An Aim That Can’t Be Named
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AN AIM THAT CAN’T BE NAMED
Document: 14, March 11, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
Consider how it appears that everything on this planet exists within some balanced, closed system; how everything that seems to be alive is feeding something else, and is being fed in return. It appears to be a closed system — a self-perpetuating system — where energy is neither created nor destroyed.
More specifically, in the animal kingdom, let’s consider a lion. A lion is born a lion, and nothing can alter his condition of being a lion. He grows up, goes about being a lion, and nothing can change his basic nature. And that — the fact that he is properly, incontrovertibly a lion — is the source of a certain beauty. It’s a quality that adheres to all animals: A certain undefined, undiscussed beauty that lies beyond any analysis. And it’s based simply on the fact that a dog, for instance, is what it is. Big, small, fluffy or sleek, a dog is a dog, and he doesn’t wander around worrying about his problems, wishing he had curly hair like the dog down the street. So it is with all creatures, all living things, except man. Everything — other than man — is what it is. Everything is satisfied, except man.
Simultaneously Consider this closed system of Life. It is an apparently closed system, but you should be able to See that it is in the continual process of expansion. This is easiest to see on the biological, physical level: everything must eat, and everything must in turn be eaten. There is a continual transfer of biological energy.
If we consider Life itself as an organism, we can also say that the living creatures on this planet are sorts of nerve endings. And humans in particular, though they are apparently mobile, are actually little nerve endings anchored to the body of Life. The continual transfer of energy within this closed system — within this organism — is not confined to biological and physical levels of the animal kingdom. It continues into the uncompleted world of man. It continues, and is refined into what we’ll call, for the time being, the transfer of psychological energy. All animals and plants are locked into the cycle “eat and be eaten.” That is the transfer of physical energy necessary to keep everything on earth alive and balanced. Can you Consider that one description of man’s purpose here is the transfer of more refined energy — what we’re calling psychological energy? And it’s possible for man because he is not complete. He is not simply what he is, with no possibility of change. Every human brain stem culminates in the loose wires; this is the hallmark of an incomplete being, evidence that the human nervous system is open for further growth. And this far end of the nervous system, these little waving wires, are in charge of transferring energies that are not limited to the biological end of the spectrum.
This is why man has ideas. This is why he has unfinished business. Without these loose wires — without this stem being incomplete — man would have no self-awareness, even in the ordinary sense. He would have no intellectual consciousness. He would be an animal, complete and beautiful, but incapable of transferring anything but physical energy.
Hold in mind the diagram, and the fact that the wires become increasingly finer as they approach the Line — and the fact that they are loose. The diagram is a map, of course, but it is a Real Map: a map that will guide you to new regions of vision and understanding. It is real because it depicts the condition of man. And this map harbors the reality behind ideas of enlightenment, behind men’s age-old dreams of extraordinary states. Such ideas, by the time they’re reflected in writings, have historically been attributed to the gods, or to getting back in touch with nature. But the reality behind the reflections is the process of igniting the higher areas of the nervous system.
Meditation is one of the reputed, reported methods. It is an age-old one, and I could say that there is some connection between it and the reality of what we’re doing here. But meditation no longer has value for one of this time and place. This is not to deny that many people try it and say with all sincerity that they feel better, that their mind seems to be clearer, they’re less tense. But meditation does not produce the extraordinary results of This Thing.
On a very crude level, everyone wants to be enlightened. Everyone has a certain degree and kind of basic “hunger,” which is the unspoken knowledge that no one is complete, that there is always unfinished business. And the unfinished business is each human nervous system, though this cannot be seen at the ordinary level. But everyone is driven to complete himself.
I’ve mentioned the self-proclaimed gurus, the leaders of what I call pseudo-systems, and I could describe such people as having a tad more of this basic human “hunger,” just a little more of the accidental drive toward completion, than the average human. What happens in these “gurus” is that, out of the possibly hundreds of fine wires waving around at the end of their system, one wire gets activated. One wire shorts out, and they are momentarily freed from the ordinary transfer of Horizontal energy. They step off the merry-go-round. You may be interested to note that their one moment of freedom is no more than many of you have experienced. But without the proper preparation, without the Aim, that one moment is the end of it. In a sense, the wire that was activated above the Line burnt out. It became satisfied and complete, and the person is left with no further understanding, other than a suspicion and the one-time experience that “Life is not limited to what everyone says it is.” Their search is over; the effort is over, and they go out and buy a turban. Can you See that as far as any true ignition of higher areas is concerned, they’re worse off than they were to begin with, because now they think they know? Can you see further that if they retain any memory of the original hunger, it would be a painful experience to confront someone who actually understands more than they do? They would be faced with denying the very thing they started out looking for.
Consider again the practice of meditation, holding in mind the picture of the waving wires. Can you See some of the reality of what meditation does? It is not a permanent cauterization or stilling of the wires, though it does have a real effect. But it is not enough now to activate you above Line-Level consciousness.
With this picture still in front of you, Consider what I mean by my use of the word “Consider.” What keeps the energy moving, what keeps things expanding on a nonphysical level, is the fact that you’re surrounded by a world full of walking brain stems, all spines culminating in these maddeningly waving wires. And everyone is trapped at the level of the Line — no one’s wires can supersede that level. I’ve described Consideration as the attempt to remember something without thinking about it. But no ordinary man can think of anything unless he has a name for it; unless it is reasonable, unless it fits within the Line-Level structure. No ordinary brain-stem is allowed to spend its time dealing with that which is not an accepted part of the mass reality. There is ordinarily no way out. Everything must connect at Line-Level, and unless one carries the Vertical Aim, that level — that structure of ordinary reason — is all that is available to him. Whatever a man’s daydreams are, no matter how exalted or how ignoble, it is all reasonable; it all fits within the prevailing larger reality of the time and place. But I tell you to Consider — to Neuralize. I tell you to attempt to not let this intellectual process remain confined to the reasonable Line-Level structure. Remember it without thinking about it, without putting a final name on it, without putting a period at the end of the sentence (comma).
The final (comma) description of This Thing is that it is always a matter of Aim. Everyone still has his or her own ideas about what would constitute an activation of the higher ends of the nervous system. And everyone’s opinion is that it is the straightening out of the brain stem, cleaning up old demon personality, making it more efficient, more pleasant, more god-like. But can any of you conceive the fact that there is no Aim? Can anyone conceive the fact that any aim you can describe is not the Aim?
When you begin to get yourself above “I”-level, you see that all human activity, all human endeavor, is the attempt to complete this unfinished business. It is all — from drinking and drugs, from wars and sex, to religion and philosophy — an attempt to cap off these waving wires. This has nothing to do with individual people, because people are not individual people. You’re surrounded by unfinished brain-stems, and everything these brain-stems do is the attempt to complete Life’s unfinished business.
Consider religion, as the most visible mechanical reflection of This Thing. The message of all religions, though it may not be stated in these words, is that to complete god’s work, one must become a devoted follower of that religion’s teachings. And the reason one suffers, the basis for guilt, for all one’s problems, is that one does not live by the great teachings promulgated by the particular religion. Can you see, however, that it is not possible for a person at Line-Level to live by the teachings of any religion? It is not possible for anyone to be a complete devotee. It isn’t possible for anyone to be a complete anything. All religions set forth an aim. And that’s why I say the Aim of This Thing is no aim — none that you can name.
Anything that can be thought, anything that is reasonable, anything that makes any sense, anything that has any attraction to the hundred wires at the lowest level, must perforce be mechanical. It must perforce be incapable of leading to anything outside itself; it must be self-limiting. It must be self-fueling, in the same way that you think the same things over and over — in the same way the nervous system, up to the point that it calls itself “I”, continues to run over and over, and it has the beautiful ability to not notice this.
Yet you must See that everything carries on — wars are fought; bills are passed in legislatures; businesses run; governments stand — and it all happens in spite of, it all happens BECAUSE of these waving wires — because man is incomplete, and because he and all he can conceive of is contained at the mechanical level of unconscious reason.
Can any of you Consider that my description of getting the wires above “I”-level is a matter of making extraordinary connections? It is being able to look upon things you always took for granted, upon people you had categorized and named, and Seeing that it was all wires connected in a certain way; that people are a particular conduit for energy transfer. Without the Aim of This Thing, you’d never have thought about it, and if someone had been foolish enough to point it out to you, you would have immediately dismissed it. Seeing (with a capital “S”) is like a new connection that would have never been available. It is the wires getting above the Line; it is Tomorrow. It is not simply the attempt to unplug one thing — to correct one “fault.”
There have been, from the time of the Greek philosophers up to the present day, teachings based on learning to think in new ways. This takes form in ideas such as “Don’t always read the same newspaper,” “Don’t always go to the same restaurant,” etc. What such ideas are based upon is the attempt to change the connections on a switchboard. They’re saying that if you take out this wire and stick it in over there, you’ll experience a great change. But it is contained within the same level, and it is never truly satisfying for someone with the “hunger” of This Thing. Of course, even for someone who doesn’t have such a “hunger,” it isn’t satisfying. Remember that it can’t be satisfying — that nothing can be truly satisfying. But it gives the appearance of change, of movement. It gives a man a sense of the new, of progress. And no matter how eloquently a man may espouse his “changes” — that he started going to church regularly, or began taking self-help courses — no matter how highly he speaks of the experience, it has still not satisfied him. Because if he were satisfied, he would be completed. And he would be dead. He would no longer be capable of transferring the certain energies — which is a definition of death.
The ever incomplete system of man has a built-in desire for a stable, dependable, predictable, permanently clean desk. Everyone wants to get all the loose ends tied up; everyone wants to get all the papers cleared off, the pencils put away; and then they want to shellac it so it’ll stay that way forever. You can See this in yourself, within your own nervous system. It’s not just your personality, it’s not your individual peccadillo. It is a humanity-wide fear, an uneasiness about abrupt change. People need a certain dependability and stability. They need the routines of daily life — “I get home at the same time; my wife always has two drinks waiting; then we have dinner between 7:45 and 8:00, and the kids come in and say goodnight about 9:30.” But can you see that what keeps the energy transfer moving is the simultaneous “wish” that things would be different? They coexist within each system, and within the greater system of Life: the need for stability and predictability, and the simultaneous desire for a degree of change.
Consider: while the lower system wants and needs stability, the upper system is constantly producing daydreams of great changes. A man dreams of running off to California with the 19-year-old girl who just moved in down the street. But there is every possibility that if she started flirting with him, suggesting that he come down to her house for a drink when her boyfriend is away, it might strike him that this is going a bit too far. Whatever words he may put on it — that he’s too old for her, that there’s no future in such a relationship — the fact is that such an abrupt change sends the jitters into his lower system. Within each system there is a part that lives outside reason, beyond the reach of the intellect. And it is this part that needs a stable, predictable background. It’s the same stability that all animals need, and it’s beyond thought. It’s simply there, in the lower system. But when you get into the upper system, it’s a different story. The upper system continually spouts daydreams of great, sweeping change.
So a man can work on the assembly line all day. He has the same thing for lunch; he gets off at the same time every day; he doesn’t have to think about what he does; it is all by rote, a routine that is a kind of joy for the lower system. And simultaneous with this lower system knowing where it is, knowing it’s right where it’s safe, are the daydreams of being in Tahiti, or in California with the 19-year-old, or of leaving this dirty job and going back to school for a degree in economics… This all exists simultaneously in every system.
There is no way to not be dissatisfied, unless you’re dead. All suffering, all dissatisfaction that men manifest, is not a cosmic joke; it’s not a curse from the gods. It is that the two ends of the system seem to be operating at cross-purposes. One end wants habit, routine — whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t want to change. And the other end talks only about things which are of no interest to the lower system. This is quite proper, and serves one purpose: it keeps the energy moving. It is so, and it is necessarily so, because it is the nature of man to NOT be part of a locked-in system. It is the nature of man to not be just another creature. It is the nature of man to transfer certain ever-refined forms of energy.
Out of all the things I’ve said here, I wanted you to specifically Consider the nature of Considering. It is not simply unplugging one connection, and sticking it somewhere else that doesn’t make sense. It’s not ordinary insanity. In other words, to say that “all religion is a pop-up tart” is not an outgrowth of true Consideration. What it IS is Seeing in ways you’ve never before seen. It is realizing that what you have just seen is not something that would have come about through any logical progression — not through studying the holiest writings; not from meditating 24 hours a day. Not from anything that is to be found at the common level. I tell you literally that beneath “I”-level, there is nowhere to turn. Because beneath Line-level, the system must have its stability, its habits, and it must simultaneously think otherwise. It must dream of more. It must believe it has an aim, but, of course, it can have no true Aim. The true Aim does not live below the Line.