Governing powers have two possible approaches to managing the people. Classically, there is the distinction between an absolute tyranny and an apparent democracy. And the distinction consists in these two approaches. The first approach is to control the people's behavior and let them think whatever they want, in quiet. Historically, that is the most efficient form of absolute tyranny: the controlling powers simply do not care what the people think, as long as they behave. The other possibility is in attempting to affect what people think so as to bring about the desired behavior. That is what would appear to be a relatively free society. It is the encouragement, for example, to think patriotically about country X so that you will behave like a good X-er.
Before I drag you toward internal matters -- where all of this matters -- let me point out that any moderation of those two extremes is a sign of weakening power. An example in the present day is the watered-down versions of the Marxist/Socialist policies extant in some countries, such as Russia. It has become a bastardization of the attempt to directly control behavior: hence all the propaganda. "We are tyrannical, but if you people start thinking right, we won't have to do all that forcing." That won't work. The more either approach is watered down, the less efficiently it operates.
Now let us leave the world of politics (and not a moment too soon, or even I would go to sleep). Does all this sound like it may have any promise as a map of what goes on inside of a person? At times there is apparently a power seated fairly safely within a person, and one of these governing approaches is in operation. But remember, any time power is established, it is contested. The other alternative is always waiting right outside the throne-room door -- or the halls of parliament, as the case may be.
There is a struggle in each individual between the two governing possibilities/inclinations. Every individual in the City is subject to the influences extant in and moving across his neighborhood. But within that neighborhood context -- religion, politics, race -- an individual will have the inclination to either control his behavior or his thinking. And the more you incline toward controlling behavior, the less you care about thinking. There is an automatic scale at work; you can see this in yourself. The more you are concerned with behavior, the less interest you have in how you think. Your methods are like those of an absolute tyrant: "Forget what I THINK, I want to quit drinking. I want to be nicer. I want to quit having nightmares."
Where is the other group who want to affect what they think and thus how they behave? At first blush they may not seem to be as prevalent. But they are there. At any given time, one of these approaches seems to be predominant. But both are always there.
Can you feel that before you got involved in This, one of those governmental approaches was WELL-entrenched in you? Would you have wished for a change in behavior with no regard to your thinking, or would it have been the other way around? Would you have been one of those who believe, "As a man thinks, so he is?" Which was your inclination? If that doesn't strike you as pertinent, I suggest most strongly that many of you have already been through this. Before you ran across me, you delved into apparent forms of self-help philosophies or religious cults, or maybe tried it on your own through reading a book.
There is a specific gap between controlling behavior and controlling thought wherein the ordinary attempts become less efficient. It is the dilution I spoke about. The first thing you know, the person or persons in charge begin to weaken. They begin to allow influences from the other possibility to dilute their efficiency. To wit: they will repeal or quit enforcing one or two laws. Maybe the people have contested these laws. So the tyrant says, "All right, we won't force you to do this, BUT..." (and then the other possibility is dragged in) "...think about it. Consider our position." That is the beginning of the end. That is power which is dying.
Conversely, if you start out being as democratic as possible -- rule by the people -- and it becomes diluted, the same thing occurs. That is, the people see that some, maybe one or two, of the people are behaving detrimentally and do not seem to be thinking correctly or showing any sign of beginning to do so. They say: "We're going to have to curtail some of this freedom, because SOME things must be taken care of NOW." So laws are passed against stealing, for instance. And those laws are the beginning of the end of that form of government.
Internally, you have to have a kind of improvised, almost infinite string of variations on this same old two-choice song. Such a commingling is not detrimental in your case: it is necessary. To do This now, on this planet, it is not in any way pertinent or profitable to use only one of those approaches to self-government. (If you need another reason, again note why This is so hard to do and almost impossible to see.) In the City, at any given time, only one of those possibilities IS the most pertinent, profitable, and efficient. But in This activity it is just the opposite. If it were otherwise, This would be based on one of the approaches and made up solely of directives affecting behavior. Look at the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments. Which category do they fall into? At the ordinary level, systems for change are always based on one or the other of the two approaches.
If no demand is made of your behavior, how do you know that power is being executed? How is there any sense of order? How can any group of people survive as a group if there are not sufficient directives aimed specifically at behavior? How could you know that a group exists and that you are part of it? How do you know, internally, that there is established order without the genetic directives already in you? (You think about this differently, ordinarily. You think you've learned them.) Whether you are living by them or not, there are directives within you aimed specifically at behavior. The end result is ofttimes that grand and glorious experience known as guilt.
Even if you do not recognize it, you have all had, at one time, a sufficiently long experience of living under an absolute tyranny. (You didn't call it that.) And under that tyranny, specific directives were set up and aimed at behavior. It gave no accounting and did not even speak of what you THOUGHT, much less what you thought about the directives. It simply told you what was to be done and what was not to be done. By the time your hormones had "run away from home" -- at age l8 or 2l -- and you followed them, you had essentially forgotten your time under that absolute tyranny. (I tell you again, the tyranny was NOT just your parents, culture, or religion. I know you thought it was, but it wasn't.) You now have an ingrained, inescapable, lingering, and still effective series of internal directives regarding behavior.
Everyone throughout the world is in the same condition. How are you going to produce the alternative of commingling this lingering tyranny with the other governmental possibility of controlling thought so as to produce the desired behavior? To try and think about behavior puts thought in conflict with the lingering directives regarding behavior. It doesn't matter what the directives are, either. They will simply be in conflict. The beauty of it is that no matter what you do, it is always in opposition to what you were. So it doesn't matter what you were. That saves a lot of time.
That's what makes This activity efficient: I don't have to stop along the way and detail specific applications for different "personalities." It truly does not matter, because This is in conflict with everything that you were. If it's not, then either "tut-tut" on what you were, or "tut-tut" on what This is. But never mind that.
I have pointed out that one purpose of power is to establish and maintain order. You can look "out there" and see this at work in the plant world, the animal world, and the weather. In the general ecological system there are powers involved. Such powers maintain a kind of order. From one view, that is what ordinary intelligence perceives as being reality: the passing impression of order. Internally, the whole purpose of one having an individual self is to exercise another kind of order. Not just so Man can talk and make X-rated movies, but so that he can apparently establish another kind of order on another level.
Can you see that to do This, a Real Revolutionist has to have a kind of INCREASE in the exercise of power? There has to be a refinement ... a distillation of DISORDER. And that refinement would be a commingling of the tyranny and the democracy. You must refine a new kind of order in you, but the new order cannot be simply established on one or the other of those two bases. In rare instances that does happen: and the result is a fanatic. A fanatic internally latches onto ONE of the possibilities. (And need I tell you which one is more predominant among fanatics?) There is, as always, a difference between fanaticism and This.
To do This, you have to be able to redefine what would be disorder to ordinary people, and turn it into your own kind of order. There is a danger: it is but a small sidestep to believe that you are making order out of disorder and to say, "Aha! I now see the final picture. Period." But you DON'T see the picture if you say that. It may be your final picture of This, but put the period in and you're done for. If you persevere in that position, you have then established power that is uncontested. That is, a death-knoll. You're finished.
Of what use is individuality if it is not truly in power? Now, everybody cherishes individuality -- even those who live under a tyranny. That is part of having an internal sense of order. One end of the nervous system has no more regard for individuality and human life than people starving in Ethiopia. The high end of the nervous system is the part that cherishes individuality. If you belong in This, those extremes are in you, because those extremes exist on this planet. My question is: Of what use is all this to you? Ordinary people have no control over it, and they will never have any insight into it -- but for you, what use is individuality if it does not exercise specific power in you?
The answer is: none. The result is that you write to me, Ann Landers or your mother, or pray to god -- whining about what's going on. The only answer you get from me is, you know, "Give me a break. This has got nothing to do with living." So you wait a week and write me about something else, but it's the same problem. You want to whine: "I individually am being hurt again." Is that the value of individuality? In the City it is. What's the point of being an individual in the City unless you have individual problems? "I'll bet I'm the only person in the Royal Order of Library-loving Elks who was in five different orphanages before he was six." That's the City purpose of individuality: to have suffered in ways that no one else can match.
In This, if your individuality is not used to establish some new form of order in you, you have wasted your life. The only use of individuality in This is to establish some power, and not the power to whine. Whining is a lack of power. The more power you've got, the less need you have to whine. And I don't mean -- as some of you think -- that you simply need to shut up and be stoic. You ought to shut up, that's for sure, but you don't continue to just suffer in silence. It's not that simple and it's not that complex. The establishment of power and a new sense of order in you will vanquish -- VANQUISH -- whining, routine suffering -- all the hobbies of the City. In other words, you'll "shut up" naturally.
Paragraph two. I have a historical question. Which does history best remember: a conqueror who enslaves thousands, or a rebel who frees millions? The answer is, the former. The second possibility is almost limited to footnotes. Those who stand out in history are the enslavers. Think about it. Where are the freedom-fighters? It would seem that history should take note of both parties -- assuming I am talking about history. Now consider, why is Life so arranged that the enslavers are best remembered? To what end? It is not that people in the City are deluded, or that evil forces are at work. Why is there such a dearth of acknowledgement from Life regarding those who could be viewed as freedom-bringers? (I could weave on this for a long time, but I think I'll just suddenly stop and go to something else. "Can you do that?" Check the by-laws.)
While he's checking the by-laws, I think I'll expand on a few things I've mentioned recently. Remember I pointed out that there is a real danger for you people in running up a kind of debt with your involvement in This. One way it manifests itself is this: It is possible to drown in freedom. How many of you do not suffer as much as you used to? The truth is, a whole lot of you. But such freedom can begin to feel like a burden instead of a boon. You seem to have less to do, less immediate interest. There is much less immediate pressure on you to DO something, like worry. That is a part of the potential negative effect of having an unpaid debt to This. You can gain something -- in this case, more freedom -- but it can begin to rot.
Something else. I have mentioned that to do This, it is not necessary for a would-be Revolutionist know everything, but that you cannot EXCLUDE anything. A would-be Revolutionist would leave no available part or function unexercised. ("Part" as noun; "function" as process.) You might not be the strongest person in the world, but there would be no part of your "body" that would be excruciatingly weak. You can leave no available part or function unexercised.
I'll admit a secret. I know damn well not enough of you understood the first part of all that I said tonight. You are caught in this dichotomy of, "I've got to do (or stop doing) so-and-so," and/or, you sit around and you THINK about what you should be doing. You are either attempting to control yourself directly through behavior, or you sit around and think about thinking a different way, with a kind of lollipop, rainbow belief that change in behavior would naturally ensue therefrom. This is connected with action and thinking-of-action -- mass and energy, nouns and verbs -- and the two possible approaches to the exercise of power. Neither the tyranny nor the democracy can go unexercised. If you use, even for a second, either one at the exclusion of the other, for that second you die. There has to be an internal recombining -- a redistillation -- of these two apparently opposing approaches.
I want to mention something else. To do This, you cannot entertain any apparent pleasure that seems to arise from another person's pain, problems, or uncertainty. This does not have some moral or religious basis. It goes on in people continually as part of the genetic tie between people, but it only comes out in a flawed and diluted form as social mores, religious dictums and the like. But it is necessary for you to see that there is also a genetic inclination to take pleasure in the suffering of others, and you don't have to be smiling and laughing at them to do so. Ordinary intelligence will say, "I'm not enjoying this." But to even be interested in somebody else's pain is to take pleasure in it.
If you watch a t.v. documentary about starving people and you are "concerned and upset" -- you are taking pleasure that is arising from their pain. Whether it is their pain, their problems, or their uncertainty (which is a form of ignorance) you are being a critic of Life, of them and their circumstance, and you believe that you are the superior partner in the dance. You believe you are the smarter of the partners because this would not happen to you, In short, you are receiving pleasure.
Do any of you now see why I have done everything from ridiculing to telling you not to read the genres of sensational tabloids and certain historical novels? You've got no business looking at wrecks when you drive by them on the highway. You've got no business being entertained in such a way, because it has a negative molecular effect. You are deriving a kind of pleasure which is arising from the non-pleasure of other people. You may be dancing with another person via the TV screen, but you are stepping on their feet and enjoying it. If you see two other people dancing and one partner is being stepped on, you can say, "It's not my fault." But if you are watching, YOU are stepping on them also. That's what is not usually realized.
Life is all one organism. At the molecular level, everyone is in communication. You do not stop at the end of your skin; if you receive pleasure from seeing a tabloid at the supermarket, energy is passed. I don't care if you read a story about a family burned out of their home and how the children are maimed for life, and you are almost brought to tears by it. If you are participating, you are responsible -- you are entertained by it. Do you see that?
For everyone else, it doesn't matter. This transfer of energy serves a purpose in the City. But you must realize that by participating in such an energy exchange you are receiving crude positive energy from what is non-positive: the pains, problems and uncertainty of others. If you don't see that -- even for a second -- I'm not sure you will ever see anything. There are molecular messages passed between everything in Life: even between you and a piece of newsprint.
Something else, not too far removed from that: For any real troopers in This, the time has got to come when you have -- at least once -- a day of full amnesty. And I am not limiting it to once. You have got to totally release, forgive and forget all apparent treasonable, questionable, and ill-timed acts and actors. This will never happen accidentally, (as almost all the religions would lead you to believe. If you believe that, you believe the right kind of garage will attract Ferraris). You have to understand the need for amnesty, be able to think about the need for it, and then willfully, purposefully establish -- through behavior -- a full day of amnesty. It has to be full, not half-way, or you'll have a sham holiday that will blow up on you.