|Recorded date||October 10, 1974|
|Location||Duquesne University, Pittsburgh|
|Number of tapes||One 60-minute|
|Other recorders audible?||No|
|Alternate versions exist?||Unknown|
|No. of MP3 files||2|
|Total time||32 min + 32 min = 64 min total|
|Transcription status||Gio did 2 pages. SH distributed 6/24/2011|
|Link to distribution copy||http://distribution.direct-mind.org/|
|Link to PDF||http://distribution.direct-mind.org/ Or try http://selfdefinition.org/rose/|
|Published in what book?||n/a|
|Published on which website?||n/a|
|Remarks||Extremely concise early lecture|
|Audio quality||Good, clear.|
|URL at direct-mind.org||https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=1974-1010-Duquesne-University-Pittsburgh|
|For access, send email to: email@example.com|
Distributed transcript was from partial version, 64 min only. SN, DW and BM are all partial.
Need location on tape. Old note says "At side 1 minute 25" but this is incorrect.
Rose has recently discovered Ramana Maharshi: "Lee, do you remember what that guy's name was?"
Rose: Stand up for a minute. Ok, you can sit down.
Now, I want to apologize for that as soon as I do it. But this is to bring out a point. It's very difficult to be truthful and honest, or investigative as far as that's concerned, but if there is one thing that I can get across to you tonight if I don't say anything else is just what I said there: Why do you stand up every time someone tells you to stand up? Why do you get in queues and lines and say “thank you” when somebody hands you something that's worth nothing?
And unless we start to observe our behavior from the very beginning, these little things that are imposed upon us by society, you will never be able to think for yourself. And if you can't think for yourself, after standing up the next order will be to fix bayonets, and I hope pointing in the other direction, of course.
Today I want to talk about myself a little bit. The reason for talking about myself is that I have given quite a few lectures, and I get in the habit of just talking about things that are philosophical, or that seem to be philosophically relevant. And perhaps a lot of people in the group have not encountered all the information that I have at my fingertips, and even that the members of our group at Pitt have at their fingertips. So I think sometimes I start in the middle of something instead of at the beginning.
I remember when I was younger, when I read a book, I was more interested in the author of the book than I was in the book. I invariably tried to apply my intuition, to try to figure out what the author was like. If I sensed that the author was sincere, I'd complete the book. But as soon as I sensed the author was insincere, regardless of what he had to offer, I'd put it down – because it could be a concoction, that he was fabricating something.
So I think that it’s basic, not to just come out with an idea which may be new to quite a few of you, but to say why this idea occurred to me, or what type of a guy I am. Because basically I'm responsible for this thing, let's put it that way.
My search for truth began in this geographical direction, incidentally. It is kind of ironic – I’m from Wheeling, and as I child I came through Pittsburgh on the way to a little town above Butler called Herman, and I studied there to be a Capuchin priest. I know that some of the fellows I studied with are now priests, and maybe some of them are in the area – I don't know. I haven't seen any of them for years. But at seventeen years of age I dropped out.
That search had started as a child. And I was sincere. But it was a search that was inspired by faith – by the faith of people that I loved. I went away when I was twelve years of age – because they took you out of grade school in those days; maybe they still do, I don't know. But I went away at twelve and I came back at seventeen. I had rejected the faith – because I had basically rejected the people as insincere. I had rejected empty answers. I had rejected imperative demands to believe rather than to search. At the same time the Good Book says, “Seek and you shall find,” these people said, “Shut up – you believe what I tell you.”
So then – I thought that I had a pretty good head on my shoulders, and my ego lead me in the direction of using that head to find out what I could find. And I got into what I thought was a scientific, objective, materialistic search for truth. I was going to analyze matter. I went to college and majored in chemistry and decided I was going to analyze matter and find the truth.
I went to spiritualist materializations. I figured that if you want to find out what happens to you after death, go talk to somebody who has died – because it seemed to be a direct thing. And I searched all over the country, through scads of phonies with fluorescent cheesecloth as spirits, until I finally found some genuine materializations, and I talked to things that were supposed to be dead
And I came away like Omar Khayyam – out the same door wherein I went. I found that basically the intellect is a quality or an attribute of vanity. And occasionally I would hear the echoes of some of the words that the good monks had told me in the seminary, to beware of pride, and that sort of thing. But they didn't spell it out. I thought they meant, you know, just be like a grubworm or something; don't get in the road. They never really spelled out the real nature of vanity. And strangely enough they never do. We get our best analysis of vanity from lay philosophers, seemingly.
And this is one of the first things about Zen. When you get into the very heart of Zen, you'll find it's mostly an attack upon vanity. You reach wisdom by an attack upon vanity as much as anything else – but with the full determination to define that which you don't know, not the pretense of what you think you know.
But anyhow, I learned from this objective search – that went on from the time I was seventeen until I was about twenty-one years of age – that reason was important. It's important to reason things out, because there are reasonable processes. Faith alone, or believing in things, does you no good unless you try to develop some sort of common sense. And common sense implies reason, as far as we are able, because there is nothing but common sense until you have proof, and there is no such thing as proof until you know everything.
But when I was about twenty-one years of age I saw that it was going take me – if I went through some analytic process to find the truth by the exploration of physical phenomena, cataloging of all ESP phenomena, or looking between the molecules – it would take me fifty or a hundred years and I realized I didn't have it. And I sensed that there must be a more direct way. There had to be some direct way that a man could find this before he got too old to think, before his head started to crystallize.
Then I encountered yoga, and when I found yoga I thought, “This is it.” Of course all I had was books. It was impossible to travel any great distance in those days; the Depression was on, but you could get to the library. And this author, incidentally, [holds up book] is Paul Brunton – he’s not heard of too much now.
I got into this business of hatha yoga and I stayed with it for seven years: raja yoga, meditation techniques, and in general I never gave up delving into any transcendental things that came along. I was totally celibate, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink. I didn’t care too much about what I said about my neighbor, but I didn’t consider that a vice. But I abstained from most everything else – because I thought, “I’m going to go the whole hog. If you’re going to do something, don’t do it half way.”
And of course, possibly in the back of my head, the celibacy instructions of the seminary had stuck as being worthwhile. I was picking a little bit as I went along, hanging on to what I thought was good and dumping what I didn’t particularly like. You can’t put it any better than that – I didn’t say whether it was wrong or right, I just decided I didn’t like it so I dumped it.
And when I was about twenty-eight I realized that in this whole seven years I had gained nothing. My hair was falling out, my teeth were falling out. Occasionally I would get the urge to marry, and I’d think, “If I don’t pretty soon, nobody will have me, because I look like hell; and I’m not getting a bit smarter.”
But I did learn one thing though: that this prolonged period of attention and push, if you want to call it that – determination – had acquired for me a better intuition. If you could say I gained anything in seven years, I’m convinced I gained a better intuition.
But I didn’t give up. There were times when I felt like I should, but for some reason I’d get drawn back in; I’d find a better book, I’d run into somebody who knew something, and I’d travel halfway across the country to interview them or talk to them. I talked to witch doctors in Texas, and spiritualists; if I had to hitchhike to go, I’d find someone who knew something.
I got into books, I got into philosophy. I read everything from the English translation, incidentally. When I went to the seminary they had no translation of Thomas Aquinas, you had to read it in Latin. And I didn’t even have a Latin copy, but later I got an English copy of the writings of Aquinas. And everything from Aquinas up to Freud – I chucked all this into the computer.
And there started to be some deductions, if you want to call it that. I came to certain convictions about the search itself, first of all – what you have to do. And to find out what you have to do, you have to find a little bit of something about the mental environment around you. And in analyzing and observing this mental environment, you come across laws – you hear these all the time, but people don’t pay too much attention to them. I’m going to give you a couple, and then I’ll enlarge upon them if you want me to later.
These are some of the laws you might say I thought at the time that I had discovered, only to find that somebody else had discovered them a thousand years before me, but had put other words down. And incidentally, the laws of physics nearly all apply to the spiritual laws. The laws of economics are very similar to spiritual laws. You apply those laws to economics and you can make a million dollars – or you can get spiritual value by taking the same energy and applying it.
For instance, the law of equilibrium. Results are proportional to energy applied, in whatever you do. So that if you are a spiritual person and you make up your mind that you’re going for a spiritual end, and you act with determination and don’t just join some lodge or some club or some hierarchical institution which has gone to sleep three hundred years ago – but get out and fight it out for yourself – then you’re liable to accomplish something. If you do the same in the financial world you can get rich, you can become a millionaire, having what I call average intelligence.
But the law of equilibrium you’ll find in Hindu writings, called karma. If you strike a brick wall with a rubber ball, according to physics, the wall strikes the ball with the same force that the ball strikes the wall. You strike society and society will react in proportion.
Everything is in balance; don’t try to upset it too much. You can affect it a little bit. They say faith will move mountains – that’s the law of faith; but faith will not move mountains, because there are people on the other side, more people, who don’t believe it’s going to move. The only way you’ll affect the physical universe by faith is if all of humanity that’s living, that ever has lived or will live, agrees with you. Then the mountain may move. But it takes the combined total agreement of all the minds of mankind.
Now you can heal a wart or a boil with a restricted element of mankind – two or three hundred people in a room may cure a boil; five or ten may cure a headache. There is a quantum energy involved. But when something goes contrary to the whole dream that’s been cast out here on the void for us to accept, you’re not going to change it. One man is not going to change that dream.
I told you about the proportional returns. Now we operate again under another law, which I call the law of extra-proportional returns. The law of extra-proportional returns says that if you go to work building yourself a log cabin it will take you “x” number of days. You can figure it out pretty close: it might take you 90 days. But if two people build the same log cabin, they may finish it in 43 days or 42 days, because of leverage and working together. If four people go to work on it, it may cut down, instead of each having the equivalent of 45 days it may come down to 35 days, in building that log cabin or that house or whatever is built.
Now this I also call the contractor’s law. This is not some wild idea – if it were not for this law, no one would hire men to build buildings, because there is a shortcut in multiple manpower. The same thing applies spiritually. And this is the reason that all over the face of the earth you have monasteries, groups, brotherhoods or whatever you want to call them. Because they expedite effort.
It’s like Alcoholics Anonymous – they keep saying, “Hey bud, you’re drunk. Sober up, come back to the center, you’re drifting away.” That’s one of the main purposes of having a group of people, functioning together.
The law of the paradox, is another law that you’ll encounter. The law of the paradox says that there is a paradoxical element in all things relative. We’re speaking in a relative world with relative words – and permeating all this is the paradox: that which is may also be that which it seems not to be.
The law of the ladder is a spiritual law that says you have to help people below you and you have to be helped by people on a rung above you. But it’s advisable not to reach too far – you can only see one rung above you and you can only help the person one rung below you. Because it’s historical that when you reach down two rungs they crucify you; they pull you down by the hair of your head. So you have to be selective in those you talk to.
The law of the vector, is another one.
Another law is the law of betweenness, which I will get into later.
The law of change – there was a man who lived up at Niagara Falls and he wrote that on the wall before he drowned himself: “All is change.” He discovered that, and the discovery was so tremendous that he plopped in the water. He realized that there was nothing static, not even small-T truth. The only truth that is permanent is capital-T Truth, which refers to an absolute condition.
The law of relativity – now this isn’t the Einstein law of relativity, this is the interrelation between all definitions – that nothing means anything without everything else. Every word in the dictionary almost involves every other word. Every human being involves every other human being.
The law of complexity – this is also formulated in physics, I think in cybernetics, that when things become so complex they seem to resemble life, they take on the semblance of life. And this has to do with any human effort.
The law of faith – you’re acquainted with that, but not in all aspects of it, I don’t believe.
The law of the pyramid – that’s the reason I have a pyramid on the front of the book. The law of the pyramid is first of all the law of three. Benoit, in his books on Zen, has a similar pyramid – he talks of two, the positive and the negative polarity of things, plus the central point of compensation.
The law of the pyramid also symbolizes that all human action is pyramidal in form. For every millionaire at the peak you have a heavy base – that’s the reason the lines at the bottom are drawn heavy – a heavy base of quite a few people who are poor. Wealth is based entirely on poverty; you can’t have it without poverty. Spiritually the same thing. Educationally, scholastically – for every man who becomes a PhD, he leaves behind a certain proportion. You can almost say there’s a certain proportion of people who only finish the eighth grade, and a proportion who don’t finish the eighth grade.
Spiritually, for every man who reaches what Bucke calls cosmic consciousness, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand do not. They occupy different levels.
The law of progression is another one. The law of progression says that wherever there is something, there’s a chance that there is more. That sounds rather childish, but there’s a tremendous lot of reasoning to it. This is almost like calculus, that wherever you get a directional force of energy it implies indefinite possibility.
And the reason we mention the law of progression is simply the fact that whenever you say that there’s such a thing as knowledge – that a person knows their toes from their nose – it’s possible that they know something else. If it’s possible for people to know how to count to ten, it’s possible to count to a million, and it’s possible to have infinite mathematical knowledge, if you want to take the time and the paper.
The same thing spiritually – we discover things and we think we’ve hit the top or the peak – and those discoveries sometimes are experiences. These experiences, I refer to them, and some of the psychologists refer to them as exaltations. These exaltations have different forms. And this includes the inability, when they have these exaltations, to realize that the law of progression says that this might not be the end: that where there is a spiritual experience there can be another spiritual experience perhaps of greater type, until you reach the point where you know absolutely that there’s nothing greater. Now that may sound controversial.
Levels and exaltations
When we speak of exaltation – some of you are familiar with the Gurdjieff and Ouspensky books. Gurdjieff refers to the different levels of man as being instinctive, emotional, intellectual and philosophical – that’s one, two, three and four. He claims there are seven men but four is as far as he goes, because manifestly he didn’t go any further himself.
But between each of these – if you observe the different exaltations of mankind, the religious experiences of mankind – they occur between these men. And this brings in the concept of betweenness. That a man starts as an instinctive creature and then he becomes emotional: maybe he falls in love, and it somehow draws him away. Although the love is caused by a physical attraction, which is his instinctive nature, still he starts to have an idealistic way of looking at things.
And he’s caught between his animal nature and his selflessness, his meaninglessness in front of someone he considers more than himself. And in this he reaches an exaltation. It may be a love affair. We hear of people in fundamentalistic religions getting “saved” – this is very similar. This guy has overcome his booze or his sex habit or whatever it is, and he’s saved. And he’ll tell you that he has reached the last rung, that this is it. He’s talked to God, or something of that sort.
And he may spend the rest of his life in that. I’ve known people who did. When they were quite old they died with the conviction that this salvationistic experience was the only thing that was possible for human beings to feel.
But he lingers in the emotional stage – and some time after he graduates it becomes commonplace to him. He has doubts about the voices he heard in his ears, but he goes on, perhaps, studying, getting more, trying to reason. Maybe it’s just a logical analysis of the Bible or something, maybe doing numerology or astrology or Lord knows what. But he becomes more logical in his processes and he experiences another type of exaltation.
They come generally in this order.
And this leads to what I call the “wow” experience, or the eureka experience. In a lot of Zen writings this is called satori. And I want to give my difference, because everyone speaks with words, and different people have a different meaning for the same word.
Most of the Zen experiences that are called satori, that you read about in these books such as Kapleau – where a person says, “Wow, I’ve got it,” and he gets up, gets his clothes, goes home and says, “I’m enlightened” – these are mostly the momentary thing that comes like when you solve the algebraic problem. If you’ve ever had algebra and labored with it day after day, and then all at once it cracked through – you realize the light; it’s almost like a light burst on you. From that time on, algebra is clear to you. You could go on from there and work the problems.
Now that’s similar to Zen satori. And of course, everyone thinks, “That’s it. I’ve seen it.” Because – first they’ve been acquainted, unfortunately acquainted, with Zen literature. So when they see part of the algebraic problem, they imagine that they have the whole answer to the cosmos.
The next one of course is the realization that this intellectual breakthrough – in the transition from the emotional over to the intellectual – is still vanity. When that is realized, then you enter the philosophic stage. And in the transition between the reason or the rational state and the philosophic state, you encounter what they call samadhi.
Now samadhi is a loose word; it’s a Hindu word and I don’t like to use Hindu words. I maintain that all these things can be spoken in English and they should be spoken in English. We have no need of mystical-sounding Hebrew or Japanese terms. But unfortunately there are some foreign words we have to accept, because there’s no American or English word that actually describes it, when you get to analyzing it.
Now this was very well expressed, this phase of spiritual advancement, in a book by Ramana Maharshi. There are two types of samadhi, to pick up his explanation of it. One is kevala nirvikalpa samadhi; that’s where you’re still in the objective world. And the other is sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Now what those other words mean, I have no idea, except that I do know that the term samadhi is used to refer to enlightenment. But what kevala and sahaja mean, I don’t know. I do know the explanation of them though.
I know that sahaja refers to a total state of nothingness-and-everythingness, whereas kevala samadhi refers to an objective experience. And this is described, incidentally, in Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness.
The things that come under the heading of cosmic consciousness generally are the kevala samadhi. The person becomes “enlightened” and it’s literally light. He sees light; he hears angelic music. In the case of Bucke, he wrote in the book that the whole sky became illuminated with rose-colored light; it was like an LSD trip for him. He quivered and he thought the town was on fire or something, as he explained it. This was in Montreal, Canada.
But this is a relative experience. And when you talk about enlightenment as being the absolute experience – anything that is relative would immediately negate the finality of an absolute experience.
So that what happens in kevala samadhi, it’s a transition between the intellectual and the philosophical man – at least that’s the best I can explain it. It’s after a lifetime of straining of philosophical bounds.
But when the sahaja experience occurs, it generally occurs with an experience of death. You very seldom enter that without going through the experience of death. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t.
That’s the reason why I draw quite a line between the so-called “wow” experiences that people have – which they walk away from, and go back to some little cult and start having people sit in zazen circles or something, under the guise that they’re going to illuminate them by sitting and staring. This is in contrast with a person who has gone through the experience of death, and maybe it took him a week to come through it. And when he came through it he knew the answer to everything. That sounds big, but I have to leave it lay where it is.
Now we get into this business of betweenness. This system that I advise has largely to do with the business of betweenness. And as I said before, it’s the idea of putting the attention on these states, these almost subliminal states, between intense instinctive man and an intense emotional man.
To give you an idea of what betweenness implies, to give you some instances – if you’ve ever done any gambling, you’ve experienced something of betweenness.
I was really amazed one time I went to a movie – it was the story of some ritzy gambling house in Europe, Monte Carlo or someplace, where they were gambling for millions. And this American drunk staggered in with a handful of pennies – they kept pushing him aside – he had to have a thousand dollars to play one chip. They said to go on over to some other table, and he did; he ran up his winnings.
He came back and he put this chip down with these millionaires, and he recited a little bit of poetry, a little doggerel – he said it kept running through his head.
And all these gamblers in this place had little things that they used as gimmicks, to try to win. Now these gamblers were all unconsciously using the science of betweenness. They didn’t know what they were doing, but they somehow were using this intuition to try to hold their head a certain way so that things happened.
I really would like to have known who wrote the play, because either he took it from real life or he had some esoteric knowledge.
Now with this little bit of doggerel the fellow won, and won repeatedly. And he kept repeating this. The only thing, of course, was that he was a working man – and he kept drinking, and his blood pressure went up. He got drunk with the winnings. He finally wound up with all the money in the place – he had a million dollars – and he also wound up with the most beautiful girl in the place. She walked over to him and said, “I belong to the winner.”
So they went into the back room – and he dropped dead. Because in the final science of betweenness, he didn’t know where to stop. He had hit upon a formula, with no more esoteric training than what he had just come onto as an intuition.
Some of you may have read a book called Crack in the Cosmic Egg. This is a book that a fellow wrote because his wife was dying of cancer, and he felt that there was some little twist that he could apply – something that the doctors hadn’t thought of, that no one had thought of – a way of holding your head, a way of positing or something, that would cure his wife of cancer.
Now he goes through the whole book and never tells you that she was cured: she died. But regardless, he was on the track. He sensed something, he knew it was there. ...
[Side 1 ends at 31:39]
... through the magic, if you can find it.
Healing, this business of healing people – I’ve watched it done. Some get healed and some don’t, because all heads aren’t in the direction at once.
Enlightenment is a betweenness resulting from an extreme tension exerted on both objective reality and the ...
[ break in tape in middle of a crucial statement – is there another copy? ] ... Serious scientific research should be more intuitive. So that we employ a little bit of betweenness in developing intuition, or improving intuition.
Knowledge vs. change of being
We come down from the subjective category to the wisdom and knowledge systems. This is what we’re faced with today – I’m going to try to run through the gamut of stuff, of the so-called truth systems.
We have systems that pretend, through a series of courses through the mail or otherwise, to teach you infinite knowledge. It might be developing your mind to where you’re a super-mind, thought-control courses and this sort of thing, where you develop more and more – incidentally, hinting at the law of progression, that if you can become smart you can become infinitely more smart.
Then you have the other side of that coin, which are the change of being systems, the systems that recognize that you can’t find by thinking or memorizing or knowing – you have to change your essence. I don’t mean essence – the essence doesn’t change. But you have to change what you are now.
And I came to this conclusion, as I told you, when I was around twenty-one, when I first got into yoga. It finally dawned on me that previous to that I had been studying, and I realized that I would never acquire the truth by study. For instance, it may be piling up some scribblings in our DNA molecule, or maybe piling up synaptic memory – we don’t know whether this is the end of it or not. If it is, then when you perish your memory perishes with you.
But my intuition told me very succinctly that it had to be a different type of vehicle, to conceive what was necessary.
Now in theology there’s a little slogan that the finite mind can never perceive the infinite. And this used to frighten a lot of people and possibly still does, into not trying to find anything infinite.
But what’s missing – this little slogan that the finite mind can never be infinite – I maintain that there’s a situation in the finite mind in which it can be less finite, let’s put it that way. I presume that there’s some aspect of man that is infinite. But the mind can reach a condition in which it is less finite. For instance I believe that under the influence of LSD the mind is less finite, or more infinite, than it is on just meat and potatoes.
We’re going down now by elimination – from wisdom systems that pretend that they’re going to take you there with your head, down to systems that have a change of being. And these were all things that I looked into as I got older. And I indulged in them too, as I said – standing on my head or concentrating on my supposed third eye.
These again go back to the relative way of doing things – the physical methods, in which it seems that everybody wants an easy way. You know, twist your legs up into a pretzel and you’ll go to heaven. Mantras, chanting, praying.
I used to say that if a man prayed and heard himself, he could answer in a choir. But not just praying outwardly, thinking that there’s something out there that’s going to say, “That’s a good boy, we’ll get you your sled for Christmas.”
Hatha yoga – twisting the body thinking it’s going to have a spiritual effect. Subud – standing and shaking. I’ve been into these. I’ve been into their initiation rites. I went through a lot of initiation rites, and if any of you are interested in them you can ask. Radha Soami, different ones. I belonged to a group that deliberately went to and became initiated into some of these groups, in order to have something that they could talk about validly.
Worshipping an object or a human master – this is something you have to be very careful of, letting some character play God with you.
Mental and psychological systems
We graduate from that to what I call the third categorization, where it becomes more essential, or pertaining to the human essence. In the mental means we have visualization, mental attack on our own minds, confrontation, primal therapy, and this Albigen system of betweenness.
The analyzation of external thought – under this category comes psychology and psychiatry. By that I mean, if the old adage says, “First know thyself,” how are you going to know yourself unless you study your mental processes? To look back within yourself you don’t look at your intestines, you look at your thinking processes. So this is psychology.
Now in this system, this Zen system – and incidentally, all true Zen is exactly this – they call it concentrating on a koan, but you don’t concentrate upon a koan, you concentrate on a problem. And this was lost in the translation.
For instance you’ll read in some of the books about a person being given the koan “mu”. He had to concentrate on this and work the problem out, and it took him maybe a year or two. Now this comes to us in an error of translation. The koan “mu” means basically “Who am I?” So his problem was to find out who he was – and he could search for this without being in Japan or China; you can find yourself out by looking inside, any place in the world.
But when you do find yourself out, there’s no longer any objective study of mental phenomena. And this is what psychology attempts today – it attempts to be an objective study of invisible phenomena, or mental phenomena.
Now this latter category of mental means – you’re using mental means to acquire – this brings us to another dimension, another subjective state or experience. And this is the end of the road. What I mean is, it leads to enhanced awareness, or a pure awareness.
And when you reach pure awareness you have reached enlightenment, when you actually know – and incidentally, when you know it, you don’t know it. When you know it, you know nothing. When you know everything, you know absolutely nothing. I mean, you know the essence of nothing as well as you know the essence of everythingness.
I’m not saying that to mystify you; that’s not being done to be clever: you cannot describe an absolute condition with relative words unless you follow up with both sides of the picture. Again, everything both is and is not. If I can, I’ll try to explain that to you also.
But this comes up with the final science of betweenness: this is where we’re caught and this is what enlightenment is – the final betweenness, between everythingness and nothingness.
I want to go back over these mental means again. I mentioned them in the order of lesser first, the lesser in importance.
Visualization – We have quite a few spiritual systems today that employ visualization. In other words, imagine that you’re holy. Positive thinking – imagine that you’re in a certain chakra, or put your guru in your third eye. These are all creations; these have no validity. They don’t take you anywhere except as a training; it’s a discipline.
Mental attack – There are a lot of groups forming today – encounter groups – to attack the other fellow, in the hope that when the battle is over, when all the encounter groups are settled, we’ll all be a puddle of equal slime. That nobody will be any better than anyone else, and then we’ll get along – this is the important thing. The great service of modern psychology and psychiatry is to grease the wheels, not to find the truth.
If we can keep these in perspective, when you’re looking upon a science that’s supposed to analyze thought – meaning, to analyze the self – it has a tremendous job. And instead of that, it reverts immediately to utility: how to get the guy back on the job; how to get him back in bed with his wife, so that the state won’t have to support the kids. And whatever brainwashing is necessary, this becomes the thing.
With this in mind – we have things like Primal Therapy which are to put people back to work. I’m experienced with quite a few people who have gone through Primal Therapy, and some whom I have managed to prevent from going to Primal Therapy – and they had more final and more lasting success that the ones who continued to scream the rest of their life.
The Albigen system of betweenness – I’m not going to go into now, because I don’t want to blow a horn here, I just want to theorize.
And external thought – about this dimension, the observations of psychology and psychiatry – I’ve commented on.
Authorities and robots
The reason I talk about psychology and psychiatry – I’m somewhat concerned about those people who are putting themselves in a position, without any knowledge of the truth, to deny an Essence for man. And this is the current psychological thought, that man has no Essence; that all he is, is what you see; and that a person who claims they have a soul is a dreamer.
I’m concerned that we’re becoming a race of robots, if we’re not already a race of robots. And that was the reason I asked you to stand up. Because we’re being programmed to respond to authority, instead of being programmed to respectfully question authority. Who am I to tell you to stand up? I’m nobody. I’m nobody. Who am I to say, “Please form a line over here”? Yet people rush out and start directing traffic – and no one questions them, whether they’ve got a right to direct traffic.
You go in the army and someone tells you, “You better believe it.” It becomes a slogan: “You better believe it.” Why should I better believe it? Because when you get into this frame of mind you’re sunk. I mean as a philosopher and as an individual. You cannot be a thinker and have somebody brainwashing you as soon as you enter the first grade of school. And we’re training all of our people to be tractable.
Now of course I realize you can’t have bedlam, you can’t have chaos. But I think, if we decide to be thinkers, we still should give ourselves a chance, and give our fellowman the chance also, of questioning. Of asking, “Why does it have to be so regimented? Why must we be like cattle?” – categorized and driven in herds toward an inescapable robot destiny.
My complaint against the world of modern psychology and psychiatry is that it lies within their hands – I maintain that for 2,000 years the freedom, the spiritual freedom of man, laid in the hands of the Christian Church. At least this is as far as I know; I don’t know what happened in Asia. They claim that Zen is 6,000 years old – perhaps, I don’t know. All I know is what I see today.
But from the history that I’ve read, the freedom, the spiritual freedom on man, lay in the hands of the early psychologists – who functioned in a confessional instead of a psychiatric couch. And somehow they went to sleep, and presumed that people would just do what they told them. It was no longer a religion of, “Go out and seek the truth.” It was one of, “Shut up and believe – or we’ll send down the Cossacks to put you in line.” And as a result, the end began with the Inquisition.
We substituted search with authority, and this is too easy to do. And today we’re on the verge of being disciplined by a psychological, psychiatric and sociological hierarchy who are going to claim for their right – the right to program the robots: to tell them what is normality and what isn’t normality.
So it’s important that we somehow question this, and say, “Why do I have to think or to respond in this or that given manner?” And if you’re aware of it when you go down the street for instance – I notice that people are becoming very automatic, as Gurdjieff says. If you can, read some of these books on Gurdjieff; they’re available in libraries; or Ouspensky, rather – he writes on Gurdjieff.
You go down the street and you meet somebody you know – what do they tell you? “Have a nice day.” For what? – it didn’t cost them a cent; they’re giving you a nice day. And our whole social system is full of these inane remarks that we reinforce ourselves with. What they’re saying is, “Am I not sweet? Now you must be sweet to somebody else. And everything will be sweetness.”
So if you go and say, “Have a nice day,” to some people, everybody will have a nice day, regardless of whether there’s an earthquake or a riot downtown or not.
And you might say, “What does this have to do with Zen?” Well, Zen is the science of the Truth. Zen is the examination of yourself – you look inside yourself. You can’t look inside yourself if somebody puts your eyes out, or makes it impossible for you to live. Or teaches your children in such a way that they cannot possibly grow up to be individuals; that they have to grow up to be a part of a chunk, a blob of something.
Where it will lead us, I don’t know. But I brought a clipping, here if I can find my glasses. 17:00
This was in a Pittsburgh paper, the Press or the Post-Gazette, from about a month ago.
Menlo Park, California: A young woman wears a modified white football helmet on her head, electrodes sticking out like hair curlers. On a TV-size screen in front of her, a white dot moves up and down. She is hooked to a computer, and scientists say the squiggly line across the screen shows that the computer successfully read her mind, and responded to her mental command.
Lawrence Pinneo, director of the neurophysiological program at the Stanford Research Center here says that the computer relies on brain wave tracings taken by electroencephalogram. The tracings show that distinctive wave patterns correspond to individual words, whether the words are spoken aloud or merely thought.
For example, when a person thinks about the word “up”, the machine obliges by moving a white dot on a screen up. It also moves sideways and down in response to those thoughts.
Pinneo says the mind-reading machine does better at recognizing a spoken word than a silent thought. When spoken, he says the computer responds correctly about sixty percent of the time; to silent commands it responds correctly about thirty to forty percent of the time.
Like the human whose mind it monitors, the computer sometime errs, but scientists predict that someday the machine may lead to persons conversing entirely in pure thought. Pinneo says that the Pentagon-funded project is still in the embryonic stage, and though it is still unreliable, the computer has had spurts where it was one hundred percent correct.
“The implications of such work are limited only by imagination,” Pinneo said. “Among possible uses, it would allow deaf persons to converse without language, sign language or written messages. It would lead to remote-controlled fighting machines which respond to the thoughts of a commander stationed away from a battlefield.”
But he doesn’t tell what else it would lead to: that your privacy, if you ever had any, would absolutely cease to exist. When your thoughts are not private, what else is there left for you?
And it’s become increasingly difficult now for people of a sincere religious or philosophic aim to do anything without the mark of something on them. So how much more difficult will it be to function outside the will of those who are in charge of the machines?
Now this isn’t the first. Twenty years ago I came through Columbus, Ohio and picked up a newspaper, and at that time Ohio State University – this has all been quieted; I tried to buy the newspapers after I left town and couldn’t get them – they had a machine twenty years ago that would hypnotize. The article gave the amperage, the voltage and the cycles – I memorized some of it but I never was able to recreate it, because I wasn’t interested in doing so. But they claimed that you could either wire a person up to this, or create a magnetic field in which they sat, and they would immediately become hypnotized.
Well, when these things are possible, then someone has to be in charge of the machine, and it better be a Jesus Christ, believe me, or something of that equivalent.
Now I would rather at this time, to turn the meeting over to questions. Again, we grope for understanding. I do not particularly care to indulge in prolonged arguments with you, but if anybody feels that they would like to know more about what I’ve said, or if I’ve not explained things in some area or region, I’ll be happy to go on from here.
Q. You advised against staying in a tradition. That’s interesting, because it seems contradictory to the prevalent attitude that without a teacher you’re in a sense wasting time and just walking in the dark.
R. Well, I’ll be quite frank with you. I didn’t have a teacher. And I don’t think I would have found something by believing somebody else. Because you let down then, you quit working. As soon as you say “I believe”, you’re accepting. But I do believe that teachers come in handy, or I wouldn’t be standing up here.
My complaint, as I was a young man I just didn’t sit home and read – I travelled all over the country. And everyplace I went I ran into phonies. The books that I read sounded good, but you’d go up and find one of these yogis or gurus or philosophers or so-called teachers – you would run into a phony. Or somebody that if you were young, he was homosexual and all he was interested in was making a pass at you, and telling you he knew something.
So that as far as the conventional religions – the hierarchy was already established. These people, as I said, were saying, “Shut up and believe. Don’t cause any ripples. Because we’ve got our institution built up and we don’t want you to give us any static.”
So this is paradoxical. You do not need a teacher; you can do this entirely by yourself. But you’ll never do it entirely by yourself. I didn’t do it entirely by myself. I didn’t have a teacher but I read books. Somebody had to write the books. And when I wrote The Albigen Papers I thought I’d kick the bucket before anybody read it. I didn’t particularly intend to go out and start giving talks.
The thing is that the determination should come from within yourself. But if you can encounter someone who has been down the trail before you, regardless of what kind of trail it has been – like if you’re out hunting deer or something, and somebody tells you which way is safe and which way is unsafe – this is advisable. It saves you time. This is my point
I did meet people when I was younger, but they were mostly colleagues – they were not people who had found something. They were people who were like myself, who were digging. I became angry – it wasn’t just dissatisfaction – I became angry, because everyplace I turned I ran into liars and thieves. Or some bigot – with his head up in the clouds, saying that God was talking to him personally, and I had to take his translation; I had to believe everything he said or I was damned forever. And I said, ‘You’re damned immediately. I don’t want to hear any more of it.”
Because if I have no right to doubt – to me, doubt is more sacred than faith. Because this is our prerogative. Faith is our damnation. But people hang onto these little clichés, because some charismatic person tells them, “Believe.” And he uses melodious tones, and he uses perfect diction, or something of that sort.
Q. The search for this truth, this quest, or whatever you want to call it ...
Q. I’ve often had many thoughts as to whether that is itself a very presumptuous vanity, to think you can even see the truth, let alone recognize it when you do see it.
R. Yes, I agree with you. I agree with you. But you’ve got to do something. What do you want to do, just eat and reproduce and die? You’ve got to make a stab at it, even though it’s vanity. If it’s vanity – all the other things are even more vain.
See, this can become a rationalization with you a little. You can say, “Oh, why should I be vain? I’m going to quit working, I’m going to quit digging.” There are all sorts of rationalizations we can come to. They sound very good. One fellow in Steubenville, his name was John, he said to me, “Rose, I don’t think that John Kapitka is that damned important that he should live forever. So I don’t think he is going to live forever.”
In other words, this was the acme of humility. But it wasn’t; it was the acme of rationalization. Even a mouse tries to escape from the cat. Even a mouse says, “Wait – give me time to think, to figure this thing out before I go down the drain.”
You have no choice except to look. So if you pretend you’re not looking, you’re rationalizing. Not to answer your own curiosity, is rationalization. This is organic. The amoeba is curious. You watch him under a microscope – he doesn’t always forage for food; sometimes he is just feeling around.
Q. Do you have a prescription as far as “right seeking”?
R. Yes. Yes, I do. Oh yes. I couldn’t give it in five minutes. First of all, this is the first lecture I have given here, and I try to give an introduction to myself and to give a general outline. You can see what a nice guy or bastard I am – take your pick – and carry it from there. And if you’re curious, look into it a little further. I’m not selling anything particularly. I believe that the people who are curious enough will find it anyhow, with me or without me. But the only thing is, if I happen to be of help, it’s that much better, that’s all.
Q. I was intending to ask this at the last meeting, something similar to that guy in Steubenville. You could essentially say, “Why look?”
R. Futility is futile. Looking may be futile but futility is also futile.
Q. Why not just look?
R. Good. Good. Basically, that’s all we can do. We can only see with what perceptive apparatus we have. Some people have eyes but no ears; some people have ears but no eyes. Some people have logic but no intuition. And you’re guided, more or less; you’re dragged in. Things appeal to you. It’s like a flower and a bee. You’ll be drawn to it, I think, if your destiny’s in that regard. But I think the majority of people are not drawn, that’s all.
I think each person has a safety valve. This takes a lot of pressure, and the ones who don’t have the pressurized system, or the system capable of taking pressure, automatically avoid the heavier work. Nature takes care of itself.
Q. I think that what you’re saying, and I agree with you, is that you don’t have any choice. You can’t stop wondering.
R. Yes. What you can do – you can procrastinate or you can get lazy and say, “I’ll put it off until next year,” or, “I’ll put it off until I raise my family.” I have heard guys say that.
One of the fellows – he’s my age and he’s in the original group that I grew up with. He was married to a woman about fifteen years older than himself, and she had developed heart trouble. And he said, “Rose, as soon as she kicks the bucket we’ll go to Tibet.” Well – she obliged us by dying within five years, as the doctor predicted. But before she died he had gotten himself another wife. He had divorced her and now he was starting on the first out of ten kids – he finally wound up with ten kids. So Tibet was out. Not that it ever should have been in, because the truth is not in Tibet, the Truth is inside of you. This business of running to Tibet is a rationalization. This is pursuing it out there. It’s not out there. It’s not in me any more than it’s in you.
Q. Even if you’re trying to escape from the whole thing, as long as you’re aware of the fact that you’re escaping, then you’re not escaping.
R. What makes you think you aren’t?
Q. Because it’s still there.
R. You mean if a man is falling out of an airplane and realizes that he’s falling, then he’s no longer falling?
Q. No, but you’re not effectively escaping from it, if you’re aware of the fact that you’re escaping.
R. Being aware of it doesn’t necessarily mean a reversal. That doesn’t mean a reversal. For instance, this is what we encounter in the group. We’ll hold discussions among ourselves on certain attributes or hangups that people have. And a fellow will say, “Gee, I know this; I watch myself doing this, but I keep on doing it.” Maybe sleepiness or something – he finds himself getting in trouble because of sleepiness. ...
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[These have to be pasted separately from word document. Select all->Copy->Paste
I haven't tried to coordinate footnotes between the Word format and the Wiki format.]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubaiyat_of_Omar_Khayyam Myself when young did eagerly frequent doctor and saint, and heard great argument about it and about: but evermore came out by the same door wherein I went.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Brunton Rose recommended Hidden Teachings Beyond Yoga and Wisdom of the Overself.
Energy extended in a direction or away from a direction.
Francis Abbott, the hermit of Niagara, 28 years of age in 1831: “All is Change, Eternal Progress, No Death."
Hubert Benoit, The Supreme Doctrine. http://www.selfdiscoveryportal.com/bzrecap.htm
Philip Kapleau: Three Pillars of Zen, et al. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapleau
Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi
Does anyone remember the actor or the title?
Thomas Aquinas.: Summa Theologica.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primal_therapy (advocates the primal scream)
Also see Time magazine 7/1/74. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,942916,00.html