As we were growing up, it seemed that everyone was an authority over us – – parents, teachers, church, and on and on it goes. Now as adults, we often continue the pattern of looking for an authority to tell us what to do, what to eat, what not to eat and it seems everyone sees themselves as an authority these days based on what they’ve read.
In the past, I often found myself asking everyone nearby what I should do or accepting the way they saw things as the “only way to view” a certain time, place or circumstance. The conflict produced was brought to my attention very nicely when my voice teacher and piano teacher gave me conflicting “should” and “should nots” with the opinion that their wisdom was best. I finally realized the only thing I could do was to experiment with the information they gave me to find out for myself what worked for me in performance. It took courage, but I made many discoveries and had marvelous results. So below is an excerpt from a Newport Beach workshop which I thought beautifully described “what goes on” with many of us unconsciously looking for and accepting opinions and conclusions from those we mistakingly view as authorities. Here begins the excerpt:
“An awful lot of people are inhibited from doing a lot of things that they want to do, huh? – – because somebody told them it was wrong; and I haven’t found hardly anything in this world that somebody has not said was wrong, harmful or somethin’ else.
Now have you ever eaten or drank anything that somebody hasn’t said is carcegentic, or depleting to the body? Now if you drink water that runs in the ordinary taps, that’s gonna be carcegenic probably. If you drink distilled water, you’re gonna deplete your body of minerals, huh? And you could go on and on with everything under the sun.
Now you know they deny the fact that the human body is highly adaptable – – it adapts – – it adapts to all sorts of things; but if you deny that, then you’re saying that about everything you touch, taste, smell, or eat is in some way harmful, is that correct? Now they don’t agree on what “it” is. This guy says this substance is. This guy says bacon will do you in; and this guy over here says steaks will do you in – – especially if you cook them on the char broiler; and another one says that any kind of red meat’ll do you in. Another one says that any meat’ll do you in. Somebody says vegetables are full of oxilic acid and they’re gonna do all sorts of horrible things to you. So what is there left? I don’t think I can see any difference in it because this body’s pretty adaptable if I don’t demand too much adaptation from it at one moment, so I’m gonna do what I want to, ok?
Now if you really want to do it, you find you have no procrastination or anything else about it unless you have been conditioned that what you wanted to do was in some way bad, ugly, abnormal or fattening which is most of it, huh? So then we get in a turmoil about that, huh? So there is very little “will” in the world, and an awful lot of “will power” which is very very weak.
Now the integrated person has a want and can act freely, without inhibition from old training that “you shouldn’t do it” – – which has been the “conditioned purpose” that was put on people. It is not your purpose but the ‘grafted on’ one, huh?
Now how long does it take us to see that all the shoulds and ought tos and have tos and musts was merely the morass of some community that had absolutely nothing to do with reality.
Now I don’t want to do anything that’s gonna harm anybody–period! Now that is something I just don’t want to do. I don’t want to do anything that would harm you in any way. I’m not gonna harm you. I want to do things which would be as much to my advantage to be non-disturbed as possible. I’m gonna be considerate of you. I’m gonna be as harmless as I can, ‘cause i don’t want to harm you; and I’m gonna make some little contribution to Life. Now where do I stand from there. Do I have a whole bunch of “should” and “ought tos” and “have tos” and “must nots” to live up to or is that enough?