You can use other people's experiences as if those experiences were your own
by Jose Silva
(The first public class that Jose Silva taught was to a group of artists.
When he returned to the city and met with them again after they had
completed the course, they wanted to know what other ways they could use
their intuition besides the "case studies" they did at the end of the class.
This is the story of that session.)
They asked, "What else can we do?"
I said, "You can do anything."
"For instance," I said, "you, come here, Mary."
Mary came forward.
I said, "Go to your level, I want to talk to when you are at your level."
"Okay, I'm there now.
"You are what, a sculptor or a painter?
"I am a painter."
"Oh, you are a painter?"
She wanted to be a painter. She was not there yet, but was studying. I
selected the wrong person. I should have selected a painter, who was already
a painter, not one just in training.
Anyway, I said, "You should use your imagination on this. Who do you like to
"Oh, like Van Gough."
"Well great. This is very good. A lot of people like Van Gough's paintings.
Have you read Van Gough's history?"
Oh, she knows it back and forth. Her idol is Van Gough. She wants to
ultimately paint like Van Gough.
"Well, all right, let's create a Van Gough right by your side. How about
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, like drawing one, like sculpturing one. Work on his head, his
shoulders...create one. A spiritual Van Gough. Let him be beside you."
She went ahead and did this.
"Have you created, painted or sculpted a Van Gough yet?"
"Yes, he is right here right now."
"All right. Now whenever you are painting, and you meet a problem in
painting, bring your three fingers together, on one hand or the other, and
then imagine Van Gough, ask him what to do. Whatever comes to your mind, is
his answer. Follow it up, and continue. Whatever comes your mind is his,
transmitting his ideas into your mind, as to what to do. So you'll be
thinking as though you thought it up yourself. But you thought it up with
the information he gave you. And you follow through, and continue."
So she came out of level, went and got her easel, tripod or whatever, her
oils, everybody gathered around - the whole class -and she started to paint.
First she used a pencil and drew - she wanted to draw a vase with flowers,
on a table with a table cloth. She started sketching, then using paints. In
no time at all she had a beautiful vase, flowers, and everybody was going,
"Wow, look at this, what she's doing. And so fast!" Everybody was amazed.
At this time, professor Dord Fitz came in. "What's all this commotion
They told him what was happening.
"Okay," he said, "let's gather around and analyze the painting and see if it
appears like Van Gough's work."
He liked this kind of work.
He said, "Notice these spots here. Van Gough used to have the habit of
leaving some of the canvas exposed, not covered with paint. Even that's
I didn't know anything about this.
The mistake I made, I selected a person who had only had two classes in art.
I thought she was one of the advanced students. I made a mistake. Now that's
what really turned them on:
"She's doing this! Mary's doing this." She was not supposed to do that with
only two lessons in art.
Now everybody wanted me to train them with their Da Vinchi's, their
Rembrant's, and on and on. I got myself a lot of work there because of that.
I had to work with each one individually to get them what they wanted, Da
Vinchi's, Rembrants, and whatever.
Five years later I got them to have an area convention to see how they were
doing with the work, were they really using it.
We had about 600 graduates come out. They would get on stage and tell us
what they were doing.
They said, "Well, we don't practice, we don't have meetings and practice,
but whenever one of the family members gets injured or sick, everybody helps
them at levels."
A woman got up there, a school teacher, and said, "What do you think of the
"Well, it is a method of mental training that helps an individual become a
better problem solving agent on the planet; a healthier better problem
solving agent on the planet."
An elderly gentleman got up there and said, "What this course means to me is
that if I go to church to pray for rain, I take my umbrella with me."
Everybody liked that.
Then this young lady got up there and said, "I think I've got the best
message for all of you. I have an invoice here," she was one of the painters
in the group, "I sold a painting in Dallas for $26,000."
Learning from masters how to be yourself
At one time, they said, "We don't want to do this any more."
I said, "What do you mean?"
"We don't want to be imitations of anybody. We want to be originals. Our own
selves. We don't want to be imitators of anybody."
I said, "What's wrong with starting off like a Da Vinci, like a Rembrant,
and go from there? We're not telling you to be a duplicate of them. Use them
to move on from there."
They got stuck. They didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to improve
over the great artists of the past. We want to go beyond that.
So we said, "Why don't you go from where they left off, and continue on, not
to be just duplicates of these people."
They finally said, "Okay, we understand what you mean."
That's what this man Jesus said when he came by. He said, "He who believes
in me and the works that I do, he also shall do." But he didn't stop there.
"Greater than this you shall do." He was just getting started in this field.
You should do better than I did.
Same thing here. This works for all these painters also. Better than they
have ever done, we should do. They understood then. They continued working
in these areas.
(Transcribed from a lecture presented by Jose Silva in 1995)