Know vs Knowing a Person

[from Marsha….Here’s an interesting challenge for all our relationships.]

Once you say you “understand”, it’s like saying you know somebody. 

Now you never “know anybody” because they’re changing every moment. 

If I decide that I “know somebody” and decide they are a bad person, then no matter what they do, I see them as being a bad person. I experience them being a bad person and I have nothing but unpleasant experiences with them. 

But if I change the whole makeup and say I’m gonna look at this person as they are right now, even if I don’t come up with a different viewpoint, most of the time, people are behaving pretty nicely. So then I can begin to experience them. 

So when we say we understand something, we’ve come to the end of our investigation of that. 

Instead of saying we understand, we can put that in the “I don’t know department”. I like to keep an awful lot of things in the “I don’t know” department.  I think it works better then. 

I don’t know anybody because I’m only “knowing you”; and I like KNOWING you; but I would not want to say I know you because then I’ve settled the matter and I’ll never experience you as you are moment by moment; I will only experience the conclusion I have about you.

[from Marsha…This is easier said than done; but definitely an idea to work with.

One event to event comes back to me. Long ago my husband would get angry and be violent against stuff. He got angry because the tire was flat on his bicycle and he kicked it and got a blue toe. I secretly had to find a bit of humor in that.

When it wasn’t a physical thing and it was something to do with bookkeeping and it was 1 penny out, he would wring his hands and say “goody goody” and he’d go after the error.

Then later on I met a man who went to the nursing homes with me. Something was broken and he looked at it and said “Hum”? I was so amazed, he didn’t throw it or break it. Wow!

And so now I’m with another man. When something is not working he uses some colorful language; but as Dr. Bob says, those are just words. The other cool thing about him is that once he gets it out, he doesn’t hold it. It’s over and he’s back to neutral.

So that was transferring conclusions from one person to another person just because they were men.

Is there any reason to “wake up”?

Could all those conclusions about everyday affairs and people also be true for observing me?]

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How Not to Make Anything Important

[from Marsha: Through the years I and fellow students have asked that very question.

“Well how can I make something unimportant?”

Often I used Dr. Bob’s idea of “being free to experience” which worked much of the time for me; and I’ve also adopted the idea of “this is an adventure”. First of all I need to recognize that I’m anxious and see just what I’m making important.  My behavior is a give-a-way because I’ll pace the floor, not be in the present moment, be unable to remember what I just did. Sometimes I just have to laugh at watching myself. I remind me of a “doodle bug” that runs around in circles and isn’t going anywhere.  And so this excerpt from John B. came at a wonderful time – Christmas, pandemic, election, economy, race riots, sequestered, and on and on.]

How do you make it not important?  You set your state of being against that. You’re not making it important. I heard somebody say here a while ago, that they were ‘making it important” to “not make it important” so they could do something.

You take the importance out of things because you “turn it a-loose”. It really doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. Does it? 

Did you ever try “turning whatever your making important a-loose” and seeing what would happen?  You are just curious and interested to see what will happen.  You have no control over all the other people that have “a finger in the pie”; and you don’t have control over circumstances or the physical body. So you can make a little contribution with your good mood and see what happens.

All you need to do is “turn it a-loose”, it doesn’t matter — so what! And you really mean that, you don’t just say the words. And when you cease to make things important, you find that you can function quite well. You function on top of the world like that, okay? You now have all the ability to do it — that’s in third brain; but you’ve got to let it get quiet. You can’t get quiet while you’re making things important. You get it quiet by listening. Just stop to listen for ten minutes instead of keep pounding away of making it important and criticizing yourself because you’re making it important — it would have been “over with.” So let’s do it the easy way.  Everything that works is simple

It really doesn’t matter, does it? — whether I feel “top of the world right now”, or whether I’m tired right now. It doesn’t make any difference.

Anything works when you do it, but just to know about it doesn’t make it work. You see, you have to do it. So you say, “so what’, I’m not going to fret over this today; and you “turn it a-loose” down here, and you feeL wonderful. You keep your mood up a little bit and you’re doing fine.

 When we make something “important”, we have placed a “false” importance to it from the “conditioned frame of reference.”  We have made it to do the “right thing”, the “best thing”; and can you answer what the “best thing” to do is? Can you ever answer what the “right thing” to do is?  There is no right thing to do!

There are generally two kinds of men in the world — one that makes about anything he meets important.  Everything that comes upon him, he makes important.  That’s one kind of a man.  Somebody tells him that it’s “important” that he eats properly and immediately he becomes all concerned about how he eats and he becomes a health food faddist. 

Another one comes along and says, “You should get 8 hours sleep.” And so he makes it important to get 8 hours of sleep and promptly stays awake all night — he can’t get to sleep worrying about getting the 8 hours. 

Another one says you should eat three meals a day, and so he does that.  Shortly he hears another one say, “You should only eat one meal a day, and so now what’s he supposed to do? 

So, everything that comes along is believed and made important.  Making things important is thought to be really great.  People talk about being dead serious.  

If I make anything important, I feel anxious which binds me and makes me miserable.  Let it go.   It’s an experiment in well-being.

[from Marsha:  I love Dr. Bob’s parable of food and have been caught up in the “chase” of what is “best” and “right” to eat and not eat. Wonderful to observe in self and others and apply to other such “importances” in our lives.

If you want to read more about a quiet mind, check out “The Three Brains” on the website

If you would like to read before and after around this excerpt, go to: Port Orange, Florida 4/21/91 – Page 2 on the website.]

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Find Out For Self

[from Marsha:  Having been using this work since 1975, it took me a long time to see the value in experimenting. To just read or hear the material does not anchor it – it becomes as fleeting as all the other thoughts that go through our heads moment by moment.  By running an experiment for a week or as long as we can remember it, the idea is then available to us along with what we have discovered from the week experiment. 

My friend John B. perused the website and found different aspects about experimenting and has given me permission to share his exploration with you.]

The teaching is not an authoritative system. It is based on scientific principles that one takes an aspect of the teaching as a “hypothesis only” and then “experiments with it”, and possibly the best way to experiment with it is to try to “disprove it”, not “prove it”. Experiment with it in any way that one can see to experiment with it, and find out for “self” if the teaching is a light. And, in this one, becomes a student of living; a student of man, and he begins to have a true knowledge–a true knowing. He has experimented for himself.


1. Seeing WHAT IS at this particular moment.

2. Recording for memory what takes place.

3. Making up the mind as to what experiment to run.

4. Seeing probable sequence of events.


Doing as an experiment to see what happens, usually based on an AIM or interest, but not a commitment to achieve a goal.


Goes step-by-step as an experiment, using the information gathered from the previous steps to see possible or probable sequence of events. It starts with a description and ends with a possibility.


Doing something just to see what happens.


Based on observation and experiment without regard to judgment.


Interest in following an AIM to conduct an experiment to see what happens, placing value on WHAT IS, called “joy.”

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Observing Ernie

On doing an afternoon gig, I encouraged people in the audience who wanted to sing to “sit in” with me. I learned a lot about following amateurs; however, they were able to enjoy some of what I call “sparkle time” and it increased my following which also solidified my employment.

At some point Ernie showed up. He was a professional musician and played piano and sang. He did a good job and it was nice to sit down and let him do a couple of tunes.

The audience came to be like a family with each supporting the other despite any degree of expertise.  

As it went along, a few of us decided to go to a buffet restaurant called Morrisons to eat dinner and continue the camaraderie and the happy feelings we had created together at my gig.

And as it evolved, there was a wonderful black band that played at a hotel called the LaPlaya from 9 – 1 am and they allowed “sit ins” also; so we extended the joy even later.  I had the opportunity to sit in on bass, the piano and also sing in front of the band without needing to play. We also had some great music to dance to. 

This continued for years and Ernie traveled with us. But as is the way of not I’s and how they can take over the mind and influence how we see others, Ernie started finding fault with the people, the music and some circumstances at the LaPlaya. And so he made the choice to leave  us after the buffet.

I didn’t think too much about it until he began to find fault with the buffet. The food didn’t suit him even though there was many choices. And so he stopped going with us after the gig.

Now I was starting to get interested in seeing the probability of what would happen next.  Sure enough, he then started finding fault with my gig or the audience or whatever the not I’s found to make him miserable. He only kept one friend named Jim. Jim told me that Ernie would call every day with something that he didn’t like.

Jim said he didn’t know what to do about it because when Ernie finished with him, he always had a big headache and now he had a bunch of not I’s talking to him too.

I mentioned to him something I had heard Dr. Bob say which was — tell the not I’s to ‘SHUT UP’! 

So the next time Ernie called with his sad and blaming tales; and after they hung up, Jim remembered. He said he stood up with this head full of all he had heard from Ernie and screamed at the top of his lungs…………….”SHUT UP”!  

And they did!

From that experience, I have continued to observe people through the years. So often the not I’s start out with some tiny little judgement. When they (the not I’s) have one convinced of that, the one right after that is bigger and this judging and blaming grows and grows until the person has stopped relationships with so many people that his world gets smaller and smaller devoid of people who are much much more than some ideal we have set for how they look, dress, behave, think and believe. I can only apply what I’ve learned to how I am seeing the world I live in from day to day and ignore the petty judgements I hear within so as to see others with agape and understanding.

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Definition of Consciousness

(From: Chaos to Order—School Talk #50)

In this workshop Dr. Bob says:

A real teaching creates order from disorder by awakening a conscious and objective awareness.  Now those are adjectives….

Conscious means you know what your doing and you’re doing it at the time. 

It is objective, which means you see everything without relating it to “self” and without judging it as “good or bad” or “right or wrong” according to your taste — you know all these opposite adjectives like right, wrong, good, bad, pretty and ugly are all subjective and are judgments.  These opposites are all based on the subjective feeling within me like  “How does this affect me.”  It’s about “the feeling it gives me”; but it really has nothing to do with the person, thing or event that is going on. 

It is more worthwhile to use

                         descriptive adjectives. 

That can be an interesting challenge.  So all adjectives that are non-descriptive, to me, are really non-adjectives.  That is to say that non-descriptive are not objective–they can’t be objective because they only relate to how I feel about the thing……….

[From Marsha: So I asked myself what would be some objective adjectives and/or descriptive adjectives?  Pretty challenging, I must admit……


Subjective relating to my taste of  “good”

 I ate too much of the chocolate cake she made because it was delicious; and now I feel fat.

Descriptive – She made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.


Subjective: “bad” You were a bad boy for pushing your sister down.

Descriptive – There are a couple ways to get by your sister.  Ask her to move or go around her.


Subjective: What a crappy day – rain and wind. I’m so depressed!

Descriptive: Today we have rain. The temperature is 76; and it is cloudy and rainy.


Subjective:  I felt embarrassed when I found out that I was about to go out of the house with a dirty blouse because people might laugh at me or peg me as “white trash.”

Descriptive: – He said I had some kind of food staining my blouse and proceeded to get a wet cloth to wipe out the stain.  I thanked him since I can’t see.


Subjective: I have a really pretty dress I’ll loan you for the prom.

Descriptive: I have a long red gown with a white bodice that will compliment the corsage you are receiving for the prom.  Come, I’ll show you to see if you would like to borrow it.

Subjective: If you had done the “right” thing and not gone off and spent your paycheck on frivolous stuff just on an impulse, you wouldn’t be in this financial crisis.


Descriptive: I hear you saying that you’ve run out of cash. What’s going on? How did that happen? What might you do differently in the future.


Subjective: He should have known better because I’ve told him time and time again not to put white and black clothes together in the washer; but he still does it. Is he stupid or what?

Descriptive – He put the white clothes and dark clothes together into the washer; but thankfully, they came out with their original colors.  

Well this is an attempt. I think it’s a work in progress. I did find that when I became emotional today that I was able to work with descriptive adjectives and not holler.

I do see that in most of the subjective ones that I was wanting to give an opinion of my personal taste or what I have accepted as right or wrong.

Dr. Bob says there is no “right or wrong”,  “good or bad”.    He talks about thinking in opposites whereas it is more accurate to talk in degrees – it’s not hot — instead, the temperature is 90 degrees.  It’s not cold, the temperature is 24 degrees. 

From the Dictionary consciousness


the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.

the awareness or perception of something by a person.

the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.

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About Attention and Approval

 From Half Moon Bay

Question: (So how much attention or approval do we need.  How little……)

How much attention and approval do you need?  Well, why don’t you give yourself what you require?  You know, I figure nobody knows how wonderful I am as much as I do.  I know people that disapprove of me just got poor taste and I’m goin’ about my business. 

Do you know how much you would need to give yourself?  You see in the ultimate end, it’s your own approval you desire, not mine.  I can come along and tell you how beautiful you are; and how wonderful you are; and you’ll say to yourself “He was just doin’ this to try to make me feel good” or “He was makin’ fun of me.”

  So it’s your approval, your image of yourself that counts.  So can you give yourself enough approval or do you want and expect the rest of us give it.  You’ll never believe the rest of us anyway, is that right?  But we’ve been taught that we should always “put ourselves down”.  But if you put yourself down, who’s gonna ‘put you up’, is that right?  Or you wouldn’t believe ’em anyway, would you? 

You’ve been told how beautiful you were ever since you was this high, is that right? 

(This high.)

You’ve been told that all of your life, haven’t you?

(Well, about……….)

Well most of your life, is that right?  That you’re a beautiful lady.  Do you buy it or do you think you’re a ……

(I think they’re lying.)

Right.  So the only approval and attention that really matters is what you give yourself.  Now let’s all get that straight.  Now that don’t mean you’re conceited or anything of the sort.  The point is if you can’t approve of yourself, you won’t buy it if somebody else does.  I’ve watched you for a long time,  You give yourself the “put down”.


Yeah.  And you give yourself the put down, And so’s about everybody else here.  Now we all give ourselves a put down, is that right?  The only attention and approval in the ultimate end that matters is what you give yourself, okay?  And that doesn’t mean that you have to run and tell everybody how wonderful you are, but just so you know it, okay?  You don’t have to tell anybody about it, just so you know it.  Then you got plenty of attention.  If you need a little more today, give yourself a little more.

[From Marsha… Once my daughter and I found a sweet little canary flying free – he obviously had escaped.  

So we caught it, got a cage, food and the necessary accoutrements. My daughter being young would go to school and leave the curtains closed. I felt sad for the canary because as I understand it, we cover the cage at night so the bird will sleep; and then remove it during the day.

So after a time, I decided to take the canary with me. I told my mentor in music about the bird; and he said to take a lesson from the bird.  “WHAT, I thought?” What could I possibly learn from a little canary bird. 

So one day I was doing an afternoon gig singing and playing keyboard with a full house and nobody was paying any attention to me. I felt like a failure,  Of course, here comes the self “put down: and I left dejected.

Upon arriving home I could see in my front window and there was the canary singing his little heart out at the top of his voice. I thought about that lesson I was challenged to learn and realized that this canary didn’t need an audience. He was singing for just the joy of it.

And so I’ve taken his lesson with me for the past many years I’ve been playing.  And if people aren’t listening, I send out the joy anyway – we can never measure the effect of what we radiate.]

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