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     Chapter Thirteen    //  Miss Perception Ain't What She Appears to Be      yd22      yd22            gr         gr      //  29 Apr 3013 

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Book One

The Dream Catcher's Dream

Chapter Thirteen

Miss Perception Ain't What She Appears to Be





To Read   or   Not To Read

As with Chapter Five, The Of-Course Foundation, the information in the following five chapters is included because it offers you some very useful insights regarding the relationship between who you believe you are and how you function in the world.   It was written for those who intend to delve deeply into mastering the CLI Circle principles; however, its not essential reading for those eager to get to the heart of the tale about CLI Connection sharing.

Thus, you are again, face the choice between reading on or skipping to chapter nineteen.   So go ahead, please; make still another seemingly simple, seemingly inconsequential choice.  

Choice one:  Skip to Chapter Twenty one.   
Choice Two:  Continue reading on this page. 



Something's Funny at the Funny Farm


The time is 10:37 when Jazbell and I arrive at the retreat facility.   We park in the visitor’s parking lot and walk together toward the main administration building.   The building appears to be relatively new; or if not new, it is very well cared for.   It’s three stories tall with an attractively designed, green and gold sign over the door that says,   “Saint Eucharist Transformation Center.” 

A broad, slightly S-shaped, concrete walkway runs from the paved parking area to the front of the building.   Brightly colored flowers line either side of the walkway, and a green and gold welcome mat lies in front of the open doorway.   The mat must have been custom-made because it exactly matches the width of the doorway that is unusually wide and directly beneath the sign.   A pair of fully opened glass doors are hinged, one to either side of the doorway.

We enter the building and see the reception desk directly in front of us, about 20 feet across a sparkling-clean, well-decorated and well-furnished lobby.   The sound of soft music fills the room.   As we approach across a runner of carpet, the receptionist has her back to us.   She’s holding an envelope and a letter opener and is reading what appears to be a letter.   Upon reaching the desk, we stop.   She apparently does not hear us enter and thus, does not know we are standing there.

I wait a moment and then say, “Excuse me.”

She turns.   Her eyes show a slight bit of surprise.   She quickly regains her composure and speaks.   “Yes, how may I help you?”

We are here to see General Custer.”

The receptionist, a jolly-looking, middle-aged woman, smiles, sets down both the letter and the opener and turns to us.

I continue, “I think his real name is Herbert Bernstein.”

Yes, both Herbert Bernstein and General Custer are quite well-known around here.”

She smiles and says, “You’ll need to go across the yard to the patient’s Day Center.   Do you have an appointment?”

No.   Do we need an appointment?    This is visiting hours, isn’t it?”

Again she smiles and, this time, gives me a look that I can’t quite decipher.   “It certainly is visiting hours.”

Placing accent on the words,   ‘General Custer’ she says, “Let me call for you and see if ‘General Custer’ is in.”

Is in?” I say questioningly.   “Does he leave?”

She responds,   “He has been known to do that.”

Her emphasis on ‘General Custer’ and the way she says the word ‘has’ gives me the distinct impression that all is not what I think it is.

She picks up the phone, dials a number, and after a brief pause, says, “Jennifer, this is Alice.   There is gentleman here . . .”    She pauses and looks at me.

What are your names?”

Stoney, Stoney Tonto and Jazbell Scrivener.”   I hand her my business card.

Alice looks at the card and then again turns her attention to the phone.   “There is a gentleman here named Stoney Tonto, and a young lady, Miss Jazbell Scrivener, to see General Custer.”

The way she says ‘General Custer’ convinces me that she knows something that I don’t.   I turn on my investigator modus operandi and with both eyes and ears wide open, I listen very carefully.

As she holds the phone waiting, Alice again looks at my card and then up at me.   “You’re from The Life Changer Magazine.   General Custer doesn’t usually grant interviews to reporters.   Is he expecting you?”

Before I can answer, the person on the other end of the line pulls her attention away from me.   She shifts her gaze out the window to the building across the yard and after a brief pause, nods her head and says,   “OK, I’ll send them over.   Thanks, Jennifer.”

She hangs up the phone, points out the window to her right and says, “Do you see that door at the far left of the building over there?   Go in that door.   Go straight down the hall to the elevator and take the elevator to the 7th floor.   As you get off the elevator, turn left; and you’ll come to another reception area.   Jennifer will take you from there.”

We do as instructed, and Jennifer is there waiting for us.   Jennifer is young and quite attractive.   Speaking in a very friendly manner, she says, “Please be seated.   I’ll tell General Custer that you are here.”   She picks up the phone, pushes a button and waits. 

Sir, Mr. Tonto and Miss Scrivener are here to see you.”

After a brief pause, she says, “Yes, sir,” then hangs up the phone, gets up, and indicates for us to follow her.   “If you will come this way, please.”

I start to stand up and am halfway up when she says, “Dr. Bernstein will see you now.”

When the words “Dr. Bernstein” hit me, I stop in mid-motion as the shock of my naiveté hits me.   I look at Jazbell and we both laugh.



The New General Custer


We're guided along a corridor that is at right angles to the one that brought us from the elevator.   At the end of this walkway, we are ushered into a rather large office with the name, Herbert Bernstein, Ph.D. written on the door.

As the door opens, I see our host immediately rise and come forward to greet us.   With a broad smile on his face, he greets us as if we were welcomed family members who had just returned from an extended journey.

He’s wearing the same style clothing he’d been wearing the day of my flat tire — loose-fitting pants with a waistband, string tie, and a casual, short-sleeved, knit shirt.   Today, his hair is pulled back and looks much more gold in color than the white that I remember from our last encounter.   Without the western-style sun hat, he also looks much younger.   I guess that he’s in his early fifties.

Welcome, Stoney.   It’s nice to see you again under more pleasant circumstances.”   He takes my hand in both of his, looks intently into my eyes and gives me a warm welcome, then turns his attention to Jazbell.

And this must be the charming lady you spoke of.”

Yes, Dr. Bernstein, this is Jazbell Scrivener.   Jazbell, this is Dr. Bernstein.”

He takes Jazbell’s right hand in both of his.   Jazbell, following his cues, immediately adds her left hand to the greeting.   She also returns his eye contact with equal intensity.   “Miss Scrivener, it’s a pleasure to meet you."

She responds with a broad smile and simply says, “Thank you. ”   In silence, they maintain hand and eye contact for what in most social circles would be considered too long.   He breaks the silence with, “May I call you Jazbell?”

Why, certainly, Dr. Bernstein.”

And please call me Herbert.”

Jazbell’s natural charm is immediately apparent, and I can see that there’s an instant rapport between them.

Please come in and be seated.”   He directs us to left side of his office, which is decorated more like the living room in a comfortable, casual, middle-class home.   He motions us to the couch, and he sits nearby in a well-used, wingback chair.

As we sit, my eyes take in the rest of his office.   Conspicuous by its absence is the large desk that most male executives place between themselves and those who enter their offices.   This office, by contrast, is very open, and there is no furniture to hide behind, nor is there any part of the room that radiates the traditional dominant male aura of “This is my space, keep out!”   The floor is covered with a very plush, blue and green carpet.   The central area of this office is completely open.   Several stackable chairs are in the corner behind the entrance door.

On the opposite side of the room from where we sit, a table-like counter runs the full length of the wall.   Three low, two-drawer file cabinets are set at the left, center and right under the counter.   A series of double shelves line the full length of the wall just above the countertop, and above the shelves the walls are covered with numerous pictures.   The floor under the counter and for about five feet in front of the counter is covered with what appears to be commercial-grade, composition tile.   The high-back, wheeled, desk chair that our host was sitting in when we arrived now rests idly in the corner nearest the window.   The windows are wide and high and afford a grand view of the institute’s grounds and the mountains beyond.

Dr. Bernstein’s words bring my focus back to our conversation.   “Stoney, you look a bit surprised.”

I must admit; this is not what I expected to find upon my visit to see General Custer.”

You expected to find just another inmate in the loony bin?”

Well, sort of, but certainly not just another nut.   Your uniqueness and insight at our last encounter sparked my curiosity.   Quite frankly, I came here to find out what a man with your demeanor and style was doing in a place like this.”

I hope you’re not disappointed with what you’ve found in place of your expectations.”

On the contrary, I’m quite delighted.   And, I do hope we’re not intruding.”

Oh, certainly not.   My office is always open to those who choose to come here to see me.   Most come by appointment; however, as you may recall, I invited you to come any time, so welcome.”

Thank you.   I do feel welcomed.”

Stoney, I sense that you came here for two reasons, first to be of service to a loony-bin resident, and second, to acquire the basic information for a story for your magazine.   Is that correct?”

Yes, you’re correct, but obviously you don’t need any help from me, and regarding a story, I have lost my focus for that at the moment.”

Herbert responds with, “I have no need for your help; however, if you would be willing to use a different word, such as “In the service of co-creating,” I am sure we can be of mutual benefit.”

He turns his focus to Jazbell.   “And, Miss Jazbell, Stoney said he wanted you to meet me.   But, of course, when he made that statement, he thought I was an inmate in an insane asylum.   So let me clear off the table his original reason for bringing you here.   First, I am probably not crazy, and second, I do belong here.   So with that out of the way, let’s get to know each other.   You get to ask the first question.”

OK,” Jazbell responds, “What is your capacity here?”

I am a one-third owner and the co-director of neuro-psychology for the institution.   My specialty is dealing directly with the patients.   Thus, I leave most of the directing to my co-directors.   And so, Miss Jazbell, what do you do that might bring you to a place like this to assist an inmate?”

I do whatever my heart leads me to do.   I came here with no special purpose, other than to be with Stoney and to meet you.”

But I’m not what you expected.”

What I expected is completely irrelevant.   Actually, what I found is another blessing which shows me, once again, that I have no need to let my head control my life.   A door has opened for me today that was previously closed.   In that opening and in your presence, I feel a lot of joy, and so I’m going to let that joy lead me where it will.”

You are certainly a remarkable lady.   Thank you, Stoney, for bringing her here.”

It is indeed my pleasure to do so.”

And, Stoney, you have a question for me?” 

I smile and jokingly say, “How did you know I might have a question or two?   The day of the flat tire, why didn’t you tell me who you were?”

Four reasons come immediately to mind.   First, I usually let my actions speak for who I am.   Second, I was having too much fun playing loony-bin inmate; third, if I had told you who I was, you probably wouldn’t have come here; and fourth, if you had come here, knowing my position, your experience today would have been completely different from what it has been so far.”

I say, “Less the cowboy hat, you’re dressed today much the same as the day we met.   That doesn’t seem to fit your title as a Ph.D., your position here at the Center, or your relationship to the patients?”

From my perspective, Stoney, my mode of dress fits all three quite well.   I normally wear my clothes the same way I wear my titles, loose and casual; however, when I go out into the world, I dress appropriately for whatever occasion I intend to experience.   For example, if I were going to a formal convention of my peers, I’d probably wear a suit, at least for part of the time.

Here at the Center, my casual mode of dress is one of the secrets of my success. 
I go to my patients.   I don’t expect them to come to me.   I also match them in dress, style, behavior, speech, body language or what ever else seems right in the moment.

Some years ago, my long blond hair and my western style sun hat inspired one of my patients to call me General Custer.   Soon, other patients were calling me by that name.   They loved the name, and they seemed to relate to General Custer in a way that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, relate to Dr. Bernstein.   So I adopted the name and soon thereafter shed the formal attire.   I find my mode of dress and my hair style help put me on par with those I counsel.

With regard to being referred to as Dr. Bernstein, I don’t give a damn about titles and as for my position here, I own the place, at least part of it, and so there’s nobody here who has any say about how I dress or act except me.   Does that sufficiently answer your question?”


Good!   Now it’s my turn to ask a question of you, Stoney.”

Ask away,” I say.



An Invitation to Play


Do you like baseball?”


Have you ever seen a baseball game where the final score was in numbers as high as 30 to 40?” 


Well, the way we play baseball here the scores sometimes reach as high as fifty runs for the winning team.”

Fifty runs in one game?”


Unheard of.”

Unheard of is precisely why I am inviting you to join us in a Saint Eucharist baseball game.   I’m hoping you’ll find it interesting enough to write a story about it.”

Why do you want a story about it?”

If you look at the various sports symbolically, you’ll find, for example, that football is symbolic war and baseball is symbolic life.   I’m not at all interested in war, but I’m very much interested in life, so, via the symbology of baseball, I have devised another way to play life.”

And you’d like the world to know about it?”

That’s correct, and besides, it’s just a great way to play baseball!”

I ask, “You said join us in a baseball game.   Do you play?   Are you inviting me to play?   And what about Jazbell, is she invited to play?”

Yes!   Yes!   and...  Yes!”

I accept the invitation to play and table the decision about a story until I have more information.   Jazbell, what about you?”

Count me in, please!”

When’s the next game?”

Every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. here on our ball field.”

That’s tomorrow!”

And each Sunday thereafter.”

So how does it work?” I ask.

Show up and find out,” he says.

Now you’re sounding like Jazbell.”

I take that as a great compliment.   Thank you.   And do you have another question for me?”

Of course I do.”

Then, please ask,” he says.

What’s the major factor to which you contribute your success?”

Relative to most others, I’m more aware of how to consciously and intentionally the three basic laws that govern Earth-plane reality.”

What laws are you talking about?” I ask.

The Law of Allowing,  The Law of Thought,  and  The Law of Intentional Creating.”

I don’t mean to impose on you, but would you be willing to provide a brief overview of those laws?”

I’d be glad to; however, before I do, I need to set the context of the discussion and ask your permission to relate to you in a different capacity.”

What do you mean by a different capacity?”

Last week you related to me as a loony bin inmate.   Today, so far, you’ve been relating to me on a personal level.   If I explain the universal laws to you, I’ll require your permission to relate to you in my capacity as a trained counselor and as a professional life teacher.   I’ll speak to you in language that I wouldn’t ordinarily use in a general conversation.   I’ll ask personal questions, and I’ll call you on your dysfunctional stories.”

Why are you willing to do this?   You just met us ten minutes ago and we’re not paying clients.   Are you expecting to get paid for your services?”

Herbert laughs and responds, “Heavens no!   First, I already have all the money I could ever spend; and second, I get great joy out of playing the role I play as coach, counselor, consultant, and healer.   Sharing my expertise is one of my greatest joys in life.   I don’t get a lot of people of your capacity here at the Center, so I’d be delighted to share my expertise with you.”  

"And one other thing, not only am I doing what I love doing, I make myself a winner by assisting others to also be winners.   In this context, my best interest is your best interest.

Then that’s fine" I say.   "Permission is granted.   Jazbell, how about you?”  

Jazbell responds with a twinkle in her eye and a fine touch, but only a fine touch, of the style that a military recruit would respond to his training instructor.   Of course.   Count me in, Dr. Bernstein, Coach. . .    Sir!” 

Herbert catches her humor.   Jazz, Do you have an older sister you could introduce me to? 

Jazz, not to let an opportunity slide by says, "No, but I'm always open to acquiring new friends."   She snaps her fingers three times and winks at me.   

This subtle bantering reminds me of my college days, but that's another story for another day.  Back to the story.

Herbert gives no indication regarding his internal response to Jazz.   "Now for the context, he says.    I’m not peddling or selling any particular beliefs or ways of being or doing.   What you do with what I share with you today is completely up to you.   As consenting adults, it’s also your own responsibility.”

Don’t believe a word of what I say, and, on the other side of the fence, don’t disbelieve anything I say simply because it does not substantiate your own opinions, your fixed impressions, or your beliefs about reality.   Remember, reality is whatever reality is regardless of what you or I or anybody else believes it to be.   Simply hear my words as an expression of another possibility — as an expression of another untested hypothesis -- and as your truth with more truth added to it.”

That sounds reasonable to me.”

End of Chapter thirteen --  Miss Perception Isn't What She Appears to Be





Take me to Book One -- Chapter Fourteen  

The Universal Law of Allowing



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