Fall 2001 Archive
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It's been a hard day. Posted by John on October 26, 2001 at 20:24:28:
In Reply to: Repeat Performances Ad Nauseum posted by Bruce on October 26, 2001 at 11:57:41:
I dropped in here to class at seven this morning, and you still hadn't answered my questions, Bruce, and awhile later I went out on the town, faced
with some really thorny problems to handle, logistical problems (that term has a new meaning for me now, "eyeball to eyeball"). The over-all situation
around these problems appeared hopeless when I left. At least, I could see no solutions after more than a week now of trying to figure out what in
the heck to do, or how to deal with the people involved (and being sometimes quite anxious and depressed about the whole thing).
It was a day when I really needed to get my shit together. And I did. And even though the problems aren't all solved yet, as I sit here this evening
I'm amazed that this has been such a great day of victory for me. I got so much done! I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I can see how things
might turn out even better than they were before! (I'm trying to portray this "background" for tonight's class without wasting time on the details.)
And all through this hot October day, as I drove from this place to that, and sat in waiting rooms to see the people I had to talk with, my mind was
fixated on one topic. I was thinking, and *stewing* is the word for it, about this:
"I must have been crazy! How could I be so stupid? How could I do such a thing? I must have bummed the poor fellow out completely. How
insensitive and thoughtless of me! Bruce has just witnessed our *seniormost student* in the class go jumping on a block of ice to cool off after sitting in
the hot seat, bravely, for several days. And now I've expected Bruce to step right up next, and sit down there, in 'the light of a thousand candles,' as
Suz of the Northwoods described it once with her awe . . . . . the newest kid in the class??? How could I have done such a thing?"
And I was twisting in the wind. And that suffering I was doing was—get this, everybody!—totally SELF-INFLICTED. I had a fantasy. I believed
that fantasy. (Meanwhile, in the real world, along about noon, Bruce was posting those answers I had asked for, brilliantly so, speaking out from the
very get-go with a very strong can-do statement! "I'll answer the two questions you asked," he said! — And you proceeded with more of the truly
superb self-examinational sharings that you have been providing us with (there's a new insight for me in every few lines that you write!) all the way
along since you got here.
I've got news for you, Bruce. Heh-heh. You may *be* one of the smartest kids in the Universe. I say "one of" because there's always somebody that's
a little better that comes along. (Even Paul McCartney at the piano, winding up last Friday's concert, got upstaged when he called Eric Clapton out to
jam with him for some choruses of "Let it be." I don't think Eric ever played any sweeter licks in his life than he jammed there with old Sir Paul!
I've been feeling awfully smug about Classroom Talk lately, and then Jeff, the Great Balancer, came along with that link to Thich Nhat Hanh's website,
and I became so engrossed, for hours, in "Thay's" conversations with his students that are found over there (kind of like what we are all doing right
here, Folks!) I was overcome with admiration and love for the master's clarity. Oh, boy. I left Thay's site with a feeling that I was going to come back
over here and tell all of you students that we all ought to go over there to continue our studies. There's always somebody that's better, Bruce. But
there's room enough in the world for the best masterworks of all the rest of us, too. And there's room enough in this world for the best masterworks
If you'll stop making excuses, and just do it. ;-)
Meanwhile, back in my fantasy while out in the troubled world today, I blocked out a little training in my mind about what it is that each of the types is
resisting seeing the most. Remember that gestalt saying that what we need most to learn is what we resist seeing the most? I was wondering what
you made of that remark, Bruce. I remember students around here in the past who were afraid that what they were going to see when they finally
caught on to the make-up of their Self and their Being was that they would turn out to be some kind of a monster on the inside.
Once we catch on to the make-up of our Self and our Being, none of us turns out to be a monster inside. What we catch on to is that as we were
growing up we had a major mistaken idea about something. That's what these major insights turn out to be.
Dictators don't want to see that they are as controlling with other people as they are. Mistakenly, they hold the fixed idea that if they weren't in
control of things everything would fall apart. So, what else could they do? They may not realize they hold that idea, but they do.
Con Artists don't want to see that they are as aloof and unfeeling as they are in taking advantage of others. Usually, they come out smelling like a
rose, and being admired by many. Mistakenly, they hold the belief that their abilitities to manipulate others with their minds is the whole key to any
success that they may have in this life. They think they *have to* rise above conscience to have the life that is meant for them in this world.
Judges don't want to see that they hurt other people's feelings by re-arranging them, and they sometimes get other people to dislike them with the
vibes of their judgments, even though they always do that "for the other person's good!" Mistakenly, they believe, absolutely believe, that if they *
didn't* voice their judgments and re-arrange things right for everyone, the others would be hurt by the mistakes that are being made, and so would
they. Logic *has to* rule, they believe. Everything has got to be *right*! (My teacher Mits used to say to Judges, "Would you rather be right, or be
Rebels don't want to see that they can't get along with others because they always want to be different (whether it matters or not), and they refuse to
play anything anybody else's way if they can help it. Mistakenly they believe that being outrageously different, per se, matters more than anything
else, as a point of "beauty" to be preserved for one and all and defended at all costs (cf. "art for art's sake).
Doormats, well, let me save this one for last here, Bruce.
Believers don't want to see that being dependent on others entices others to take advantage of them, and gives away the great *energy* that they've
already got inside. Mistakenly they believe that the advice and security that others provide is better than the advice that they would come up with on
their own in providing whatever security is possible in their own way. And it never is. (Believers are the ones with the strongest true intuition. We
should all learn to pay attention to the hunches of believers.)
Martyrs don't want to see that manipulating others to love them doesn't work, only results in one painful relationship after another. The ones they
seduce aren't there because they flowed into it naturally, but because they were seduced or obligated into loving them. And that doesn't last.
Martyrs mistakenly believe that when you give love you're *supposed to* get loved back. When that doesn't happen . . . there's your "martyrdom!"
(Actually, when you give love expecting nothing in return, the result is supposed to be that you get to be a loving person, and eventually—even if it
takes a long time—being a loving person, the right lover will probably see that and be drawn to the person spontaneously and naturally. (Alas, boo-
hoo, there are no guarantees.)
The Kind Helper doesn't want to see that some of the kind help they have been giving isn't really wanted. The Kind Helper doesn't want to see that
people they give too much help to, or show too much worry about, begin to avoid them as a nuisance. The mistaken belief in this case is the very
plausible idea that helping others is more important than anything else, and it's best to provide help to other people whether they want it or not.
So it's not that we are monsters on the inside. It's just that we do these ego-driven personality things because we mistakenly believe it's for the best,
we mistakenly believe it's the only way to live. Asleep, and without being aware of our personalities, *all of us* human kind of folks simply . . . go too
far in our mistaken beliefs.
Doormats don't want to see that their low evaluation of their Beings is bullshit. This has become a convincing lifelong excuse to not do many things.
They don't want to see that. And, anyway, they think it's for the best, for everybody, because they "feel tired." But, it's just a made-up excuse not to
get out in the world and do the wonderful things that they *can do*—an effective excuse that they have believed in, with absolute certainty, ***despite
all evidence to the contrary****!
Would you like to succeed in your fondest dreams, Bruce? I'll bet you that there isn't a single classmate of yours in this class who doesn't already see
that you already *have it in you to do that*! You're the only one around here that doesn't know. ;-) You have an excuse. And I hope to have the
skills to show you how to see.
So . . . . . no monster in the closet for you, good Sir. The biggest consternation that Doormats usually have when they finally see through the illusion
of Doormatism is in being kind of bummed out that they didn't catch on a long time sooner that they weren't really unworthy or substandard, after all.
And that does hurt, but one gets over it after awhile. And then one can proceed in putting this good news into action.
And, in your case, my work ought to be pretty easy here, because there is such a collosal, momentous disparity between what you think about your
Self, and what you demonstrate of your true Being by your acts here in this classroom. I'm sure the others in class know just what I mean in saying
Love ya', Bruce. I'm *proud of you* for sitting in the hotseat this way. Good for you, Man! And this is not just a time of great potential learning for
you. There has been a sudden surge of renewed interest in these classes now. Our attendance (like everything else) took a beating after September
11th. But there have been noses poking into Classroom Talk more than a hundred times a day recently, to see what's going on. I think there's a lot of
good learning to be done now for one and all!
I think this is turning into a wonderful semester, Folks, and I think all of us are going to be having our minds blown, including me! But I do agree it
would be easier, and maybe better, too, if we could go a little farther with that logistical problem. I wish we *could* be doing this work face-to-face.
Yet . . . what can we do under the circumstances but make the best of it, as we can?
I don't care to get into too much of a hurry now with you, Bruce. And I notice you are traveling at a pretty fast clip (maybe a clue in that). It's way
after dark, I haven't eaten yet today, and I need to husband my strength. It's been a hard day (some of it harder than necessary because of my out-
in-left-field Doormat fantasies—heh-heh). In fact, I had a hard time getting my Self down here for this posting, coming home after the stresses and
strains of the day.
Here's another little exercise for Doormatism: I did ten minutes of *super resting*. I set a timer in case I'd fall asleep, and I lay down on a soft,
comfortable mat, and I got in touch awarely with my whole body on the inside, and I let it go, let it go, let it go, let it relax and expand outward as if
dissembling outward into a fog in the universe. That's a good way to get some power minutes of *sweet rest* in, in a short period of time, if
anybody'd like to try that out. And I *did* quickly regain enough vim and vinegar to come on down here and get this much of a class done here now!
Of course, as usual, I've got to work over the weekend at my other job. So next week, I'd like to do a series of maybe several classes on shame,
focusing first on many of the things you've had to say in your sharings along the way, Bruce, so we can review what that thinking mind of yours has
to say about your situation. . . . . and then focusing on your answers to my questions, which do seem to me to provide just the right clues for solving
the mystery of your personality make-up. Let's see if we can get some dialoguing going then next week on this.
You seem to have a *natural knack* for spotting all the little things in high relief that are the very most useful data in doing phenomenological
diagnostic work. You show good instincts for that. And your transparency about it is quite outstanding! My job is to try to show you how to make
profitable use of this well-selected data, if I can.
Ha! Today I was remembering my remark about "putting the pieces of the puzzle together," and fantasying that you might be taking that as meaning
that you were going to turn out badly when this exercise is done. I don't think so, Bruce. I think you're gonna be surprised and happy when you
have a clear sense of your very own direct experience that you know who you really are.
And . . . come on, for cryin' out loud! You can be proud about it, as I am proud of it, and others around here are proud of it, too, I'm sure! It takes *a
real Man*, *a real Woman*, to sit down with eyes open in this Classroom Talk hot seat on purpose! Be proud of it! You've *earned it*!
Three cheers for Bruce, everybody!!! Hip, hip . . . hooray! . . . Hip, hip . . . hooray!! . . . . . Hip, hip . . . hooray!!!
See y'all next week. Love y'all.
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