[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?