I woke up disgruntled… (=angry, dissatisfied) almost ready to go into devastation (which is my “home page”) but it all changed as I sat down and began to write. What was going to be a rant, became a celebration.
I guess I am not stuck with, neither am invested in, nor am I resisting being someone who rants when I feel beaten, or slighted, or hurt…Most of my students either are invested (i.e. known for) or resist being angry… i.e. stuck with being angry.
It seems that I accepted anger, embraced anger, and it got out of my face… without me having to think about it, strategize or do anything about it.
All unconscious competence. I didn’t have to sit around and analyze it… it just happened. …and I can look and see the whole picture… from many different angles.
This is exactly what I teach you to become in the Playground… this is the goal: to have unconscious competence, so you can get unstuck before you get stuck, to be able to see the whole reality, with all of its beauty and all of its ugliness.
Yesterday I spent a few hours listening to a Landmark Education leader, and I think the disgruntlement came from that.
The woman is beautiful, well spoken, and commands a lot of respect.
But there is something machine-like about her. She considers herself beyond, having gone beyond where the listener is… and therefore she isn’t the ideal teacher.
For decades I suffered because my aspiration to become a Landmark leader was rejected. It wasn’t fair… lol. But today I can see that it freed me up to go beyond where a Landmark leader has to stop… half baked, and I can become the ideal teacher by actually doing the same work I ask my students to do.
Result: the average Landmark leader’s vibration is 200, mine is above 900. I stayed in the work, instead of leading the work from the outside.
What took me beyond mediocre, stagnating, what took me beyond acceptable, robotic, and highly respected, is an energy that can only be activated if you are looking at reality, instead of unreality… your opinions, your standards, your expectations, your wants and needs, your shoulds, your having to’s. Unreality.
Even a little bit of reality, even a glimpse, even just a tiny part of your visual field freed up to see reality, can cause dramatic changes in your behavior. This is where the current Playground has been stuck…
I see how the participants inner energy, the spirit? the Self? that makes them strive higher is becoming more active. But I want to take them, take us all the way… all the way to flying.
On one hand I could be bummed out at the notion how unambitious humanity as a whole is, how rarely anyone goes for excellence… and how you settle for good enough on a level of good that is not really good at all…
How you use only your mind to have any pleasure, eating the imaginary food, enjoying the imaginary sex, and reveling in the imaginary success.
And choosing to look at that would be really disempowering, thought of futility brings up thoughts of “why bother?” That no matter what I do… this isn’t happening…
And then again, I can choose to use that reality of unambitious humanity to contrast, and make more obvious that MY STUDENTS and ME are becoming more than ordinary, through the relatively simple process of distinguishing reality from unreality.
Yeah, I can choose to look that way, and start feeling good and energized by the fact that what we do here actually works.
I am a Virgo, and typically I am only interested, as a Virgo, in what is NOT perfect, and take what works for granted. But that way of looking hasn’t always served me, and won’t serve me now.
Instead I can choose to celebrate what is getting accomplished.
And that, I tell you, is miraculous. Not done yet, not fully blown new reality yet, but it is going, it is moving in that direction, and I am in awe.
You can also call me a spiritual teacher, but that is a misnomer… someone may think that there is already a path, and I am just a guide taking you on that path.
There is no path already. For hardly anything, but especially not for how to live a life that is worth living.
Here is an example:
I am an architect by training.
In my class there were 96 students. We graduated in 1971.
We all graduated
Out of the 96 three became architects, true architects. I wasn’t one of them, even though my diploma said: architect.
They became people who could do garden variety, ordinary, unelegant, so-so architecture. Nothing to write home about. Nothing to be proud of. Ordinary… acceptable but ugly, not fully functional. This is true to all professions.
I don’t have a medical doctor student, but I have accountants. They did their schooling…
A real accountant has the beingness of an accountant: the heartbeat of an accountant, both a cause of and a monitor of their client’s financial success.
It is so unusual, that I think, there are maybe one or two in a hundred… maybe not even that many. The rest are doing accounting, half-heartedly, just because one must make a living.
When I was graduating from high school, 1966, there was only one thing I was passionate about: film making… But there was no film making school…
- I had an offer from Hungarian television to host a regular weekly show. I was a singer and guitarist (classical).
- I was accepted to be trained as a classical guitar student at the Academy of Music, much like Juillard in New York.
- and I was accepted to be trained to be an architect at Budapest Technical University.
It was clear to me that I didn’t have enough drive in either of those fields. I was fascinated with movies, especially wanting to talk and write about them… the invisible parts. The subtle… the non-obvious. The invisible.
I liked to write, and I liked to talk.
I chose architecture, and in that choice I wasn’t ever happy: no amount of work would have made me a real architect: I didn’t have it, the spark. No language is needed to be an architect.
There was absolutely no set path to writing and talking for the next 70 years… and no path to become the best at it.
I had fifteen minutes, maybe an hour worth of actual knowledge… back in 1966, not quite enough for a lifetime.
I didn’t know that…
I fancied myself amazing, and I was encouraged by my fans… yes, I had fans, for the depth of my thoughts… but my thoughts were only knee-deep… you can’t even swim in that…
It took me another 50 years, adventures, heartaches, loves and breakups, humiliation, another degree and a third “almost degree” (MBA). Travels. Hurts. Poverty. Success, hospitalization, illness, homelessness… to go deep enough to have something to swim in and make it my life’s work.
There is no path already. In my informed opinion, no one has done enough work, no one has gone far enough, to claim that the path they took will work for everyone…
Some have gone to some length, but could not teach it… Like
- Gurdieff… went and penetrated a possible path, but his truth value was only 10%… not a path.
- Werner Erhard: same numbers, same assessment: 10%. Not a path.
- Kabbalah Centre: same 10%
- Scientology… ditto
The path already suggested is either unwalkable… or not a path at all. Maybe a path to the robotic existence I saw in the Landmark leader last night… No thank you, I don’t want that!
The path delineated by the Playground program: truth value, path value: 60%.
Why so high?
Because it is simple, and because it gets to the heart of the matter… and because it is based on a real principle of Life: the Anna Karenina Principle, the principle, what the New Testament calls the strait and narrow.
And with the newest realization that without effective communication it is still just 60%… I just muscle tested: adding the simple and yet profound communication principles the truth value becomes 90%. Wow.
That calls for examining the truth/path value of the Bible… 7%. Why is that truth value so low?
- Because giving lip service to the strait and narrow doesn’t take people there…
- Because condemning what is not on the path of strait and narrow, and the person who is there, is highly ineffective, in fact counterproductive. It makes people lie, it forces people to pretend, to turn their faces to the light so they don’t have to look at their own darkness. Simple, obvious, and yet invisible.
I am working on formulating the Playground as a self-study course. Muscle test says it is impossible, but worth doing it. We shall see… so far I have gotten immense value on catching the uncatchable ball…
What is impossible with a self study program is to cause transformation, a new view of the world and a new view of the self, through passive learning.
It is like teaching to play championship basketball to people who have never played basketball, through talking or even videos…
But if a pair of people, a group of people buy it, and do it as a group, it can work. And it can work almost as well as if I were there to help you with it.
I have taught the principles of the Playground many times. The first Playground, back in 1988 was an amazing success. Then came the unsuccessful ones… until this current one, where I introduced the partner system.
What made the first Playground successful, was the weekly discussion, we met in someone’s living room, the weekly sharing, the weekly confrontation of reality vs unreality.
Of course the course was local back in 1988… and it is anything but local today… It’s taken me this long (30 years) to see a way to reproduce the environment of growth… the partner method. The method of synergy, the method of “your insight can become my insight”.
And another wrinkle, the 20-day skill learning challenge… also part of the Playground now, allows people to share, publicly, their attempts at learning something new… .
The 20 day skill learning challenge is another reality-based “knock you awake” process, that helps you get out of your self-induced coma, sleepwalking, from delusional state into reality, reality that can become glorious and… drumroll… real. True.
Without this new element people are still in the “talking a good talk, walking a puny path” stage, or thereabout.
The most important elements of the Playground
- allow consciousness to guide you.
- and now we are introducing the big bomb: communication, that will take it to 90%. Is there such a thing as 100%? Source says: No.
Will everyone master all the elements? I have no idea… But however far you get on the path, your life will become that much more enjoyable, and you’ll become that much more effective at it, especially with other people.
Because, as Freud said in Civilization and its Discontents: what causes the most pain and unhappiness is “other people”… so even just increasing your effectiveness there by 10-20% can result in a doubling, tripling of your happiness…
It is not what happens to you, it is not the name you are called that makes you miserable, it is what YOU say about it.
The transformation process is best illustrated, or likened to the worm and the butterfly.
The Chinese emperor spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon.
He listened to the persistent banging of the trapped butterfly on the wall of the cocoon.
Then, after several hours of this, it made a tiny hole, not big anough to get through it.
The emperor wanted, really wanted to see the butterfly emerge. but it’s been a whole day, and the emperor was tired. he wanted to go to sleep. Enough is enough, said impatience, so he decided to cut open the cocoon.
But to his disappointment, the butterfly’s body was big and its wings small.
The emperor hoped that the butterfly would open its wings and fly away but it never happened. In fact the emperor, in his zeal to help, in his impatience, ignored the fact that it is the struggle, the banging on the walls of the cocoon that makes the wings grow, makes the wings strong, so strong that it can carry its body.
Giving the wrong sort of help left the butterfly unprepared to fly.
No struggle, no pain, no effort will result in no transformation. No flying. No butterfly.
The biggest challenge in the partners program is to listen only, and to refrain from teaching and telling, and helping the other person… To not try to cut their cocoon open… out of impatience, out of wanting to be done with it: “why can’t they be like me, magnificent, smart, diligent… ” whatever you say about yourself… and be where YOU are… Desire to receive for the self alone… damn the other person and their process… You see the challenge, don’t you?
The most loving behavior (did I say loving?) is to let them struggle, and be where they are. Let them go through what they have to go through, without your help.
The more superior one partner feels, the less they will allow the other to struggle, and the more justified they will feel to think that they are doing the work, while the other isn’t.
That is the Landmark Leader syndrome? or guru syndrome?
As you can see, this program is not a walk in the park. No one can do your work for you without robbing you of YOUR results.
Brilliant… life is like this.
If you look at how parenting is in the world: you can see that the more parents do for their children the less the next generation will be able to do their work for themselves, the less the next generation will be able to fly.
It takes tremendous effort, tremendous self-discipline to allow your child to fall, hurt themselves, pick themselves up, and develop into a person.
It is harder, and requires more love from the parent, than doing for the child, giving to the child, protecting the child from life.
And, not surprisingly, the same effort, self-discipline, and real love is required in the partners program… and “mothers” find it especially difficult. How you do anything is how you do everything… you want to rob your partner of their transformation and growth the exact same way as you do with your child.
I am there, of course, to provide correction… I listen and comment on every partner call, even though it is time consuming to listen to every call.
But without correction you will stray from the strait and narrow, it’s guaranteed.
So as I am formulating the “packaged” version of the Playground, as my next project, I am really clear that without partner calls, feedback on the partner calls, the continuous nudges back to the path of the strait and narrow, the work won’t get done…
And yet, I am sure, many more people will want to buy the packaged course than are willing to partake in partner calls, and especially the live course.
Remember the article where I talk about the difference between information and transformation?
Not everyone wants transformation… and I have to be willing to provide people with what they want. Information you want? You got it… here you go. Much cheaper than transformation.
In one of my programs, the Effortless Abundance, you can get the information for seven dollars. You can add to it the process, for another $35. And you can go all the way to transformation by buying and doing a meditation for another $25.
Hundreds bought the information. Very few have gone all the way…
And that is how humanity is: wants to know, doesn’t want to do.
Fine by me.
Interesting tidbit: every new Playground attracts better quality participants. This means that every few months I can start a new group, and then merge them with the larger group.
This will be true for this upcoming Playground, where the communication, the missing 30% is going to be part and parcel with the program. How exactly? We’ll work out the bugs. No one has done anything like this, so there are no other programs to model.
Just like no one has EVER taken either themselves or another all the way to “heaven”, where there is nothing wrong. Where it is OK to be yourself. Where you can handle whatever is rained on you, without much disempowerment, without much suffering, without having to give up your goals, dreams and aspirations.
I call that heaven. because it is.
OK, here is the button to click if you want to learn more about the Playground, and if you want to sign up…
Check out the Playground