Where is Happy and Happiness Idea

From Santa Ana – March 31, 1979

[From Marsha:  Four women I know when asked what makes them happy said shopping.  The income from being a local musician never afforded me that luxury, so I had to look elsewhere to define what happy was to me.   In transcribing the above tape, my teacher talked about how we are conditioned from birth to want nondisturbance and the way to get it is the six methods from the ”picture of man” he created to help us to see “self”.  So if you’re not familiar with those, please go to the ‘basic’ section of the website and check it out.”]

[From the tape of 3/31/79 Dr. Bob]

Now all of these families of not I’s in the picture of man come along as ideal methods to obtain what I want.  (those being complainer, sticker up for rights, pleaser, quoter of authorities, self improver and blamer).   I want this; but of course, we aren’t  recognizing it consciously, we didn’t say we wanted a certain amount – we want it all, huh, all of it.  (he’s talking about the four dual basic urges)

And we didn’t wanna pay anything for it – I’m entitled to it.  You’re just supposed to always approve of me with no effort on my part.  And you’re supposed to always give me attention; and I’m supposed to always be comfortable and if I’m not, where’s the pill, right quick, because I shouldn’t have to adapt.   (Adapt is talking about illness.)

Now when humans begen to see that they are –what they have heard the word “happy”.  Most of you have heard that word haven’t you?  Do you know what it means?  You haven’t the foggiest except that you don’t have it all the time. When is the time you think about you don’t have it?

But if you ever think about the word “happy”, you don’t quite have it.  You would be happy if you had thus and so, is that right?   Or if you could do such and such.

[From Marsha…I have observed that most people think happiness lies “out there” somewhere.  So I want to “get” happiness from “it” or “them”.  So I’m proposing an experiment or exercise, perhaps one could take this day and observe and make a list of how many times I felt happy and “what I was doing at the time”.   I have discovered , for me, that the happiness is in the ‘doing’ not necessarily in the ‘getting’. 

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Ride Through the Woods

[From Marsha…One of the ideas of the teaching was quite an eye-opener for me.   It is always of value for me to remember these precious ideas from time to time; so I thought I’d share this one with you.  Here is a clear paragraph on the subject.]

  (from Tape 8 of Basic Section of website)


One can observe the “self” continually being set into motion by similar situations in the environment. Something comes along and the “self” identifies it as “being the same as” because it is somewhat similar. One person is served a given food. Sometime or other in the past “one” had a similar food and it was tainted. One felt nauseated or was forced to eat it as a child. One says, “I can’t stand it–I don’t like it.” Now I observes this association; and as we keep track of “what does this remind me of,” one can see much that has been a limitation to the organism that has been experienced as limitation. It is no longer a limitation when one sees that it is a simple association that says “now is then.” Obviously, one sees that the “self” equates “now is then” and has a tendency to report to X what went on “then”–and that “then” is the same as what is happening “now.” It never is!

Seeing “What does this remind me of” in action.

One time I was traveling through the woods on the way to a gig.   The sax player was driving and also speeding.   Pretty soon here come the blue light; and, obviously he got a ticket.    Next week when we were on our way to that same gig, he was speeding again.   I got anxious and said, “You’re speeding.”   He said, “I know.”  Since we were doing the 48 basic tapes together, he decided that he was going to show me that now (on the way to the gig this week) was not the same as last week.   I predicted that we would get a ticket; and for as long as the gig went on and he speeded through the woods, we never got a ticket.   Though I’m not one to condone speeding, it is still a demonstration that I will remember to apply to other situations.  As a result, I watched the reminder week after week and when it didn’t happen again, the association finally quit.   I wasn’t particularly fond of the fear that came up in me every time we passed through.  

Another way of saying “what does this remind me of” is to look at associations.

My mother had associations, images, that were created in her regarding different foods that didn’t agree with her.  At times she got gas or a tummy ache.  When that happened, she dropped that food from her diet until she was down to carrot sticks, oatmeal, and a few other little tidbits — certainly not enough for optimum health.  So she was seeing the past discomfort and thinking “now is then” and it became quite a limitation to her meals.  So just because she had an upset tummy once, doesn’t mean that it would be every time, but she never tried the food again to find out whether it was the food or something else.   She might have been upset when she ate the food, the restaurant might have put some spice in there that didn’t agree with her; but perhaps if  she made it at home it would have been fine.  It may not have even been that food, but something she ate earlier.  I don’t presume to know what she “should have done”.   Sometimes situations need more information, or can be experimented again to see if the same thing happens like the ride through the woods.  

In the work, we are always encouraged to experiment with an idea; and certainly “What does this remind me of” and “associations” is a fun one to watch going on unconsciously in the self!

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Feeling Anxious and Fearful

From: Tuesday Night Talk on Reporting

If a man was going to invent something, he could never work on it unless he was free to have a bunch of experiments that wouldn’t work.

So if we wanted to invent something, paint a picture, write a story, learn an instrument, run a business of some sort or other, the first necessity is that we’re free to fail.  Then we are free to go ahead and do it.

In running an experiment or in any endeavor one wants to do, one has to be absolutely free to fizzle – FAIL.  Now the first rule that comes along if you’re interested in being successful at anything whether it is being happy, peaceful, or makin’ millions of dollars is to be free to fail because when you’re not free to fail, you can’t function.  You are trying to find all the ways to be safe; and there isn’t anything you might want to do where there isn’t some risk involved.    So if we’re free to fail at anything, then you discover you can function.

If you’re not free to fail, you have to take so many precautions you’ll never get started.  I heard of a man who wasn’t free to have any discomfort occur to him, so he begin to build a tower.  He kept building it up and building it up; but he could still see that danger could come from above, so he finally completely enclosed it over on top as a dome.  He had lots of bricks and mortar inside and he completely closed it over.  Now he couldn’t have any doors and windows in this thing because danger can come through those too, you know.  So of course, when he got it all sealed up — you can imagine that very shortly he used up all the air in there and he smothered!

Now if you are not free to take a risk, there is very little chance of doing anything of profit because profit is what you get paid for by taking a risk.  So the source of anxiety is basically the attempt to be non-disturbed.  When you start thinking about how you are going to avoid any possibility of disapproval, rejection or feeling insignificant what happens to you?

(I get anxious and sometimes that leads to sickness.)

But anytime you’re in the pit it’s because you’re afraid of taking a risk.  Now a man called me a little while ago and said that he was in a state of fear over something he needed to do.  So he was going to quit because he didn’t wanna be fearful.  That’s a bad thing to have, isn’t it?  Well now, did any of you just deliberately feel free to be fearful this week? So you can really do your thing – be as fearful as you can.  Really do the thing.   Betty said she really was free to be fearful and it just went away.

When you really set your mind to deliberately be anxious, the anxiety says “Well to hell with you   — you won’t run.”   It’s very freeing.    So you see it really hasn’t or isn’t any great power if one feels free to have a little fear; but somehow or other we have become very fearful of feeling fearful; and we get very angry about feelin’ angry; and we get very resentful about feeling a little resentment.  Now if you’re free to feel those things, what happens?

It’s really all right to feel fear; but you see the first thing when we feel a little touch of fear, we  begin – “How am I gonna rid of it right now!” — like it was the plague or something.  It really won’t hurt you.   You know it really doesn’t do a thing to you.  Have you ever been disappointed?  It didn’t kill you all these years. You’re still functioning, is that right?  So if you’re free to be disappointed, why it’s all right.  You ever been free to have any feeling you had?  I mean the ones that kind of let you know you really have an emotion, not the ones that you purr with when you’ve been well fed or something.

So perhaps that could be an experiment to run today and maybe even two or three days or a week.   We are all grown up adults now; and it’s very liberating when we discover that we can be perfectly free to feel any emotion.  They haven’t killed you or destroyed you or put wrinkles on your face or anything of the sort.

So all of a sudden instead of being fearful, you can be very serene.  But you know we fight fear.  Some of us eat and some of us drink and some of us smoke and some of us do some other things to keep from feeling fearful.

So are you perfectly free to feel fearful?  Well let’s start right now.  You’ve felt it; so if you’re gonna feel it, you might as well do it gracefully and politely.

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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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