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Document: 2, December 24, 1981
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1981
I’m going to give you the beginnings of a new description, based on the scientific concept of entropy. In the scientific community today, entropy is accepted as an absolute physical certainty. It is a measure of the amount of organization in a closed system such as the physical universe is considered to be. Specifically, entropy is a measure of the amount of disorder in the system, of the degree to which everything is running down, or losing energy. It is an accepted fact among physicists, and I’m just giving you a crude retelling to use on the basis that science now accepts it. In a closed system, there is no new energy coming into the system, and entropy is a measure of how far the energy within the system has run down.
I want you to Neuralize this in a specific way having to do with each person. At the ordinary level, the only observable, natural influx of new energy occurs when a person is born. And this energy only runs so far. On the diagram, the energy runs from the little circle at the base of the spine, and up through the nervous system to the Line-Level drawn through the larger circle at the top. It is energy continually flowing to this point that produces an ordinary Fred or Mary. This is each man’s moment-by-moment, pulse-by-pulse consciousness. But I want you to Neuralize this arrangement within the larger perspective of a man’s life span.
In a very real sense, you die once you become an adult — once you give up the “struggle.” After that, what is felt as energy is in truth no more than friction energy, which is not really energy at all. It is things which have already been put into motion hitting one another, and running down. It is people’s personalities bumping into one another. It is the same tension which holds everything together and gives the sensation of movement. That is what I have described by saying that everyone begins to die as soon as they are born.
Every nervous system is born with the full quota of energy necessary to develop that system to maturity. It is the apportioning of this energy — the continual induction of new energy — that sees a person through childhood and the teen years; it is the proper amount, degree and mixture of energy necessary for his physical growth and development. And once that system — that person — has reached maturity, he has, in a very real sense, used up his full quota of his life’s energy. From that point onward, his life is a process of running down, of disintegrating. By the time a man reaches adulthood, he is at the Line-Level, and there is no ordinarily available energy to develop any further. That is the definition of adulthood. After that, all a man feels to be energy is just friction — it is people bouncing off one another.
A man can continue to gather knowledge; he can go to school until he is 30 or 40 or 50 years old. But you should realize by now that without some sort of supernatural effort — an effort never possible at Line-Level — all he is doing is just putting in more information. No amount of ordinary education will ignite the higher areas of the nervous system. Ordinarily, once a person is developed to Line-Level, he is dead; he is incapable of further growth, and no amount of additional information can change his condition.
Once you begin to See this, you also have the basis for seeing much of what you already know in a completely new light. This is just an aside, but it is something that you should take a look at. It is one of the reasons that in every society there always seems to be one group of people destined to be on the bottom. And it’s not just a matter of economics or politics. It’s a matter of where the physical, biological energy of Life develops a man to. Once you See it, you see that the predominantly gut-oriented, physical people are forever doomed to be at the bottom of everything on the Horizontal level. You should recognize what I’m talking about: it’s the laborers and ditch diggers of the world, though physical types are by no means confined to such occupations. When you begin to See, you See that such people are everywhere. They constitute a majority of the population. They are, in a sense, the backbone of Life. But you should recognize that such people are, in every society, everywhere in the world, considered to be at the bottom of the economic and social scale.
But again, the basis of this is not sociologic, or economic — it’s never what people call it — it’s the point to which each individual man is developed. This was as true 5,000 years ago as it is today. And it will continue to be true, though on a mechanically higher level — tomorrow. It is simply the way things move. The only way things appear to move on this level is by a continual mechanical expansion of the nervous system, but only to Line-Level. And then it stops.
We are all using parts of the nervous system right now — parts of the literal, physical brain — that were essentially dormant 200 years ago. But you should have some idea by now of how everything is connected; it is a mechanical progression and expansion, and you are no better off from the standpoint of This Thing than were your great-grandparents. It has all been done for you; it is contained in the energy you received when you were born. Your concern now is to learn to surpass the current Line-Level of consciousness.
Surely all of you are familiar with the accepted scientific fact that men only use some small percentage of the brain. But the only thing that ordinary men can make of this is that we should all somehow “do better.” This is reflected in the continual cries for more and better education — we should learn more languages, go back to school and read more books and learn to make use of this great potential, this 80 or 90% of the brain that’s unused. But what I’m suggesting to you is that the process of activating the higher areas of the nervous system is not limited to some invisible “spiritual realm.” It is an absolute physical reality. But if a man’s Aim is not to push the development of the nervous system itself, then he is irreversibly locked into the law of entropy. He has stopped growing, and so he will have no more energy for growth.
There have always been reflections of this idea on the ordinary level, and you’ve heard, or read, various descriptions which come close — stories pointing out how things go in a certain direction for a while, and then begin to run downhill; that everything sooner or later leads to disaster unless it is continually engaged in a process of straightening up, of re-aligning itself. I’m telling you the specific, physical reality of this to be seen in your own system. It is there to be seen every time you seem to glimpse something extraordinary, every time you See something new, every time you are — through your own efforts — freed from being “you.” And it produces a momentary wave of energy. I say momentary — it can last six seconds or six hours. The point is that you will inevitably, it seems, snap right back to being your ordinary self, and there you remain for a week, a month, six months. You can call this laziness; you can call it indulgence, or personal problems. You call it all sorts of things, but I’m telling you what it is. It is the physical reality that there is no new energy available in this closed system. The energy is there only to bring you up to Line-Level, to develop the nervous system to the minimal degree appropriate and necessary to your type. And once that level is reached, there is nothing available with which to see or be anything more. There is simply no energy available to push the nervous system any further.
At the ordinary level, people seem to be engaged in a continual struggle: in attempts to change, to better themselves, to broaden their horizons. But you simply have to see that this is an illusion; that no change happens and there is no movement. There is no new energy available by which an ordinary man can move.
You have only to See it. All you have to do is know enough about yourself to see that there is nothing available outside your ordinary role that will make you move. It is merely friction with outside pressure telling you, “I need to lose weight because people are calling me fat. I need to improve my station in Life, to go back to school and improve my education.” But it is always some mechanical friction with other people’s roles that even gives the illusion of change. It is the pressure of Life itself.
The only thing resembling any sort of new energy comes from the efforts you make in This; and it is available only to one with the Aim to continually push the level of their own nervous system beyond its present limits. That is the only thing that comes close to being new energy, and then you have to steal it.
Everyone has the same kind of questions when they begin attempting to become what I have described as being a kind of continual objective observer of oneself. The first sensation people have is that, “This is interfering with me; I feel tired; it seems to fatigue me.” There is the specific feeling in everybody in the beginning that, “I am expending energy.” The feeling itself should have given some of you a clue or two as to what is really going on.
The energy that seems to come from your efforts in This, the energy that seems to be new, is in fact stolen from somewhere else. This is the beginning of the process by which you have more energy for growth than was your mechanical allotment. You are simply no longer locked into your mechanical, Line-Level role and its mechanical expenditure of friction energy. But even this process does not take you outside of the laws of the universe: everything, including a group dedicated to the pursuit of This Thing — including your own efforts here — tends to run down.
My descriptions thus far have been concerned with the energy that is an individual person’s life span, the portioning of energy that limits one’s development. But now Neuralize it in terms of the life of any group that is part of This Effort. Energy must be produced and introduced into such a group — continually and constantly — if it is not to run down and fall to the common level.
What you will see, and must see, is that all the time you are attempting to teach yourself to learn — while you’re initially attempting the methods and tricks, while you’re learning how to extend your own system — you are not producing energy. All the energy comes from me. You are stealing energy which ordinarily keeps you as you have always been; stealing it to use to learn about yourself. But at this stage of the game, you are producing nothing new. I have to produce it — it’s got to come from somewhere, and right now it comes from me. And this is a most proper arrangement, because in a sense it leaves you free to use your newly stolen energy as it must be used: to learn how to produce new energy. But there is a limit to how long this can go on. Right now this is all that is required, because it is all that is possible. But eventually, you must start producing the new energy you need for continued growth.
In a sense, the effort required is like putting up a new scaffolding. The Line on my diagram — the level of ordinary Life-produced consciousness — is literally like a mechanical ceiling. An ordinary man cannot move through it; he has no energy to call on for such a feat. A man can apparently have new experiences: change jobs, go back to school, change hairstyles or go on long trips. But all the information he encounters is mechanically digested in the same old ordinary fashion, and it all serves merely to further cement his position on the Line. All the energy ordinarily available is limited to that level; it cannot go any higher. The attempt to ignite the higher areas of the nervous system — to extend your system — is to start pushing at that Line, to start poking out holes in this mechanical ceiling. Above the existing ceiling — that is where your potential lies. There is the site, the physical locale, of the reality behind all your dreams of enlightened, supra-natural states. But when you first get up there, it is barren territory; there is nothing there — no furniture, no pieces of clothing, no pots and pans — because no one has ever lived there. There is nothing even recognizable up there — in the beginning.
It is a common, ordinary belief that if one could but reach such a place, he would immediately be in such a strange and wondrous state that everything he had ever imagined would be instantly available. “I would be all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful.” But if it were actually possible to take someone, and with no preparation force him above the Line, it would do him no good. He would have been stripped of everything he knows, and left with nothing in its place. He would be lost. He would not, to put it mildly, be “all-knowing,” and he would certainly not be powerful. He would, to be sure, have been relieved of all that he now conceives to be his burdens, his problems, his warts and foibles. But in the process, he, himself, would have been erased. Everything he thought he knew — everything recognizable — would be gone, and with nothing in return. Stripping a man of what he considers to be his problems and faults does not automatically activate a higher consciousness.
In all ordinary religions, there is some notion of a “conversion”; a rebirth, a new life. But you should See that all such notions in ordinary life always come with a built-in suggestion: that if a man could be relieved of some of this illusion, he would automatically be in touch with the gods; that he will undergo some great change. You are told in advance what you will feel: “You will feel changed, refreshed. Your burdens will be lifted; your sins washed away.” You are told the what, the why, and the who: “The gods will talk to you and listen to you, and comfort you…” And justice always prevails — those who feel it are converted, and those who don’t are not. Some go off to a new church, but those who stay have bought the suggestion that this is what will do it. And once they’ve bought the story, then whatever happens after that will be experienced in terms of the suggestions that were made in the beginning. Those who were told of heavenly voices will hear voices; those who were told of angels will see angels; those who have been promised Nirvana — or Satori, or Nothingness — will, quite predictably, experience that which has been predicted. It is all suggestion, and it never gets above the mechanical ceiling of Line-Level consciousness.
In This Thing, there is no suggestion of what will happen once you push your head above the ceiling. There is only preparation — preparation for being able to stand on your own and explore the new territory for yourself once you get there. For someone who begins to push above that level, to begin to get into a new area, it is like putting up a scaffolding piece by piece. It is like climbing up a great spider web into areas of the brain that have not been used. You go up and you fall down. And you dust yourself off, and go up again, and you look around and you think you See something, and you drop again. And you get back up and climb up a different way, and suddenly you see something else, and you reach out and grab it and you feel it tug, and suddenly you realize it’s connected to something way far off that you never saw before. That is the moment of the great internal “AHA!” And you are beginning to teach yourself. But you are in an area for which there is no common basis, for which there are no ordinary descriptions. And there can be no predictions of what you will See when you get there.
Religious and mystical writings are filled with descriptions of people who had one-time — what I call “accidental” — experiences above the Line. This can happen through drugs or through some great shock, but the point is that it is accidental; it is not based on proper preparation and Understanding. The people themselves don’t know what happened, and they don’t know how to get back there, because they don’t know how they got there in the first place. But however it happens, it is almost as though it pushes a man’s head through the ceiling, and people come back with these wondrous tales. Except that the tales are either absolutely incomprehensible — “I don’t know; I just saw things that were absolutely astounding!” — or else they attempt to explain the experience and convey it to others on the basis of their prior suggestion — “The gods took me to heaven.” In either case he did not know what happened; he did not benefit from it.
If a man gets above Line-Level and he has nothing to grab hold of, then nothing happens. It is simply a one-time accident, and it benefits no one. Without the necessary preparation, there is nothing you can do while you are there, no way to make use of the experience once you’re back in your ordinary state, and no way to willfully repeat the experience. But once you learn the proper and necessary way to get up there, and you learn how to start fooling around a bit while you’re there, it is like putting up a scaffold as you go.
As far as an ordinary man is concerned, there is no above; it just stops. The ceiling is the limit. But for someone attempting to do This Thing, erecting this scaffolding — constructed out of your own efforts, and fitted together out of the bits and pieces of your own understanding — is what all of your energy must be directed toward. A man must build it as he goes; he must put it together himself. He gets up there and he has to put in a temporary peg, to put in one piece of upright and then try to climb it, and stay up there without falling. He doesn’t even know where he is going, except he gets up there and it’s, “Well, this is what I have been looking for.” But it has to happen on the basis that a man already has one piece of understanding on which to begin to build. And it cannot be on the basis of prior suggestion, because you are in an area for which there is no known basis, no established, no prior knowledge. You’re building your way up the unexplored territory of your own nervous system. You stand on what you’ve already constructed — on your own growing understanding — and you build as you go. And after a while, to put it non-metaphysically, things begin to click — and you find you are able to stay up there without falling.
If a man is not involved in continual construction to unknown areas, i.e., if a man is not involved in This, he has literally died. It’s not just the physical death of which all systems carry an awareness and fear. It is the unrecognized death that occurs long before the death of the body. It is the cessation of the flow of energy into new areas: it is the obstruction of its continuation; it is the cessation of your own further growth and development. And it is a very real death.
When you begin to get beyond the initial struggle, and begin to shake loose from some of your mechanically produced connections with Life, you feel much better. Or at least you feel so much less bad than you did, things now seem so much easier, that you begin to look back and think, “I’m not nearly as upset as I was back in college. I’m not out there running some gigantic rat race like I was five years ago.” Not that any of this is untrue, but it can turn into what I have referred to as the old comfortable sofa club. It becomes just as much a habit as any of your previous connections.
If you are not continually producing new energy, you are subject to that absolute so-called law of entropy. If you aren’t continually “under construction,” you’re falling apart, because there is no new energy available below the Line.
Once you begin to See, you can look back at yourself, or rather, you can look down the length of your own nervous system and See that what always appeared to be you was a specific energy. It was the pressures of friction, the great tension of Life, directed, channeled, and molded into your nervous system. And with this same vision into the past of your own nervous system, you See that after your personality was set and molded — after you solidified, at the time when you reached maturity — those formative pressures were no longer applied. It was simply that there was no more energy available for further growth. Looking back or looking down on it, it may now seem as though something died. Certainly you grew up, you became a somebody, but at a very dear cost. You may validly consider this in conjunction with the recognized tension and upheaval that attend the teen years. All of you should be able to remember the kind of energy you had as a child, as a teenager. And not just a physical energy. Everyone had great dreams: “I’ll be the greatest writer the world has ever known; I’ll have a Corvette, and a castle in Spain and a home in Malibu, with a tall blonde installed in each one…” That is recognized as the excitement indigenous to the teen years and all of you went through it. I’m telling you now what happened to it — what happened to you. Life — the pressures, the tension, the energy of Life — developed you up to the necessary, minimal point, and then you stopped. You solidified, and you were left to crumble. It is the individual parallel of the law of entropy: there was no new construction going on; there was no new energy entering the system, and so you began to disintegrate.
The only exception lives in one attempting to extend his own nervous system. But look how quickly, even after you’ve had a bout of understanding something new — look how quickly you seem to run down. And it may literally feel as though you suddenly just ran out of energy. Can you see that the very point at which you become stable and solidified, whether in your ordinary life or in some place of new understanding, is the point where you start coming apart? Once you stop somewhere — anywhere — you’re back in the process of disintegration. You’re subject again to the law of entropy. Everything within you becomes more disorganized, while appearing to become more and more stable. And it happens even with your efforts in This Thing.
What moves an ordinary man through his life, and what moved all of you before you found This, is the energy of friction. It is the mechanical tension of Life. It is not real energy, and so it does not produce real movement. Consider again the common observation and feeling that attempting to interfere with your mechanical role, attempting to be a constant observer of yourself, produces not only a kind of irritation, but a kind of fatigue as well. Consider that these efforts take you outside the normal flow. You are, to whatever degree you make effort, no longer subject to the friction-tension of Life. And so it is no longer Life that moves you. To put it in plain terms, you are no longer driven to “get ahead in life”; you no longer have the illusion that, “I’ll be a great writer, or musician, and change the world.” You are suddenly stripped of that which drove you, and it is reflected very validly in the feeling that, “I just don’t feel right; these extraordinary efforts seem to tire me in some way…”
I might suggest to you that this is the basis for closed, monastic schools. This Thing has, of course, appeared in human history in various forms, and it has been frequently reported as being associated with a monastic environment. I point out to you the possibility that such reports, if they are true, do not necessarily point to those activities based on some great objective understanding, but rather to the fact that the people involved had lost their primary engagement with the way things run in ordinary Life. They had placed themselves outside the pressures and tensions that mechanically provided the illusion that they were doing something. And it turns into a kind of communal feeling of, “Well, I’m no longer particularly upset about anything, but life no longer has any great meaning. The kinds of things that used to seem so important no longer have the same effect.” And so they retire to a desert island, or seclude themselves behind closed walls.
I will insist to you that there are alternatives to that. In fact, we here are the living alternative to a hermitized school. But it requires that there be a continual infusion of new energy into This. It requires that right now. We can’t continue to live like this forever, with me bearing the entire burden of producing the shocks to keep This moving. On the individual level, you should at least be aware of, and continually moving toward, the possibility of producing your own shocks. That is the way to introduce new energy into your own system. And it is the only energy available for your growth — the energy that comes of the individual person attempting to push the development of his own nervous system beyond the point where it has already been developed. If one isn’t doing this, then nothing is happening.
If someone had the least bit of understanding, he would understand that it would be better to devote himself to the perfection of one great flaw than to sit around dreaming about “how much better I feel since I found This.” If he could pick out one aspect of completely mechanical behavior, and apply his single-minded devoted effort to the perfection of that flaw, he would come closer to producing energy for himself. And if that were the only way he could produce new energy then he could decide that: “I’ll be the world’s most jealous person; I’ll raise greed and anger to the level of absolute beautiful perfection.” Do you understand that it gets to the point that the particulars don’t matter? The encompassing question becomes one of, “How can I produce new energy?” And I’m telling you one sure, immediate, practical way to start. Pick out anything — the most foolish, the most irrelevant, the most frivolous of aims — and pursue it to perfection. It doesn’t matter what you call the aim, because if you’re involved in This, there is only one Aim. And that is to produce new energy.