We are having a sticking point in my classes 1 : people seem to be understanding what there is to understand while they are in class, but completely forget it, and never use it. By the time the next class rolls around, it is all gone, forgotten.
Last night I gave a homework to every person: come back next session and tell me, prove it to me, whether I am a good teacher or a bad teacher.
It's a risky move, because given the results, not much, it is predictable that people will go to one or all of the following places:
- What is wrong with me that I want it and yet I am not understanding, not following through, I am nasty, I am slow, I am resistant, I am dutiful... etc. Maybe some will say: I am not smart enough. Maybe some will say: I am not diligent enough. Or: I don't want it enough...Yeah, she said it, that we must become responsible. I can see it. I am not good enough, and it is all my fault... yeah.
- The second predictable place people go is what's wrong with the teacher?She is not clear enough. Not encouraging enough. Not nice enough. Not loud enough. Not doing this, that my Scientology teachers did... not doing that that my other guru does... blah blah blah blah blah. That's a lot of blah's, by the way. lol.It is not quite clear why, but there must be something wrong with the teacher or her style, because I should be able to learn, because I am smart... Yeah, that's it, she is a bad teacher.
- The third place they will go is: What's wrong with it. The class is not well designed. It's too hard. The classes are too late and I am sleepy. The questions are too hard... blah blah blah... Maybe it is not clear enough. Maybe it is not step by step enough... but there is definitely something wrong with the material.
And all of these are known to everyone, all the articles talk about it, but what holds you back in life, what holds you back in class, have nothing to do with what's on the surface.
The visible has never made any difference. And you spend all your money, all your efforts, on changing or hiding or fixing the visible, or alternatively blaming it, making it wrong, suffering from it, being the victim of it.
If it is not the visible, then what is it?
The human mind is unable to grasp that all the power comes from the invisible
So your mind searches and searches and searches in the visible, knowable domain, never even considering going into the deep invisible realm.
My building has cracked walls. Obviously one side of the building is sinking, while the other side is sitting on solid ground. Lots of patching could go on. Lots of strengthening the foundation could go on.
What no one is thinking of is that the side that is sinking gets a lot of rain water... and unless they deal with that, the building will literally crack and will become uninhabitable.
Same with you. You attend to the obvious, or have given up on it, are resigned about it, and make weak attempts at pretending that you care, that you want, that you will.
But you don't pay any attention to the "rain water" of your life... and the result: it cracks your life, it makes you ineffective, it makes you not move forward.
Now, in our classes I teach all the hidden stuff about you that holds you back, but for you it is not real, for you it is just something to learn. Not to realize, not to master, but to learn.
As if the solution to my building's voes would be changing the weather. Good luck: the weather won't change, hopefully... If it does, it may signal the end of the world as we know it. New ice age? Want to go there? Anyone?
So, if you can't change the hidden, what is there to do? If you can't fix it?
You can be mindful and conscious of it. Be prepared for it. Create structures that lead the rainwater away from your foundations.
What am I talking about?
The unwillingness to be responsible for who you are, what you have, and how your machine works. The unwillingness to own your filters, so they disappear, at will. The unwillingness to own your own standards, so they won't stand in your way of hearing what there is to hear. And your unwillingness to get uncomfortable, at will, on your own initiative, so you can test that you can survive, that you can thrive, that the water is fine.
When you get that you have a resigned machine, or a deflated machine, or a "More Jesus than Jesus" machine, or a dutiful machine, Obedient and meek machine... then you can hold the machine so you can, as you see it, laugh at it, be amused by it, delight in it, and get on with life.
But when you consider your machine the sacred cow, the untouchable, then, of course, you have the life you are having: wretched.
I live on the edge of a wooded area. Lots of wildlife, deer, skunk, coyote, and, of course, field mice.
The can easily get into the building, and pick and choose whose apartment to use as their headquarters for the winter.
I am quite aggressive in my approach to mice, given that I make food products for sale: I need the environment to be clean and sanitary. So I have bought a big box of glue boards: you put it down, and put some yummy bait on it. The mouse can't resist, and gets trapped on the glue trap. I throw them out, board with the mouse on it.
This is my house, and if you come in, be prepared for the worst.
After catching a couple of them, I have noticed, the mice are leaving. Move out. They know that they can't resist the bait. And they want to live.
You behave like a mouse: but you are not. You can have choices
If you get trapped by someone using harsh words... you can say: oh, that is just my machine... and return to listening. If you get trapped by feeling slow, dense, and indecisive... then just say: oh, that is my machine, ha-ha... and return to action, whatever you do or say will take you out of the machine.
My work, all of my work, is finding more and deeper ways humanity is trapped. How and what degraded the peak of evolution to hapless machines, that cannot use their thinking capacity, their creative brilliance in their life... maybe in their work, but definitely not in their life.
I keep at it, whether you get what there is to get. I keep at it, hoping that I will find something, at the core, that is like an anchor that holds you back, holds all of humanity back in the petty world of right and wrong, good and evil, nice and nasty, instead of "this is my life and I am moving up, I am growing, I am god".
The book I just finished 2 has a theory. It's a theory, it has merits as a theory, but it's not true.
But at least now I know I am not the only one who is looking for the root cause.
He has a small cult following: most of his books are over a thousand pages, and you can't even guess what it's about until about halfway through, so if the reader is unwilling to do the work to situate themselves in the same world where the book is taking you, they will leave... like you leave before you even get what this world that you live in has for you, that's exciting, that's wonderful, and that it is worth staying for, doing the work for...
What am I going to do after the last of my students leave? The same. I will continue looking, writing my articles. I will continue making a living with my products, like any self-respecting guru-type should.
If it is worth teaching, you are probably not ready for it... Now, how is that for an unfetchable ball? 3
- Carrot and Stick
- Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
- I talk about the uncatchable/unfetchable ball in two more articles: The anatomy of earning your light and On the Eve of 2012: Soul Correction: Take the peacock, for example...