I am 69 years old.
I have lived, this is a 20/20 hindsight, my entire life on the 13th floor. Two months ago I would not have said that: I didn’t know there is such a thing…
Having live there all my life: I am having a real tough time to say how I got there… because I never lived on the 14th or the 15th floor… the 13th floor is reality, based on your sensory organs, not on thought.
My brothers did live on the 14th floor. Both. My father also lived on the 13th floor. My mother didn’t.
The biggest difference, looking through my own eyes now, is the meanings. On the 14th and 15th floor you live through meanings… not facts, not perception, but meanings… created by words.
My father didn’t do life through meanings. (thoughts and emotions, the 14th and the 15th floor)
He went from an orphan whose mother died of starvation, to being member of the government… PhD, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Neither did I… Even the one area where meaning was going to trip anyyone, where anyone else would have become schizophrenic, according to psychiatrists, I did not get tripped… and didn’t become schizophrenic… A little antisocial, maybe…
I pondered the meaning, I tried to work through different meanings, but I toyed with it, like you toy with an idea, with a role in a play… Didn’t take it in like the truth.
I lived on the 13th floor and yet I was unhappy… most of my life.
High achiever… and unhappy.
You should be surprised now. Isn’t the 13th floor a land of milk and honey?
It isn’t. And yet, it is the only place where happiness is possible.
You should be confused now…
What? Why? How? Grrr….
OK, the 13th floor is clean, based on reality, based on perception, not on notions… a system that unless you screw it up, the way I did, can allow you to be happy. Allow is the operative word. Not MAKE you happy… allow you to be happy. Happiness is still up you to, even if you don’t screw it up… the way I did.
OK, I am going to try to explain. Wish me luck.
The 13th floor is your foundation. The floor that is almost identical to the floor animals live on.
I am yet to see animals sad… although some animals in captivity have unfulfilled needs.
OK, the 13th floor is the floor of needs. Needs that operate through feelings.
It is needs that operate the feelings that operate you… on the 13th floor.
Needs can be the fundamental needs, the hardware-type needs… 1 or the software-type needs, that according to Margoczi are not in the DNA: I dare to differ. They are… but they can only be active if and when the “lower” needs are met.
The situation is completely different with software-type needs. The primary precondition of software-type needs is the existence of a language – a programming language, if you like – and, consequently, the existence of the symbol-based control level. That is to say these needs simply cannot come into being without thinking in words or symbols. And software-type needs are not always present in our life, they only get activated under certain conditions. A condition of their activation is that the need directly below the given need must be previously activated. So the need for self-realisation can only be activated if the need to meet our own expectations has been activated previously; and the need to meet our own expectations can only be activated if the need to meet others’ expectations has already been activated previously; and the need to meet others’ expectations can only be activated if the need for a group has been met, i.e. we are among other people. But, at the same time, if several software-type needs have already been activated, you can observe their parallel presence. So even a person at the level of self-realisation needs the satisfaction of the needs below the need for self-realisation in the hierarchy. Those at the level of self-realisation would also like to meet their own expectations and others’ expectations although, in this case, emphases can be radically shifted between the different levels of needs. The last important difference in comparison with hardware-type needs is that in the case of software-type needs, there are no need-indicating feelings. This fact can cause severe problems, especially the lack of the upper limit indicating feeling that would prevent overcharging.
He says that the software-type needs only exist in the environment of the 14th and the 15th floor.
I again dare to differ: in my experience, and in my muscle testing, all the needs, the five hardware-type needs and the three software-type needs (I am using his categorization) are innate and are encoded in the DNA.
What isn’t encoded in the DNA, and can be considered a deviation, is the 14th and the 15th floor. A dead end.
And not only a dead end… but an infertile ground for all the DNA encoded capacities for humans. All 160 of them.
Which pretty much means something you’ll want to argue with, but it’s true: on the 14th and the 15th floor you cannot play with a full deck.
Your intelligence, your creativity, the number of capacities, and your happiness, joy, fulfillment are stunted.
You are like plants uprooted…
Now, what does it take to “relocate” to the 13th floor?
Without knowing that it’s the 13th floor, and such… there have been people who have done it.
- Seneca, the younger did it…
- while none of your favorite Indian sages did it. Talking about Maya doesn’t mean you don’t live there… I wish… lol.
- Even the Buddha lived in his head.
- Socrates almost completely did it.
- It was easier 200 years ago… and more people did it then than today…
- Gurdjieff lived there.
- Werner has never lived there.
A grand total of five people live on the 13th floor today
I am following Margoczi’s suggestion on teaching people to feel their feelings.
I am finding that the bigger someone’s ego is the less they are interested.
There is no ego on the 13th floor… because ego means you are not in touch with reality.
Ego is all about illusion or delusion: 14th and 15th floor.
In 1996 I finally distinguished that I was living in comparison, and I was miserable. I embraced that I was stupid…
As a child I was considered an imbecile by my parents. I am not sure why… I was dyslexic, but also, probably, noncomformist, maybe even amoral… meaning I didn’t know what was expected of me… I didn’t meet the expectations of others. The need to meet the expectations of others, including society, never arose and it took a long time for it to become important to me. Decades…
First I had to see that not meeting the expectations of others, of society, is not a good thing.
I was a lot like an untamed animal… High energy, but not aware that I was doing something wrong.
I had to be knocked down by a lot of things, and by a lot of people…
Am I tamed now? No, but I am a lot more socially acceptable than I was most of my life.
Things that society consider important are not important to me.
Money, building wealth, prosperity, abundance, fitting in, being respectable… these are all 14th floor values… and I can take it or leave it… but I have no desire to do anything for them… they are all traps.
I am reading Seneca’s letters from a stoic… They attempt to instruct Lucilius, another Roman… and Seneca’s life matches my own so very well, it is eerie…
But I don’t think his method of instructing is producing the results he intended.
We’ll see if the feeling exercises work.
What I think will work the best
In my heart of hearts, I am finding that through doing the 67 steps the way it is supposed to be done, as a regular practice, combined with the books Tai and I recommend, working closely with me, PLUS having a life that needs you to base your actions on reality rather than memory, rules, or what you have always done are going to be more effective than identifying feelings, which will still be a lot of navel-watching exercises.
One of my students whose life can’t work and won’t work unless he grows into it and lives it, directs it based on reality, is now having one foot on the 13th floor.
How do I know it? When you do life, even just partially, on the 13th floor, the spiritual capacities that turn off on the 14th floor, get turned on by you.
Seeing the need to learn new things, seeing the need to know more turns on humility.
There is no humility on the 14th floor… or on the 15th floor.
So the moment someone turns humility on, I know they have at least a toe in reality, a toe on the 13th floor.
Humility is the crucial difference. You see in order to interact with reality, you have to remove the delusion that you already know. You don’t. I don’t. Because reality is not something stored in your head, something that you can know.
One way I learned this in a Landmark Seminar was an exercise where we were instructed to go home to our significant other, and consider them a mystery… i.e. don’t know what they are, who they are, what they think… nothing.
It was disorienting for most people. Even more could not do it. Would not do it.
Our tendency to know is overwhelming. But that means: our tendency to play with a map of reality that is unexamined, and probably completely out of alignment is also overwhelming.
You relate that way to yourself, to others, to your work, to your body, to your health.
And then you are surprised that life isn’t working well for you…
I saw Trump’s picture somewhere with a caption: he didn’t know that being a president is a job… I laughed. I didn’t laugh at him… he is just a guy like you… clueless. Not a nice guy, not a smart guy, not a good guy… but his most important characteristic is that he is clueless. Doesn’t know what he is doing. And we’ll pay the price.
Anyway… try doing the exercise I misappropriated from Landmark… try to consider another person a mystery… and find out who they are…
If you can, I have hopes for you. If you can’t… try harder. Try it with another person. Don’t stop until you find out that you have been interacting with a cardboard cutout instead of flesh and blood people.
I remember when my mother was visiting me in 1992: once, for about two minutes, she was looking at me and I could feel that she didn’t know who I was. Not like she was confused… no, she actually saw a glimpse that who she thought I was… I wasn’t.
She didn’t persist, and she died without ever finding out.
OK before I wrap this article up, I see that I have made one promise and I haven’t kept it.
Why was I unhappy even though I lived on the 13th floor?
The answer is: the traps, the feeling traps work, and I got caught in a lot of them.
Especially the desire trap… Wanting, fantasizing, not wanting what I had…
I have, for now, escaped them… I am a tad, one toe maybe, caught in the fear trap… I am going in and out. And maybe the trap signaled by frustration… about not being able to find a foolproof method at a moment’s notice, to undo the damage thousands of years did to you.
Meaning: I am joyful, happy, fulfilled, about 70% of the time.
I am OK with that.
- Quoting from the Feelings book:
We use the term ‘hardware-type need’ for needs that are genetically encoded in us. That means these needs are present all the time throughout our life and the activation of the previous levels is not a precondition for the existence of any of them. Their continuous and parallel existence is proven by the possibility of the constant appearance of indicating feelings that belong to the bottom and top limit values.