What about Attention and Approval (from Half Moon Bay)

[From Marsha: Two aspects of the gain side of the four dual basic urges (see website) which began at the time of birth is that of “I want to gain attention.” and “I want to gain approval”   I have heard the statement that we need attention to survive and approval to thrive.   In observing myself after a few days of being housebound, I would say that there is a certain amount of it that is necessary; but I’ve never measured how much I get or whether it’s really necessary or not.. And so here is a little excerpt from a workshop on that subject……]

A question from the audience……….

(So how much attention or approval – – I mean how much of that do we need. How little……)

How much attention and approval do you need? Well, why don’t you give it to yourself for what you require. You know, I figure nobody knows how wonderful I am as much as I do. I know that those people who disapprove of me just got poor taste; and so I’m going on 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, “He was just doin’ that to try to make me feel good.” Or the mind says, “He was makin’ fun of me.”

So it’s your approval and your image of yourself that counts. So can you give yourself enough approval or do you want the rest of us to give it to you – and that usually means everybody I come in contact with – any disapproval can set me off internally. But you’ll never really believe the rest of us anyway..  You see, we’ve been taught that we should always put ourselves down. We’ve been taught that we should be “humble” and/or at least act that way, otherwise we’re vain.   And being vain is “bad”. But if you put yourself down, who’s gonna put you up again, is that right?

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

(I think they’re just making it up and they don’t really know..)

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 from somebody else. I’ve watched you dismiss any compliments or approval for a long time.   So even if they do give you all the attention and all the approval you want, you then give yourself the “put down”. Is that right?


Yeah. And so does 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, ok? And that doesn’t mean that you have to run and tell everybody how wonderful you are, but just so you know it, ok? 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,   Okay?

[from Marsha   And for a little futher comment, I was recently given an exercise to do and that is: Daily write 60 things I’m thankful for with no repeats; and at the end of a day, give myself 3 pats on the back for something I’ve done through the day.    60 things seems like a lot so I started with 10 – check it out, it gets easier as you go along.]

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Broad Wide Way vs Narrow Straight Way #110

[from Marsha:   For many years now I’ve heard that statement and never considered what it might mean.   And so here’s a wonderful description that adds understanding.]

The type of work that we are involved with has been referred to for hundreds and hundreds of years as “the way”. Now “the way” to some people means they’re looking for a particular method to an end or a goal, but “the way” is a way of looking at things, a way of seeing and a way of being.   It is not a means of behavior because one’s behavior is not very much to one’s own discretion of whatever is to their advantage.

The very ancient origin mentions that there was two ways — a broad wide way that leads to destruction and a narrow straight way that leads to life.   That narrow straight one doesn’t mean you’ve got to get on the ball and do all the certain little things and not a bunch of other things. In other words self improve to some stated ideals.

It is a “way of being objective or consciously aware of things as they are” and not as they “appear to be” through a group of conditioning.

Way back down the road was a statement attributed to Moses that says “I set before you this day two ways – choose what you will – one is life and one is death.” And these two ways are always around; and all the work that we consider is always about “the way”. “The way” is first off knowing the self.

Now we didn’t say to “know the self” but to be “knowing the self”. When something has “ing” on it, it’s in present tense, right?   Right now!   Now this knowing is not to sit down and go through a bunch of things and say, “Well now I’ve learned all about me, I can rest in peace.”   By that time there’s already a different thing happening; and “knowing” is to be conscious – conscious of the self at this moment.

Now the “self” is usually designated with a little ‘s’ and is, of course, the subconscious mind; and it’s always telling us little stories – talking all the time – in other words we experience it as thought.

Now are you going to get involved with the lies it tells and try to straighten it out. Are you going to try to find an “ideal” way for it to function. Are you going to identify with one part of it [B side] and resist the other part [A side] – this is the broad wide way that leads to destruction.   It is the way of conflict. It’s a very broad way – it gives you thousands of ways to have conflict, right? You’ve tried several from every direction. There’s a million more that you haven’t tried.

So here’s all these ways that we can go. We can go the way of “self improvement”. We can go the way of “being good”. We can go the way with “fighting with all society”. We’re gonna straighten everything out. We can have a revolution – destroy this and create something else that will be better. We can have the way of building us a utopia. We can have the way of designing “ideals to live up to”; and we can have the way of chasing fantasies into never never land. All of these are ways that most of us have attempted to use at one time or another. We’ve tried all of ‘em. And these all lead to conflict of one sort or another; and conflict is the disintegration factor.   And so it all leads to disintegration. What is disintegration? — deterioration physically, mentally, emotionally and finally total death – expiration, out of awareness et all.

The other way is to be conscious of “what is going on” and to be conscious is to be objective. If you’re subjective, you’re dreaming; and you’re subject to thoughts, to ideas and to ideals. You dreamed there’s a state called happiness; and if I could just have the right set of circumstances, they would bring about the right sensations; and that right sensation would result in me being happy then, wouldn’t it?  As though happy was a permanent state.

And so there is a consciousness that we are objective about all the things that’s within man.   Being objective we have ceased to make idols; and we’re living in conscious objective ways at all times.   That is a narrow straight way — being conscious.  It doesn’t allow for all the dream states that we can indulge in.  And that is “the way” that leads to life; and as the man said, it leads to life everlasting.

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Listening and Observing to a Quiet Mind #109

[From Marsha: Once in a workshop I expressed stress about the thoughts always running in my mind with complaints, judging self and others, blaming, figuring how to lose weight, worried about this and that. So I asked Dr. Bob how I could stop the constant chatter.   He asked me just to listen; and the room became quiet for a few moments Then he asked me what I heard.   Here is that idea of a “listening exercise and experiment” embellished from an older workshop. He called it:]

Degrees of awareness

This time we’ll talk about degrees of awareness. – degrees of perception.

When we look at things, we have a big impression and immediately begin to want to know “why this happened and how it happened”; and, of course, we get concerned with the results of the pictures we’ve created in our minds. Then we conjure up all sorts of explanations, of “how I can make it go away” and “how I can keep it from happening again” — and truly speaking, very seldom does anything happen over and over again in just the same way.

Most minds are constantly going over situations, events and people’s motives and then conjuring up pictures which we then almost instantly accept as fact just because we thought it up. When you are aware this is happening, there is a very lovely beautiful thing to do.   If you will listen closely with no explanations, the mind becomes quiet. So one can listen and observe to see — not trying to solve something but merely seeing the essential fact as you see it in the present moment.

Very few have time for the mind to be totally quiet so immediately we start inventing answers until we’re totally lost in them; and then we attempt to find some technique to change it .   So sometimes it’s kind of interesting to let the mind go quiet. Now you don’t “make it quiet” because that’s conflict – you “allow it to be quiet” by listening or observing.

When you do this, you see relationships you have never seen before; and you can see the direction something is going. If our mind is quiet — “absent from any reasoning” — then there is perception beyond all the things that the busy mind prevented. We have lived with the busy mind for years which prevents ever understanding.

It’s a simple practice. So let’s try that for a few moments and listen real close as an experiment – [there is silence in the room while everyone listened] And your mind went what? Was it noisy or was it in a real peaceful state?   If you do that for a little while, you’re aware of all sorts of things you’ve never seen before — you’re more perceptive. You can’t see too many things at one time. In other words you can’t listen and think at the same time.

Now when the mind is quiet, it is an empty vessel. When it is full, you can’t get anything else in there, I don’t’ care how much is sittin’ here available for you to be aware of. And how many avenues of awareness do we have for all of those possible perceptions.

Now at first when you start listenin’ you’ll see it as result. But if you just practice listening, pretty soon you can listen a lot. It’s like living in an entirely different world because there is so many wonderful things going on that we never knew existed. In this, you won’t see the future, you only see the probability of something; and so it doesn’t necessarily go that way.   Then you can experience a great value to it.

So you can pursue the idea of “what’s going on”.   In this way, you are in an attitude of listening and you’ll find a quiet mind which is natural. In that natural state you perceive a whole new world that you’ve never seen before.

Next time you want to experiment with listening, instead of asking “why”, ask “what’s going on” and just let it remain quiet if you wanna ask a question. “Why” questions are not valid because it begins an endless loop in the brain that is unanswerable.   Asking “what’s going on here” or “what am I doing” will work much better.   But one can just leave it alone, okay?   Just stay in the quiet.

[from Marsha…Following up on my question in the workshop at the beginning of this excerpt, when Dr. Bob asked me to listen — he then asked what I heard; and I said the birds outside and an air conditioner running. Then he asked what I was thinking, but the thoughts had quit. It switches the attention; and I’ve discovered that I can certainly get hypnotized by the thoughts that ramble around in the head. I’ve also discovered that when I pay attention to “what I am doing” physically such as practicing piano, it brings me back into the now rather than hearing the mind chatter about some past event, even if it was an hour ago, or planning or predicting some future event. And how many things have I planned that rarely, if at all, turned out the way I pictured them.

Sometimes, when I can remember, I like to take another step in the listening exercise.   If I can drop thinking about what I want to say in conversations, I can more clearly hear what the other person is saying. It is then even more difficult for me to listen to “what I say”. I think my conversations would be less confusing to others which I have noticed on occasions that I do – especially if I’m excited.  I’ve even had people mirror back what I said; and it’s completely different from what I meant to say. One day I had just played “Moonglow” and the next song was “Moon River”. I announced the name of the song as the former – “Moonglow”.   The audience called me on it and said “No, that was Moon River”. I, then, saw what happens when I’m not paying attention to what I say. Just a little demonstration of the direction things go when I’m not paying attention and the mind is trying to encompass too much at the same time whether it’s following a conversation, trying to “fix” something or whatever.

Comments from a friend who shared a similar story of a conversation with Dr. Bob.

“Thank you for sharing your observations and the experiment. He told me that one while we were having coffee at his apartment one day. “Listen!” he said. “What do you hear?” I told him the sounds inside and outside the house I heard. “Now do it again and listen to what’s being said inside.” I immediately identified with the thoughts. He must have known that and said, “Listen CAREFULLY, don’t just watch.” I did it again and listened for the not-I’s talk and they went mute. I’ve used that tool ever since. Plus I’ve offered it to a few people who somehow recognize even in some small way that they are NOT their thoughts.

And somewhere along the way I heard this little idea.

Listening phrase – Be like water

Water is fluid allowing people or situations to be as they are without judging or trying to change them — yet still listening untroubled — it is reflective.

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Dictionary for Clarity of Meaning (from #109)

[From Marsha – below is an idea that appealed to me. Long ago when my father used words I was unfamiliar with, I’d ask him the meaning and he’d just say, “I don’t know but it sounds right.” He was usually correct, but how often there is more than one meaning to a word; and so what are we communicating to another.   Once in college I was given a list of words to discover what they meant to different people.   After many conversations, I wondered how we ever understand each other at all. Since I transcribed this little excerpt, I have been looking up the meaning of words which is so easy now with our computers and iphones.   So having said that, here is the delightful idea from a long ago workshop.]

Someone in the audience must have said.   “Well, I find that the ideas I get are very valuable…..   (the question was inaudible)

Well an idea is a picture in the mind and a picture in the mind is an idea if you want to use that particular definition. Did you look idea up in the dictionary?    It’s most interesting if you’d care to look up a series of words. Start off with the word “idea”.   Then look up the word “Ideal” – it might lead you to the word “fantasy”. It might lead you to a lot of things because there’s a word in there that describes that you only think you know the meaning of. So start off with the dictionary and see where it leads you.

Last week we were down in Albuquerque and some lady got up and said, “Would you recommend the best book for us to read because I’m just so tired of reading book after book – what’s the best book?”  I said, “the dictionary – it’s got all the words in it you could ever want.”   She thought I was being a “smarty”; but I still think it’s the best, if you’re gonna read a book.

If you really understood all the meanings of words, you’d be a lot less confused because we have only conceived the meaning of the words we use; and we misuse words all the time.

[from Marsha – Now when someone uses a word I’m not familiar with or a word that could have more than one meaning, I ask – “What does that word mean to you.”   Some examples of words that I have asked of people is faith, happiness, authority, and sometimes even god refraining from my opinion. I just want to hear what their’s is.   So you can experiment with it during your conversations with others.   It is really fun and quite enlightening – not to judge their definition, but to have a clearer understanding between you.]

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Knowing the Future (tape 109)

[from Marsha…..I can remember as a teenager interested in going to Cassada, the spiritualst camp in Lake Helen, Florida and visiting the medium about the future.   It was a lark, but there certainly was some curiosity thinking it might be adviseable and worthwhile to know the future. Below are some thoughts that you might find interesting.] Dr. Bob responds to an participant in audience who wants to have the power to foretell the future.

He says:If the future is already known, then we were predetermined by some unknown power to be here this morning. Everbody that held up their hand to contribute to the conversation was already predetermined to do so; and so we’re all puppets on a string. So it’s a big play and we’re not alive anyway, so let’s forget it. Okay? Everything that’s ever happened to us was preordained – it’s already shot in the movie film; and we just happen to be watching a certain place in it this morning, is that right? There isn’t anything you can do any different other than what you’re doing this morning.   But do you see that if the future is able to be foretold then it must be all cut and dried.

(unintelligible statement.)

Well it’s not foretold then. You only said it’s a possibility that a certain thing’ll happen if you think you can change it. Now obviously if it’s foretold, it’ll have to work out just like it was. You only told me a probability, and I can give you any probability you want for the future – it’ll work out anyway – maybe not the way you want, but it’ll work out.

(I was told ___ )

…then he only told you probability, is that right? Okay now we’re into the probability. Anybody can give you a probability – some are a little more intelligent and can give you a better probability — and then there’s some tell you another probability based on a bunch of conditioning of what they’ve been told and believe rather than looking at the facts.   So you can’t tell the future, you can only tell probability.  Maybe you could send it to the “I don’t know” department in your mind?

(Uh huh.)

So you can begin to look at things objectively instead of makin’ all these pictures in the mind and scarin’ yourself. You can, then, kind of see the real probability, because you see how things are headed.

If I see a boat comin’ down the river at 60 mniles an hour; and the driver is sittin’ there flirtin’ with a girl instead of lookin’ where the boat is headed, I got a good degree of probability he’s goin’ to the point of no return real quick.   I cannot fortell the future because the boat might explode before he gets there, okay?

When I observe a conditioned person. I can predict what he’s gonna do with a reasonable degree of accuracy.   Every prediction has an “if” in it. If you “don’t do so and so” then “so and so” is gonna come about, is that right? So nobody can predict the future. You can only predict with a reasonable degree of probability.

The weather bureau is a task master at it; they have finally fixed it so they’re 100% correct. They put everything in percentages – there’s a 30% chance of rain and 70% of sun. If it rains, the 30% was there — if it doesn’t, the 70% was right, and the forecaster is always 100% right and that’s the way it goes.

So if one is more aware, one sees more facts; and, therefore, sees the relationship of those facts; and thereby the direction of which things are traveling; and then one has a high degree of probability.

Now this is what science is about – they study the degrees of probability of a given thing occurring, and they run experiments — not in trying to figure out “hows and whys”: however science is somewhat deteriorating – it has deteriorated during the last few years and gone into the “hows and whys” a lot instead of “what’s going on”.

Now you can run an experiment many times that when you put water in a pan on the stove with the heat up, that it boils in a given length of time. If you tried that experiment at 700 ft. altitude, you’re gonna come up with a conclusion. But if you, then, tried the same experiment at sea level, you’d find your conclusion is all haywire because it don’t boil in the same length of time at the lower altitude. So you couldn’t come to that particular conclusion. But if you kept accumulating data through experimentation, pretty soon you begin to have a considerable amount of data to work with.

[From Marsha…..My voice teacher once gave an exercise to the drummer of his former band who was afraid of the possibility of everything terrible happening in the future. He believed the scary pictures he had created in his mind. My teacher told this drummer to write down every prediction of fear he heard in his head for a month and see how many came true.   At the end of the month, the drummer came back and slammed his journal on the table.   The voice teacher said, “Well, what happened?”   The drummer shouted, “None of them happened!”

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Pictures in the Mind

[from Marsha

Have you ever noticed that there are pictures going on in your mind?   Do you have pictures in there from the past, pictures predicting tomorrow and on into the future – pictures of arguments and unresolved conflicts? Are those pictures accurate?    Below is a condensed verson of the topic from Dr. Bob.]


So are we responsible for the pictures that float in the head – they don’t just float – we floated them around because we weren’t payin’ any attention to what they were doing; and so the pictures got made.

One day I saw a pretty lady sittin’ in her automobile on a parking lot; and she hadn’t even started her car because she couldn’t decide whether to stay or go — it was snowing very heavily. She had two pictures in her head and didn’t know which was the “right thing to do”. So I gave a push to one of ‘em. I sat with her a few minutes and made one picture look better than the other one.   I added a few little pictures on it and put color in it so one looked better than the other.

Now you see when you get two pictures in your head and you’re “scared of both of ‘em” which way do you go? That’s called freezing. When you make two and you “want both of them”, then it’s called catatonic – you can’t go either way.

Okay, let’s talk about some of the pictures that you might have made that you did not accept responsibility for; and you finally see that those two pictures made problems?   Who made the pictures?

(I did.)

But you forgot about makin’ ‘em, huh? And that’s when we say we can be aware of the picture makin’ behavior.

Now one of our most used bits of behavior is makin’ pictures in the mind – You’re making pictures when you’re doing everything else — even while you’re doin’ dishes, walkin’, drivin’, shopping — while you’re doin’ everything and anything.

So the most used behavior of mankind is the picture makin’ ability of the mind. Now that is where it pays very well to pay attention to that behavior because that is the most common behavior we have is the picture makin’ of the mind.

So if I see I have made two pictures, I can look for an experiment to run — I can then collect information as to whether the picture will work or not, okay? .

So this is when you begin to take responsibility for illusion and not saying, “Well I conceived it, now I’ll just do some positive thinking and it’ll happen magically?” But if I just think positive and sit and wait in the house for the miracle to occur, tell me how long it will take? Forever – no matter if you treated 16 times a day, right?

Now if you remember, you are making the pictures, you stop and say “I’m making this picture” then you’re remembering the self; and you don’t have much problem – that’s all there is to it. You can’t make a problem now – you start laughin’ at yourself every time you start makin’ a problem.

You’re good at makin’ pictures and holdin’ ‘em.   Huh? But….you got a couple of scenes going on in there that’s in conflict So you hold the picture — hold the thoughts – hold the illusion for who knows what.

Do you remember you’re makin’ the picture or do you forget all about it and suddenly get yourself scared of the picture?

Okay, so let’s do it deliberately — on purpose.   Consciously make all kinds of pictures. Then, sometime when you’re makin’ these pictures and you really weren’t paying attention; maybe you’ll quickly remember that all pictures in the mind are made by who?

Now if you self remember, you can be aware that you’re doing that and stop and say “I’m making this picture” then you’re remembering self – and you don’t have much problem. You can’t make one now – you start laughin’ at yourself everytime you start makin’ a problem.

The most wonderful ability of man is the ability to create an illusion —is that right?   However, I am saying take responsibility for it and conceive every kind of picture you want and know that this is the ability to create – that which makes man god-like is the ability to create an illusion and also to let the illusion go after while. That’s what makes him god–like is his ability to create – but take responsibility for the creation. I would not say any illusion in the mind was either good, bad or indifferent – only thing I said was take responsibility for it, is that right? I didn’t say quit making illusions. The ability to create illusions is the most valued creation of man – the most common behavior – that which makes him a human being which makes him a god in disguise.

So when a god disclaims responsibility for his creating ability, he’s gonna get scared of the worlds he creates and try to run away from them so fast that he forgot he created them. So one could drop the pictures made of the past and see only the probability of future events instead of believing the picture in the mind. Then one could be in the moment.

Now when all struggle after illusions are gone, the mind gets quiet.   When you’re totally unconcerned with how and why things happen, it’s pretty wonderful – there’s a whole bunch of ways.

If you want to know something, just shift into the attitude of listening. Try it the next time with “What’s goin’ on?” instead of how or why did this happen ask “What’s going on?” You kind of relax; and you got a quiet mind. Normally you see something and you wanna know why and then change it into what you think it ought to be. How about just lettin’ it remain quiet by inquiring as to “what’s goin’ on” if you wanna ask a question.

When you have a quiet mind you have more perception. So you can call it a voice or you can call it a thought — or you can call it any number of other things. Why not leave it as is, okay?   Just stay in the quiet.

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