[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.]