[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?
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.]