Essays

Mechanical

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There’s a tradition, in formal Fourth Way groups, of not answering questions, especially mechanical questions. I’m not wild about mechanical questions either but when you’re dealing with machines it’s difficult to find much else. Perhaps it would be a good idea to begin to define the term, mechanical question. Sometimes the best way to discover what something is, is by discovering or uncovering what it isn’t. The way we find a buried treasure is to remove that under which it is buried. Discovering suggests a reversal of covering. What makes a mechanical question is the absence of conscious awareness. The absence of conscious awareness makes for cloudy, undirected, mechanical thinking. What follows mechanical thinking is a series, if it’s not stopped, of mechanical questions. That was the tee up. What is it that we’re talking about here? Because one thing leads to another, and understanding is the ability to connect one thing to another, we’re talking about many things.

The mechanical question that started this is: Write something about God’s love for us? The question is mechanical because there is no conscious thought involved. It doesn’t define which God, which love or which us. It shows how we forget ourselves and the Work by imagining that someone else can develop us by answering questions that we haven’t really asked because we haven’t thought through them ourselves. Another of the things we imagine is that we direct our thinking. It’s right up there with imagining that we are not controlled by the stream of external events we call life. What we call thinking is little more than a chain reaction of thoughts that begins with the collision of an external event with some preprogrammed old association of which we are not aware. As an example I’ll offer a potential scenario for this hypothetical question that might have been asked by a fellow machine. If the hypothetical machine in question were to read this essay one of the many mechanical reactions that could happen would begin with the wounding of self-love. The internal dialogue, based on internal considering, might go something like this:

All I did was ask a question. There’s no reason for him to humiliate me. Why does he have to be so condescending? I didn’t know it was a mechanical question. This makes me feel sick to my stomach. Now I feel like I’m worthless. I never want to ask another question again. This Work is hard enough, there’s no reason for him to be so mean. He could have said this nicer. What ever happened to external considering? If he’s such a smart teacher why can’t he externally consider me and think about my feelings and how this is making me feel? What makes him so sure he’s not just projecting all this on me. Isn’t that what the Work teaches? If we see it in someone else it’s because we’re not acknowledging it’s in us. He must really be having a bad day. Jerk!

A bit extreme? I’ve had conversations, and not just a few, that contain all these ingredients. I’ve heard it, been accused of it, read it in emails and heard people telling others about how awful it is. It’s an internal consideration template common to the False Personality and available to anyone run by the False Personality. That would be any of us here under forty-eight orders of laws. This Work is about short circuiting these mechanical reactions to the external events life rolls at us. It’s designed to systematically shed light in the areas of our internal darkness that will enable us to prepare ourselves to come under better influences than those that come to us through outer life. This will lead to our psychological transformation from mechanical people to real human beings.

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About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting that probably means you.