- 1 Data Template
- 2 Notes
- 3 File 1
- 4 File 2
- 5 File 3
- 6 File 4
- 7 Footnotes
- 8 End
|Recorded date||June 10, 1983|
|Number of tapes||Two 60 minute tapes|
|Other recorders audible?||No|
|Alternate versions exist?|
|Source||SN. SH overmodulated when converting. Audience questions are louder. Also have DW tapes, 2015|
|No. of MP3 files||4 files: 31 min, 32 min; 32 min; 24 min. DW version is the same.|
|Total time||119 min.|
|Transcription status||SH distributed July 16 2015|
|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?|
|Published on which website?|
|Audio quality||Audio quality good after first 4 1/2 min when mic is adjusted. Many questions are difficult to hear.|
|URL at direct-mind.org||https://www.direct-mind.org/index.php?title=1983-0610-First-Know-Thyself-Denver|
|For access, send email to: email@example.com|
Versions: SN and DW times are as follows:
SN is 31 + 32 + 32 + 24 min. ; DW is 31 +32 +31 + 24 = same. SN version is extremely overmodulated, very loud. Maybe the questions can be picked up from it.
Who is present: Michael Casari gives the intro. Dave Franco and Mark Scott may have been there, they were in the group.
A seminar was announced but in never took place. Hostile crowd, no tickets were sold. However, the prior week there was a seminar the day after the talk in Boulder.
At Amazon.Com for Direct-Mind Experience there is the following quote from a Denver newspaper article two weeks earlier: “Rose says he believes in strong, simple language, discounting the "tons of garbage" written about how man can find himself. -- Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO, May 28, 1983” << try to find article. http://www.amazon.com/Direct-Mind-Experience-Richard-Rose/dp/1878683012
[File: At start, sound is muddy. Corrected at 4 min, 30 sec with microphone adjustment. Same in both SN and DW versions.]
File 1 = 31 minutes.
One of the themes of this talk is knowing yourself. Another is accomplishment, and this is on any level. I would like to start with knowing yourself. I have brought this up at many lectures in universities around the country. People take it for granted that the projection they have of themselves is themselves. When I was younger, studying to be a priest in the Catholic religion, I got exposed to a lot of literature and exhortations to do this and that. And one of them was, “First know thyself.” And this runs through the vein of a lot of literature.
I maintain that not only do we not know ourselves, but the people in charge of helping us to know ourselves are not competent. One time at the University of Pittsburgh I said, “People don’t know who they are.” A fellow interrupted me, he said, “I know who I am.” And rather foolishly I said, “Who are you?” And he said, “I’m the guy sitting in front of you.” But this fellow in front of me was carrying a projection. And people live with this projection all their lives, until the rebuff or the disappointment is violent enough to cause some trauma and they’re forced to sit and think, “Well, I’m not as much as I thought I was.” And sometimes with dealings in romance a person falls in love but he gets rejected. He thought his projection was perfect, he was the perfect rooster, why didn’t the perfect peacock fall in love with him? After he gets rejected a couple times he realizes that his projection is off, and he reevaluates himself. This is just a crude, elementary example of this.
So we go back to basic psychology. Knowing yourself is basic. If you don’t know yourself you’re liable to succeed in one form of your life’s work but fail in another. And failing in the second might be fatal. I was just reading in the paper where a man had realized he was worth $9 million dollars and he took his Ferrari over a cliff and killed himself. That was out in San Francisco. He was organizing a company and was about 40-45 years old. And I thought to myself, “What happened?” The article said the officers of the corporation had been up for two or three days drawing up papers for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Which meant that he may have been without sleep, he may have been running on coffee or drug stimulants; and he just couldn’t take it any longer and fell asleep at the wheel. If this is true, he didn’t particularly know himself. He should have known his capacities. He should have known that a life is worth more than the corporation or the success, because naturally without your life you can’t enjoy it or possess it.
In this business of achievement,
[discussion about microphones – audio improves here]
basically I’m approaching you with a philosophic and psychological understanding or experience. The trouble is that we go to people for advice who are supposed to be experts. But the aim of psychology today is adjustment to conventional customs of the time, not to the discovery of who you are. So that if this were successful, you could become a millionaire and not know who you are. Or you might have some other ambition, to become very wise or to be a student or a scholar; but unless you know who you are, you haven’t begun on the right step even to become a philosopher or a psychologist.
And this disturbed me years ago when I took psychology courses in school. Because in those days, back when I was in my 20s, which was 40 years ago, we belabored ourselves with the normal curve and Pavlov’s dogs, and we were trying to predict behavior so we could manipulate people. That’s the only thing I can see that comes out of this behavioral psychology. What good does it do except for the manipulators?
For instance, B.F. Skinner remarked that people were like lions or animals and they had to be trained. That they were almost irresponsible. In fact, he used the word “masturbation”, that people in the zoo who train these animals use this to keep them sedated or peaceful or happy.
So this thought went over into the whole funded system of psychology and psychiatry, to keep down riots by placating people, but not understanding. I maintain that you can keep down the riots if you understand. I maintain that you don’t need to worry about friction between people if you have the ability to understand yourself, first, and then to step inside the other fellow’s shoes. And then you’ll have compassion, friendship perhaps. But we exhort each other to love, all the while we’re anxious to manipulate. Love is one day a week. You put out a good attitude, tell people to have a good day. That’s cheap. How much does it cost to tell somebody to have a good day? But what kind of a person are you behind all this?
So we come to this business of really knowing yourself. And it isn’t that complicated. You don’t have to have a book. I’ve got some books back there that I’ve written; they help, they’ll stimulate thinking perhaps. But you can do this without a book. You can do this without a teacher, just by honestly sitting and thinking. Not sitting and doping, but sitting and being introspective.
And when you do this you begin to observe yourself, you begin to observe your own action. And this action takes a definite course. The course of this introspective action is described in a little book I wrote called Psychology of the Observer. I maintain that we are not the people who we see in the mirror. This is one of the things you learn. We learn that we are programmed by genetics; our parents are somewhat responsible for many of the things that we think, many of the directions and choices we make.
Now we talk about linear thinking, and I maintain that linear thinking goes nowhere. It’s like an endless line. But Hubert Benoit, in The Supreme Doctrine, talked of the triangulation of thinking. And this was his explanation for the wisdom in Zen. People observe black and white, but we are relative creatures: we have to compare with two eyes, two ears to pick up sound, etc. All of our language, everything we do, think, say, communicate with each other is relative. Every definition requires and incorporates its opposite. You are this because you are not the opposite. We can take black and white as a simplification; this is also with good and bad, ethics and anti-ethics or whatever you want to call it. We look at black and all we can see is black. At the other extreme we see white. But by taking a triangulated view of it, from what Benoit calls the conciliatory point, you get an overview of a line. The line at one end is black only, and at the other end is white only, while in-between is an infinite variation of gray.
You see a spectrum now, instead of two opposite things. We get this from what I call the position of the arbiter, the umpire of the mind. The mind is able to see from a new position. For instance when you conceive something as definitely good while another person conceives it as bad – or if you conceive something else as bad – if you observe from an overview you get a different spectrum. It might come out that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. And your whole philosophy of life changes as you go through this.
Now you watch this operation going on. And this, what I call the umpire, works in everything you do. Whether you want sugar on your food, or when you go out the door you walk to the right or the left, it requires a decision. And those decisions are made very rapidly. After you examine these you think, “That’s good, we’ve got something in charge.” Some religionists call it conscience. The consciousness is the umpire, the arbiter that says, “Hey, don’t do this, don’t do that.”
I find that this arbiter or conscience has to do mostly with natural laws, natural things, things that are good for nature. We make decisions to protect our children, very quickly. We’ll make decisions to protect our fellowman on the battlefield and give our life to do it, so it doesn’t necessarily take into consideration the good of the individual.
After observing this and delving into it for awhile you develop a thing called intuition. And why? Because the factors in understanding the human mind are more than you can put on a slide rule. There are thousands, millions perhaps of factors in the decision-making of things that people do.
Now to get around that, we can’t do it with the intellect. When I started to get into this introspection I thought, “First of all I’m going to have to read everything that’s written on it.” You’re going to have to read everything on psychology. Then you’re going to pick up on these warring factions in psychology, these school of thought. You’ve got your behaviorists, humanists, Freudians, gestalt psychologists; they’re not all in agreement. So somehow you’ve got to absorb all of this and have a faculty that will give you a reading rapidly. But you don’t have 200 years to logically evaluate every book and weigh it: where did this fellow lie or go overboard in his convictions?
And this faculty is the intuition. The intuitive factor is the instantaneous computation. It doesn’t go about it logically. It develops a sense for quickly deciding: “I like this or I don’t like that, and this is good.” And then you go through a process of correcting your intuition, because it can make mistakes too. But after so much of this you become fairly efficient. If you correct your intuition enough you can tell what a person is thinking.
John Dunninger was once asked how he began to be a mind reader. And he said, “I started by guessing.” In other words, you just get some people you know and you say, “You’re thinking of this.” Or like J.B. Rhine down at Duke University; they rolled the dice so many times with the attention on a certain number and that number came up. The statistics showed the effect of the mind moving the dice; this made it a scientific operation. The same thing when you get to reading minds. You take little ESP games, and if you become proficient at picking up – if you’re 51% right in your guessing – you’re starting on the path to mind reading. You become a fractional mind-reader so to speak. But anyhow, I’m trying to point out the importance of the intuitive factor, which a lot of people don’t think about at all.
As I said, most people think they are whatever they project. The big crime is in saying, “I am this. With the help of a little makeup or with a nice suit of clothes, they’ll believe that I’m the rooster.” Or the peacock, whatever it is. And these errors have to be overcome.
dw1-16:10 = sn1-16:37
Now take this and project it a ways. What goes on when you are taking this conciliatory point? You’re taking the relative world and viewing it from a superior position. You’re observing it. And then in turn you suddenly become aware of what you’re doing; you realize that the relative creature that you’re watching, this body and the body actions, is not you. They are a spectrum that begins at birth as an infant and ends later on as a decrepit old person. And that’s the total you.
With this you realize that you are studying a process. And I came up with the realization that the view is never the viewer. That which you see is not you. Whenever you’re able to study and possibly change this person that you’re watching and working with, it means that the real consciousness is anterior. Now you can take this system of psychology and say, “Well then I’m watching myself watching myself watching myself.” No, no. It only goes back so far; it goes back three definite steps. [see figure below]
In the analysis of the self you watch your actions. The next thing you watch is like gestaltic patterns. When I studied psychology years ago the word gestalt meant mental patterns, but today it means something else. We think in terms of patterns. It’s not like if I touch something hot and I move, or I react to somebody’s words and it’s a one-time thing. This isn’t true. When you’re driving a car, you drive according to a pattern of thinking. You visualize ahead of time or through experience what will happen, say, if a dog runs into the street or a car swerves in front of you, or if you tramp on the brakes and the brakes fail. If you visualize this correctly you’ll be ready for it. In one to two seconds you’ll tramp on the brake and twist the wheel. You’ll do exactly the right thing if you’ve visualized it ahead of time, because you’ve set up a pattern of thinking.
So in this next stage you stand behind yourself and watch these patterns of thinking as they take place. You realize that you’re no longer an individual with a deliberate, purposeful direction. And you find processes of thinking, states of mind. I find that very few psychology books mention states of mind. What is the main cause of two people fighting? – say if you go into a beer joint. In the book I tried to spell it out by Mr. A, Mr. B and Mr. C. Their genetic background, their religious background, their nationality and so on may spark something, because each one of these has a state of mind.
Every family has a unique state of mind. When a child goes to the first grade of school it always enters into shock; and we wonder why, because we can’t remember when we were a child. In the household from which it came there was a decided state of mind. The parents talked and the children heard it, meaning, “We don’t do this,” or “We do this, but don’t tell other people.” Or, “We hate these people. This type of people are no good.” And it’s much deeper than that; it’s a whole emotional reactionary system. It’s also the tolerance that they have for the child: In one family the child may be able to get away with anything; in the other family he’s beat half to death if he looks crooked. So the whole state of mind is wrapped around this. It’s a certain expectation from living in that family. You adjust yourself to it, and then at five or six years of age they send you out into people with other states of mind, and there’s a tremendous shock.
Naturally the child is programmed to forget pain and trauma rather easily, so it adjusts. But later there are still fragments of the family state of mind, the racial state of mind, meaning the nationality; it doesn’t have to be race, just nationality. For each nationality, if they live together in a country or a certain part of town, there will be a state of mind. And when they mingle, when the kid from there goes to college and he meets other people he thinks, “Oh, boy, they don’t understand the way I’m talking.” And again there’s an adjustment.
Now there’s nothing wise that happens, they just adjust. They’re still confused. They’re trading one state of mind for a piece of somebody else’s state of mind, trying to put on a bigger and a bigger act. And the dealings with most people everyplace you go, is develop a personality that’s not offensive to anybody. And you make a pretzel out of yourself to do it. That shouldn’t be necessary. But regardless, it probably is necessary, because everybody is not going to be aware of the fact that they’re moved by states of mind.
This is just one element, one process that the mind goes through. We look at the world through stained glass windows sometimes. And we realize sometimes that we shaded things; that when the body was in a certain hormonal stage we got into a different state of mind. And that state of mind will click sometimes within 24 hours. The person will be in a different mood and they don’t know what causes it. I’ve had people stay in the house – this happens more with the women than the men; I think the cycles of change are different – but I’ve had quarrels going on between two or three women and I’d say, “Hey, what happened?” I remember one of the girls said, “I just forgot to look at the calendar, or I would have known what would happen.”
dw1-23:25 – sn1-24:06
The person who says that is now what I call a process observer. These are the processes. We think we’re doing things, we think that we’re in charge of something – and we may be; we may be running a big business – but then one day you find out that you’re not doing anything. The bottom falls out for some unexpected reason. And once you become aware of that, then you’re at the point of another triangulation. On the one end is somatic judgment or the umpire, the man in charge of the body apparatus, the somatic-humanity part also. [point C in the chart]. On the other end of the spectrum there’s a new triangle that forms, which is the intuition [point D] and then the conciliatory point, a process observer. [point E]
[Image: Plate 1 from Psychology of the Observer]
So you’re watching these different actions. And you’ve got to do this if you want to know yourself. You can’t just read books about it. First you’ve got to know where to look, but then you’ve got to go through this process of looking. We’re going to have a seminar here tomorrow and I’ll put some questions out so that you will see how much thinking you have done to date. And there’s no big follow up to that, except the rest of your life you’ll be on the lookout for this neglect of proper observation of what’s going on in your head. Ninety percent of all of our troubles start right in our own head, not in the enemy’s, not in the other person.
Now there’s a third step that’s taken, and this is the last step. The process observer, you’ve pretty much exhausted that. You’ve cleared out all the cobwebs and you don’t know where else to look. But you still don’t particularly know yourself totally, you just know what to expect under certain conditions. And there’s a strange combination: After you do this, which might take a couple of years, you become aware not so much of any composite being, except an observer on one side and awareness on the other. [points E and F] The investigation of the life inside the human being, thinking objectively and practically, seems to boil down to nothing but awareness. Here’s a person or a point of consciousness watching all the games it’s played inside this structure. And that’s all he has, outside of awareness. But the concentration upon the two points of awareness – a person observing the processes of life, and this other awareness – brings you to a state of realization.
Now from this overview, once this state of realization came, I was able to look back and see what had happened. You can’t see it from where you are. You have to do it. If you have never been into any of this, you can’t see it. What I’m saying you may not understand. It may seem reasonable to you or appeal to you intuitively, but you have to apply your head to it. Or possibly read something on it. There’s a little book back there that will spell this out, and if you forget what I’ve said you can read it. Every time you forget it you can read this and you’ll understand a little more.
But the view is not the viewer. And you continue in this, but what happens is that you suddenly get an overview of exactly who you are and what your purpose is. And all this mechanism below seems to be some definite fog that’s been put between you and this, so that you’ll be a good fertilizer. Our purpose here as I can see it, in the final analysis on the natural level, we are nothing but fertilizer.
But we have something beyond the natural level. And you have to have that overview from a spiritual level. By spiritual I mean an essence level. The world spiritual is bad; people have all sorts of association with hypocrisy and holiness, and that isn’t what is meant, the common word of holiness. I mean that you’re aware of your essence. And you’re aware of what your purpose is. So that when anything’s happening you see it and can immediately say, “Oh, yes, I should have looked at the calendar.” Or “I know this happened as a result of one of these processes that set in.”
The other thing is the formula. There’s a formula for this, and the formula applies to everything we do in life, or want to do. First of all, you can’t have everything simultaneously. You have to make a choice. Some of the older people back in the country, a little town where I come from, the mothers had a little routine when a child was born. They were curious whether the kid was going to amount to anything, or what he would do with his life. So they put some objects in front of the baby, so many days later. It went back to some little formula. One of them was a book, the other one was a silver dollar and another one was a whiskey bottle. They claimed that whatever that child picked was what it did with its life. If it grabbed for the bottle it became a hedonist and so on. But anyhow, the reason I mention this is that it shows that people are aware that there’s a destiny to a man. ...
[break in tape – same break in sn as in dw]
File 2 = 30:36 min.
dw2-00:00 – sn2-00:00
... even in that baby. There’s a desire in that child to do what his destiny is.
This is the catch. And if you have a desire you’re pretty close to destiny. I don’t think that your desires would be at odds with it. Consequently, you have to make a decision, and then you have to make a commitment. There’s a very simple formula. The night before last, over in Boulder, I mentioned that it doesn’t matter what you want: if you want to be a millionaire you have to make a commitment.
You read some of these books like Napoleon Hill’s Think and grow Rich. He was an esoteric philosopher and his advice is very accurate. He says that you put your whole being into it. Not half. Don’t think that you can be drunk and fooling around with this or that and still make the million. You’re going to be tripping over it. Several books have been written that I think have a tremendous import along that line.
There’s a desire to know our essence. I think this is the most important thing, to know who you are. And this little phrase which I skipped over, that hundreds of times I had heard people say, “Know yourself. Everything else will be added unto you.” This is the great thing in life to discover in my estimation. No matter how much money you get, you’re going to have to part with it sooner or later. But that which you are, that which you become, you don’t have to part with.
Now I’m speaking not from proof but from personal experience. Again, I’m open to questions on that. But once you make that pledge honestly to yourself and carry it out for a period of time, you will arrive. Hardship and many things might be thrown at you, but if you keep plowing through you’ll arrive at whatever you put your head to. It’s a commitment and a priority. That doesn’t mean you have to quit anything. You don’t have to quit eating meat or drinking beer or making money. But whenever that interferes with the project you have, then everything else is secondary.
It’s a formula that involves a magic in human behavior and it’s a very simple thing. You also have to take yourself out of it. You can’t glory in the fact that I’ve made my first ten thousand or my second twenty thousand. You take what comes and continue working, and you won’t have too many headaches and too many regrets. The same thing when you’re dealing with definition, which is what we’re talking about. From the very beginning we’re talking about definition: Who are you? Who is doing this? Who is performing?
Everybody here has seen a time when they stepped away from themselves and looked back and said, “Hey what a jackass you were.” I was talking the other day 1983-0603-First-Know-Thyself-Boulder-Colorado about the time I was going to marry a woman for her money. That was my plan of getting rich when I was a young fellow. Well, I went to considerable bother and I made a jackass out of myself. I found that she loved some other woman more than she loved me. And here I was projecting all that I was going to do upon this person who had absolutely no chance of any compatibility.
This is a tremendous gain when this happens to you. You never do it again – because you know you can’t kid yourself. The first person you lie to is yourself. If you lie to yourself and swallow it, then God help you. Because you’ll start talking to yourself before not too many years go by. You can’t lie to another person without lying to yourself. Of course I always have a qualification: don’t plead guilty. That might be a lie, but you’re not required to stick your head in the guillotine.
dw2-04:45 – sn2-04:54
When I talk about being honest I mean be true to the people you’re living with, your family, your children, and above all be loyal to your friend. In this book I’ve written, which touches on these subjects, I say that there’s no religion greater than friendship. And this I believe sincerely. Because I’m convinced that 99% of people who pretend to have religion or who teach, preach, or become mighty gurus from the other side of the planet are phonies, hucksters, and they’re interested only in money and selling words. If they had the real thing they couldn’t sell it. You can’t begin to sell it. I had somebody call me on the phone, they may be sitting here now, who said they were interested only in the business approach to psychology. I said, “Well, there’s a formula that I go by, and I don’t believe that you can run a racket without lying to yourself. You become tangled in this.”
With our talks there’s nothing beyond what I call pro-rated expenses. You pay five dollars for a talk, and this covers the lights and the place you’re sitting in. Perhaps I need some gasoline to get here. But no rackets, no profit. I can prove this at any time. [laughs] I do not make money and I don’t want it; that’s not my objective. You can use it for that if you wish, but once you get into the money you can no longer be trusted. You become businesslike. A business man, one of the first things he has to learn is how to fire his best friend, or how to eliminate his best friend, overwhelm him and take his partnership share. This is understood as perfectly ethical in the business world; it’s just part of the chess game of business.
You have to be able to trust people because we’re dealing not in money, which you might be able to recoup, but in a subjective value, which is your life or your essence or your wisdom. It’s easy to tell people what they want to hear, and they will pay you. I’ve watch the various movements that float into this country and I’ve never see one of them that had a moral background. Well, I shouldn’t say that, because some of them do have some advice. But I believe that there has to be a certain moral stance, what we call moral, but it isn’t that so much as what I call putting the whole being into what you’re doing.
When you put the whole being into what you’re doing you can’t become a dissipating person. You put that whole being in and nothing else has a priority. You’re not going to say, “I can’t go tonight, I can’t abide by my decision, because I made an appointment to play tennis.” Or, “I meet with the fellows and we play poker and drink some beers.” That’s alright, but if that becomes the priority or takes the place of what you’re doing, then that’s not your whole being. Something else is more important, if it takes priority over it at any time.
One fellow told me he was going to college and he was having trouble with his lessons, he’s also in a dramatic class, and he’s going for a master rating in chess. He said that the days we get together were either when they had the chess tournaments or when the drama class meets, or when he’s needed in the classroom. I said, “Well, keep your commitment regardless and see what happens.” I think we met on Wednesday nights. He came back the next week and said, “You know what happened? They changed the date.” So then he could show up on Wednesday. It doesn’t always work out that you’re crucified just for making a commitment.
[the next paragraph is moved up from below]
The purpose of the meetings incidentally is just to keep it on your mind. This is one of the best things in regard to the business of religion, that people get together once a week and if nothing else they remember. If they didn’t get together once a week they’d forget completely. They’d just become animals, just go out there and vegetate. But at least once a week they come back and say, “Boy, I can see this last week I forgot all about this stuff.”
For awhile, with me at least, there was a period of rough going. Because sometimes you have to give up certain relationships, friendships, business. Maybe you think you’re going to make a lot of money. We used to meet in a little town up the river about 30 miles; I worked as a contractor and every Friday I’d drive up to the meetings.
dw2-10:49 – sn2-11:14
And I found that every time we had this Friday night meeting I had hundreds of things to do. I had opportunities. Here’s a contract to sign, they can’t sign it except on Friday night. Well, forget about it. That was a commitment I made and I kept it. And I never lost anything. Not only that, but there were many opportunities that would be thrown at me; I had more business than I ever had before. And I wondered what was behind it. It’s what I call “milk from thorns”. You’re setting up a new type of process. If you get obstacles, those very obstacles can be used to accelerate your growth into understanding of yourself.
Let me stop and ask if you have any questions on this matter. Then I have something I want to read to you, to get your reaction, which will be a prelude to what will be done tomorrow.
Q. You mentioned working with a group.
R. Yes. There’s a book back there called The Albigen Papers, the first one I wrote. It was published in 1970. I wrote this book from a ladder, working as a contractor. I was raising a family and didn’t have time to write anything except when I came home in the evenings. These things would all come into my head.
I started out by myself but I got so I could hire one person to help me. All this had to be was an inexperienced boy 17 or 18 years of age to hand me tools, help me hold ladders, this sort of thing. One of the first things I noticed was that the bidding on a job was improved. You bid man-days and if a certain contracting job might take 100 man-days, working by myself it would take me 100 days. When I hired this young fellow to help me who had no great skill, it didn’t go down to 50 days for two people, it went down to something like 48 days. This happened invariably. This person wasn’t doing a lot of work, but he was expediting what I was doing so much that it cut the job down to say 96 man-days for the job instead of 100. And when I took this further and hired 3, 4 , 5, 10 men, the efficiency improvement wasn’t proportional, it was out of proportion. So with 4 men working you didn’t do it in 25 days, you did it in 20 days or 18 days.
One of the factors involved, there’s a sort of communal energy that forms; people start to move in a certain rhythm. One guy does his work efficiently, the other guy envies him, does his own work a little better. One guy works faster and the other fellow says, “Hey, how’s he doing that? I’ll have to see.” And you can apply this in anything. This is what I call the Contractor’s Law. You don’t make much money working by yourself; it’s only with a multiple of manpower that you make money. And this is how it happens. Consequently, I applied this to the spiritual department.
If you want to do anything for the human race, if you want to call it that, I maintain that you can only help people who are on a level of understanding close to your own. Now what happens if you set out to do something? Why does an evangelist go out and insist on preaching to a bunch of people? If he has discovered God, why doesn’t he just sit quietly with God? Of course, there’s something in the human being: I don’t think there’s any real good reason for it except that he knows he only exists in relation to other people. If you were to die tomorrow and your after-death life consisted of an immensely beautiful, happy place but no one was there, I think that from our memory viewpoint we would be very miserable.
I think that to help intelligently you don’t try to help everybody. You only try to talk to people with ears. You don’t try to argue and convince or harangue an argument or anything of that sort. You talk and the people who hear it will move. And when you go out by yourself talking – for example, I came to Denver and I can’t stay here – but yet I take steps so that other people will read or get interested. I leave a few books behind, or there are people who will stay behind who will maybe get together and hold little meetings and discuss philosophy.
Incidentally, the field of philosophy is a tremendously good thing to take into consideration to stimulate your thinking. In this business of observing yourself, you can’t just sit and think about yourself. This is the hardest thing to do on earth, to deliberately sit down and think about yourself. I’ve also got a little book back there on meditation. The only way you can meditate easily is to meditate on trauma. Don’t meditate on how good the beer tasted. That’s no good. Don’t meditate on pleasure, in other words, because you’ll get into morbid reverie.
But think of trauma. Just like when I found out that I had made a bad guess, I go back and think, “What the heck is wrong with my head? I thought I was smarter than that, but I got tripped up.” This is a trauma. Then you go back further: “Where did this trauma start?” You go back to when you were a very small child. And when you do, once you realize what caused your present foolishness, you clear the road, and the likelihood of foolishness in the future is less.
The Contractor’s Law involves something Christ talked about: his word for it was “the life”. You live the life. The life that he led was with twelve apostles and around seventy other brothers. These were the people who were necessary to put his voice across. Buddha spoke of the sangha. And they all had these three forms or three words in their advice. Christ used “the way, the truth and the life. “
Now we get to this thing truth. This is ignored a tremendous lot. Everybody thinks that it’s inconsequential, especially in the field of abstract sciences, philosophy or psychology. There’s a whole group of people who think they’re going to remake society. This isn’t the truth. The truth may be quite the opposite. The truth may be that this is already engineered. But we think we’re going to do something about it. We’re going to educate the public, we’re going to train Pavlov’s dogs. But the catch is, who is going to do the training? What robot will do it? How dependable is this robot’s mind, to train other robots?
So we talk about the truth, and they say, “We’ll create a new one.” I just had this told to me by a sociology professor: “We’ll create a new truth. If everybody believes it then that’s the truth.” This is not true. The truth is recognized by very few people. Richard Bucke says in his book Cosmic Consciousness that the number of people who reach cosmic consciousness is one in a million. We are trying to run the world from the normal curve of 51%. If 51% of the people in this country vote for a certain man, or vote for a certain issue, then they are sane and we are insane. Politics and psychology take the same yardstick. If 51% of the people are murderers, that is sanity according to the basic tenants of behavioristic psychology.
So that now we’re incorporating into our human pattern things that 20 years ago we wouldn’t have considered normal or sane. We’re voting it in. This is not going to change the facts or create a new truth. The truth will remain the same. And the overall truth is that we’re not running the show. None of us are that smart. This gives us a very chesty feeling to think we can vote a whole thinking process into being, but we’re never going to do it.
dw2-21:32 – sn2-22:21
I call it the engineer. There’s an engineering here that is manifest. I just read a piece in the paper, they came to the conclusion that the trees are talking to each other. They had scientific evidence that when insects attack a tree, it gives off an odor and the trees next to it immediately prepare a poison to put a stop to the bugs eating them. They start to put off a protective mucous or something to make it hard for the bugs to eat their leaves. This is not just a theory, it was evidently carried out under pretty careful investigation.
This isn’t the only thing; you see it all up and down the line. I refer in the book to the pterodactyl. The pterodactyl is a prehistoric flying lizard or snake; I don’t know where the evolution came from. But there are wings, and the people with the concept of evolution say that these wings or fins occur as the result of the environment. This couldn’t be. Why would the wings be necessary? To escape from a predator. It takes a million years for a form to evolve something like a wing, maybe ten million. They are digging out clams, very similar to trilobites, that are two or three hundred thousand years old. They’re still clams. They couldn’t grow feet and get away.
So here’s a pterodactyl that flies like a bird, looks like a bird but it has no feathers, and it’s the forerunner of most everything that flew. The only answer I have is that if this creature depended upon those wings to escape from the predators, it had to be done instantaneously. It couldn’t first grow just a little wing and escape; it would have been eaten. It couldn’t grow a foot-long wing and then a two foot-long wing and then learn to run like hell. No, it still would be eaten. So for it to survive as a species, once it was created, formed, engineered, it had to be engineered with that equipment, same as the wings on an airplane.
Robert S. de Ropp did some investigation on the sex life of insects. Some insects have peculiar mechanisms to keep them from inter-mating, and these are the equivalent of Yale locks: the male has a key that only fits the lock of its own species. I think we are evolving and changing, but at the same time, whole dominant species are eliminated, such as the pterodactyl, the dinosaurs and so on. We evidently didn’t need them, or the purpose ahead didn’t need them, let’s put it that way.
But to make a long story short, we should never exercise our ego too foolishly. One of the biggest detriments in the understanding of yourself – that which stands between you and yourself – is an ego. And there are many steps as I described; you get into observing yourself and looking for methods. I call this the ways and means committee. You have to set up a ways and means committee for every step.
It’s a great temptation to exalt yourself. And right before you have your final experience, the biggest ego you have to face is your own immortality. I remember when we were meeting in Steubenville one time, I was trying to get a fellow to join us. His wife was sitting in a little group with us. He was a tremendously congenial fellow and he was generally sipping a martini when we were talking. He said, “That’s alright but that’s not for me. You’re talking about life after death and immortality, but John Kapitka is just not that dammed important to live forever.”
This is what you have to face one of these days, and if you aren’t run over by a Mack truck you will face it. If you die slowly, the thing that will surge through your consciousness is, “I’m not that important. What is it about the inhabitant of this wreck of a body, what’s left of it, that’s important?” You actually drop that ego, and strangely enough, in the process of dropping that ego is when the lights come on.
dw2-27:02 -- sn2-28:05
Q. You referred to cosmic consciousness. Would you elaborate on that?
R. Yes. Have you heard of Gurdjieff?
R. There’s a fellow by the name of Gurdjieff, a lot of you may not have heard of him. I consider him the top psychologist of the western world. He had an astute understanding of the human mind and the different types of people. He had a psychological-spiritual philosophy as well. And these people fit into this. Because we’re all spiritual people. As I said, as physical beings we’re nothing but fertilizer. Unless we have some objective beyond that, then it doesn’t matter what we do. If there’s no inkling of hope for anything beyond the last day, you may just as well do what you think is fun. Do what you please.
But Gurdjieff divided men basically into four classes, and above these, man number five, six and seven were people beyond ordinary men. The first bracket was the instinctive man, the second was the emotional man. He called it living in the emotional center. The third would be the intellectual man and the fourth was the philosophical man. The fifth was the enlightened man. But anyhow, there’s a transition between these levels, which Gurdjieff didn’t talk about too much but you pick up the inference by reading his literature.
When does an instinctive man become an emotional man? That’s a step above. An instinctive man is a guy who loves to drink, he loves sex, he loves to fight, he loves power, playing, and that’s it. The world is a playhouse, everything is material and that’s all that counts. His concept of life is, “When I can’t have sex, let me be dead.” (My concept of sex is, “When I depend on sex, shoot me,” because it’s a trap, that’s all.) But the instinctive man falls in love. I’m saying man but this could be a woman as well. The instinctive person falls in love, and in so doing he touches into his emotional center, he respects somebody more than he respects himself. He falls in love with a woman, or she gets pregnant. He starts working selflessly for his children and he forgets about all these other games. I don’t say they always do, but this is the graduation if he graduates.
Now, there’s another form of this emotional release or growth. And that is the salvationistic experience, where a man falls in love with Jesus or Buddha or some figure he respects, and follows that person.
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It’s no great contact with heaven. It’s that he loses the worshiping of himself and his body. This is the key that is struck. From this comes a marvelous release. Sometimes they say, “Oh, I’ve made it, I’ve been saved. I confessed my sins and beat my head on the floor, and I’m satisfied now that I’m in touch.” Sure. This is the first step in spiritual growth, if they follow through on it. But what happens? Why do people leave churches? It’s because these convictions come and go. The computer somehow is saying, “Maybe you snowed yourself.” Or maybe six months after you get married you realize that you’re no longer worshipping this person and now you’re working because you have to. Regardless, you’re going to drift.
My father-in-law was a Pentecostal minister, they used to call them holy-rollers. He was like the man in Tobacco Road or God’s Little Acre or one of those little books. If he got his hands on too much money he would go out and get drunk, or he’d get one of the girls from the church. (In the books I read, they’d take them out to the irrigation ditch, you know.) He was married and had a family. But he would come back and repent, confess his sin and start all over again. He was a sincere person but he just wobbled. So he wasn’t really sure of himself or he wouldn’t have done that. I don’t think he was really sure of himself.
But then you become disgruntled and you realize that you’re emotional and consequently unstable, that you don’t have proof. I maintain that this idea of the pursuit of truth should be started off with a scientific procedure having the same strictness by which you’d examine the element oxygen or hydrogen in an analysis in chemistry. This isn’t fiction, and you can test. There’s a system.
In the process of finding the Truth there is only one path to go, because truth is not anyplace you can put your finger on. You don’t know what the truth is. You’ve got millions of books perhaps to study but don’t know which one to start with. You don’t know what the word truth means. We talk about looking for God, but you don’t know what the word God means. In West Virginia they think his last name is Damn. So everybody has their own theology.
dw3-02:59 – sn3-03:05
Consequently, what you have to do is avoid the garbage. Set yourself certain principles to go by. This is what I did when I was 21 years old. I made up my mind that I would never listen to any cult or movement that charged enormous sums of money, or even more than it should for basic expenses. I believe that everybody should work for a living. I don’t believe we should take our salvation from the blood and sweat of slaves. At 10% each, ten people in a congregation gives you a day’s wages. Why do you have to have 200 or 2,000 people paying 10%?
Another thing to watch for is rank: altar boy, priest, bishop, pope and so on. This has no bearing. We start to have a respect that is unnatural; we think that this person is holier, more important. Nobody is any more important than anybody else. We look upon certain people as authoritatively wise because they have shingles, they have degrees. But for what we’re talking about, you people here are the wisest people on earth for you. Because you’ll find what you’re looking for inside yourself, not in a teacher. So you are the source of your own wisdom. You have to go inside.
It might take some stumbling speaker like myself to point the way a bit or give you a little inspiration. But you’ll ultimately find it by yourself, by your own bootstraps. You don’t need traps and routines that are liable to take up too much of your time, when you could spend it better just sitting or walking and thinking.
The other thing is secrecy. I used to hear some of the fellows talking who had been into a lot of these movements. They said, “The movements that require secrecy generally appeal to the wealthy; they just love to be in something that nobody else can get into.” You have to get in by invitation or something of that sort.
I noted this when I’d be travelling around. And I spent most of my young years travelling after I got out of the seminary. I looked into every group, anybody who would stand still and talk to me. I’d come right to the point, “What do you know for sure? Do you know what you’re talking about? Have you talked to God? Do you know where this magic comes from that you’re implying?” And generally you’d get an evasive answer.
I want to go on to this third category. Some people just live and die in the emotional phase. But a person who is intellectually inclined will free himself from it in his lifetime. He says, “Hey, I’ve been taking the word of somebody who says he’s a representative of God Almighty. I’m going find out for myself.” But he doesn’t know where to look. So he takes the more scientific type of books. I did this. I got into astrology, numerology, the kabbalah, and I thought that maybe by some confusion of the brain or added exercise of the brain I would get something out of this. Because evidently there are some very wise men in it; when you read the books they are very astute literature.
And in the same way you’ll get a graduation, which I call the “wow” experience. You can also get this from studying algebra or math, and lots of people have. When I was in college I thought algebra was the most absurd thing I had ever gotten into. Somebody wants to know the value of x in relation to a, b, c. And I thought, “What nonsense is this? If you don’t know what a, b, c are, what do you care what x is? But I had to take this because I was majoring in chemistry at the time. So I kept on belaboring myself with it and one day it popped, and from then on it was all downhill.
dw3-08:06 – sn3-08:20
This little phenomenon will occur in your spiritual search as well. You belabor yourself. Don’t give up. There is no place to look except anything; under any stone I always say. Turn every stone over. But what happens is that a person gets into this algebraic wow, or he gets into a certain Zen training that will do it, and they call this satori. “Wow, that’s what it is. Now things are clear.” And now you think you’ve got all the laws of the universe down; that all you have to do is keep applying the algebraic formula.
And what happens, if you live long enough, you’ll realize that logic is a vanity. You can play those games forever. You can always find a deeper, more intricate form of calculus to play with, or a higher math, or Einstein’s concepts, and it will not get you to the truth. You might be able to formulate somebody else’s concepts of what the truth is, and some people do that. But after all this the person finds that he’s pursuing a vanity. He finds a thrill in this accomplishment; it’s a mental orgiastic operation of sorts, not a realization. So you dump it. But when you dump it you’re lost again. You’re in the desert. There’s nowhere to go.
Now you’ve exhausted everything you’ve got to work with. All we have to work with is our logical faculties, which is mostly common sense. And if we have to apply a stricter logic we do it. We also have applied you might say our emotional self, which is a feeling. We thought we felt correctly, and we found out we didn’t perhaps. And where else is there to go?
So you go out and you just keep looking. You read books, you think, you meditate, you meet with people, get opinions that will stimulate your thinking. This is where I go back to the contractor’s law; this is where those other people come in handy. Because they’re a reflection of yourself. You can go down a blind alley as a philosopher and your good friend will come along and say, “Hey Rose, you know what you’re doing? You’re playing a game inside your own head.” And you’ll realize it when that person points it out.
Also, the so-called association with those people is apt to provide a certain amount of protection. I think that in anything you do, in any group of scientists, you have to have some sort of coordination between the findings. This is true about your esoteric scientists as well. It’s good to trade notes; you’ll learn a tremendous lot by talking to other people. This saves time. You can’t join every movement. But if you can get honest people to tell you what goes on, you’d be surprised what you can pick up.
And I am still learning. I have learned a tremendous lot since I was 50 years of age. My experience occurred at 30. My experience only gave me an answer, it didn’t tell me how I could communicate with other people. It didn’t tell me the mechanisms of the people’s minds and that sort of thing. So you can always learn a tremendous lot.
Okay, so in this blind sort of struggling, once more you’re back to the drawing board. You start floundering around but you keep pushing, even though there’s nothing to push. You don’t know what you’re doing but you still look everyplace; you still try to understand. And then you have another breakthrough. This is the first real breakthrough of any immensity and it’s called cosmic consciousness in our language.
Richard Bucke headed up some sort of a university or a foundation in Canada. He stepped out on the veranda one day and he said the whole city looked like it was in flames. It wasn’t real, nobody else saw it but him. It sounds in a way like he had gotten some LSD because the whole horizon was shimmering. He said that coincidental with this view a tranquility came over him, and he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything was under control, everything was operating according to order. God was in charge and we didn’t have to worry about a thing, just don’t try to interrupt things too much. I can’t explain more than that, except that’s the type of experience it was. In the Hindu terminology it’s called kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. The English word for it is cosmic consciousness.
The word enlightenment is another word that’s highly misused. Some people think that just being wised-up is enlightenment. No, that isn’t it. It’s a decided change and an understanding of your being. As I said repeatedly, a man never finds God except in himself. You never learn the truth; you become the truth, or you never know what the truth is.
So we go on to the philosophic stage. I go through these because you may have had some of these experiences. Don’t get too egotistical and think you’re talking to God yet. Because even in the cosmic consciousness experience, what you’re having is a relative experience. The city is there, colored, which is objective and relative. Motion, the shimmering of the color, is there. These are not absolute.
Now at the time, there’s no way that you know there’s anything above that. But if by some chance later on you transcend the philosophic level, then you’ll have what is called enlightenment, or sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. This is the union with the absolute. You can call it God if you want. But when I had my experience, in the transition through the experience, I saw humanity, the entire scope of humanity, but I never saw any man with a long beard. And yet I knew the answer, because basically I was the answer. Of course, when you go through that experience, you too will be the answer, which seems paradoxical, because how could everybody be the total absolute answer? But regardless, that’s the experience.
dw3-15:58 – sn3-16:30
It’s when you reach this point that you first have a complete overview of human life and its purpose, and the mechanism of human thinking, and the things that are programmed. You are programmed. There is no evil, because you respond to things you’re programmed to do. And maybe this is to learn. I think of course that this is one of the errors, that everybody is attacking evil. Ayatollah Khomeini thinks that if he chops off your head he makes you holy. So he’s going about chopping off people’s heads.
You can’t have a physical, frontal assault on a subjective matter, especially when the subjective matter is only the polarity of another undefined thing called “good”. There is no good nor bad, there is only that which the engineer designed. We’re not smart enough to change it. That goes for our so-called social systems and that goes for ecology. We’re trying to change the ecology. We’re not doing anything wrong. I think we have a toss-up, whether we burn all the coal and the oil and cause a carbon umbrella in which we can’t breathe, or we poison the streams and everything with tin cans. But do you think we’re going to change any of these? I doubt it seriously. All this may lead to us evolving.
So we don’t know what’s in store. We don’t know why we came out of the ice age. But there’s evidence that this can happen. The lowering of temperature can happen very quickly. They predicted that the effects of Mt. St. Helens would cause colder temperature for four consecutive years. And we’ve had somewhat chilly weather since then. Our winters have been more severe, completely across the country. They claim that this umbrella hangs there, just from that one volcano. Now we have one from Mexico that blew also, so we’ve got more of them, a mini-umbrella.
dw3-18:45 – sn3-19:15
Q. Do you distinguish between our awareness and our consciousness?
R. Yes. Consciousness is the awareness of awareness. In other words, we have a faculty of awareness and when we look at it, it’s consciousness. Some people think that trees are aware. But the trees can’t think. I shouldn’t say that; maybe they can. [laughs] But I somehow have the feeling that they don’t have the same introspective quality. One time a fellow told me that he was working with carbon oil, kerosene. He said that kerosene showed signs of life. You get down to basic things like a virus and a ketone enzyme, that life began in the ketone enzyme. The ketone enzyme may be aware. The amoeba has to be aware. If it isn’t aware it won’t find any food. It gropes, it speculates, and it’s aware when the food touches it. It closes up on it and devours it. So that’s awareness, but the extent of its consciousness is something else, from our viewpoint at least.
dw3-20:16 – sn3-20:56
Another thing is that you have people who are highly aware and people who aren’t. You’ll see people who seem like they’re just walking in a daze. With some it’s caused by retardation, some by shock and so on. Their point of awareness is somehow blocked out for a period of time.
Basically, awareness is a fundamental quality; and at the other end of the spectrum is this process observer, a thing that sees without the eyeballs, a thing that watches thoughts. This is a process observer. This body makes decisions. If I pick up an apple, this is a body-decision, pick the right apple. But the mind that watches thoughts is a higher form of awareness. This has a specific identity. And this identity continues after your mind and your body are both gone.
dw3-21:32 – sn3-22:14
As I said, you have to be prepared to give up your body, but this thing comes in stages. You can’t say, “Give me the formula and I’ll jump off a bridge.” No, you have to take care of your body. You have to be an egotist to where you get strong enough to do it on your own. You can’t think with a diseased body. You’ve got to have something of a methodical way of going about your thinking processes, or you could become a raving fanatic and go bananas from the so-called pursuit of the truth. This is caused by improper thinking, something wrong with the awareness of your own awareness; you’re unconscious of factors and that sort of thing.
But when you really realize, your whole thinking mechanism disappears. I talk about fattening up the head before you chop it off. You can’t be a dummy, you can’t just say, “Oh, I’m going to relax. One day at a time.” I hear a lot of this stuff. This is nonsense. This is the philosophy of earthworms, or rocks, where we’re going to “be here now.” They haven’t begun to be here, much less now. You have to come out fighting. A man fights. The woman is acceptance. A man fights like heck before he learns to surrender. The woman has the ability to surrender more quickly, and consequently reach that point.
Mind and body
Q. You talked about the process observer. [rest is inaudible]
R. Yes, it’s an observer. An observer isn’t an actor. But your awareness too is very passive. There’s a strange thing that happens; I haven’t explained it tonight but it’s part of this formulation in studying the mind. The brain seems like a blob of flesh, but the brain has the mechanisms in it which I believe are in contact with the mind. I believe that the point of contact is the synapse. The synapse is like a spark plug; there’s a gap there. And there’s a small voltage that crosses the gap in the synapse, and it has to have a purpose for crossing that gap or else it would just be continuous wiring. And I believe that this is the contact between the physical sensory pickup and the mind that transcends the body.
dw3-24:54 – sn3-25:47
There’s increasing evidence of this [i.e., a mind that transcends the body] forming all the time, and a lot of people who were totally atheistic have had experiences which caused them to reexamine their perspective. There’s a book [Journeys Out of the Body ] by Robert Monroe, who projected astrally halfway across the country. He was able to identify places, see people he knew and that sort of thing en route, and he was able to think while he was up there. While he was up there he was thinking. And he made a decision to come back to his body. Now this means that the mind is not limited to the brain. This is another fallacy.
Psychologists, incidentally, don’t accept the mind. I mean behavioristic psychology now, which tends to say that all we do is react, and that this is a somatic reaction. Of course what they do is simplify their science; you can’t question them too deeply. They’re not going to get into a corner, but at the same time they’re never going to advance the human race on the knowledge of thought.
dw3-26:20 – sn3-27:13
But this is worth looking into: What is thought? Every psychiatrist I run into and every psychology student who has a BS or BA degree, I ask them, “What is thought?” And it never occurs to them. There’s no book that tells you what thought is, except reaction. Ultimately that’s too poor an answer. When a person is floating somewhere above a city and looking down, and he says, “I’d better get back into my body,” and he also remembers this, then he’s thinking outside of his head.
Not only that, but there are surgical cases, people in operating rooms. My brother was in an automobile accident and he watched his own operation. He was in a wreck and he was far from home, in Arizona, and they took him to the closest hospital. He had his ribs smashed in; the car rolled on him. They said he’s not going to live, or had just a slim chance of living because of punctured lungs and Lord knows what. They hauled him to the closest medical center, which was an Army station. They had a doctor there so they immediately put him on the table and started working on him. And my brother watched this from the ceiling.
dw3-27:44 – sn3-28:40
The ironic little thing that happened, his wife was a Nazarene but he was born and raised a Catholic, same as I was. So a priest who was an army chaplain came in and proceeded to anoint his toes and his nose and so on. And his wife came up at the same time; they were living in Texas and she came up. And immediately, right in the middle of all this trauma she starts cursing this chaplain, called him a devil-worshipper and a few other things. Well my brother was watching this, he told me later, and he said it was absolutely hilarious. It didn’t trouble him; he just thought, here are these idiots arguing over a piece of dead meat. Who cares whether you oil his toes or not?
In the experience I had in Seattle I went out a window. And I was thinking all the time. I was watching the people on the street. This was broad daylight. I went up over a place, it was the Cascade Mountains, snow-covered at the time. And that’s how far I went up in the air, until things changed. I don’t want to get into that too deeply now because it doesn’t do any good to hear the symptoms of it. But what struck me most when I came back was that I was aware, but the fellow in the hotel room in Seattle wasn’t. He was out. But I was so fascinated by this that I kept thinking, “What’s going to happen next?”
So this thinking process doesn’t depend upon being inside the body. And you’ve got to go to the bother of getting some literature. Don’t rest on the convictions or beliefs you were born into. Go out and get some medical history. There’s a tremendous reservoir today of information that was unavailable when I was 21 years of age. You have all sorts of books on the bookstands; none of those were in existence then. There were very few books in the public libraries, because the public libraries always were run by little old ladies who burnt books that didn’t agree with their religion. So you didn’t get too much to look at.
But this business of the essence, you get a conviction that there is more than just the body. And we have to pay attention to the scientists who are reporting it, like psychiatrists and medical doctors.
Incidentally, in this
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dw4-00:00 [probably no words lost]
Incidentally, in this study of your own essence there are mileposts; these are what I’m describing. You’ll notice when you change from an instinctive to an emotional man. You’ll notice when you have a more clear understanding of the human mind. And as you go along you can look backwards. For many years it’s very discouraging; you think you’re going nowhere. Those were the years I thought, “I’d better go hunt up some nice girl and get married and forget about this nonsense. Because I haven’t got an answer yet.”
Q. What then is after this?
R. What do I do with my life afterwards? Is that what you mean?
Q. Yes. After a person reaches this level, [rest is inaudible]
R. I didn’t have too much choice of it. I don’t know whether my return back into the hotel room was because of my direction or because it was programmed, that it was supposed to be. Number one, when I was a young person I had a tremendous desire, first of all an anger. I had an anger at all the phonies, all the money-makers, the hucksters of truth and so on. And with that anger came a tremendous determination in which I promised myself that if I ever found out anything I would sure make it known. And it wasn’t going to cost a fortune; anybody who wanted to hear it could hear it.
I didn’t know what I was doing, except that I was an angry person, angry at people who were wasting valuable time of the ones who are able to pick it up, the young people. You have to have an open mind. If you’re crystallized, forget it, you’re not going to pick much up. There’s a tremendous urge to waste the lives of young people. But when I got the opportunity I started lecturing in colleges, and the result is that there are quite a few young people who have gotten some benefit from it. Not that that is anything in the absolute dimension.
The process of doing this is called creating a vector. Now that’s somewhat of an engineering term, but it applies. You are what you do, not what you know. You can read books but unless you act there’s nothing done and you don’t become. The process of becoming doesn’t come from reading; you become a reader. If you want to become the truth, that’s something entirely different. And I think that sometimes you’re helped. Because I was too stupid to plot. I didn’t even know I was going to find anything. The amazing thing is, that what I found was tremendously contrary to what I expected to find – which led to the validity of it. Because when I was going into it I thought, “Oh boy, I’m dying. This is it. I’m going out on a limb too far.“
And I’ll tell you what happened. When I came back my first thought was, “I don’t want to live on this earth.” I was in Seattle and I was looking for a bridge. And they don’t have any bridges over Puget Sound so it would have been rather difficult for me to eliminate the whole thing.
The thing is, I felt that if I chose to live, I should use that lifetime to the best advantage, so that someone else would know what’s up ahead. That seems like a trifling thing, but I don’t think it was decided within the first week or so afterwards, because the transition was so painful. I don’t think I stopped weeping for a week, day and night. I just couldn’t stand the contrast. I didn’t see any point in living at first. I thought, “I’ll get on a bus and head back to West Virginia.” That’s where I come from. And of course, I didn’t even go home then; I thought I might act strange or something. So I stopped in Cleveland and stayed there for awhile.
But the result was that whenever the opportunity presented itself I made myself available. I’ve had people ask me, “Why don’t you do something more useful?” See, nothing is useful. One woman said, “Why don’t you become a healer?” What for? So people can go out and get drunk and get sick again? That’s just spinning wheels.
Q. You made a statement that your purpose changed at that point.
R. Well let’s say I was conscious of making a synthetic purpose. Up to that time I had no intention of trying to do anything except find something for myself. It was ultimately a very personal and perhaps selfish motive. And there’s nothing wrong with being selfish. This sounds paradoxical, but if you expand yourself in the right way you cast a better light or shadow or however you want to say it. So statements of selfishness are sometimes misunderstood.
But when I found it, I didn’t particularly know what good it was for me to remain on this planet. For instance, when I walked the streets of Seattle, and still to this day sometimes it happens: people become transparent. I can see their motivation, I can see things they’ve done, I can see pains in their body. This can be tremendously annoying if it goes on all the time, so you shut it off. But at that particular time the human race was nothing more than automatons. It doesn’t happen until I go to a big city, but when I get into a big city yet, I see the massive robot movement, everybody pounding the pavement with an angry determination, going nowhere.
So you try to break through to a few of them. But you can’t touch anybody who isn’t already somewhat knowledgeable. For instance, I know there’s a percentage of you people who have an inclination to get up and leave because it isn’t registering. But if it does register, if your intuition matches what I’m talking about, you’ll be curious for the rest of your life. And that’s my purpose. You get that curiosity, which is basically an animal implant, a programming in the animal to find food and reproduction, and turn that curiosity to self-definition. Let it go in that direction and welcome it. That’s all you have to do, and things will move rapidly. I call that milk from thorns.
[about a minutes eliminated here, nothing of substance]
Q. [long statement and question about Zen, mostly inaudible.]
dw4-09:44 – sn4-09:58
R. Well, I’ll give you an example. I studied with a Zen master.
Q. You trained?
R. There’s no point in training. This training is to keep people occupied. Especially if you’ve got a group of them in a monastery, they have to do something or they get out of hand.
Q. [tries to interrupt.]
R. I’m going to speak to you from my heart, I don’t know whether I’m offending you in what you’ve studied. But a tremendous lot of Zen is useless. The Zen movements in this country are mostly useless. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Suzuki Roshi over here in California. But he had a little colony there and shortly before he died somebody was interviewing him, and his wife was present. They said, “Are you an enlightened man?” And his wife said, “Of course he’s not an enlightened man.” And he told her, “You could have kept your mouth shut.” , , Also, Huang Po in China, thousands of years ago, was taking to a group of monks and he said, “There is no Ch’an in China.”
R. In essence, in the translation I got, he said there was no one capable, there was no one being enlightened in China. They had thousands of people in the monastery and no one was enlightened. This was the complaint.
R. You know what you’re doing right now? You’re no more than a fundamentalist arguing the Bible. The truth is not in words, the truth is in action and being and becoming. And if you haven’t become, those books aren’t going to do you any good. Keisaku and buying robes and being dressed like this is not going to do you any good.
R. That’s alright. Now you’re taking a stand, you’ve got the podium back there and it belongs up here. [laughs]
Q. [inaudible, angry]
R. Hey, I will not argue with you, and you’re approaching argument. I’m not here to argue. If you don’t understand ...
R. ... then please let somebody else ask a question.
R. I don’t continue to carry this any further.
R. What is your objective? To bring this talk to a close?
R. Please sit down. You’re not making any sense.
Koans on thought
R. We have a few minutes. If you have appointments it’s not going to bother me if you have to go. The seminar that we have tomorrow will take off from this business of questioning yourself, and here are some of the questions that you’ll have time to evaluate
What is thought?
Why should an ant build houses before knowing what an ant is?
Can you start thinking?
Can you stop thinking?
You can take that exercise right now and say, “I’m going to stop thinking; I’ll prove it.” When you take these questions and examine them awhile you’ll understand that you can’t stop thinking, and that you never knew it before. Now maybe under some circumstances with a lot of training you can make your mind a blank. But deliberately starting to think, say when you wake up in the morning, it’s impossible for you to voluntarily start to think.
The whole thing of thought is a dimension beyond our control. So we have to get a proper definition of it, and if possible get some sort of control, knowing from what point that control is exercised. Especially when we say that the body is not the self. Incidentally, to define these things properly we use two of the letter “s” to designate the self. Small-s is the self that you formerly thought you were. Capital-S is the totality-Self, where that which you have found is greater than the pretensive, projected personality.
Do you think, or are you a thought?
If you are a thought, who is thinking it?
There’s a very good possibility, implied by some writers, that we are projections from a mental dimension which is more real than this. And I find that the dimension you encounter in your experience is greater than this one. More real, more solid. You’ll find this out, that this dimension is an illusion, which the Hindu literature refers to as maya.
But none of our Christian literature talks about it. We’re led to believe that you’re going to heaven and you’re going to meet everybody who was good. There’s no real evidence for that, except in the cases of certain people who are dying whose relatives appear. The Tibetans say that what we enter when we die are bardos – that we’re either liberated or we go into bardos. The Catholic Church for instance uses the word purgatory, another word for a bardo. It’s not necessarily a really happy or beautiful place.
What we’re doing here is playing with concepts, because we haven’t started into a real deep study of what I call pure psychology. So you take these various concepts and they give you at least a shock from your previous perspective.
If thought travels beyond the head, what is the vehicle for this travel?
Our current psychologists like for us to believe that there’s no such thing as thought outside of synaptic reaction, but I think it’s already been proven by scientists in ESP experiments. There’s a tremendous volume of statistics where people were aware of the thinking processes of someone a thousand miles away; sometimes messages were communicated. Another thing was the Russian woman moving objects under a glass, or people moving the dice which are not in your hand necessarily. If these things are moved 51%, 52% or 75% of the time, then this is scientific validation. It means that the mind has some effect, some tenuousity that is able to reach out and do that. I’m going to a bit of bother to explain this, but I think all of you have had something in your life which has proved this to you.
Does the body manufacture subtle essences called thoughts?
This is a concept also, that we have little possessions called thoughts; that they’re like entities, and these emanate from the brain like a broadcasting tower. I ask where in the body is the receiver for ESP phenomena? If it is projected, where do we receive it?
dw4-19:43 – sn4-20:13
Here are some interesting questions on brain chemistry:
Do chemicals such as serotonin, the neurotransmitters, create thought? Or do they merely facilitate the penetration into our consciousness of particular sensory data?
They found that when the serotonin gets weak our thinking mechanism fails. And the lack of certain neurotransmitters leads to an inclination for schizophrenia. So, do the chemicals create thought themselves, because thought is there only when they’re active? Or are they just a lubricant of sorts?
Is “sanity” a way of measuring the skill of survival?
This is interesting to look into. What is a sane person? A person who knows what is correct thinking? Or somebody who is just the shrewdest person at survival?
In other words, the idea is that sane people live long and people who aren’t sane do not. We’re talking about a spectrum, degrees of sanity. Not necessarily insane and sane people, but that the sanest person is the person whose mental faculties are put to the best use. I’m not saying they are, I’m just asking, “Are they?” Is that the proper definition of it? Is insanity outside the normal curve? The normal-curve definition would be that the mental condition of most of the people is sanity. Even if the whole country’s mental IQ would slip 50 points in a few years’ time, the majority would be the sane ones.
It’s getting about that time. Are there any questions? If any of you wish to attend tomorrow, we’re going to get into this business of digging into your concepts, your convictions. Not to change them; there’s no doctrine to replace. Just to give you a perspective within a few hours of time that will call you to think.
[wrap-up announcements by M. Casari]
For information email firstname.lastname@example.org
http://www.nytimes.com/1983/06/10/business/corporate-triumph-then-death-in-a-ferrari.html Skinner’s quote in context: http://selfdefinition.org/psychology/quotes/skinner-on-taming-the-lions.htm http://tatfoundation.org/psych.htm Full text: http://selfdefinition.org/zen/benoit/ Famed mentalist (1892-1975) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Dunninger https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Banks_Rhine Rose is linking intuition, ESP and telekinesis. Also see The Albigen Papers, ch. 2, paragraph 7: “But telepathy may also function in another manner, as a sort of mental tenuousity.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Perls See The Albigen Papers, ch. 5, Obstacles to Transcendental Efforts, subheading States of Mind. The Albigen Papers, ch. 5: “Mr. A uses a perfectly harmless word, the word Penguin. Within a few moments and with little or no explanation, Mr. B. has knocked him to the floor. ...” Etc. The seminar for Denver was cancelled but there was one the prior week in Boulder. The Albigen Papers, ch. 7, Discernment: “That there is a path to Truth. From ignorance to relative knowledge. From relative knowledge to an awareness of the limitation of such knowledge. And finally we pass from that which we recognize as a loosely associated intelligence to a Reality of Being.” Psychology of the Observer (1979). http://tatfoundation.org/psych.htm Gurdjieff’s “Kundabuffer” in All and Everything. http://www.gurdjiefflegacy.org/40articles/hoyt.htm See “Use of object for determining future of young,” from University of Detroit Mercy, http://research.udmercy.edu/find/special_collections/digital/cfa/index.php?field=boggsNum&term=P864 Pdf here: http://selfdefinition.org/celibacy/ Satchidananda Saraswati: “The Bible says, ‘Seek that kingdom within you.’ It is not outside. Seek That within you. Once you have found That, everything else will be automatically added unto you.” http://www.poetseers.org/spiritual-and-devotional-poets/india/swami-satchidananda/satchidananda-quotes/ Similar versions are found in Satchidananda’s Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and The Living Gita. 1983-0603-First-Know-Thyself-Boulder-Colorado The Albigen Papers, ch. 6, First Steps, subheading Friendship and the Search. Steubenville Psychic Research Group, meeting at the D’Alibertti’s or the Kapitka’s. See “Alfred D'Alibertti: A Vignette”: http://www.searchwithin.org/journal/tat_journal-02.html#2 Law of Extra-Proportional Returns. The Albigen Papers, ch. 7, Discernment. An element of the Law of the Ladder. http://tatfoundation.org/meditate.htm Rose uses the Radha Soami or Sikh term sangat. “Psychogenesis of Man”: http://selfdefinition.org/christian/bucke-chart-p43-one-in-a-million.htm “Some Evidence that Trees Communicate When in Trouble”, Environmental Conservation, vol. 10, issue 2, 1983. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=5927832 Reference not found in The Albigen Papers. “Mathematical Impossibility Of Evolution” http://www.icr.org/article/mathematical-impossibility-evolution/ http://www.amnh.org/explore/news-blogs/research-posts/tracking-evolution-s-rate-through-trilobites Robert S. de Ropp, Sex Energy: The Sexual Force in Man and Animals, 1969. Steubenville Psychic Research Group, as mentioned above. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff Jesse Leslie West. Bucke was born in England but emigrated to Canada. Rose incorrectly identifies the location as Montreal, but the institution that Bucke headed was an insane asylum in London, Ontario. Rose again says Montreal but the experience happened when Bucke visited London, England. See chart from Ramana Maharshi. http://albigen.com/uarelove/sahaja.htm Environmentalists then were predicting a new ice age. Erupted 1980. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_eruption_of_Mount_St._Helens El Chichón, 1982. Rose says here, “and incidentally, this is a relative quality,” but because of the way he interrupts and then repeats himself, it’s ambiguous whether he’s referring to awareness or the process observer. More detail given in 1983-0323-Is-the-Game-of-Life-Fixed-Synod-Hall-Oakland-PA (side 3) Pdf here: http://selfdefinition.org/afterlife/ Rose mistakenly references Raymond Moody and Life After Life. Moody’s work was based on interviews; he did not astrally project. Robert Monroe and his book are substituted as a correction. Rose says Atlanta and Washington but these are not in Monroe’s book. In this video Monroe mentions travelling between Virginia and San Francisco. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZZHXtzuJ9c Vincent Rose, the youngest brother. Here Rose says, “Olympic Mountains I think it is.” Normally when Rose tells this story he says the Cascade Mountains. In Seattle he was living on the west side of Lake Washington on a hill which faces eastward toward the Cascades. Moody’s book is full of case histories. http://selfdefinition.org/afterlife/ Rose: “Once a person makes a commitment to the Truth--I mean truly demonstrates a sincere desire to find his Real Self at all cost--then this commitment will attract assistance and protection.” As quoted by David Gold in After the Absolute, ch. 5. http://www.richardrose.org/ata5.htm In 1991-1006-Augies-Apartment-Raleigh Rose says he was looking at the bridges over Lake Washington but they were too low. See Robert Martin’s Peace to the Wanderer, pages 19-28 for details. The Albigen Papers, ch. 7, Discernment, subheading Milk from Thorns. (1904-1971) Founder of San Francisco Zen Center http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shunryu_Suzuki Need reference. Some history and criticism of San Francisco Zen Center by Stuart Lachs dated October 2002: “Even though the bureaucratic ‘transmissions’ in the Soto church have nothing to do with spiritual insight, the Soto institution does nothing to dissuade people thinking that there is a mind-to-mind connection between its ‘roshis’ and the historical Buddha.” From Richard Baker and the Myth of the Zen Roshi. http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/Richard_Baker_and_the_Myth.htm “In Soto-Zen, dharma transmission provides access to only a relatively low grade. It is listed as a requirement for the very lowest ecclesiastical status.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma_transmission Blue Cliff Record, Case 11. Denver seminar was cancelled. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Kulagina