WESTERN CREED EXERCISE
The Western Creed exercise takes about 15 minutes to do. Ideally you should take part in it just like the filmed participants, students in one of Professor Tart’s classes at ITP, did, standing at attention in front of your computer where you can see and hear the video and repeat the Western Creed exercise words aloud, as per the instructions Professor Tart gives, and then sit quietly for a few minutes afterwards, noting your bodily and emotional sensations and feelings. You might find it best to do this alone, or with friends who are also participating, rather than just watching. If this is not a good time right now, it would be best to wait for the right time. The Western Creed exercise is most effective the first time you can do it whole-heartedly, and may dull with repetition. Most people do not “enjoy” this exercise, for they see some of the contradictions in themselves, but almost all agree they feel wiser about themselves and so better able to continue their spiritual search.
You will hear the word “scientistic” in the video. This is not an erroneous form of “scientific”, but rather a shorthand way of reminding us that beliefs in science can become psychologically rigidified, isms, instead of open to experimental test, as in essential science. There is much to be said for being open and flexible about examining our own beliefs, testing them, rather than letting them rigidify. Your main task will be to observe your bodily and emotional reactions to doing the exercise. You needn’t’ bother to intellectually analyze while it’s going on, you can do that later, after you’ve made your observations of your feelings.
NOTE: Once you have completed the exercise, please take a moment to gather your thoughts and feelings before moving on to video that shows the participants reflecting on their own experience from the exercise. Click to the right when you’ve inventoried your body sensations and feelings and are ready to hear what your classmates experienced.