stuff. I don't have to image them all laughing at me and finding fault with me, or that they're looking down on me or any of those things. But otherwise, we have a very decided tendency-if I don't like me too well-to think everybody else is looking down on me; and then I feel very upset.

Now we have a little word up at the top of the board that says, "what if." Now "what if" is probably the greatest form of imaging we do? We put an image in our head of "what if" all sorts of horrible things happen. Now if we image "what if everything is going to work wonderful", "what if everybody liked me", "What if I made nothing but money"?, How would that feel? I'll tell you, you wouldn't believe it.

(Probably not.)

No, you wouldn't believe that. Would you believe it if you were thinking to yourself, "What if everybody likes me real well?", "What if everybody treats me real well?", "What if I'm making gobs of money"?, Would you buy that or would you rather work on "What if somebody finds fault with me." "What if I go broke?" "What if I get in debt?", "What if I make an ass out of myself?",--which one do you believe?-most apt to? Which one do you believe mostly?

(It depends on if the sun shines or it's rainy.)

Well, now it doesn't depend on the sunshine or the rain. It always looks like it's raining when we got "what if" going.

Has anybody here ever worked with "what if's" very much? "What if" this happens and "what if" that happens. Do you always "what if" all wonderful things happening? "What if" you win the lottery this weekend?

(I don't believe it anymore, but I used to.)

You don't anymore. You're acquainted with it. You're acquainted with all the "what if's," is that right?

So the "what if" is the image we paint when we say "what if" we have an image of everything going haywire, bad, ugly, abnormal, out, the whole bit; and I'm in a bad shape; and so I'm a victim of 101 circumstances out there. So that's a very clear image in about everybody's head. As most of you know, I work on the telephone an awful lot, and I hear this anywhere from ten to twenty five times a day of--"what if-and so the person has themselves in a terrible state of affairs. They're a nervous wreck about something that hasn't ever happened. I think I've told you about the old guy I talked to one time, and he said, "I'm an old man, and I've had a tremendous lot of trouble all my life--damn little of which ever happened. And that is about the way of most everybody's problems and troubles. It happens when you get carried away with health-you know, "what if you have cancer", "what if you have AIDS," "What if you have a few dozen other good conditions that's coming down the road," whichever is being promoted this week, huh? At least you should have lupus-that's being promoted this week. You should come up with a small case of that anyway. So every least thing you can find is a "what if". Now "what if" is an image? It's a picture you have.

Now X responds to your pictures in your head as though they were actually happening on the outside.

Adaptation seen as illness

In other words, if you conjure up an image of a poisonous snake all coiled up and spinning his little rattler and ready to strike you, you'd be extremely startled, is that right? And the body would produce adrenalin, thyroxin, pituitary extract and all these wonderful things to give you a big burst of energy to fight or run--either to kill the snake, or get out of there. If you're smart-get out of there.

But now if I have a false imaginary picture of that situation in my mind; and I've got it in there just as square as I can, even though it's false, X responds exactly the same way as thought it were true and I'm charged up with adrenalin, thyroxin, and pituitary extract-I'm prepared to fight or run just as though there was a real snake there, but there is no snake to fight or kill, and there's nothing to run from. So I'm all dressed up and nowheres to go--so to speak-- and I'm full of excess energy at the moment. I've mobilized a tremendous amount of energy, and there's nowhere to use it up.

The Vicious Cycle

So then we have talked about the vicious cycle. After we've mobilized energy with nowhere to use it, the next step is to have adaptation. Now some people adapt by unusual behavior. They go on a binge of some sort or other; or there is sometimes that we want to appear as real good people so we hold it in. We don't let anybody see it because that would be a bad image of me if I was all excited. So I hold it in real tight--keep it down-don't let anybody see it except that we can't hide it from those that are acquainted with such things. They can see it, but you don't run into too many of those.

So then comes up that adaptation. And we have a nice set of symptoms of some kind or another-unusual cellular activity which produces unusual sensations; and if kept up long enough, produces a lesion of some sort-some sort of tissue cell alteration or breakdown. So we've all had that. Now then, we got a picture or image of "what if"-"Oh man, we come up with a diagnosis that's out of this world." We never see it as what it really is. It is a normal adaptation to the stress I've been putting myself under and holding in. We see it as, no doubt, the biggest, the most dramatic diagnosis we could come up with. I suppose today the most dramatic diagnosis is cancer running a close second with AIDS-or maybe AIDS is running a close second, whatever--but its some drastic thing we would have, you know. It's bound to be the worst thing in the world. Now, we've set the vicious cycle into motion, and we've got it going around and around.

How I image you

Now there is no way of getting out of that unless we change how we see things. Now the way we see things is an image. I can see you as a very wonderful person or I can see you as a bum, is that right? It's strictly up to me. So you see, while we have the real object of a person or situation in front of us, I add the image on it. I interpret it according to a certain way [the conditioning within]; and so I see you as a lovely, beautiful, delightful person or I see you as a big threat, or I see you as danger in one form or another, or I see you as annoying or boring. I can look at you any way I want to, is that right? Now what do we see when we look at the person. We can see the person which is purely a description-you're blond, or you're a brunette, or you got whiskers, or you're a man or you're a woman, or you're young, or you're old, or a little bit……. But then we begin to put the image on it right quick. Now I could look-say I was in business of some sort or other which I better get in before long-if I'm going to live I'd better get out and get with it pretty soon. Anyway, I could look at a customer as a big threat, is that right? You've had a few customers, is that right? I can see them as deadbeats or I could see them as professional shoppers. I think one place I used to work they called everybody, they didn't like the looks of, "crocodile," or "crock" which means that I don't like your looks. Now you know how much those people bought, don't you from the person who was looking at them as "crock", huh? They didn't buy very much, did they? So we put an image on everything that's around us.

Now if we could begin to think of taking charge of our own state of affairs that we would begin to put an image on all people as pretty wonderful. Now that's easy to see because I've never seen a non-wonderful person. I've been out looking at people a long, long, time, and I've never seen a non-wonderful person.

Some of them are wonderfully peculiar--they're strange and different; but also a unique work of art. So I can see them all as something that is delightful to me-if I want to. Now I can see somebody as a big bore. I can see them as a bum. I can see them as show offs. I can see them as any way I want to look-that's entirely up to me.

Now I put an image on everybody. You put an image on everybody you see, is that right? You put an image on everybody you see. You put an image on everybody you see. You put an image on them. Consequently, now we come to a conclusion, "Well, they're really that way."

NO! They just got one head, one body, couple of arms stuck out from it and a couple of legs stuck off of it-the same accouterments, but the way I see them is not that. I see them according to the image I set up of what they're going to do to me, or do for me or not do to me and so on. You can be upset by people with the greatest of ease, is that right? Have been many times. Was it because that person was so much different than anybody else, or was it the image you stuck on them?--the image you put out.

X responds to the image that you put in your head. Now you put an image in there for about everything, is that right? You see a beautiful horse, you put an image of having him in your corral until you feed him for a while; and then you see an image of his getting out of your corral. You begin to see him as a hay burner after a while, huh?

(Hay burner?)

He burns hay instead of gasoline or something, but you begin to see these things in altogether different lights; and we consider that our imaging is without our control.

Taking charge

Now as long as we feel that our image is predetermined by circumstances, or by other people., we're obviously going to do absolutely nothing about it, is that right? You know, somebody else is doing it, not me. I can't do anything about it. So we talk about taking charge quite often. We've written a little book on taking charge of your inner state. Now the greatest way I know to take charge is to determine how you're going to see or what image you're going to put on everybody and everything and every circumstance and every situation around you, ok? That's the way you do it. If you see them as wonderful people, you know how they react? They basically act like wonderful people-but how do we image them?

Now if I see you as a big bother or you're a bore, how will I treat you?

(I don't know.)

I treat you like you were a bore, a bother and what-have-you; and how would you respond?-not very nicely because you wouldn't want to be treated that way because you sure don't think of yourself as being a bore and a bum and what-have-you You don't do that.

So what we're working at is taking charge of how we image time, place, and circumstance and people.

So now there's always a circumstance going on, huh? Now this morning it was raining and we could look out and have a beautiful rain, or we could see yuck, it's wet today. It's bad, and it's all this kind of stuff and so on. We could see mechanically or choose our own image. We could look at anybody as a threat. They might hurt me. Did you ever see that sometime or other? Yes, so you steer clear of them; and then you wonder why you don't have great gobs of people running around being your friends and so forth and so on.

So when you realize that X always operates off of the image you have in your head; whether it's a visual image looking out there and seeing that, and I don't put anything on it or just an image. We automatically put some trimming on everything we look at. We decorate the tree so to speak. It's not just a tree--it's a decorated tree.

So if I look at a person, I'm not just looking at that person. I'm looking at them with an image of something in my head. You observe and watch it and see. It's always there. Now if I image you as going to be a danger to me in some way or another, or a threat to me, then how do I see you? How does X respond to you then? It's going to be "up tight" so to speak. It's going to set the body on guard to say the very least. It's going to be on guard and it's going to be loaded up with adrenalin, thyroxin, pituitary extract--the heart's going to beat a little faster, and the blood pressure's going up a little bit. All this goes on immediately In a millisecond.

What we radiate

Now the other person that's around is going to pick up on how you are feeling because we do radiate our feelings or emotions in spite of all we intend to do-there is none of us such good actors that we can cover them up. We may think we've covered them up. We may go through the effort of holding everything inside, but we are still, as we have said many times, living in that what we radiate. So we're radiating whatever goes with the picture-the image I have in my head of you. I'm bound to radiate that to you. If I see you as a delightful person I'd like as a friend, you feel you're in the presence of a friend. If I see you some other way, no matter if there's a good handshake and all that, you still feel that that person doesn't like you, that right? You don't have to have them come up and say, "Hey, I don't like you." You don't have to have that, do you? There can be all the glad-handing that you want, but you don't want them around you, is that right?

So when we look at what we are all "occupied with" dealing with people--I don't care what we do or what our occupation is or anything else--we're dealing with people all the time, right? I tell people-somebody tells me they want to make money, but they don't want to have to deal with the public, (is as they refer to as people). I say "Well, I've struggled around this world for quite a long time and managed to get a dollar here and there; and I always had to get it from a people. Did you ever get a dollar from anywhere except a people? Did you? Did you? You got to get it from a people, is that right? So I like to have all people like me pretty well or feel pretty good when they're around me. They come near separating from their cash, is that right?

I went and told a banker up in Idaho one day-I went in practically every Monday morning with a great big stack of checks-none with very big amounts--but a whole bunch of them. He said to me one day, "Where do you get all this money?", and I said, "Well, I go all over to different parts of the country." "The people out there have my money, and I have to go get it from them." He told that story all over the place--that I said other people had my money; but isn't that right?

(That's true.)

How are you going to get it from them? They got it. So I got to go get it from them. Now it's hard to get it from them if I'm looking at them like they're stupid so and so's, huh? It's hard to separate them from it, it's tough. If I look at them like you're a no-good bum-you're a "mooch". Any of you know that term "mooch" means. That means a sucker, you know. One that's really easy to take on and so forth. If I look at them like that, they keep that billfold in their pocket to the best of their ability. They want to keep it there, right? But if I see them as wonderful people, they kind of like to share with me--it seems like-we get along all right. Have you found that out? Now if you look at everybody as though they are very crude, rude, tight fisted, don't want to do this, don't want to do that, how do they see you? They see you as a person who does not like them. Who doesn't want to be around them-doesn't approve of them. Now obviously the people that feels you don't approve of them or that you're finding fault with them, or that you're judging them in a very detrimental way, do they want to spend money with you?

(Probably not.)

If they can keep from it, they're not going to, ok? If they can possibly keep from it; and they usually can keep from it.

(I have a "what if" question for you.)

Well, all right, I knew you would have. Come on, I got it up here already. What is your "what if" question?

Changing an image at a distance

(When you're placing these things in your mind, sometimes they'll come through, even if the person is not in your presence--that too creates……)

Oh yes, I think they can feel it for a quarter of-well, quite a long ways. In fact, I know that it can be done from many, many miles. We have demonstrated that-- that they don't have to be there right now looking at you. In other words, I'm pretty sure that we all radiate at least 35 miles out. The distance really doesn't have anything to do with it.

(What I mean is if we place that new image in our mind, it can work for a situation when we do come in contact with them?)

Well, it will work whenever you come in contact, even when you're not in contact. You know it's awful easy to feel that the world is populated with some uncouth people. If I feel a little "inferior" I feel that people are a danger to me. Consequently, it's pretty easy-instead of seeing me as inferior, I would turn it around and see they're uncouth, unkind, dangerous and etc.

(I had more in mind of a situation…well, let's say you're going to make a sale; and you wanted to sell to this person. So if you put it in your mind before you make your contact with him that they were going to be a hard sell, then they would be.)

Yeah, they'd probably be impossible to sell to.

(If you put it in your mind that it is going to be a nice sell…)

This is a nice person, and I'm going to do something--I'm giving something worthwhile to the person; and they're nice people.

So when you're dealing with nice people, they always seem to treat you pretty nice, is that correct? Now when you stop to think of all the people you know, how many of them do you put an image on of being a very nice person? If you look at it, you'll probably find it's been kept to a "not to extensive a number". We can find something wrong with about anybody if we work at it, is that right? I can find something wrong with them. In fact, I could sit here and start at that end of the room and I could go around the back row and come back to the front, and I could probably find, if I was looking for it, some derogatory image to stick on everybody. You're too…your hair's too curly or it's too straight, or it's to blond or it's too dark, or it's too this. You're too tall, or you're too short, or you're too round, or you're too skinny. I can go on and on, it doesn't make any difference. You're voice doesn't please me or whatever. I could find something to criticize everywhere, is that right? it is a very easy human attribute to find something to criticize; because anybody can have a big ideal picture in their head of whatever that person should be, you know, everybody ought to be the same I guess-and look just like that picture. Wouldn't that be a boring world?

The Victim Role

And so we go out and find what we can find wrong with people. Now we can do that mechanically without ever being conscious one moment. We can do that all day long-just go around and see what's wrong with anybody and everybody, no sweat. And then we can see that we get a picture of ourselves that I'm a victim of all kinds of circumstances and other people and situations and events and so on-and it gets stuck in there that I'm a victim

Now of course, if I see me as a victim, how will I always be experiencing myself as what I see in the mirror, or as a poor victim? Can I put an image on me? Now most of us don't stop to think of the image we put on ourselves. Now you could see yourself as a victim or you could see yourself as a person of the world out here giving a service or something that people want or could use

We have a little sign on the wall that says one thing I can do, I can contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood-I could at least do that. So if I can do that, I'm. at least, a pretty worthwhile person without too much other hassles, is that right? I can contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood. Didn't say I could make it in every circumstance, but I can contribute to it a little bit. So I could contribute to a pleasant harmonious mood wherever I may be. Now that is beginning to see me as having a little more value, is that right?

Now it's awful easy to get to thinking we are not of much value-that's pretty easy when we have been playing the victim role. We can play that we don't have any value in much of anything. Maybe I could do some little thing. I could cook pretty good or I can fix a computer, or I can mow the lawn, or I can water the lawn or some of these endless number of things we come across; but basically, over and over, we see that we have flaws.

Now that flaw is strictly what-we imagined it and what does X respond to-always the image that we set up there for it [awareness] to say this is what is true to me. In other words, it's rather a worthwhile chore to see it moment to moment-what do I hold to be true-because X operates upon the picture that you hold to be true.

Now if you make a false picture; and I can image this room being full of flames coming out of the ceiling. I can image that, but I don't accept that image as being true. I'm just playing games. Ok, now I don't get any adrenalin shocks when I'm playing a game.. I don't get any thyroxin thrown in, I don't get excited to run or anything else, I just sit here and keep yakking away, huh? But if I really feel that the building was on fire--if I believed that picture that I made up to be really true-even though I'm aware I can't see the flame, but I could get some evidence that there's a big flame between the two layers of roofing over our heads, then I would get excited. I would react because I held that to be true, is that right?

Now it is very worthwhile that we make a concentrated effort to see what do I hold to be true--that I picture in my head. Now the derogatory things we can easily hold to be true. That just seems to be the human nature. You can hold all the derogatory stuff to be true. If you made a real pretty picture, can you hold that to be true or do you think, "That will never happen to me."

(That's very depleting.)

It's quickly gone. You can't hold that picture up there long enough for even X to catch a glimpse of it. That's got to be pretty fast. It's gone because we don't buy that at all. We don't feel that any really wonderful things can occur to me very often. Now once in a while we get and image going and we can see a little bit and we do get a picture. At that point, we really begin to accomplish whatever it was we were thinking or talking about--it doesn't matter whether it's painting a picture or working with a sick person, or whether it's building a building or whether it's writing a book or whatever-it may be.

We have to image first what is capable of happening. I know great gobs of people that say, "Well, I could write a book, and I'm going to write one sometime; but they can't ever see themselves doing it; so the book never gets written. They can't see themselves doing that one.

Now there's another thing that every once in a while a person cannot see themselves as being successful. They can see themselves having boo boo's all the time. That's very easy; it's a very simple one to do. You can get it in your head that the business cycle is in bad shape these days-the gross national product is going down-the national debt is out of sight-the stock market is seesawing-and you can have you a horrible looking picture in a short order, is that right? You can have that just about anytime you want to. You can have this strange picture of yourself as a failure. People write a lot of books about successes and failures, but it all depends on the picture you have of yourself--what image you put on you. If you have an image that won't work….

(End of side one of tape)

(Beginning of other side)

Today they talk about writing a business plan. All in the world it is, is trying to write a plan so that you can get a clear picture in your head of what you're going to do and why it might work out pretty well so you can be a success. But that's only if you would have a success image of yourself-not of everything and everybody else. You can be a fizzle if you have a picture of yourself as being put upon, mistreated, unfortunate, someone's taking advantage of you and so forth. You can have that picture. Did you ever have that one?

(Uh huh.)

Did you ever have that one? It's easy to have that people are going to take advantage of you. John decides every once in a while that California people are terrible, and he's got to go to Texas. He goes to Texas-they're bad, so he's got to leave there. So he's got the start of a Grand Canyon between Houston and California. He's run up and down there so many times, it's getting dug in the ground. So one day there'll be a deep canyon. It will be because he wore that tract in there running backwards and forwards up and down where the good folks are. Of course, he hasn't found them yet; they're always in the other place opposite to where he is. John, you know my mother told me never to move to get away from bad neighbors--they'd meet you there. They get there before you do. So lousy customers always get there before you do, and they move faster than you do. They're always on the way before you can get there.

We've given some very basic fundamentals here. Now let's do some conversation about it. I'd like to have everybody involved in this, and I think everybody is concerned that we go with all the "what if'" images you put up; and let's talk about them so we can get them out and look at them. You know while you only think about things, they always look reasonable and logical and correct; but if you start talking about them, sometimes those ideas fall apart-they won't stand the light of day. So throw them out here in the light of day and let's take your "what if's"-it doesn't matter what the "what if" is about. Let's discuss it a little bit.

You want to start? You're always ready to yak away a little bit. If you don't, John will. You want him to go first.


Fire away John.

(Like today when I got here and sat down, I noticed that I was still going. I don't know what kind of emergency was going on.)

Well, it's anything.

(So I was sitting there and then my head starts talking-most everybody knows that I'm a little bit anxious.)

Right, we might have a terrible view of you as being an anxious individual. Of course, everybody knows that you don't have to worry about it. We like you anyway, so what's the difference. We know that your anxiety is just a trick that you're playing on yourself because "what if" you don't impress us as being a fully integrated, hugely successful young man and "what if" we find out that you're scared.


We like you anyway. You want to know "what if." Now I'll tell you "what if." You know people are always wondering what will people think about them. I'll tell you what everybody's thinking about you, John. You want to know? They're wondering what you're thinking about them. Think what a big waste of time that is, ok? They're wondering what you're thinking about them.

(So you just smile back at them?)

Oh, just go on. Just don't make an issue about it, that's all right. Ok, that got yours done.

Now are you ready? You got you….

(What if we just accept life as it is?)

Well, that would be wonderful. How is it?

(It's fine.)

You see you could get six people lined up and they'd never agree on how it is because it all depends on not what's out there as much as what they're picturing about it. They're imaging of "what's out there". So yes, I agree with you, we could take life as it is. It is as I choose to make it, and that's the way everybody does it; you know, just take life as it is, is just one of these cliches because it isn't any way until you put your image on it.

Two people could be standing in the same place, and one sees a Garden of Eden and the other sees hell. Both of them are standing in the same place.

(That's the description, the image we place upon it. If you just see it-now I know you said you always place an image on it.)

You got to or you didn't see it.

(I could formulate an opinion of it.)

Well, that's the picture you put up. So you can name anything you want to..

(A picture is an ideal set. So I can take what I see instead of an ideal and accept that?)

Well yes, but what you see will always depend on "how" you see it, because two people can't agree on it-in all probability. So, you're always-as long as you're alive-we're going to be making images.

(I'm always going to be laying a trip on life.)

Right, whether you're conscious of it or not, the point is that we want to be conscious of it, and we can put any picture on it we want to.

So what we talk about in all these things, and put forth our effort on, is to be conscious--not to be good--not to be pretty. Not to be holy and all these things, but to be conscious which is the greatest achievement man can have because mostly human beings are not conscious--and they really aren't. So they can be very lovely and beautiful even though they're not conscious. So the only time you're conscious really is when you are consciously choosing what image you will put on Mary-what image you will put on John, and what you're putting on anybody else around. It doesn't make any difference, so long as you consciously put it on. Now unconsciously you're in the habit of putting labels--you image them as being threats and problem makers and troubles, and they're probably thinking unkind things about me. Like John said, What if we all notice that he was anxious-I've never seen him when he wasn't. And there's no hard trouble to keep up with it, you see, but that doesn't mean we got to treat him like an outcast because he's anxious. You say to him, "Well, join the human race."--so's the rest of us. And so what's all the big hullabaloo about? But you see, he made himself even more anxious by worrying about how we might see him as being anxious. So he saw all of us as judgers, judging John with a detrimental judge. And nobody ever thinks of that, except him-he's got it going all the time.

So you see that when we're talking about being conscious, you're going to put an image on everything you see. Now it would be easy to say, "Well, I don't have to think about that because "I'll just take life as it is;" and you go on with you're old images that you've been putting on them for ages-purely mechanical.

Next question?

What you can do

(Does life put an image if you just report)

Oh, you can't just report without you're image because you're a living being; and therefore, you are an image-maker, ok? You are and you can't keep from it. It is part of our entire makeup. That's what our brain, nervous system is all about. It does that. Now the question is are you going to leave it purely mechanical and allow the conditioned image to take over, or are you going to take charge of it and put a chosen image on it. Now that's the difference. So what's going on here is usually a lot of things, and they don't really matter-what matters is how you see it. If its rain, rain's coming down-it's how you see it that counts. Not just say it's raining because you got to put an image in there one way or another. You have to picture it-that's what your brain does. Now you can blow your brains out, and probably you wouldn't do it anymore, but I don't think we could communicate with you to find out how you're seeing things anymore. So that's the end of that show, but that brain is put together that way, ok? It's a very wonderful device, but it's going to do certain things. That's the nature of it.

So we want to know what our nature is, and then we can work with it

Our nature is to put an image, an evaluation image on everything we see. Now if I don't put any value on this book right here, I don't get much out of it, that right? I wouldn't even keep it around. It would probably get lost. But I paid $5.00 for it, so I put a value on it and keep it around-besides it's convenient and I don't have to go hunt up another one, ok? We put a value on all the things we use-our tools, what-have-you Now if you just said, "Well, there's a pile of iron with a twist on it", you would put no value on it, but if it's a drill bit that you can use in business somewhere or other, then you put a value on it-is that right? Now you put an image on that thing, is that correct? And everything that comes down the road we put an image on it-person, place, things, me, everything else. Now if we're conscious, we're aware of what kind of image we want to put on it; and if we're unconscious, we just go "blimping" on by putting mostly derogatory images out-a few romantic ones here and there, a few this and a few other; and you know you can change your image.

You could have a guy you thought was romantic and delightful and the most wonderful person to ever come down the road, right? One day he said something a certain way, and you could put a whole new image on him, and you couldn't stand the jerk anymore, is that right? Ever been along that road?


It's easy. So you can change an image on him, is that right? Now you can say he's still here, he's 6 ft. tall, he weights 185 pounds, wears size 36 pants and 16-½ shirt with a 34" sleeve. Now what have you done? You haven't got anything. You've got to image that before you could have any feeling or any inner action or anything else of that person. The same is true of anything. So you cannot get along without imaging. Now we could use a "what if". You could use an, I don't know, but you'd probably never move--I don't know

How about you?

(I've had the occasion in sales where I say, "Hey, it's no use working with this guy, but I'll stop by and see him anyway, and have him buy", and I've gone the positive image and say this is really going to be a solid thing here, put all this positive wonderful sweet energy into it, and there was no sale.)

He wouldn't buy anything.

(15 hours, you know.)

Positive thinking doesn't work

Well, I know, because when I come up and say I'm going to do that, is not imaging. I'm positive thinking, and positive thinking is whistling in the dark because I already got another kind of image going. Try it and see.

(One over the other, huh? So I'm worrying, and I'm trying to slide around it. The inner feeling in one was that the situation was worthless, and it works out. The inner feeling in the other one was it's going to be wonderful and nothing happened.)

Right. I'm quite aware of that because the person's image (in their head) is usually totally unconscious. I said we come up with a feeling about (thinking about) something; and we can generate a feeling by thinking.

Now everybody here, I am sure is aware of much material that's been kicked around called positive thinking. Have you heard of that? You've heard of it. You've heard of it. You've heard of it-everybody's heard of it-positive thinking. Well, I'm agreeable with it. Positive thinking is wonderful if you have the picture or image that absolutely agrees with it, but most people have another picture in there; and in order to try and change the picture, they think positive. I know a person can come give me all kinds of for instances that wasn't right, but I would say the next time you have a feeling like that and you carry it on…. (unfinished thought.)

Now you mentioned going out and seeing a guy and saying "I'll make the call anyway", and the guy buys. I think when you got there; you may have changed your image of the guy. Maybe he seemed like a good old pushover, you know, and so you can go on, but it's still the image.

(How can you make the image fit so it's not positive thinking. Say you have an image to be real confident and you want to be successful.)

Well, you work on seeing the picture in there. Seeing the picture is not easy. Truthfully, it takes quite a bit of work to be able to put a true picture up there--not one like I gave you the "for instance" that I can put a picture up here of a few minutes. I have to believe the picture. When you're doing positive thinking, you're not believing the picture regardless, ok? You're not believing the picture. Now the picture you're carrying around is so habitual most people don't know they have it.

Now if you make a picture and don't believe it-please did I say that it was worthless? X does not respond to the picture you do not believe.

First Step

(So you have to become conscious of the one you have?)

Right, and see what you generally carry around.

(What do you mean by beliefs?)

Knowledge-knowing to you. It's true to you. If you believe something, it's true to you. It may not be true to me, but it's true to you, is that right? All right, so I can make a picture of fire up here on the ceiling, ok; but it's not true to me. It's not true-there's no fire up there at this moment, huh? So then that picture has no value whatsoever because X will not operate on it, ok? Now if I couldn't see a flame at all, but I heard snapping and crackling and smelled smoke and a few things here, I would probably get the idea and believe it to be true. I would picture a fire going on there between the ceiling and the roof, huh? So you see, one I believe and one I don't.

Now I see all kinds of people coming along telling me what their putting in their head. I talk about putting an image up, and they don't believe it. Now a picture you don't believe is like words you don't believe, huh?

(How do you get yourself believing it?)

Well, you don't get yourself to believe it. You look at things until you see that's the way it is--you would experiment a little bit with seeing people different ways. The only way I find out anything is run an experiment. Ok?

So if I experiment like I said to her a minute ago-here's a lovely guy. He's a joy. She's all in love with him and the whole barrel of wax; and she's got a picture of him as a lovely lover and a delightful companion and the whole bit, huh? Then someday he does or says something she doesn't like-she totally changes that image of him. Now he still looks the same way to the rest of us. He still looks like just old Charlie, and that's that, you know, there's no difference to us. But she's got a totally different picture of him now-a different image of that person. Now with one image in your head, you can't stand to be away from him, and with the other one, you can't stand to be near him, is that right? Now how do you get to believing it. Ask her. She'll tell you it gets there; but if you're going to do it deliberately, you start work on creating images of people, both ways-switch 'em. You see, you can begin to see people all the same way. You can see the same person different ways.


Now we put out a little sticker-I think most everybody got one here today so far; or you're going to get one if you want it. It says,

"Whatever anybody's doing, at the moment of doing, that person feels it to be either right, or proper, or justifiable or they simply can't do it."

Now that is a very essential part; and that's called love, or it's called wisdom or it's called something else-doesn't matter what. But that's one of the key things that has to be there first because then you can begin to look at a person and see that they're doing what they feel is right, proper or justifiable.

Now we've formed some sort of a relationship with a person--not just one passing by. We have really formed an understanding, huh? Then you can begin to see things they're doing and that they feel it's right. Now the way we have always looked at it with conditioning is that people know what's right, and proper, and justifiable; but they go on and do wrong anyway, isn't that right? You can't be upset with anybody unless you feel they knew it was right and proper and justifiable and did wrong anyway, right?

When you find out that basic error, then you can begin to build a picture that you can believe-that you feel it to be true; but without that basic principal, there is no way you can. As long as we believe the error-that people can know what's right, and they can know what's proper, and they can know what's justifiable; but they can go on and do wrong anyway, it's impossible for you to be in charge of making your picture other than making one like the ceilings on fire; and I don't believe it. I'm not upset about it; I don't get out of here. I don't say, "Let's get out of here." "Let's go call the fire department," or anything. I don't take any action on that. X doesn't accept that, because I don't believe it's true.

So the first step out is to get what's on that little sticker--we gave you--in your head; and to see that by the same token, that what you have always believed to be true; and therefore acted upon, is the same exact thing that others are working on and that is you knew what was right, what was proper, what was justifiable and you went on and did wrong anyway. I don't care if it's one of your little kids or you're great grandfather or anybody in between. If you believe that they (and your knowledge or belief is that that person knows what's right, or proper, or justifiable and went on and did wrong anyway), you're going to get ticked off-I don't care what. You're going to form images of them as being threats, aggravations, nuisances, bad people-whatever you want to. Can you see that? So that's the first key. That's why we make the stickers up, ok? That's so everyone can see what they're working on and what everyone around them is working on.

(Well, Bob, even though you can see this is possible. Even though you can see that they see it is right, proper and justifiable….)

I don't feel it's justifiable, but they do.

(But "what if" you see that they feel that way, and there's still an aggravation all the time that this event is going on.)

That there's something they do that you don't like, is that right?

(Then do you just stop it.)

Move on. So you don't try to change them, you just move out of the way. Why bother? Why try to change them?

(Even though you see that they keep doing this, they're ok doing what they're doing for them.)

Yes, but I don't want to be around it-so we move on. As we said, pull a Hank Snow. "I'm a movin' on." You know simple and easy. Just move out of the way. There's no reason to sit there and try to convert them. That's what all the aggravations; the hollering at people is to try to convert them, right?

(What if you just get tired of hearing this?)

So just pull a Hank Snow-be a movin' on-why bother with it.

(They feel right, proper and justifiable.)

I know they do, but it just don't fit my taste. In other words if I go in a restaurant and they serve food that I don't like, I don't eat there, is that all right? Nothing wrong with the restaurant, a lot of other people patronize it, so they must like it, but it doesn't fit my taste, so I don't go there-simple.

Next comment?

(This imaging process then is created in the sense that it has an affect upon your relationship to the world.)


(Not necessarily that it changes the world itself.)

No, it doesn't do that.

(I decided to try an experiment and so I wrote a couple of questions, which I thought you could read so that everyone could hear them. And that is, I am sure, connected with everything we're talking about.)

Ok. Part Five of Life's Word deals with Purity. It is clear that one person may have an understanding of purity that would be the exact opposite of another-that's absolutely correct. Both of whom claim divine authority for their point of view--that's right. They even read the same book and quoted the same verse. So what does the term purity refer to in Life's Word? Consciousness. If you are conscious, it's pure. If you are conditioned and you got conflict going on, it's impurity. If you take some sort of chemical or substance and you put things in there that don't belong in it, you have an impure chemical now, is that right, because you've got a foreign object. Conditionings is a foreign object in the human being, ok? That answer your question all right?

(It's adulterated, isn't it?)

Yes, it's adulterated because now we took some good corn liquor and put some corn syrup in it. Now we have adulterated corn liquor, that right? Contaminated, right? It's not pure anymore.

(So all the real Work ideas such as we don't really know whether it's good or bad--That is the idea. That develops the consciousness that we're talking about.)

That is correct, and we don't maintain whether it's good, bad, right or wrong. We're saying does it aid a person to be conscious; and we're talking here today about being conscious of the image we form of other people---not necessarily how the event is going to come out. Now I don't think that it's ever worthwhile to plan out how this is going to happen and how that's going to happen and how this is going to happen because it seems like something up here says, "Well, if you're so damn smart, make it work that way." Life takes care of things moment by moment instead of according to five-year plans or one-year plans, 80-minute plans. Did you ever sit and make yourself a whole imaginary conversation of something you were going to say to some person and never got a chance to run it off, did you?

(That's true, there's something missing-it's only on paper.)

Because that's the only place it got. So you see, we're not talking about the outcome of a situation. I'm talking about how I see you. How I see you. How I see you. Now I'll get along a little better if I see you as a pretty delightful person. If I really put that image on you, and I see it to myself-then we'll get along pretty good. But if I approach you as being a big threat to me or something, we probably won't get along very well. That about right?

Time about up?

(Not quite-want to try another one?)

I'll try one more.

(On page 61 of Headlines, it says first let us recognize that what we love is what we value, and that this loving or valuing is the source of the faith to actualize that which is loved or valued.)

That's exactly what we've been talking about here. The faith being of equal degree to the value. If I put a lot of value on something, I put a lot of effort and a lot of faith on it. If I put very little value on it, it doesn't go very far, that right? That if that person values something even if it is harmful, he or she has the ability to bring it about.

(So we see one's attribute of love impartially. It is not clear to me what this means. What is impartiality?

(Impartiality means I'm not partial to-in order for me to be pleased, this particular attribute doesn't have to be there. In other words, it's very impartial to whether you wear brown shirts, or yellow shirts.

(The suggestion seems to be that this valuing or love was capable of bringing about something that you really wanted or something that you didn't want equally.)

Never said that. It said that I can be as undisturbed if you wear brown shirts or if you wear yellow shirts. Ok? I am impartial as to which it is. I'm not interested in bringing about anything. Everything's here anyway. Who am I to say what should be brought about, ok?

You say you got one more? We'll take it although time's running out.

(Ok, what if two people are working together and one person has an image that something's really going to work out; and the other person has the image that things are not going to work out. How's X going to balance that out?)

Well, X makes it look to one that it did work out, and to the other one that it didn't work out. Very simple. One says we only made a million dollars on this; and the other one says, "Look we made a whole mil." I sit in a meeting many times where people show different values, ok? One says something is worth $1,000 and the other one says it's worth at least $4,000. So the one will always look at it as not worth a thousand; and the other one will look at it as worth four more. So say we can have a painting on the wall. You could look at it and say, "Yuck." Somebody else comes along and says, "It's gorgeous." So you see everybody's pleased all right anyway. Everybody sees it the way it is to them. Ok?

(Can you try one more?)

I'll try it right quick.

(We got four minutes.)

(You have mentioned before the seeking of the Kingdom of Heaven through violence as for example by the use of drugs or physical stress. In some spiritual tradition, various breathing exercises are recommended to alter consciousness. Are these all violent methods to be avoided, or are some useful and some not. Do you recommend any breath work.)?

I hope you keep on breathing.

(Please comment.)

The whole thing is that some people use violent methods. Now we could all get up here and start screaming and throwing our fists at the sky and start jumping up and down; and we would go into an altered state of consciousness in a little while, right? Or the person where you quoted this from was talking about prayer as a means of changing consciousness, and so you could do it in any number of ways. I have personally experimented with a great number of them, and they all work. Now some of them are kind of hard on the body, if you do them. Anytime somebody wants to watch a demonstration of a change in the state of consciousness, go up to the Hopie Reservation when they have the rain dances in August and you will see. They start away at it, and they work themselves into a state-most primitive peoples in the world use a dance program or something where they work themselves into a state. That's probably what is meant by violence, and definitely by the use of drugs which alter your capability of doing anything even after you got the switch, but it will produce-I call it shifting gears. You shift from being logic and reasoning over to being in a spiritual state, where spirit can directly express itself; and you might call it-in some books--where the subconscious did it. I don't think it's real interested in the word used, but I would say that you go from the logic and reason of everyday affairs of making your living and so forth to into another kind of state and that's called the spiritual state, ok.