Hereditary Disease

From TNT “Acting and Feeling”

{from Marsha…..Long ago I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmatosa which is a deterioration of the rods and cones in the retina.  It is a slow degeneration and has proceeded as predicted.   The doctor told me it was a hereditary disease and created a lot of fear.   I lived with that fear of passing it on to my children and recently my eye doctor said it was not hereditary.   I felt such relief after living with the suggestion for so many years.    So in transcribing the above Tuesday night Talk, Dr. Bob says:….}

Question from the audience:

(Will you talk about hereditary disease because told that by my doctor’s.)

It was hereditary?

( Yes, how much does your own belief system count in these matters and could one alter that?)

Disease is a normal adaptation to your own state of stress.  Now the fact that the doctor you went to see couldn’t find out what was goin’ on; and he didn’t understand; and so in order to some way explain it to you when you kept sayin’ “Why did I get this?” he said it was hereditary.

But now if you carry that idea back for a while — if you inherited it from your grandmother, then she had to inherit it from her great grandmother or somebody back down the line then Adam was a sick old guy!   Howling laughter from the audience.

He was damn sick.   So let’s forget that one while we’re at it – without further noise about it, huh?

{from Marsha….After I also had a good laugh, I can’t tell you how much relief I felt.   How amazing a suggestion can get in there when we accept the medical profession as being infallible and turn our well-being over to an institution.}

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Discerning Between Now and Then

Exercises – Now is Then – From Levels of Food – School Talk #40

(*Audience participation is in parentheses–notations in brackets have been added for clarification )

Here we go with a description of the exercise – perhaps you can find a way to apply it to your own experiences.

One time I unknowingly ate a piece of tainted pie. Along with the pie I drank a cup of coffee. Before morning I had considerable physical difficulty, and that difficulty went on for many hours.

After the acute stage was over, I couldn’t stand the smell of coffee. [There was an “association” set up between the experience with the tainted pie and the coffee being consumed together]

I would drive down the street and smell coffee in people’s homes–I’d never done such before, but it kept happening. If I walked into a hotel–it was overpowering–the coffee from back there somewhere gave me horrible nausea!

Another thing that went on while I was still in that [acute physical state] was that I was to take a state board exam in New Mexico–and so I went to take the exam. I sat at the table and here’s the monitor of the exam–a lady with her coffeepot perking away right next to me. I spent more time in the wash room than I did writing the exam.

I did pass the exam, but at great agony, I will assure you! I made frequent detours. Test takers couldn’t leave until the paper was handed in. I had my “necessity” increased/! That paper was handed in in a hurry and correct–but with agony.

So finally one day I decided I didn’t want to live that way. I did like my coffee. [He decided to do an experiment to put a barrier between the “now is then” association which was creating nausea every time he was around coffee.]

I sat with a cup of coffee and a little teaspoon. I would take a half a teaspoon full of coffee and tell myself that “now wasn’t then.” It took three hours of that [procedure] before I got any “action” to understand that “now wasn’t then.”

Since then, I haven’t smelled coffee in people’s homes [with the result of nausea].


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Concept or Idea – Experiment — Association

[From Marsha – When I began studying the teachings many years ago, I often heard the phrase about “doing the work”. The ideas began with the “picture of man” and “the four dual basic urges” (see website under illustrations).   So I mistakenly saw “the work” as just like public school, I thought that “doing the work” was trying to “not” do the four dual basic urges or trying to not complain, not stick up for my rights, not please, not quote authorities, and not blame. It took me a long time to realize that by trying “not to” do the “four dual basic urges” and the “picture of man”, I was only listening to #5 in the ”picture of man” which is none other than the self improver family of not I’s.   It Is not the intention of “the work” to try to change what we observe within ourselves. Following is another way of understanding what we CAN do. It is from #113.)

Here we go:

Now there is a little principle which we find is a necessity to operate with – it describes running experiments.

When we hear an idea, concept, or maybe only read a teaching, it makes an impulse in one side of the brain and is only a bit of a trivia until we get the idea or concept practically applied.

To get it practically applied, we set up another spot over here in the grey matter of the brain by running an experiment of the idea or concept. Now we have created association fibers that go from one side of the brain to the other.

Going on further, anytime something is remotely similar to the experiment, experience and concept, we’ll recall the whole bit. But if you only have one side of that, say you only read a teaching idea, you can’t have an association so the idea is forgotten quite quickly.

Now is there a way that you can see that complaining is not you? How would it be if you made up your mind right now that you was never going to complain anymore?   That would be a way of running an experiment.

(That’s running an experiment?)

Right. And so in a few minutes, I walk over and poke your buttons; and you begin to complain. You said you wouldn’t complain, but then you reacted when the situation changed.   So then you’d see real quick that wasn’t you, wouldn’t you?

We had a man not long ago tell me I couldn’t make him mad. So I said, “Well I probably couldn’t, you’re very awake, very in charge, I’m sure you got it all done.” He really thought he had the concept down.

Then about 20, 30 minutes later when his statement about me being unable to make him mad had been forgotten; and it looked like a good opening, I walked over and asked him a simple question; and he literaly came unglued at the seams.

Another example happened only last week. I walked over to a man who told me he was getting very objective. He had this thing all figured out. Course he hadn’t experimented with it. So I happened to say “What time did we agree on?”   He literally became a bundle of anxiety and total frets. ‘Course he won’t ever forget it now because we got this concept tied to an association right then and there.

So people ask us what we do – we first get a concept (a teaching idea); and we keep the concept kickin’ around a day or two. We try to get everybody to experiment one way or another before the week’s over.

By doing the experiment, there becomes an association with the concept. Now with this man and the question about time, I’ve tried the same thing three or four times since; and he gives me an answer and goes on about his business without getting all pushed out of shape. But when it’s just an idea, it’s just something we talked about one time and that’s all it is.

So when we can see that there must be an association connected with it, we would see the reason for experimenting with these teaching ideas. Now the idea or the concept by itself is absolutely worthless – it’s a bit of trivia stuck in one side of your skull bone.

So there’s always this association going on. So you never have to think “Well how am I gonna be awake and remember” once you have done an experiment and set it into an association of having experienced the practical application of the concept.   Now you have the experience here and the concept here; and you got the association fibers in between; and I will make a bet with you, you can’t forget it.

I hear people say, “I’d do anything if I could remember it immediately instead of after it has already happened.” “Next week I look back and say, ‘Oh yeah, I did get pushed out of shape and got very angry last week and the relationship suffered for quite a while.’ ”

So if you would like these concepts to be around, you would see the concept and then create a practical experiment where you see it acted out, Then you’ll never be able to forget it. It is there as a constant reminder of everything that comes by that’s remotely similar. You remain objective because there is an association in there that reminds you to be objective, okay?

So without it being associated, you’re going to forget it – over and over. You’ll remember the idea later next week sometime and then it don’t do you any good because you don’t have the association with it,

(It has been kind of a difficult thing for a lot of us to design experiments to run.)

Why would it be difficult to design an experiment? You could find out what happens to you when you judge something?

(I was judging something last week.)

See, you see it in the past, you didn’t see it while it was happening, did you?

(Well, I think I kind of had a hunch.)

I had a hunch but is kind of hunchy; and it didn’t work very well. But you see that can be an experiment, there’s always an experiment to operate. What is there about judging. Can you always run an experiment with your judging? So I’m gonna experiment with judging. I’m going to go out and judge something, right now. I’m gonna see “what’s good” and I’m gonna see “what’s bad” right now.   I’m gonna see “what’s right” and I’m gonna see “what’s wrong”, right now!

And then there’s that beautiful statement when you decide that you’ll “never do something”; and one of the other decisions within just seems to insist that “it’s gonna do it” very shortly. Did you ever do that one. One of your false personalities said “I’ll never do so and so again”; and it seems there’s one of the others in there says “Aw, you just wait – when you fall into your waking sleep, I’ll have you doing it in a few minutes.”

(I remember I said I’d never live in the desert.)

Right! And there’s where you moved, right?


Right, said a lot of other things you wouldn’t do too. And they’re all there because there’s another little guy sittin’ over there says, “You wanna bet?” Not I’s are always in competition from the word go.

So perhaps that will help you to understand the value of running experiments with the teaching ideas or concepts that come along.

[From Marsha – I had some difficulty understanding that a concept is just a concept and has nothing to attach to.   No wonder I could read teaching ideas and then promptly forget them until the next time I read them again. So I’m centering on potential experiements that can be observed and experiemented with on this blog.   I want the teaching ideas to take root in me so they are up front and center when the challenge appears; and there is certainly no lack for daily challenges!   I may never be able to measure spiritual growth, but the physical body will tell me quite noisily when I have fallen asleep and hopefully the experiment will associate and the teaching idea will be in the present moment.]

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Talking Dolls Parable

[from Marsha: If you’ve ever started on the path of the teaching ideas and heard about complaining, sticking up for rights, pleasing, quoting authorities, blaming, self-improvement or trying to be different; and in that have observed those in self, you might have begun to think of them as entities because they certainly act that way. And when you try to stop them, escape them or ignore them, very often it seems like they are stronger than you are.   So you hear them over and over in your head. So here is yet another way to see them for what they are – they are not I’s – they are not you. Below is an excerpt from a workshop #113 where we’re given a little idea that might be nice to play with.]

Now anybody that has experienced conflict, and I believe we could safely say that that is all of us. We have judged that a thing should be a certain way; and when it wasn’t, we got our conditioned tools out — (not I’s from A-side) — to try to change whoever or whatever wasn’t the way ”it should be” into what we wanted. In other words, we felt we were capable of judging what is, and it ought not be that way.

Then as soon as we got that said and done, then all of a sudden we heard the “B side” of the picture of man (see website) with the methods to achieve that nondisturbance start hollering – The not I’s say, I got to be a good pleaser — then we decided that we ought to quote some authority we had chosen to believe or we put on a front or try to change ourselves into somebody that has more self determination, huh? Be assertive! We was tired of just being a door mat. And so we begin to struggle. We pushed over here and then they pushed over there; and that’s the conflict to and fro.  We resist what is and see it as bad.

Now what if you could just see, well there is an “acquired personality in me” that wants to do it this way, but I’m not subject to it – I don’t have to do it’s bidding, it’s just hollering.

There’s a lot of ladies have indulged in making little craft items for sale; and so you could gather or if you’re crafty, make a bunch of talking dolls, and sit them on the kitchen table. mantle or somewhere where you see them. They can remind you that they all talk in opposites – all the time! Would you have to go by and/or do everything those talking dolls you made this afternoon told you to do?


You wouldn’t pay a bit of attention in the world, is that right? So you see that as soon as we recognize that these are ”acquired, self created little personalities” that we have, we absolultely pay no attention to them.

So when we see what a not I is, those are little dolls that we made huh? We materialized them out of nothing one day long ago; and maybe set them on our shoulder – three on one side, and three on the other and a little chooser on top of our head that listens to one side and then the other, so they talk and talk in our heads and we’ve been listening to them ever since, huh? And they’re still there since you acquired them.   So they are constantly giving orders. They’re all yakkin’ away. Did you create those little dolls?

(I guess I did.)

Are they all homemade little gadgets, huh? Is there any rhyme or reason to do what those dolls that you made say to do – have you any reason to be subject to them sir?

(I don’t have to be.)

They’re little dolls that each of us make, huh? That’s what conditioning is is a bunch of little dolls that all holler. We taught ‘em to talk. We put the programing in; and they talk. Now are you subject to conditioning or the little dolls? Are you subject to them when you see they’re little dolls that lie and tell you what you “should do” or what somebody else “should do” or how “circumstances should be” or how to get what you want right now! If you don’t recognize them as not being you, then you think that is ”I tellin’ myself” this, but instead it’s one of the little dolls – soon as you see it’s a doll you no longer feel subject to it.So the discovery that we can make is what?   That we can see these little things as what they are – all things which I created and made talk. I materialized ‘em, set ‘em up, put ‘em on each shoulder so they’d talk. And it is really that they’re not I, not you. So we could call it conditioning. We can call it devils. We can call it little dolls or demons or whatever you want to, it’s still something you made, is that right?

Now once you see that that’s what it is, could you be objective to not pay any attention to it anymore.

(I guess.)

You could do that right now – is all of this stuff “you” or is this all acquired?


See, that wasn’t you at all. You acquired the ability to complain because you hoped it would be a way to “get something” and then you set it off like it was you. It says I. Did you acquire the thing, the idea about sticking up for right?


Did you acquire the idea very definitely of pleasing everybody. Did you acquire the idea that it was correct to believe and do what you’re told by you authorities. Did you acquire the idea or make a little doll or piece of conditioning that says you ought’a be different – the self improvement bit. Did you create, define, or agree to the idea that you were perfectly capable of judging everything? That’s a little idea, isn’t it? It’s a little old thing.

Once you see that you created these and then forgot you created ‘em, they keep on operating. They’re still little dolls sittin’ on your shoulder, right? Could you be subject to them any longer? Cause what are they – things you made yourself, is that right – whether you call it conditioning or whether you call it a little devil or a demon. And once we see that, we’re bound to be somewhat more objective.

[from Marsha: It might be fun to find or make these little dolls and put them somewhere with their respective names and attribute to them what the ones inside you are saying – what a wonderful way to disidentify. Further, couldn’t this be a really fun way to play a game and bring the not I’s to a physical level because it’s been said that they can’t stand the “light” being put on them.   They can’t stand to be laughed at.   With the dolls, we can maybe point an laugh and see their diabolical schemes to create misery, conflict and struggle in our lives.]

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Inferior to different #113

[From Marsha:   I’ve had a long-time habit of listening to other piano players and thinking this one is better than me or I’m better than that one.   Always comparing.   It is a tenant of the teaching to drop comparing.     It’s valuable when shopping, but not in the case of comparing people, talent and skills.

Here is the idea of comparing expanded in a workshop.]

You know we have more “dreams” in the daytime that we have at night because we get more involved with them; and they’re experienced purely in the “subjective” state.

Now man’s dreams, of course, are based upon his desires from this first decision — always wants to gain pleasure and comfort and escape pain, needing attention and to escape being ignored or rejected; and he wants to gain approval and to escape disapproval. He wants to gain a sense of being important or special and to escape the sense of being inferior. Now all of those, of course are illusions too. They’re all things that one only senses.

(What’s that last one?)

This one here? Being important or special and escape the sense of feeling inferior or incapable.

Okay, so man dreams. First off, he dreams that he will try to be superior here. He starts off feeling inferior after birth because he compares himself with his parents. As a little kid, he couldn’t reach the top shelves and get things that he wanted. They hid things from him. So actually that’s where you began to feel inferior.

Now when one begins to feel inferior, one usually trys to adapt to it by getting some way that you can feel superior. You find yourself feeling inferior; and you try to convince yourself in some way that you are superior, is that right?

(Don’t you try to do something to prove that you are superior.)

Well that’s the next step. First off you just assume you are – you start dreaming that you’re superior; and then you try to do something that says that you are; and it always seems to be that there is some obstruction to it.

So then we feel we’re persecuted. Somebody’s picking on me. If it wasn’t for her – I’d get along just fine. I’ve had many a man tell me, “Well if it wasn’t for my wife, I’d’a really got ahead, but she just drags me down all the time”. And I’ve had many a lady say, well if it wasn’t for the husband and children, I could have written great books and great poems; and I could’ve painted great pictures and all these good things. And so another person said, if it hadn’t a been for this particular system that’s in operation, meaning society, why I’da been getting’ along great. So the persecution sits in them and then, of course, we hate that which we feel obstructed us – is that right? We have a sense of hate for whatever — we blame..

And then when I hate something, I can’t dispose of it, so I begin to feel inferior; and then around and around it goes; and this is one lovely little wheel that we can get hung up on when we dream of all this; and that creates many great problems, doesn’t it?   Do you live with it about every day in the week?

(You just keep goin’ around and around.)

Round and around, round and round and gradually but perfectly deteriorating; and in 60 or 70 years, you usually wipe it out.

(That’s when you die.)

Yeah, in one way or the other.

Is this illusion all the way around – something you can identify with?   Are you inferior or superior to anybody in the world or just different.


We all stand in different places, so we’re just different. And when you really look at it, isn’t that a perfectly designed world? Can you imagine if everybody had the talent of math; but couldn’t write books or everybody could invent machines but nobody could manage a business?

So there is no price that you could conceive of because you’re totally unique, right? And we could get that down to see that there is no one we need compare ourselves to.

So when we are doing all this comparing, we can remember that there is no two of us alike.   So the exercise is to drop the idea of comparing – comparing me to you, one child to the sibling, and one friend to the other.   Then I can just BE myself and do what I do best.  I can be content with me the way I am and not expect everyone else to fit some ideal I’ve dreamed up for them or try to make myself into some ideal picture I have in my mind for me.  And what is that ideal, picture and certainly an illusion based on anyway?

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Let it float on by from #113

[From Marsha….Often I find myself in conversations which may begin companionable and then some difference of opinion or conclusion arises and the conflict begins.   I can easily get caught in trying to convince someone that I’m “right” and at the end of the conversation, I haven’t convinced him and he hasn’t convinced me.   The thinking in each of us doesn’t change one iota, so what’s the point of tearing myself up in the effort.  A change in topic can make for a more congenial time together.]

Here’s an exercise from a workshop that certainly is challenging, but certainly can make for more harmonious relationships both within and without.[ Here we go:

Do you see what it means to awaken – to wake up. It means to go into another state of being which is not subjective – to be purely objective is to be fully awake. To be subjective is just a little more awake than being in a “dream sleep” — most of us have a lot of those – day dreams, night dreams etc.

Now where would you like to go on that? You wanna stay in the dreams and dream all these beautiful dreams about all the rewards you’re gonna get for being good, and all these horrible punishments the people you don’t like’s gonna get for being bad? Or do you wanna wake up?

(Wake up.)

Good.   And if you do, then you see all these thoughts and ideals and dreams as what? – fantasies, and you refuse to get involved with them, you just see them without trying to change them, without judging them or without struggling with them in any way. And they go away. It’s like standing on the bank of a flowing river and an old inner tube comes floating on down. Do you think “Oh that would sure ruin the appearance of the river — I’ve gotta fix that” and so you wade out there in the water because you just know it’s the “right thing to do” and get yourself tangled in the mud and maybe be pulled into the undertoe and get drowned, or do you just “let it go.” – “let it float on by.”

If you can let it go, it just floats on down the river, is that right? And isn’t this just about the way thoughts and ideas and ideals come through the head? They’ll go on down the “transient stream of the mind” if we’ll just let ‘em alone.   But instead when something comes, we grab it or we blame it and say it grabbed us, huh?   So did the old inner tube only come to pass?   Have you ever noticed that thoughts just float on by and then you don’t get caught fighting with them. They goes on by. Thank goodness, huh?

And isn’t this the way of everything. Somebody comes in and is all mad and pushed out of shape; and if you just don’t pay any attention to them, what happens to their anger in just a few minutes? It just flows on. It just went on down the river, right? But if you start defending or trying to “fix”, what happens then?     Thoughts are like a river and it just flows. Each person is full of all these conditionings – the thoughts, the ought to be’s, the opinions and conclusions.  it’s just a river, so what difference does it make what comes by – it flows on in a few minutes if you don’t try to reason with it.   So when you’re seeing that it is just things flowing by, are you a little more awake than you are when you jump out there and grab on to that old rubber tire, or some thought you don’t like? You see what to do – just let it go by, okay? Direct your attention somewhere else – perhaps something that uses the mind in a creative way.

(Most of that river is sewage.)

Well it’s got sewage in it, yeah, but you don’t have to hop in it, do you?   You don’t have to get in it.

I read a story one time about a man who lived on the bank of a river and he got kind of short of funds.   So he decided he would appeal to higher powers and he prayed for food. So everyday he saw a big block of something come down the river; and he went out and got it – to him it was a delicacy – maybe a pastry or a candy-type thing. The next day at the same time, more came down. So he’d eat that; and the next day more would come again. This went on for many months — being graciously provided for by these foods. And of course, he felt that he had greatly advanced into the states of the powers of the invisible world.

But one day he decided he’d see how they produced it. So he travelled up the river. First day all that happened is he found the food earlier in the day because he was further up the river. The next day he got even still farther – the river got smaller, but here come the food which would have been down the river at the same time. The third day, he discovered there was a castle built on a little island in the river; and he found that this food was clunkin’ out the side of the castle.

So he went into the castle to see what was going on; and he found that the lady threw away her bath soap every day when she finished taking her bath.   He had felt this was great stuff, you know.   So it all depends on how you see it. What was trash to her was manna to him.

So it seems that you can look at trash and be deluded into thinking that it’s manna; however, we can wake up and see that we’re ingesting a lot of trash from our thoughts. Being awake is to be objective about all the thoughts and suggestions that come to us from within and without, huh?   When we are subjective, what is our inner state of being at that point?

I think it’s to my advantage to let the sewage go on down the river.   Some of it we put fancy names on like “I have a right” or “it oughta be like this” or “she ought to know better” – like the man’s manna from heaven was really somebody else’s sewage, wasn’t it?

So if a thought comes by, is it necessarily to latch onto it? Maybe we could see it as neither “good” or “bad” — why even define it. Maybe we can see the fantasy.

(Dr. Bob, I can’t imagine anybody eating soap and seeing it as manna. What does the soap represent. )

You have made or created many ideals of what ought to be, is that right?


(Well Dr. Bob – nevertheless if he was partaking of this food – well he considered it food – will that keep him alive?)

It didn’t keep him alive, he kept himself alive with soap.

(Soap rather. He didn’t think it was soap, he thought it was real food.)

Oh yeah, and after he found out where it came from he couldn’t eat it anymore – and that can be applied to the not I’s that float into the thoughts through association.

I’ve read in many esoteric literatures where it says judge not lest all sorts of havoc come upon you, is that right?

(Well the not I’s judge so fast; and they’re so strong ..)

Yeah, while you’re asleep – sure – you judge; but if you were awake you wouldn’t. Now you have a reason for waking up? You see the minute I see a reason for waking up, I do. If I’m going to work at 6:00 in the morning, I see a reason of waking up just before 6 am. If I’m not gonna work until 9, I don’t see any use of waking up at 6 am, huh?

(I have a lot of reasons for waking up, I know that.

And one of them would be that you’re subject to many thoughts and suggestions, is that right? That you obviously would not be subject to if you were awake. You wanna be a subject to all that turmoil or do you want to be awake?

(I wanna be awake.)

Okay. Then if you’re purely objective nothing has dominion over you. Do you give things the authority to annoy you?

(Yes I do.)

And is it pleasant to you or aid you or is it just a bad dream you’re having – a dream you don’t like. The remedy is to wake up. You wanna wake up?

[from Marsha:   In working with this idea, I discovered that I think I know what the motivation is for someone’s behavior near to me; but when I asked, the motivation was completely different and I was completely wrong.   It certainly changed my attitude when I found the motivation they were using.   And Dr. Bob has often said, we don’t even know all the motivations we have for what we say and do moment to moment. In this case we can possibly remember to let those thoughts float on by and put them in the “I don’t know” department.   That’s certainly more objective than thinking they meant something derogatory. Just another little exercise to wake up to what’s going on.]

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