by Marilyn J. Muir

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NOTE:  This is meant to be read as part of a series, in order from Part 1 to Part IV.  If you haven’t read this from the beginning, please do that now.  Thanks!

Last week we were working on Basic Education because first we must learn that there are limitations in our education.  That’s what the original meditation produced.  The Guides said I was supposed to work on those limitations first.  I think we explored that pretty thoroughly.  What we’re going to work on this time is Freedom of Action.  Again, I have to tell you that I’m doing a cliff hanger.  I do an incredible amount of reading. I’ve studied Metaphysics for a long time, but I really don’t have any idea what I’m going to teach.  It’ll be as big a surprise to me as it is to you.

COMMENT:  You’re going to do very well!

MARILYN:  Well, last week turned out fine.  Before we begin on Freedom of Action, I want to tell you that Sherry asked me a question relative to meditation that I thought was good enough and covered a broad enough spectrum that it would be of value for the rest of the class.  I told her it was a question which would bring out a lot of information that perhaps wouldn’t come out in the ordinary course of conversation.  I’d like to deal with her question first.  It is a question on meditation.

Sherry does have difficulty sometimes getting herself down all the way into meditation.  She has gone so far as to have her subconscious very nicely say to her, “You know you’re going to fail!”  This means that her subconscious is playing a bit of a game with her.  Now, the subconscious is programmed with that which you’ve allowed it to be programmed with.  That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to agree with what’s in there.  For one reason or another, you might not have monitored what went in, so now it’s in.  There could be garbage in there.  If you’ve got garbage in there, then your reactions are going to be based on what’s already programmed into your subconscious.  So we need to recognize that she has dialogues with her subconscious at times and it will say, for instance, “You’re going to fail.”  Remember what I said to you about the chocolate pudding?  Your subconscious is pretty good.  It just goes ahead and does whatever it wants to do anyway!

The idea is, though, that you can deal with the subconscious.  My reaction to having my subconscious tell me that I was going to fail would be, “Then you’re going to get awfully bored sitting here day after day trying, because we are going to try until we get it right.”  Just sort of say, as if to an eight-year-old child, “I wonder just how bored you have to get to start cooperating with me, because we’re going to continue to do this until we get it right.”

I also asked Sherry what kind of meditation she did.  She said that she was trying to achieve that state of total oneness where the mind is totally blanked out and nothing else is in it.  This is by far the most difficult of all of the mental states to achieve.  Of all the mental states that you could try to achieve as a beginner, this is probably the roughest way to go.  That’s the one I tried for, because I really didn’t know any better than to try for that one.  It can work.  It’s just that of all the mental states to try to achieve, that’s got to be the hardest one to accomplish.

COMMENT:  I’ve heard of Transcendental Meditation, where you say the Mantra, and that’s all you say.

MARILYN:  Right, but at that point you are training your mind to concentrate on a specific thing.  That’s easier to do than it is to just get your mind to go completely blank.  That is much harder to do.  Just a blank!  Indian masters, or people who lead celibate lives up there in the mountains and do nothing else with their lives are attempting to achieve this state of “no mind”, or “no thing” going through the mind.  They don’t have all of the pressures of our Western culture.  They don’t have to go to the grocery store and they don’t have to take care of a family, and they don’t have all of these other things to do.  Basically, they have nothing to do with their time but just sit there and try to blank out their minds.  Sure, they have to eat and go to the bathroom and find food themselves and stuff like that, but they are not under the kind of pressures that we’re under.  Those kinds of demands are not being made of them.  Obviously, they can exist under much more subtle conditions that we have.  What we’re trying to do is a very, very difficult thing.

I started to talk about something I taught my ministerial students and I lost it…

COMMENT:  I can refresh you.  We were talking about how difficult it is to blank out the mind entirely and you were going to go into an easier method of achieving meditation.

MARILYN:  I wanted to do that, but I have something else that sort of popped into my mind.  Well, I guess it will come out.  There are so many different kinds of meditation.  The various kinds of meditations are used to produce specific results.  There are working meditations.  The blank-mind ones are the deepest. These are the ones where you literally are becoming “at one” with whatever the Universe, or the Universal, is.  That would be ideal.  That would be the ultimate goal of what you are attempting to do, but there are a lot of way stations in between that are productive and useful.

One of the things that I teach is physical relaxation meditation.  That’s expressly for the purpose of relieving the stress from the body.  That has its own value.  Aside from the fact that it relieves the stress from the body, it prepares you for other stages of meditation.  There are visualization techniques that you can use.  There are just all sorts of processes that are possible.  The Alpha State is a working meditation where you can go in with an intent, and you actually work on that intent while you’re in the meditation, yet it is still meditation.  It is possible.  We were talking about the fact that you can meditate even while your eyes are open and you’re consciously aware.

We are told in the Bible that we must learn to “pray without ceasing”.  That sounds like a fairly tall order.  How in the world do you manage to pray without ceasing?  There are all sorts of things that you have to do in a day.  Eating and going to the bathroom and all sorts of other things.  How then can we pray without ceasing?  What is really meant by that phrase is being in that reflective, receptive state of mind.  You can do that even in your normal state of consciousness.

What we are doing right now is a form of meditation.  It’s a conscious meditation.  All of you are concentrating, focusing on what I’m saying.  That’s the same thing as saying a mantra.  A mantra is a particular word or words that cause you to focus on the one sound.  It’s supposed to be suited to your own personal needs.  If you are all taking your minds and centralizing in on one specific issue or focus of attention, that’s one of the principles of meditation.  You can be doing a form of meditation just by coming to class.  It is possible, too, that if you spend your life in a reflective state, even driving down I-95, if you were to be observing the reactions of people, observing human behavior, contemplating what it means, and why people are that way, you’re going to be in a sort of state of expectancy, or focus, or preparation – one of the levels of meditation.

Gina and I held a lot of conversations on this subject about three years ago, because I was puzzled and having a lot of trouble getting down into my own meditation and staying there productively.  We were talking about the fact that she’d had a lot of trouble getting into meditation for a long time too.  We are discussing the fact that when you are in the kind of state that we’re all in right now, concentration of energy or holding-in of energy, that you’re in a meditative state.  You are dealing with it on a conscious level.  It may not be the ideal form, but essentially what you’re doing is “praying without ceasing”.  You are reflecting on the qualities of God as you see them in human experience.  That is a form of prayer and meditation.

One of the things I think is important is to recognize that there are so many levels to prayer.  Don’t base failure on the fact that one level doesn’t work.  There are so many possibilities.  Now, you’re going to get into some “good” discussions with people who have been doing meditation for a long time.  They’re going to tell you that meditation is a total blanking out of the mind, and that’s it!  I’m sorry they’re hung up in that trap, but don’t let them influence you.  You don’t need to defend your position.  You don’t need to explain where you are.  Meditation has to do with the focusing of the attention.  You either focus it on nothingness, and accept and be, or you can focus it on a word, you can focus it on a thought pattern.  Meditation is taking a seed thought in with you and going over whatever that seed thought is in your mind.  You might sit and stare at a flower, and you might go so totally into that flower, first maybe dissecting it from a physical level, then getting into the symbolism of it and what it is.  That is a form of meditation.  That’s contemplation.

Actually, they’re all valid, and you should be doing what has purpose and meaning for you, what makes you feel good, and what brings you some benefits.  Don’t be run by someone else’s rules.  That’s one of the things that we talked about last week, that we’ve allowed ourselves to be programmed to so many rules by so many people, without even knowing who those people are.  We have been allowing them to do the programming.

So, as far as the meditation principle is concerned, please recognize that it’s like all other things, a very personalized experience.  It changes.  A certain method may not be what you need right now.  Perhaps you need a slightly different form.  What’s wrong with that?  You have to learn to go along with your own nature and changing needs.  Don’t let yourself get hung up by what someone else feels is the only valid way to go.

QUESTION:  How do you decide?

MARILYN:  You find what you’re comfortable with.  As I said, I know that the meditations I used ten and eleven years ago don’t really do that much for me right now.  I have a couple of meditations that I use where I’m led down through steps, and they’re very productive.  I’ve taken some other meditation classes when my own meditations stopped being productive for me.  I decided that I needed to learn another system or a different way of doing it. I took meditation classes to see what they were about, and discovered that they were not the answer for me either.

You need to allow yourself to change, because you are not the same person that you were five years ago, or twenty years ago.  You cannot expect yourself to obey the same rules forever.  The only way that occurs is if you’re into the Bhakti, or devotional path, and that means that you get locked up on an emotional, devotional thought process, and you basically stay with just that one concept.  You may enlarge on the concept, but you don’t usually deviate from it.  You just stay right there.  The devotional path is a very strong type of energy, but it can be accepted without necessarily being understood, and that’s not where you’re at.  You’re about to enter what’s called the Aquarian Age, and this Age is a principle which indicates that you must know, not just believe.  The Piscean Principle is one of belief.  The Aquarian Principle requires that you know.  There’s a lot of difference between an emotional content experience that you’ve had, getting emotionally caught up in a belief system, and dissecting it, analyzing it, and still walking away with a kernel of truth, but now understanding it intellectually as well.  That doesn’t mean that we are to work on a slightly different premise.

What we’re supposed to be working on tonight (and this ought to be interesting) is Freedom of Action.  That’s tonight’s topic.  I got very much excited Sunday when I was at Dutch’s.  He was giving away a bunch of books, and among them I found a book entitled How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.  Here I am, I’m supposed to be doing a class on Freedom of Action.  Wow!  It just dropped on me out of the blue!  I thought, “I’m going to run home and read this book, and I’m going to know exactly what I’m going to do in this class.”  Well, I read about half the book (it’s a very slow-reading book).  You can’t just pick it up and wade your way through it in an hour and a half.  I thought it was very interesting.  I didn’t exactly determine what we’re supposed to do here from reading the book, but I’m sure that there are bits and pieces of it that are rolling around in my consciousness right now.  I just thought it was interesting that a book based on Freedom should sort of show up two days before I needed it.  I think that’s the way this whole class is going to go.

I think one of the problems that we have in any of the discussions we hold is that we do not come to a definition of the words we use.  None of us starts from the same place.  It’s fine for me to sit up here and talk with you, but sometimes it takes a while for us to get to a common base of understanding. I think I’d like to start there.  Before we do anything else, each of you, individually, please define “freedom” for me.  What do you think it is?  If someone else mentions what your own concept is, don’t be afraid to use it, too.  You don’t have to come up with a new meaning every time it becomes your turn.  Those kinds of classes drive me crazy.  I am intimidated from the first when the leader says that has to be done.  I just want to get under the table.  By the time they get around to me, I can’t think of anything new.  I never can.  This is not a case of newness.  We are trying to establish what the word “freedom” means to each of you.  So we can start with anyone, and I’ll write the answers down on the board.  Why don’t you go ahead and start?  {At this point, the reader should stop and define his or her own concept of “freedom” and write it down.}

COMMENT:  Freedom means making my own choices and not having any guilt about it, not having anyone making me feel guilty about my choice.

MARILYN:  Okay.  So, we’ve got “making own choice with no guilt”.  Sherry?

COMMENT:  To me, freedom is being the equal of everyone else, in every area.

MARILYN:  Okay.  So, basically, “equality”.  Bob?

COMMENT:  The exercise of options available within the limitation that I have.

MARILYN:  “Exercise of options within personal limitation”.  Ellie?

COMMENT:  The main thing is to be able to be who I am.

MARILYN:  “To be able to be me”.  Rick?

COMMENT:  Isn’t that the same thing?  I want to do what I really want to do, as long as I don’t hurt anybody.

MARILYN:  “Do what you want – anywhere, anytime, as long as you don’t hurt anyone”.  Art?

COMMENT:  To be able to ride my motorcycle as often as I can.  Also to be able to get past limitations placed on me by other people.

MARILYN:  Okay.  So, you want to be able to “get past limitations placed on you by other people”.  Annette?

COMMENT:  Not having any censorship. In other words, doing what I want without people giving me dirty looks, etc.

MARILYN:  Okay.  “No censorship”.  Al?

COMMENT:  Mine has already been said.  Freedom is doing what you want as long as you don’t take away from the others.

MARILYN:  Okay.  How about you?

COMMENT:  My idea of freedom would be to be totally me without repression.

MARILYN:  Okay.  I’ll put {on the board} “no repression”.  Betty?

COMMENT:  I would lean more to No. 1 than any of the others.

MARILYN:  Okay.  “Making your own choices”.

All right.  You know, essentially, you’ve all stayed close to a kernel.  You’ve not gone that far afield.  Interestingly though, there are a couple of things coming out.  This is the only thing that has something different in it, and I’d like to get into that a little bit.  Okay.  “Making your own choices, being able to be me, exercising options, say, think, feel, do, anywhere, anytime.”

All of those are basically saying the same type of thing:  expressing yourself as you really are.  In other words, we’re into no guilt, no repression, no censorship, and to get through the limitations imposed by other people.  I’ve got a point that I want to make on that one, but what we’re essentially saying is that we’ve usually not been allowed to be ourselves because there are these outside factors which infringe on our capacity to be ourselves.  When you say “get through limitations imposed by others”, there’s almost a combative quality to that one, because of a sense of having to push through something that is already felt as a limitation.  That one takes it even a step further.  That one is going now to do some battle, or to find some way to exert oneself to get by it.

“Exercising options within personal limitations.”  That’s a very important point because freedom is grossly misunderstood.  I think it’s one of the most misunderstood words there is.  Freedom essentially should mean… it shouldn’t even be something we should have to question… the right to be ourselves, whatever we are.  I think that if I had to teach you only one thing, I would go over and over and emphasize that you’re all unique, that God doesn’t clone.  Mankind does.  Everything that’s created in terms of consciousness, of conditions, is constantly changing, and, therefore, can never be quite the same.  No, God in His wisdom saw infinite variety as the right way to go.  We, in our lack of wisdom, spend an awful lot of time trying to copycat each other and set up rules for ourselves so we can all act like little carbon copies. We get into the cloning and the rest of the stuff.  Somehow or other, we manage to think that we are smarter than the Creative Principle we call “God”.  So, freedom as it’s being defined here should be just a human right, because it’s something that’s just there.  It shouldn’t even be a question!  We have set the limitations on ourselves. God has not set limitations on us.  Man in his “infinite wisdom” has set up all sorts of rules and regulations, and that’s where the problem comes in, insofar as exercising our freedom is concerned.

The next thing that we have to look at is personal limitations.  We are all very much individual. We all have differing possibilities for our own behavior, our own desires.  Whatever it is we are is totally different from what everyone else is.  So obviously there are certain things that we do very well, and other things that we don’t handle quite as well.  Other people may have the opposite characteristics to ours.  So, saying “personal limitations” is not saying that the limitation has been placed from outside of ourselves and it’s not saying that that personal limitation has to be an ongoing thing.  It’s just saying that particular pattern of behavior is what we’re capable of doing at that particular time.  We need to stop and look at that.  I think you all stayed pretty close to a central idea with only a few deviations.

I think one of the things we’re going to explore is the “making our own choices” and the “right to be me” – that very definitely.  Then I’d like to deal with getting through limitations imposed by others.

One of the meanings not usually understood as defining the word “freedom” is “responsibility”.  Responsibility is an integral part of freedom.   I think that this is something that is grossly misunderstood.  When we’re dealing with freedom, we’re not dealing with the freedom to have total, unlimited action, regardless of the consequences. That is license, not freedom.  Freedom implies that there must be a willingness on your part to accept what happens when you exercise that freedom.  In other words, the facts are that you have the right to make your choices, the right to be your own person, the right to initiate actions or not to initiate actions (should you choose to do so), and the basic right to say and feel and do whatever you wish.  You need to recognize that if you exercise those options, then you are also responsible for the consequences of those actions or lack of actions.

Somewhere along the line, one of my students (I’m pretty sure it was one of my ministerial students) was talking about the fact that they seemed to feel that the consequences were not worth the exercise of the freedom.  Another thing that they dealt with was that they “didn’t have to make a choice”.  In other words, they could do nothing and not be forced to  make a choice between alternatives.  We have got to realize that we constantly are making our own choices.  There is  never a moment in our lives that we don’t make a choice, whether we’re making a conscious choice or an unconscious, subliminal choice (letting our subconscious choose for us). We can’t eliminate the fact that we are making choices.  Even if we just stand still and do nothing, we are making a choice to stand still and do nothing.  It is still a choice.  We decide to stick to something because the choice, the alternative that’s open to us, is not something we’re willing to pay the price for.  We’re still making a choice.  What I hope everybody in this room will recognize is that you are where you are, even if you feel guilty, repressed, intimidated, censored, or any of the other words you’ve used, because you’ve made the choice to be there.  All of us are right where we have chosen to be.  We are in a set of circumstances we have chosen, because there were alternatives that were available to us, but we weren’t willing to pay for the consequences that we were going to face by choosing any of the alternates, so we made the choice to stay where we were.

The first thing that you’d all better recognize is that you are all making your own choices right now.  You’ve never stopped.  You’ve been doing that since you got to the point where you could make a choice.  That’s never ceased.  The choices that you’ve made have not all necessarily been conscious choices, and they may not have been based on the right information.  Part of what they’ve been based on has been that limitation in your basic education, the programming you get from the time you were born.

We also have a definite problem making choices when we don’t have all of the information.  It’s really not too bad if you can see the whole overview. It’s not too hard to figure out which road to get on.  But we don’t always have that kind of advantage.  We have a very limited perspective at this point in our evolution. We are trying to enlarge our perspective, but we are starting from a very limited perspective.  We’re trying to make choices based on information that’s available at the time which is incomplete, incorrect, or has in some way been shaded to the point where it’s not necessarily the truth, even though it may not be an outright lie.  How many times have you heard someone tell you something that’s not quite the truth, but not really a lie?  How many times have you sort of “lied” yourself, so that you wouldn’t have to face the consequences of a straight-forward “yes” or “no”?  You can also find a way to sort of “beat around the bush” so as not to ruffle anyone’s feathers, can’t you?  But you really didn’t say what you wanted to.

Now, if someone based a choice or a decision on the information that you put out, then it would be half information, or incorrect, or incomplete information.  We’re basing the choice on inaccuracies.  Then what we’re doing is attempting to live with the results of the decisions or the choices that we’ve made.  We can make further choices or decisions based on the fact that we still have incomplete information.  We get into a bit of a problem here.

If you start with what we talked about last week regarding where the errors can come in programming,  the basic programming that’s in your computer producing your reactions, you can really start observing your reactions and seeing what that computer programming is,  and catch yourself doing things that you realize are not positive.  “That’s not something I want in there. Boy, am I glad I recognized it!”  That’s the first stage.

Do you realize that the only way that you can solve a problem is first to know that you have a problem?  It’s almost impossible to solve a problem if you haven’t recognized you have one.  Probably the best example of that is Alcoholics Anonymous.  You really can’t do much for an alcoholic until he (she) admits that he’s an alcoholic.  He really needs to get to that stage. He needs to recognize his own problem and want to help himself before you can do anything to help him.

So the first thing we need to do in order to help ourselves and cure ourselves and heal our lives and do something productive, is to recognize what’s going on.  Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the erroneous programming that’s been going on in your subconscious for years and years and years, you could start observing your reactions and say to yourself, “Where’d that come from? Do I want that as a reaction? Is it something I’m willing to keep, willing to live with?”  That’s Stage One.  That doesn’t mean that the problem will go away automatically, but at least now you know what the color of your problem is.  You’ve got to begin somewhere.

The next stage consists of observing yourself for a period of time, watching your reactions, consolidating enough information so that you know what you’re working with, so you can start working on that programming, erasing the negatives and putting a more positive program in its place.

Stage Three consists of catching a reaction just before it occurs.  That’s when you know you’re making some headway.  “Whoops, wait a minute, I’m doing it again!”  That’s just prior to having the reaction.  Then you know you really have made some headway!  You’re going to go through stages. First you’ve got to be aware of your reactions, and then you’ve got to observe them when they occur, and then you’ve got to catch them before they occur.  Then you know you’re on your way home to reprogramming and getting into a more positive, desirable way of leading your life.

Everybody goes through stages. Some of us do them faster than others.  Some of us can hit a point of instant realization where something really makes an impact, and we don’t need to do any other reprogramming  That’s possible, but it’s not too usual.  If you’ve had a habit of forty years’ standing of reacting in a particular way to a certain stimulus, don’t think that by my sitting up here and telling you that you can change your reactions is going to change your reactions.  It’s not.  But you can at least start working on the reprogramming.

About two or three months ago I attended a lecture. Something about finding the Universe within myself.  There is no way that I could pass up something like that!  If someone says the Universe is inside me and they’ve got a way of showing it to me, I’ll figure out how to get there.  So, I went to this lecture, and it was a strange evening. It really was kind of weird.  I wasn’t uncomfortable with it, but it wasn’t the most comfortable thing I’ve ever been through.  In the middle of the lecture, the girl who was leading the group managed to make me angry.  She started making me react with anger and hostility and all sorts of not nice things.  But I have come to the point where at least I can say to myself, “What are you doing?”  You know, I’m very busy being angry, getting hostile, I’m trying very hard to be controlled, because I’m not supposed to get angry and hostile.  “After all, I’m a teacher of metaphysics. I’m not allowed to do those things, at least in public.  I’m not allowed to react that way!”

So, I’m sitting there and trying to maintain this cool image, but I can feel the seething and the anger and the rest of the stuff.  There’s a place in me where I’m saying, “Whoops, wait a minute, she’s punching a button!  What button has she got hold of now?  Pay attention!  This is a lesson!”  That’s what I’m saying internally.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can stop the reactions when you first have them, but you can recognize that you’re having a reaction, and you can examine that reaction in order to get some positive mileage out of it.

After I backed off and talked with her next day, I said, “You hit my anger button!”  She replied, “I know I did!”  I said, “I thought I masked it beautifully.”  To which she answered, “You were fine, except that I can read your aura.”

I thought that was really funny, because I’m sitting there being master on the surface level, and she’s busy looking at my aura, which at this point has sheer hostility coming out of it!  Then she added, “How did you feel about it?”  And I replied, “I wondered why you were making me angry.”  To which she answered, “That’s very good. You’ve come a long way!”  That was her reaction.

Her interpretation of the incident was that at least I was at the point where I was examining my own reactions while the reactions were going on.  That’s a stage. You’re going through levels.  First, you’re saying, “Goodness, gracious, I’m having a problem. All my hostility is not released. Somebody can find my hostile button.”  That doesn’t mean you can stop the reaction, but you don’t have to participate in it.  I didn’t have to strike out and hit her.  I had to recognize what was happening to me, start being very objective about it and find out what was going on, because I knew that my subconscious was presenting me with a piece that I need to work on.  So, you see, there’s a pattern to it.

Now, your choices are based on all that information. Your choices are subjective, even when you choose not to choose.  Even when you choose to stand still and do nothing, you’re making a choice to stand still and do nothing. It’s based on what’s stored in your computer.  Basic education really is the first place to look. You’ve got to go back and look at what’s in there –  the limitations that have been placed on you from the time that you were born that are part of your subjective thinking.  Somebody outside of you is not placing the limitation on you. Prior programming is placing the limitation on you.  Unless someone ties you up and puts handcuffs on you, how can someone limit you?  They can limit you by having you react to their mannerisms, to their attitudes, to their acceptance of what you are.  But unless they forcibly restrain you, they can’t stop you from making the choice that you’re satisfied with.

Now, if you’ve got a problem with guilt, if you really don’t want to have dinner with your Mother, but your Mother will sit there, and there’ll be a little edge of tears at the bottom of her eyes, it’s not your Mother forcing you to do something against your will.  You’re sitting there and saying to yourself, “Oh God, I feel guilty!”  It’s the fact that you’ve been programmed to feel guilty if Mother’s eyes manage to fill up with tears, or you don’t “do what’s expected of you”.

So, right there you make a choice.  You say to yourself, “The thing that I want to do is this important and my Mother’s reaction is this important.”  And somewhere along the line you make a value judgment. You say, “One or the other is my choice.”  It’s still your choice.  You can allow your choice to be made by an outside intimidation that’s been programmed into you over a period of time so that you have these lovely guilt reactions (guilt is a reaction!).  Or you can make your choice based on what you see that you should be doing at that time.

I’m going to use an example that has nothing to do with metaphysics… it just popped into my mind.  Quite a few years ago my sister had her second child.  Recovering from the birth of the child was a little on the rough side. She wasn’t recovering very well.  She had a whole house to run for her husband, her children, my father, and my grandmother, who lived there, too.  It was just a bit much for her, and she needed to back off for a week to just sort of take a deep breath, spend a week with just the baby, be waited on, and just generally not have all of those responsibilities.

So I went North and I said to her, “You’re coming back with me to New Jersey.”  (I was living in New Jersey at the time.)  “You’re going to stay down there a week, and then I’ll bring you back.”  And she said, “No, I can’t go.”  I asked her why, and she replied, “Because of Daddy’s uniforms and all that stuff.”  I said, “Daddy will do just fine.”  And I was going to take care of the kids.

Then she said, “Well, I can’t leave because if I go, Nine will stay here, and I know that she’ll fall down the cellar stairs.”  I had a very elderly grandmother, who could be cantankerous as all heck, and you could not keep her out of the cellar if she decided she wanted to go into the cellar.  It was a common family feeling that if we turned our backs on her, the old lady would fall down the stairs and kill herself, and she’d be liable to lie there for hours. So it meant that my grandmother couldn’t stay alone in the house.  Because my sister would be leaving, my grandmother would insist on staying to take care of my father, and there would be no way to get her out of the house.

I said, “Well, she’ll just have to go up to Aunt Gladys’.”  And my sister said, “You’ll never get her out of the house!”

I said, “Well, you just make plans, you pack up, and Nine’s going up to Aunt Gladys’ today.”  So I walked to the bedroom and said, “Nain (Nain is Welsh for grandmother), you’ll need to pack up some things because you’ll be staying at Aunt Gladys’ while Arlene’s in New Jersey.”  She answered, “No, I have to stay here and take care of Daddy.”  (Right on cue!)  I said, “No, you can’t stay here and take care of Daddy, because we can’t keep you out of the cellar, and you’re going to break your silly neck!  So, pack up your stuff. You’re going to Aunt Gladys!”

And she said, “Don’t you talk to me like that!”  And she came charging at me, swinging.  I had this little half-pint Grandmother who just believed that the way you handled everything was to pick up a broom and charge with it.  So, I had this little dynamo coming at me.  I grabbed her wrists. I wasn’t about to let her hit me (and she was going to start whacking on me).

I said, “No, you’re not going to hit me!”  And she said, “Don’t you raise your hands to me!”  I answered, “I’m not raising my hands to you.  Get your stuff packed. You’re going to Aunt Gladys!”  “No, I’m not going anywhere!”  I said, “Look, we’re going to put you in the car and we’re going to take you to Aunt Gladys’.  If you want, I’ll pack your stuff for you. Then you won’t have what you want.  Or you can pack your stuff for yourself, and then you’ll have what you want.”

Well, boy, was she ripped!  I had one grandmother who was never going to speak to me again.  The whole family was saying, “That old lady’s never going to speak to you again!”  When we arrived at my aunt’s and I told them what I had done, they blanched white. Nobody ever did that to my grandmother.  I’m getting ready to leave to take my sister to New Jersey, which had to be done (my sister was in rough physical condition. She needed to go).  As I went out of the door of my aunt’s house, my grandmother blew the whole room away, including me.  She walked out to me, threw her arms around me, gave me a great big kiss, told me to have a safe trip, and she’d see me next week!

I had made a choice based on information that I understood at that time – the best choice I knew how to make.  The alternatives were getting my grandmother very angry at me, possibly losing her love, affection, and speaking voice (which was not necessarily a great loss).  It was a matter of losing all that, or doing what I felt was right.  Now, if I had followed the family conditioning, what had been usual, what had been programmed, my sister would never have gone to New Jersey, because she wouldn’t have been able to leave our grandmother.  My grandmother startled everybody by making them realize that she had everybody buffaloed.  The whole family learned something.

If I had reacted the way we’re programmed to react, I would have bowed to the prevailing attitude (which was that my grandmother always won), my sister would have lost.   It was a choice. It was a choice based on a calculated risk.  The risk, the consequences, were that my grandmother, whom I loved dearly, would never speak to me again.  That was the price tag I chose to accept, because the alternative was risking my sister’s health and well-being.

You’re doing that all the time. All of you do that all the time.  Something is more valuable to you than something else.  There are too many relationships which are based on the fact that a piece of paper has been signed.  It is expected of us by society that we stick things through no matter what.  There’s a rule about raising children with two parents.  I’m not sure who made up that rule, but I know there’s a rule.  There are all sorts of rules that have been set up.  What happens is that the relationship is not satisfying to the people involved, but these people have to base their decisions on those principles which have been imposed on their consciousness.  Therefore, their decision has nothing to do with the growth of the individuals involved; it has to do with a bunch of rules which have been made up.  What happens is that you’re left with the fact that you’re involved in a relationship which probably you’ll have to perpetuate from now ‘til doomsday.  That relationship may not be fulfilling, not satisfying, of really no benefit to anyone.  It’s not even based on rules that you instituted or made up, or even necessarily understood. It’s just something that’s expected of you.  The choice these people make may be based on such conditioning as:  the children need a Father; society will frown upon me; I signed a piece of paper; my family is going to get very upset if I break up this marriage; I feel guilty because I’ve been married for ten years, what is my spouse going to do without me?  In other words, you’re employing these scales. My personal happiness and self-fulfillment is on this side, and all the guilt patterns and limitations and problems are on the other side.  One or the other is going to be your choice.

If you choose the “right to live your own life” and “to be whoever you are under whatever circumstances”, you have to be willing to pay the price tag.  You have to be willing to take the consequences.  Now, there’s nothing that says that the guilt which you feel is a real thing.  It’s a programmed thing.  But who made the choices?  Who wrote the original program?  Who made up the rules?  Did they know what they were doing?  Do you know their names?  Do you know what they had in mind?  How long ago were they written?  Are they still valid now, or are we just following a set of rules that were set up several thousand years ago and may no longer be valid?  Ask, “What good is going to be served by this?”

I do a lot of counseling with people who have problems with marital situations or “meaningful relationships”.  I get a lot of “meaningful relationships” coming through the door, and I’ve been in very “meaningful relationships” myself, so I’m not putting them down.  I’m just saying that these are not the casual commitments, but the ones that have a sense of endurance to them. They have some continuity.  Sometimes they’re as committed or meaningful as a piece of paper would make them, sometimes more so.  I’ve seen some better uncommitted relationships than committed ones.  There’s a feeling of having more options when you haven’t signed a piece of paper.  When you sign that piece of paper, you may feel that you’ve lost all your options.  It’s a feeling. It’s a pity that this should be so, but that’s the sort of information that comes down through.

So, I counsel a lot of these people, and to me the most important factor is their feelings about their situation.  The bottom line is, “What do you feel inside yourself?  What do you really want?”  I realize that there are all sorts of conditions, such as, “I’ve been married twenty years. I’ve got twenty years of my life in this!”  Well, were they twenty good years?  Did you like spending the twenty years with your mate?  If you didn’t, what the heck do you want to spend twenty more years of the same kind of relationship for?  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  Is there something of value in that relationship that you need?  You may not be happy, but if you feel a sense of personal growth with the relationship, that may be something that you want badly enough to sacrifice something else for.  I think that when you arrive at these conclusions, you have a choice:  a choice to stay or to go.  The tricky part is, what are you basing your choices on?  Are you basing your choices on what you really need or personally feel, or are you basing your choices on the limitations, the repressions, the censorship, the possibly erroneous programming you’ve had from the time you were born?  Who is your authority?  When you make the choice, you put your freedom on the line.  That’s really what your choice is – your freedom!

One of the alternatives is going to carry more weight than another one.  Why does it carry more weight?  Who put it there?  Every decision we make is subjective in nature.  We think we’re doing it all up here {pointing to her head}, but we’re reacting to all our past conditioning – all of the factors that have gone on before.  The minute we make a choice, we place our freedom on the line.  We make our choices constantly. We make choices when we decide to sleep or to stay up and scrub our body.

I have children who think it’s wise to stay up three days running and then sleep for twenty-four hours.  I think they’re crazy.  I think they’re out of their minds. I think that’s abusive to the physical body, but they think it’s the right way to go.  It’s not my body, it’s their bodies.  If they want to do it, I guess they can do it.  It doesn’t mean that it’s detrimental to their physical bodies.  From my conditioning, my understanding of the physical structure of man and what he needs and doesn’t need (which is constantly changing), they need sleep.  If you really want to get confused, try to follow a set of rules regarding what you eat, and how to take care of yourself physically.  Every day you’ve got a whole new set of rules to go by.  But let’s just say that my conditioning set of factors indicate that getting a reasonable amount of sleep on a regular basis is the best idea for the body.  I don’t remember ever finding a rule that God wrote in fire in the sky saying, “This is the way to do it, guys.”  I’m sure that a lot of us would say, “Yes, sir!”  I couldn’t picture us arguing with fire in the sky.  But even then, we’re dealing with a manmade rule.  It’s my concept. It doesn’t mean that my children have to base their decisions on my concept, that they have to live their lives according to my concept.  Yes, I’m their mother.  I did a lot of conditioning. I can’t get away from that. I did do that.  But, it’s their choice. Their choice is to stay up three days running and to pay for it by sleeping around the clock.  That’s their choice.

You’re always making a set of choices.  When you  make your choices, you are always placing your control of the situation on your ability to feel free into that choice.  My main concern is that when you’re doing the weighing and the balancing, you’re saying, “This is important and this is important.  Which is more important?”  What are you basing your information on?  If you’re basing your information on a gut level feeling you have, a need you have, fine!  But are you basing it on all sorts of conditions that have been placed on you from outside?  Are you basing it on your programming?  Is your programming accurate?  That’s a large order, but you have to think about it.

Every day you get up and walk to the closet to decide whether or not you’re going to wear the blue or green, or whatever. Your whole life is full of constant decisions.  If you’re used to wearing green on Thursday, you may not even think about it when you walk in the closet. You just automatically pick the green.  Well, who made up that rule?  Is it because you’re comfortable wearing green, have you just gotten in the habit, or did your mother always wear green on Thursday?  Do you see what I mean by the choices that you make and the freedom that you’re placing on the line by making them?

The limitations placed on us are the limitations which we allow to be placed on us.  We allow them by encouraging them sometimes (some people like to feel like martyrs).  That’s how they get their pleasure, by people saying, “Oh, look at that magnificent noble thing that person is doing!”  Their choice is this “nobility” thing, which is basically: I feel good when people look at me and they say that; therefore, even if I have to sacrifice my own personal well-being, everybody’s going to look at me and say, “Oh, what a magnificent gesture”.  And that feels good!   I’ll do that one. That’s the one that’s in my scales and that’s the one I’m happiest with.  Still choices.

Let’s deal right now with guilt and repression and censorship and limitations, but not so much in the sense of their being personal limitations.  Essentially, they’re either something that you have accepted as part of your programming, reactions to guilt, reactions to a lack of knowledge, or reactions out of incomplete or incorrect knowledge. But you are making the choices.  Your choices are your own personal responsibility.  Choices are based on what’s in your head at the time you’re making them.  If you accept a limitation from outside of yourself, it is part of your choice to accept that as a limitation on yourself.

COMMENT:  Is that a limitation or is that exercising your freedom?

MARILYN:  But that’s what the whole point is.  See, most of us, accepting the notion that we are limited in some way, decided by rules, by family expectations, by subconscious conditioning, by whatever you want to call it, we have accepted as fact that we can only work within a certain format.  But what you need to recognize is that unless someone’s got you tied to a chair, the limitation will be limiting to you only if you accept it as such in your consciousness.

You say to me, “You shouldn’t go out right now, because it’s going to rain.”  I look at you and say, “Well, she’s right.”  I’m accepting your view that I shouldn’t go out in the rain for a walk.  But it’s my choice.  It’s also my choice to go out in the rain and walk if I feel like it, because it happens to be something I enjoy.  In order for you to place a limitation on me, I have to accept it as part of my attitude.  I have to incorporate it into my choices.  You cannot limit me unless I allow you to, unless you tie me to a chair, or if you stand and hold a gun to my head.  Then my choice is, “Do I take a chance on moving and seeing if they really mean it?  Is it important enough, this thing that I want to do (I want to go to the store and get a loaf of bread) of taking the chance that this idiot might do what he’s threatening to do?”  Again, we’re making personal choices.  Now, if you’re in a life-threatening type of situation, usually the nature of the beast is to preserve its life.  It will not usually force itself against hostile action unless it feels that it’s got some way of winning, or it’s safer to perform an alternative action.

But I’m saying that, apart from a life-threatening situation or form of hostility where you are being severely limited through the actions of another person, the only way someone else can limit you is if you allow them to do so when you’re making your choice.

You’re all saying the same thing.  You’re saying you want freedom to make choices but you don’t want any limitations.  But you have the freedom to make choices without any limitations.  It belongs to you already.  You just don’t exercise it.  You hit certain things stored in your consciousness and you say, “This is important, and I don’t want to do it that way.  This is a price tag I’m not willing to pay!”

Every action that you take has a price tag in time or energy or effort or even money.  Everything has a price tag.  You take a shower, which sounds like a fairly innocuous thing to do. There’s water to heat (because I like hot showers), there’s a water bill to pay, there’s the turning on of the faucet, there’s the getting of the towel, the cost of the towel (if I use it many times, I wear it out), soap, shampoo, if I use it.  In other words, such an innocuous thing as taking a shower has a price tag.  It has energy-exchange for energy or action for energy.

If I decide to sit here passively and let you walk all over me, there is a price tag, apparently, I’m willing to pay to put myself in that position.  What is it that I want?  I may be hoping that you’re going to kick the bucket soon and leave your estate to me. Therefore, I’ll let you be obnoxious to me.  If I sit here and let you be obnoxious, I think I’m going to win.  Or, am I letting you be obnoxious because I’ve been programmed into believing that I need to let you be obnoxious?  I’m still making a choice.  I may be making the choice on poor information, but I’m still making the choice.  And my freedom is on the line when I make a choice.

If I choose to be free, if I choose to express “me” wherever I am, then I have to recognize that there’s likely to be a price tag for that choice.  Am I willing to pay it?  Am I in a relationship that I don’t want to be in?  What are my alternatives?  My alternatives are to stay in a relationship which is uncomfortable, unproductive.  I’m saying to myself, “I don’t like this. I don’t want to be here!”  Or, I can choose to walk out on a relationship despite the fact that you threaten to commit suicide, or you feel that I’m abandoning you after twenty years of living with you, the children cannot exist without the family unit, or… we could go on and on with choices.

You have to determine which of the choices is the most valuable to you, and make that your choice.  Freedom is based on your choice.  You have total control over your choice. But you also have total responsibility for it.  Freedom is responsibility. You can’t have one without the other.  If you exercise your freedom, you must be willing to pay the price tag for that freedom.  What you’re doing in making your choice is saying, “This one’s more important than that one.”  You might not be doing it in a mind-boggling kind of way where you’re running it all through your consciousness all of the time.  You make fairly innocuous choices, so you think, but when you watch the whole sequence of choices, they may wind up to be a part of something very important.

COMMENT:  What do you do if somebody is sick?

MARILYN:  Why are they sick, and is it lingering?

COMMENT:  What difference does that make?

MARILYN:  Oh, a lot of difference!

COMMENT:  Say they’re recovering from something, and it’s taking quite a while, and in your own mind you’re saying, “If they’d followed the right course of treatment, they wouldn’t be in this position.” And you get angry.  Then your conscience begins to trouble you.

MARILYN:  Who supplied you with the conscience?  Where did the conscience come from?

COMMENT:  Well, you say, “This is my responsibility. There’s no one else to take care.  The person is ill, so I have to stick around.”

MARILYN:  You’re still making a choice.

COMMENT:  Of course I am, but…

MARILYN:  You’re making a choice based on guilt.  Who programmed the guilt? 

COMMENT:  This is based on your own experience, on your education, on your environment, on many things.

MARILYN:  It’s a by-product.  Is it real?

COMMENT:  I don’t know.  I would say it’s reality.

MARILYN:  No.  You were saying that it was what you had accepted as a programed reaction.  You have accepted it, and therefore it is one of the conditioning factors in making your choice.  What you’ve done is you’ve weighed in on the scales and balances and you’ve decided that miserable was better than guilty.  So you chose the miserable so that you wouldn’t feel guilty. So you made your choice.

Now, the first question I asked was, “Why the illness?  And how long has it been going on?  What is their participation in their own illness?”  I’m just trying to find an example that we can use.  We’ll use this example:

I took training in Reiki healing three or four years ago.  Reiki is a Japanese form of healing and it has to be transferred from the master to the student.  The teacher was in town and one of the examples that she used will be very good for our purposes.  We talked about this in Healing Class, too.

She worked with a man who was considered to be legally blind.  In other words, he had about 10% vision. There was a light source somewhere, but he couldn’t see images at all.  Legally blind people (at least he was) are able to get government subsistence.  He was able to get most of his material needs met, because he was incapable of taking care of himself.  He wasn’t on welfare, but it was probably an agency through Social Security.

He came to her for a healing, and after several more, she got his vision restored to about 60%.  That’s as far as she got, and then he would go back to zero.  Then she would work with him and work with him and get him back to 60% vision, and subsequently his vision would return to zero.  She did this three times.  Reiki Healing is a two-hour treatment, and you have to do this on a continuing basis, so that was no small effort this woman was making. It was hours and hours of work.  Every time that this occurred, she would think, “Wait a minute… something is just not right here!”  She started talking with him about the problem, and mentioned the fact that if he were able to get his vision back, he would have to give up all the government benefits and face life like the rest of us.  He got totally angry and walked out.  She never saw him again.  She had hit a nerve.

He wanted his vision back, but it threatened the security that he had.  He did not want to face life like the rest of us do.  As soon as she got him to the point where his security was threatened, he didn’t want the eyesight badly enough to get by the threat.  He reacted in anger because she touched his button.  He didn’t react with guilt.  He reacted with anger.  If he had said, “Oh, is that what I’m doing,” then there would have been a chance perhaps of helping him.  He would have reached the realization of what was happening.  What he did was to get angry and walk out, which means that he wouldn’t have to cope with making a living and he wouldn’t have to give up his benefits.

If a person is ill and is having a slow recovery, what is it due to?  Is it based on, “If I am helpless, I will get what I want?  As soon as I start getting well, then I’m going to have to face things, and I’m maybe not just ready to do that?”  Now, if this is their motive, even if they’re not doing it consciously (let’s just say it’s a part of their thinking process) their slow recovery is really based on the fact that they don’t really want to face life.  As soon as they get well, they know you’re going to leave.  Then the recovery is going to be slowed down tremendously, not on an intentional level, but on an unintentional one.  You’re saying to yourself, “If I leave, I’m going to feel so guilty.”  The choice is based on garbage, and you’ve given up your freedom and you’ve not accomplished anything.  Do you see the kind of choices you’re making when you’ve not thought and looked at what’s causing the program?  “If I don’t get well, then so-and-so will be responsible for me.  If I get well, then I’m going to have to take my chances on the whole thing blowing up in my face and not being what I want, because I’m scared to go out and deal with life.”

I had a lady in here this week.  I can’t imagine things like this, but she was here and talked to me, so I know it’s real.  She was in a marriage for seventeen years that was a disaster.  It was incredible.  She ended the marriage and within a very short time walked into a relationship with another man.  She stayed in this relationship for nineteen years.  She found out after she had been in it a while that he was married.  He kept promising to leave his wife (because it was not a good marriage), but he kept finding one excuse after another to stay in the marriage.  This woman stayed in this relationship for nineteen years!  She said to me, “He took nineteen years of my life.”  I said, “Wrong, you gave him nineteen years of your life.”  The beginning of healing is putting the situation in the right perspective, placing it in the right space.

I didn’t like what went on between my husband and me in our marriage.  It was very, very painful, and I stayed in that marriage for all the wrong reasons:  children, society, when you’re married it’s forever and ever, people pull together, they work it out.  It was unhappy for both of us.  But, boy, was I tenacious!  I tell you, I played by all the “rules”.  I left him for six months.  I was going to get a divorce.  He came and said, “Children need their Father!”  And I’m thinking to myself, “Where were you when they needed you before?”  But I let him program me into feeling guilty, and I lived six more years with him.  For the longest time, I blamed that man for my unhappiness and the loss of the twelve years.  But somewhere along the line, I started to grow up and recognize that I made the choice to stay in that relationship.  Regardless of the fact that I accepted outside limitations to govern my choice, it was still my choice.  That’s when you start healing, when you recognize that you have to take total responsibility for yourself.  You have to recognize right now that you’ve got every choice that you need to have.  It belongs to you and you’ve been doing it already.  What is your programming?  What are your choices based on?  Where’s the error?

COMMENT:  Let’s say you get a message that comes through a psychic group, and you know it’s coming from a positive force, not a negative force.  If you rely on that 100% wholeheartedly, you could say that’s taking away your freedom, because it’s really telling you what to do.

MARILYN:  No.  You are allowing it to tell you what to do.  You are making the choice. You are giving it permission.  Yes, you are handing your freedom over to it, but it’s not taking your freedom from you.  You are handing it over willingly.  You are responsible for you, totally – all your choices!  You can take advice from outside yourself, physical or non-physical, but there’s nothing that says you have to accept it.  If, after a period of observation, you notice that these messages are pretty accurate, then you’re more apt to want to follow them.  It’s still your choice.  If you follow them for twenty years, it could still be your choice in the twenty-first year to stop following them.  Nothing says you have to.  Now, we can get so strongly conditioned that we find it hard to break through our original choices.  You are totally responsible for everything that happens  to you.  You are totally responsible for every choice that you make.  You can allow other people to place limitations or suggestions into your consciousness, but there is no law which says that you have to accept them.

COMMENT:  I’ve been thinking about what Al said about illness, because…

MARILYN:  Okay.  The decision not to make a decision is a decision.  I know.  I’ve been in the same situation myself.  Should I stay or should I leave?   But again, you’ve got the scales.  You’re saying, “This side outweighs this side,” and you are making choices.  I would say that if you were in the midst of a difficult emotional decision, that would not be the ideal time to start working in the framework which has been described here.  You’re not as rational at such times.  You can’t really make a rational decision in an emotional state.  You can recognize that in not making a choice, you ARE making a choice.  You’re saying to yourself, “I’m not ready to determine which side of the scale has the largest balance.”

We’re trying to get people to recognize that their freedom has always been theirs.  Your freedom never left you.  Your freedom is inside of you.  Freedom is in your state of mind.  It’s in your capacity to make choices.  Sometimes we give up our freedom, but it is our choice to do that.  It isn’t forced on us.  Something or someone from outside, a physical or non-physical entity, says, “This is the way it should be,” but there are options to accept that for ourselves.  Limitations are self-imposed.  We accept them or we refuse to accept them.

COMMENT:  What kind of relationships would we have if we all did what we thought was right?

MARILYN:  I don’t think it would be that bad.  I really don’t.  That’s something that I think the Aquarian Age is trying to gravitate towards – the individuality of each person.  I think we’ve got all sorts of preconceived notions that it would be chaos, but who decided that it was going to be chaos?  It’s the people who don’t want the “Law and Order” to break down who would like us to believe it would be “chaos”, and they’ve done a little conditioning.

COMMENT:  I’m thinking that we’re slowly getting to that point – marital relations, clothing, jobs, etc.  We’re doing what we want.  At first, eyebrows were raised.  People were considered kind of weird because they didn’t conform, or had a beard.

MARILYN:  We’re starting to exercise our individuality.   But let’s take what you just said about a beard.  Let’s just say that someone decided that society was crazy, and that they were going to let their beard and hair grow out, not take a bath, and just not follow society’s rules.  It is their choice to do so.  If they want body sores, which usually come from not taking a bath once in a while, that’s their choice.  But I don’t have to sit next to them.  My choice is, “You smell bad, and I don’t have to sit here and subject myself to it!”

One of the statements in the Bible goes against where all metaphysicians think they are supposed to be going with their lives.  I have a feeling that the statement in the Bible is right and that metaphysicians have a bit of a problem of interpretation.  You know, we’re all supposed to be growing into such warm and wonderful people that we accept everything and everybody as they are, carte blanche!  If we have a problem with someone, there’s something wrong with our spiritual understanding.  If you’re in the metaphysical field, that’s one of the pieces of programming.  But, do you realize that in the Bible it is stated that you should not involve yourself with obnoxious people, that they are an offense to the spirit, and that you should remove thyself hence?  Which means, get away from them if they bother you.  Now, I can understand why there would be a set of instructions to tell you that if somebody is obnoxious and is affecting you very negatively, go ahead and remove yourself.  It doesn’t mean that we should do anything bad to them or try to change them; it just means that we should let them have their own space and remove ourselves.  So, here we are walking around and trying to be magnificent to everybody, no matter how adversely they have affected us, because if we’re not, it means we’re not evolving spiritually, yet we have specific instructions in the Scriptures to move when it gets bad.  Don’t stay there.


COMMENT:  You were saying that there would not be chaos if everybody did what they thought was right.  If there was a cult that thought a sacrifice should be held every month of five people hanging from a tree by their ankles. . .?

MARILYN:  If the five people hanging from a tree by their ankles choose to get into that tree and hang by their ankles, they nobody’s really got any business to tell them not to do it.

COMMENT:  Suppose that this group went out and kidnapped five people, took them up to a giant tree, and hung them up by their ankles?

MARILYN:  I understand what you’re saying.  You’re responsible for your choice but you’re giving me the responsibility for my choice.  If I join you.  In other words, if you say, “I want to hang you up by the heels from a tree because I think it’s a good thing to do,” and I say, “Okay.”  When you force your opinion or your choice on someone else without his choices being considered, you’re moving out of freedom and into infringing on another person’s freedom.  That’s where we run into trouble.

All right.  Next topic: “say and do anything anywhere, anytime, but not hurt”.  Now, what you have to recognize is that I have the right to hurt you if I’m ready to pay the consequences.  I can make that choice.  I can say, “I’m going to hurt Bart, but I’m going to get my wrist slapped if I do.”  It’s up to me to do it if that’s the price tag I’m willing to pay.  It’s still freedom of choice.  It’s still my choice.  If I were a member of a cult and I decided to kidnap five people, I would know that I was going to upset somebody pretty badly, and that there would be repercussions.  But it would be up to me to make the choices and be willing to pay the price tag for the repercussions or the consequences.

Now, from my particular point of view, I don’t feel that anyone has the right to infringe on anyone else’s rights.  That is my own subjective opinion.  That is not a law written in heaven by God.  That’s common good.   If everybody were able to express themselves individually, able to feel creative, able to feel fulfilled, if they were able to get into relationships which were mutually rewarding, you don’t think there would be wars, do you?  Why would anybody want to go to war if they could have their own individual expression, if they could be creative, have what they needed out of life, feel productive, and give into life what their own creativity dictated?

That’s an idealized situation.  In society as it is now, it would take us time to get to that point.  But you need to recognize that what we’re talking about is following society’s rules, which have not worked, which are not working, not allowing for more personal self-expression and more freedom in choices.  Changing certain aspects of society’s rules does not mean we’re going to breed chaos.  There should be less chaos when we have more satisfied people.

COMMENT:  Let’s say that in exercising personal freedom, they throw you in the loony bin?

MARILYN:  If you exercise personal freedom in a way you know…

COMMENT:  They say you’re crazy; they put you into Florida State Mental Hospital, because society won’t accept your behavior.

MARILYN:  We talked about that earlier.  We are dealing with people making choices based on just whatever information they have, or somebody forcibly restraining you.  If somebody throws you into Florida State with the bars and the rest of it, I can assume that that’s a “forcibly restraining you” type of thing.  Then we’re intruding on another person’s rights.  Now, if you come at me with a hatchet, I have the right to hit you with a chair to keep you from hitting me with the hatchet.  I have the right to defend myself.  The options are, I can hurt you a little bit, or you can hurt me a whole lot.  Then we might forcibly restrain you, because we think you’re not able to make choices at that point.  You’re not coherent, you’re not making any sense, so we have to restrain you.  That doesn’t mean we have to throw away the key.  It means trying to find out what’s going on.

You know, when I got involved in that rape trial last year, this whole matter came out.  This is what really got me involved in it.  It was supposed to be held here in Broward County.  The young man raped a woman.  There was no question as to whether or not he raped her.  He had raped her while she was in bed with her husband, so he was specifically identified.  Guilt or innocence was not the issue.  The choice was:  do you take a twenty-two-year-old man and throw him in prison for sixty years without anybody doing anything for him, or do you put him in a psychiatric ward and see if somebody can get through to him and start to cure whatever the heck went wrong?  That’s what got me involved in this case.

I don’t believe in rape.  I certainly would not like to see the man go out scot-free.  My feeling is that throwing him into prison for sixty years and throwing away the key when you’re dealing with somebody who’s twenty-two-years-old is not the answer, either.  Rick?

COMMENT:  So we all can’t do whatever we want to do.

MARILYN:  No, because society has formed a government which has adopted a set of rules which we all have to abide by.  If you wanted to do something that flouted these rules, you can do it, but you have to recognize that there’s a price tag you’ll have to pay.  So you make your choice.  Most of us don’t want to go through the hassle.

COMMENT:  When you buy a home or property, there are zoning laws, rules and regulations that you abide by when you buy property in a certain area.

MARILYN:  Yes.  But you make a choice.  When you buy a house and your lawyer goes over and says, “Well, you know there’s a deed restriction which specifies this and this”, you say, “Okay.  I want the house anyway.”  So you’ve made a choice.  You make a choice to abide by what’s required or you pay the price tag.  If you paint your house purple, green and polka-dotted, it’s going to be an eyesore.  If you want to do it, go ahead, but I don’t want to go see it.

COMMENT:  The government is always passing laws.  An example is the firing of the air controllers for striking when it was against the law.

MARILYN:  Those people were making a choice. They knew the results of their options.  If they break the oath, it subjects them to criminal prosecution.  They knew what would happen if they struck.  They knew the potential hazards to airplane passengers.  They were well aware of the effect, because that was their weapon.  They knew they could get fined. They knew they could be discharged.  Why they discharged all those experienced air controllers is beyond me, but I guess the government knows whom they should discharge.

COMMENT:  There are hundreds of people applying for the jobs.

MARILYN:  Okay.  This is a case that when they made the choice, they knew what the outcome would be.  They considered the consequences and they chose their actions.  Now, they had signed an oath at one point.  They were now breaking their oaths.  Isn’t it the same thing as your signing a marriage contract and deciding ten years later that it wasn’t going to work?  It’s really not any different.

I took an oath of secrecy when I worked for the Atomic Energy Commission.  I’ve had no reason to break that oath, or I don’t remember having any reason for breaking it.  I’m asking that if I took an oath something like twenty-five years ago, am I still bound by that oath?  My marriage ended in twelve years.  Am I still bound by an oath that I took twelve years ago?  That’s my option, my choice.  If I divulge some piece of information that I’m not supposed to divulge, I will know that the AEC will come over and just jump up and down all over me, and give me a bad time, possibly arrest me.  That would be my choice, the consequences of my own actions.  But I still would be exercising my freedom of choice to give up my freedom.

I did consciously give up my freedom three or four years ago, I believe it was.  I’d been involved in this work of metaphysics for a long time.  I sat down one day and said, “Spirit, you point and I’ll do it.”  As far as I’m concerned, nothing else now that I’m doing is superior to the purposes of doing this work.  I consciously took my own freedom, knowing I might not like all the conditions that have come down through (and, boy, there have been a couple of lulus).  I consciously took my freedom and placed it in another agency.  I don’t feel that I’ve lost anything.  But, as I said, it’s been a fun few years!  It’s been very interesting.  It’s as if Spirit had said, “Do you really mean this?”  And It was trying different ways to find out if I did mean it!


MARILYN:  The thing is that it was my choice, it was my freedom, it belonged to me.  It is also my choice and my freedom to take it back.  I get Spirit guidance.  Some of it I take and some of it I don’t.  I leave my options open.  When I was told by Spirit, “Don’t teach the Ministry course because there’s a piece missing.  We want you to teach Metaphysics, and these are the subjects and the steps.”  I sat there and thought, “I have a choice.”  I knew I was going to fly blind, and I thought “yes” or “no” was my choice.  I’ll try it.  I’m also not really keen about standing up here and making a jerk out of myself.  So I have to have implicit trust in Spirit.  That’s not a decision I would have made lightly, but I did make a choice.  I can make a choice right now to say, “Guys, I don’t think it’s going that well, and I’m going to give you back ten dollars for the next two weeks.”  That’s my choice.  I can choose to do it.  Nothing says I have to follow the program.

We’ve gotten to the point where we’re so conditioned and have so many programs going on within us that we don’t even know where all the programs came from.  We have all sorts of religious belief systems, and we don’t even know who made them up.  You know, a lot of these teachings were translated from language to language.  Can you imagine a little friar who’s a bit out of sorts and is having a bad day (his rector was giving him a hard time), and when he translated this certain piece of scripture, he decided he’d just change a few words around.  And we’ve been taking it for Gospel for thousands of years!  Things like that could occur and we’re walking around not knowing what we’re believing.

When I first got into Science of Mind, I think the one thing that helped me the most was that the teachers kept saying to me, “You said you believed that.  What does it mean?”  They kept asking me to explain what I meant, or what I said I believed.  I discovered that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  That was a revelation!  I thought, “Oh, my goodness, I’m walking around with all these beliefs and I don’t know what they mean!  I don’t know who made them up, I don’t know if they were right.”  Then I really started to progress.  Well, I’m still learning.

What I’m saying is that when you’re making your choices and feeling your limitations, ask where the limitations are coming from.  The limitations are basically inside of yourself.  You’ve allowed them.  You allowed the programming before you even knew it to be programming.  Someone from outside of you placed a limitation on you and you are accepting it.

So, now, do you recognize that you’ve always been free?  You never lost your freedom.  It’s always belonged to you.  It will always belong to you.  You will exercise a choice every waking minute you have.  “Do I eat or do I not eat?”  You should have seen me this morning agonizing over whether or not to have breakfast.  I’m debating whether I want my scales to look good or my stomach to feel good.  It’s a choice.

COMMENT:  You said we had to eat breakfast?

MARILYN:  Sure.  That’s another conditioning, right?  You should eat three times a day, starting around eight in the morning.

COMMENT:  When I see somebody doing something that goes against the grain, I get angry.

MARILYN:  Okay.  But why are you getting angry?  Examine yourself!

COMMENT:  I know that it’s wrong…

MARILYN:  Why is it wrong?

COMMENT:  Because they’re exercising their freedom.

MARILYN:  Then why are you getting angry?

COMMENT:  Because it’s none of his business, and he knows it!

MARILYN:  What I’m saying is that you have the right to get angry if you want to get angry.  It doesn’t mean you should go over and punch the other, but if you want to get angry, get angry!  But look at why you’re getting angry.  Who told you that you didn’t have the right to get angry?  Are you growing so magnificently that you don’t have any anger in you?  You’re saying, “I don’t have the right to be angry.”  Well, you’re wrong.  You do have the right to be angry.  You can be angry!  You shouldn’t punch them, but you can be angry if you want to be.  Why don’t you get constructive and say, “Why am I angry?”  Don’t deny a negative emotion.  It is denying some sort of signal that something is not going right inside of you.  You’re better off accepting it and exploring it.  It’s better than having a heart attack because you’ve gotten yourself all bent out of shape.

If somebody hits your anger button, the wisest thing for you to do it to think, “Uh oh, someone hit my anger button.  Let’s try to figure this out.”  Get some mileage out of it.  Something inside of you is signaling that something is not right.  That doesn’t mean you have to force the other person to your point of view, or to change him.  It does mean you shouldn’t repress your own anger, because repressing your anger is destructive… very destructive!

COMMENT:  What you’re saying is, “Be angry, but realize that…”

MARILYN:  Let it teach your something.  Explore yourself.  Recognize that it’s a signal that something’s not quite right inside.  Okay?  But I wouldn’t suggest that you act in outward hostility toward the person angering you.  That’s carrying it a step further, and perhaps infringing on his rights.  And they aren’t going to like it.  They’re liable to punch you back!  The choices you make will determine the consequences of your actions.

Susan was very perceptive when I got angry at her.  She said, “How did you feel?”  She didn’t say, “You haven’t the right to get angry at me.”  She asked, “How did you feel?”  Which is interesting, because she’s come a long way.  She was not condemning me.  She wasn’t saying that I didn’t have the right to be angry at her, or anything like that.  She was saying, “Did you explore yourself.  Did you find out what it was about?”  It was interesting that I was able to explore it while it was going on.

So, I know where she’s at now, because she must have done some of this stuff herself, or she wouldn’t really know that.

The odd thing is that we’ve all got slightly different ways of doing it, but we’re all doing the same thing.  What we’re hoping will come out of this is to see the illusions, remember?  The Illusions of Self.  It doesn’t say anybody else.  It’s Illusions of Self!  And our objective is to see the trap.

Now, last week we tried to see the “trap” in the way we’ve been programmed by our basic education.  This week we’re trying to see the trap in believing that we’ve ever been unfree.  It’s never happened.  We’ve always been free.  And our freedom has been based on the choices we’ve made in light of the consequences we understand.  But our programming may be erroneous or incomplete.  We don’t know who made up all these silly rules.  But we’re all running around trying to follow them.  Do you realize how confusing it is to try to follow all the rules?  Do you realize that if someone breaks into your house, you don’t have the right to shoot him until he has both feet inside the door, and when you shoot him, he must fall completely in the house?  You’re standing there in the dark, trying to figure out how to get the body to fall inside the house, and not fall back out the door.  You could go wacky with these rules.  We’ve gotten to the point where it’s ridiculous, and we’ve accepted all these programs for ourselves.  Now, if I want to shoot someone with both feet outside the door, and drag him in, I’ve got to take a chance on the fact that I may get caught at it, and I have to be willing to pay the price tag if I get caught at it.

When I go down I-95 and I see some idiot doing something stupid, I usually will say something very profound, about four letters long.  I’m by myself, so it’s “okay”.  I don’t much like what they’re doing, but I will discover that about thirty feet down the road or in about a minute and a half I’ll do the same stupid thing myself.  That’s what life is teaching me right now.  It just swats me back and lets me know that none of us is infallible.  You know that guy who gets on I-95 and goes 35 mph in the middle lane or the speed lane?  I didn’t realize what was happening until the day I tried to carry liquids in the back of my car.  There was a car stopped right ahead of me. Maybe his transmission had broken down, but I wish he’d stayed in the right lane.  There may have been some other… I don’t know everything.  Maybe when I pass all those judgements on people, I’m not nearly as smart as I think I am. 

But, if we do anything tonight, we’ve got to get to the point where we understand that we have always been free.  Freedom has never been taken away from us.  We are not unfree now.  We have accepted limitations.  We’re constantly making choices.  What you are doing is based on the guilt, the restrictions and limitations that you’ve accepted, half the information you need, and other handicaps.  Sometimes we make a decision and somebody changes the rules just about the time we put things in motion, so we’ve got to be adaptable.  We have to recognize that conditions are not static… that they’re constantly changing, and we have to adapt accordingly.

Don’t you think you could go out of here a little smarter in making your decisions, in your choices?  Don’t you think you will go out of here recognizing that nobody took your freedom away from you?  No one can limit or restrict you.  You can accept those limitations and restrictions because you’re not willing to pay the price tag for them.  Can you recognize, first of all, that you’re responsible for your own freedom?

Do you think, Bart, that you understand about getting through limitations imposed by other people?  Do you understand that they can’t limit you?  That doesn’t mean you should fight against everything your father says.  If my kid did that, I probably would beat him soundly.  What you have to recognize is that if you decide to go through a limitation that has been placed on you for whatever reason, you reap the consequences of it.  Somewhere along the line you have to make a set of choices.  You have to decide which is more important to you:  accepting the limitation as it’s given (there’s probably a valid reason for it) or accepting the consequences for your actions if you don’t accept the limitation.  You have the right of choice.

BART:  What I meant when I said that was that it is not possible to do these things.

MARILYN:  That’s a shame!  That’s what we’ve done, especially to our children.  Told them they can’t.  That’s terrible!

Someone asked me this week if I could treat agoraphobia.  I said, “I don’t know.  What is it?  (That’s fear of open space, as I found out.)  I asked, “What does that mean?”  And they said, “Well, if people have claustrophobia, they’re afraid of closed-in spaces; fear of open spaces makes them afraid to go to the store, drive a car.  They just can’t do anything outside their home.  They can’t go to the post office.  They just need a protected environment.”

I thought, “That’s awful!”  I think that’s worse than claustrophobia.  At least that only happens occasionally.  Such fear that you can’t even leave the house?  She said to me, “Could you heal that?”  I said, “I don’t see why not.  I’ve never done it before, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it.”  I started as a healer, but I’ve never done any of that before, and I’ve worked with a lot of ailments.  But I was willing to try.  Somewhere along the line we’ve got to stop telling our children and ourselves that we “can’t”.

I watched my Father one day.  I thought he’d lost his mind.  My baby brother had a habit of trying to stick his fingers into the hot burners on the gas stove.  My Father had gone almost wacky trying to stop him from doing that.  One day he sat at the table and let my brother put his fingers into the flame, just barely touching it, and he (my brother) never did that again!

When I questioned him, my father said, “If he does it while I’m watching, he won’t get hurt that badly.  If he does it while I’m not looking, it could result in self-immolation.”  So he allowed a small hurt in order to prevent a larger hurt.  Now, that’s not something I understood at the time.  I do understand it now.

Who censors?  If I wanted to write pornography (which is not too likely), but let’s just say that I got a notion to write smutty material.  Perhaps it would never be published, it might be confiscated, it might land me in prison, or all sorts of things.  But I do have the choice of doing it, I just have to be willing to pay the price tag.  I don’t even want to read pornography, much less write it, but what I’m saying is, “Who censors?”  Do I accept the censorship, or do I accept the consequences for my actions?

Now, what about equality?  Do we have equality essentially?


MARILYN:  Why not?

COMMENT:  Manmade rules.

MARILYN:  No.  We don’t have to follow them.  We make the choice.

COMMENT:  We have to follow them in order not to get in trouble.

MARILYN:  Uh oh!  That’s a choice!

COMMENT:  It’s a choice, but we still don’t want to get in trouble.

MARILYN:  You don’t want to get in trouble.  I may choose to get in trouble.

COMMENT:  My brother gets in trouble all the time.

MARILYN:  We’ve all got equal choices, equal rights to freedom, we either exercise them or we don’t.  Nobody can impose something on us that we are not willing to accept.  We have to be willing to pay the price tag for our actions.

COMMENT:  What I think basically is freedom is doing what I want without being held responsible.

MARILYN:  Oooooh!  What you’re doing is taking the front side of the coin and not accepting the back side!

COMMENT:  If you come back in two thousand years. . . {rest unintelligible}

MARILYN:  No, not really.  We’re not talking about two thousand years from now.  Everything in this world is based on a duality principle.  Essentially what you’re saying is that you want license, not freedom.  That’s different.  I didn’t ask if you wanted license.  I asked you what “freedom” was.  License says, “I can do any damn thing I please and I am above reproach.”  That’s license.

COMMENT:  When I think of equality, I don’t think of equality in the same sense of the word that I would call “freedom”.

MARILYN:  She defined is as equality.  That’s her definition of it, and it’s a valid definition.  It’s just that each of us is equal in terms of the fact that we have all of the choices if we’re willing to take the responsibility for the consequences of our actions.

COMMENT:  As far as I am concerned, the word “equality” doesn’t deal with people, society, because in order to really have true freedom, everyone would have to be equal.

MARILYN:  We’re not talking about equality in those terms.  We’re talking about equality in terms of freedom.  That’s what we were defining.  Go back to your definition.  We’re defining freedom.  Her term for freedom is equality –  everyone having the same right to freedom, the right to make choices, that we already have.  We’ve just forgotten we have it.  We’ve become so used to accepting the limitations.

COMMENT:  What I’m saying is that if society is the way it is today, we have the freedom, we have to face the consequences.  If there was total equality, then we could do whatever we feel like doing, without facing the consequences.

MARILYN:  No, that’s not true.  You will always face the consequences of your actions.  You will always do that.  That’s Cause and Effect.  I don’t care who makes up the rule, whether it’s society or whoever, but whatever you initiate or choose to do or not to do, by action or by refusal to act, you are responsible for.  It will occur anyway, even if we could call it any other name we want to.  What I set in motion, or what is set in motion by my lack of action, I am still responsible for, whether or not I give it a name.  Equality in terms of freedom is that we are all starting from an equal base in our freedom.  The answer is, “Yes, we are!”  Now, you may choose to accept limitations imposed on you by society, but please recognize that you’re choosing to do so, you’re exercising your freedom to do so.  You’ve not given up your freedom.  Your freedom is still there to choose.  You’ve chosen to accept the limitations.

COMMENT:  If somebody went out and did what he wanted to, he’s got to face the consequences.

MARILYN:  Yes, he’s got to face the consequences.  I think we’ve pretty much gone over most of this.  I said that probably the most difficult of all of the concepts on that board is the word “guilt”.  I think that’s got to be the hardest one to deal with.  I think that’s got to be the one that can curb freedom the most.  We find it very difficult, even in our own personal self-interest, to do something that makes us feel guilty.  We need to examine the base of our guilt.  Where did it come from?  Was it conditioned honestly?  Wouldn’t it be marvelous if people operated givingly because they wanted to give rather than because they felt guilty?

I raised four children of my own.  I had people walking up to me and constantly saying, “Oh, you poor thing!”  I would look at them, and wonder what they were talking about.  What did they mean by, “Oh, you poor thing?”  I did not raise my children because I was guilty, because I felt that they needed a parent and had to be raised.  I raised them because I thought they were neat, and I liked them.  I wasn’t a poor thing.  I got more pleasure out of raising my children!  It had nothing to do with guilt.  It had nothing to do with something that was imposed from outside of me.  It was a genuine desire on my part to participate with them.  I’d go in the bedroom every night and look at them sleeping and say, “Thank you, God, for giving me these children!”  I really meant it.  It had nothing to do with guilt.  I wasn’t trying to impress God.  I really, honestly felt that I had been given a gift.

If people could do that with each other, to give the gift of their love, or whatever it is they give, based on the fact that they want to give rather than that they feel they have to give it for whatever reason, do you really think that after a while we would have wars?  Do you think we would still have wars?  If we gave all our gifts based on loving, how could there be wars?

COMMENT:  I’ve come to the conclusion that if those who declare war had to fight the war, it wouldn’t happen anymore.

MARILYN:  Okay.  True.  I’m not saying this is going to happen tomorrow.  I’m saying that if you base what can happen with people occurring as a gift freely given, not given through guilt or limitations, or rules or regulations, society itself would heal magnificently.  Maybe we’d have a few problem people to contend with, but we wouldn’t be going to sort of embalm them and put them into a cage.  We would try to heal them from a feeling of giving.

COMMENT:  {Largely unintelligible, but having to do with the difficulty of changing the world.}

MARILYN:  I’m not talking about going out there and doing that, Bob.  You have taken something and you have gone around the corner with it.  Now, think about it.  We’re talking about individually furthering our evolution, and understanding what’s happening to us.  If these things started to take precedence, if we started to make our choices based on the fact that we do have freedom, and have accepted limitations, we’ll be starting to heal ourselves.  We’ll be starting to recognize this fact and we would not have as many problems in society as we have now.  It would not occur instantly, but does that mean that we shouldn’t do it?  I am not willing to wait until the year 2000 or 6000 until society gets its act together.  I want a piece of it now, as big a piece as I can get.  Therefore, I’m going to increase my awareness to try to give lovingly.  Maybe I won’t improve very much of the world, but wherever I’ve got the capacity to improve it, I will.  I hope I’ll receive some back!  None of us are altruists.  We’re all doing it for our own personal reasons.

So, wherever I am, I want a piece of the good now.  Whatever piece I can get.  I want to feel freer, to exercise more of my options.  I may not do it 100%, but I’m going to start working on me, because I’m the only person I can work on.  I can’t work on you.  We can sit here and share a dialogue, but I can’t change you.  You have to want that for yourself.  I’m trying to recognize that I’ve never been unfree.  The more I recognize that, the more I take responsibility for my own freedom, and the more freedom I’ll express in my life.  The more I express freedom in my own life, and the better I become, the more I can touch other people around me.  It’s a growth process.  I can’t change any of you.

COMMENT:  Should we try to convert people to this way of thinking by passing on the information we are getting here tonight?

MARILYN:  No, I wouldn’t advise you to do that.  You’re talking about proselytizing.  You’re learning about this phase of evolution rather ahead of time of the general population.  You can’t proselytize.  Other people have to come to that point in their awareness in order to even be interested in such matters.  Either they do or they don’t.  You do work on yourself because it makes you feel good to do it.  At a certain point, you’ll be a living example to others, and there would be no point in proselytizing.

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