Facing Change and Realizing PeaceĀ 

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There are a few people who were not here last week, I believe, and one of the things I think I brought up was to ask you if you feel, if you feel in your consciousness, if you feel a conscience of a sense of moral obligation, if you feel a sense of being required within to be ethical. Did I ask something like that last time? Maybe I said, do you feel some obligation? A sense of obligation.


Did you find some sense of obligation within yourself? Maybe I should ask, what sense of obligation did you discover? Anybody care to say? I felt an obligation to look for a sense of obligation. I felt like it was, I think the word produced some sense of wondering or even conflicted sense of obligation and what I found more inside was a sort of caring, a sense of caring. I felt an obligation to look at everybody for the first time.


I always felt an obligation to do no harm and when you brought up the question and I looked at that, I thought, that's not enough. I mean, it's a fine aspiration that I probably never would have needed, but when I look at my bodhisattva vow of simply giving up harm for others. What is the bodhisattva vow? Do you feel an obligation to help all beings? And not harming them would be part of that? Any other senses of obligation discovered? Yes? I'm a little embarrassed to say this in front of your mom, but I've noticed, I feel, I have a sense that some people have been assigned to me.


You have a sense that some people have been assigned to you. Yes, so it sort of relates to the way I feel about my kids, but there's other people. I have a sense, it's not like I think with everybody I feel some obligation to be respectful or something in a general way, but then when I'm relating to certain people who I feel have been assigned to me, I feel a really strong sense of obligation to respond to them. Are you saying there's kind of a sense of something being assigned to you, or someone being assigned to you, and when you feel that they're assigned to you, that's when you feel the obligation? More compelling? More required? Because they've been assigned to you? Well, I heard you use obligation along with responsibility and ethical consciousness last week,


and I was troubled by those three phrases because they felt like burdens to me, and you used, I think you even referenced last week, you priorly used aspiration, and I was thinking more about, you were teaching last week about the habitual of the road versus being in the flow of the river, and I was thinking about the word responsibility, and I was struggling with that, and I was thinking, well, you know, responsibility is two words, it's the ability to respond, and that's the obligation I feel, is having that ability to respond as things are changing. When the ethical consciousness comes in, it just feels like I have more of an individual response to that, not that it's kind of mixed. One second. I just wanted to point out that you kind of went responsibility to obligation,


and I'd like you to consider the other way around, that when you feel an obligation, the responsibility follows from the sense, responsibility maybe overlaps with obligation. Part of responsibility might be the sense of, it's been assigned to you, it's your responsibility. The other part of responsibility is what's been assigned to you, you have the ability to respond to. And that's where the freedom starts, is that you're assigned something, and you're kind of obligated to take care of your assignment, but the responsibility part overlaps with what's been given, and you have the ability to respond to that, and I'm saying that your ability to respond to that, your ability to respond to that means that your response is not determined by what's given to you,


and there's your freedom. But it is framed within ethical consciousness. And in the part where you feel that it's been assigned to you, it can feel heavy and burdensome, because it's been presented to you, it's given to you. You don't look inside and choose to feel, I'm not asking you to look inside and choose to feel this obligation, I was asking you, did you find it? Is it given to you? And Laurie said that when she feels like it's a sign, she can feel more that, when she feels like it's given, she feels more of the compelling requirement side of it, and that's the heavy side of obligation. So, givenness, pressing conditions, are there some pressing conditions in you?


Define compressing conditions, requirements in your consciousness, something about you that you feel that, and then that, I would say, goes with responsibility, and that's where the freedom is, and that's where the peace is. That's a suggestion. I feel like a lot of the times I am assigning myself that responsibility, rather than somebody else assigning me the responsibility to help or to be of service or to respond, and when I can see the difference between that I need to respond and that the response is appropriate, then it feels like freedom.


And I have a difficulty sometimes distinguishing whether I'm overstepping the boundary to follow, to respond in a helpful way, and this is a little classic of me, and when I step back and kind of like connect with myself, and then I'm able to free myself from the obligation part, and respond to it in a helpful way. I don't know how to put it, but that's two ways that sense of obligation presents itself. So, it's either congruent with the flow, or it's somewhat assigned by my mind, by old things, like what I should do, or whatever.


Here's another statement for your consideration. Freedom arises in our life without cutting, without breaking the bond to the world, and the world is these old tapes. So, I heard in your story a sense of when you looked for obligation, you found the world of old tapes and somebody telling you what to do, and what doesn't look like freedom. Namely, what's given to you is old tapes and a sense of obligation which seems heavy, and not freedom. So, I'm suggesting to be careful about looking for a freedom


which separates and makes from our original situation of old tapes, and a sense that somebody is telling you what to do. And in that situation where you feel like somebody is telling you what to do, you may not feel compelled to do what they're telling you to do, but you may feel compelled to do something else. And the thing you feel compelled to do, you didn't choose yourself. You don't choose what you feel required to do. And what you feel required to do is not necessarily what other people are telling you you're required to do. So, you may feel, like some teenagers, if you tell them what to do, they feel compelled not to do what you told them. But they feel obligated by who they are to not do what you said.


In other words, to do something that is not what they feel the obligation that's given to them. They don't choose to fight against some instructions. So, in that story you told, there's some place in there where you do feel compelled, but not necessarily by what other people are telling you or what the old tapes are telling you. However, the old tapes are given to you, and also what you feel you should do is given to you. And then you have a chance to respond to that situation. And that's where the freedom is, I'm suggesting. I would just think of it as an obligation to respond to what's there without baggage. You could feel an obligation to respond to what's there without baggage.


Again, that could be the sense of obligation you feel. And, guess what I'm going to say? There's always baggage, but also the sense of obligation to respond without baggage is baggage. And you can respond to that and be free. Your original condition of wanting, not wanting, but feeling that you really should. Who you are requires that you not be caught by that. That's given to you. You didn't choose that. And now you can respond to that. So, I'm cautioning to watch out for, are we going to break the bond with the world? I say the world, but anyway, a world.


A world means are we going to break the bond with some sense of enclosure that our mind, that is proposed in this tradition, that we live within a mental enclosure. Our life is completely constructed. And that's not different from saying our life is completely given. And in this constructed world, do we feel an obligation to be free? Do we feel an obligation to be good, to be ethical? Do we feel that in there, in that world? And if we do, then we can respond to that. And the way we respond, I say we don't have to respond in any old way.


But we cannot get rid of the old way. And I wanted to tell a story about this TV show, TV series actually, which was on a few years ago called Deadwood. And it's about a, it's a fictional account of a town in South Dakota where there was a gold rush. I think in the 1880s, 1870s, 1880s, they discovered gold in the black hills of South Dakota. And this town where, one of the main towns there where the miners got together to do their work from,


it's called Deadwood. And so they made a TV series out of it. And I listened to the so-called creator of the series, which I mean, maybe he did some of the writing, but didn't do all the writing. He might have done some of the directing, but I don't think he did all the directing. But he had the idea. He was kind of the creative, the artistic director of the event. And he said, at some point he said that, how did he put it? He said that these people got together and worked to create an alternative world so that these people all lived in a world,


they lived in a constructed world that was given to them by the workings of their mind in response to other people's minds working and all that. This was given to them. And then they decided to make another world. And they named that world Deadwood. And they made, I guess weekly, on a weekly basis they made a world. And then the next week they made a world, something like that. And they did it together. Each of them within their own world worked with other people within their world to make a world that they shared. And he said something about how, I don't know what he said, but something like how liberating it was to create an alternative world. I don't think those people thought that by creating this Deadwood


that they were getting away from the world of being set designers, actors, writers, camera people, producers, directors. I don't think they got away from that world. I don't think so. Matter of fact, I think that they worked from that world to create this alternative world. And by creating an alternative world, one becomes liberated from the given world. So actually here in this class we kind of create every week an alternative world. And it's good if you understand that you're contributing to the creation of this world, that each of you is given


a life that's just completely constructed moment by moment. And we join together here and sometimes we get to a point where we make another world. And when we do, probably that's good. That helps us with the world we never really got rid of. And if we try to get rid of our old world by making this world, then I think that's not going to lead to freedom. I propose that. But I invite you to join in creating a new world every week in this environment. Another way to say this is that


freedom comes from going beyond our given situation where we feel things have been assigned to us given to us that we didn't choose. We go beyond that and also we don't separate from it. We stay the same. So this is a class about change, facing change. And now I'm talking about recognizing that we're always the same. We're always completely constructed and our life is completely given. Yes? So you're making a distinction when you say beyond. Are you saying freedom within the construction rather than freedom away from the construction?


I guess that's what I'm hearing. Freedom away from the construction I'm proposing is impossible. That would be the kind of thing that is more tricky than usual. Well, I say beyond and then I say without leaving it. Staying the same and yet go beyond. Breakthrough without changing anything. It's tricky just because the construction gives a mental image to me. Words like breakthrough sound like you're breaking out of the construction. Yeah. Again, you construct an alternative world


and in fact when you do that you break out of the other one even though you know you didn't touch it at all. When we walk off the set of Deadwood we're going to be back and I don't know where they made that movie. Whether they actually filmed it in South Dakota or they filmed it in California. Huh? They filmed it in Los Angeles? Huh? Yeah. So they walked out of Deadwood and then they went back to Silver Lake and Beverly Hills and stuff. They probably thought through the whole time that Los Angeles was still there. That was given to them. Maybe they thought Los Angeles had disappeared but that would be another thing that would be given to them. But they did create this thing and in creating it they did kind of go beyond or they did kind of break through. They also knew that they can't


or that they shouldn't. Because if they did that freedom would not be true freedom plus it also would separate them from everybody they feel obligated to. All these other people who are not living, who are not in this program. Their family for example. So does our lineage and this tradition fulfill the same function as Deadwood for those people? Yeah. Yeah, right. The relationship between the tradition and us, that interaction, creates an alternative world which liberates us from this world without touching it. And then another world is given which is completely constructed. Yes. So I just want to kind of see if I can understand.


It seems to me that the Deadwood, when you're in your world being a producer, a director, your constructive world, you're kind of snared by it. You might think it's unconstructed or it's real, so to speak. Or you're snared by the drama of it. And so creating this alternative world gives you a chance to see the magic of construction. So when you kind of examine it, it kind of loosens your being snared with your enclosed world. That could be, yeah. That could be that for the creator of the thing, that could be as given to him as Los Angeles. But when he creates this other world, like the TV program, with all these other people, he probably loses the feeling that this is not constructed. Maybe he forgets he's constructing


when he's just given this vision of this world. But when he actually sees that it's constructed... I had this experience once which this makes me think of, which is very early in the computer game world. My father had a very early computer and we played this game on a holiday when we were visiting. We really got into, and I don't play computer games, but it had lots of rules and it was a very primitive game. And we kind of played it together and we played it for a long time. And such that we really, we played it over the course of eight hours at different times. Maybe several of us just sitting around doing other things. And then we left that environment and we went kind of out in public. And we went to, it was the Fourth of July, which was a place where there was a firework display and people and there was crowd control. And we started joking because we had been cooped up


in this alternative world. We started with like, oh wait, we need to get this. We need to have the chalice. Oh, we need to have the keys. We need to, like our channel needs this way. Oh, and the world of, the socially constructed world, all of a sudden we began to see it in terms of this other world we had been in for like very intensely for eight hours. And it just became very funny all of a sudden, you know, all the crowd control, all the people just was just like another programmed constructed world. Which was different from the way you probably would have related to it if you hadn't just come from alternative world construction. It was a very powerful feeling. It was just like we were giddy. It was just, it was so funny. Yeah, right. One time I was driving in a car back from Tassajara and my, I think I was driving, yeah. And my attendant was reading to me about the structure of galaxies.


You know, you've heard of galaxies. Well, this was an article about how they're actually, they're actually inside of, in a structure. They're actually like, you know, out there in a structure. He's reading to me about that. And we pulled into a convenience store. And I looked at these people that are going into the convenience store to buy like ice cream and stuff. It's like I could not believe that human beings did that. You know? Yeah, I think you're getting it. Yes. It sounds like a lot of what you're describing is like a metaphor. This is metaphor, yeah. They what? It wouldn't be real freedom


if they left their own world because then they couldn't get back. They probably wouldn't be very effective. They probably would be taken away from the acting job because they go into that world and got stuck there. It's to go into it. The alternative world doesn't, you know, when I first wrote that down, I was writing notes to myself and I remember this guy saying that I wrote alternative reality and I crossed off reality. It's actually alternative world dash alternative unreality. We should make an alternative unreality so that we realize that our usual reality dash world is an unreality. If it was reality, we wouldn't need any relief from it. But it's not reality, it's constructed and also it's given to us and we should not try to get away from what's given to us. But we should also remember it's constructed, it's not real. It's just an appearance. However, we still feel obligation


in relationship to the appearance and we have this ability to respond and our ability to respond creates new worlds which are also unreal. So we're not trying to get into a world behind the unreal world. We're trying to relate to the unreal world in such a way, respond to it in such a way of respecting that it's been given to us and not try to get away from it and respect that we have an obligation to accept it and we have an obligation and because we have an obligation, we have a responsibility and we have freedom. Yes. I was listening to your Deadwood story and thinking, gee, that'd be nice to have some sort of recreation like that or have my job be creating alternative worlds so that I could experience that and then I heard John's story and I was like, oh wow, he had a chance to do that and then I was thinking, well, I kind of get to do that in my job. Yeah. Actually, aren't we all kind of always doing this?


This isn't that unique, right? It's important more to just remember how we're doing it, how we're creating, how we're acting, what role we're playing and that it's a role and then when we see that, it helps us not think that... Yeah, except the one point is the way you just put it, it sounded like you missed the given part. I didn't mention it, but... Anyway, that when you're doing this, it isn't that you're creating it, but that it isn't that you're constructing it because you is another construction. It's that it is constructed and it is being constructed, but I'm not constructing it. It's given to me. It's given to you. Just like in his case, he didn't construct that thing. That was given to him. Here he was, just an innocent bystander, started playing these computer games and suddenly he was given a new world and he didn't really realize it


until he went back to the more usual one. So you are doing that, but really it's your life is that way. Your life is totally constructed. Your life is totally given. To become aware of that... It's given to us, but as you were talking to John about the responsibility, that's where freedom starts. Isn't that the way in which we're... It's not passively given. Don't we kind of co-create it by responding? Yes, you do co-create it. I'm not completely creating it, but I'm also not just completely receiving it. It's appearing in me. Isn't that you're co-creating it, but that it is co-created? It is co-created, but not by you and somebody else. So the thing that's co-creating it is not the thing that I call me, or my story of who I am. The story of who you are...


Not what's engaging and co-creating. The story of who you are is engaged. The story of who you are is engaged in the creation, in the construction. So that's what I meant when I said I'm co-creating it. Yeah, but I didn't hear... It didn't sound like you said the story of me. It sounded like you said I. It's shorthand. Yeah, well... I just have to say this now because it's really important, and that is, this is possibly the reason that we cannot get these teenagers away from those video games. Because when they play those games, even by themselves, they're playing with these computer people who have figured out a way to draw them into creating an alternative world, and that alternative world gives them a big relief from a world they can barely stand, and they're so confused


they cannot find their sense of responsibility. They're totally confused about it. And in that world, their parents are telling them what to do, and they can't tell if that's their responsibility or that's their obligation, and they don't want to go back there. They do not want to go back to that world. They want to be in this alternative world. They know they have to go back, but they're postponing it as long as possible. And we would like them to come back because we think maybe they could find their sense of obligation if they would put the thing down and interact with human beings. I think that's part of why they want to do these games is that they get a break, and then maybe when they come back, they have a little bit of taste of freedom, maybe. A little bit of freedom from coming back to living with their parents and their high school friends. How can we...


Yeah, how can we? How can we? And my answer is, join them. But it's hard to join them. It's hard to join them. Because of the way the screen's built, it's hard to get in there. But the other kids, or if you're playing some of these games, you can join them. And I think when that happens, the sense of liberation would be more likely to be realized. Yes? So you're describing the other world as an alternate unreality. So I'm not getting, why is that freedom? It's another constructed unreality. Why is it freedom? Because you understand that the world you came from,


you understand more deeply that it's constructed. You understand the unreality of where you came from by going to a place that you kind of can remember pretty much that this is not real. And yet it feels like a world. But you know it's not real. You kind of keep track of that. But still when you come back from the computer game or whatever, there's freedom in this world. And you have a sense of responsibility from the world you left, and then a sense of obligation in the world you left, and you think it's real. You feel the givenness, but you don't feel the constructedness thoroughly enough to be free. If you feel the constructedness completely, you also feel the givenness repeatedly. Those two together. If you feel the givenness completely, you will not try to get away from it. If you think there's a little way, some possibility to get away from that, the reason why you want some possibility


to get away from it is because you don't understand that it's constructed. If you completely understand it's constructed, you won't try to get away from it, and you'll realize that you can't. If you really could accept it, you would see that it's constructed and that you can't get away from it. But you can be free from what's given. You can be free from your obligations or with your obligations if you understand that it's totally constructed. Yes? I was just thinking that that can get the whole thinking of it kind of scary. Yeah. When biofeedback was relatively new, I went to a biofeedback workshop and they were talking about all kinds of things and one of the things they showed was brainwaves of people watching TV and there was less going on when somebody was sleeping. And then they were also showing


how a person who has a psychosis has very similar brainwaves to somebody who has some genius ability. And I remember the instructor saying that the genius can swim where the psychotic person will drown. It's like, where do you find that balance? Because it might be nice to stay in that unknown. Well, that's another aspect of this story is that this man who said this, the creator, he pointed out that a community created this world. And you can imagine that when you get all these people together and their livelihood depends on it and their artistic success depends on it,


their sense of their worth in this life depends on it, and other people have different opinions and some people may become late to work and so on. You have to actually practice generosity and ethics and patience and so on to make a really good alternative world. If you do it by yourself, I don't think it works very well. That's why I think that if the child's doing the screen time by themselves, I think it's less likely that the screen time will be as beneficial when the screen's put down and they come back. They might get addicted to that screen time rather than not being addicted to creating alternative worlds, but do it as a regular exercise without cutting off from the world that you have now received some freedom with. We're not usually going into


and trying to become free of the alternative world. That's not the world we're trying to become free of unless we got stuck there, then we would try to get out. But the addiction is the addiction of being stuck there as a way of avoiding this one. So that's why you have to balance not going away from the usual world by creating an alternative world like biofeedback or meditation, whatever. We should do it in a community so if anybody gets stuck on one side or the other, there's people around to notice because you can kind of notice by the way a person moves and the way they talk. Yes? I have an idea of acting. I know a professional actor whose job is to create alternative worlds.


Right. And in his own personal world, he's rather conscripted. He's like, well, I'll just sort of shut it. But once he has a role and something to do, it's like his whole life starts to move. He's like, he's in the Deadwood. And he did have to drive to the set and things like that. But in one of the scenes in Deadwood, This guy worked on Deadwood? He's an actor, yeah. Wow. In one of the scenes, he has to break down and cry just a little bit. And then a boy dies, as I recall. It's very convincing. I said, how did you do that? He said, oh, I just saw my dog that died once. And I just needed that. And it's like, the things that in some life,


by a person, they're not any richer or fuller than our own lives. But he knows where he's going, where he needs to take the alternative world to make that happen. And that role gives him that. Yeah, thank you. Yes. Yes. Did you say that when you go to the supermarket, you're making an alternative world? You could.


But a lot of people, they go from their house to their car to the supermarket. They don't feel like they moved to an alternative world when they got in their car. It takes some effort to create an alternative world. Pardon? No, no. I was riding in a car for a long time, imagining these galaxies, structured in certain ways, with the aid of these scientific stories. And that imagination, that realm I got into, I worked at for several hours. And then I went into the 7-Eleven. And then the 7-Eleven, which is my usual world, looked very straight. I could not understand why people were so concerned with getting ice cream bars. Ordinarily, I can see, yeah, you go to a convenience store to get that kind of stuff. Right? That's my usual world.


But when I went into these, not just galaxies, but the family relationships among galaxies, and I was doing that for a while, I went into that world. Then when I went to 7-Eleven, or whatever it was, I was shocked by what I saw. I got a break from my usual understanding of that situation. And I had a totally new perspective, which was really, yeah, it was very enlivening and enriching. It was, you know, one of the... I mean, it was... And nobody got hurt. I guess if I went into a 7-Eleven and I got robbed and shot, that would be a very big change in my usual attitude towards 7-Elevens, too. But this was like, nobody got hurt. People were doing... Nobody was robbing it, or people weren't stealing anything. Just the whole enterprise of people, like, feeding each other,


it just seemed really far out to me. And people would be concerned, like, to eat. Eating, I thought, was really just like, wow, people are like... They care about stuff like that. That's what I mean. But you have to sort of, like, make an effort. You can't create another world quite that quickly. The world that's given to us, we don't know how that happens. But it's very complex, and it includes our whole history together. To make this new one, it isn't quite as... It doesn't seem quite as substantial and uncreated as the one we usually... The one we live in, which is completely created, doesn't seem completely created, and we think there's an alternative to it. When we build one, the more we get into building it, the more we can see, yeah, it's... The more it starts to look real, the more effort...


So, in that Deadwood program, it really was an unusual world, but it really seemed real, I think, to them and to us. And so it got a lot of awards. It didn't... It seemed like a highly crafted creation of something. And they all had to work really hard to do that. And then I feel that this guy was saying that when he came away from there, there was this big change in the way he saw his ordinary life. So I don't think... When we usually go from house to car to grocery store, we think, this is not constructed, this is not constructed, and this is not constructed. But if you go to the grocery store and you walk in and say, shoppers, we have news. We're going to create a new world here. So everybody, you know, you all have to stay here for six hours because we're going to make this grocery store into a town in the 1880s.


You know, of course, people would walk out, they would think it's crazy, but if you actually got everybody to go there, it would be different. They would think, oh, we are going to create something here. And at a certain point, you get to... It's like a magic show. At a certain point, you do the magic, you do the magic, you do the magic, people don't see it. You do the magic, you do the magic, and suddenly they see it. So the Buddhist example, which I've used in the last class, the magician uses materials which are not elephants, you know, and suddenly people see an elephant. Well, actually, they see the appearance of an elephant, and the magician sees the appearance of an elephant, but the people in the audience think it's actually an elephant. But the magician knows it's not. So the magician doesn't get the same relief from his ordinary life that the people who are watching the elephant do. When they see the elephant


and they think it's a real elephant, then when he dismantles his magic show, they go back to their ordinary life refreshed. The magician, however, does not. However, the magician has the advantage... Well, maybe the magician does, though. Maybe, maybe the magician does. He just doesn't fall for it as much as they do. You don't think he does. Yeah, so maybe the... Ah, yes, here's it. The magician is not so interested in the benefits of freedom. As the audience. So the magician puts on this show, this appearance appears, and he sees the appearance, and he knows it's not a real elephant, or he knows it's not a real deadwood.


The people watching it, for a moment, they think it's a real deadwood, and then when the show's over, they get some freedom as a result of that. But the magician is not interested in getting any freedom, because the magician knows there's never any separation from bondage. And I see a lot of hands raising now. So there's Sharon, Yossi, and Jeff. I think Yossi was first, Jeff was next, and Sharon was next. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yes.


Yeah, so this is an example, and this is why you're talking about the scary part of what could happen, is that if you see beyond this, if you see that it's all constructed, you might then break the bond with the world of construction, with the world of unreality, that is given to you to care. That's constructed too, it is. But it's given to you, and if you lose track of that part, that's a faultiness in your understanding that it's all constructed. And now Yossi's asking, how can we help this person? Because if you tell him, you know, I need you to come out of here, he says, well, yeah, that's just constructed. Yeah. Yeah, so I think what needs to be done is your friend needs to be taken to some place where the metaphors get shifted.


Somebody needs to take him someplace. So switching metaphors for, not exactly reality, but metaphors for literalness, to make a metaphorical interpretation and a literal interpretation. I remember Gregory Bateson says, that schizophrenics take the literal as metaphorical and the metaphor as literally. That was one of the things he saw when he studied schizophrenics. So I know this woman who was sitting next to me during a meditation retreat, and she thought that her seat was next to me because she had been chosen as my successor. She didn't just happen to have that seat, she got that seat because she was the most gifted


of all the meditators in the initiation group. And the initiation period went on for five days. For five days, a lot of times, she was sitting there thinking that to herself. And afterwards, she was in this new place, this alternative reality, this alternative world, which she thought was a reality, and she couldn't come back. And people told me about it, and I went up to her and I started talking to her, and I said, you've got to come back. And she wouldn't come back. I said, well, you sort of have to leave, but I know you can't leave because people want you to stay. So I'm just going to go tell people that you're doing this, and they'll probably want you to stay, but it's not going to work. She listened to me, and I went and told people that she was doing this, and in fact, they didn't want her to leave. They wanted to keep her in the monastery and see if there's some way to help her. And she kept, you know, it took about ten people to take care of her


because she was up all night, day after day, because she was in this other world. So she was free from the ordinary world of the monastery, which is, as you know, it has problems. It's confined. It's constructed. There's obligations, you know. There's birth and death. But she got to go to a different world, and she was, like, really happy up all night, and she wore out, not the whole monastery, but she wore out about ten people who were generously trying to take care of her because we didn't feel like we could just, like, everybody go to bed and just let her be up by herself all night because she might wander off in the woods or something. This is like in the mountains, right? And we weren't going to put her in a cell, you know. So she was, like, free to move around, but we felt like somebody needed to be with her. And she was, like, just never sleeping. And finally everybody got worn out and said,


okay, we can't take care of her. So I just went and got in the car, and of course she went with me because she's... She's who she is. She wasn't forced to get into the car. That was her world, that, oh, he's going, so I go with him. Finally they're acknowledging this, that I'm the one. And then we got in the car, and then I got out of the car, and the car left. And they took her to this place where they have doctors and nurses and stuff, and she got out and went in, and she snapped out of it. And she was, you know, oh, I see. She got it, that she was dreaming that she was in this, where she was the enlightened Buddha. And people were just kidding when they said, you know, this is really not working for us. Somehow she said, oh, these people aren't Buddhists.


These are just like regular doctors and stuff, and I can't really argue with them about whether I'm enlightened or not. And they didn't have to give her any medication. She just snapped out of it as soon as she got into the hospital. And she was basically just very embarrassed after that. So if there's some way to, like, jiggle it, move into some situation, I don't know, with other people around. So to break the glass a little bit and just make them realize that this is not any more real than where you were before. Because no matter where we go, it's constructed and given. And it's given, and when we feel it's given, we feel, well, it's given, I guess I have to deal with it.


Yeah, right. Matter of fact, it's required that I deal with what's given to me. If I can't get away from it, I have to deal with it. If I'm going to be with this person for the rest of my life, I have to deal with them. I can't get away from them. And then people start asking questions about, well, what if someone is beating you up, blah, blah, blah. Well, it doesn't mean you have to let the person beat you up. It just means you realize you can't get away from them. Even when you protect yourself, you're not getting away from anybody. That's given to you, too, and no matter what it is, you have an obligation, there's some pressing conditions in every situation. What are they? What do you feel they are? And what you're seeing is the appearance of these pressing conditions, and now you have the ability to respond to this, and you will. And that's where you check in to see, well, what's my response? And my response is,


maybe my response might be, I really want to take care of what's been given to me. I want to respect my obligation and my ability to respond. I want to say yes to that. And that's where the freedom is. And we know, we can know that this is where the freedom is without knowing what the freedom is. We do not know what the freedom is. Because you can't know what freedom is, but you can know where it is. Not even where it is, but practically you can know that this is your freedom. You can be sure of it. Good question. I need a clarification. The way I see it, he's really afraid of his true heart


that really cares for all beings. He's really afraid of his true heart that cares for all beings. Yes, that's a frightening heart. That's a really frightening heart. And so he's like, I don't know what to take care of. He doesn't say that, but there's this fear. The pretend is like, I don't care. So he's in a pretend world where he doesn't care. He's in a pretend world, he's pretending to be in a world, he's pretending to be a person that doesn't care. Exactly. I can totally see that. I could never. I guess that I'm practicing patience. I think it's really good to be very patient. Well, it's really good, if possible, to be close to him. It's really good because if you would smash


this pretend world where he doesn't care about everybody, all of us have seen that world a little bit, right? Like, for example, all of us probably occasionally there's somebody we don't care about, but that's a pretend world. Also, the world where we do care about people is a pretend world, but that one has obligation in it. Because we are obliged when we care about people, we have an obligation because of that care. But that's also a constructed world. So the one he's in, the problem with it is it's really off because he doesn't have any sense of obligation. So that world, we have to be very careful not to break it. And there are stories of Zen teachers who have broken those kinds of worlds and the person really didn't survive.


They were crazy for the rest of their lives. Or, for years, it took years to recover. So in a real hard case like that you have to be really gentle. Here's another story which you've heard. There was this guy who was in the Arizona State Mental Illness Clinic in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Is Las Vegas in Arizona or New Mexico? New Mexico. So he's in Las Vegas, New Mexico. There's Las Vegas, Nevada. There's two. One's quite famous and the other one is about to become somewhat better known. And there's a state mental hospital in that one. Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas, New Mexico.


And a healer, a man who knows about magic and illusion went to this hospital because there was a person there. By the way, this healer also was crippled. So he's brought in on a wheelchair or on a gurney to heal the people in the hospital. So this one guy thought he was Jesus. That was his world. He was living in the world. He was Jesus. That was his constructed world which was given to him. But he didn't think it was given to him. He thought it was true. If you understand it's given to you, you understand it's constructed. He didn't understand it was constructed or that it was given. He thought it was true, unconstructed reality. And if anybody who wouldn't relate to his thing, he wouldn't talk to, wouldn't relate to. And apparently all the doctors would not


speak to that world he was in. They would not talk to that place where he was Jesus. And this person came named Milton Erickson. He went to the man and he said, I understand you're a carpenter. And the guy said, That's right, I am. He said, Would you build me some bookshelves? And the guy said, Okay. And he built the bookshelves. And he realized that this is what he thought he was. He thought he was Jesus. And he probably kept thinking he was Jesus. But he responded a little bit. And so he was released. And probably continued to be a carpenter. Thinking that he was Jesus every now and then. Just like I think I'm Reb every now and then. But if some of you wouldn't relate to me thinking I was Reb, I'd still talk to you. So you don't have to put me in a hospital.


Okay, Jeff? I think I was going to say a magician. I think I was going to say a magician can be a healer. I was just going to raise the possibility that a magician can be a healer. Can you use this word? Yeah, like this guy. This Erickson, he's a healer. He said a magician can be a healer. And I told you this guy was a magician. He's a magician healer. He goes in there, and he does a little magic trick, which is, how can I affirm his world and say I'm willing to enter your world without literally affirming it? I was going to say, maybe entertainers in general might understand that. Or at least that's what we would pleasure to do. Yeah, yeah. Sharon? Talking about the magician


just reminded me, I was on a plane last weekend, and there was a documentary on the plane that a magician was marrying in Las Vegas. But it was about our brains and the placement of attention that creates realities. And a magician will direct your attention in particular ways that creates realities that you believe in. And they did many of these exercises or experiments, one of which was fascinating. They created an audience of about 100 people, and they said there was going to be a dance troupe on the stage, and they were supposed to count how many times the dancers stepped in one of the two spotlights. There were two spotlights on the stage. So the dance troupe came out,


the spotlights were there, and they did this dance, this very active dance. And when it was over, they said how many people counted more than 50. People raised their hands. How many people counted 20? And people were very proud. They had counted so many of how many times they stepped in the circles. And then he said, how many people saw the giant bunny rabbit walk across the stage? Nobody saw the bunny rabbit. The man in this giant bunny rabbit costume, they replayed it, had walked across the stage, stood in the center of the stage, and walked off. And not one person had seen it because their reality was watching. Their attention was directed to what they were told to look at. And they never saw their awareness because they were not open to receive what actually was being revealed. So the alternative magic show is


people are looking at the stage and suddenly they see a huge bunny rabbit and they don't know where it came from. Because the magician gets them to look at the dancers and suddenly he takes away their attention to the dancers and they see the bunny rabbit but they can't see where it came from. They actually just walked out there. They didn't see it. Right. So in this class, everybody in this class is invited to become a magician. To become a magician, everybody is invited to be a magician in this class. To think about how you're a magician. Because there are magicians in this room.


So please, would the real magicians stand up? We're all potentially capable of joining the project of creating a world. And when we join that, we are artists, we are magicians. And we are doing that. The question is how to become conscious of it and see how thorough it is. Because it is complete. We are completely making a world together. And each of us is included in our own totally constructed world and we're making a world together at the same time. So that situation offers the possibility of freedom and peace. If we can tap into this process.


May our intention equally extend to every being in place with the true merit of Buddha's way.