As frequent reference to a Teaching, a Teaching is generally carried on in a School. Sometimes the Schools are put on where groups of people are together and others who are not there think unusual things must go on. At the particular moment we would like to describe what a School is and what goes on in a School. First there is a group of people that have their own ideas of what-out-to-be brought from various areas and put together.
Wherever there are two or more people together in any form of a relationship, whether it’s working together, living in the same house, living in the same apartment, or whether there are two people that have some intimate relationship such as marriage or family etc. we have that portion of a School; two or more people in one place with different sets of conditioning, different sets of ideas of what-ought-to-be in relationship. The other things that goes in a school are the ideas of the School, what makes up Teaching; the Ideas of self-observation and this self-observation of course, is in relationship with other people. What does one do when one thinks one has what one ought to have and somebody else comes along with a different what-ought-to-be at that particular moment and they “bump” a little bit. This determines what one sees. Then if I see that the conditioning is doing this then one is separated. If one identifies with the what-ought-to-be, with the conditioning, there is then conflict between two people. Of course, this is used as a Teaching example.
Anywhere in the world where there are two or more people there are the physical requirements for a School. Where ever the words of the Teaching, the ideas of the Teaching are available, whether one receives them from tape or some person in person, then that is the other aspect of the School. Then is the person doing the self-observing. These three factors make up a School.
When you put three factors together, the initiative, resistance, form, then there is a result. When a person has this there is a result of building a new spiritual body. A body is a frame of reference; it is a body of ideas, a body of observations. It has nothing to do with beliefs etc. but is really something that one has experienced and seen for self. Each and every person that is listening to these discussions is in a School. One, you have certain ideas with which to work with, to observe, are practicing self-observation, you are in relationship with one or more people whether it be at work, at home or whatever, there is a relationship. And one can only be in School in relationship. If one went out to be a hermit and took these ideas there would really be very little to observe because only in relationship with the other person is there resistance to the ideal. No one has to think of being resistance to another, just the very fact of our existence we areresistance to other people, we are second force.
So first we have two or more people together. Second we have the ideas of the School, of the Teaching, self-observation. What does one observe? One observes building accounts, one observes the many I’s jumping around having each one their say. We observe the many efforts at conflict, the efforts to self-improve, the efforts to convince the other, the efforts to blame, the efforts to make everything fit the ideal and be disappointed. We have all the ideas and we can observe them. So life really is the teacher, the everyday existence we find self in is the teacher because there is always relationship. It continually reminds us whether we are using the Teaching or have gone to sleep and identified with the world again. The basic ideas of ideals, self-improvement, signs and wonders, demonstrations and blaming, anti-agape, which come up with all the unpleasant emotions of anger, guilt, fear, insecurity, frustration, aggravations, annoyances etc. One is always in a School wherever one may be. If one recalls this and is aware that everyone there is also a student, maybe consciously or unconsciously, but at least I am a student if I am observing, and everyone who “bumps me,” so to speak, reminds me to use the material. As long as we do this we will have plenty to do.
We will review the kind of Not-I’s that one sees in self, what kinds of personalities are in the self. As we have observed, some of them get to be rather well educated as one is observing them and they get more cunning. They don’t want to be caught. They are like foxes that have been trapped, they get very aware of being observed and they become more cunning. The ones that have never seen men trapping them are quite bold, they go on about their affairs. So we might say we are “fox hunting” or “fox trapping” because foxes are, in all fables and Teaching stories, considered to be very cunning. So here are some Not-I's, some foxes that one may observe:
1. There are Not-I’s that continually tries to entice I to identify with it.
2. Then there is a condemning Not-I’s that will pretend to be I. It says “After all, all these other I’s are doing wrong,” and it makes every effort to ally with I, the observer. I the observer has a lonely job and sometimes it is quite easy when something is trying to be its ally for it to agree with it.
3. Then there is a self-improving Not-I’s that attempts to identify itself as being I the observer. It pretends to observe and says, “Now they will get better,” and it starts one into identifying with it and starts one into self-improving.
4. Then there is the self-righteous Not-I’s that tries to reason with I to see that everything should be made righteous. These are very cunning. They are pretending to be angels of light and want more and more righteousness. Their real intent is to get I to identify with them. Once one agrees with, identifies with one of these Not-I’s then they begin to change their tactics.
5. Then there’s justifying that makes almost anything sound good. They are wonderful attorneys-at-law. They can argue fine points about anything to make it sound like “This really should be justifiable, this is right, this is really X talking, maybe.” They’re experts at changing the meaning of words.
These Not-I’s love to take the Teaching that I is free to experience whatever may arise in the house of the self and not identify with the happening. They try to twist that idea into license to do anything and everything they can justify.
We will observe that there are two basic parties of Not-I’s, both are very cunning, the party of A and the party of B and that they’re in conflict. That each party is attempting to get I to identify with it to overcome the other party which is being held out as being very evil. In other words, it would be all right to overcome evil, wouldn’t it? A holds out that B is evil because it produces guilt, because it puts on a false front and because it believes whatever it is told to believe by an authorities. A is saying that that is evil and that one should join forces with A and overcome it. But B says you should overcome A because A is a complainer and it is the violent one, it sticks up for its rights and it judges and blames other people. Both of these can be made to sound very enticing. As I observes this I it is beginning to build a body, a spiritual body, a spiritual frame of reference. The old frame of reference was somewhat of a monster; it had two heads, A and B and anything with two heads is rather a monster. It has complete disorganization in its self and it has all kinds of blind areas. In some place it’s said it has a beam in its eye and still trying to get the speck out of its brother’s eye. A had a big beam in its eye and trying to get a speck out of B’s eye, and B had a big beam trying to get the speck out of A’s eye. So they contend and moan quite a bit but they get more and more subtle as we go along. So it is well to be aware of these parties.
Keep the picture of man where one can observe it and listen to their various ideas. They try to get one to agree with thoughts. Thoughts are mere associations. As associations come along one sounds pretty reasonable. We read something in the paper or someone says something and we associate something else with it and feel we have made a great stride in understanding but it is still only one of the old associations. It is to be seen and reported, not to be identified with, not to be judged.
As long as one is seeing and reporting one is building a clean and pure spiritual body. The old man that is distorted, has two heads, is blind and possibly is a leper is being destroyed — it’s being eliminated by X. Another way of saying it is the old house is being cleansed, the house of the awareness, so that I with its new body can move in. Its like any baby, it starts with a small body just observing. As it observes it begins by observing Not-I’s to build a spiritual body. It has a spiritual frame of reference. It has discernment. One might say it discerns demons, the Not-I’s, and it discerns Spirit, the Truth and the Value of the Teaching that reminds it what to do. It does not tell it, “It must do this or not do that.” It is a guide, a light, and it begins to be a body full of light. As more and more light is in the less and less the dark creatures of the conditioned world are in.
One might also observe these very cunning Not-I’s. There is a considering Not-I that always says, “How does this affect me, how does this do this, now that wasn’t fair the way they did that.” I is easily enticed in this because I is always doing what seems right, proper and justifiable, and really leaves off the justifying. The Not-I’s use justifying to make every sort of thing seem right and proper. After all that is the whole purpose of justifying is it not, that it makes something that is questionable seem to be right or proper. Now I only does that which is right or proper but the Not-I’s use the technique of justifying to make most anything appear to be right or proper. One will also notice that each Not-I or many of the Not-I’s that come by has a very high opinion of its worth and tries to convince I that it is a worthy companion, that it has a very great value. This again is another form of justification.
There are whole groups of Not-I’s that defend this false picture that they call pride. They are continually showing a picture of their great worth and great value to I, that they are helpmates; they defend this position. One may notice pride, vanity and greed are very powerful forces especially when they have justified themselves into appearing to have on “shiny garments,” that they are clothed with very adequate reasons for being a helpmates to I. I is, of course, always realizing that it is not quite complete; it is a function of X. While it’s in this new stage of being aware it has not really realized X yet. So it is always groping for an ally or companionship to make it feel complete. All of these come by and shall we say court it, romance it, and want to be its ally. They are very interesting to observe because they put on their best behavior and they put on their very best garments. Garments mean their particular ideas and arguments as to why they are so valuable and necessary.
Another one it is very interesting to observe is if one criticizes other people in any situation. This is one of the better ways to observe some very cunning very carefully hidden Not-I’s. They criticize something in another person. You may be quite sure that if there is criticism of another person that that Not-I is lurking somewhere in the house speaking in the name of I. In other words you should observe if self is criticizing someone for being a gossip; you may be quite sure there is a gossip in this house still unrecognized. If there is someone who is criticizing someone else’s moral behavior you may be quite sure that one is lurking within. It may or may not be performing the act but it is certainly wanting to. If there is one that criticizes another behavior in any direction, be on the lookout for that particular Not-I lurking somewhere in the shadows of the house. Turn the light of self-observation on it so that X may remove it.
After all I does not have an ideal to work from. Its frame of reference is experience not ideals. As it builds its body it is built on experiencing, on understanding, love, agape, on faith and grace and not on ideals. It also sees consideration as part of its frame of reference, part of its new body. It also sees harmlessness, harmony, beauty and contribution in that frame of reference. Anything a Not-I has is always an ideal and they attempt to take all these ideas, all these bits of frames of reference and produce counterfeits. Instead of love they would have as a counterfeit, something like being tolerant. Instead of harmlessness they would have being helpful. Instead of contribution they would have, what we can contribute to power, to make something under control, how we can organize it. They would see making an organization, putting it together to control people as being a contribution. These are, of course, the counterfeits.
As one observes these things one, of course, is building a body; I is building it a spiritual body. There is a natural body that we see as the physical form and then there is a spiritual body. The spiritual body is the frame of reference of I, and as it grows and develops without the conditioning, it is a very beautiful body and is expressed outwardly in beauty of form, beauty of function and beauty of behavior.
As long as the Not-I’s are building the body there are conflicts, confusion, aggravations, annoyances, anger etc., and that body is being build. And one sees it expressed on the outside as the form of behavior that one experiences on the inside. The Not-I spiritual body is built out of beliefs, the beliefs that they know what-ought-to-be. There are two different ones of what-ought-to-be, both agree that they ought to be non-disturbed but one ought to be non-disturbed by having everyone wait on them and the other one ought to be non-disturbed by doing as they are told, by being very domesticated. Both of them believe that they know the future because then they could know what-ought-to-be, and they already know the future that if this was so then everything would work out down the line. They know what would be the outcome of everything that happens. “I just know if we had enough of money we wouldn’t be fighting all the time because all our fighting is about money.” They believe they know what is good and what is wrong because whatever is closest to their agreement of what is the ideal is good and if its not close to the ideal it’s wrong. They believe they know what is good and bad.
The false body, the crippled spiritual body, the one that is dying, is made out of beliefs, beliefs in things that are not true. A belief that I know what I need in order to be happy and that I know what happiness means. I believe I know how to get what I need to be happy. The only thing that that body doesn’t admit to knowing is “I don’t know how to make all others see things like I do so that they will do what I know is right and then I’ll be happy.” There is much study on how to make other people do what they ought to do, what I know is good for them. It is probably the most studied subject in the world.
Incidentally, it may be a very nice one to observe that suggestion comes appealing to the four dual basic urges. It first appeals to that very first method of self-improvement. But instead of complaining it complains for one. If someone comes up and complains for you and tells you how unfortunate you are, how badly you have been mistreated. And then they tell you about your rights, and they want to stick up for your rights for you, and they tell you what’s to blame for all your misfortune, and they tell you how different you are and that is because you are so different and so unusual is the reason you are being persecuted and mistreated. YOU MUST BEWARE BECAUSE THAT IS THE SLAVE MASTER. That is the way the slave operator works. It is very interesting to listen to it because certain people have found out how to control the conditioned human being mind with precision and it is being practiced. Observe and you will see; stick up for their rights, blame for them, complain for them, tell them how different they are and see how appealing. It seems that someone really understands me. This puts a person in a slave box.
There is a Not-I that says its ability to reason is infallible, that everything it reasons out with logic is bound to be true. If it is logical, it is true. If 2 plus 2 equals 4, then 4 equals 4. But it’s also just as logical but not true that if 2 plus 2 equals 7, then 7 equals 4. I believe that if a statement is logical that it must be true. That is a very common one and one that is hidden away behind a barrier that sometimes makes it difficult to see. Also there’s one that believes that as long as something is committed to memory from phrases or words from books that the I thereby knows the whole meaning of it. This is a continual suggestion to I to identify with an opinion, a viewpoint.
There are many, many more of these beliefs. It would be interesting to write down this week all the things that one finds one is saying, “I believe.” Write it down, then observe it and check it out and see if there is validity for that belief. If there is validity you no longer believe it, you are aware of it. If you believe it, it is from conditioning and you haven’t checked it out. So suppose that for this week we take as our practical application writing down all the things that start with “I believe.” Spend some time in digging into seeing what I believe.
This is an excellent work for I to observe the beliefs stored in the archives of the awareness, many of which will then react almost spontaneously or mechanically as long as there is a belief. We are not saying that these beliefs are all false, we are only saying that we can check them out. If we have a belief that is impossible to check out, then, of course, it is not a valid belief. We will park it amongst the unknowns and wait until some time, maybe, when there will be a way to check it out. But if there is a way to experiment with it we can find out if it is true or not by our own efforts by observing these beliefs. A belief is a poor substitute for experiencing. I may believe that there is a lost city somewhere but unless I go see I will only be operating on theory or hypothesis and I will not be using the ability of I to experiment. So for all beliefs we’ll write them down.
Possibly you can sit down and gather quite a bit of them all up at once and then as you go about your way you will be observing the self and it will pop out, well I believe this and I believe that and I believe the other. So we can see what the self believes. Then we can check those beliefs out and see if they have validity. This will keep you occupied.
You will also listen to the beliefs of others and you will observe whether they have any validity or not. This is to be checked out and to be verified if there is validity to the beliefs. Not much more valuable time could be spent. Lets check out the beliefs. The ones that can’t be experimented upon can be parked away among trivia. The ones that can be checked out we will check out. You will get one answer when you run an experiment, it’s either true or not, works or doesn’t work. That’s one wonderful thing about approaching things scientifically, there are no failures, there is always an answers. Yes, it’s true, no it doesn’t work, it is not true. This way we change beliefs either into experiments, something that has been experienced and known or something that can be discarded. This eliminates a lot of very cunning Not-I’s.
Write down all things which one says, “I believe” and see if they are valid. Have they come from experiments or experience?