If men would search diligently their own minds, and examine minutely their thoughts and actions, they would be more cautious in censuring the conduct of others, as they would find in themselves abundantly sufficient cause for reproof. “It is a good horse that never stumbles;” and lie is a good man indeed who cannot reproach himself with numerous slips and errors.” “Every bean has its black,” and every man his follies and vices.
The adage also teaches us to set a proper value upon ourselves, and to be careful not to do anything that may degrade us. It is not known to whom we are indebted for this golden rule; we only learn that it is of very long standing, and was held in such high estimation by the ancients, that it was placed over the doors of their temples, and it was also supposed by them, that ” E coelo descen- dit,” it came down from heaven. ” ‘Man know thyself!’ tins precept from on high Came down, imagined by the Deity; Oh! be the words indelibly imprest On the live tablet of each human breast.
My note: To know anything or anyone, one needs to look. Straight. Without judgment. Without fear. Look and see. See what is there. Look long and hard.
If you try, you’ll see that it is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll want to run. Or you’ll want to look for signs that you have prejudged accurately, and ignore everything that says otherwise.
If you have looked rightly, you’ll see a lot of ugliness. In yourself, in others. It’s been always there.
As soon as you are able and willing to include it in who you consider yourself, it melts away.
This is the process I teach… get to the good, the real, the magnificent through the ugly.
HAVING: THE ONLY THING THERE IS TO DO TODAY IS WHAT YOU DO TODAY
From PAGES: Essays by Werner Erhard for the est staff, January 1, 1981
The only thing you are going to do today is: what you do today. Therefore, the only thing there is to do today is: what you do today. That’s all there was to do when you started no matter what you thought or think.
THE “OH MY GOD” SYNDROME
Most people go around thinking that what there is to do today is all that stuff that there is to do, that is to say, everything that isn’t done. This is a lie. This lie leads to stupidity. This stupidity leads to ineffectiveness. The ineffectiveness leads to fewer results being produced, leaving, apparently, more to be done. And there you have the downward spiral which is unworkability.
The only thing there is to do today is: what you actually do today! There is nothing else to do today! You get it? There isn’t anything to do today except what you actually do. That’s all there is to do today. Do you get it? If you do actually get it, you should feel the muscles in your body begin to relax. A sense of freedom and power begins to well up within you.
Now, you want to go to work, get to it, get at it, get it done. And here you have the upward spiral which is workability.
But what are you going to do