The Line-Level Lateral Connectedness of Everything
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THE LINE-LEVEL LATERAL CONNECTEDNESS OF EVERYTHING
Document: 17, April 8, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
To say that the Line of consciousness is a firm, distinguishable line, an absolute reality, is literally both true and untrue. It is once again double-barreled justice for me to have to say, “This is not true,” then draw the diagram and say, “This is literally true,” then go back and explain why it is both true and untrue. It has to do with the way ordinary humanity deals with such terms as “enlightenment” or “getting above the Line.” I continue to point out that it is not quite so simple as whatever you might imagine I am talking about.
The reason concepts such as “enlightenment” come out in ordinary life at all is that those who have talked about it, written books about it, etc., are those who have found themselves accidentally in some unusual or non-ordinary state. But what they experience is not truly igniting the higher levels of the nervous system. What they experience is just like moments all of you have had and should be able to remember — some great moment of passion, some extended period of pressure, or perhaps some proximity to death or illness. It is the feeling of being cut loose from something. Sometimes it even frightens ordinary people. They believe they’re losing their minds. But there are certain types of people who call such experiences “mystical.” They are the types who started out trying to read mystical literature, find gurus, smoke dope, and stand on their heads. They would try anything — push against a wall for a week, or lie on the carpet to hear the fibers talk to them. And if a man makes any type of extreme effort, and the circumstances are right, then sooner or later that person will experience “something.”
That is the only type of circumstance people have to look at, because the Few throughout history who have understood This Thing have not written books saying “I have been enlightened,” or “I have talked to the gods.” I’ve told you that if I ever said anything like that, you should run for your lives. Any time someone says something of that nature, no matter what size turban he wears, and no matter how many Rolls Royces he drives, you can be certain that the man understands nothing. Only somebody who understood This Thing would understand what I’m saying — and those who don’t simply dream about reflections from above Line-Level consciousness.
The Line absolutely exists, but there is nothing whatsoever to be accomplished until a person begins to understand it and experience it for himself. To believe “There is an absolute Line to get above, and once I’ve done it I’ll be enlightened,” is to be on the same level as following religious faith healers who tell you you’re going to suddenly be healed. But for those who do ignite the higher levels of their own nervous systems, all theory is irrelevant. They understand that the Line exists, but any “idea” or definition of it is then, perhaps, “I wonder how it would be to be up here all the time?” There is no way to talk about this unless you understand it, and those who understand it don’t talk about it.
The point is — it is literally possible to get above Line-Level consciousness. In a sense, you may experience what ordinary people dream about as being a “mystical state.” But you’re not blissed out; you’re not unconscious; you See quite clearly. You See so clearly that there’s literally nothing to say, except maybe “Please pass the potatoes.” But the situation is not a matter, as ordinary people think, that in some way “This is going to put me in some mystical state wherein I’ll reside forever.”
Diagram # 005 photo
I want you to attempt to Neuralize relativity and how it is tied into what I’ve been saying. Below Line-Level consciousness, everything is laterally connected. Within ordinary I-sight, that which everyone says he sees and knows connects with something else. Any apparently new thought or perception has to click with something else already there. A man says, “Aha, I see now that the war between these two countries was connected to the breakdown of the British Empire.” Such a comment is not meaningless; there could be worse hobbies than keeping up with the news. But it’s all on a lateral level. It connects with something he already has filed away. Ordinary men call this new understanding: “Now I understand the political situation better.” But he doesn’t understand anything in the context of This Thing, because we’re still talking about Line-Level consciousness. It was a new connection within the brain itself, but it was a lateral connection. Nothing has moved, and the man does not understand anything new. If anything has “happened,” it’s no more than the garnering of new facts to support existing facts and beliefs.
But the relativity of which I speak works on two different levels. Below Line-Level consciousness, everything is relative. It is a matter of lateral connections; each person’s lateral connections are almost unique. That is why everyone’s “I” seems to be in a some way unique. Each person appears to be somehow different from every other person, but you can Neuralize it this way: the activation of the nervous system into the brain simply runs different routes. In each individual system, a slightly different kind of pressure was exerted. Once the nervous system is activated below the Line, the energy simply rises in a particular manner; it gets as high as it will go, and it says “I”. This gives the sensation that “I” am an individual “something.” But the relativity on that level is, in a sense, all the same because it cannot move to a higher level. That is why on the ordinary level there’s no chance for real change.
Certain ordinary events in life give the appearance of change — psychiatry, religious conversion, an old drunk becoming a teetotaler after he kills his wife and kids in a car wreck. But it is all happening on the lateral switchboard. A man has unplugged in one place (or had it done for him) and then plugged in somewhere else. On that level everything is relative and cannot move any higher.
Sometimes something I say will hit some of you in a particularly pleasurable fashion. You can hear it in a laugh or a little gasp of breath. It makes a lateral connection that is not native to you. Sometimes I can make what is for all appearances a joke — and laterally it brings about connections that are absolutely foreign to you. This has nothing to do with ordinary education. Nothing you could read would create these new connections. If we wrote down verbatim whatever triggered such a giggle, you could have read the words a hundred times and you never would have seen it as you did at the time the words were spoken. You would have seen the words, but you would have read right over them, because your nervous system — your brain — would literally never have made that particular new connection — never. Your nervous system was already activated in such a way that that kind of lateral connection was bypassed.
Below Line-Level consciousness everything is relative. An ordinary person must be made to see two sides of a certain situation — or he can see neither. For example, a man can be made to see that if one man finds a bundle of thousand dollar bills lying in the road, there is another poor sucker out there somewhere wondering how he’s going to feed his children. It can sound as though this observation (that there are two sides to any situation) might have some objective importance. It can strike one as being an important statement. But who has ever really Considered the importance of it? The real importance of it is that you cannot ordinarily conceive both sides of a situation simultaneously.
To say “No one has the expanded consciousness to see that every time something bad happens, it is someone else’s good fortune, and that just shows how ordinary you are,” is on the same level as a priest saying “Everyone suffers.” It’s on the same level as pseudo systems saying “Every one of you would be enlightened if you could just remember yourself all the time. Can you do it yet?” Everyone goes, “Nope.” And the guru says, “Aha.” It’s the same thing. Nobody sees the importance of it. It is dead maps being mistaken for methods of real, non-relative expansion.
But it still strikes most of you as significant when I point out that one person’s found fortune is another’s loss — even though it’s obvious. Why does it still seem significant? The significance is that you can’t remember both sides simultaneously, and it is all relative. But now consider why. And listen fast because the answer is real short. The lateral connectedness is a uni-layered web of everything a person can think of. That’s all the web can do: it can function on only one layer, in one direction at a time. It can’t really move. Ergo, everything has to be relative.
Let’s see if I can simplify it a little. You’re standing in a crowd and someone goes by in a car and yells out something in a foreign language. You realize, “Normally I’m the first one in a situation like this to turn and look. I immediately get tense. Even though I’m standing in a crowd, I know it’s me that he hollered at. Never mind that I’m surrounded by 20,000 others. I know he’s picking on me.” And it all happens faster than you can really “think” about it. You’re aware of how you reacted, and how strange it is that you don’t even know what the man said, and yet you’re ready to respond according to instant assumptions. And just being able to observe these automatic reactions of “yours” offers a new glimpse of understanding.
But it’s still all relative. The understanding filters down into words — as it almost always will — and it becomes relative. Ordinary consciousness tries to pass it off as some mystical observation — “Here I am in this crowd of people, and I can see that other people might react the same way I would ordinarily, and isn’t everything relative?” But it is not only some parts that are relative — EVERYTHING at Line-Level consciousness is relative. I’m talking about Line-Level perception of what happens; and to contemporary people, whose lives are not threatened daily, the perception of Life is more significant than the so-called objective events. To a modern, civilized person, the most important event likely to happen physically is, perhaps, losing one’s car; and, really, about the only real event left to a good civilized man is dying, because between birth and death he can just muddle through with no great physical effort. What is important is his perception. You catch a piece of a situation, like the example I just made up about the guy hollering something out of his car. “I was about to get mad, and I looked around, and the guy next to me was mad, and there were people back in the crowd taking it personally, and they were so far back they couldn’t even hear it. It’s a fact that people were mad.” It all happens right up in the brain, right there at the Line. You say “Here’s a great example of how things can just be relative,” and you’re wrong, because it’s not a matter of an example. EVERYTHING is relative in perception. How could it be otherwise at Line-Level? The unit of perception is uni-layered and uni-directional.
I mean something specific and literal when I say “laterally connected.” All information, all education, all experience, is filed away in a lateral connection. Your knowledge may seem to go around like a merry-go-round, but it’s all down below Line-Level consciousness, and it’s all got to fit on the same level with everything else. To say “This one thing is relative,” and then to leave it there, as if you have just achieved a major mystical breakthrough, is nonsense, because everything is relative and cannot physically be otherwise.
You’re dealing with a uni-layered structure. The way the mind operates, it can only move laterally. It cannot go up vertically. (There’s nothing great to learn from it, but part of the fascination with psychedelic drugs is the temporary illusion of vertical growth they impart.) If there were some way you could externally force an individual human nervous system to eliminate lateral energy exchanges and thereby divert the energy above Line-Level, you’d have nothing. The person would go blank; you’d say he’s losing his mind, because there’s nothing developed above Line-level in such a case. Any energy exchange has to connect with something else already established in the brain, or it doesn’t exist. It can’t exist independently of the system of which it’s a part. So to say “Now I see that this is just relative to a whole bunch of other stuff,” is not to see anything in particular. That’s just the beginning, because anything that can be perceived down below the Line is relative.
I’ll appear to change the subject. Above the Line you have a different situation. When a person can get above “I”-level, in a sense he can look down and can then See things in a direct, non-relative manner. Picture that everything you can see at Line-Level is a merry-go-round. Everything that apparently happens is in some way connected with all the other little horses and all the other little people on the horses. It has to be, because anything that is not on that level is beyond an ordinary man’s perception. At Line-Level, everything is relative — it’s just one damn thing after another. But if you can get above it you can look down and see all the horses connected together. You don’t look down at this carousel world and say, “Well, it’s all relative,” but you do look down and see everyone waving their gear shifts at each other and blaming one horse or another, and screaming that it’s all separate. You don’t look down and suddenly see the “objective truth” of whose fault is whose — you simply See that nobody can be at fault. It all just happens. For example, you might hear yourself or someone else say, “I would have been further ahead in life if it hadn’t been for my mother!” and, from above the merry-go-round you realize that there is no further ahead in life — that the people who appear to be further ahead in life are, from a different perspective, behind you, because you’re ahead and they’re a lap behind.
I want to point out something else for your attempted Neuralization. You need to understand the reality behind these words: nobody has a right to suffer if his Aim is to ignite the area above Line-Level consciousness. Suffering exists only at Line-Level, in the lower nervous system. There is no one particular “problem”; everything is all locked together. There is no way to suffer properly. You have no particular excuse; there is no particular psychological demon holding you back. I simply remove your right to suffer, and you just can’t do it anymore. There’s nothing more to be said. You have to be able to feel this yourself, that whatever you’re involved with suffering over, you need to cultivate your own feeling of, “I don’t have the right to be here.” All you have to do is find yourself mad or worried, and you’re trying to use an invalid suffering card. I revoked your suffering card. None of you has any right to suffer. As soon as you See it, you’ve got to stop it. Below the Line, the suffering is quite real, quite pressing in a very personal manner. But below the Line is one form of everything, and above the Line is another form of everything. Once you develop your own understanding, you literally lose the ability to suffer. So you must simultaneously attempt to lose your ability to suffer. You must stop trying to use an invalid suffering card.
When people first come in contact with me, all of their questions are on the basis of their own “personal problems”; they want to talk about a great system of some kind, a system of salvation that will “lift me out of this suffering and frustration, this wandering about not knowing what’s going on.” They’re waiting for me to reveal, “Here is the new formula; here is the new book; everybody get in line and have your money ready.” But nobody ever asks, “How can I just stop all this? What’s the solution to it?” Nobody wants a solution because the solution is not possible down below Line-Level consciousness. Now please note we’re not talking about solutions such as healing the lame or making your nose smaller; we’re talking about the modern day “demon” — a man’s “personality problem.” No one asks for a solution; no one DEMANDS a solution. If you can listen quickly, there is an awareness in the nervous system that no solution is possible. If there was what appeared to be a solution, it would have to fit laterally. But if it fits laterally, it’s still no solution.
So what happens with somebody involved with This Thing, attempting to evolve himself, but still operating in Life? I could say there’s a place touching the Line where you’re not in some mystical state; you’re just trying to deal with things as they are, and you’re trying to remember the Aim. (If you ever get to the point that you can’t forget the Aim, to the point where the word Aim is no longer valid, where it is simply the reality of “I can’t stop it expanding,” then we’d have something.) But for any of you struggling with This, you can operate — to put words on it — as an objective observer of Life. I don’t mean some ordinary philosophical stance of an ordinary man who believes he’s a thinker and looks around and says everything is relative. I’m talking about observing whatever happens in Life, whatever situation you find yourself in, and thus you continue to learn things. Things begin to connect and you See things. And it becomes almost a hobby to continually make these kinds of connections, even though they are still lateral connections, no matter how foreign to your nervous system.
By themselves, such lateral connections would never ignite the higher levels of a man’s nervous system. The Aim has to be to ignite those higher levels of the nervous system, and a man has to be exposed to somebody who knows what that is. Otherwise, he would get no further than being a low level Socrates (whether he was recognized as such or not), continuing to say “Well, aren’t things connected? Isn’t everything relative?” That is all still taking place below the Line; that’s the best that happens below the Line — and when viewed from above the Line, it is all of no lasting consequence.
There is another level, a sort of map-making from another direction. It’s not relative, and you are no longer limited to lateral connections resulting in “sane” thought. You’re no longer limited to sane and rational thought, because the definition of sane and rational thought is “that which exists below the Line.” It has to have acceptable lateral connections in order to be sane. It can be totally useless from an objective standpoint, such as rushing over to a neighbor’s house and discussing politics all afternoon. But it’s sane because it all connects. For something to connect and be sane, it must be relative, and it must exist below Line-Level consciousness.
There’s another aspect to relativity. It gets into the perception of time, the old freeze-frame syndrome that I have mentioned. To use my example of the man who finds a suitcase full of money, no one ever sees past finding it and “living happily ever after.” You cannot ordinarily take into account the next day when all his in-laws drive him crazy with “Give me some money.” Below the Line you can only operate up to a certain limit, and then your ability to see further simply stops. Your mind is suddenly satisfied. Then it simultaneously cries out, “What’s going on? I want to be enlightened. I want to be a new age person.” The ordinary mind cannot see that “I’ll go so far and then I’m satisfied.”
For example, what if you read that the air traffic controllers are about to go on strike? The story is in the headlines every day for a week: “Air Traffic Controllers Still on Strike.” “President Tells Air Traffic Controllers To Get With It.” “Air Traffic Controllers Tell President They’re Still on Strike.” It is more than just people on strike. It is an event, a happening. But then one day the headlines read, “Fire in Oklahoma.” The strike ceased being news. It’s forgotten by the media, and forgotten by you. But is it over? The air traffic controllers still remember it. When is it over?
Or how about a ghastly murder trial — let’s call it the “Pennington Murders.” Some guy named Pennington killed his entire family. For two weeks it’s on the front page, and then he gets convicted, and it’s over. But how about Pennington? There he is sitting in prison. What about his lawyers, wondering if there’s money for an appeal? How about the victim’s family? Then a year later you see in the paper “Pennington Appeal Denied,” and you say, “Oh, yeah, I remember that. Well, I guess that’s that,” and you toss the paper aside. It’s all over again, right? But how about the friends and relatives of the victim? How about Pennington himself? You forgot the Pennington story; the press forgot it; it’s over, forgotten, finished. “I have better things to do; I’m concerned with stories that are alive. There is no more Pennington story, it’s over.”
But it’s not. There are people who remember it twenty years later: Pennington sitting in prison, the family of the victims, still mentally strangling Pennington. When is anything really over?
We’re not talking about current events or murder trials. We’re talking about YOUR media. “Let’s see what are the headlines for today? What is the continuing story? Getting that new car, getting the new apartment, wondering how I can break up with Fred.” It’s like a continually breaking news story, but published in bits and pieces. “Story of the New Apartment, Will She Get It?” And then the next day’s headlines: “Landlord Says More Deposit Required.” Day after that: “Tenant Refuses Landlord’s Latest Offer.” It seems to be a continuing story. “Young Man Applies For Bank Loan. Details at Eleven.” And then something seems to happen: You get the apartment; you get the car, and “Phew, it’s over.” Is it really? If it existed yesterday, how could it not exist today? How did it suddenly come into existence? And then disappear?
When I started on this line, I pointed out that the mind will go so far and will accept a non-efficient, non-objective end and take this as being quite natural. “Pennington Appeal Denied. Will Do Life In Prison.” “Well, that’s it. What’s next in my life? What will begin my next story?” And a new one seems to appear: “Fred Pennington’s Brother Accused of New Murder.” Or take one of my other scenarios: “Boy gets new car”; end of story. Then a few months later, there seems to be a new story: “Boy Decides Should Trade Up.” “Young Girl Gets New Apartment, Everyone Happy.” Then suddenly there’s a new story: “Young Girl Says New Apartment Demands All New Furniture.”
What I’m hinting at behind this is that the mind is apparently satisfied: freeze-frame, everyone lives happily ever after. The mind is satisfied. I’ve picked out crude examples, but it’s the same with so-called spiritual enlightenment. It spreads out laterally. The kind of energy that is available to an ordinary person will rise only so far in each nervous system. This limit is sometimes called boredom, but that’s just a word: “I lost interest in it.” It’s as if the energy runs out, goes no further, and you imagine that whatever-it-is, is concluded.
It only goes so far; not just in space but in what appears to be time. The boy trying to get a car loan finally says, “The bank just drove me crazy. Forget it. I’ll drive the old car a while longer.” Something happened to the energy, not only physically, but the perception of it. “I just no longer have any interest in it.” And suddenly something else will come up.
The relativity I am speaking of affects what ordinarily seems to be time. That is the basis of my rhetorical question, “When is something over? When is it forgotten?” Everyone should find out that down below the Line, nothing is ever over.
The only thing that keeps this planet alive is man being dissatisfied, man having no beginning and no end to anything, everything being a continuing story. That is not the reason why the planet is alive; it doesn’t account for the bushes and the animals; but Consider on your own the many things that were silent biological necessities that are now translated by man into seemingly higher realms, such as patriotism or verbalization of family love. Not that there’s not a reality to it, but I’m talking about people saying, “Oh, I love my family so much.” It is necessary, but there is no objective value served by such a statement. So what purpose is being served? On the contrary, if you were struggling to ignite the higher regions of the nervous system, you would almost take a step backward, if you can Hear me, to have to actually say, “Oh, I love my children.” A statement such as that would be a dead giveaway that you are as ordinary as it is possible to be.
Again, this is not a criticism, and what you hear is not sarcasm. It’s not cynicism about Life, because everything is absolutely just right. But if you listen from below Line-Level consciousness and try to plug these statements in laterally, it sounds like it’s just an attack on humanity, laughing at patriotism, at motherhood and fatherhood. Such things are accepted as necessary and admirable manifestations in the world of perceptions. But Consider this: why are they so in need of defense? Why is man so touchy about them? The more there seems to be a need to defend something, the more you can be certain that the basis of it is lower down in the nervous system; and it is the job of the ordinary mind to defend such things as patriotism and family love. They have been announced on the playing field of Life non-verbally through man’s genes. The announcement by Life went out through the genes that this is now important.
Try and Consider the source of such ideas. The source is in the base of the spines of all humanity, and it rises up and comes out as “I”. “I” must become the spokesman for everything that happens. There is a basis for all ideas, from chit-chat to the “great ideas of the world.”
Attempting to See such a basis is tied directly into your not being able to use your invalid suffering card any longer. Suffering is tied directly into this continuing unfinished business, the frustration that “something’s got to be done.”
Once you See this, it’s like being up in the belfry over a grammar school, hearing a whole bunch of kids talk. And not just people you ordinarily laugh at, but also those people you secretly take seriously. All the “important issues” become children on the playground saying, “You stole my jacks.” “You stole my wallet.” And to you, it becomes “Well, how cute. All children need a hobby.” And without a trace of cynicism, you smile as you See the children playing.