Reason to Live


Reason To Live / Document 1

4 March 2000




I just poured out my soul yesterday, or what is left of it – maybe I saved a little – into Lebanon! Martha brought it over. Round eyes, innocent like a child, hard to tell how old he was. Somewhere between 27 and 35. Beirut, Christian Arab, from a poor family. Martha met him in the mental wing of the Safed hospital. It's kind of a moderate mental wing, not for very heavy cases. Rumor: 'shell-shock.' Martha gave a bit of his story. He speaks English only somewhat. If I got it correctly, his father was with the Falanges militia. Got killed recently. His brother also got killed. Civil war. He didn't go into detail but I can guess from his age. Twelve year civil war, Beirut. The world never saw anything like it, I mean, one of every three persons that went out just to get water, that they had to have, got shot dead. Just leaving the house to get water. That's how crazy it was in Beirut. Everyone shooting at everybody else. What happens to a kid that grows up in that?

So he was here in the house for maybe half an hour, three quarters of an hour. Only in the last ten minutes did I dare look at him. I could hardly afford it. To relate to him in this situation!? His family, poor, no money, this one died, that one killed. Someone came to the house, someone selling vegetables or something and saw him. A good few years ago. He ended off in the South Lebanese Army. This someone came to do business with his father. He said to the boy: "Hey, you not in the army?" The boy didn't know what he was doing, he didn't know what he wanted. He got swept away. This someone was a 'recruiter'. They paid, they paid. They paid the family to release their son to the South Lebanese Army. I don't know so much about it, it's mixed, I thought the soldiers where mainly from the south. What does it mean? A Jet-fighter costs, how much money – Fifteen million dollars? You know how many soldiers you can buy for Fifteen million dollars? So he finds himself there. I said to him at one point: did you kill anybody? Did you have to kill anybody? 'Yes!' So innocent, something so innocent about him. I got a little bit of his story. They put him in a place to sit and wait, to guard. Somewhere between guarding and an ambush I guess. So those that he killed – they where coming to kill him. There is a difference, psychologically. It is madness that a man should even contemplate taking a life, it's madness. But somehow a guy gets killed, they're in an army, it's their karma so to speak.

Millions are being born and dying every moment, it's not terrible if you killed, it's what you've done to your own spiritual entity. It's like you 'negate'. Even if you don't have the words for it, you negate the creation, you negate God actually, you negate meaning, you negate your own soul. All these words are completely inadequate, cold, theoretical. But . . . he didn't have the eyes of a killer.


I can see I'm putting more energy into this than expected. I put the tape machine on for another reason. What I thought of, before you (Tsahi) came in the room? I was thinking of it before, not relative to you – but now just to ask you. I don't have the feeling you really want to say something in particular, although you could. Somehow I can read you without you having to explain – your love and your shame and your pain and your hope and your tiredness and your fear and your love. I mentioned that before, but I don't know: 'love' – yours . . . ? That's one word where it's hard to attach the word 'yours' to. Love doesn't belong to anybody.

Let me hear your sweet voice.

You see, there is a lot of energy here. That level is reconnecting, to one or another degree, with the source of all energy. From a more superficial layer it's all kind of mental or emotional masturbation. We're sort of trying to cause friction all the time, because in friction there's heat and in heat there's energy. But it's all artificial. As long as you keep rubbing there is energy, the moment you stop rubbing – you fall. Keeps the world going, it's what's called the devil – actually it's totally mechanical, it's compulsive. It comes from running away from the confusion and pain. You can't drop a soul into this complex,'humanly' developed world, without it being confusing and painful. It's like dropping us off in a Martian atmosphere where we don't know what's going on. The fact is that we don't know. Everything is new, everything is painful. So all this activity is just to get away and maybe get enough energy to figure it out, and maybe come back and 'organize' it. Everything false was already here before you. False sense of identity, false sense of ownership, false sense of importance. If you could only go through the pain, somehow, you might get to the bottom of it. The mind has to calm down, you have to be able to feel the pain in order to go through it.

These words are not as effective as the place that you were in before. So I asked you to say something. You can't say anything? Your eyes, your vibration show it. At that point you can't say anything. Do you understand what I'm saying?

You know, as frantic as it sometimes looks, although it doesn't always look frantic, though it is frantic – he (Tsahi) throws himself into life. His romantic life, his financial 'obligations' etc.

I've got to raise my voice a little bit right now because at this level I lose energy.

He is passionately 'determined'. That's a problem. He's got bits and pieces of a vocabulary for 'eternity' – Work ideas here and there. I don't know what else he has read – only hints here and there. I made contact with him at the personal level in this recent period. I don't know how far it goes back, time flies, it's got to be at least two years. Nomi (ex-wife) was visiting Aviv. Every once in a while I would sit with her. She was like saying: "come over to the house, come over to the house!" It became clear she was trying to encourage a connection between me and Tsahi. So I came when it seemed right. I don't want to review all that, a whole lot of things I was aware of at the time. But the main thing that I want to say now is that, in that period he was very open. He was telling me about a crisis that he went through. I think, if I remember correctly, it was around Rabin's assassination. All of a sudden, for the first time he listens to the news with new ears – his whole sense of what's going on politically got shook-up. O yeah, the prime minister got shot. Who cares about it anymore? Now, most people if you ask them who the prime minister is, they would have to think three times. That's how crazy this whole business got. He was following the news, he wasn't so fanatically political but he had some kind of a political picture. Then all of a sudden, I think it was the assassination, his world got turned upside down. He started seeing new things. That's the News. One can look at the advertisements on television, which he does as well, and see the state of corruption. The mind fuck, the twist, the lies, the manipulation that goes on – the subliminal wrecking of the mind. It was just too much. He saw the political mind fuck, confusion, god knows what and it threw him for a loop. He also got very paranoid in ways that he hadn't experienced before.

This is what I'm talking about. No 'spiritual language' there, but I mean, there's something in him that wants to understand, that insists on understanding. Ah, that's it. That's the intelligent part of him that is sometimes evident in his outer life. The way he takes care of things, keeps them organized as much as possible and also has a good eye for quality in material things. Without that he couldn't do anything, he couldn't understand anything. So, that shows . . . yeah. He really is passionate. This is where we meet. Trying to understanding the truth of matters. What 'Is'. Whatever it means to 'understand', there's nothing higher, nothing more human, nothing more intelligent. To know the 'Is'. That requires a certain sense of trust, of love, of remembering one's deepest wish. The bottom line is integrity. Integrity – something integrated. Something aiming to be singularly clear.

Now, as fanatic as he is in his personal life, that's how passionate he is. That's where we connect. And I know it's there because I see it when he sees it in me. He sees 'something' – a correspondence. He sees it for a moment or so – he doesn't live in that place for very long. Either this 'passionate truth place' functions or his 'fanatic egoistic place' functions. The fanatic egoistic place assumes that everyone's a devil, basically, because that's what his ego is. He justifies it. That's 'right'! He sees everybody as egoistically self-serving. At that level there are all kinds of justifications. He loses trust. Then, psychologically, he gives someone a kick in the balls just to prove that they're just as big a shmok as he is. Two different people, two different worlds. Both realities in their own way.

No guilt, no pride – just as a fact. No need to get guilty with the shmok in yourself, nor to get proud with the Truthful One. The shmok, in a way, is the mind that they say: 'makes a terrible master but a wonderful servant.' It just has to know its place. The ego shouldn't serve its own egoistic inclinations – it's got to serve You.


Well, I've managed to get through that with pretty much the same level of energy that I started with. That's my main priority at the moment. Sometime in the past I felt that maybe I'd be more useful to my friends dead than alive. When someone dies, you know, you begin to think about them a bit. That is if there was possibly any value there, if anybody put some thought in that direction. So maybe, just maybe that's what I have been struggling with. I have used my energy fully for so long that . . . I don't know how to put it. Now I'd better save some.

My involvement in life brought me to a certain point in the last number of years where I've been doing a lot of talking and writing. That felt appropriate and useful, but I think, it's like, complete. I got nothing more now to say. Look at the last booklets, they're all saying more or less the same thing. I guess there are other ways it could be said. There's a whole lot of other thoughts going on in me around this issue, but from the place I'm in right now I think I've done what I  had to with the material. It could be polished and presented, which I could contribute a lot to because I have considerable experience in that area. But it drains me now. It takes me weeks just to read, to check something that should take a day. And there are so many little things like that around that I feel it's not what I should be doing now. It's as simple as that.

Things that can be done are moving. Other people can do them. I've done what I had to do. There are maybe better packagers and distributors than myself. So I'm not too concerned there. But it's like a mother giving birth to a baby. That's a hell of a job, but afterwards there are other things needed. The father has to do this and the metapelet (nanny) does that and school teachers do their thing. If the child has got something real in him he moves on in life.

Okay, that's like an in-between thing. I'm glad I put those words to it, it's pretty much what I said before to myself. That's clear to me – clear and not so clear because I can see what's necessary next. Maybe that's also the difficulty with children – you can see different possibilities so you tend to worry about the kid. Not so worried 'about the kid' but if you 'value the kid' you want him to get through and become something, serve something, serve some purpose. You're not worried that your 'doll' is going to disappear. It's not really worry – it's concern that the process of birth was really worth something.

Okay, so that's that. In the meantime I am stuck here a little bit. This whole thing has exhausted me to such a degree, so I allow myself now to talk about it, as if. You like to talk about this and that, now let's talk about my problem. Everyone has problems and I've got problems – so let's talk about my problem. To myself I say it – I don't have energy for yours anymore. So my problem. It has to do with the sequence of events going back my whole life.

I thought I would give you an elaborated script – which I might do. That might help me as well, because now I am focused on me. If I say I am focused on me, and I am focused – I am focused on life as a whole. But if I drop below normal energy I am not 'alive'. And how can I be of use to anything in this god damn universe if I am not alive? So, it seems that my first responsibility is to stay alive. I don't mean just in the physical body – also with sufficient energy to be intelligently alive. The best way to approach this? I think about it. I have heard people say throughout my life, people here and there saying: 'It's so difficult to be alive' You know, life is so difficult. I must say that's not me, I never had that kind of a feeling. But what I am Faced with now is that it takes tremendous effort just to stay alive. Not to be alive,

but to stay alive. To maintain sufficient energy. So I have to come up with a good reason to be alive or I am gonna go, I know. And though dwelling on this thought, I haven't come up with a good reason yet. I mean, a reason.

Why all of a sudden does it take such an effort to stay alive? And this is the connection, the story that I want to give you, like a quick movie of my life while I was living in your world. And you'll enjoy it very much. You could have an incredible vicarious experience.

Things were interesting. Everything was interesting. What's the point now?

I was moving mainly from intense interest. I think a normal human being, like a child, is interested in everything. Is this going in the right direction? I have to go into the totality of what I have Seen from all my interests? Massive.

You know what picture keeps occurring to me at the moment? My family, my father in particular, how he loved to travel. He took us kids, my sister and myself, I was maybe eight, out of school in the middle of the winter, put us into a car, in Montreal, with my mother and my mother's mother, the grandmother. He hated her, he hated my mother's mother, but she was on that trip somehow. Drove us all down to Miami Florida in the middle of the winter, seven days and two thousand miles. That was the beginning of my traveling life. It hardly ever stopped – until eleven years ago. Haven't been out of this country, Israel, in eleven years.

Then every Easter, I don't know if every Easter but frequently at Easter time when there are holidays from school . . . Pesach time, Easter. Easter, what's Easter? Easter is the time of the 'Crucifixion', and the 'Resurrection'. Anyway, there's a week or ten day holiday. Enter the car – to Atlantic City. Two days to get there. How wonderful Atlantic City was then, before the oil rigs were out there, it was elegant. Big boardwalk alongside the Atlantic ocean. I can describe it, love it, oh how I loved it.


”On the boardwalk in Atlantic City

you will walk in a dream

on the boardwalk in Atlantic City

life will be peaches and cream

there in a rolling chair

she will roll into your arms . . .”


Every year, the Easter Parade, on the boardwalk, in Atlantic City. Wide board-walk, maybe 3 km long. Restaurants, game stalls, shops and four or five super large hotels.

War time. All the hotels were taken over by the army – the amputees were sent there to rehabilitate as they could exercise on the boardwalk. Years later it was 'discovered' by the Blacks from Philadelphia. In the earlier days no Blacks except for the odd worker. That was part of the story I wanted to tell. We used to stay at the Homehurst hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, off the boardwalk – all white wooden building, quite nice, good size hotel, large dining room, not a big hotel, not a small hotel. That's the memory that flashed back, that brought all of this to mind now. When I look at it it's like the most normal thing in the world. But what memory comes to mind now? They had a small elevator, like the old ones, collapsible-gate door and operated by a lever kind of handle. So, there's one elevator in this hotel and it was operated by this wonderful old Black man. I don't know how old he was, must have been around 75, god knows. Black, thin gentleman who came from the South. I sit talking to him beside the elevator. I still carry a clear picture of myself there. I'm around ten at that point. Don't remember what was talked about. His father could have been a slave in the South, I don't know when the 'emancipation' was, maybe he could have been a slave himself. I remember the heart of this man, I remember his maturity – he left me with love. That's what I feel when I look back, when I think of him now. What a specimen, so simple, no words for it. Normal, it's just normal.

Really strange to reach a point in life where you know that if you don't have a good reason to go on, you'll actually leave the body. It takes such effort just to keep above the level where I could slip out.


Uri : Knock, knock.

Alan : Come in.

Uri : Shalom (hello).

Alan : Hi, hi. You're alone?

Uri : Yeah

Alan : Yofi  (great), make yourself comfortable.

Uri : Thank you.

Alan : Okay, very good that you're here, just feels that way.

Uri : In fact I came to look for this young man (Adam).

Alan : Okay, I don't give a shit why you came.


You see, the first thing that occurs to me in these circumstances is how can I relate myself now, with each change, in such a way that I don't lose energy.

Now, this 'dive' into Southern Lebanon with this SLA soldier and his problems. He can't go back, left out, in the middle. He had some kind of a breakdown there. They call it: shell shock.

Well, I mean, you're not suffering from shell shock too?

Tsahi : Probably, but different shell shock.

Alan : 'Ken, betach' (yea, sure). You were in pieces, that you know.

But, after that evening with him, it took me  . . .  was it last night?

Na'ama : Yes.

Alan: It was last night. I don't mind that although I wouldn't mind having a day or two to recover. I went to Lebanon, I don't remember when it was. It was during the period that I was going back and forth between Canada and Israel. Before '69 for sure. Crazy. It was just before the civil war there. I don't remember how much time I spent there, not very long, somewhere around a week, mainly in Beirut. But the meeting with this guy last night had so much in it. Whatever it took to be in Beirut it took more last night. Because I was in the whole of Lebanon with him, with a picture that went back something like forty-five years. Do you understand? I stepped into his world. The Christians in the East, the Moslems in West Beirut. It's not just in the newspapers. I know someone who sat with Arafat as he was hiding out in West Beirut from the Israeli army that was in the city at the time and looking to get him. And the Moslems and the Druse in the Shoof mountains. What was going on there! People forget about it already. So I have lived some of that history. Now, someone tells me that some 'seller of vegetables' paid his father money, recruiting for the South Lebanese Army and brings his boy into south Lebanon. He ends off four years in the army there. Did you kill? I asked. 'Yeah, they were coming to kill me.' Yeah, but, I mean. Martha said: 'but he realizes how ridiculous it was – what was he doing there in the first place?!'

That's one of the problems that we have in this world right now, especially in this country, Israel. We don't ask ourselves: what are we doing here in the first place? Our fathers and grandfathers came for the good, they came for human dignity, for Jewish dignity, for 'out of slavery' – somehow back to a human birthright. Not having to apologize, a country of 'their own'. Basic, not religious so much although the wish for freedom, no doubt, is a religious wish. So we just take a look – so many angles. What is going on? I say: hey, do you realize? Okay, so we're here, and in order to be here, for the dream to be fulfilled, we had to kill. I'm guessing, nobody even wants to look at the figures from the wars, but my guess is somewhere between a hundred and two hundred thousand Arabs had to be killed. And now, just to remain here, millions in refugee camps, thousands in prisons and a million others afraid and terrorized, basically. You have no idea what it means to be an Arab in this Galilee. They're very cool. If you had experience as a Jew outside this country you might have a bit of an idea. Just a little bit. Tremendous pressure from the police and Border Police and the Internal Security people. That's just one angle, but if you look at it that way, I mean, then you've got to ask – for what? Oh yeah, but then you say: "Doesn't bother me, I'm not a philosopher. It's my country. I was born here. I was born here. And when you're born here you have a right to protect your 'own way' of life. Moslems this or that, I don't know . . . I mean, it's my country. Don't get moral with me. And all these things you're talking about, like killing and the refugees and prisons, I mean, how do you know it's true?"

It's like the German formula exactly. Nobody knew what was happening, nobody. "Oh, all of a sudden . . . yeah, we heard, Crystal Night, yeah, they burnt a lot of Jewish property, I heard something about that. And, yeah, I mean, some of the kids in school were Jews – all gone now, that's true. I, you know, mmm . . . but I didn't know what was going on. And even if I did, what could I do?"

I am not getting 'moral'. Just to look at some facts. They didn't know. And we don't know. Don't know. What were the Germans doing? They were maintaining their sense of, I don't know what. Hitler got them. Their sense of 'human rights' collapsed. Because they were so, you know, they were, they were so great. Organized, diligent, productive. It's also true most of them were a bunch of shmoks. They were doing it to maintain their own dignity? Many aspects. Who can figure it out? Oh, we have more or less forgiven them now because we've learned a lot. We know enough from what's going on here to know that a fearful angry man with a stick or a gun who is a Jew or a German or a . . .  doesn't matter. The animal comes out.

Okay, so I lived in a world that made a lot of 'sense'. After the Holocaust – I was around then – and the birth of the State and all the wars, I became kind of an expert on Jews. Outside this country, inside this country, rich ones, poor ones, white, brown, black, the lawyers and the politicians, the dentists and the doctors, the accountants and the shopkeepers and the druggies. Everything, yeah, the musicians and the actors and the dancers and the painters and the . . .

Na'ama : Killers, and the voodoo.

Alan : Eh? the voodoo, you said?

Na'ama : Killers and voodoo and . . .

Alan : Oh, that's leaving the Emperor without clothes a little bit, yeah . . .

And then, you know, I do some writing and I say . . . what do I say in the writing? What's the message? What the fuck am I talking about? What? You read the odd thing here and there. What's the point?

Tsahi : Transformation

Alan : Yeah, but, I mean, in practical terms

Tsahi : Transformation, but, in the meantime?

Alan : No, I don't know, I mean, what's the message? What's the idea? What's the point? What's the hope? What's the aim? Why? What does he want? What does he expect? Or, okay, how to phrase the question? Without being too 'intellectual' about it, just, I mean . . . maybe you can help me. Because I've got to find a good reason to continue to live. I don't 'have' to. I don't have a feeling of pressure. I don't have to. Maybe it's time for me to go. That's not so dramatic.

In this world I can't think of anyone being more simple than myself. Not in any glorious sense, just like, you know, moderate talents, moderate, moderate. My mother used to say, more than once, something about her children. All she wanted was that her children would be normal. She wasn't a philosopher, didn't ask herself exactly what that was. Just to be normal. But that's exactly what she got with me. Just normal. I'm amazed – I think how lucky. On the other hand, here I'm talking about if I die or if I live, as if it makes a difference. Not only a difference, a significant difference. I don't know.

Something happened just a few nights ago, right here. When it finished I realized that something in me 'went out'. Oh shit. Oh shit. Because I wasn't exactly sure what happened. It was different from the first time, what they call: 'near death experience'. They're afraid to call it 'death experience' because in normal psychology, if you're dead, you're dead, right? What does it mean: 'near'? So they call it near death experience. It's not near death. A 'near death experience' is really Death – and some kind of return.

So I had, I don't want to count, I think something like four experiences in this area. The big one, in Jerusalem, some twenty years ago I wrote about. Big. Another in California, when I knew I was about to go out, and should I call an ambulance, not call an ambulance . . . oxygen. Lay down, ready to go, knew how, no problem. Then I got such a tremendous shot of energy, as if connected to L.A.'s electric grid. Next day I'm in the car off to San-Francisco. Another time in Colorado, after flying up to Aspen to visit a friend. Un-pressurized small plane, high in the Rockies. I was very weak but I didn't feel I was going to die. She is like a sister, from years ago. Big, king size bed. I had not seen Carol in years. I'm sitting talking to her. I say to her next morning: why did you leave the bed? I mean, what, you got a sexual thing in your mind? You know, because there was nothing. She said: no, what do you think, I didn't want to be in bed with someone who's gonna die. I didn't realize I looked that bad. Who wants to wake up in a bed with a dead person? I can understand that. So, I don't count that one.

I've been ready to use 93% of my energy. I don't mind. 7% I stick with. But that 7% is really delicate. Because if 7% drops to 5% I know it's dangerous. Get down to 4%, I'm almost sure I'm going. So, now I'm sick, I don't know what's going on, I wasn't breathing well for quite a while and when I coughed, like my lunges were gonna explode. All this is on low energy. If I don't breathe, you know, if you don't breathe you're gonna die. Breath has got to be conscious, as much as possible, but I wasn't aware of it so much in terms of life and death. Eh, 'you're sick' – I wasn't paying enough attention. I start to cough and the next thing I know, I'm coming out of something. And there's Tamara's face. I said, I looked at her and I said: 'what did you see?' And this is where I say: oh shit, because this is the first time I didn't see myself going out, I only saw myself coming back. I came back from somewhere, from where I have no idea. I didn't like that. My windpipe closed with this coughing. Later I could see how delicate it was, and that I could breathe through my nose, very slowly. I had to watch it, just like that, just to do it.

Before that happened I didn't know that danger, it never occurred to me that the windpipe could close completely. So now I know. I'm running on a very fine line. I don't have the inspiration to work on my 'word material' at the moment, like it's done. It's not done. It could be improved, it could be polished. All this material is being put together in 'The Book'. Just simple. It might be valuable. At the moment I don't know of anything that I can do. I haven't got the inspiration. It's not enough to keep me alive. So I have to come up with a new reason for being alive. How do you do that? I don't mind being alive and I don't mind being dead. So called dead. So I can be very objective about the issue. You see, I take my shirt off or put my shirt on or put this on my feet or not, just for that little bit of energy. I've got to keep that.

Maybe the best image is just to give a little story. I am in the country, I've got this boat and in the boat I got three people. I am somewhere between twelve and fourteen. Now, I've been in boats all my life, so I know. Five h.p. motor and my mother's two brothers and my mother's sister. They're like old people. 'Old people' – they're in their forties I guess at that point. And none of them can swim. The land goes out like a little peninsula, like a thumb sticking out. I usually fish off that point, four kilometers from the house. I keep close to the shore because I'm aware of who I've got in the boat. It's a normal day, the weather's fine. Close to land, but at the tip of this peninsula, and it starts getting stormy. Big waves, and I find the only thing I can do. I can't follow the shore – I have to head straight back to the house. We're in deep water now, somehow going with the wind. I have to hold the boat straight, and it's splashing, splashing into the boat, and they're sitting there, they know nothing about water, they know nothing about boats, they're sitting like they're having their evening tea. There was no time for any kind of panic, just to keep the boat straight. Three lives in my hands, I didn't think of my own, I knew enough, if the boat goes over, even out there, if you can swim a little bit – the trick is to stay with the boat. Here I've got three 'old' people and if the boat goes over, they're gone. Didn't have to think about it, that was clear. Probably would have saved them a lot of suffering, man, oy, I could tell you the end of their life stories. So I had to, I steered that boat. Big waves, water smacking into the boat. I'm heading towards the shore. That's how I feel I'm running my life right now, it's like the water is that high. 'Work' is a little like someone in a boat. They're in the middle of the ocean or the middle of a lake, whatever, and there's a small hole in the bottom of the boat, the boat is slowly filling with water – and they don't know how to swim. So what do they do? As the water rises in the boat they get down on the floor and practice how to swim. Yeah.

So why? In order to keep the boat from turning over, you got to be moving along, heading for something. That's what I'm saying right now. A reason. Can anybody tell me? Can anybody give me a hint? Have a good reason why I should stay alive? It's a struggle to stay alive, and if I'm alive – to do what?

Everyone is in a different relationship to that question in themselves. I know each one of you in this room well enough to have a pretty good idea where you stand in relationship to that.

I look at Adam. He has got a lot of interest in a lot of different things, not only abstractly or, you know, curiosity, but also to 'do'. He's got his complexities like everyone else, he can wonder what exactly to do, where to do – but the why is not such a big problem at the moment. There's enough that's interesting. I don't want to exaggerate, but that's my feeling.

Uri? I look at him, he spends much time with A. and family. In a strange kind of way, A. has a completely different relationship to life. Sort of: 'what the fuck is it all about?' You know, a lot of suffering and sometimes kind of zonked out. You hear if you listen. People say what they are going through. When he wakes up, if he is depressed, he just throws himself into something, just do something. That's good – do something, that's intelligent. On the other hand he has this kind of, I don't know what he does with it, this whole religious thing. I don't think it really forms up in him in a very clear explanation, but he has a certain kind of faith. It's hard to say – does he really have 'faith' or is it 'belief'? But there is a hope there. He doesn't know exactly what to do with it, other than, I don't know, take the kids to synagogue, keep the Sabbath. It's not clear, but there is a hope in religion, there's a possibility there. But that's him.

And you (Tsahi), well. You were sort of tied up for so many years, then all of a sudden you rediscovered your 'freedom' – in the middle of the whole balagan (mess). But basically, your hope is in love. Love – female, sex, caring somehow, I don't know, love. That's a word you use. It's no more easy for you to define love than it is for A. to define religion, or God. It's kind of a 'vaguesh' kind of hope, with occasional inspirations that seem to fit the package. Keeps you going until . . . but it gets harder, like with me trying to keep alive.

You know what I'm doing? I'm asking. Let's comeback to me for a minute. I'm looking for a reason to be alive when I am below understanding, when my energy is depleted. I don't have any problems. I don't have a bunch of whys and wherefores and hows and whos. What I'm going through now, I am ready to talk about, and live it, because I begin to see that this is the place people live in most of the time. My energy is so low, I have experienced what people, I think, call depression and boredom – for the first time in my life. I didn't know what it was, now I know. I can feel it myself. A complete feel of boredom and depression. I think the reason I am feeling it is that amongst people that I've known for years and have been close to, I'm seeing that people, generally, just slip more and more into that. It's a time wave. It's so sad. It's depressing. What does it mean to be depressed or bored? I don't know what it means for me, bored? You're bored when you don't have a reason to do something. My reason, for so many years was the health of my surroundings – but when you see the surroundings, simply, you know . . . . 

There is no alternative to self-initiated soul work.

My poem covers it:

'You can not do for another person

what he must do for himself'

That part's clear, been clear for a long time, and then the second part comes

'that doesn't mean at all my friend

that there's no such thing as help.'


We were talking before with Na'ama about the question of energy that is generated through having meaning, or not having meaning. Everyone's life has got a lot of personal past karma, habit, inclinations, type elements, capacities, many things. What gives you the heshek (desire) to get off the bed in the morning? To do what? For what? However it happened, Na'ama had good fortune. You also reap what you sow, it's not only good fortune. Who knows how much good fortune, how much care, carefulness? But she reached a place where she touches higher parts of herself, different energy levels. She also comes across literature, inspirational and practical that show her clearly that there's a structure, there's a hierarchy of intelligence, there's a hierarchy of energy, there's a hierarchy of reality, within and without. So she finds herself on different rungs of the ladder and there's enough to do, because there's an awful lot to learn. Okay, you move up, you move down, but you'd like to have some volition there, you'd like to have a choice. You don't want to find yourself down and totally identified, or up in an unclear space. Now she works on bringing up her own responsibility, whatever, into the play of forces. There's enough to do, to say the least. There's work enough to keep one busy a lifetime. In the area of motivation it's fresh in its dimensions and in its intensity. She's inspired so to speak. The inspiration is fresh, what they call fresh. It doesn't make her life easier, doesn't eliminate karmic and habitual type elements, doesn't wipe out all other influences. But it puts things in the realm of a certain kind of care, certain kind of remembering of balance. Relationship. Relationship with, I don't know, whatever. I don't want to go further.

The one closest to me in terms of feeling tiredness is Uri. I feel that he's got the same problem I have right now but it's also significantly different. I am depressed, but I am not depressed. You know, I'm bored but I'm not. It's different. My boredom is the world's boredom now, and my depression is the world's depression and just to be aware of that is so amazing in itself that there's certain satisfaction in it as well. It may be depressing, it may be painful, but it's real. And there's nothing more wonderful than 'real' – even if it's painful. That's from my knowing, not for my intellectualization. With Uri it's still personal. That's one way of putting it, it could be put in different ways.

At this point I start to ask myself. I say: look, from one angle, you've used most of your energy, consistently, in the hope of a better world. And now you see that that's what killed you, that killed you, it killed you already. The interesting part of it is that it also frees me – this 'going out'. I realized that I had given my life for what I was doing. I was ready to give my life, I gave my life, and it was taken, and it was given back. It doesn't feel wrong, it doesn't feel misplaced, not from a personal angle or in a wider sense. Whatever effort was made, whatever came out and resulted from it in terms of material, in terms of relationship, I don't feel anything wrong, but it reached its limit of effectiveness.

You see, I'm still in this place. I don't want to forget. I cough, I feel this pain here, I breathe out, I'm not so sure that the next breath will come. I sit instantly ready to go. It's very strange, I'm still here, as I said. I don't like it when I look back because I didn't even noticed the going out. I wasn't watching my breath at that point. I wish you were there. It scared her (Tamara). My face became distorted, it was wrong. I turned to her and said: what did you see? Because I didn't notice it happening, I just found myself coming back. Here I was, coming out of like, I'm not sure what. I don't know what really left, I don't know whether it was a full death or just a, what they call 'passing out'. It seems my whole body didn't collapse. So she, she was calling my name, slapping me on the back, she was alone, nobody in the house, much fear, but there was nothing to do, but to do.

And this image came to me shortly after. It had this picture of being drawn back through a 'crevice', like the one where the baby comes out of a mother. It was a visual thing. I didn't see myself going out but I 'saw' myself being drawn back in again. Death is really a Birth. It's a fact. So this physical image may not be so far removed from the reality.

I'm looking at all of this now without rarefied energy, without the benefit of knowing and living in the knowing that I already know. I am looking at these issues with the usual level of energy of confused mankind, in a kind of vagueness and darkness and with all the memories of the misery around as well as the neglected potential. The massive, massiveness that no one even can think about anymore.

We've learnt to swallow the horror of Auschwitz and Hiroshima and all the implications. The world now has maybe a 100,000 bombs that are, each one,10,000 times more powerful than Hiroshima. We know it. We know there was a slaughter in Rwanda, a million or more, and in Kosova and, we know. Even if you don't know you know, you know. Africa full of despots running the countries, 25-50% HIV positive, god knows. All these things, the air polluted, the ozone being destroyed, the confusion of the friends, of generations, the hospitals filled with pathetic people, the mental hospitals filled, and the zonked-out soldiers still toting around proudly with their guns. We could go on. I could mention a hundred things that you know but you don't think of once a month. But it's all there. Big black cloud of horror that humanity has called upon itself. If you know of all the misery in the homes you lose your 'sentimentality' about Auschwitz. That only lasted four years – in the homes it goes on forever. The agony that people create for themselves and each other, the patheticness of the children that are running around just looking for a few moments of quiet, peace. The pull and the push and the sad fact that they'll probably adjust to it all. You start seeing them as teenagers, turning into sexy, 'independent' little fun seeking egoists who will eventually get pregnant and fall into the same mess that their parents did, only maybe this time with a cellular phone and interactive television. We know it all. The war on the highways, the corruption in high places. Ex-prime minister under investigation by police, holding onto gifts that belong to the State. The President, nephew of the famous scientist and first president, Chaim Weitzman, got some money from god knows who. What's that all about this ex-hero of the British Air Force, walking around like Dr. Strangelove!


Alan : What do you want to do now? Stretch?

Na'ama : I don't know, maybe . . .

Alan : Bring, bring something, liquid.

Na'ama : ken (yes)

Alan : Water I think, to start with.

Na'ama : Okay

Uri : I think I will go.

Alan : You came to ask something from him (Adam)?

Uri : Yeah, to ask if he wants to work tomorrow. That was the question.

Alan : Sit here for a second. I was just thinking, work for what? Work for who?

Uri : Eh . . .

Alan : You can speak to him directly about that, but . . .

Uri : I am working with two people, one from Korazim and one from Shefer, it's near Amirim, and we work in Afula, near Afula, we're building a fence for a big mif'al (industrial area), industrial buildings – so we build the fence around.

Alan : Aha

Uri : And these two people, they have a connection in all kinds of metal works and putting up cover space, schachot (shades), things like that.

Alan : Aha

Uri : Now it's the first job I do with them, but maybe we'll have more, I expect, here and there a quick putting things together, a week, a few days.

Alan : Aha, interesting it sounds.

Uri : Yeah

Alan : This is the first time Adam is hearing about this?

Uri : Yeah

Alan : And they ask if you can bring more workers?

Uri : Yeah

Alan : And if he doesn't tell you right away you're gonna find someone else?

Uri : Yeah, I'm gonna call Yazid, maybe he wants, and that's all the ideas I have for the moment.

Alan : How many do they need, one or two?

Uri : Eh . . . at the moment they need one, we also need a car, it's kind of day to day at the moment, it's a bit like every day we don't know exactly how it will go on the next day, 'cause they have another job also, in the morning. It's, you know, everything is a story.

Alan : Aha

Uri :  I don't know, it's hard work, it's quite good money.

Alan : What's good money?

Uri : I don't know, at the beginning they offered me like 300 Shekels a day, if Adam comes he will have 250, I don't know, in the end maybe more.

Alan : How many hours?

Uri : Depends, bruto or neto, like, but today I left Rosh Pina at 7 o'clock in the morning and I came back at 19:30.

Alan : Drink some water please.

Uri : Thank you. Until we got there it was quite late and we worked maybe eight hours, but we had like almost a twelve hour day.

Alan : So I guess with you it covers a few things, like first of all it keeps you busy, which is good, eh? That's something. Secondly, it has to do with metal work and that's interesting to you. And thirdly, the money, useful so to speak.

Uri : It's necessary, at the moment it's necessary. It gets me by, money-wise.

Alan : Allows you to move around or what not? I mean you're not paying for food and you're not paying for rent these days.

Uri : Yeah, yeah

Alan : I mean, it's not really for a 'living'.

Uri : I'm gonna, I went into an apartment and I'm . . .

Alan : Ah. Where?

Uri : I'm starting the 'normal' . . .

Alan : Normalization process?

Uri : Yes, sort of.

Alan : Which apartment, where?

Uri : Where Anati used to live, on the top.

Na'ama : Shlomi's building

Alan : Ah, ha

Uri : Near Rachel and Rafa.

Alan : Yeah, yeah, I know the building. Ah, so you're giving that structure a try, a look.

Uri : Yes.

Alan : Can one do that on 30 Shekels an hour? Have you made any calculation? You will need a partner in there, you wouldn't take it alone, or were you thinking of taking it alone?

Uri : At the moment alone, but I don't know if I will stay there, I don't know what will happen, there's many balls in the air, there are these jobs with A. If some of them would come through I will get good money, so I will be able to take the apartment and . . .

Alan : Ah . . .

Uri : And so on, depends if I get my car together and,

Alan : Okay and all that . . .

Uri : It just started, there's many ideas and things like in the last couple of months that's cooked up, like the organ that A. wants to work on.

Alan : Yeah

Uri : But, so I decided to go for it, like if it's going I go for it. I'll have an apartment and car and . . .

Alan : Aha, if the work materializes and pays off.

Uri : Yeah, but at the moment it's not coming in, so I found this job for the moment.

Alan : I get the picture. This is, kind of, in your present circumstances it looks like a middle, a middle way, so to speak. Even if you got the apartment and what not, it doesn't answer your dreams, whatever they might be. But maybe if you had a place where you could lie down quietly you could check the dreams. If you don't do anything then you could drown in the mess that I just described, which you know as well as anybody else. And sometimes you also know, I guess you know, I don't know maybe that's what you got to check, that being 'well greased' with money – motor boat in these polluted waters – is essentially about individual survival. It's a questionable answer from an ultimate point of view but maybe just to prove that you can do it, or if it is possible under these circumstances. To live at, you know, at a middle class level. Hourly workers can't usually do that, but that's what you said, maybe with A. something will bring in a big chunk of money. It's not so simple. You (Tsahi), that's what you're probably trying. I don't hear anything about your new partner recently. But I guess that cycle moved a few notches, eh?

Tsahi : No, no

Alan : No? You got a new business? It's also something that could bring in a lot of money, right? Or more than the hourly business.

Tsahi : Yeah, it brings in money and it could bring . . . but the nozzles are not open.

Alan : Yeah, yeah, you see, you learn what opens, what closes them, what's imagination, what's practical, what's changing. You do something, you keep moving on something, it's good. You learn. You see, then a few decades go by, you get to my age, you sit down and say: why? I can't think of one fuck'n good reason to keep alive. Don't you feel sorry for me? No, you can't.

Who the fuck is Alan? Without being sentimental. Pick somebody else if you want. It's pretty hard to pick yourself. You say: who am I? You know, what good am I? "Fuck man, just leave me alone!" But it's interesting. Oh yeah. I don't know if it is connected, but some guy from the East said: 'I don't know why you people in the West get so disgusted with kaki. What is kaki? You know, you eat food, the part that comes out of a hole in your body you go: ech, and the part that stays in and becomes your body – you get so proud of.'

I don't want to depress anybody, I laugh at myself because I don't really feel like a depressed person. But I know it, you know. I can feel the depression as clearly as if I was carrying a bag of cement. Maybe that's a good person to stay away from. It's legitimate. You're (Uri) working with A., you're into his experiment a bit, with his good intentions. He is one of the few around that really got himself organized, right? He can make money here, he can make money there, ends up with property, already a wife, four children. What is it I was gonna say but I couldn't put words to it? There's something about him that is so, oh man. He is a good person, basically.

Uri : Yeah.

Alan : Yeah, within a certain category. Carries a lot.


Let's talk about something interesting – let's talk about me. Joke. Someone else from the East said: 'why do you get so upset around this death business? How many people have you known in the past few years that died? Everything just continues, no?' It seems to me it's useful to look at the larger picture because we are sort of blowing through this thing called life. Passing through. Oh, that song of Leonard Cohen, do you know that song?

'passing through, passing through

sometimes happy sometimes blue

glad that I ran into you

tell the people that I'm only passing through.'

You see, when I look at each one of you here, without going into detail, I would think it a terrible loss if you died. Why would I think it's a terrible loss if you died? Because each one of you has special qualities. And also you survived it all up to this point. You survived the school system, you survived this, you survived that, so you've got considerable experience. You're quite equal to life. You could survive anywhere. You could change diapers if you had to, wash dishes if you had to – money is not really the problem. We don't make a 'living' we make a 'standard of living'. I guess it's in the story that you (Uri) just told. It's just 'normal'. You'd like to start off in life with not less than when you left your father's house. That's like the 'given', that you know. If you can get your life style just up to about the same level as Avital's was then you could feel 'normal'. Then you could go out and do other things. That's over simplifying it but in a way it makes sense. But it's a level, it's not survival.

If a person could just be reasonable in the circumstances that they find themselves. Very few people in this world, in the Western world, have to sleep outside. If you can just relate to the circumstances reasonably, food and a place to sleep is ein beaya (no problem). I look at each one of you, there's such potential for, for what? For, I don't know, a ray of good health. A ray of light, so to speak. Each person is like an experiment of the Universe. You've been in it for 20, 30 years and you've gone through the process of maturing and strengthening and learning. It would be terrible to waste it. Think what a child has to go through. Has to learn how to deal with a headache, with a tooth ache, with a stomach ache, with kaki. Learn how to brush your teeth, how to tie your shoe-laces, how not to catch your 'bulbul' when you zip up your pants, how to deal with teachers. What a person has to go through. And you've gone through it already. You've gone through the childhood, you survived it. So it would be a terrible thing to see if life just flicked out. What a waste. I look at Na'ama, what she didn't have to go through in her life to reach where she is now, what she didn't have to go through. Only do it without complaint. You have to go through plenty. We all have to go through a lot. I don't have any difficulty valuing your existence.

My energy is running at this 4% – 7% level and I feel fully justified in just watching my own energy to keep alive. What next? I can't help my own sister, I don't know what to do. I love her. I could put other people in that category. It's hard for me if I think of my sister, if I think of Dina, and the kind of feelings that come from there. There are others.

I look at my sister, someone I've known all my life. A nice little red headed girl she was, bright, and what she hasn't gone through. I see what she has done and how she has collected things to herself. I can see her fear and her, as if, greed. And she wants relationship with me. But it's hard to talk to her, I can't talk her language. Can I 'correct' her? There's nothing I can do. So maybe in a way that's loving her. I don't ask her for anything. I've no complaints. It's sad because there's such human quality there.

I get a flash, maybe it's because you're sitting here. Dina is not in that category, it's a different something. Hanna, his(Adam's) mother, it's not so similar, but a little bit. My sister was born in the middle of the Great Depression – she is obsessed with money. And she is 'supported' by the whole culture. Money is god, money you can count on. You get attention with it, you can get 'care' if you're sick. And Hanna was born to Holocaust survivors, so she's got that nervousness in her. It feels the same. If she could just settle those energies, she is a good person, she's talented and what-not, and she works at it. I pick my sister – is she the closest person to me? I can't say that, but when you know someone over sixty years, and always with affection, and you've seen them in all kinds of situations, they're like, they're part of your soul. I send her material every once in a while, she's a bright girl, she's been into different things as well. I once, after a letter from her, made three ninety minute tapes, talking to her. Aviv transcribed them and after a year they were sent. I never heard anything. I realized later, she can't relate to that, it's not her world.

So, all the recent material coming out. 'Closing Time', interesting and true I suppose but as I said before – what's the point? My name printed on the cover? Maybe I'll get it published? That's not my motivation. Can you follow my dilemma? So I am asking you, you see, because you're kind of good friends. I'm thinking – what good am I? Here I look at you and I can see all the potential. If I had to spell it out and say what 'good' or what 'potential' I couldn't put it all into words. I see it in front of my eyes. But I don't know what 'good' I am. Not the 'nice' good – I mean good for something, useful. What difference does it make if I live or die, or if I was ever born?

Tsahi : You have four people sitting here listening . . .

Alan : Oh, yes, that's a fact, but so what? I got four people and the 'Beatles' had forty million.

Tsahi : You know, some people say: 'what am I good for?' and nobody is listening to them.

Alan : Yeah, could be worse, is what you're saying, I guess so. But it's a very big question: is a human being worth anything, really? That's really a question. Is he worth anything, or are we 'just here'? Because otherwise it's just as much pleasure as possible and little pain as possible. That's about it. That's a life? What are we struggling for all the time, just to keep moving? Just to have a little bit less pain and a little bit more pleasure? For me the swing from the pleasure to the pain is not interesting anymore, not interesting.

You see, these questions about 'why' and 'value' have a particular urgency in the days we're living in. They're not new questions, these are what is called Existential Questions. They can be more or less conscious but they're always there. Everyone justifies their life in some way. The mechanical forces in the world now are so strong and so supported by governments, industry, high-tech, media. The demonic, selfish, self-serving, self-stimulating. What Gurdjieff used to call: 'the evil god self-calming.' It's such a dynamic devil – squeezing the humanity out of humanity. Humanity is now so dry. All one has to do is look at the political situation here. Fifty-five years ago, the whole world got excited with the 'Rebirth of Israel'. Resurrection of the Jewish people from the ashes of Auschwitz into the ancient hope of 'A Light Unto The Nations'. What energy went into this Zionist experiment, what tremendous forces. And now we turn around and we are in the year 2000 with the ex prime minister, the president, high official in the police, the present prime minister plus a whole bunch of prominent people, all under investigation. Twisting the law – justified. They're not doing anything very different than all the world's businessmen and politicians. The lawyers in this world, they don't represent the law, their work is how to find 'loop holes' in the law, how to avoid it, how to bend it. It's corruption of the soul. And we know how to see. This was pointed out in the booklet 'Closing Time'. Do you remember the statement: 'everyone's vomiting over everyone else'. That's the situation, and it's held together with satellites and Segram's V.O.

Tsahi : Organized vomiting.

Alan : Yes.

So, humanity is on self destruct and the suffering is immense. This is why I value what's here. When the best comes together within individuals, there's some clear light, there's sensibleness. And a sensible person is, I don't know, valuable. I think I'm a sensible person, but valuable? That becomes a question, because I don't have any real effect on my own sister. No individual will change the world!

Na'ama : Maybe not physically, maybe not physically

Alan : Betach, betach (sure)

You put a drop on this side or you put a drop on that side, that's very clear. I don't have guilt in my repertoire. I'll tell you, I don't have any serious doubt at all. You and a few, those that remember, they go from strength to strength. But maybe that's what I have to do next, I have to keep turning this question amongst people – not to leave untouched 'holy-cows'. Go to the root of the matter. What is the root of the matter? What is the real issue? Why is everyone, in their own way, trying to be so 'good'? For what? Let's identify the 'what' – if it's not all just for a little more pleasure.

This is like a bit of an experimental dance to squeeze the essence out of the issue. Is it for less pain, more pleasure? Is it for the future? Is it for the children? Because if it's for children, which we all value, then it's going to take some very shrewd and intelligent thinking to make any difference in their lives. Because they're headed into a mess even worse than we're in now. I look at the situation in Kadita. That's been an active laboratory for a long time. And what just developed out there, I don't know what it indicates. Maybe it's a lesson for everybody or maybe it's an indication of some failure. All this business of home education and what not. Then out of nowhere, all of a sudden, four Russian children, and then Yankale and Amira and their six children. Merav and Hanna go out there and the situation looks beautiful. But all these 'other kids' are eating all the food. They didn't really totally accept those children. Both these couples are difficult, but they both come with authentic spiritual aspirations. They're really quite unusual people. This Russian boy, what's his name?

Na'ama : Igor.

Alan : Igor. God knows what he is, sometimes he looks like a Rasputin, occasionally he looks like Krishna. Something mature, but, I mean, he is not easy. And she, ex-married to an artist and now very ill. Also Yankale. Did you see him when he was here?

Adam : Very briefly.

Alan : He has got such a light soul. I think what you were trying to tell me about him is that he is more confused than is evident, right? From his past, wow. What do you think? Is his mind burnt out from drugs and god knows what else? Does it seem that way? That he's lost all common sense? What? Has he turned into what they call a 'stupid saint' kind of thing? His vibration is fine when it's real, nachon (right)? How do you find him? When you tried to tell me once, I stopped you, so now I'm soliciting it. Confused for sure, and she as well. She told him to leave, you know that it's over, is that what you hear now? Anything?

Adam : Seems that he got himself into a situation where it's like, he can not . . .

Alan : It was all going down hill?

Adam : Yeah, that he can not find a way to start to regain his energy or something.

Alan : Okay, it's hard to look at it, to look at 'the family'. Ytzhaki, he's not perfect, he can get into an egoistic moody something. I had a good talk with him recently, he is good, he has a compassionate soul, he is awake to people. Tammy and Uri. Lisa, sometimes it looks as if she could turn into a bitch but I don't believe so, she's so, she's something, she could really be something. With the three younger ones it's hard to tell. We don't know who they're gonna be yet. Viola until recently was just a flower, now it looks as if she could turn into a little bit of a conceited flower, a little bit, I don't know, boyfriend, teenager. And Sunnybell is also very busy with herself. Batya is, I think, she'll turn into something very substantial, god knows what, it'll be good, we know her. Latifa and Anati, again, very busy with themselves. Tzvika and Imka, god knows, they had relationship with the two new couples. But it became difficult, those people needed so much. They could only do what they could do. But a real question comes up. What is 'home schooling'? For their kids only? Are they really interested in the education of children? Where is their heart in the matter? Was it all justification from fear and immediate need, or is it something larger? All of a sudden there were two teachers, available and capable. Available right there, Merav and Hanna. It may not be the last word in this situation, but they couldn't move through it, it seems, that interval. I hope it's not too late, god knows you can't go around forcing anything. But, 'what about the children?' Something very strong is going to be needed for the children to maintain their humanity in the world now and with what's coming up. I am not being so precise or clear, but I am saying: if it's for the children then let's not be romantic about the issue and actually look at it!

I don't get involved with theories of reincarnation or what not, but people do talk in those terms. What would you like, what kind of a world do you think it'll be, if you were to return 200 years from now? Can you do something now that will help the world 200 years from now so that you could come back to something that hasn't slipped further into maniacal ugliness?

That's a bit of a nikuy rosh (head cleaning). Maybe begin to realize you can think, think this way, that way, twist and turn, but what can you really 'do' – other than Remember Yourself? Be aware of incoming impressions, so you don't get identified in a mechanical reaction, be present, act as best as you can, now. Because anything that's 'after' is little more than imagination. So, everything leads back to Work. The Work of presence. Because you can think, do anything you want, but if you're in the middle of a dream and not rooted in conscience, in love, in presence, then there's no common denominator, there's no common line. And it's unusual to sit with anybody that can hear what I just said, and say: 'yeah, that makes perfect sense.'


Okay, everyone is, I'm hungry too, and I'm not moving because . . .

Na'ama : There are also hot dogs.

Alan : Yes

Na'ama : Whatever you decide

Alan : Yes, yes. How long does it take to make potatoes? Mashed potatoes.

Na'ama : Around half an hour

Alan : Yes (Tsahi goes out)

All of a sudden we're . . . Tsahi? He's as good as he's bad, and if you know how bad he is sometimes, so you know how good he is. He can be so wicked.

Na'ama : A new girl came into his life.

Alan : Oh, shit, no.3 since the . . ?

Na'ama : Not a . . .

Alan : He said to me the last time he was here: 'I got another, another, it's not working out.' I said: maybe it will take another few before you can see the repeating patterns.

Na'ama : He was here, he came, we sat for around an . . .

Alan : He came what?

Na'ama : He was here for around an hour and a half, something like that, we sat together with Merav, talking around this issue of relationship, and he wants relationship, and what is relationship and . . .

Alan : Before you told me he was here?

Na'ama : Yes, I told him right away, like. He said: no, I want to sit with you and then I want to see also Alan.

Alan : I see, a

Na'ama : But he, he feels he is in a mess, his soul, you know, it's not 'him' anymore, it's his soul that feels that it's a mess. He is looking for love actually.

Alan : Yes, and he doesn't see he's got it. Maybe he sees it a little bit now.

Na'ama : It's related to sex, when it starts, so it becomes, and then she wants children and . . .

Alan : This new one?

Na'ama : Yeah, something like this, she wants . . . and the Herpes, everything.

Alan : Helpless, you say?

Na'ama : Herpes.

Alan : Ah, ha.

Tsahi : Room is full of smoke!

Na'ama : Ah, be'emet (really)?

Tsahi : I'll open the door now and I'll put wood in the fire.

Na'ama : Okay.

Tsahi : Full of smoke.

Alan : What is your sense of eating a little something now? Do you like the idea?

Tsahi : Yeah.

Alan : And you (Adam), as well?

Na'ama : Maybe you can eat something small until . . .

Alan : With a microwave you can make potatoes immediately? Does it work with a micro wave? Can you bake potatoes in a micro wave?

Tsahi : It ruins the taste.

Alan : Yea, I guess so.

Na'ama : But we don't have, you want to buy?

Alan : No, it's not good stuff that comes out of it.

Na'ama : It's terrible.

Alan : It's good for defrosting.

Tsahi : Even if you warm coffee inside, fresh coffee, you put it inside and you warm it a little bit, it ruins the taste.

Alan : Okay. I'll tell you what, there's some beef, roast beef, cut it thin, you can cut it all if you want, it's not so much. There were two chickens that were eaten down stairs before, you ate chicken? They're probably gone, right? There's another chicken here wrapped in foil, you can do some slicing there with a sharp knife, and it's all right on this kitchen table here, feed the three of you. Put the oven on in the meantime and put in a few potatoes. I'll wait, I'll eat later, but I must have some-thing else with it, I can't just eat meat. You can cut some bread.

Na'ama : But now, do you want some crackers with something . . .

Alan : You just put the potatoes in for me, I'll discuss later what to eat. And if you have two kinds of meat, it's good enough now for them, that's the beef and this cold chicken. Put out ketchup, there's Indian mango and there is, what do they call it? HP sauce. Those three sauces with bread and meat I think will satisfy, unless, yes, that sounds like it. And I will eat later when the potatoes are ready.

Na'ama : Okay beseder (Okay).

Alan : You can retire into the kitchen with her. Oh, you (Adam) can right now. You (Tsahi) wait one minute, I sit with you for a couple of seconds alone.


First of all, I just want to tell you – don't lose hope and don't lose faith in yourself. Never mind the surroundings – you got a part and the whole dynamic of life has got the other part. It takes considerable exposure in many areas before you can start understanding the true meaning of the Work. Gurdjieff once said, if we had 300, I think it was 300 years of life, everyone would be enlightened. In 300 years. He didn't explain it but it's obvious in a way. You'd see the repeating cycles. With the one you're in now, with women for instance, you've seen that turn once, twice and now I hear you've got a new friend, you see, you're in the third loop. God knows, maybe a person has to go through that ten or twenty times before they see the things that repeat. With all the differences they're always there, and you can see how these events inevitably end. You'd see the dynamic, you'd be dis-illusioned, the illusion would come out of it, you can be above it. 'Life' is like that. If you saw enough marriages and divorces, marriages and divorces, marriages and divorces, you'd know. You'd see a person under the 'chupa' and you've already seen the end of the story, the middle too – only so many things can happen. You saw your mother and father, your aunts and uncles and your neighbor. If you saw that over 300 years and six generations, you would know, yeah. But we don't have 300 years, we have roughly 80 years to come to a place of clarity. For the Soul, which is our Psychological Body, electronic body, to free itself from the temptations and illusions of life, so that it might mature beyond this level of activity.

The Work, in a way, is like 'avoiding the avoidance'. If your focus is on remembering yourself, in watching, in self-knowledge, self-study: to know what the mind, the heart, the body is doing. If you're focused on 'seeing' then you become ever less compulsively attached to the results of what's happening. Being more objective to it you see more, because you don't care so much – you care if it knocks you off your horse. The Work talks about: 'bringing awareness up to the level of incoming impressions'. It's a considerable process, it's completely different from the 'normal' way we relate to life – more pleasure less pain, more pleasure less pain, am I getting, getting, getting, am I losing, losing, losing. We have a conversation like this because people don't even ask what they want. Whatever the process is, don't expect it all in 38 years. I'm guessing, are you about 38?

Tsahi : Exactly.

Alan : You might get to know within this lifetime, whatever it is that would 'normally', without knowledge, take 300 years. Realize that it's a very complexed field that you're in.

Tsahi : Yea, I think so, that I can realize. I can not 'do' in it. I realize that I can not be responsible enough to gain the strength to stop it or to say: okay, I've seen enough, even though I did see enough. This interests me, this interests me but I can't, it passes through and I find myself there, I find myself there. And I said to you, it's getting painful and it is painful, it's not . . .

Alan : Theoretical?

Tsahi : Yeah, it's, it's not playing an easy game of fun and women like it might . . .

Alan : I understand. It's obviously deeper than that.

Tsahi : And the way the circumstances happen, there is like, no way, no turning back, no way back on things that disintegrate or go wrong, there is no fixing, you can just move on. I don't know.

Alan : Tov (Okay), I guess it's, it's probably true what you say.

Tsahi : And the problem is, it's not a problem, but the women I meet, I mean, they get more and more greedy, more and more interesting. I mean, Ronit is interesting. And the one that I met few weeks ago, she is very interesting, very, very, very interesting.

Alan : In what way?

Tsahi : First of all she is a real intellectual, real. Second of all she paints beautifully. She does work with her hands, built a house with her hands, you know, small woman and she's beautiful and she is lovely, conversation and mind and lovely, I mean, I was shocked when I came out of her place yesterday. I was, I went, the streets were all very weird, very weird. I haven't had such an experience in many, many years. Everything seemed to work. Strange, the neighborhood she lives in. Is like a place . . .

Alan : Where is it?

Tsahi : It's in Tel-Aviv, but it's a, I lived in Tel-Aviv, but it's the places near Jaffa, the industrial places, and I was never there, at least at that time of night and at that level. It was amazing to walk the streets there yesterday when I walked home to my aunt's place, it was amazing. It was partly due to an encounter, because when I saw her, when I was in this production, immediately I had the sense that I know her from somewhere and she had the same sense about me. She said, you know, she says: I recognized that you are from the same planet as I am, the same star, the same. I don't see it like that, but I see that I recognize her in a way, and that's why I had to go and talk to her.

Alan : You were working on some kind of production?

Tsahi : Yeah.

Alan : What kind?

Tsahi : Well, it was a production that was for this chef that was very successful in the last few years and made a bunch of money.

Alan : A chef?

Tsahi : A chef that has his own company, catering company, and we were doing like a, a forty thousand dollar film in four days in his house, that will be shown on the monitors where they, you know, they move the food on . . .

Alan : A tray, rolling tray?

Tsahi : Yeah. So the monitors are there to show the customers a video. Some bullshit, but it's a lot of money and very high tech equipment and very good lighting and art and everything. It was something very elaborated, you know.

Alan : And what part does she play?

Tsahi : Oh, she didn't play, she was in the art department and she just came to help. She solves her friend's problems that she can't solve – the friend that's doing the work, her friend. She joined her for a few days, so I met her there and, very clean face, very clean, clean inside and truthful and modest and very intellectual.

Alan : What does it mean very intellectual?

Tsahi : She, first of all, literature, she knows literature, you know, I could see it, first  of all in the production I heard of the 'Devil in Moscow' – Tarkovsky, and I admire his book. And when I walked into the house I saw very, very good books, literature.

Alan : Foreign languages into Hebrew?

Tsahi : It's Hebrew, but it's mostly translated stuff of very good writers.

Alan : Aha

Tsahi : Of, you know . . .

Alan : How old is she?

Tsahi : 30 something, 31 and amazingly attractive, just amazingly attractive, very beautiful. So what can I do? I mean, it's too hard for me. It's just too hard for me not to go and find out what's there. What is it? But I remember also that our emotional center is a big mess and we're trying to love with it. I know it, I know it for a fact, 'cause I see it happening.

Alan : With her, can you see her emotionally?

Tsahi : Soon, you know, people can be on very high levels as long as they don't cross a barrier. If they cross the barrier of touch and sex somehow it gets after a while, if not a little while, a bigger while, it gets to be a big mess. I don't know, but that's what I see. Some forces come to work there that are too blind to control the situation and it's like trying to love with a nabut (stick), with a stick that you . . . 'cause it still feels, but it's also full of a lot of confusion. And the more touch you get and the more personal and the more you think you love, the more, the more messy it gets and sticky and unpleasant and, and, the mind, the relationship gets dirty. And I, every time, I hope maybe this time it won't, maybe this time, because I appreciate the, the, you know, having a very good friend and being intimate with her, I appreciate that. I think it could have very good sides, very positive sides, but I'm not probably capable of it, really. And now it comes up really quick, you know, it gets a mess so quick. But also I put Friction in very fast to see what's really in there. I put friction on very fast and . . .

Alan : How you do that?

Tsahi : It's just enough to say, to talk as truthful as you can and try to be as honest as you can and very soon there is no relationship because of the ownership thing and the . . . it's so strong.

Alan : The ownership?

Tsahi : It's not like ownership, but it's like . . .

Alan : Possessive, what do you mean?

Tsahi : Possessiveness, yeah, possessiveness and all these things that you want for yourself, that you want for yourself, are not . . .

Alan : You want commitment from the other one, you want freedom for yourself?

Tsahi : I don't want, I don't want commitment. I think commitment is, it's not what we talk about, it's what happens. You can feel commitment . . . you see me and Ronit had three months before we were 'together'. We were very good friends, but as soon as we start touching each other, now it's a mess . . .





I made reference sometime ago to an old rumor that some studio or television network in America had commissioned a group to document: 'The Fall of Israel'. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is true then this venture of ours could have a commercial value. Let them put it into their documentary. The 'eleventh hour' when people started to breakdown. The Jews come out of their pride and self-importance and face the reality of their negligence and self-centeredness, god forbid. Fifty-five years after Auschwitz. Now we have our own country, our own skyscrapers, inter-active televisions, Boeing 707's, 747's, 777's, and people walking up and down the street talking into cellular phones. What are they talking about? Of all the pictures of Auschwitz, the one thing you didn't see anything of – there was no time – is self-pity, and certainly not self-importance. You would have thought that the Jews got a lesson there. It seems it takes more than gas-chambers to teach people a lesson about mortality. It's a good example of – 'violence doesn't work'. It just doesn't work.

A group memory, it seems, is no more reliable than an individual's. The things that hurt the most are the things that develop the most ignorant justification, explanation. The Jewish people came out of their Holocaust; what did they learn? "Never Again." They armed themselves to the teeth. They've learnt the lesson of the aggressor. They didn't learn anything about humanity, they didn't learn anything about themselves! The people, the Jews, said basically: "How could it happen to us." So when one reads in the Qur'an, with the same God talking, the same Higher Intelligence talking: "Haven't you traveled the land and seen what happened to those that came before you?" – that seems, more than a little, directed at the Jews.

It's good to take a breath between words. Most of the stuff that gets said in the world hardly leaves anybody with a chance to catch a breath, to consider. Maybe that's alright as well. Like the video we made with Anati. It was ruthless, it went on for an hour, it was devastating. She says she doesn't remember anything, doesn't want even to think back to it. But the truth of the matter is that she 'turned around'. All of a sudden she stands up and she realizes she's in it like everybody else – alone, relative to reality, relative to the Truth. That's it!

Something occurred to me as I left the house tonight. The connection between 'want' and 'pain'. Something just lit up and I wonder if  it can be revived. People talk about it: where did humanity take a 'wrong turn'? Not just individuals, humanity. Humanity made, and continues to make, a wrong turn. It has to do with wanting what you don't have. That's how we continually get thrown out of the 'Garden of Eden'. When you want something you don't have, you are in pain. Call it pain, frustration, irritation, anger, resentment – a whole lot of subtle colors to it. 'Not getting what you want' – negativity, all of it. It's all the pain of not getting what you want. Why do you want? It doesn't matter what it is that you want – you want because you're unhappy, you're 'unfulfilled'!

Tsahi : Because you're in pain, already.

Alan : Yes, that's right, yes, oh very good. It starts with pain. Because if you're not in pain you don't want anything. If you're not in pain, you're satisfied. If you're satisfied you don't 'want'. It starts in displeasure. It goes looking for things that are 'missing', or things that are there but 'shouldn't be there'. It's all mechanical. 'I am displeased' and my mind scans all the things that I'm aware of around me and finds 'something' there that is the cause of my displeasure. Or, I scan my imagination for all the things that I think 'could be' there. That's Krishnamurti's specialty. Things from the past. Could be the past of one's own experience, could be the past from what was seen on television or from over-hearing somebody say that such and such is available. It's all running from displeasure, and displeasure is pain.

Pain is energy. It's a distorted energy, it is twisted energy but nevertheless it is energy. That's the immense wisdom in the 'non-expression of negative emotions'. Because, if you don't express your negativity – and that doesn't mean just in words – if you don't express it, then you've still got that energy. Energy is heat, and heat is light. Light enough for a person to view their own mechanical self-serving excuse/justification. "I don't feel good because I got something I shouldn't have or I don't have something I should have." That's what justification is – it's 'because'. If you  have a growing understanding of life, you begin to see that the 'becauses' are imaginary.

Tsahi : Because the 'because' is not the cause?

Alan : The because is not the cause. Exactly. What is the cause? Shall we look at it? Are there all kinds of causes or is there one main cause?

Tsahi : Why this twisted energy? Why is it twisted energy?

Alan : Well that's the cause, right? Okay – twisted energy. How does energy get twisted? It's hard not to get a little technical here. Energy gets twisted because energy comes to us as 'impressions'. Impressions are energy. We are not conscious as an impression hits, so the impression is absorbed mechanically in one or another center. All impressions have a full range, like a rainbow. But if only one or another 'color' of an impression gets picked-up by, say, the emotional center, without awareness – that would be, by definition, 'twisted energy'.

Tsahi : The memories, triggering memories . . .

Alan : The memories are also, as if, impressions. We not only get impressions from the outside, we have the playback. The memory playback also gives us impressions. Someone gave an example once of a memory reaction to an unhappy occasion: You witness an accident – a car crash.

Everybody's half-dead or dead or bleeding. It's a good example because most of life is an accident. Now the radio in one of the cars is on and they're playing 'Jingle Bells'.


”Jingle bells, jingle bells

jingle all the way

oh what fun it is to ride

on a one horse open-sleigh . . .”


Then a few years later Christmas comes up and you're sitting with the family under this beautiful Christmas tree, with the star on top, the lights blinking on and off, tinsels hanging, on the floor are presents for everybody. Then some one sings 'Jingle bells'. You go into shock. You have no idea why.

We were talking about this issue of want, relative to pain, relative to energy. The part that we're missing, which is the 'esoteric key', is the issue of trans-formation. Transformation of energy. Because before that, it's all want, coming from discomfort.

People are going through these cycles all the time. The things that they want or don't want are not the cause of their displeasure. But they go after it anyway. And it gives them a moment of satisfaction. So they think they got what they wanted.

Then of course the displeasure resurfaces. So, moments of pleasure and moments of displeasure. That's going on universally within such a high percentage of people that you could practically say everybody. (How can you say everybody about anything without being accused of exaggerating? But nevertheless.) How long is anyone in a state of satisfaction? That's one thing that is so interesting about sex, at least on the male side. Orgasm is the biggest want. You need a big want for a big pain. A big 'out'. It's a change, more than anything else, out of the usual dis-pleasures. Usually that exhausts a person. Some it can exhaust for a month, others it exhausts for only ten minutes before they're ready to try that trick again. Normally speaking at least a half an hour of not wanting. They become aware of the Grace of Now. Their body got a good juicing up. So the body is relaxed, the emotions are relaxed too because there are no wants, and mind is also quiet. One becomes conscious of energy. A little bit depleted, but the room takes on a soft quietness, ah, they see the sun coming in through the window. They are sensitive to themselves, to their surroundings. No 'want' – beautiful. Such an immense subject but it's just a branch of this conversation so we won't get into it too much. But maybe we just, in a way, touched the essence of the matter.

Someone might say: "What's all this sex thing about?" Well, it has more to do with displeasure than it has to do with love, generally speaking. But then again, you can 'love' anything. You can love ice-cream if it gets rid of your displeasure for a few minutes. You'd love anything that gives you a little relief. "I'd love an aspirin." Without an understanding of energy, doesn't matter what energy, life is nothing but a see-saw of pleasure and displeasure. When you begin to understand that your little pleasures don't answer the question of your displeasure, they begin to fade out. Not much hope is left in the imagination. For instance, a junkie taking heroin. It 'helps' him but after a while he becomes aware that it's not working anymore. Then the displeasure really screams. He gets really depressed and tries to kill himself. As we get older we begin to see that all those wonderful things that the world offers, that are meant to make us 'feel good' – don't work very well, or for very long.

Tsahi : They call them pain killers.

Alan : What do they call pain killers?

Tsahi : Drugs, I mean, "I want to take a pain killer."

Alan : Generally speaking what you end off with is a lot of very bitter people. Bitterness is close to rage. You can get angry with this or that, but when you can't put your finger on anything you're just in a state of rage. In rage you yell and scream and believe it will help. When it doesn't, you turn bitter.

Tsahi : It's like the botz (mud) in the cafe botz (black coffee), the rage and the bitterness is the layer that gets thicker and denser.

Alan : So we started off looking at the connection between want and pain. What we come to right now is – that's life. Look around, from the average child to the average person in an old age home, from the politicians to the taxi-drivers – that's what they are living in. Gurdjieff said: 'This life is a pain factory'. 'Existence' is not a pain factory. Nature, mother nature is marvelous. Most of the trouble we have with mother nature is that we don't trust her. Afraid of being cold or what-not. The body can adjust well to most everything in nature. There was a book written, I think by a British woman, who had a connection with the Aborigines in Australia. She was acknowledged by some of their elders and accepted. One time they're with her walking in open bush country going some place, they don't tell her where. She says "I'm not going there." but ends up walking behind them. They walk for months, no shoes, her feet bleeding, they didn't stop, they didn't turn round even to look at her – they kept going. What happened to her feet. They got cut up and swelled up like basket balls, but eventually adjusted. The feet grew immense calluses, and she walked on, half way across the bloody continent of Australia. With no shoes. The body can take a lot, the body can adjust. The body is very flexible, come to think of it. It will soon adjust to living on the moon – gravity different, artificial air, somehow. That is nature and our body is also nature. Our psychology is already 'human'. Human activity makes up our 'life'. Business, friends, family, everything that goes on. All the 'good' and the 'bad', all the you 'shouldn't' or you 'should.' The dogs and the cats don't have any problem with that. They don't insist that their mate 'loves' them or that they have a right to know what they're going to do the next day. "Why didn't you bark? You haven't barked in my direction in at least ten days!" 

(To Aviv) You can afford to laugh. It's all tragic-comic. But it's universal, individuals are very self-centered. What we're saying now is immense. It's like everyone's got 'bubonic plague' but nobody realized it. It's a plague!

Every once in a while you run into a book where someone starts asking the question: 'Where did Humanity go wrong?' It's the story of the Garden of Eden. I've heard that question, I guess it's a real question but I never dwelt on it in quite that way. What are they asking? How do they know humanity went wrong? It's such an immense statement. Humanity, at a certain point, 'went wrong'? It's like what's in the Bible. All the stories – every human being goes through the same things again and again. The Israelites leaving 'Egypt' with all its goodies, even though they were slaves. Inside every person there's a Moses and a Pharaoh. Pharaoh dominates in Egypt. You've got to listen to Moses to get out. That's the higher part of yourself. Finally they agreed to leave, but when they're out they start complaining – they wanted to go back! They're in the desert, they have to pass through the desert. You don't go directly from hell to heaven, you have to stop first. 'Hell' is going backwards, 'Heaven' is going front-wards. In order to stop going backwards so that you can move front-wards you have to stop first. That 'stop' is the desert. You have to stop playing. You have to Be. Before you can move in the right direction you have to BE. And they started to complain. They wanted to go back!

I never wanted anything I couldn't afford. I don't know if that's unusual, for me it's natural. As a kid, I spent two months of each year in the country, in nature, much of it with the French Canadian farmers. I was always busy with nature – fishing, building a raft, climbing a tree, building a tree house, catching fireflies, going haying with the farmers, going maple-sugaring in the spring time. The farmers invited me to the slaughter of a cow and once the slaughter of a pig. When I look back it was all incredible experience, always interesting, things were happening. I was more than satisfied with nature. After seeing the 'human' horror that we're all in – maybe that's my problem now – maybe it's the first time I wanted something and it's not there. I wanted peace for mankind, I wanted healthy people. But you see, want is want, is pain – the good or the bad, it doesn't matter. An assumption of a possibility, of god knows what.

Tsahi : 'Assumption of a possibility.'

Alan : Yes, yes, good you picked that up. A definition of 'want' – an Assumption of a Possibility.


We talk, what are we talking for now? Why do we have this camera on? I talk to all you lovely people out there and I can't imagine who you are. Maybe a few of you I can imagine. "Nice video, intense, real good subject. Want, Pain, Sex – that's the best part, I liked that, ah!" Everyone's so confused in that area, a few clear words on it wouldn't do any harm. It's not so complementary. Everyone thought they were doing it for, for what? They convince themselves they're doing it for the 'good'. In a way it's a little bit true.

But this video is not the average thing you would see on your television set. It's not being done for the same reason, it's not being recorded in order to make an impression, a 'personal' impression. "Oh what an interesting person that is!" It's not done for that, it's not made by someone who wants to sound clever. It reminds me of a story, how true it is I don't know, of this professor at some big university. He was lecturing there for years, he had his Doctorate, he had two hundred students in front of him. And whatever his subject was, he really cared about it. After lecturing for I don't know how many years he realized something most obvious. The kids in the class were writing down every word that he said, trying to figure out where he put the most emphasis, because that's where he's going to ask the questions in the examination. All they really wanted was to pass the exam. He wondered whether they cared what he's talking about at all. So he decided to make a little experiment. Ever hear the story before?

Tsahi : No, but I know what you are talking about.

Alan : So, in the middle of one of his lectures, he says: "I've been researching this subject for years and continue right up to this day. I'm not just lecturing to you each week but continue my investigations in this area that I consider of such vital importance" And, he went on: "After the recent data that came in today, correlated with my other investigations, It becomes absolutely clear and certain that tomorrow at four p.m. the world will come to an end." Then he looks up and sees all the students are writing it down – 'tomorrow at four p.m. the world will come to an end.'

And I feel at the moment a little like that professor. Our conclusion is that man-kind with all its experience, if it only could be remembered, has proved that people are always living in the agony of 'want'. Some kind of a terrible mistake must have been made there, and going back a long time. Well, what was just described they've seen, and now you've seen it. It's not like the world is going to come to an end tomorrow at four p.m. It already came to an end. Because it's a little satisfaction, a little disappointment, big satisfaction, big disappointment. That see-saw is not life, that's death. We want to be rich, want to have the children agree with us, to be respected, want a new pair of shoes. That swing in the park is really like a see-saw. Every time you come down, bump. You hit the ground. The older you get you lose the flexibility in your legs. The kids go up and down, hit the ground first with their legs bent, and cushion the blow. The older you get, when the see-saw comes down – bang!  

This is not just another interesting conversation. It is a quick packaging of a box named 'hell'. That's what we're caught in. We take it further by asking what exactly serious people meant by: "Where did mankind go wrong?" I'll tell you where he went wrong. He went wrong when he started wanting what he didn't have and as a result never used his attention to learn what he did have. Man wants but has no conception of what he already has. The Work says something very important, that if remembered would make one 'hell of a difference'. It says: 'You have everything you need.' It doesn't say 'almost everything', it says, 'everything'. And in serious circles, people use words with precision. That's where 'second education' comes in. You read about that in the writings of Nicoll a little bit. 'Work' is referred to as 'second education'. Here we were laying-out some conclusions in regard to first education. First education is within the society you found yourself. It's necessary, you have to survive within it. Eventually the personality formed within it can become food for the essence. Not only is it necessary to form but the more elaborated the better.

Attention is the issue. Man lost his attention. His attention got stolen by a little apple on the tree of knowledge, so called. Tempted by the devil. What's the devil? Tempted by a piece of the Whole. The piece says: "I'm it. This is just what you need. Come get me. Take the apple. Take the apple." We've got airplanes and ships, food and other stuff coming in from all over the world. But it doesn't work, it doesn't satisfy. When you really see that then you've had your first education. Unfortunately by the time you've seen it you're tired, you're disappointed. But most of all you're tired. You barely have enough energy to brush your own teeth.


Take Tsahi's face – appreciative face, handsome face, pained face, knowing face. I've seen the energy of intelligence arise so many times in people and then drop – like that. When mankind made the wrong turn, or when each individual made their wrong turn – something survived. And at moments of intensity, that 'something' says: "Yes, yes, yes. You go tell them, yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell them Alan. We don't have the words." We're talking now, because, well, that's just Work. 'If you don't change today, tomorrow will be exactly the same.' So that's what we're doing, we're changing today.

Tsahi : What is the difference?

Alan : Speak up young man!

Tsahi : There is news, entertainment and information. We made the . . .

Alan : Uh ha, generally speaking or this media?

Tsahi : No.

Alan : No what? Those are two alternatives!

Tsahi : It's the difference between entertainment and something else. This Is not entertainment, it's not news. It's news of a different kind, of a different scale.

Alan : Yes, it's 'entertainment' of a different kind. Yeah, okay, go ahead.

Tsahi : Entertainment is essentially 'I like to be entertained.'

Alan : Look at the word, break it down: Enter-tain. There is also con-tain, ob-tain, sus-tain. 'Tain' is – holding. Enter and hold. That's what's enter-tain-ment is. You are a Being, God-created, put on this earth with god-knows what intentions. And now, I've got your attention. I guess you've got nothing better to do with it at the moment. But that's a serious business. Your attention is the most valuable thing that you've got. So, if I'm a reasonable person, that's a responsibility. I don't want to abuse it, otherwise it's rape. I stick my hand into your heart, into your head and I say: 'give me your attention.' So we've got a connection. Attention is connection. I connect with you, you connect with me. I don't want to waste it and I don't want you to waste it. I value attention. I value life. I value you. Enter-tain. That's the horrible thing about most 'entertainers'. Do they really care about whose attention they gain, other than that they should adore them?

Tsahi : Talks about impressions.

Alan : Who talks about what? Is the subject impressions?

Tsahi : The impressions, yeah. When you entertain, you do a soap opera. You give impressions to people. Even News is entertainment.

Alan : It's all impressions. Life is impressions. Okay, you see, I've just talked myself out of what I'm trying to say. I'm trying to say to you: it's the year 2000 now and you should know enough to realize the seriousness of the matter. It has reached such an hysterical level that civilization is on the brink of a nervous breakdown. It had a nervous breakdown already, but it somehow keeps going on pills. Doctors give the pills. So the situation that's been outlined here is really dealing with the difference between life and death. What can you say? It's always Been like this and it's never ever been like it is now. So, alternative? It keeps coming up, alternative? Tentatively it must be connected with the question that was put before: "Where did mankind go wrong?"

If I was on one of these quiz programs where you have to answer a question in thirty seconds, and I said to myself: "I'm not even sure about the question but I've got thirty seconds to think about it and give an answer – and I might win a big prize – so what the hell. My answer to that question, of 'where did mankind go wrong?' It's when he started wanting things he didn't have – at the expense of finding out what he did have. Man does not know his body, he does not know his emotions, he does not know how his mind works. He is driven by his senses. He doesn't know what touch, smell, sight, and hearing are. He takes it all for granted. He does not know himself. So it's been said in serious circles more than once: 'To Know Thy Self is to Know Thy Lord.' Whatever that means, it's a lot. Among other things God is supposed to be Peace, Truth. To know Thy 'Self' is to know Truth, is to know Peace. And that is exactly, of course, what we are missing and why we are grabbing at and trying to explain the outer world all the time. But we're not even doing that. All these impressions hit us, without our attention, and turn us around. They also cause the machine to compulsively mouth-words. To observe in a non-critical, non-identified manner or to 'talk' are two quite different things!

Real Doing is a big thing. Real Doing is self-study, Self-Remembering. The whole combination of wrong habits and being out of focus brings up pictures that we are moved around in. Pictures – imagination. In our imagination we want to go to 'heaven' where everyone would be happy, happy, happy. But the Big White Father says: "Yes my child, do come to Heaven but . . . before you can get to heaven you've got to leave the moon and stop being a luna-tic. First come back to Earth. You can only get to Heaven from Earth. Earth first. You haven't arrived on earth yet, you idiot. What kind of a child did I have? I deserve an idiot? I've only got idiots. You left Heaven but you don't want to admit that you're on Earth, so you go even further away – to the moon. You're all dressed up – a clear reflection of the moon."

Okay, we've been very funny. Weren't we funny? Sometimes I think that Lenny Bruce was lucky to have died so young, otherwise he would have had to deal with me. Go to a book store tomorrow, buy a book, maybe it will have your answer in it. But you've already got the answer in yourself. It's painful, if by chance you understand, and of course you understand. You talk about it, you put words to it, but you don't live up to it. You already know. And if that's true – you're living in lies. Happiness is 'God', it's the 'What Is'. The What Is – is Truth. And you keep spitting on the Truth that you already know.


(To the camera) Will this kind of talk help? Psychiatrists don't do it. Their suggestion is: "I'm here just to listen to you . . . I love you, love you, love you, love you!" Now, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about all those other idiots that you're always complaining about. I'm talking about them. You and me, we're on the same side, right? Don't take it personally, you're alright, I know that. If you weren't you wouldn't be listening, watching this. You're my friend. You would have checked-out hours ago if you weren't. Don't take it personally. But I mean, what's the use? What's the value of anything? How are you going to come out of that prison of disappointment, frustration? You don't know 'what' you are. If you spend time checking what you are, someone else might get to the apple before you. You got to grab those apples quick . . . because . . . 'the early bird gets the worm.'

So here I get, as if, abusive. Not abusive, accusative. It doesn't make you feel good. And what you want is to feel good. Sure, I want you to feel good too. But, if you're going to feel good you better not try to convince yourself that the bad is the good. To know the good you've got to know what the bad is. To know what the useful is, you've got to know what the useless is. People are shuffling the useless all the time, like they buy a lottery ticket, hoping their number will come up. Without self-knowledge you are not doing anything, you're just drifting. You are being affected by a whole lot of different combinations of impressions. The Work tries to help you to bring awareness up to the level of incoming impressions. That doesn't happen just like that. It's just one thing but it's major. If you don't express a negative emotion, at least you don't react immediately to the impression. You cut the string – then it dangles for a while in front of your eyes. In that space and still with that energy, you can see what the 'string' is. If you react, then you miss the next stage, you miss seeing the habitual justification or explanation that you usually take for-granted. The suggestion is that mankind made a wrong turn, and you were born into that mankind, and everyone continues to make the same mistake. Every individual is mankind, every individual is responsible. A child is born into that mistake. I didn't want to jump to an easy conclusion  but, somehow, when a child passes puberty that's when he really goes for the apple. Until puberty he's busy learning – everything is interesting. Self-study is the issue.

We saw this excellent program on television last night. Buddhists in Japan and India. The interviewer asked one Zen Rochi: "What is it all about, what are we here for?" He said: Self-study. We're trying to figure every god-damn thing out all the way to extra-terrestrials and space craft. The real issue is not 'who' you are, but 'what' you are. It's not 'what' you think – it's 'what is thinking'. It doesn't matter so much 'how you feel', those feelings are always changing – it's to know 'what feelings are' and what they're affected by. To 'Know Thyself' is not to know if you're an artist, or if you're important – it's to know the 'what is' of yourself. Now, if one doesn't turn their attention to that, and never again in their life blame anything external for their discomfort, then they're doomed to the general ignorance of mankind. You'll have a lot of company – the old people's homes are overflowing. Lots of company!

There I got a little too simple. Because I know in two seconds the habit of 'hope in life' that is stimulated from every direction will close in on you again. Hope in 'life' – hope in the future. What you've got, brothers and sisters, and babies, you all, what you've got is Now. That's all you got. The rest is a 'studio of pictures'. What you got is Now. And Now scares shit out of you!

Again I'm using dirty language, you have to excuse me. I don't know who is going to watch this, so excuse me for talking like this. Here I'm talking to these people who are really asleep, and their misfortune is that they don't know it. I'm not talking to you, I know that you know!


If I'm not mistaken I think we did a reasonable job of looking at the connection that occurred to me before I came in. The connection between want and pain. We talked a little bit about what an alternative could be, how that very energy of pain is exactly what we need to do something with. We need that energy of pain to transform. That's the esoteric work. We don't run from pain, we transform it through correct digestion. We turn that negative energy into something higher, by the correct handling of it. It's alchemy, it's always been. Turn a base metal, that's symbolic language, a gross something into something fine. Turning 'base metal' into 'gold'. What is it? That's Work for someone who really values themself. They know they must be more than a 'pleasure-displeasure' doll. They want to experience 'now'. To realize how wonderful it all is. It's all a wonder. The whole thing is Wonder-ful!


Why is everyone so busy trying to figure it all out? Because if you don't figure it out, you won't get what you want. But baby, you already got what you need. When you stop trying to figure it out – you watch. If you became aware of what you really have, you'd be amazed. It's beyond imagination. 'Want' can only come from imagination, you have to be able to picture it in advance. This is beyond imagination. I guess some have a taste of that once in a while.


We barely touched the issue of transformation, and how universal the ignorance is around that subject. How almost without exception mankind lives in the 'see-saw park'. People lost hope in 'heaven'. People in their usual state are in total denial of the clear facts and as a result are stuck in the cement, or the mud that eventually turns to cement, of what they like to call 'reality'.


Tamara, Tsahi, I think we're finished but let's leave the video on. Maybe you have some comments?

Tsahi : Exactly what was presented tonight – that's the comment I have.

Alan : What about? This discussion?

Tsahi : Well, it was dealing with it.

Alan : This is what you have been dealing with, you are saying?

Tsahi : That's what I was saying. The last days, the last weeks, the last month.

Alan : Uh ha, you've been dealing with this subject for the last period of time. Is there anything that occurred to you that didn't come up tonight?

Tsahi : Probably yes, but I can't remember at the moment.

Alan : If something occurs to you, maybe not conclusive, let's have it.

Tsahi : I see the cycle of pain and reaction, pain and wanting – wanting to get out of it and being out, only barely.

Alan : So would you like to sit behind the camera for a few minutes and see whether Tamara has anything to say.

Tamara, alright, you were on the camera. You said that when you're focused on that you're not so aware of the conversation. You'll hear it when you watch it back, right? Is that pretty much what happened now, tonight?

Tamara : Not the same, every time is . . .

Alan : Every time is different?

Tamara : Different . . .

Alan : The funniest thing about it is not wanting other people to hear, or being shy. I'm not saying you, particularly. All this closedness. Two people are like two brain cells in one head, not wanting one to know what the other is thinking. Not realizing it is the same brain. Go back to the 'hamsa' – all the fingers are part of the one hand. We're all part of One Being we call God. Our 'individuality' is vanity, mixed with ignorance, mixed with insensitivity, taking place in dreams. From our jealousy to our greed to our guilt. It's like this finger feeling guilty in front of that finger because it's shorter, or feeling afraid of another finger because it's stronger. It's nonsense. Can one grasp that in the usual state we're in? So, when you talk to someone else, in a most essential way you're talking to yourself. There is only One Self. It's not the self that's holding up its College Degrees. It's not that self – that's imaginary-self. Unity is in Real Self. And that's the one thing imaginary-self can't imagine. Unity. Because in unity, there is no more thinking – it stops. Before you can think you need at least two. You can't think about anything without two. Do we need some examples of that? Tsahi, you got any examples of that? No, he's on the camera now. You can't think of anything without two. You can't think of 'good' without 'bad', for instance. You can't think of 'up' without 'down'. There are of course more complex thoughts, referring to, as if, our 'individuality'. That's why I often speak about 'self-importance'.

What about this business of people wanting to do only what they 'want to do'? It's the usual type of thing. This thing that Na'ama said a couple of days ago when she was in a down place. When you asked her to help to make the steak. "I don't feel like doing it." From another place in herself, a couple of weeks ago, maybe just a couple of days ago, worrying that she could wake up in the morning and I'd be dead. Every time I coughed. And here for the first time in a month I've got an appetite, but she doesn't 'feel like' making a steak. I mean she was not there, she was not present, she's had no valuation – no nothing in that place. Hum?

That's a new subject. What's the new subject? What does it mean when you 'feel like' doing something? We don't even know, we don't know ourselves. "I feel like doing something." Where do you 'feel' it? In your body? You're going to trust your feelings. What feelings? Trust it for what? What's the context? What are you doing on this ship?

That's the new subject. And we just touched it – because we're seeing it. It's enough. But even though you were behind the camera, I just wanted to ask you: was there anything you really wanted to say, or something particular that you thought of? Nothing particular?

There's a young lady sitting here at the table whom we found when we came in. It's like I have a habitual relationship to her. But I didn't want to pretend, I don't want to pretend I know who or what. When you speak to somebody, somehow you assume you know who you are speaking to. I didn't want to pretend. But there is a part of me, a socialized part, that says, yeah, but never mind – Aviv is sitting here at the table. You've asked this one, you've asked that one. So, Aviv, anything you would like to say?

Aviv : No.

Alan : (Laugh) You see what I'm faced with?. 'Taka, taka, taka, taka . . . .'  Never mind – is the camera useful? Will this video be useful to look back at later? With no camera a conversation like this could also go on. The issues go on not only when a camera or a tape machine is running. That's only a recent kind of habit on my part. Thinking that maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe some light could make a difference.

Tsahi, we'll see, huh? 'Man proposes, God disposes.' People do what they can and they usually end off reaping what they sow. They do. Also there is the expression: 'nothing ventured, nothing gained.' No effort – no nothing. One thing I'm absolutely sure of: this kind of talk with a camera or tape or not, cannot do any harm. This I'm absolutely sure of. So I'm very free to experiment in this safe area. Nothing negative possible. So maybe something positive, maybe. We'll leave that to the Universe to sort out. I can only do, what I do, when I do it.

So we say goodnight, or good afternoon, to whoever is watching this video. To you and yours. May you have a prosperous and yes, a happy New Year. A new year – a Real Year. May you forgive yourself all your imagined sins. If you can do that God will forgive you. God, that is the Present, doesn't really give a 'flying f _ _ _ ' for all your yesterdays. All He wants is you back home, now. One of the Names of God is: 'The All Forgiving'. Just Come Home. No one is going to punish you. Just Come Home!