The Duty Tied To Understanding
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THE DUTY TIED TO UNDERSTANDING
Document: 24, May 27, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
Diagram # 001 illustration
In my diagram, the Horizontal Line represents not only the level of consciousness of an individual, but that also of humanity as a whole. At that Line, each person acquires a feeling of awareness, and, in the broader sense, the common Line appears to give humanity a general feeling: in the Western world (and more and more throughout the rest of the world), it is a kind of morality, a kind of democratic approach. It is an unspoken imprint of a general “civilized” map: not that all individuals live by it now, because even in ordinary life any contemporary map is always speaking about tomorrow. Everyone must pay lip service to this social education — of becoming freedom-minded humanitarians.
Life itself has an Aim, and that Aim is growth. Changes occur in the map of human consciousness; changes occur in the Line. At certain times in history, the Line-Level of consciousness pushes higher, though never enough in one person’s lifetime to afford any opportunity for real change. This Thing, too, has its own Aim, regardless of whatever individual past commentators or religious teachers may have said or not said; and regardless of any specific maps or activities I might initiate. One way a person can Neuralize This (the way I originally presented it) is as extreme selfishness.
Whoever is interested in some form of This Thing feels a humanitarianism; that the world is in a heck of a shape; that something must be done, and that, “I must be one of the chosen ones.” Of course, there is nothing wrong with being concerned in Life, as long as that concern is based on the possible.
The Aim of This Thing is its own aim, whether or not you feel you ever understand exactly what it is, or whether or not you feel I have explained exactly what it is. On a selfish level — a personal level — the Aim of This Thing helps realize whatever aims you may continue to hold in Life. It is for that reason that I encourage everyone to pursue personal hobbies. Some people have no great hobbies in life, but for the Few, This Thing is the ultimate hobby. It becomes the very reason-to-live, for those who can Hear. It’s all that makes sense; it is the only sanity in the world. If you have any aims, just small personal hobbies, and you can remove yourself from where imaginary aims reside so that you are no longer captured by illusion, you will See something. For example, you can have an illusionary aim, such as believing you were destined to be a world-renowned singer. Then you expand above Line-Level consciousness. Suddenly you might realize that whatever noise you make does not even resemble singing. “At least I have enough talent to know good singing when I hear it, and what comes out of me is not singing.” Or you could believe, “I should be a great poet,” and it finally strikes you that even you don’t like what you’ve been writing. And that is simply the end of it. You might then continue to enjoy reading poetry; you might continue to enjoy hearing other people sing; but you are no longer beholden to illusionary aims.
This Thing becomes an assistance for someone to realize his personal aims, although that’s hardly the reason we are all here. It makes Life worthwhile. And, if you have something to do, it makes it easier to do it. The danger is to find out that all your many interests may not be what you thought they were. Even if you had one big, consuming aim, if you got above the Line it might suddenly strike you: “If I had all the time in the world I would never get any better at this than I am now.” But you would not be disappointed. You would understand illusionary aims.
Let me point out quite simply: a duty attends your practice of This Thing. It is quite real and could be described as a sense of duty tied to understanding. You begin to understand Life from an extraordinary aspect; you begin to have a continuing ability, no matter how weak it is, to remain dissatisfied at Line-Level. You are simply aware of the fact that “This is it, however I ended up here, whatever it is about.” That is the beginning of understanding, and with it goes a certain duty. The duty I refer to becomes to explore and consume the widest possible map.
You just have to attempt it, based upon the fact that I have not lied to you yet. Observe your process without interfering or trying to change anything. You don’t have to limit it to direct dealings with people. Try it while in a restaurant, or driving down the street. The impulses that transfer energies in the system still function. For example, you could spot someone driving an old beat up wreck. You are just full of instant criticism. You could say it’s the way someone walks, or how they dress, or whatever. You can always come up with reasons for your reactions. But it is, in reality, the natural transferring of energy, and it is quite proper for people serving Life. You must rise somewhere above such activity. You must focus your attention and try to remember what your Aim is. You must begin to be aware of the fact that what you think of as being “you” is full of critical “emotions/thoughts.” It all runs through you constantly, just as fast as it can.
You must begin trying to See. Although it’s not instant mysticism, you still sense that my maps are a great leap beyond any former information or any prescriptions previously available to humanity. You must look upon people as though you are not dealing with a “person.” Even if you knew someone’s name, if you knew his whole history, you still would not know a “person.” There is nobody in there, and you have to See this in you. Each person is an electrical process with a limited number of reactionary operations — on a variety of levels. You are not simply a bird with a worm waiting for the cat to get you, but that drama (among many others) happens constantly: cats are getting you and you are getting worms, but these “cats” and “worms” are in the upper level of the nervous system.
Try your best to remember what I said about people being processes, and observe. Try and look upon someone — your boss, a stranger on the street — not as a person with a story and a name, but as a process. If you are below the Line this is impossible. The ordinary system cannot look upon other systems as systems. Remember the subatomic particle field: you cannot observe a thing or event and simultaneously describe where it is and how fast it is going. When the ordinary system tries to be aware of itself, observation stops the process momentarily and the feeling is, “Yeah, I am somebody.” And then it goes back to being the process.
Your system cannot look upon other systems and see them as simply being nerve endings. The only way you can ever See this is to get above your own process. Then you will See that there was never anything there. There is a very interesting process — an astounding, beautifully balanced, constructed process — but there is no “me” down below the Line. To begin to See that goes along with the duty. You can no longer treat people in the way ordinary people treat each other. You can no longer treat people as being accountable. And of course the ultimate duty, step by step, is to remember this about you. You quit treating you as “you.”
It is your duty to no longer suffer; it is your duty to avoid illness; it is your duty not to whine; it is your duty not to be critical. It is your duty to be everything in the world, all the good things that you always heard, except now there is no so-called reason. It is no longer because “the gods will get me.” There is no reason other than the fact that “If I do not do it I am back where I was.” You are then serving the Aim of This Thing, even if it’s never defined for you in tidy words.
From time to time, many people attempt to Neuralize the differences between men and women. Women should hear this immediately, and most men should hear it as I describe it. For the simple continuation of the race, women have always had to be, in a sense, saner emotionally than men. Take a quick example: a man and a woman sit next to each other in a doctor’s office. The man turns and asks her for a light; they strike up a conversation. She may join the conversation based on whether or not it is safe. She can simply tell if it is safe to sit there and talk to you. She can smell danger or exceptional boredom. Now to use the same example with two men: they operate on the basis of, “How well do you dress?” or “Are you my social equal? You know, I am an important industrial consultant, and you are a bricklayer. I don’t have time for this.”
Women have always automatically considered how to strengthen the race, with no interest in congenital idiots or the insane. Women are closer to Real Emotion than men. But, of course, we are not talking about the substance in the blood. The energy runs through the system and is spent; the substance is extracted by ordinary feelings which women are still subject to. So it is still not the pure emotion available when energy is conserved for Vertical growth.
On another subject, some of you experience fear when doing what you ordinarily would not have done. That is not an imaginary fear: it is the real “fear of the unknown,” as ordinary people call it. People say, “Well, if I go home at night without someone with me, and the house is dark, I have a great fear of the unknown.” It is not the fear of the unknown, because they can tell you what it is that is feared. All they can name is that which is known. That is not the fear of the unknown. The ultimate fear precedes exploration above the Line of consciousness. Except it is also the ultimate joy. It is real, it is objective, and that is why it is fun. There is no danger in it.
I want to say a few words about something connected with that, regarding your “personality.” It can be described in a certain way. When you start trying to resist ordinariness the struggle is not between a “good” side of you and a “bad” side; nor is it a “holy struggle” against demons. It is not you struggling against pressures of Life and the narrow interests of your parents. It’s all the nature of Life, and when you first try to resist ordinariness, you undoubtedly feel some weighty battle suddenly. But it is of no significance. You can experience the same feeling by suddenly giving up coffee after religiously having a cup every morning for years. Nobody pays any attention to that. All you are going to do is expand that into a realm that no one else knows about: you are trying to break the habit of being satisfied with everything named — including “you.” And what you will find is that you can do things you normally would never do: go out and make a fool of yourself, frequent places and befriend people you normally avoid. As long as you have this kind of extraordinary Aim — as long as the general unknown Aim of This Thing is now assisting you — you discover that all your previous limits and distinctions do not make any difference. Right up to the moment you attempt something different, even if it’s something simple, you think, “I just cannot do this.” But you jump off and do it, and your fears are instantly supplanted with an improbable “That was the most fun I’ve had in my life!”
I want to expand a bit on my description of energy flowing through the system. Physical illness can interfere with this flow. That is part of what illness is. The body consumes more and more energy as it repairs itself. So the energy flow is still continuous — it does not stop — but it is diverted from the top of the nervous system. This is natural if you are sick. But of course I have also pointed out that you do not have the right to be sick anymore.
Energy can also be diverted in the mid-circuit, by what appears as emotions: “Boy, am I mad. I have been mad for the last two days. You would be, too, if you knew what they did to me. I can’t get it off my mind.”
Along the same lines, there is a connection between what is normally called “thinking” and movement. If we took a man who believed that the gods were talking to him and could somehow trick him into going out and running for an hour each day, I tell you correctly that the gods would quit talking to him. He would feel odd that the gods had stopped talking to him, and he would stop running. And then the gods would talk to him again. You should be able to observe something in yourself along similar lines. Let’s say you are sitting around reading the paper, drinking coffee, and you decide to exercise. You run, cool off for a moment, sit down, and suddenly you have an inclination to babble. If someone else is there, it is just good old locker room talk. It runs mechanically through the circuits.
It can be no worse than ordinary for you, but you should be aware of automatic processes throughout the system. You get involved with physical activity and it affects other things. Has anyone Considered this? You all have heard stories or seen movies about the Indians or tribal peoples. The tribe will get together and decide to attack some enemy. Then for twelve straight hours they dance. Sometimes they encourage it with a little booze or drugs. They take turns playing drums and everyone dances. It sets up a certain rhythm. They dance and they jump and they whoop and they scream for twelve hours — and then suddenly somebody yells, “Alright, let’s go!” And they go like crazy. Everything is connected to everything else. This one example is very accessible, but the same connections between “physical” and “mental” exist in many subtler forms.
What happens in the lower circuits affects the higher circuits. They are all tied together. You can be very angry (if you didn’t catch the direct connection between my story of the man who thinks the gods are talking to him), and if you interrupt it with running, you’ll feel better. You can also go out and run and come back and be madder. You can be having great mystical thoughts or reading a book on physics; go out and run and it’s like somebody erased the last two hours of study. You can’t return to it.
You must recognize that ordinary thought is limited. It is mechanical. It is simply an electrical process. That process can be interfered with by no more than jumping up and down for five minutes. You can be on the verge of understanding the latest scientific theories, realizing how brilliant you are. Then you run around the block and you draw a blank. It’s like your mind just won’t work. You want to babble, to talk sports. You have to recognize that limited process for what it is. It is not any kind of intellectual process; it just happens.