(this is in the middle of a counseling session at a workshop in front of twenty participants)

Dick: This is just a feeling, and a type of feeling that is plaguing you, and a thinking. Primarily a thinking that is plaguing you. And the thinking is just stuff that bubbles up and bubbles around and is not for real. Don't identify with it and you don't have to crawl under the woodwork. You don't have to get angry, you don't have to get depressed. It doesn't follow that you have to get humiliated. You can see that the cause of your humiliation is not out there, but up here (in your head). Those things could all happen all day. Those things be said, those things be done. And it is only what you make of it.

Cl: It gets filtered through my self image.

Dick: You filter it through your self-image. That's right. And you can have this awareness that you are filtering it through your self-image. And if you have that awareness that you are filtering it through your self-image it becomes a shadow play. But the key is always "Don't identify with the content of consciousness." Don't, when these ugly thoughts about yourself come up, (and of course defensively these ugly thoughts about yourself produce these angry thoughts about the other), when these things come up, you do not have to accept that what you are perceiving is God's holy truth. You are just watching a kind of horror story that is being created on the stage of your own awareness. By your own self-image. Your own self image is the author. It is the author, its the director of the play, and all the actors at one time, and also the audience. Nobody but you involved. Just think of that. Your self image is the author of the play ,of the script, the director of the play who directs exactly how it should be acted out. It is the audience also watching. That is entranced by it. And looks at it and says, "This play is so real, that it is real! This is no play it is the real thing. God, what actors. Boy, this script writer, this is the real thing. I'm convinced. This is the real thing. This isn't just imagination. Yeah. This is what is happening.

Cl: I don't know. It is kind of funny the way you put it.

Dick: Well, it is the way we function.

Cl: I guess the way we function is kind of funny. I guess you're right. I was just about to say, the idea of filtering it through my self-image and that I am not the contents of my thoughts, just the vessel that the thoughts are in. I think about it intellectually but it doesn't filter down emotionally. It becomes a concept or an idea. And I get frustrated.

Dick: Yes, it doesn't become an experience. I understand what you are saying. And you have your finger right on the key. You are right on the point of it. Because a lot of us, if we read about it or we talk about it, we can see it, we can see how it fits together. We can see how it fits together, but we don't experience it. And the reason we don't experience it is because we don't feel with our body sensations in responding to that. In our body sensations it takes a situation that doesn't involve us, that only involves our image and converts it into an experience. And of course, they used to say in Kansas, "Experience is the best teacher." And that is right on. Experience is the best teacher. it may be the only teacher. And when we use the intellect to overcome the intellect, you know the intellect is tricking us, we usually rationalize the lies that the intellect is giving us. But we can also use the intellect to see through the lies. And that can lead us to the experience of the body. But we have to have the experience of the body, otherwise there is no experience.

And that is what makes it an experience. And you are quite right when you say, "you can understand this but you don't experience it. So go a little further and understand what you mean when you say you don't experience it. You are not having a body response that you identify with. That is what experiencing is. Experiencing is having a body response. Otherwise it is abstract. It doesn't really affect us. Its like that story that Fritz used to tell us about the bed wetter. (After seven years of analysis four times a week, he still wet the bed, but now he understands why.)

He understood it but the explanation didn't affect him. And this is something that a lot of us do. We often think that if we understand it, we will automatically be healed. If we understand it, we will automatically stop doing it. We do not. I can understand why I smoke and I keep smoking. And a lot of people stop smoking and don't understand why. they just say, I just stopped. Then they look around for a rationalization. It wasn't from the point of reason at all. So you are in a position. Have you stopped wetting the bed?

Cl: Symbolically, I still have the same old patterns,

Dick: Symbolically you are still wetting the bed.

Cl: Yeah.

But you know a lot more about why you do it.


Cl: Oh yeah, I know it all now. Intellectually, I understand it all but it hasn't made much difference.

Dick: And yet you keep looking out there under the light for your key, but your key is a half block away in the dark.

Cl: . Yeah, that's me.

Dick: That's where its at. So tell me again what you want out of the work. Because it changes as we go along. In the beginning you say one thing and then in 15 minutes you say it in a different way.

Cl: Maybe to learn how to experience myself rather than thinking about it. When I work with you, I start feeling better, but when I am on my own, I go back to the same old patterns.


Dick: Well, I'm going to give you an exercise.

Here is a glass of water. When I ask you to look at it. I want you to look at it. And I want you to look at it in this spirit. I want you to say to yourself, " What is there for me to really see. In other words, make it your intention to really see that glass of water. Don't look at it yet. To really see that glass of water. Now you have seen glasses of water, thousands of times, there should be nothing unusual. Remember this, this particular glass of water filled with just this much water, sitting right at this point right now, You have never in your life before seen. I know you've seen a million glasses of water, and I know you've even looked at this glass, but I've changed the position of it. You have never seen this. NEVER. I want you to make this your attitude. "What is there for me to see. To really see. It is more than a question. Intention is everything. You have to intend to really see that glass of water and not look at it and say, "Oh, glass of water, half full" or some thing like that. Keep looking at it with the awareness that there is something you haven't seen yet and make an effort to see that. Okay? Look at the glass of water and you can all do that, with the water or something else. And really start to see it. And it order to see it you have to take it in with your eyes. If you go out there, you will get lost. You don't have to name the stuff, Item one, item two, and tick it off. Look without any words at all. Let there be as nearly as you can be a non-verbal experience. And there is still more there that you have not seen.

There is much more. Give yourself permission to see it. Don't make a lot of words about it. Don't describe it to yourself. Don't name the things that you are seeing. Don't name the many colors that you are seeing. As you continue to look at that glass of water, let your gaze be soft. Leave your eyes where they are but let your eyes be soft. And let yourself become aware of the periphery, without naming it without saying I can see this, but you are able to see widely, way out to the right and way upward without moving your eyes. Just become aware of the periphery as you look at this glass of water and know that the periphery is all part of the same image. And as you do that; allow yourself without naming it to become aware of sounds, whatever you hear, but don't name them. Just let the wind roar without naming it. When the wind makes that particular sound, that metallic creaking sound, don't name it, just hear the sound and forget about it. Same with my voice. Same with any little rustle that you hear, it is all part of a single thing, you are looking and gazing and aware of sounds as it comes and goes. And without interfering or losing any of that awareness, continue to look at the glass of water, continue to allow yourself to notice the periphery all around, to notice without thinking about them or naming them. Some are sharp and sudden, others are background.

And add another dimension to that. Pay attention to the soles of your feet. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference what you are feeling. And if you feel nothing in the soles of your feet, experience the experience of nothing. So it doesn't make any difference whether you are experiencing a tingling or a vibrating or a warming or a cooling or a relaxing. Or if you just have a feeling of nothing. Nothing is an absence of feeling. That is a very significant thing. Then let your body awareness move up the rest of your body. All the way to your fingertips, all the way to your head. And all the while, you are contemplating the glass of water. But you have become aware that this glass of water which is so incredibly rich, that you still have not seen everything that is to see in that glass of water. You haven't seen everything there is to see because it is changing. But you have to make yourself open and receptive to be aware of the changes because they are relatively slight. And now as you do all this, continue to feel your body. ...... Just tell me in a word or two what you are experiencing right now. How do you feel? Spontaneously!

Cl: Vibrations, in here (indicates the chest).

Dick: Every time a thought comes, just drop it like a pebble that someone handed you. Don't try to block the thought out. Don't try to erase it, or throw it away, just drop it, just let it go. Yeah....... And you can look at anything in our reality with intention. What is there really to see. And not "its just a lamp, or a tree or a hillside. or just a plant. You haven't seen it before. You can also look into your inner reality with that same attitude. What is there really to feel? And you will never have yourself totally felt out. There will always be something new. And what you have to do is direct your attention to those two things.


You know Arthur Dikeman from the Langley Porter Institute. Well, Charles Tart in a book called Altered States of Consciousness. there are two articles on automatic looking. And Dikeman says the thing that keeps us trapped is that we look at everything automatically. I came into this room this morning and I said, Oh yeah, here is this room. Same room I have been in for the last two days. It's not! It's not! All kinds of things are different. Even if nothing had been stirred. The light has changed. And the light is changing, actually from second to second. It is process. But we look at things automatically as if they are not process but objects. There are no objects in our world, just process. Even the things that we think are solid. And certainly our own experience is process. And the only way I can experience my experience is to say, " What is there for me to experience." And you have to keep looking at it.


And this also is the way to the freedom from insecurity. So give up the search for security. Throw the idea out. It's a phony idea, put out by the ego.

(tape change)

Cl: How do you define that?

Dick: Being completely untroubled by the sense of being insecure. ..........I'm not saying be free from insecurity. I'm saying be free from the feeling of insecurity. And you can't really be free of that because to try to be free of that you are constantly grasping at security. So give up the gasping for security. And say that security is a myth. Everything is insecure and that is where it is at, and it is a wonderful day....What happened?

Cl: I feel more relaxed.

Dick: You have give up the search for security. You are no more secure now, you have just given up the search sitting there. It in not that you are more secure because you are not. You are no more secure than you were an hour ago. Or ten minutes ago. You have just given up trying to clutch it. You've give up the search for security that is going to solve all your problems. Alan Watts stood up one time in front of a large audience.......and looked for a long time and said. "All you good people, having paid hard cash, giving up three days of your time to come here. You know why you came here? Because you think I know the secret of life and you hope I will tell it to you. " Long pause. "There is a secret of life and I will tell it to you, but I don't think you will like it." And then he paused for a minute and said. "The secret of life is that there is no secret." People didn't break out into laughter, they were astounded. There was a silence. And it is true.

So I will tell you how to find security. Give up the search for security. Accept the fact that security is a firefly that leads you all through the swamp where you get wet feet, and catch yourself on the brambles or get bit by a water moccasin, or break your ankle, but you will never catch the firefly. There is no security. That is what you have to start with. And stop saying that "Oh I have to find it somewhere. I cant stand that. So maybe I'll go to this guru or that guru, maybe I'll make these investments or I'll do something else, heavenly or spiritual." There is no security, It is an illusion. And you really don't want security. That is the first thing to recognize. You just want to be free of that awful sense of nervousness and anticipation of something bad happening, called being the slave of insecurity , the feeling of insecurity. And we think that the way to get over the feeling of insecurity is to find security. But that is where we are wrong. That is the trick that our rationalizing mind does.

Cl: One thing I don't understand. If somebody didn't have a job and had no financial security. And then there is somebody with a job that does have financial security.

Dick: No he doesn't. We don't know when something is going to happen that will totally wipe that out.

Cl: Catastrophe can happen at any time.

Dick: Catastrophe can happen at any time. Do you think another earthquake with the epicenter right under this house couldn't happen in the next five minutes. I don't think it will, otherwise I would be scrambling to get out of here. But it could. So where is your security? Is a person without a job is not any more secure than a person with one? A person who has the job may be relatively free of the insecurity at that moment. And there is nothing wrong with that. But don't think he is really secure because tomorrow morning he may get this pink slip in the mail or his company may go out of business or all kinds of things may happen.

So how can you embrace this as an experience because as you told me in the beginning. You understand this stuff intellectually but you don't experience it. I tried to give you a lesson in it here and now because the quest for security and the flight from insecurity always takes us out of the present into the future.

Cl: Wherever I am, look at my environment and feel my body.

Dick: Exactly right. And do that again and again and again for a thousand times. And don't worry that this will make you irresponsible at your job or anything like that. You won't. You can keep your reality principle and get to work on time and do other things and so on. You can do all that. I am not talking about getting sloppy on your job. I am talking about getting free of the feelings that nag you. You have a job and you are nagged by feelings of insecurity. What good does it do you? You have one right now. What are you experiencing right now?

Cl: My arms are tingling.

Dick: How is your barometer.

Cl: Okay.

Dick: I hope this is useful to you. My intention is to help you. Do you feel finished?

Cl: Yes.

Next: The father and memory

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