[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)
WHAT DOES THIS REMIND ME OF?
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!