I woke up disgruntled... 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 wasn"t stuck with or invested in resisting being someone who rants when I feel beaten, or slighted, or hurt... It seems that I accepted, embraced, and it got out of my face... All unconscious competence, by the way. I didn"t have to sit around and analyze it... it just happened. ...and I could look and see the whole picture... as much as I can see from it.
This is exactly what I teach in the Playground... this is the goal: unconscious competence in getting unstuck, and being able to see the whole reality, with all its beauty and all its ugliness.
What takes you beyond mediocre, what takes you beyond acceptable, is some energy that can only be activated if you are looking at reality, instead of what most people do: the reflection of it, the mirage of it, the image of it... the unreality created by the mind.
Even a little bit of reality, even a few percentage of your visual field freed up to see reality, can cause dramatic changes in the motive power of the spirit on your behavior.
We are halfway through the Playground, a year long program, and I can start seeing how the participants inner energy that makes them strive higher is becoming more active.
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 most settle for good enough on a level of good that is not good at all...
How they use only their minds to have any pleasure, the imagination, 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?"
And then again, I can really choose to use that reality of unambitious humanity to contrast, and make more obvious that MY STUDENTS are becoming something other 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 being 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 other professions.
I don"t have a medical doctor student, but I have accountants. They did schooling...
A real accountant has the beingness of an accountant: the heartbeat of an accountant, both a cause and a monitor of becoming financially successful for their client.
Maybe one or two in a hundred... maybe not even that. 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 do 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.
I liked to write, and I liked to talk.
I chose architecture, and in that 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 become the best at it.
I had fifteen minutes, maybe an hour worth of 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". Travels. Hurts. Poverty. Successes, hospitalizations, illnesses, homelessness... to go deep enough to have something to swim in and make 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.
The path delineated by the Playground program: truth value, path value: 60%.
Because it is simple, and because it gets to the heart of the matter... and because it is based in a real principle of Life: the Anna Karenina Principle, the principle, what the New Testament calls the strait and narrow.
That calls for examining the truth/path value of the Bible... 7%. Why 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. Causes people to lie, 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...
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".
Interestingly, it seems that the harder someone"s soul correction is, the more energy they get from doing this work... Maybe because their inner incoherence, their inner inauthenticity creates enough tension to fuel the "fight for freedom".
And the newest wrinkle, the newest tool is the 20-day skill learning challenge... also part of the Playground now.
Why? 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, delusional state into reality, reality that can become glorious and... drumroll... real. True.
Without this new element most 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 (your higher self? the spirit? no idea yet...) to guide you.
Will everyone go through all the phases? 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...
Of course, we have already lost the two "Sexual Energy" people from the course... they got personally offended when we revealed their "Silver Bullet" of wanting to take and take and take...
The interesting thing was the reaction, by the way. Humans are takers, inherently. Even the do-gooders are takers. They give begrudgingly, with a hidden agenda, not generously.
Being called a taker doesn"t automatically create a reaction like that...
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.
Obviously, the Sexual Energy people said something that made them never want to talk to me again. I am sad about it, because they are cutting their nose in spite of their face... and to the Forget Thyself person, me, this doesn"t make sense.
So we are at 80% now (10 people started in the current Playground).
Two people are showing signs of wanting to disappear right now. If they do, that will bring it down to 60%.
Will I do anything to "rescue" those people? Not a thing. Rescuing people is a bad habit, they are the ones who will bite the hand that feeds them. My "it will fall down by itself" joke spells out the rule of conduct here.
And the 60% will go all the way... Embrace is the hardest step... and not everyone has gotten there yet.
The transformation process is best illustrated, or likened to, the worm and the butterfly.
In the famous story where the emperor wants to help the worm in the cocoon by cutting the cocoon open (so that the emperor can go to bed, by the way!!!) resulted in no butterfly, but a really fat thing that could not 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 refrain from teaching and telling, and helping the other person... That is much like trying to cut their cocoon open... wanting to be done with it: "why can"t they be like you, 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.
As you can see, this program is not a walk in the park. No one can do your work for you without robbing you from 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 listening to every call.
But without correction you will stray from the strait and narrow, 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. ((Many people listen to my podcasts, 99% of them never come to a live call, for example))
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.
PS: I have been contemplating to only accept new people in the new Playground courses who will likely stay. But as you can see, there is tremendous value in seeing why and how people quit, how people stop in their track, and how to handle loss, how to have the self-discipline to refrain from rescuing them, both from me and their partner.
So I am ready for another Playground, one participant has already registered, and we need, ideally three more to form a small group.
Three good men... or bad men... Are you one of them?