Not to worry. Posted by John on July 15, 1998 at 14:55:47:
In Reply to: Brief Response posted by Deirdre on July 15, 1998 at 06:53:25:
Your question is very pertinent, and reasonable. But, not to worry.
None of you students will ever have to worry about whether your participation in this class is a "burden" on the ol' coach . . . . . except, wha'd'ya'know? Except, if coach "lays a guilt trip" on you. Oops, sorry. "Playing catch-up with Deirdre's comments." That *does* seem to put a burden on you in a subtle way, doesn't it?
Oh, my life is so hard. I've got so many big burdens. You *should* help me out. (Stuff like that.)
I didn't look at it that way (in composing that title). I was looking at the exhilirating challenge of it, and the sheer fun of "playing," in the spirit of the awareness game. -- "against all odds," so to speak.
But there are some little tinges of guilt tripping in general, lying around in certain things I've said, as I look back on our conversations, that is, remarks that may have gotten you to take on a feeling of burden and responsibility about the outcome of this site.
It's kind of you to give your self to that, if so you do. You seem solicitous, and lookin' out for me, and for the site. I'm grateful for that. Yet, it seems to have come from the virtual reality part of our relating. It isn't really necessary--from my side of the question. And, in a sense, I can see how I might have "brought it on my self" with things that I've said (or, "set my self up for it," or, "played to that").
When I share with the class that I am exhausted at a given moment, or dealing with intense desert heat, or other such things, I am attempting to give you "live glimpses" of the reality of my daily experiences, however it happens to be at the time. It is done for "realism" in our "virtual classroom," for letting you know me as I just am at that time, as you would ordinarily "get to know" a teacher somewhat in an actual classroom.
I guess you could say it is an "artistic effect." Yet the tone of it may still reflect my personality. It may be what some people refer to as "kvetching," general complaining about this and that, which has the effect of emburdening other people who overhear such remarks. The gist of it is in the idea that "you should feel guilty because I'm having such a hard, hard time"--something like that.
We all may do a certain amount of this kind of "obligating" expression, complaining about the weather, the boss, the kids, whatever . . . The sense of it is that it is like asking other people to feel sorry for us, and *do something about it*. It happens in the realm of shadow, usually unnoticed, yet subliminally causing some mild amount of guilt response in the other person. "I should . . ." or, "I shouldn't . . ." the other person may think.
"I shouldn't be doing all this sharing. It may be interfering with the 'lesson plan,'" so to speak, might be an example of that.
There will be many better (more vivid) examples of "the guilt trip" (and, unfortunately, the fact that guilt trips "take") in the Playground, when we are studying the manipulations that people unconsciously do while asleep in the virtual reality of ordinary everyday life. There, as here, we will have opportunities of picking up on these behavioral phenomena in our own sleeping behavior in our postings.
The guilt trip is just one of many interesting phenomena of human behavior that can be studied out, in the same way we have been studying out the ego recently here. I do it. You do it. We all do it, now and then. Of course, the "goal" here, with study and practice, is seeing it before it happens. But again, as we will often see, we weren't awake in that moment . . . and yet, at least, we can understand. And, little by little, here and there, we can begin seeing it *while it is happening*, and then, sometimes, even before.
As far as I'm concerned, your participation, as is, has been just fine, Deirdre. How could I ask for other? The proof of the pudding is that good students always bring out the best in teachers. It's an essential organic part of the process. And I can *see* that your participation has done that here.
You cannot be "every student." No one can be that. You can't be a "novice," for instance. You have to be who you are, as you arrive. I was a little concerned at first that you weren't asking me questions out of the beginning classes. (I don't even know if you've read them.) But, as it gradually came to light that you are already an awarenesss practitioner, and then, that you studied with Dr. Tart (and were at his Tucson III workshop--imagine that! I didn't know!), I felt more and more reassured in "getting to know you" that you didn't need to go back to beginning classes again, and that you would be ready for the advanced awarenesses classes that your excellent questions were so pointedly about . . . if you liked it.
This is like an old-fashioned country school, where all the grades are in the room together. I like working on the different parts of the curriculum every week. I get a little done over here. I get a little done over there . . . . . spontaneously, as it suits me ("as the Spirit moves me," as they say)! Our conversations resulted in many helpful ideas for the development of that piece on "I experience," as well as the "Kinderegolessness" class, and even was present in my context as I was composing the third basic class, "Kinderspace." So it's all grist for the mill for me. And you've been doin' your part just fine.
On the other hand, I encourage you not to feel "obligated" in the part you play. Try to be here in class only when you feel like it. If you find you don't feel like it, play hookie! At least, don't let my appreciations for the part you have been playing, put you in a position of feeling "responsible" for the outcome of things at this site. If I, inadvertently, through praise, and/or "kvetching" make you feel guilty about your participation here, in any way, then it's just like that kindergarten you went to a long time ago, all over again.
But then, I'm just being human, too, and not always aware of the effects that things I say off the cuff may have on other people. It's just a part of life that people are this way, then and now. We live in a world of virtual reality. Yet this is only a part of the overall life that we can observe and study by practicing mindfulness.
And, not to worry. We can look such things over just for the fun of it, for the interest alone. Yet it is not your part to be responsible for the outcome of this site. That is mine alone. And I don't find that so burdensome, either--not inherently, at least. The question is only about how much burden I put upon myself about it. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and take it easy, and keep remembering that whatever I do is "enough," and aiming at the parts of it all that I find on my "true self compass" that I like to do the most. And I've been doing that. I get a little more done every day. This is a great time for me in my life. The wind is in my sails. For awhile, at least, the "signs" are all so good.
I'm getting invaluable *practice* here, coaching this class. "Against all odds," I'm getting to see that I *can do* it. This bird can *fly*. There doesn't have to be any other outcome than this! And whatever else does keep coming along of this flight is "all just gravy for me," as they used to say. So the question is solely if *you* are getting what you are looking for out of it.
It occurs to me that I may have put certain pressures on you by asking your advices about how to handle various "communications problems" of this project. I hope not. I wouldn't want to cheat myself of your HOs, which always provide solid feed-back.
The truth is, *I don't know* what is the best way to do this site. I'm only tryin' to find out as we go along. You've been helpful in that. I'm open to discovery. I'd be glad to have feedback on this from others, too.
There may be others who have browsed on by here and looked at Classroom Talk and said "these considerations are too advanced for me," (or whatever). And if they don't happen to read the introductory classes, or bother to go into the basic classes and *do* those exercises with awarenesses, then they may not be interested at all. Even if that's the case, I don't see not going ahead and *doing* the classes *that are happening* in this old-fashioned country school. Do you? That wouldn't seem to be "flowing with the Tao," would it? Would that be "stepping ouf of Fate and into Destiny?"
And I don't see that curtailment of your participation would be a measure for improving things in any way . . . . . unless, as noted above, my casual remarks have unwittingly been laying a trip on you, and you feel over-burdened with responsibilities about this site.
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