Understanding Tolerates Everything but Heroes
Audio = Stream from the arrow or download from the dots.
AKS/News Items = None
Summary = See Below
Excursion / Task = See Below
Diagrams = None
Transcript = See Below
Tape 217, Jul 17, 1986, runtime 2:05
Notes by TK
“Everybody is up to something” but the ordinary guru cannot comprehend his own behavior; cannot directly perceive and understand what he’s doing. Psychology calls this behavior compulsive–but ALL behavior is compulsive. Not to be compulsive requires a kind of tolerance, a distance/space/time in behavior for the necessary comprehensive understanding to be possible–i.e., for you “to be up to something”.
The Few have no heroes. To live on the Xross is a form of hero worship–everything depends on what someone else said/did. Need to expand, to increase your ‘tolerance’,your tempo in life, as well as Real Tolerance, triaxial tolerance.
The continuing question of “what more can I do?” Make Neuralizing your everyday state of awareness. Balance the inverted triangle–be physically aware of it and make it scan. Let things “speak for themselves”: an as-if internal neural hand-grenade. It must be DONE. Attempting doesn’t count. Attempting is binary success but triaxial failure.
Everybody requires an enemy. This is true at the ordinary, binary level for anything to happen/exist.The Few can get to a place where they literally have no enemies. But the next higher level then becomes: Everybody needs an enemy. Example of Jesus, et al. who had serious enemies–even seemed to seek out same. Remember that no foe = no action, no necessary contact with Life is effected. Consider TPS/enemy. But more is required than this after a certain level. What is Life up to with its constant, historical directive of “Love thine enemy as thyself”.
The fear of ending up with a “fake teacher”; how can there be any such thing? What is Life up to? What would be a ‘fake’–one that you gain nothing from. What would you do if you gained something, then found the teaching/guru to be a fake?
1:43–Epilogue re: sexual relationships in Group. You can’t let breakups ruin you for This Thing. If This Thing is not more important than anything else, then get out.
1:40 – TASK: Each day for 3 minutes, for a week, walk differently–just differently enough so that you know it’s different.
UNDERSTANDING TOLERATES EVERYTHING BUT HEROES
Document: 217, July 17, 1986
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1986
Occasionally, people have sent me questions about something they’ve seen or heard — usually by a contemporary writer, group, song writer, or other artist. Often, they’ll refer to a particular song or piece of writing which seems to parallel something they think I have said or written. Then their question is this: Is this person up to something?
Alright, that’s a fair question. It pops up in a sizeable amount once or twice a year. “Is so and so up to something?” The answer is this: everyone is “up to something.” But there is a catch — surprise, surprise! And the catch is this: no ordinary person can comprehend, directly, his or her own behavior, and that includes anything they may say. Even in a seemingly inspired creation.
This fact is beginning to be suspected at the ordinary level in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, where practitioners attempt to support the absolute existence of what they call “compulsive behavior.” As a rule in clinical or pathological psychology, “compulsive behavior” refers to action which is less than profitable — even self-defeating. But then, at the ordinary level, all behavior is compulsive. Artists, musicians and writers are not exempt, even when they seem to be talking about higher possibilities and other states of awareness. The most captious situation happens where the person seems to be using the same kinds of terminology that I am using, so therefore the question: Are they involved in some sort of secret activity? Something like This, maybe? Are they up to something? And I tell you again, everybody is up to something. But, if they are ordinary, then everything they’re saying — or painting, or singing — is compulsive behavior. It cannot be anything else. And everyone is ordinary at Line-level consciousness, where there is no direct perception or understanding of anything, including one’s own words and behavior.
For those who wish to rise to a direct understanding of things, here is a clue: find a place, through your own experience, where there is a tolerance in the machine. I use the word “tolerance” in two ways — in the sense of physical machinery, where tolerance implies a certain looseness which allows room for moving pieces to function — and also “tolerance” in the more common usage, in the sense of a certain looseness in the machinery of human interaction that helps grease the strain between individual human mechanisms.
Unless you can find and then live a kind of tolerance between you and the place where you are wired up and plugged into this living machine, then everything you do and say will be forced through from the needs of the greater system we all live in. You will not recognize that you are being forced, because the needs of that system include your perception of yourself as a relatively free individual; but forced you are, and thus, your behavior can only be called “compulsive.”
From that limited position, no matter how you talk, no matter what you write, no matter what songs you might conjure up based upon what you think I’ve said or someone else has said — you will never be able to directly comprehend your own behavior or thinking “inspired” or not — no matter how attractive it may seem to other people, no matter how “enlightened” it may seem. Unless there is enough tolerance for you to move, everything just flows out from the ordinary level without increasing your understanding or, intentionally, anyone else’s. Hence the old, old song many artistic people fall back on, “Well, I guess it’s just a gift of the gods.”
I pointed out at one time that if people knew what they were talking about, those saying creative arts were a “gift of the gods” would be giving a more precise description than by saying: “Oh, I created this wonderful thing because of all my years and years of study and work and contemplation.” If they understood, the first definition would lie closer to the truth. Not that there are “gods” out there whose job is to inspire artists and writers, but they are more accurate, at that level, to say: “I don’t know where this comes from — I guess it’s just a gift from the gods. Sometimes I sit down with my paints, and this stuff just comes out. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I sit down at the piano and nothing happens. Sometimes I sit down and write a complete symphony in an hour.” When such “inspiration” strikes, it may start out as nothing more than compulsive behavior — nothing new, nothing creative, just the ordinary workings of ordinary life — and then seem to evolve into something truly magical beyond your ordinary capabilities. But that still doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing, or how. It doesn’t mean you can produce it on demand. It appears that “something” is “up,” but you don’t know, directly and with real understanding, just what it is, or who or what is behind it. You just do it. You just follow it, and sometimes it may even seem to “take you to great heights” — but for someone who wants to understand the whole thing, that’s not enough.
All you have to do is recall your latest brush with a car accident to realize by what a thin thread your ordinary awareness hangs. Only when the flows of energy truly intersect in a crunch do you pop up and look around, wondering what happened. You didn’t actually see what happened. You aren’t very aware of your own behavior, and you certainly don’t understand it — otherwise how could you end up in such precarious positions? The best explanation Line-level consciousness can come up with, so far, is “subconscious dynamics,” which sometimes produce the psychologists’ definition of “compulsive behavior.”
In thinking about it, you may even fall back on the feeling that all your behavior must originate somewhere in your past or your environment: “In my childhood, or my mother, my father, the church, the culture, my economic position.” But if you have had enough skirmishes to scrape some of the paint off your front bumpers, you have a passing, personal surety that there are no such dynamics at work. Things simply happen and you are carried along — you might as well call it all compulsive behavior. Don’t limit yourself simply to case histories of people who seem “insane,” who have to wash their hands every thirty minutes or believe bugs are crawling on them, or they’re always hearing the phone ring. In the sense I’m using it, “compulsive behavior” applies to everybody, all the time, at Line-level consciousness.
Everybody’s “onto something.” But very few individuals rise above the ordinary level far enough to see the whole picture — and real understanding depends on seeing the whole picture.
If we took everyone in the world and melted them down and put them together into one person, you must see that you’d have all the viewpoints, all the possibilities. You’d even have what you like to call a “superior person, an enlightened person.” But that one person would be composed of the 4 billion humans on this planet. Now that person might be “onto something.” But individual people, seeing nothing more than their little part, comprise only fragments of a whole knowing — so you could say individuals are not onto much of anything.
As long as your part in this living machine fits so tightly there is no tolerance, then everything seems to revolve around you, while at the same time everything that happens, happens outside of you. Everything splits into “out there” and “in here.” Everything seems to have an immediate, predictable, inescapable effect on you, because you are tied tightly to everything and everyone else and you can’t move. Also, without a certain tolerance allowing some movement, everything you do seems to have an immediate, inescapable, and irreversible effect on others around you. Everything works together as a whole and, unknowing, you are caught in the proper movements of the entirety.
From this perspective, perhaps you can now see how there simply is no understanding until you have a kind of tolerance, a kind of quite physical distance, between you and the pinch rollers, the gears, the pulleys connecting you to the rest of the living machine — connecting you to all mechanical behavior, to all the compulsive behavior that is indistinguishable from your natural place and function in Life. To have something different, there has to be a certain kind of tolerance, a continuing tolerance.
Look at how you fit into this huge mechanism – the things that happen to you over and over, the people you’re with now, the types of people you’re always attracted to, the family you can’t get away from, the kinds of occupations and interests and hobbies you seem to have ended up in bed with. To escape the otherwise inescapable effects all these seem to have on you, you have to develop tolerance,or distance. According to your understanding, you can look at the whole mechanism and our possibility of tolerance as existing either in time, or in space. I’ve spoken about time before, more than once. By certain actions you directly take, you can interfere with your natural state and literally “give yourself more time” between apparent events, actions, thoughts. But whether you choose to work with time, or space, (in the sense of increasing your distance from where you are wired in) looked at from a real triaxial viewpoint, personally expanding either one to loosen the mechanical fit between you and “other” produces the sort of understanding only vaguely realized by the ordinary use of the word “tolerance.” In fact, the tolerance I’m talking about is the only real Understanding. You can’t have one without the other — otherwise all you have is blind, compulsive behavior.
Very, very few people can operate from anything other than their natural, limited position. If you could recognize those who do, I assure you, you would not have to carry around a little notebook to write down their names so you could keep everybody straight. I give you my word you won’t need any memory aids to help you remember who it was. It’s just too rare. It’s easier to just remember that everybody is involved with compulsive behavior, including those who talk like you think someone “onto something” would talk, and those who write or compose like think someone “onto something” would write or compose. They can’t help themselves any more than somebody sitting out in the bleachers in Chicago can avoid screaming, “Murder the bum. Hey, bring on a new pitcher, two beers over here please, and where’s the stupid ump?” I don’t say this to belittle anyone’s heroes in life. I don’t say this to discourage you from listening to music, looking at paintings, or reading poetry or philosophy or anything else. But if you still harbor notions that there are lots of people out there who are “onto something,” you’re wasting your time here. Sure they’re “onto something,” but what they’re onto is just a piece — maybe a temporarily inspired or elevated piece, but a piece just the same. A fragment of the whole. The only people who are truly “onto something” are those who can See the whole and, understanding it, move with some freedom. Only those people with true tolerance can be “tolerant,” because only they can move away from their mechanical patterns, their mechanical likes and dislikes, their natural inclinations to “tolerate” some things and “not tolerate” others. No one else truly understands anything, and to pay attention to them, for those who are serious about This, can only be an enjoyable, but temporary, hobby. Don’t make it more than that.
Once you begin to truly Understand, to make a distance, a tolerance, once your individual system goes through a kind of basic training for a division of the armed forces that has no insignia and no flag, you won’t have any heroes. There are no heroes. Even those you might justifiably look up to — those who really do understand more than you — wouldn’t encourage heroism, and neither should you. Any kind of heroism just perpetuates the “you/me” division that keeps you from Understanding. Your job is not to stay in one place by raising others on a pedestal, but to move with enough freedom that you can See. And when you can, you won’t look down on everybody else like the King of the Mountain. “Looking up” to heroes and “looking down” on inferiors both imply lack of understanding.
None of this is something I can prove to you; in fact, nothing is of any importance until you feel it yourself. When you’re operating at Line-level consciousness, where everything looks like a linear string of causes and effects streaming from the past into the future, you’re operating on the basis of a kind of hero worship, no matter what you say. You’re operating from the stagnation of your internal Partnership — your Partner points out opinions, whispers counsel, argues with you when you disagree with it, discusses with you what and who you like, don’t like, look up to and down on. It’s all hero worship, whether you go back to some religious prophet of your forefathers, some religious prophet you picked up in college while rebelling against your forefathers’ religion, some so-called guru, a sports figure, or a pop star that seems to consistently write songs that poke fun at the world in an apparently literate or poetic manner. There is a non-ending stream of hero worship in everybody. And you need to see it; it’s not any sort of weakness. I am aware of the fact that the way I’m describing it here, more men will recognize it in themselves than will women. But women can also apply what I’m saying, and a whole lot of them should have seen it apply, whether they would put it into words or not, to the good old macho crowd.
There is a continuing string of hero worship going on, no matter what or who you identify as “heroes.” It’s part of the feeling of being dissatisfied, it’s part of being unfinished, or feeling that you should be better, you should be more like so and so or do better at such and such. You think: “I should have been about six-foot-five, six inches bigger in the chest, three inches smaller in the waist, my nose should have been straight, my hair should have been black and wavier, and if I could just sing — if I had real talent, if I was sure of my… Well, hell, if I looked like that I’d be sure of myself anyway. If I had that, and then I had a little talent, too, I could just walk into a piano bar and say, ‘Uh, could you do “Feelings”,’ and then I would sing ‘Feelings’ and people would even enjoy it!”
I’m still trying to get my finger into a place here where you can follow me for a second to where this becomes very subtle and shadowy. When you begin to really Understand, when you can be conscious to any continuing degree above the ordinary line, you see there are no heroes. Remember that “having no heroes” is not a negative statement. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly become so smart that you realize that all the world’s heroes have feet of clay or something. I’m not trying to destroy the pleasant illusions of life or take away Santa Claus from your children. Its much more subtle: there simply are no heroes.
You can change your tolerance in the machinery of Life. It’s not immediately simple or easy. Five minutes here and there of trying little tricks to slow down time — it doesn’t matter how much, you see that you did make a difference. You’re no longer driven at the same tempo, you’re no longer driven with the same intensity by what seems to be going on out there, by what seems to be going on in the bowels of this living machine.
The other kind of tolerance I mentioned would be an additional dimension, in the ordinary use of the word “tolerance,” of saying someone is tolerant of other people’s opinions. But you should know that for most people there is a limit on that; that it can become compulsive behavior within itself. For most people’s limit of stretching tolerance, it would be like — maybe — an electric calculator giving credit to an old mechanically run adding machine for being more tolerant because every time somebody pushes his buttons and pulls the handle, it takes the old guy longer to make a noise. For most people, we’re still talking about relative compulsive behavior. But real tolerance would be based not on “giving people a little more credit,” but on understanding that those around you have no tolerance. They literally have no place to move, and thus, they are not responsible for their behavior in any respect. And more than that, real tolerance would include your understanding that you, too, in your natural, unaltered state, have no more room to move than they do.
So, real tolerance is not compulsive behavior. You cannot be tolerant in a mechanical way. If you think you can, all you have to do is have someone push you a little beyond your limits — and suddenly you’re not tolerant anymore. Just let someone say, “I hear you’re a tolerant person, but I’ve been watching you and you’re as intolerant as anybody else. There’s nothing tolerant about you. I’ll tell you what it is: it’s ignorance passing for tolerance. You’re just the same as all the other fools.” A good 60-90 seconds of that and you, the tolerant one, will want to punch the guy in the nose.
On to Subject Number Two. Those who have found value, great value, in what they’ve gotten from me, come eventually to another question: “Hey, I think maybe I’m in for this for life! This is what I’ve been looking for. I feel — no, I’m just sure — I’m just positive that you probably know what you’re doing, and that what you’ve got is what I want. And I believe I’ve already had an experience. I’m not going to say “mystical” because I know you’d make fun of that, but by god, I’ve had an experience and to use your words, I think my nervous system got ignited to higher levels, and I just know without any doubt that this is it!” Comma, or period. “But I can’t keep it going. Since it seems so great, and since you seem to be the source of it — I’m giving you credit for it anyway — hey, come on, tell me what I can do? I’ve already had a taste of it, I like it, I want it, that’s it — you win, I give up. Now tell me: how do I get it? How do I keep it?”
What you’ve had a taste of is what I have been calling Neuralizing — my simplest, most hard-wired-oriented description of being the ability to remember something without thinking about it. Those who have had a real taste of that and become addicted, do come to that further question: “How come you can’t tell me how to keep it up?! I told you already, I’ll give it everything I’ve got. Hell, I’ll give you credit for at least telling me about it. So you should know: how come I can’t keep it up?”
Well, here lie some more hints. Perhaps you’ve heard it said, maybe from some great philosopher, that when you’re in a mystical state, when you’re in the hands of the gods, when you have won their favor, or when you’re a true “Philosopher,” then…things “speak to you.” Well…the kinds of maps and descriptions that I draw out, do they speak to you? And all these mechanical noises, rumblings, backfires, and repetitious sounds that Life makes, what could the few get from these?
If you’re only listening with two ears, if you’re only listening with binary consciousness to what Life is saying, you’ll never hear anything new. Nothing will speak to you. All you’ll hear is repetition. But if you can listen beyond your own binary consciousness, then things do speak. But let me refine the term “speak.” By “speak” I don’t mean apparently mystical experiences that have been written about throughout the ages, of people saying that “the trees spoke to me of how they were the loving servants of our benevolent gods,” or, “the sky spoke to me of the limitless possibilities of the human spirit,” and, “the little waters and the fishes spoke to me,” blah, blah, blah. I mean something different. What eventually happens through this kind of activity, is that something seems to speak internally, as opposed to imaginings of things “out there” speaking or appearing in metaphors. You begin to have what you might describe as “yellow flashes.” In short, you begin to perceive more directly, to know more directly. Whatever comes through to your awareness comes through so simply and directly, it is as though it were speaking to you. The other kind of “speaking” that mystics and philosophers make so much of usually consists of either reiterating the mysteries of humans being human (“I’m scared… help me…life is standing on my foot”) or, a temporarily more direct perception that produces a “high” which can’t be repeated and can’t be accurately described either.
I am describing “speaking” to you much more accurately, provided you are listening with more than two ears. I’m not talking about voices, either from your own inner world or imagined from the surrounding trees and masses of people. I’m talking about your own individual Understanding — and remember that understanding, and Seeing the whole, and Perceiving Directly — are all the same thing. I haven’t really left my first subject yet; you just think I have. What I’m talking about is where you feel as though someone threw a mental hand grenade into your brain and you Know — not just what someone says, but what he means. You just heard a description of the local news. And it occurred alright, the same way that shadows follow people around at high noon. But the dissemination of the news gives you shadow food, not the substantial food of the person leading the shadow around. You won’t learn much about the act of sex watching the shadows of people doing it. There has to be a dimensionally adequate perception, if not participation, in order to get something solid and tasty from anything you look at. That, I suggest to you, is the updated version of “things speaking to you.”
You can’t perceive in full dimension, you can’t hear with more than two ears, without a tolerance which allows you to move away from your own mechanical behavior. But you have to loosen the bonds of your own mechanical responses first. Once you do that, tolerance arrives as a side effect. You don’t earn tolerance, you don’t practice it, you can’t try to be tolerant. You actually have to do something to change your fit in the order of things: trying, like everything else in the true triaxial world, doesn’t count.
“Trying,” despite the ordinary world’s fondest hopes and dreams, wins no medals here. Seekers are failures. From the viewpoint of This Thing, all binary successes and binary failures alike, are successes. It all fits the bill. But for being here, you cannot attempt to be tolerant, you can’t attempt to love everyone else, you can’t try to be a better person…unless you’re satisfied to engage for the rest of your life in ordinary compulsive behavior. And then…why bother with this?
Twist this subject of “trying” and “failing” a little and you will see something else. Part of compulsive behavior, part of being ordinary, part of being in a position to believe everyone may be “onto something,” is that we do (“do” — UNDERLINED –) try. We try, we fail. That’s it. For most people, that’s all there is. Therefore, within that viewpoint, trying is success. Remember that at Line-level consciousness, nothing you try, no matter how well wired you are for it, will satisfy you. Life hints at this over and over through various people: the richest man in the world is never rich enough, the most famous artist has nightmares of inadequacy, the best playwright says, “Aw, shucks, yeah, I just won the critics’ award but hey — compared to Shakespeare, I’m just doing dog stuff.”
Such “humility” on the part of ordinary humanity is not some sort of sham. It’s the way Life has wired humans to be. If you don’t like my examples, just look at yourself. All someone has to say is, “Boy, I say that cabinet you built is great! And that car. Wow! And…” Think back. Why do you immediately say, “It’s nothing. You should see what so and so did, it’s so much better.”? There you have success on the binary level. I have warned you, in the reality of a trinary existence, that even here, only a few people can survive. Where are you going to turn? How do you know whether you’re succeeding or not? All I can say is, you will know. Starting out, the only way you can be tolerant toward others is to find and then create a gap in the machinery you’re plugged into. But you’ll never find tolerance if you continue to move at the same speed as you always have, and respond to the same kinds of stimuli with the same degree of intensity. When you die all your friends will say you’re an ordinary failure, but in reality, you’ll be an ordinary success. You’ll have filled your ordinary position and role in Life admirably. On the contrary, should you move up a level, beyond the binary world, there will be nothing to say. There you will be in the world of heroes, surrounded by ordinary heroes, and you’ll have no way to say whether you’ve succeeded or failed, and no one will be able to see whether you’ve succeeded or failed. I’ll repeat: You will know. You’ll be the one having the flashes… but no one else will know, because unless they’re also playing Life on that level, they can’t see what you’re doing…and besides, there will be precious little you’ll be able to say about any success on that level.
Subject Number Three. Or, still Number One, if you’re listening with three or four ears. Everybody needs an enemy. Those of you who have been exposed to This for some time will be aware that I have often pointed out a general sort of tension in and around everything. I could use many descriptions, such as hostility, anger, stress…but I’d like to urge you on to a new level of looking at this all pervasive phenomenon as a kind of tensile strength which holds things together and gives them life. It’s the blush in Life’s little cheekies. Among people, it goes under many names, all the way from love to hate, and a lot of things between and strung along the sides; but, it always constitutes a force of tension in the relationship between people. Just look at this a little: what ordinarily people call “love” and what people ordinarily call “hate” — both admirably hold together the stability of a relationship. Both give it body, give it dimension, give it what I am calling “tensile strength.” But people attempting to do This Thing cannot loosen themselves from the tight fit of their heredity place in Life and simultaneously maintain the tension between themselves and others that serves to hold them there. In short, you can’t be a hostile maniac and expect to accomplish anything Here.
Yet, everyone needs an enemy. At the binary level, it would be more truthful to say that everyone requires an enemy. Going back to my descriptions of the Three Forces in Life, let me remind you that nothing moves, nothing ever gets done, without the cooperation of all Three Forces — or, to bring it down to a simpler level, nothing gets done without some opposition. This fact not only operates on the mass level, and on the sub-particulate level, but also on the level of the individual human. Individuals, to operate on the binary level, absolutely require an enemy.
Now, let me take this idea of “enemy” to still another place. Let’s suppose that you have evolved so far that you have become what you might call a “saint.” You have so much tolerance that you don’t hate people, you don’t react negatively no matter what anyone else says, you simply understand things as they are. You see the benefit in even seemingly negative things: for every building, trees must be cut down and animals run off the land; for everything binarily appearing to be destructive, you see that destruction as simply one leg of a new triad where something constructive is also going on. Now “saint” is just a word, a binary description. But perhaps you have truly been shaken up by such activities as these here, to the point where you cannot any longer take in certain kinds of food, physical or otherwise, and can no longer offer yourself with the rest of humanity as an ordinary acceptor or convertor of certain common forms of energy such as anger, hostility, and so on. So, for argument’s sake, let’s say you’ve reached the point where anyone would say you’re walking the same sort of path as Buddha, Moses, or Jesus. But do you realize, if you’re talking about having enemies, those suckers had real enemies! We’re not talking about somebody in your apartment complex that complains because you play your stereo too loud; we’re talking serious, life threatening enemies. I could take this even further and hint to you that if you look carefully, you could almost say such apparent historical “saints” went out their way to find enemies!
No? Look. Weren’t they about to turn Socrates loose? Didn’t they do everything but say, “Hey, just nod when we tell you to nod, and when we ask, ‘Are you sorry you did it?’ just say ‘Yeah, I am,’ and everything will be fine, and we’ll all go out drinking in an hour or so.” But what did the man do? He pissed everybody off! Look at Moses, and how much trouble he had. Look at Jesus — Jesus is just a variation on the Socrates story. With him they just about did everything but say, “Look, don’t even talk, just relax your head a little and when the big guy asks you a question, you just relax here a little and we’ll hold your head and shake it yes or no for you at the appropriate moment. Okay? Just relax, okay?” But he didn’t. Instead, it’s as though he tensed up and resisted everything they were trying to do to get him off the hook. Then there’s Mohammed. Talk about looking for an enemy! In a pique of boredom he says, “Hey, why don’t we go out and conquer the world? We’ll go out and enlighten everybody, and anybody who doesn’t want to be enlightened, why, we’ll just kill them. So, the population goes down a little — think who’ll be left, what nice neighbors we’ll have!”
Back to you, here and now. Everybody, you included, needs an enemy. At least one, though there are probably more. If you move away from an enemy, or if he or she suddenly dies, you will keep picking up variations on that enemy. There is always someone who rubs you the wrong way. You may laugh when you mentally compare your trials and tribulations over the man who hates you for playing the stereo too loud, to the trials and tribulations of Moses or a Jesus — but it’s not funny when that neighbor is yelling at you. It’s never funny when you’re involved in it — otherwise it wouldn’t perform its proper function of tensile strength, of enemyness — in the relationship. For the twenty-seventh time in the last three weeks, there’s that knock on your door, and your stereo’s not that loud, and it’s Friday even! And it’s not funny. It’s very serious. At Line-level consciousness, it’s meant to be very serious. You should understand by now that your Partner takes such things very seriously. After all, enough is enough. Maybe you should just give in to it and go ahead and trash his apartment, or put sugar — hey, how about potato slices? — in his gas tank, or maybe you should just go ahead and kill him. After all, you’ve got a right to live, too. You should realize by now how easily the Partnership can discuss such things inside.
All enemies are not so obvious. There’s also a sort of ever-present background noise going on all the time, a vague, but discomforting radiation of enemyness that could be binarily attributable to many sources: your parents, a relative, a past friend, a religious figure, something going on in your culture. So perhaps you can see that, to put it mildly, everybody has an enemy; everybody needs an enemy.
Again, let me try to move this to another level, from the level of “everyone requires an enemy” to the level of “everyone needs an enemy.” If you are involved in This, you can move past the point where you require an enemy: you can move into a Yellow Circuit awareness such that you do not seem to require an enemy in order just to walk around and live. Then you come to the point where you need an enemy. This is not as theoretical as it may sound. You may no longer mechanically require an enemy. But you now need something which will fulfill that role for you in some way: remember that nothing can move or stay alive without opposition, without something to give the situation “tensile strength.” There has to be opposition, so you may as well call that opposition, your enemy. I realize you may be thinking this state of “grace” is a long way off, but listen anyway; this higher need for an enemy is not theoretical, but is within the immediate or possible future for those of you who are truly serious about This.
It’s a serious question, this question of “enemy.” Look back at those historical “saints” for a moment. You might say, “I mean, even I, with my phoney-baloney brain, could have gotten out of those ridiculous situations! Look at them. If they were so great, how come they all got in those positions where they put their lives in their mortal enemies’ hands? Huh? How did they get there anyhow?” Look clear and hard. There’s more to it than people usually see. You know what you’d say; you’d say, “Hey, sure mister, nothing to it, I’m sorry, it was all a mistake,” and you’d go home scot free, and they could think whatever they wanted, and you’d do whatever you wanted out of their sight, and nobody would get hurt. Right? Do you think those people were so stupid they couldn’t see that as an option? So, why did they resist? Why did they go out of their way to look for enemies? Because they were stupid? Or because they were smart on another level?
Remember, with little foe, there is little action. With no foe, there is none of the necessary contact with Life itself. As I said, for some of you, this is not a theoretical question, but a very real and substantial one. Many of you no longer feel the same kind of automatic hostility that held you together for so long, that gave you a sort of “life” within life. And now, some of you begin to feel a sort of boredom, and you wonder how, if you’ve actually evolved your circuitry higher in Life, you could feel bored. The answer is that, right now, in this time zone, you need an enemy, because through your own efforts, you have again come, on a higher rung of the merry-go-round, to need something to push off against.
Ah! But here’s the trick: there always is an enemy. You’re never without an enemy. On the ordinary level, there is your compulsive behavior, your uncontrollable deep, dark subconscious, your terrible childhood, your temper, your aggression towards women, your general dislike for everybody, your laziness — mostly whatever you see whenever you look at yourself from Line-level consciousness. Try to Neuralize, to picture without thinking about it, what if, all of a sudden, all this terribleness about you were taken away? What if, suddenly, you really were okay? I assume that, no matter how you think your Partnership would sigh with relief, you do realize you might feel something was a little fishy about such a seemingly auspicious situation? Would it be possible for someone to be in a terminal state of laid-backness? Could one mellow to death? Could one be so tolerant that when one dies he sort of slides underneath the door of Life’s bathroom, never to be seen again?
If a thing is to live, it has to have opposition, it has to have enemies. If it is alive enough to be perceived by large segments of humanity, to be talked about, it absolutely must present itself in a binary fashion — which means it has both a following and an opposition. It must have an enemy. You may not have thought out this need for an enemy just on an ordinary level far enough. In order to have an opinion, you have also to be against something that doesn’t fit within your opinion. All religions must have a devil to stand against their god, or there is no religion. No one could strive to “do better” without there being an opposite, a “not doing better.”
So here is the situation: you get to the point where you don’t have to have an enemy in order to just exist; and yet, you realize there is no action without an enemy. So where’s the enemy? Who’s the enemy? Dumb people? Ignorance? The low level of ordinary consciousness? Those aren’t my enemies. If they were, this would be no more than a religion. It would again divide into friend and enemy; I’m right and you’re wrong. But this is not a religion. So, in This, what would be the enemy? Well…in the beginning the enemy is you. Then the day comes when that is not sufficient. Then what? Then perhaps This Thing must become public. Then perhaps I must conjure up an enemy for us. There will have to be one, even if we make one up, and if I make one up, it will be real enough. I assure you that there was more to the real story of the betrayals and trials of the old “saints” than can ever be publicly reported. Compared to this, does not Lewis Carroll sound like Julia Child? Doesn’t Alice in Wonderland sound like a travelogue for Des Moines, Iowa? You say, “Here I am, I’ve been working all this time to become a more tolerant person, a forgiving person, a person with deep insight. I’ve got to get past the point of all enemies, and now you tell me I’ve got to produce them.” Well, okay. If that’s too much for you, stick around and I’ll do it for you. You might not like it any better, but I can do it, and will, should it become necessary. Perhaps I won’t just produce one enemy for you, but one for all of us (that’s known in the biz as a “blanket enemy”).
Let me back up here for a second. For many of you, you have already experienced the feeling that comes when you, even temporarily, get past the absolute need for required enemies. It may be the first really deep breath you take. Suddenly, you realize no one is your enemy. Remember, this is not the same thing as, “Hey, I love the world.” “I love the world” is nothing — don’t forget, all you’ve got to do is kick that guy and he’ll forget his “love” and try to strangle you. But when you understand that you have no enemies…even if someone came up and physically kicked you, you would understand that bit of compulsive behavior as well as any you’d ever cooked up. You might even feel like, “Hey, look me up next week when I’m not feeling so good, and I’ll give you the kickback of a lifetime.” It’s not that similar behavior, or retaliation, is unfamiliar to you. It’s that the air breathes so pure because, right now, you have no enemies. Nothing is inherently unUnderstandable.
But there comes the time when that deep breath is no longer enough. To go further, you have to have something to push against. You have to find or make an enemy. Action requires that you do so. If you don’t have an enemy you’d better try to become a monk, or a hermit, or a Maytag repairman. Everybody else needs one. Here’s a good place to start — Consider this: if Life, in order to move, needs opposition, how come it keeps putting out messages that one should have no enemies? If you want to see how much dumber “D” is than “C,” look at how “C” realizes that enemies are necessary, and that it must conjure them up if there are no more. That’s more than “D” would understand, any day.
I’ll back up to Subject Number 1.5. Another thing people occasionally write me about is their fear of “fake teachers.” You may have even had your bags packed and your ticket to go all the way to some faraway land, and then you stop and think, “Hey, but what if this guy I’m going to see is just a fake?”
Think for a moment. Just what is a “fake” teacher, a “fake” teaching, or a “fake” religion or philosophy? Okay, second’s up. Would not a “fake” be something that promises but doesn’t deliver? Something that says you can be more than you are now, but somehow you never get to be more? Well, from that viewpoint, all religions and philosophies are fakes, are they not? Aha! Here comes the rub. Ordinarily, you never take the responsibility for your success, but you do take the responsibility for your failure. Thus, you worry that some “fake” teacher will cheat you, but you excuse your past teachings, established religions, etc., for failing by calling yourself a failure. Therefore, the gods aren’t fake, it’s just that you didn’t try hard enough. Always, for failure, you must blame yourself. Should you not also take the responsibility for your own possible success, for your own Understanding? Then in that case, what is a “fake” teacher, a “fake” teaching? If you’re responsible for learning what can be learned, what relevance does “fake” or “true” have to do with it? Yet this fear is very common. What is life trying to do here?
My fictitious, reasonably insane man would have one answer. Anything is fake if it does not benefit you know who. Such a man is not a humanitarian. He cannot be. He cannot afford to be, and still do This. Nether can you. He, and you, may end up much closer to the public definition of a humanitarian, but you won’t get there by worrying about whether such and such a “teaching” is fake or real for everybody in general. If you learn something, if you See something, then you learn it; you See it. You take responsibility. You may hear that a particular teaching was a fraud from the beginning — but if you got something real from it for yourself, then you may have a much better idea of what is “real” and what is “false” than does ordinary humanity.
There is another angle to this last issue of fake and true: if a person actually applied himself to anything for six, eight, twelve months, he would get some benefit out of it. Even if you found out later it was a fake — so? Then what are you going to do with all the benefits you’ve also received? Throw them away? I ask again. What is a “fake”? There is the story about the teacher who comes in one day and announces to all his students, “Well, the gig’s up. I’m really just a fake. I made it all up. I’m sorry, but I have to confess, it’s all been just a fake.” And one of his students says, “Hey, it’s too late — I’m almost enlightened!”