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Workshop - Half Moon Bay, CA - 1974 - Part 4 of 4

Robert Rhondell Gibson

In creating a companion to the audio files found in the “Links” section, we strive to give
the reader as close a verbatim transcript as possible. 
Dr. Bob’s laid-back “Kentucky-ese” is retained – not correcting his grammar makes reading it
sound like he’s actually talking.  In addition, he purposefully used not only specific words,
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Audience (laughter) is noted; he was a master at keeping the mood up!
(Audience participation is parenthesized and separated from his words.)
Speakers’ emphasized words are in italics.
Some tenets of the Teachings are in bold type.
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CD #7 of 7

Agape and Anti-Agape

...they weren’t tryin’ to mow him down or anything.  They did what they thought was right…it wasn’t very healthy for him.  I think the situation was probably one of those things that was detrimental to health to be hung on a cross – very detrimental.  But, nevertheless, he saw that point and tried to teach it by an example that what?  You don’t go out and get revenge and all these other things.  Now, all lack of communication between husband and wife, between siblings, between employers/employees, anywheres else you want to go is again from anti-Agape, anti-understanding, is that right?  You couldn’t have any other reason for not bein’...


If you know that I’ve done wrong, you have a hard time communicating – you can only threaten, is that right?  Or make threatening statements and so forth.  That’s all you could do.  You couldn’t really communicate.  But if I know that everything you’re doing you feel is right, proper, and justifiable, then we can talk, is that right? 


We don’t have nothin’ to fight about, huh? 

So love is necessary for peace. 

And, of course, peace is something that’s not goin’ on too great in the world except with a few individuals – there’s no “mass” peace.  I think that – how many wars going on in the Earth planet at the moment would you say?  About how many?  How many?

(Over 40.)

Over 40.  I imagine you’re about right, Charlie.  I think it’s somewheres up in that category but at least that many’s going on.  So we can’t say the world is at peace, could we?  Why is it is everyone of ‘em feel that the other knows what was right, proper and justifiable and goin’ on and doin’ wrong anyway, is that right?  I don’t care which group you got makin’ the war, they both sides feel they’re right; that the other one is doin’ somethin’ that’s wrong, improper, and unjustifiable, huh?  That’s the way they all keep the war goin’ – it’s why it can get popular; you can sell everybody on that idea, right?

(That’s right.)

They’re dirty dogs aren’t they?  What should we do with ‘em?  Go kill ‘em. 

(Defend our own rights.)

Because we are doing only that which is right and proper – and justifiable of course, huh?

(What do you do with a person that’s killed somebody?)

I try to do as little as possible with him – he might kill me

(Well, he might kill somebody else if he’s left –)

Right!  So maybe you quarantine people who can justify anti-Agape.  If we did, we’d have most of ‘em quarantined, wouldn’t have anybody to do the quarantinin’.  But I can see where that the more violent ones, yes, would definitely be quarantined but I can’t see punishin’ ‘em.  Who are you to punish anybody?  Do you do what you feel is right, proper, and justifiable, Dmitri?


You think you should be punished for that?  Do you?  Do you think you ought to be punished for doin’ what you feel, with what light you have, that you’re always doing what feels right or proper or at least justifiable, is that right? 

(I think sometimes I deserve the punishment that I get.  Like if I go seventy miles on the freeway, 70 miles an hour and I get caught doing it, I think the punishment –)

That you get is to pay a fine or a fixed number of dollars, is that right?

(I think that serves me.)

How old are you, Dmitri?


Was you drivin’ a car 10 years ago?


Same highways?


Was you goin’ 70 miles an hour then with no penalty, is that right? 

(Mm-hmm.  65 then.)

Sixty-five.  I was 70 wherever I was.  Seventy was the speed limit – and I usually went 75.  But it said 70 was the speed limit, is that right?  Wasn’t the freeways in California 70 miles an hour?  It was 70 miles an hour on the freeways, right?

(many responses.)  (It was 80 miles per hour!)

Right!  Right, I know we have good roads and good laws over there until the Feds got to messin’ with ‘em.  So you didn’t feel guilty or feel justified and you didn’t run down to offer to pay a fine for goin’ 70 when the speed limit said 70, did you? 


I don’t think it’s any different now than it was then; but I play the game accordin’ to the rules because I don’t want to pay penalties.  And they got the gun and I don’t, okay?  But I think that there’s a reason to play games accordin’ to the rules on general idea that everybody comes out and agrees that there is a certain set of rules of the game where you play the game accordin’ to the rules, right?

(And it’s usually because the rules say that.)

Right.  Not because it’s right or wrong or justifiable or unjustifiable but it’s just that it’s simply – it costs less.  It costs me less to play the game accordin’ to the rules – no matter what the rules are.

(But the minute I can justify breaking the law, I do.)

You’re gonna do it – you better believe it, huh?  There’re no cops in sight, or I’m following a truck and he’s got a what – what do they call that stuff – C.B. on there, so he knows the route.  Seventy looks good then, man, it’s sailin’ on.  But that’s because we could justify it and had a reasonable anticipation we wouldn’t get caught, is that right?  Reasonable anticipation. 

(I know a few people that have been caught.)

Well, that’s the whole bit.  You know, people feel guilty not because they did somethin’ wrong, but was afraid it’ll come out and they’ll get caught about it.  So, you know, if there’s no danger of gettin’ caught at all, who’s gonna feel guilty, is that right?  Is that right, Paulette?  Who’s gonna feel guilty if you know you’re not gonna get caught, huh?  But if you get caught, oh, man, that’s terrible! 

So let’s see if we could find a way
that we couldnow and then spread the word just a wee bit,
without bein’ a missionary or anything else –
how we spread it is mostly is by livin’ it –
that anti-Agape is the source of about 99% of man’s interpersonal problems.

If you had Agape, you wouldn’t have any personal problems with anybody.  I wouldn’t.

(It seems like the understanding…it seems like it’s real easy to have understanding when we don’t live with ‘em, but when we live with, it’s a lot different.)

Well, I know!  (laughter)  Because you have more chance to see whether they knew what’s right and went on and did wrong anyway.  You got ‘em there in close quarters, you can watch ‘em, right?  So it’s no more different than the stranger is except you got ‘em up there where you can see, “Well, he knew better than that and went on and did wrong anyway,” cause you got him in close quarters where you can check up on him.  Otherwise, you know, you don’t see ‘em too much.  No, I don’t think there’s really any difference, Paulette  Huh?  There’s no real difference except that you have more rules for those who are close to you than the ones that’s further out; and if they don’t live by your rules, then they knew better but did wrong anyway, hmm?  That correct?  I don’t think there’s any difference.

Okay, let’s have comments, discussions and we’ll talk about anti-Agape – or Agape a few times.  We’ll talk about understanding or anti-understanding.  Leland, what did you come up with?

(Well, it’s clear that your word for love here, Agape, does not at all necessarily include the first three.)

No, it has nothin’ to do with those.

(It has nothin to do with those.)

It’s just a word that got translated out of the Greek all into the same one.  Like, you know, they called them what they were in Greek, but as they got translated, why the guys all made ‘em into one word.  Well, obviously, most people think of it as being this one right off the bat.  And they don’t think of the other ones very much and pretty soon, of course, then the word goes around where people says, “I love everybody.”

(They don’t know what they’re talking about.)

No, but it sounds good.  But I’ve noticed those that love everybody can’t stand some of those damned individuals.  (laughter)  Now, it’s easy for me to love everybody, Paulette; but some of those individuals makes it almost impossible, is that right?  [He chuckles.]  So you see, it’s very easy for all these folks to stand up and talk about love, love, love, love, love.  And they preach it and send it out over the airways and what-have-you, but those individuals are a mess, okay?

(So if we were looking for synonyms of what you’re talking about here, that is, your reference for this, it would be something like clarity or  free communication or –)

Or understanding.  How about simple understanding?  I understand.  And, you know, that’s one of the things that most of us would like to have is somebody to understand us, is that right?  That’s what I do.  I do what is right, proper and justifiable or else I couldn’t even do it, huh?  Yes?

(It’s real hard for my daughter to understand my son when he punches her.)

That’s right.  He understands he got punched.  Maybe if she looked at it from that standpoint, she might begin to think that he’ll punch me if I do so-and-so.  Now, of course, when you hear about it, she was standin’ there bein’ a little, little angel and he walked up and poked her.  But I imagine if you heard him tell it, she was doin’ some little dirty trick to him.  So pretty soon if they talked about understanding, I think both of ‘em should understand a little bit.  But I wouldn’t go one sided on it. 

(When someone wrongs you and it hurts –)

Yeah.  What are you gonna do, get even with ‘em? 

(Well, it depends on how bad I was hurt.  It’s really hard to  – there’s times when I can’t go as far as Christ.)

Well, I’m quite sure of that.  I’m quite sure that probably the rest of the folks around here have a little trouble with that.  You know, if I have to demonstrate it by bein’ nailed to a tree, I guess I oughta say to hell with you, I don’t care whether you see it or not.  (laughter)  I wouldn’t fret about it.  I don’t care whether you catch on or not.  But I’m gonna try to tell you everything else, short of that.  You see, if I go to get…I maintain that you cheated me in our business deal or something or other, you know, now I got to get even with you.  Who’s that really hurtin’?  Me, for havin’ all that ideas and stuff.  Now, I’d be a lot better if I said, “Well, he felt it was right.  I don’t see it, understand it as being right, but he thought it was all right so I’m gonna let it go; maybe we’ll have another transaction someday.”  You know?  (laughter)  Huh?  I don’t go out of my way to look for it but maybe we might someday.  Then I would be lookin’ for a deal and I would be justified maybe.  But, I say that the best thing to do if you have to justify it, forget it because your justification is gonna break down pretty soon anyway.  If you have to justify it, don’t bother because it’s gonna break down, isn’t it?  Did you ever have a justification still holdin’ up, Chris? 


Huh?  They’re still holdin’ up or did they all break down?  After a while. 

(After a day or two.)

Yeah, they get broken, so then why bother with doin’ somethin’ because it’s justifiable?  I know that other people do and I know that the whole world is occupied in anti-Agape.  As long as it is, we’re gonna have wars, we’re gonna have contentions, we’re gonna have all kinds of lawsuits; and we’re gonna have all this chaos.  Now, if we could have one simple idea get through – that their anti-Agape is a false idea; now, that’s not so hard to do.  You could work on that a little bit.  You know, it’s gonna do a lot more than trying to worry about the folks over in some country starvin’ you know; so when the African’s quit starvin, the Japanese are gonna be starvin’ or the Indians or somethin’ – more likely the Indians.  They starve a lot, don’t they?  In fact, most of ‘em starvin’ all their life – the starvin’ Singhs of India.  So you’ll have that to worry about.  But here’s somethin’ you could do, Dmitri, you could be doing it.  You could kind of point out once in a month or so to somebody who’s soundin’ off just right that anti-Agape is a false idea.  Okay?  You can have him try to do something – he or she – have them try to do something they feel is wrong, improper, and unjustifiable and see if they could.  Can you?


No way.  Neither can any of the rest of us.  Now, as long as I can justify it, I can do anything.  But once I see that I can no longer justify this act and I don’t feel it’s right or proper, then it’s impossible for me to perform it, is that right? 


Okay.  Try to share that with somebody once in a while.  Yes?

(Why is there no difference between justifying it and wanting to do it?)

Well, I guess you always wanted to do it, but you can’t always do everything unless you can first justify it, is that right?  Maybe you walk through a store, Theresa, and you see a beautiful seven-karat diamond solitaire layin’ there and you’d like to have it but you can’t justify stealin’ it, is that right?


So you wouldn’t get it, would you? 


Okay.  So the difference between wantin’ something and doin’ it because it’s justified has to mean that first you find some reason to do it – other than you just want it.  You know, we all want everything.  Somebody asked me what I want.  I said, “Everything – just not all at once.”  I want it all, but not all at once, is that right?  So the fact that you want somethin’ doesn’t mean you always try to get it, is that right?

(Well, yes.)

You keep on wishin’ for it; but some things you justify doing.  It’s usually to people.  Now, certain people can justify stealing – they go do it.  But you don’t justify that very often, is that right?  Now, doin’ a person in a little bit and makin’ a little extra profit in a car deal would be all right.  That’s justifiable, isn’t it?  (laughter)  Huh?  That I could do with the greatest of ease – make an extra “thou,” you know?  That’s all right – that’s pretty easy to do isn’t it, Mark?  Justify that?


Sure.  That’s bein’ smart, right?  But now, when it comes to just plain stealin’ a guy’s car, you couldn’t very well justify that, hmm?

(When you said whenever you justify it –)

It’ll break down anyway.  It’ll break down after while; but even...

(After I do the deal.)

Oh no, because you never even thought you had to justify that – that’s just the thing to do – that’s right and proper, is that right?  That’s right and proper to make the best possible deal you can and make it.  Is that right?  That not justifying, that’s right and proper, isn’t it?  Sure.
So, we’re only talkin’ about things that you have to justify by sayin’, “I know I shouldn’t do that…BUT!”  And then, “The way he treated me, why, I’m capable of doin’ it,” okay?  You know, we can justify it for reasons of getting even and things like that, is that correct?  Justify it by getting even.  Did you ever justify anything that way? 

(Every time.)

Every day – you get the way to get even with ‘em.  That’s right.  So...  Yes?

(This thing of really trying to really understand Agape so you can quit judging –)

You’d have no judgments, ‘cause all the judgments say the guy knew what – the person knew what was right and proper and did wrong anyway, is that right?

(Right.  Is that related to the thing of “pick up the burden of life” – if he doesn’t understand me?)

Right, pick up that burden of understanding.  We all have that burden a little bit if we would carry it around.  It would change the world.

(Yeah, I see.)

You don’t have to be a do-gooder.  You don’t have to go out and preach a sermon or anything else.  You just kind of demonstrate that here is a biggest error in the human race is that people know what’s right but they go on and do wrong anyway; therefore, I’m justified in getting revenge and etcetera.  If we could see that people are only doing what they feel is right, proper, and justifiable no matter how erroneous it is, we could work with that person rather than try to control them or kill them or imprison ‘em or whatever the case may be.  We could work with ‘em then and maybe under certain circumstances it’d be necessary to quarantine the person – but not because they’re bad but because they can justify things which are dangerous to everybody concerned, you know…that’d be all. 

So we can make something that is practical.  Here’s a conscious thing that can be done practical and go to all people – may take a hundred years but so what.  Maybe take a thousand years – been goin’ on for thousands and thousands the other way, so what’s the hurry?  But at least we could start on it, is that right?  And if nobody ever starts on it, I don’t think it’ll ever happen.  Would you, Leland?  If nobody starts on exposing anti-Agape for what it is, it’ll never happen.  And no matter how little we do about it, if we do expose it a little bit, we have done something that would be kind of worthwhile.  Is that all right, Dmitri?  I’ll give you permission to expose it, okay?  

All right any other questions, comments?  Yes, ma’am.  I’ll be there in a minute, sir.

(Well, as she was saying, when that’s further spread out, Agape is easier.)

Yeah, when you don’t know ‘em, so you can’t see that they know what’s right and goin’ on and doin’ wrong anyway.  You don’t know about all those little things.

(But I have a hard time with forgiveness –)

You don’t forgive ‘em.  You don’t need to.

(– with people who have been really close with me and I felt that I trusted and they hurt me.)


(That – I mean even though when I hear you saying those words, even if they felt justified – because I was so hurt in the process, I just can’t seem to do it.)

Well, you don’t need to. 

(Well, it seems like the whole basis.)

The whole basis is to see that they felt they were right, proper, and justifiable no matter what he did to you.  Now, the next thing out is – you say you trusted ‘em. 

Now, trust means that you have already come to the conclusion
that they’re going to do what they oughta be – ought to do.

You said you knew what ought to be in the first place, and that they’re gonna do that.  You are predicting that you know the future, is that right?


Or you wouldn’t trust anybody, right?  Nor distrust.  You wouldn’t have either one.  You see, the biggest part of the hurt is because you trusted.  And then to, what to you, your trust was betrayed – that’s the big hurt, isn’t it?  You know, you can get over having your face slapped or somethin’ like that but being betrayed with the trust…  Now, what grounds do we have for trustin’ anybody?  What grounds do you have? 


No, you just don’t have any except that you assume you know the future and they’re gonna do so and so and so and so.  And when they don’t, you crash and you saw your trust was an illusion, is that right?


And that’s what upset you – that you’ve been chasin’ an illusion.  And they told me that the struggle towards an illusion is the only disintegrating factor in man.  That’s right.  You’re strugglin’ towards an illusion.  You assume, number one, that you knew the future, hmm?  And this person therefore was gonna do thus and so because you assumed.  And sometime or other you found that they didn’t do that; and that you – therefore, you had demonstrated that you did not know the future, right?  And you were, therefore, strugglin’ after an illusion, you saw the illusion, you crumbled up over it and you got what you called “hurt.”  Hmm? 

So why do you trust people? 
I don’t know why any reason to trust anybody ‘cause I don’t know the future
and that’s the only thing you can go on.

Now, I will make certain assumptions.  I’ll assume that the person I sell something to, and they say they’ll pay in 30 days, that they will.  But that’s only an assumption on my part, isn’t it?  So we do have to use those assumptions but I wouldn’t call that trust.  Would you call it trust, John?

(First of all I’d assume they’re probably not going to pay it.)  (laughter)

First place it’d be at least 90, wouldn’t it?  And it could be like your friend over in the next city over there, you may never hear of him again.  Oh, by the way, I heard he’s beginnin’ to pay off people the other day. 

(Oh, good.)

Yeah!  [chuckling]  That don’t mean he’s gonna pay any more, but I’ve heard he was payin’ some of ‘em, okay? 

(That’s a start.)

That’s a start anyway, but there ain’t no reason to trust it, is it?


None whatsoever.  Okay?  Does that help you out a little bit?  That what?  You have no reason to trust and if you do, you’re struggling with an illusion and what hurts is seeing that you had an illusion instead of a fact.  That’s where the hurt comes from, believe it or not.

(I believe that.)

Check it out and see.  Check it out.  So you had a big illusion and it caved in and then you were devastated.  Is that a good Utah word – devastated?  You know that word?  Yeah?

(Well, Bob, on that, what we do is we have this game of husband and wife and children and we put a lot of trust and we expect that they will now… because I want to not get angry that he knew better–)

...and went on and did wrong anyway.  Right?

(That’s just plain – every Saturday and Sunday.)

Every week.  He should have known that.  He did know, he not “should” know, he did.

(I know that I can’t go do anything unless I can justify it.  I mean, we’re looking right at it.)

BUT...those other people cannot justify it and do it anyway.

(Well, I think he’s even smarter.)

Right.  Well, he is – he makes better justifications.  (laughter)

(I didn’t catch that.)  (I’ll learn.)

He makes better justifications.  The hard way, you learn.  Okay, one more.  From Paulette and then one for Leland. 

(About a year and a half ago you gave me a little exercise to do when I was working in the restaurant when customers would get very – not very nice.)


 (And you told me that if I could remember in the midst of that – I can love that person.)


(So it seems I remembered to do that when someone was doing what I thought they shouldn’t be and I didn’t like ‘em – if I could turn it around and love them at that moment, they were really transforming.)

Yeah, they started behaving altogether different. 

(They did.)

It may have been you or it may have been them but, anyway, you transformed the situation, is that right?  Okay.

(Was that sort of like balancing?)

Well, sure, you balanced it.  They were being unkind, you balanced ‘em into doing something real nice, or thinkin’ nice things.  And so everything was all balanced up and now they’re sweet folks, is that right?

(Yeah they did – every time.) 

Looks like that’d be fairly easy to remember, Paulette?  Don’t you like pleasant things instead of bitchy things?  And you know how to do it.

(It’s really neat when it happens.)

Is that hard to remember? 

(It just seems like I don’t always remember.  But when I do, I’m really glad.)

Well, how about just seein’ that you could do it anytime?  You can do that anytime, can’t you?  I know you can, okay?  Leland, did you have your hand up?

(I assume you’re using this Agape as unconditional love.)

Well, that would be one word of it.  It doesn’t have anything to do with these other words.  So it’s unconditional understanding.  I understand you without settin’ any conditions to do it with. 

(Okay now, this is the question.  What is compassion?  Where does it come from?  And what is its relation to understanding?)

Oh, compassion is based on understanding – I can see that people are doing things that’s decidedly not to their advantage or maybe to nobody else’s advantage.  They’re doin’ all sorts of things that is gonna be painful to them and painful to other people and I can have compassion.  And where does it come from?  Out of my head.  Where’s it goin’?  Stayin’ in there – probably won’t change anybody else, but it does change my inner state a little bit is to have compassion instead of hate or revenge, okay?  It’s an inside job.  (laughter)  Inside job.  Okay? 

(When you have some compassion for somebody, you see what they’re doing and it’s not to their advantage, it’s hurting them, and you see exactly what they’re doing and it’s making a lot of chaos in their life.  And they come to you and they ask you…well, first of all, if you pointed it out, they get all defensive –)

Well, I’m not gonna tell ‘em directly.  A little boy said one time, “Well, there’s no reason asking Bob anything ‘cause he’ll just beat around the mulberry bush until you find it out.” 

(How do I share it with them?  I can’t tell them –)

Well, I probably wouldn’t tell ‘em directly, especially not then

(I would just make a joke of it.)

That’s about the best thing to do with it.

(Okay, fine.)

Make a joke out of how terrible they’re treated, you know.  You say, “I can see you are a victim of the first water.  I don’t see how you’ve tolerated this human race all these years.”  And you carry on in that way and they probably would catch on. 

(They’d get upset ‘cause they’d feel I’m not being real with them.)

Well, that all right.  They can be upset.  They were upset when they came, weren’t they?  But you can always just, you know, exaggerate where they say they are if you want to.


Okay.  And if you feel you don’t want to work with ‘em...

(Then maybe they’ll see it.)

They might, two hours after they left you or somethin’, who knows?  It might take 20 years but they’ll – at least we started on it.  Not workin’ for success, but at least we started on it.  Okay, anybody else got a word?  Okay, we’ll call it a day.  I have enjoyed bein’ here.  I hope you haven’t been too bored.  So we will see you one fine day somewheres along the way.  If you’d like, why you can show up in Scottsdale.  I’m there every now and then, okay?  And there is tentative arrangements to open a place in San Diego, which will probably be open approximately one week out of the month.  So we’ll let you know in the newsletter if and when that occurs; but at least we have that tentative arrangement.

(What kind of a place?)

Aw, a joint of some kind.  (laughter)  Just a joint, honey.  What kind of a place do we have anywheres – a joint, huh?

(Whereabouts?)  (Where in San Diego?)

I haven’t rented the space yet, I – that’s what I’m gonna see about it in a few days; and then I said we will let you know about it.  It will be basically dealing with being “well” – physically, mentally and emotionally.  And it will be that you are… have a high degree of responsibility of gettin’ that way and what you don’t have we’ll help with, okay?  That all right?  That’s the general arrangement we are workin’ on at the moment.  Some of you are old enough to remember Harmony Workshop – Harmony Hobby Shop, is that right?

(Oh, yeah!  Harmony Hobby Shop!)

Well, that’s gonna be the name of the joint – Harmony Workshop, believe it or not.  It’s a new non-profit corporation, not the old one that was wanderin’ around – it died.  But there somebody decided to start another one, so it’s “junior” no doubt, okay?  And so it will be in operation one of these days down there and we’ll try to let everybody know about it when we can.  I have enjoyed it.  I hope you have.  Thank you so much.  [a participant hands him something]  Thank you so much.  And I will wear it in joy.


Half Moon Bay Part 1

Half Moon Bay Part 2

Half Moon Bay Part 3