WHAT’S GOING ON? #99 November 2002
ALONG THE WAY:
I will ask myself, “What am I doing?”
THIS MONTH’S THOUGHT:
If you really want to be in a struggle, make sure you do the RIGHT thing.
WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK? (Excerpts from a talk by Dr. Bob Gibson)
Is public opinion an idol? How do we place it as ‘what will people think?’ Is that our great god? Would you be controlled and change your course of conduct any by being concerned with ‘what will people think?’ “What people will think is quite an idol.. How many people change their whole course of action based on ‘what will people think?’ We’re beginning to find the name of our favorite god–the one in which we stand in awe of. Is this the name we give the most power? ‘What will people think?’ How much tribute do we pay to it? ‘What will people think’ earns the waiters and waitresses much of their income.
‘What will people think?’ Does this control our actions? Does it keep us in line? Is it one excellent way to control people? We honor this god. We are idolaters all day long. W have become totally in bondage to ‘what will people think?’ What are we giving power to and what are we serving? What do we feel guilty about most of the time? Does that god ‘what will people think?’ make us feel guilty. It is a monster at making us feel guilty. Do you want to keep on worshiping that god?
Do you remember the story about the Kings clothes? It tells how our god came into being. Each of us made our god and this is how it came.
Over in one of the old countries when they had more or less the feudal system, three men came into town and announced that they wanted to rent a shop. So, they got a shop rented and they told the landlord that they were weavers. They had some looms and they brought them in and set them up. They brought in bundles, seemingly. But when they opened them nobody saw anything. And they kind of passed the word that they were a special sort of weavers—that what they wove, if you were good enough for your position, you could see it. But if you were not good enough for your position in the community, you could not see the cloth they wove. So they sat at their looms and turned away and all the people would come by and they would see these empty looms turning. They had already heard this little story that if you couldn’t see it, it was because you weren’t fit for your job. And after all, the god of that day was also named ‘what will people think’, so they couldn’t say, “there is an empty loom.” So they said, “What beautiful cloth.” Because they had to serve their god, pay tribute, do homage to him. Pretty soon the word trickled up to the castle and the king heard about it. He said, “Now, that’s interesting. I want to see that. Now it’s just possible that I’m not fit to be king. And I sure wouldn’t want that to leak out.” So he thought a while and said, “I’ll find the old prime minister who was prime minister to my father. If any man in the kingdom is fit for his job, he is.” So he called him in and said, “Go down and see about this cloth that these weavers are making.” And he told him about how it was such wonderful cloth that if a man was fit for his position he could see it and if he was not, he couldn’t see it. So the prime minister got down and looked in and went in to the place and the humble weavers bowed and welcomed him and said, “Come see. Here is this pattern and here is this one over here on this shelf.” The old prime minister adjusted his glasses and said, “My god, I don’t see anything. But I mustn’t let anybody know. What will people think?” His god immediately demanded obedience. So he began to see the cloth. And he raved about it. He said, “I must bring this story to the king.” He tore back up the hill in great trepidation and great fear lest anybody suspected that he didn’t see the cloth. He went in and told the king a glowing report that this was the most beautiful cloth he had ever seen. Such textures and colors he had never seen in all his life. So the king finally got up his nerve and went down. And lo and behold, he didn’t see nothing. But his god wouldn’t allow him to say he didn’t because his god said, ’what will people think?’ He had to say he saw the cloth. So he ordered a complete wardrobe. And, of course, the weavers would demand a little extra money for gold thread and some more for this. They would say, “Isn’t this beautiful with this brocade gold. Pearls on this one woven right into the cloth.” The king would go down and admire it. Finally they got the fitting. “Take it in a little bit right there.” He ordered this complete wardrobe. He decided to really put it on good. He decided to have a parade to show off his whole new uniform, his whole new wardrobe. So they stood him up on the front of a big carriage. The king is standing there in his drawers going down the street. Everybody was saying what wonderful clothes. Doesn’t our king look wonderful? There was one little brat standing down beside the car kept hollering, “Hey, the king ain’t got no clothes on?” The kid was a reprobate. He wouldn’t recognize the god.
I haven’t paid homage to that god for quite awhile. But isn’t this the god that controls us all under many forms? We maintain we see the truth of all sorts of things because what would people think if we didn’t see them? What would people think if we didn’t agree with them. We can pull our agreement away from any given explanation. Let’s see if we can quit worshiping this idol. At least you can see what you’re doing. It takes a little courage, a little “so what.” How many of us can, this moment, say, “I will do what is see as fact, true, without regard to ‘what will people think?’ See what you’re doing every moment. Be very conscious. See that you are an idolater. All we’re talking about is being more conscious. You’re consciously aware that you’re an idolater serving a god called, ‘what will people think?’ Would you be more conscious than you’re ever been in your life? That would be a higher form of being. To be aware you’re doing it is to be conscious and somewhat awake.
A STORY: We’ve all heard the phrase, “I buy things I don’t need with money I don’t have to impress people I don’t like.” Hmmmm.
I’ve been watching how much of my behavior is controlled by “what will people think”. So I came up with a list of questions I ask myself.
- Do I pretend to agree with someone, even though I don’t?
- Do I worry about what I wear to avoid being disapproved of?
- Do I say “yes” when I mean “no”?
- Do I leave a bigger tip when someone may be watching?
- What am I doing?
- Do I stretch the story to put myself in a good light?
- Do I drop impressive names or places for effect?
- Do I shift my position in a conversation to gain approval?
- Am I thoroughly honest or am I kidding myself and others?
- Is my behavior based on what I ‘should’ do or ‘ought to do’?
I want to be free of the Not-I “what will people think”. The reality is that other people are thinking about what I’m thinking about them! What a joke! It is all illusion.
There are many, many more. All I can do is to be consciously aware of what I am doing. X will do the work on them.
I will continue to add to the list as I walk through the days. I’d better take lots of paper with me.
I want to be free.
THE INVISIBLE BEING (Excerpts from a talk by Dr. Bob Gibson)
We use the senses to sense and then use another mind to comprehend the meaning of it. We’ll start using the understanding and see that the senses are very worthwhile to report something but not to be taken very seriously. We see the senses report something and behind that something there is a reality, a reality of relationships of a spiritual nature.
We look around and we sense some lovely bodies all over the place with lovely countenances. We say that is the person. Would you say that you are an invisible being inhabiting a body? Spirit is invisible. You have never seen a person. You have only seen their house. And you attempt to communicate to the person inside the house. Now You look and say I know you. She’s got this feature and that feature. Or I don’t like her because she reminds me of an old second grade teacher and I never did like her. I’ve got you tagged.
So we never stop to know the person. So we’re going to talk about the invisible man. Everyone here is invisible. Now we’ve got a lot of visible houses that we live in. That we can sense. The one inside the house is the one we’re going to talk with, not the sensory body that we can sense. The invisible being in there can destroy that body awful easy or it can regenerate it or it can renew it or it can tear it down. That invisible being in there is very, very powerful. That invisible being we can begin to work with and comprehend. The visible man we’re really not concerned with.
DILBERT’S RULES OF ORDER:
- I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow is not looking good either.
- I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they mak+e as they do flying by.
- Tell me what you need, and I’ll tell you how to get along without it.
- Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue.
- I don’t have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.
- A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the rear.
- Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.