Re Talk: 207
Diagram # 079 illustration
I am going to change the subject a bit. All of Man’s so-called vices can be seen as an attempt to expand the “+” in my equation, I + NOT I = Everything. Life is arranged in such a way that many people seem to have a craving to pursue one vice or another, such as the use of caffeine, nicotine, recreational drugs, and alcohol. Life is also arranged so that at any one time, there exists an equal number of people who unconditionally condemn both the vices and those who pursue them. Vices can be seen as a means to distance one’s self from the apparent NOT I; from the energy external to oneself. Any so-called vice fits this description, no matter how small or personal.
The world can be divided into two big groups of people. One group seems to be driven by the desire to seek approval from others. The other group seems to be driven by the desire to avoid disapproval from others. Persons driven to seek approval can be identified by the way they dress, act, and speak, by the volume at which they talk, by the way they stand, by the way they check themselves in mirrors. They’ll do things that obviously indicate that they are seeking approval from the NOT-I’s, so that the NOT-I’s will pass them back the same kind of energy. It can be seen just as clearly that the members of the other group seem to be almost immune to the possibility that other people might approve of them. But all it takes to get the attention of someone in the latter category is for somebody to give them a gesture of disapproval — suddenly they come alive. They seem to be driven by some inexplicable need to avoid any disapproval.
One of your first great brushes with freedom lies in attempting to act as though you belong in the category to which you are not genetically native. For some people that’s just astounding. The condition of being driven by the desire to seek approval or to avoid disapproval is genetic and has its basis in your molecular structure — your own biochemical reality. In all of humanity, this produces a transfer of energy from apparently dominant personalities to apparently more submissive personalities; from people who seem to be hot to people who seem to be cold; from people who seem to be born leaders; to those who seem to be natural followers.
The first breath of freedom comes when you realize, “I’m wired up to avoid disapproval”. You then take the matter in hand and begin to do The Act. Now you’re getting somewhere. It is nothing like “you” because “you” normally stand around in your own internal voices criticizing the people whom you are now imitating. And, by the way, there is no basis to the fears that you will be “found out”. People have so little room to maneuver, ordinarily, that even if your act were perceived, it would be perceived by someone only for a split second, and then forgotten.
You simply put on an act and thereby reverse the flow of energy that seems to be your ordinary self. You do it and realize that no one even notices it! You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. You fake it in the other camp and find out that no one can see what’s going on; you find out that it does not matter. You find out that neither group is an imposition to the other — you discover the absolute, non-personal nature of everyone’s attitude.
You cannot go wrong by faking it. By doing that which you are not prone to do, you discover that in every situation, at the ordinary level, there is a binary structure; “me” versus “them”. All you have to do is move from one binary position to the other and you will go into a precarious slide. Except for this: it’s the only slide in the world which goes up, which is delightfully frightening. To begin to realize that you can slide uphill — we’re talking about serious fright. To be in either camp is neither better nor worse, but to be able to switch camps leads to a taste of freedom. JC talk 207