In earlier times in my life, I placed myself in various personal development events. In 1983, I was privileged to be invited to the four day EST training produced by Werner Erhart. The event I attended was held in Virginia Beach at a hotel opposite the famous Edgar Casey center. At an event in Washington DC, as an aside, Werner told us that if we really worked out what it was we were being taught, the whole of it would develop through our lives into a most valuable asset for understanding our society, our role in society and our own personal lives. This statement has proven to be true. I got it!
He also told us that as soon as we did the work for ourselves, everyone around us changes as well.
One of the most important parts of the training referred to “interpretation”. It seems that all around us media of various types is attempting to inform us of what’s happening in this world. It also becomes apparent at even the personal level our friends, neighbours, local and national leaders are attempting to school us. And we are always, always making assumptions, i.e. interpreting our friends’ body language and conversations to make some sense of what is going on.
All the assumptions stay in place because we do not ask the obvious question: what is going on for you? (there is more on this coming)
The idea of this article is to assist us to understand what is happening. What are we listening to? What is the purpose behind the story? And best, how do we put it into a perspective that can give us the ability to respond with some kind of confidence, empathy and compassion to people and the events in our lives.
There is a story: well, you already know there is a story! The intention of this is to empower you. Here it is:
“I am sitting on a tennis court where there are two players playing a game. At the end of the game, they approach the net and begin to talk. As a witness to the game, my job is to write a piece for the local newspaper which I submit for publication. People pick up the paper and read about the game.”
The question: Who knows anything about the game?
The answer to the question is this: Only the players know anything about the game. And they only know anything while they are playing! As soon as they approach the net and begin to talk, it’s an interpretation.
The very best that I can do is to interpret what I saw and describe it for an article in the papers.
When people read the account of the tennis game, it is hearsay, i.e. not evidence, not inadmissible in a court of law.
By the time you read anything in the newspapers or on the internet, it is hearsay and cannot be admitted in a court of law. Another word might be: it’s bullshit! Maybe that is too strong for you, but for me, it was worth calling it as it is in order to wake up to the stuff that kept getting in the way of understanding myself and my world.
What the statement means is that when we are searching for real news it is important to be able to assess the source otherwise, it is simple belief. A good teacher I once knew said that ‘belief is atrophy of the mind!’ I have chosen to listen to his observation and to make it my own.
Seems always to come to the idea: how much am I worth to myself?
The only ones that know about the crimes that are perpetrated, bombs dropped, lies told, bad deals slipped into the cracks, the mothers and children under the hard rains of war and assorted atrocities are the ones that here and now experience the events that we only hear about. This is about understanding the real meaning of empathy.
In my view it is important to my journey on the Path to understand what I am dealing with. The more I pay attention and use my brain-mind to penetrate these mysteries, the more I learn of my personal evolution. If it is that you or I might be interested in our spiritual evolution certain reliable tools will assist us. The trick of course is first to know the tools and second is to put them to use, i.e. to participate mindfully in our lives. Bon appetit!