UNCONSCIOUS ROLE PLAYING
Can you see in your life how you’re unconsciously imitating someone else, not so much outwardly because you can’t get away with imitating that great opera singer on television, but where you are playing the role in your daydreams? That means you’d rather play the role than be real. You’re going to be shocked when the facts of life intrude upon and jolt you out of your preferred daydream.
IT’S UNNECESSARY TO THINK ABOUT IT OR WORRY
When someone makes any kind of a sour frightening remark about anything whatever, I want you to notice how you immediately take it as a necessity for you to start worrying and, this is the most important point, for you to start thinking about and to chatter with them about it. Watch how you immediately get dragged into the trap and it happened to all of you in this room a dozen times today already, to say nothing of all your past life.
FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF
The time will come when one of the greatest pleasures of your life will be to find out the Truth for yourself about everything. It could be an ordinary question of the life of your garden and you think, “How can I make my garden grow better?” and in spiritual matters as well. A determined effort to see that you are not spiritually self-reliant will make you shocked by how you’ve thrown away your opportunity to grow. After the shock you will want to use it, and you will. Go to work.
UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM
The next time something bothers you, why don’t you turn internally and say, “Why am I churning like this, why am I nervous like this?” Why don’t you do that so you can understand the problem out of existence instead of flaring up and blaming something outside of yourself.
STUDY INSTEAD OF FIGHT
Write down the following sentence please: Study instead of fight. In order to do that you have to be quite aware of how much you fight — in which you resist, in which you strike out, in which you cry out, and fight for what you think is your psychic survival — instead just stand there and study your condition. You think this is easy. It’s a lifetime project to watch yourself be angry and not resist something that is higher than you.
RISE UP IN RIGHT REBELLION
Say to yourself, “Effective as of twelve noon today, I’m going to begin a new course of behavior when I’m with other people — not just here, anywhere. I’m going to rise up in rebellion against this nervous timid state hoping that I won’t offend them by saying some little thing, and I’m going to have the courage not to chatter every second so as to keep myself from being nervous at the silence in the room.” Have the courage to remain silent so that you get so embarrassed and nervous over the silence that you see your state because you’ve caused a crisis in yourself.
You’ll grow to the extent that you’re able to put yourself under your own discipline, and one purpose of this class is to show you how to do that. You know all the facts. You can sit here for an hour and say the same things I do. But do you live them out there? Right discipline really means forcing ourselves against our own will to make knowledge turn into being.
Last night’s exercise of taking up to five different work projects at once and trying to do as many as you can will help you do this. For those of you who weren’t here last night, do something very slow such as walking across the room. At the same time, add a second work project to it — be aware of your tension in walking slowly across the room. Can’t you see that your jaw is tight? Now, you’ve at least done two things at once. Don’t take this as being too simple.
DROP NEGATIVE THOUGHT
When you see a negative thought of any kind, a devil (that’s what the devil is — any kind of negativity) when you see it instead of suppressing it, pushing it away, then a second thought comes in and says, “I shouldn’t feel angry” and so on. When you see it, then you have the possibility of dropping it and ending the mechanical flow, right? You have now put an end to that thought, and when you do that you leave the blank space so that the second thought, which is a judgmental one, finds it harder to follow the first one.
HOW TO LEARN FROM A NEW EXPERIENCE
- A creative new experience is one I view for the first time because I briefly rise above my usual life of idealistic dreams.
- The opportunity for learning from a new experience occurs each time I voluntarily or involuntarily run out of my habitual mental, emotional and physical occupations, for the gap between an old and a new experience is the new opportunity.
- The first glimpse of a new experience causes a variety of agitations, such as rage, helplessness, accusation, sneering, panic, emptiness.
- First, there is the pretense that I am right; then, there is the wilderness of the humiliating feeling that I am wrong; then, there is either a willingness to enter the new experience of remaining wrong in order to finally exit with rightness or a nervous refusal to see the wilderness as a wilderness, which means I will remain painfully wrong.
A great aid to learning from a new experience is to want to learn more than I want to bluff at being right.
NEVER PUSH IT AWAY
Have you ever noticed that you can’t put enough strength and energy into pushing away your present conditions? Do you know why you do that? It’s because it takes energy, right attention to see what’s going on in your present day. Not wanting to put the energy into that, you put your energy into tomorrow — the great ideal of tomorrow in that you’re going to study, and after awhile, you’re going to be all right. The wise individual, the person who is really going to make it, is the one who never pushes any experience, any condition away, never rejects any idea or anything.
BE AWARE PHYSICALLY
Be aware of your physical surroundings. Be observant and keep your eyes up looking around the room. When someone comes in, notice him. Also notice the people in all directions in the room. First, start with physical awareness, but don’t go into a daze over what you see but stay apart from it. And when you fall asleep spiritually, snap yourself awake again. The longer you can stay awake, say for ten minutes, the more aware you’ll become, and you’ll see what it means that humanity is asleep.
Turn your attention back on yourself and see what’s going through you right now. Are your jaws and fingers tight? Then relax them deliberately and voluntarily. Don’t tight jaws indicate unnecessary tension and leakage of energy? You didn’t know you were wasting energy. To suddenly relax is a mild jolt and you shocked the dark forces and that’s good.
COMMAND THE WHOLE UNIVERSE
Now look, I will tell you, there is a God and He wants to give the lasting victory kind of life to all of you here in this room and listening to this tape. Truth doesn’t deny anyone who asks sincerely. If you want it and you prove that you want it by doing all the exercises, then you can have it. And you’ll be in command of the whole Universe. You’ll be in command of time. You’ll be in command of your whole life now and forever. That’s a promise, not from me, but from Truth, which invites you to prove what it says. Do accept the invitation.
ATTAIN STABILITY IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD
To attain stability in an unstable world, do the following:
Constantly define and explain spiritual unconsciousness to yourself. It means many, many things — all of them bad for you. A few examples are indecisiveness, flaring up with impulsive desires and actions, and constantly being in a state of nervousness.
Another level of consciousness is mental, such as when you drive your car and do repairs to your house. These can’t save you. What can save you is for you to become aware of your spiritual unconsciousness.
MY PET SLOGANS
This exercise is to write at the top of paper “My Pet Slogans.” Then under that write what you hear yourself saying all day long. You might be absolutely amazed to see you’ve said the same sentence ten times in ten different circumstances as well as repeating it in your mind. When you say, “That’s okay, it doesn’t matter” and similar phrases, are you trying to make the other person think that you’re at ease?
DON’T MAKE THE TELEPHONE CALL
You have been given lots of exercises, things to do to shock you awake. Here’s one. Let’s say you have a problem and are nervous over it. So to relieve the pain you want to telephone someone, but if you do that your suffering will return. Your exercise is to put yourself through a new kind of dark tunnel by not making the telephone call. Your suffering, your nervousness, must have nothing to turn to. Make a list of them.
BE IN CHARGE OF YOU
Here’s a practical assignment for you. The next time you’re out to lunch with someone, why don’t you walk into the room with the spiritual determination and decision that you’re going to know you’re opening the door of the café. Your physical eyesight and hearing are alert and sharp. You see things but you’re not nervous and don’t jerk your eyes around. You know that would be an unconscious physical movement. Instead you’re poised and calm, and what a pleasure it is to be in charge instead of the world being in charge of you.
The next time and the next time and the next time you’re in a quarrel with someone you’re to do something you’ve never done before, which is, right in the middle of the heat, you’re to stop and come home to yourself. You’re to know you’re in the room and you’re to look at that other person and see the pain as well as the anger in him, as well as in you. Then take a mighty leap towards the spiritual world by just dropping everything! EVERYTHING!
Spiritual suspicion is a necessary factor in order for you to unmask and dismiss the unnecessary. Will you please, therefore, as an exercise over the next week bring into action as often as you can the idea of spiritual suspicion? That is at the café, in a conversation, in writing a letter to someone, being on the phone, anywhere at all. Get suspicious that something wrong is living your life through you. Something awful actually tells you what to say and you say it. It instructs you into the emotional hurtful reaction and you obey the instruction.
Wherever there is anxiety, tension, guilt, any sour emotion where that churns and burns inside of you, you have carelessly accepted the useless as useful. See who is taking over your life and increasingly forming the hard shell around you because it is a fact and a necessary fact for you to grasp, that when the shell gets too thick, all the hearing from a higher source will be cut off and you will no longer want to hear it. You’ll want to hear yourself and your self-glorification. People in this stage are in tremendous danger because they can’t recognize danger.
Now, just for a moment, set aside the big dangers you’ve been in and think for a moment of smaller ones because the bigger ones are so emotional you can’t face them, but little dangers, little mistakes can be a great source of learning for you.
STOP BELIEVING IN YOUR TROUBLES
The next time you’re troubled, here’s what to do. Just realize that you have better things to do with that problem than to believe in it. The challenge comes up such as a disappointment at your work, someone doesn’t behave the way you expected him to and you have a difficulty inside of you which you believe and accept. You accept it because it’s your bad habit to do so. You don’t want to realize that you can break the habit any time your heart begins to take its right place in your life. That is the Spirit of Truth. Now say the same thing again in another way. I want you starting right now to no longer believe in the power and the permanency of grief, of troubles.
ONE GOOD REWARD LEADS TO ANOTHER
Here’s a practical method you can use for inner health. The title is “One Good Reward Leads to Another.” Following is an example:
When I relax I slow down my mind.
When I slow down my mind, I gain control of my thoughts.
When I gain control over my thoughts, I see my life clearly.
When I see my life clearly, I make right decisions.
When I make right decisions, I serve my real needs.
You can continue by adding as many rewards that you like. You can do this either in your mind in spare moments or by writing them down. One reward could be “When I remember rightness …” then go on to the next one. Another reward could be, “When I don’t want to feel pain any more …,” and so on.
Start any way you want, and use this as an example to go on and on and you’ll see for yourself that one good reward leads to another good reward.
ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY
You must accept the pain of seeing that whatever happens to you in your mind and feelings and in your life, you are responsible for that devastation being there and remaining there. When you accept the pain and responsibility for it being there, you will then see the explanation for your wrong and painful life.
You see that you want to strike out at the world at some particular individual, some group, some situation in the world. If you don’t see it, you will never understand it and never put it out of your life.
This self-examination and self study of your own wide variety of agonies is essential, necessary and you cannot do without it.
This is a scientific exercise and all good for you to right now admit to yourself that you’re anxious, but you don’t have to be anxious over the anxiety that you see. When you see a nervous tiger in the zoo, you don’t have to get nervous. You can be conscious of what you have been previously unconscious of by seeing the tiger of anxiety inside of you and that’s all you have to do. When you are honest with the nature of your nature, that honesty does everything else necessary for you to do. Isn’t that nice to know.
LIKES AND DISLIKES
Everyone you meet at work, shopping, friends, notice the like or dislike, opposites that go on when you meet them. “I like him, I don’t like her.” And you will see that you are trying to get a sense of identity out of your likes and dislikes. Here’s something fascinating. When you are truly a spiritual human being, which means that you no longer have the self that you used to have, you can do the same thing only it’s operating from a higher level, which is the Spirit of Truth