Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Seminar 4

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.

This talk will not appear in the main Search results:

Copyright 1998 by Peter Matthiessen - Unedited Preview Cassette

Auto-Generated Transcript

okay out susan yeah
great right next to year
we don't have to have more questions don't feel you have just don't think of questions
we could we could that and with a little herbs than anything else that we might want to do originally i was going to have a writing exercise to try to at work toward an impressionistic thing but again i don't know quite how you would handle the mechanics of it
great from photo to go
am i can read from the snow leopard is have somebody stole it
hello readers imperative
well you can try it but now i recommend that you find others who would like to try and then form up one of those groups but i talked about i think for i mean there's no way in our time that i couldn't really administer it i'd probably we could have done it earlier but we we thought things were going those knows from lol good talk and
i'm so i thought and
it seemed to unwieldy another time
oh good let's let's let's let's have any questions first and then as as a little time i read a short passage
i was in much algae and if not why not if so
he added lightning a spicy exchanged
okay i have written some part i'm a closet port
a couple of and i think are okay but never but i've never really i've never submitted a poem anywhere anybody i haven't written enough of my figure one has to have some body of work i did have the idea and i was writing this book called the snow leopard that i was gonna do it like master by shows journeyed into the far north
and i would have these impressions and descriptions and then have haiku way through i love the idea of writing haiku and i discovered that i really wasn't that good hourly haiku and the george shatter who is as technician scientists you the very by mine hating anything so fuzzier
george as yours does he just ran out of books and he went through our chocolate about two seconds and he is as one of those kind of be there he was packed with the bookless and we were only about ten days into the jar trap
so i got him and writing haiku and the only haiku you will find in that book or by george shot for some reason he's a very good haiku a completely untrained but he got it almost at once furthermore he is a good deal more mystical and his work or his persona would let you believe when it gets up when you go up at six fifteen of
sixteen thousand feet near there for a few weeks
why it's amazing how you open up
as that so much so that i was wondering if we would still be friends after we went back down to the lowlands because he really did open his heart he really talk for the and maybe for one of the very few times as life eyes i see and i've seen in frequently but periodically wish they were so very good friends ha and he as as i knew he worries
close up again he hasn't really know i think i think and practice would be wonderful for shower ah he opened up again but it was wonderful what a divorce
earlier hey asshole
but your last time on top
hey something about
background systems
no protection
you mean the people in tiger countries are there and voices lot
well that that's a very large and very painful question i often found myself extremely torn i am you know we are many too many of us as malice
big mouse the dangerous methods
but we have to take care of those who are here there are others a sometimes you see a kind of a scary almost dangerous point of view that you know that really people would like to date they secretly or please when their mass famines and stuff like that i don't believe that our our errors nor lack of wisdom which is always so far
behind our technological skill
because of that we have that many too many of us but we have to take care of those who are here but that does not mean we can't start educating people and one another about the future we have to really cut down on our population growth which is exponential you seen those figures as they are really terrify
how fast has happened and is continue to happen and the i think as a decline now but will take decades to have any effect and by that time of year and accumulated momentum of population so many many more people
so but could again we're talking about jobs those loggers are real people with real families and they have read to put on the table and they don't care about the spotted owl
why should they
they don't care about that they have for them much much more urgent demands and i'm afraid is a good deal right on their side how about the traditional people traditional new i love the in it but they are up there they're hunting by treaty they are they're entitled to hunt right whales and bowhead up in the arctic sea neither
two disappearing species probably have but now they're using in a motor boats and stuff like that and a lot of them are not the old traditions and that they are not the people that laws were made for many and instances so what you do a lot of plains tribes they need spotted eagle feathers which they caused
the young of the golden eagle they need those feathers for a but some of the miccosukee they need cougar for their ceremony and often you really do interfere without a very very age old tradition i'm very sorry the chinese use tiger parts in their medicines but it's not something new or tricky or been only all
always have and they always had plenty of you really had plenty of tires almost until the time of chairman mao who decided they were pesky ah you know roots and they should be eliminated and they put a bounty on them and i just about finished them in china they really they really quite a common animal that quite adaptable where they are where they are the two
tigers are really quite flexible and they could come back very easily with any kind of encouragement by dumb
but you always are torn you always are torna some of you may remember i'm a let me say at once that i support greenpeace i'm i'm a radical environmentalist i boys supported greenpeace since the outset and but i've been at odds with greenpeace policies for number of years now because they fake the evidence
they've been caught over and over again and you know they say they're you know they're all but fanatic and they say the end justifies the means therefore we can fudge the the data a little bit and they did that thing on the young harp seals you remember on the labrador ice is beautiful white coats they called beautiful white seals with black eyes and their the on
these terrible
guys called them from to death and i'm somehow with that footage never quite shoulder the faces of the people who were doing the tuber clubbing i didn't name the ship
and there's quite a lot of reason to believe in all the more so because greenpeace's caught and admitted in court faking evidence and australia about the killing of animals there
who are those whalers i've been a commercial fishermen this is february on the ice of labrador and all i can tell you his i don't i've never run into a commercial fishermen who could conceivably kill i don't know probably fifty or sixty of those things in our
you know whatever and only has two three hours late to do it and or not or less a dim light at that and as very cold on the ice lavender hot february you know is he really gonna stop and torture these animals and taught the mother with a dead and skin it alive which is all a suggestion and i showed breezy bardo cut
harp seal pup well i turned out breezy never left the studio you know kathy it wasn't that she really was protecting their was symbolic action
well how about the people who apparently didn't do this they can never find out who these so called a seal hunters were
how about the people who lost their living they did as a dead community up there and the coast of labrador partly a new it and partly a labrador canadians a lost their livelihood completely the livelihood of many of the northern people it was a seal boycott that came in don't buy seal products
the harp seal there are millions a harp seals and the davis strait between greenland and baffin island alone
and the caught and the harp seals are very definitely an added effect on an absolute destruction of the cod population which made the grand banks georges bank so valuable at fishery there are many too many of them i don't have to tell you people about too many seals you have right here on the docks people can't get to their boats of a donkey
alpha i the coast and add this isn't true all species some species are rare should be protected with the harp seal was a fake issue these are the pups were very very common prosperous species that goes all the way across the atlantic
you member i started off
oh yeah the chart yeah sigh that the choice do you often there are some of these things perhaps you remember the famous remember the famous gray whales trapped in the ice member that of north america
ronald reagan who made those wonderful conservation remarks about redwoods if you've seen one you've seen them all
he needed a little help with his green image exxon as there with our usual track record the russians who the last people in the world fishing gray whales commercially they land ice breakers to say these two as the and us who also at the or all the people who needed a lot of greening and their image were there
and the media everybody may be hundreds of thousands who knows me and dollars hobby mom were spent saving these two dimwit gray whales it didn't make the cut
who should have died had for natural reasons because it that they really didn't they didn't do it should have done in terms of their whatever and they were caught
and they are you know and all the tvs on people moaning and sighing and they you human beings are starving all over the world human beings are trapped in slumps who cares about them these two wales we all what do we turn to mush over these two animals now i love animals and i have all my life and i write about wales i love whales but those
to wales manhattan
well i missed is truly a travesty and on top of all lad that let me point out that it's extremely unlikely that those two l survived
anyway after all that
no showboating of their own that ice hole and is disgraceful you know
am punchy
maybe i better go to the next question if somebody here that i overlooked it was right oh yes you skate shoes off out your early religious and
experience tradition
after my about you i'm dan buddhism
my i was i was raised in an episcopalian family and they were not very religious my sister was wonderful person is very impressionable dude she was love of jesus for quite a long time and and and truly hated me for my
my irreverent marks and i wasn't i wasn't i had nothing as jesus christ all on the contrary but i just didn't like her piety i think as narrowly a reaction against the stink of zen
oh so i wasn't a very religious person but i have always loved the church i've always loved church music i loved stained-glass windows there's no cathedral so paltry that i won't go a hundred miles out of my way see it and to be in it i love that i remember my grandmother died hours on research trip and
in mexico and i couldn't i couldn't get home but i did go to a little cherish i sat with her meditating and i wasn't even a zen student than but it just instinctively did that i'm drawn to the church or no church music the greatest music we have in our culture really is church music is wonderful
so i guess i was always been a religious person i've always seen and anime
oh time drawn and i keep writing about miss good experience for nice i said i've i've always had a sense of things by simply was not an organized tem church person at all
and i came to zen practice because my then wife or let my late wife
we were very drawn to eastern thought eastern poetry lipo always we just loved the way those minds work and we wanted to teach her this was the early sixties and we ran across this man who's kind of a renegade renegade pioneer shrink you've gone to kind of dr john the night tripper
and we and he's a very early experimenter with lsd and we moved into that and i'm did a lot of that and in the sixties and then and then my wife she had a succession of of badham trips and she moved out of that and she went over to japanese tea ceremony and their friend letter
and she led me and that was but a nineteen sixty nine and that's really i guess how i i but i think there's always been that yearning for spiritual clarity you know some kind of always had it since i was a little boy hum i just came about through rather odd way
ways i think you know an awful lot of people i think you'd agree in the early days especially his eminence country a lot of people i know who i practice with in the sixties early seventies were people who had used on psychedelics and then gone away from him because we didn't like that chemical screen
between you and the experience and zen practice ah can lead to something as powerful or more powerful and i'm so drew drew a lot of people that reason but there is no question that those psychedelic when they were used you know timothy leary as a great deal to answer for they used to say about leiria he was the only
are you and being on earth whose ego is not soluble and lsd
and and the very attention he drew to it had it was because of him really and richard alpert over the tube of a badass but randazzo least learned and that and changed but those guys really the only ones who got a prohibited and therefore became an outlaw substances nobody knew what they were take
king and and no longer was safe to to use you know but i i i really mean as i would never i think there's an enormous amount of abuse of it in your response will use and lot of damage is done to a lot of people because it's very very powerful stuff but i i feel that if it were made as it was when i first started using made by sanders for masuda
goals and switzerland you knew exactly what you are getting and you couldn't use it accordingly and in the hands of responsible people who knew they were doing i know hardly anyone could not have benefited by it and it's a great pity you know it's still use as there is a group that still uses it a with the permission of the government because it
proved so effective in certain specific ailments and what was recidivism the people who had a tendency to keep getting caught and going back to prison they they're obviously hung up on something or they needed that the safety of that routine whatever it was they they were able to have a measurable effect on people who had that
a tendency that virginity in women was another thing that's very they're very effective with people who are dying a tiresome to a terminal disease enormously effective and they and the results were so clear that even the narc squad had to back down on that night and they are
so these people still do experimental stuff with it
the maryland nothing
mom was adaptations
i met it
fill the film business being what it is i've had five or six of my books at once under option to be made films and i can i can tell you this and of those so-called properties as they call them hollywood that actually reached treatment stage and even for draft screenplay
and maybe the preliminary locations preliminary casting all at anything of those films that maybe hundreds of thousands of bucks have already been spent on one out of every four hundred and eighty three ever makes it to the silver screen
so there's an awful lot of talk and awful lot of guys are living off the movie and but you know that so many films are made and not very many good films i've done it most writers do it here and there when you're broke you gotten do a screenplay or agent get you on their kind of fun to do but but the results in the people you have to work with never yeah
that i i don't really have to do that i'll tell you a typical film story i wrote a short story is in that collection somebody had here on the river styx and that wasn't that story was called i'm traveling man it was a very very simple concept but lewis been well saw it and he was actually right he's
aw may be met incredible film where the animals the wild animals for the character and his two men were simply carrying all this out and the human voice has never heard of the very end of the film and he came up to new york and we had supper we talked about with both so excitedly honey see straight i was just amazed that he had seen asked you know
so that i went off to new guinea and when i came back on all the guy ran the new guinea exhibition somebody years worked with some robert gardner
garden and told me that he and he was a friend of well he went on location where they're doing this travesty in mexico and manuel at that time was politically unpopular he was considered left wing not allow the country or something and
so he had to he fell in the hands of these are fly by night producers and they said ah you're getting a film a low talk in edirne and there's no sex interest or order and the so much only involve wildlife and these two men and it was a very strong simple kind of allegory story
the white man has a thirteen year old and fat mistresses in there she's in there for their sex interest and then the black guy that i both these guys were very tough the black guy is a instead of being this kind of escape guy from the road gang kind of would toughen the trapper and
good hunter turns out to is guy and gonna pay pants he's got little fedora hat eyes as sincere and let down that atelier already you know and it's sentimental and the turn it turns out the white guys real nice guy and i sat in them exhibitors p new theatre they had the first screening of it i was all by myself not turn the color one of these
shares i can feel our package faded i got so embarrassed so hot fortunately i wasn't boone wales fall i just imposes on him he lost he just couldn't control i did this to them
it was held up in litigation with distributors and it was never see
haha and furthermore and had a happy ending in this way the guy that terrible guy who made it i remember him from the producer that they got the story out of mix i was broke the time i got a soul i saw the story which the read sheep people for these guys are for fifteen hundred bucks total world rights forever to this moving
and they will it's just me on that
i didn't get that i got five hundred bucks upon signing and that was all aerosol and then the man died and the film never came out and i said hey hi we're being what it is forget if you never can see the color that again a few years ago this is how many years later i'm an incredible number of years later twenty five or thirty
however a phone call from very nice mrs pepper and she so i and she said i am the widow of so on so pepper on a resentment and i seem to have inherited the rights to i'm your story traveling man which my husband made a fun as said he did
it's true he didn't do that
and she said i'm reading the accounts here i'm trying clear up his estate and it seems if i'm reading this correctly i think you are still owed a thousand dollars
and i said mrs pepper i have no way of proving that and you are quite entitled legally and otherwise to walk away with that thousand bucks because i kept i have nothing a cupboard or show you
and she said know if you say as she's due to a yo-yo housing as i said you do
came right up next meal was in that nice she didn't have to join the my gun that was wonderful
the interest
why didn't i think of that
pc or three copies of the film
yeah i think you can get it for some reason boone well fans think that what he did with this despite all these obstacles was really wonderful i don't know i couldn't take it in my story has been absolutely the the act of the puppet white poacher was played by an actor and other a good actor be you miracle zachary scott those of you who are older memorable zach scott his
he's playing a guys will see a great hunter and guy moves like a snake fluids and and ozaki the guy enough for some reasons and southern swamps for the have a lumberjack outfit
a big hot check shirt you die of prostrations you walked on anywhere in that shirt he has been company so lumber jack boots on and here's a guy who has never been in the woods and his entire life is he's stumbling over everything i can believe this know
with his little black side get cousteau a hipster
i talked earlier about the humiliations of being a writer or that was another one to add to my militia
tyler ah the young one
totally forgettable title
did you get credit
hum i doubt it pretty much i think they are their with that any i take fifteen hundred bucks for show sorry doesn't deserve credit that
asked the redford
i was nowhere involve accepted accepted my book in the spirit of crazy horse was used so much for that film and also for the film that michael apt had ripped off from that
so angry i get
i'm falling apart
i made the camera man and the director sign on the caravan and the director and another guy bob the film they all said we call your book the bible he said we've absolute it neither i nor leonard peltier who owns has his defense committee gets half of every penny that book makes for a movie or book
ever saw sam never i can prevail so i didn't i did have something to do with it i gave them their story and most of their lines and the us and but i didn't have any
i would

i didn't hear that question
a common with female characters it easy
i don't think i'm in a position to
answer that question
i don't know i think are there are in this new book there more more female characters and there have been to her serious female characters and so i think you'd have to judge yourself
i really don't know i i do believe that really we are but i believe men and women are entirely different creatures i hold that view i guess enormous amount of evidence to support it i think it's really to our responses are different i saying that somebody i agree with a cliche that women should be running the world i get much better grounded i get
much but of spirit of life and then doom and go off in their heads and do not all stupid things and i'm all for that and i like women very much indeed
but whether i actually get the character women speaking i just don't know i really don't know and thinking
now and again men right for marauders really do if you covered williams tyrants lie down and darkness that's an extraordinary book from and the heroine mean that the protagonist is a young woman had is an amazing feat i don't think i don't think i'm capable of that but
i don't know as curious question how did you have to ask that you see at once my person in my appearance that i am an old dinosaur and
with terrible macho attitudes and
i know
i just wonder how companies he would tell her you're at it

you know i i think on you know we might i think we're men will get certain things wrong about women and women writers often get things wrong about men with i think they are the more the subtle social thanks the kind of things that jane austin missile good out that a very sharp eye she had men and women she got the folly and all that
all that kind of behavior but i think on the on the deeply felt emotional things love and loss brief and all of those things we are all human animals and we really are i think i think as you go deeper that point draws closer and closer and i think that's really what you're trying to tie
happened to if you're writing a a serious novel anybody can i can make up a good woman character i can read other people's books that it was pretty cute about the eyes as nice and and this kind of she walks in certain way she dresses this way i really like playing the tail on the donkey i you assemble all these parts and it's a pretty interesting character anybody can do
that last time i'm talking on i'm talking about the heart of heartland of the character
what's the was a have you taken a lot and know
or our kids eager for our country problems that i
hum i didn't hear that question when somebody repeated over the course this year came to be attacked by animals and wild way to make the to what we saw the offering himself or herself to the target to the next signs
one time on safari in africa we are going across as very while a country i described this in am
book called san rivers
and there was a we had a tracker up front and he had a rifle this elephant gun he had and then behind him as his warden of the all warden of this region and and then behind him was me and we came around a great big thorn bush should be high bush i got and they're right there i mean
i think the first second about as far as me a norman was a huge rhinoceros with a come i'll come how's the tiger calf right but actually the calf was confused with facing the wrong way very alone
the cute ugly little thing
and you know rhinos are are short temper they're called kalyan in swahili the hot they a tender go for you when you get into their space that far is a pretty automatic
but for some reason and the early all the the bearers of our safari dropped their packs and lows and really scampered and the and the and the tracker past the rifle back to this warden and and we were starting to back off and i suddenly real
realized that animal is not going to charge
she just she had a fixed and i just i couldn't believe it i can see every fly i can see every fly in the crevices of a hide agassi the dust and the air flicking in area even the even the droopy eyelids yokai thing as comical calf faced cry
had i guess that was i
i had lots of experiences i had a crazy friend who an elephant biologists and manyara park who and amused him to have me an open bed of his truck going through forests and if you can find an angry elephant or make one angry and there i was out they would like a snail way you would be plucked and
i thought why is as and so anxious to kill me know how the air and then he stopped he stopped the car when they really it was really stupid because the whole open was back was open and i was not this time the hawk car was open and he had his girlfriend in the front seat and i was in the backseat and they're one of these tree climbing lions that there and many other climb trees and your ally
lions do because they're scared of the elephants so to get by the elephants they climb up on his limbs and he stopped or the lion and slight there
so angry and so upset that are tail beagle a long tail of the black and night you know the tuft were just whacking branch and which she's like a rattlesnake
she was very agitated
i'm dumb
i think what are you doing he said oh she wants a picture of this
he said i don't care i just hate pictures of frightened animals as well then don't take my picture to him
ha ha so you do have i mean in this line of work you're gonna get and getting in trouble with the animals will but i don't like danger i don't like the few of it but in this work if you and me would i do you in sooner or later you can't anticipate everything if you wanna we we did
we got the first film's underwater the great white shark and it was harry my job as us a gopher but i was in his cage and the cage was made of aluminum you know that shark could open up that case like a sardine can without any trouble just in fact he did i am very happy i wasn't in the cage that day but one day he got his dorsal fin and between the bars he
just a role because he felt himself track user role he opened up oh kitchen you have the poor diver and that was crouching with in the corner and all i was doing in there was holding out are trying to lure him into the cameras and he the mimi lurie and came in like an express train were up against the law and they was biting at the tanks lucky the tank
were compressed air they made of steel and even in white shark could make a dent in them but all that is thrilling afterwards is great fun to talk about love i love it i love that i had that experience i loved that i had that fear by can not say i enjoyed it at the time
i don't like brisk i don't like him giving him i don't even like the name adventurer
viruses may know it's a terrible

i think we're three i think we're through we've exhausted people this this avalanches of taka the yeah okay i i want to i we we've been very busy today and number of you are some of you have given me out letters things to read and i and a painting
and i'm pretty which is great now need for that but i'm very grateful and i will will have a chance look at them come
and thank you very much for coming in supporting san francisco zen center and thank you norman for having me
and we'll see you again
for exactly two thirds of the time to figure it all out
the positive forces are an operation but the negative ones have their innings because it goes off with such a big bang the end
so this is the way the world ends not with a whimper but with a bag according to this cosmology
ah and furthermore i think to console you is the time goes faster in the kali yuga than in the other uga's and in the n g c the destruction is personified as shiva who just dances the dance of the tandava with all his ten arms waving with knives and clubs and lightning and everything and the whole
thing blows up but the instant it blows up
everybody wakes up
finds out who they are
and last at sell it because water terror and how easily overcome
now that of course again i i'm speaking mythological language
and it is important to realize this because mythological language is useful
you can say things were that you can't say in other ways
an often mythological ideas are more sophisticated than what you might call abstract or even scientific ideas
you see if you think of the universe as founded on a braemar or someone like that even a jehovah
you got definitely an anthropomorphic idea of the lord
ah he's the or the old gentleman or use the great dancer whichever image you want to use
and you might say this is rather primitive yes it is primitive but there there isn't really a better image if you think of it as say to use northrop's inimitable raise the undifferentiated aesthetic continuum
once you've got as a conception vaguely resembling tapioca
or some kind of go
and that is really an inferior conception till the human image
alas you see we don't know anything more evolved than the human image
noodles ah with with the the ultimate

alas you see we don't know anything more evolved than the human image you may have had some of you a conversations with angels or we would be the ultimate itself and when you do meet the ultimate itself for some of you have ah you know that oh you can't think about it but
it certainly not a minor quantity of certainly nothing like go the plane undifferentiated go
so the the advantage of mythological ideas is that you know that mythological and therefore you don't take them literally
that's a very important thing to remember
so don't worry about people who believe in god
the problem about believing in god incidentally is
that that believing as the wrong attitude
believing is a form of mistrust
because it saying i fervently wish that you exist
and if you don't i don't know what to do it myself
now they're the real attitude of faith is not believing but simply being open to whatever reality is
and to say you don't know that's why even in early christianity you find out that they call the highest form of faith unknowing agonists xia in greek from which we get in it's kind of deprived sent the word agnostic but ago nausea unknowing is the highest form of
is the the the final which than which there is no witcher wouldn't completely know itself what it was
cause in order to know what something is you have to be able to classified and you have to compare it with something it isn't and so the final ground of the universe is perfectly unclassifiable therefore strictly speaking outside the domain of logic and far more philosophy
having examined then these two a mythological forms which underlie the western man's intense feeling of alienation and separateness we have to go into another dimension of the question
and that is the influence upon who we think we are of our social institutions
now what is a social institution
we know that there are things like of the family
the police the courts the law the church and we know that these a social institutions
but social institutions are far more subtle than those things
time for example as a social institution
because it is a matter of convention that is to say of coming together to agree to measure time in a certain way
and we have international agreement about that
likewise obviously money as a social institution
so are weights and measures
so ah
ideas of value
what is the good life who is contributing to society and who is working against it
so you see we were discussing this morning among other things extremely the idea of survival
and ah that the survival as a good thing
and to survive as long as possible is a very good thing but that is a form of social institution
it is something we have come to agree about it isn't necessarily true in the sense that shall i say
the french language is not a truer language than the english
but so long as people agree to speak a certain language they can communicate and they've decided that communication is a good thing
so any language that makes communication possible is a good language
and the in a way the more people who agree about it the better
but it is a matter of agreement
you see same way the lines of latitude and longitude are conventions
they are did they don't exist you can tie up packages with the equator
but it's a very useful idea
and so in the same way the ways in which we have shaped the constellations
that we all agree that the stars called the big dipper look something like a deeper
and though you know there aren't any strings tying them together the constellation is not there as a constellation
so in a sense we project
our institutions onto the world in rather the same way the psychiatric patients project images onto a rorschach blot and what interests the psychiatrist is what sort of images this person produces that tells him something about person in the same way our social institutions tell us something about people
and furthermore as i also explain this morning people are also members of the external world and therefore they tell us something about the external world
man is something nature is doing
and is not a stranger as these two great myth of made us believe
so it's the physical facts of the matter ah not
that we are confronted with note that word confront
with a world that cares nothing for us and that is has nothing in common with are kind and style of intelligence
it is rather the very opposite
that the fact that we are intelligent
is symptomatic of the intelligence of the world as a whole
we live in a highly intelligent and barn
and intelligence you see is really a kind of complete complex behavior
when we see some very exquisite pattern
we look at it and say my isn't that one
isn't that intelligent looking i wonder who did it
because we associate all intelligence with the whom
and when you look at a planned it's obviously intelligent
it's it's shape its rhythm
with all it's wonderful tubes inside it's complex relationship to bees and birds
and to the surrounding atmosphere and light this is a very intelligent affair
how in the in just the same way we are related to the external world
as plants are
in amazingly complicated ways and by and large we don't notice them
because the candidate the aspect of our consciousness with which we notice things is very limited
it notices what it's called facts things and events
and pinpoint damn it and it pulls them out as significant
you see when you remember coming here and what you saw and who was here you only remember very tiny bits of the whole scene
you will not remember what very many people war unless you happen to be interested in clothes
you won't really remember how they did their hair what their styles well unless you are peculiarly interested in hairstyles you probably won't notice their shoes at all
and goodness knows what else that nobody has ever thought to notice
but when under certain circumstances our consciousness becomes expanded as in mystical vision
you begin to become aware of things that you don't notice one of the most important things that we don't notice space
most people regard space as nothing
it's just avoid a in which we move around
but actually space is terribly important it has properties
we are all something happening in space in rather the same way that a whirlpool occurs in water
space has a terms in it it has ripples in it it has places where it's denser than at other places
this is all becoming clear in physics
but it's certainly not impinged upon the consciousness of the average intelligent person
so this space in which we live in movement have our being is an intelligent continuum it doesn't just nothing at all
there's one little lesson about this that i will that you must excuse me for repeating if you heard it before but it's very important and it's a lesson in the value of space and it's showing you that space and energy or the same thing
let us suppose that we have a universe in which there is only one ball and that's all there is
there isn't anything else
nobody can say of this ball whether it's moving or not
therefore it doesn't appear to manifest and energy
it you can't say it's moving and you can't actually say it still
there's no way of thinking about
now introduced into our universe a second ball
and we noticed that they get farther apart
now one of them is moving all both are moving but we can't decide which we only know there is energy here there is motion why do we know this energy because the space between them all models either increases or decreases
now let's have three balls
and you'll find two of them stay close to each other
and the other one gets farther away now which one is moving
the majority is going to decide the to that stay together are going to say we are moving away from that one or else if they want to argue differently they say we're standing still and that one is moving away from us
do you see all these views that equally true but if an argument starts up the majority is going to win
but the point is you see space and energy are fundamentally related
there is no manifestation of energy without space
so we can drag in time but i don't want to make it complicated i want to make this little image as simple as possible so as to understand the importance of space that has to say of the surroundings of things of the background and the background is ignored in ordinary consciousness but in mystical consciousness the background becomes important
you become aware vividly of the fact
that you as a than individual
imply by your existence everything else that exists
or ever has existed or ever will exist
you can't exist as the kind of person you are without all that
now that's the secret to the connection between you and the cosmos
just as a back doesn't exist without a front
in just that sort of way all of it doesn't exist without you and you don't exist without all of it
even if you die you see and disappear totally
nevertheless the fact that you have existed is still effect and a universe in which there has been a person like socrates
is quite a different universe from a universe in which there hadn't been a person like socrates socrates having existed is a symptom of the way things are
so fundamentally we get a picture of the cosmos
in which the self the real i is the whole thing just as we say of an individual human body you are john doe and that's all of you although if we look at you very carefully under an electron microscope we will find that molecules in your blood or further apart than the earth and the sun
what makes you think your eulogy
scott a thought well it's space
and so in the same way of such a relationship exists between our our galaxy and other galaxies and so on this obvious
by various conventions and social institutions we develop the impression that this isn't so we learn to ignore we are not to notice certain things and do you know not noticing is very very important
in the hindu theory of politics
ah all the what our spiritual virtues have political counterparts
for example
in the spiritual domain the word pyre
u p a way means merciful techniques for awakening people
clever devices used by a teacher
in the politics in the political domain the where rupiah means cunning
likewise and the spiritual domain or picture means equanimity in the political domain or picture means overlooking
when for example the boss of the big concern finds it in one of his employees is taking out a little bit of the petty cash
now he figures out is this man worth it ah his services really worth it and shall i met it ignore the fact that he's doing this that would be a picture
now in our whole society we do an enormous amount of affection
the things we overlook
there are obvious things that we don't talk about there is a taboo side to life that we don't mention it so we're supposed to overlook it you know when silk stockings were first invented with a fine mesh type a present of several dozen of them were sent by important american businessman to the queen of spain
and they were returned by her chamberlain to the letter which said you should recognize that her majesty the queen of spain has no legs
haha in other words those legs don't officially exist
so only what exists efficiently is what is noticed and as we say noted noteworthy make a note of it in your mind and your datebook
noting and noticing notation you see at all based on the same idea what we attend to
but there are a lot of very attention worthy things that we ignore
but part of the whole game the other cosmos is played in this way imagine the cosmos as a great hop
the you know the angels are supposed to play hearts and heaven
well the actual hop they play is the total possibility of vibrations
now you know about the spectrum of light that is a series of vibrations so as the spectrum of sound
then beyond light there are other vibrations which are not picked up by our senses
but instruments pick them up and then there must also be many vibrations as yet not picked up by any instruments that we have now what is you see what we call nature is a system of picked up vibrations
some vibrations aren't picked up and therefore nothing appears so
why it seems that the space around things because the vibrations they are aren't picked up there not noticed and this is why there is a whole domain of hindu and buddhist philosophy cold tundra
tantra refers to the idea of weaving
and so when you have a warp and woof
the the weaver decides what threads i've gotta be picked up and appear on the front which is what everybody's going to look at and what threads will be overlooked repress put behind the scenes they'll be behind and so it will appear that we have a birdie here at a birdie there on a birdie the and no connection between the
birdies actually if you look on the other side you will see that the red threads which made the bird is against a white background continues
only that's not notice
so in this way we are taught from childhood we are indoctrinated in a system of social institutions that are simply rules about what is to be noticed and what does not to be noticed
that's why children are sometimes very odd questions about things that adults don't notice
the famous story of the little boy who has been taken to a concert and where a lady is singing and he says momma why does she screamed when she yawns

ha so and then the same way at it inventive poets
put together images that people never thought of before
it's like yates is famous phrase the be loud glade know does a beautiful idea for a nice glade to be be loud
i never was all think of that we never thought of that before we never thought of it just that way we didn't notice that
then you see
we don't notice the most obvious thing of all
that's of course the last thing that we would notice what is most obvious
and requested that the fundamental com's it would be called it them is what is it you haven't noted
what are you ignoring what have you forgotten you know you you forgotten something
very important that you came in here you know without clothes on and it's sort of should have absent mindedness i look to say i'm you forgot something
say what i well i uh oh good heavens
so the same way
the fundamental who we are the basic identity the brahma the tut which tom ah
that's what we've all forgotten but by ignoring it we make this game
so then let's see what we do precisely in steps about social institutions
we're not in training the young
first of all
it's important
to identify a child
the child has got to be someone
and we often say have a child we think is dominant competent you're never going to amount to anything
you're just gonna be on a hot you're gonna be something unnoticed
so a child has to find out the approved way of drawing attention to itself
the if a child succeeds and not drawing attention to itself it will get fed for one thing
the hell of a baby is it away a way of getting attention
and that's we what we what we want people to do
we want a certain kind of way of asking for attention
we don't like it when babies how and get attention that way
i don't know why not because sometimes if you really listen to a baby crying very beautiful sound
but it gets attention because it's annoying and we want to stop it
so we we we fundamentally one people to love us
and we don't believe that they will
unless somehow we put them in a situation where they must
so we have all kinds of processes a charming people and eliciting their love
they range as the front and first of all on one end of the spectrum from being physically attractive
that elicits attention
another way is to be funny
and people laugh and they like you were having something around that's funny and other ways to be helpful to wash the dishes and things like that that's that's good
another way is to be weird
only that's a little disconcerting and have to be careful how you play that one of i may put you in a place where you're not seem
all the time you're playing this game of course everybody else is reacting to it
and they are talking to you they're giving your messages about the kind of attention making seen you are playing
and they they don't want you to do anything in this game that will discombobulate
they want you to play it according to certain rules so that they'll know what you'll do next that's terribly important
people mustn't be too surprising
we you know we like things to stay put
we liked them to be regular
and if you had a kettle which suddenly developed legs and walked off the stove you would say it was uncanny and put it in a zoo or something were to be safe where it wouldn't do anything
the further are predictable
so if for the same reason we have enough a fairly large number
of acceptable character roles that people are allowed to play
and you should watch these things very carefully because it's tremendously instructive to figure out what kind of roles your friends or play
they have cost to through long long accustomed business come to believe that that's who they really are and that when they are playing their role they are being themselves and being straight and honest that's an a deception that very easily arranged by choosing between a number of roles in early life
you might play who got decide whether you're going to be a serious person or a clown or whatever you know and then you you behave as if the rosy you've discarded with a superficial ones the one you've decided to play as the deep one and that's really you
that is soon down in this way a child earn notices very early in life that he a different person in different environments
he is one person and the company of his parents sometimes one person with his father and another with his mother
he is another person with a nursemaid he is another person at school he's still quite another person alone with other children
and still someone else when he's by himself
he makes a visit to relatives i know very well that i was a different personality and my aunt and uncle's home than i was in my own out
because you respond to the environment you get a very very subtly delivered cues that certain attitudes are expected of you and you don't just play these attitudes outwardly and how you speak and gesture you play them inwardly you think the thoughts that the other people are suggesting you think
if you listen to your what you call your own mind very carefully you will discover that it's full of the echoes of other people's voices
what do i think about this than you think but actually it's your mother talking to
all the sort of thing she would say or whoever else it may be someone you admire very much
so that the the interchange of us the our behavior and the messages that come from the environment and especially from other people give us the message that identifies us it tells us who we are
and in this culture
you see the messages that we get from the social environment do not tell us very many things about ourselves
they do not tell us above all
about the big secret
how we are connected with the cosmos because that in this weaving game has been left out in the background
now i have spoken obviously have many of these social institutions in a somewhat a way that will sound critical to you as if they weren't to most as if some of them weren't really a very good idea
and we have to figure out ways of deciding about social institutions whether they're a good games or not
and that's quite difficult
when we contrast a victorian family with a modern family there are very different game rules are being played
and we have more or less decided today that they weren't playing very good game rules
if you contrast the book for example on child rearing written in say eighteen sixty with dr spock
well doctor spock is post fried
and since fried ideas of child rearing have altered hide radically and also one must not forget that montessori and froebel and all sorts of other people and not to mention or
what's his name summerhill
come in between
on what grounds will we say that
the game in which a child is now educated at a reasonably progressive school is better than the kind of school i went to
which was based on the game the fundamental gameroom of the school is suffering builds character

and therefore you could miss treat somebody out of compassion that it is good for ah
ah now you could say well i've heard many arguments with my father about this my father than a really genuine fell off the phone
man with a very open mind
but he he said once
she said think of any great man whoever came out of a co-educational school
oh ah
it's the thought of question that you've never thought out and so you don't have any
already on
but he he was convinced to say that that in a boy's life association was women it was weakening to the character
and that's why boys are sent away to be in the company of men get them get them out of those women his ways and make 'em tough because he
now if you're playing society by that sort of game rule and you want men to be soldiers and so they'll be happy with each other with no women around and you want to to be explorers and all that sort of thing then you will say that kind of education produces good results
but you see we're living in a world where soldiers are becoming obsolete
oh they're just becoming a menace in a danger and we we gotta be very careful that we only breed a few of them
just like bees have these problems of how many of this type of worker and so on the breed and we have this is a very serious problem and it's changing rapidly as changing so rapidly that we're in considerable doubt as to what kind of human characters are advantageous to have
the you see there are circumstances in which
people who was simply conform and cooperate or a damn nuisance
because they don't get a new ideas and what we needed was new ideas and we needed people with his courage of their convictions that other circumstances where we've got enough ideas and people with new ideas does makes a complicated i have a psychiatrist i've had recently on my travels
said the i don't know if i'm going to come to your seminar we'd had a conversation got on and rather amusing me he said it would be a terrible terrible problem to me to get any new ideas
is my entire operation and it's going along pretty smoothly now and i you know that i have a hospital and i have many men on to be working under we've got a system going if you give me new ideas there's going to be awful
so there there resembles some problem you see about this whole question of roles
and what roles people ought to have so what we do
we keep a certain number of roles that are acceptable and these are the identities you may choose from
i'll look at how this is reflected in the criticism of the novel and in writing the novel
one of the chief things a novel will be criticized for his for having characters that are inconsistent
if you want to read a novel that is absolutely hysterical where the characters aren't consistent it's called cards of identity
and it's by a british or whose names me smith the moment
but the cards of identity it's about a club that specializes in changing people's identity and to read papers on identity problems and it is simply hysterical there are some scenes in it some of the funniest things i've ever read it has a kind of a weekend the books on a fizzles out with a bad parody of shh
shakespeare that
the the main part of the book it is very funny indeed
that ordinarily easy and a novel what happens is so funny as the way these identities change and the way persona is are suddenly broken down and the man whether you know they they get a doctor in the house and he really got a professional bedside manner they take him apart completely happens
hey turn him into the gardener and
oh he's changed entirely
so this is a novel about inconsistency
of character
but you see what we read in fiction
is what we expect in life
consider for a moment how much of your attitudes been influenced and your moral standards by jokes in such papers as the new yorker
what is unacceptably funny situation
sometimes or for example a man like charles adams
will pull the thing the whole way round by making somebody who is really terribly evils seem extremely amusing
and is a little by making a coffin and his carpentry class while all the other little boys are making a
ties little chairs toys toy airplanes thing
well that you begin to wonder
would it be all right
if you could laugh about it to see well either the the real joke is what's going to do with it
you've got a dwarf sister he wants to get rid off
have many years to a pet
the the basic fig then is we're given a choice of roles and we are encouraged to be consistent in our roles through the novel and through drama through all kinds of other means so that people will be can
so that they won't be too jumpy
what is it that whereas you about somebody who is insane
see a friend of mine had a patient when he came into the outpatient department and the veterans hospital every day would have to sign himself in and on the roster where you find yourself in there was a place for your occupation but he changed his occupation every day
and i one day with when my friend received the card you know that he signed as he comes in he said i see your the mailman today and he said yup and i married to a mailbag
well think of the meanings in that
now that the trouble with certain schizophrenia
is that they've got an association to pattern going they they make the most devastating punch fitted
and i
the people don't appreciate these bombs are that too deep they don't follow them the skeptic a person gets worried because people don't appreciate it and he is how everything goes together and plays this language and people don't appreciate it did lead to the trouble well so happens that my friend is very sharp and law
loves that kind of message happens they got up very well together
he finally explained to him
that how to use languages and how to say the right things on the right occasion because the nuts called same people won't understand you if you make that been

so you see
as you you should study of certain books if you want to understand rose like the games people play
like erving goffman books on know the presentation of the self and his wonderful book asylums
which show the games of total institutions like asylums our prisons hospitals the army or that is to say where people are they're involuntarily how these institutions are really run for the staff
how to get out by playing the game properly all that sort of information is a artificer and highly usable
he is a very bright sociologists that the university of california
that and you're done a lot to from cards of identity
nigel dennis's the name of the author of cards of identity nigel dennis

but therefore remember at the same time though
that the role you have over the years gradually acquired and are playing
is a social institution
in the same way that the equator is
or in the same way that a certain language is
it isn't the real you
in many cases therapy in which a person as a result of which a person feels that they've found themselves
means that they have exchanged and impossible game for a possible one
they haven't really found themselves them gun or very rarely gone behind the game
but you see
the difficulty of games
is that people do play impossible games
and those are games in which
the rules are self contradictory

now this happens when for example parent says to the child
you must go to sleep
instead of saying you are a nuisance i have a headache and you are noisy
and therefore i'd be much happier if you disappeared
the parent makes out that it be awfully good for the child to sleep
and i
so the child gets to messages
one message seems to be saying beneficence late wouldn't some rest be lovely darling the other message that the child gets his you are a nuisance
drop dead
anyway for a while
so that the rather disturbing
and then when the child stays awake and can't go to sleep the mother when may say try to go to sleep
out you know make a real effort about relaxing
that's very convincing
there's no way of trying to go to sleep none whatever the only way to go to sleep is to start worrying about sleeping too and if you can't sleep get up and do something
until you until you just drop off from exhaustion
in the same way they the mothers and fathers and even used to be so with nurses a threatened children about the bowel movements
and it will not happen on schedule
everyday after breakfast
i was tormented with this buy a whole barrage of people throughout my childhood life and though
what they were trying they will all mixed up because they were trying to make you do something
ah which comes naturally like having ears as if it was something you had to do by way of being a commandment as if was written in the rulebook thou shalt have is
thou shalt not have two heads
ah well it isn't
but it's played that way
and so children become amazingly confused
by being ordered to do things which can only happen spontaneously
and if they don't happen spontaneously then there's obviously something wrong
the child needs to see a doctor a who will look at it comes to see if there is something wrong or whether the child is hundred different from other children and has a different rhythm we all have different rhythms
watch then in the games you play
for self contradictory games
you must love me games
ah your i more sincere than you are games
ah and so on because all those are games with self contradictory rules and therefore council themselves out
the only people who ought to play games like that are those who know are playing them
and then they can sometimes be exceedingly effective for releasing people from their self contradictory games on the principle of a hair of the dog that picchu
shall we have an intermission