Re Talk: 169
I want to reinforce and detail a bit more about how tempo and temperature affect the Channel of Consciousness. In the everyday world, and in the everyday person, an alteration in behavior requires that either the tempo or temperature of the Channel be increased. For example, let’s say a drunk has an auto accident one night in which his wife is killed and his child is injured, or an alcoholic is told by his doctor that his liver is damaged — in order for what appears to be an external occurrence in Life to alter a person’s behavior, either tempo or temperature must be increased. My concept of passion is directly connected to this. I’m not speaking of ordinary passion, but of creating a kind of Real Passion wherein you willfully increase both the tempo and temperature of what constitutes you, thereby altering not only your behavior, but your understanding, as well. When someone experiences a period of some extraordinary understanding, what has occurred is that both the tempo and temperature of the Channel have been increased.
Heat exchange is a process that occurs in all human interactions. When a salesman tries to sell something, when a man of the cloth speaks to his congregation, when a faith healer addresses his audience, in every interaction from the sublime to the sexual, heat is exchanged. Whenever someone apparently tries to gain something from another, heat is exchanged. Examples of this can be seen everywhere. Someone tells you, “I was standing in this auto showroom waiting for a friend, and a salesman came up to me and started talking. I didn’t need a new car, and I had no intention of buying a car, but the salesman was so good at what he does that two hours later I found myself walking out of the place with a car key and a signed sales agreement.” People regard it as a kind of magical occurrence — “I don’t know what happened, I didn’t see him do it, but he sold me.” But what happened was what happens in everything from car lots to churches: it was an increase in either the tempo or the temperature of the Channel.
But real magic, which is included in my concept of Real Passion, requires that you willfully increase both your tempo and your temperature. I can give you a formula for it. Real Passion equals tempo times temperature, or Real Passion equals intensity times heat. One is multiplied by the other. It is through this means that you can willfully change.
Everyone feels that he should change in some way. But the desire for a specific change is always preceded by an apparently external occurrence. For our alcoholic, that occurrence might be a terrible hangover or a period of hallucinating. Maybe he wakes up and can’t remember what happened since 7:00 last night, or maybe he’s spitting up blood. The occurrence that triggers the desire to change is always something that is apparently not-I. To even mechanically alter behavior, the Channel of Consciousness must be changed through an increase in either tempo or temperature. The real trick, the direction in which I’m pointing, is to increase your tempo and temperature willfully, i.e., to increase them without having had any preceding external event triggering the change. Such willful action could only be based upon an extraordinary understanding of what you’re doing.
Let’s continue with the example of drinking alcohol. If you were properly attracted here and involved long enough with a certain kind of effort, you would not be drinking alcohol daily. Not because I made a rule against it, or because you’re blacking out or spitting up blood, or because drinking is the work of the devil, or because it’s bad in a moralistic sense, or because medical reports claim that it injures your health. You would not drink because, to put it simply, drinking interferes with your effort to do This Thing. There is no preceding triggered event. In a sense, you are doing something that is not necessary. You are willfully acting, rather than merely reacting. But for ordinary people, attempts to change are not based on a greater understanding. A friend tells you that he’s decided to go on a diet and lose weight, but you soon find out that his “decision” came right on the heels of his last doctor’s appointment. It was a non-I occurrence that preceded his resolve to change. What I am describing instead is the willful act of increasing your tempo and temperature with no external provocation. It is the same alteration that occurs in those extraordinary moments of being able to See. It’s the same rush of excitement.
Now let me turn your attention to the idea that those in power continually raise to the populace, the specter of impending enemies. This is true not only in the external world of politics, but also internally within man. His Line level awareness produces an endless line of enemies and threats. And as long as that stream remains constant, the Channel of Consciousness remains stagnant. The Channel of Consciousness has the ability to expand and contract (or to put it another way, Line-level consciousness has the ability to move up and down) but as long as your automatic awareness of your internal enemies runs unchecked, as long as you give full hearing to those voices, consciousness cannot expand, and you will not change. As long as your life’s energy is involved in fighting and worrying about imaginary foes, you cannot heat yourself up; you can’t increase the tempo of the channel, you can’t produce the molecular agitation necessary for Real change. This is difficult to talk about directly, because it sounds as though I’m agreeing with certain schools of psychology that contemporary humanity is already involved with. I’m referring to the segment of modern day psychology that proposes the idea that, “I’m okay, you’re okay.” They propose that, “You’re not as bad off as you think. We’re all victims of the same traumas and bruises that contemporary life inflicts on everyone. The fact that you’re scared of brown paper bags does not mean that you’re less of a person, because I understand that you also play the harmonica, raise flowers, and treat your mother decently. You may be scared of paper bags, but I’m uneasy being around wax paper, so you see, we’re in the same boat.
Your phobia about paper bags is just right. But if you don’t think it’s right and you want to change it, that’s just right, too. If you decide it’s not weird and you can learn to live with it, that’s just right. And if I’m sophisticated and hip enough to understand that your problem is just a small idiosyncrasy, then that’s just right. So you should understand that what you’re doing is just right, and what I’m doing is just right, so now let’s go and have some quiche.” In a sense, that attitude is true and correct; yet not true and correct. If it were true and correct for everyone, we would not be here. You should be able to see that everyone’s apparent self (“I”) is continually raising the specter of fear. It’s always pointing with suspicion at a non-ending stream of potential enemies and immediate threats. You think, “I’m no good. You don’t know what really goes on in my mind and in my little heart. Surely I can be better, if not in a religious sense, then in a psychological sense.” Consciousness expends energy over fear and in imaginary preparation to defend itself. It’s in a constant state of worry. It’s as though there’s a dictator in power.