Life Speaks Through Man
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LIFE SPEAKS THROUGH MAN
Document: 27, June 17, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
Besides my Horizontal Line of ordinary life, there exists another line, one which approaches what the ordinary mind calls the realm of the gods. Except that this new line, of course, goes in a direction entirely new to the ordinary mind. Although it doesn’t exist in just two dimensions, it is not untrue to describe it as a line. But picture it as a living, expanding process, as a balloon simultaneously expanding in all directions.
It could appropriately be called the bottom line of Life. It is the source of all that has life; it is the source of the energy of Life itself. Everything has to come from somewhere, and it does. Everything springs from this bottom line.
Diagram # 011 illustration
Everything that exists on this planet is an offshoot of the bottom line. Moreover, everything that exists here falls into one of two categories: it is either a closed system or an open one. Man is the only open-ended system; it is only he who retains the possibility for further growth. It is only man whose nervous system does not culminate in a closed line at the top. Everything else — from rocks to trees to insects and animals — is what it is; there is no possibility of further change. A rock is a rock; a tree will never be more than a tree. A lion cub properly grows to adulthood and never entertains thoughts of being something other than a lion or of being a better lion. On this level, you are either an open-ended system (i.e., you are a man) or you are a closed system (i.e., you are not a man). But it all flows from the same bottom line; everything flows from the very wellspring of Life itself.
I could have originally described This Thing as being a form of intellectual development. Except that no ordinary person — which includes everyone starting off in This — has the correct conception of intellectual development. Intellectual development has to do with the growth of the entire nervous system. The development of the intellect is not separate from that of the body; it is not a matter of feeding information into the system after the fact, on the Horizontal Line; it is not a matter of ordinarily available education. In other words, intellectual development is not what your Line-Level system thinks it is.
Humanity is developed to the level of the Line and no further. The Line moves, to be sure. It moves because man is open-ended; he is capable of further growth. So as humanity evolves — as Life grows and expands — the Line inches its way up the system. Whatever the current level of the Line, that is where one ordinarily feels “I”. That is where man’s consciousness, his sense of himself, resides. And today, your sensation of “I” is centered in the intellect. Which is not to say that you can’t feel a sense of “I” in different places. You can, in a sense, feel yourself more emotionally or more physically, but this “I” does not wander all over the body; you can’t feel your sense of “I” in your little finger, or in your elbow or knee. The sensation of “I” is tied very closely to the Line. It does move somewhat, but only within the parameters of the Line.
When you speak to an ordinary person, what hears your words is the only thing that can hear words. It is the intellect: the upper end of the nervous system, the upper parameters of the Line. If I were to describe This Thing to an ordinary person as being an intellectual development, it is the intellect that would hear my words. The intellect would feel I was speaking solely to it, and would respond in the only way it can. It would say, “Give me more information, more facts. Tell me what I need to know, and that’s all there is to it.” But that’s not the way This works because that’s not the way Life works.
As far back as history has been recorded, Life, through man, has continually stated that we must press forward intellectually. “We must become more civilized. We must stop being hateful to our neighbors. We must stop stealing, stop warring. We must become more humane.” All of you should recognize the message. If you’re even semi-literate, you’ve grown up with the continual cries that what the world needs is to be more civilized, that what we need is more education for more people. And you should recognize that this is part of the continual process of expansion. It is a message of growth, the urge for growth expressed in Line-Level words. And it is true, but not as Line-Level consciousness conceives. To consciousness — that part of you that can hear and think and speak — there’s only one kind of progress, and that is intellectual progress — more information, more education. And to ordinary consciousness everything else (i.e., the lower circuitry) is, at best, a hindrance.
Diagram # 007 illustration
But the history of man is a gradual, nervous-system-wide process, and there is no separating the upper system from the lower. All the inglorious and infamous aspects of humanity are not gone and forgotten. They live in the lower part of the spine. They exist in your own lower system. Even at the common, current level of the Line, there are people whose primary sense of “I” resides lower in the system. They are the more physically oriented — the bricklayers, the ditch-diggers and laborers of the world. They exist contemporaneously with you, with those whose sensation of “I” is more intellectual. But to the intellectual, they seem to be relatively uncivilized. They are, in short, uneducated, and to the intellect that’s what’s wrong with other people: they need more education. On the surface this seems to be correct. Education would surely cut down on crime, poverty, prejudice, wars. “Oh, if only the world was more educated. After all, educated people don’t usually go around shooting other people from the rooftops.” And I assure you, if you had your choice, you would be much better off living next door to attorneys and doctors than the uncivilized and unwashed. Your life would run much more smoothly. There’d be less chance that your wife would be attacked, or that people would bang on your door or throw beer cans through your window or slash your tires. From the ordinary intellectual viewpoint, you understand, the behavior of the bricklayers of the world seems almost incomprehensible. “My, my. What’s wrong with these people?”
But do you see the justice of it, the illusion that Life creates as it pushes man further and further up the system? The bricklayers of the world indeed do not normally get Ph.D.’s, they do not, as a rule, go to college. And so, to those closer to the top of the scale — to those who act as transformers of a more “intellectual” energy — the problem with bricklayers looks like a lack of education. From that viewpoint, the argument seems irrefutable. “Let’s get all these people educated and see if they don’t become more civilized. Let’s sit them down and explain to them how much sense it makes for everyone to get along together. After all, all my friends are educated and they don’t throw beer cans around or murder people. We never hold up fruit stands. We never get in trouble, we don’t get arrested for drunk driving. We don’t start wars; we form committees to talk about those who start wars. So if the rest of the world were as educated as we are, we could eliminate all these nasty things and make the world a better place to live.”
The situation, of course, is quite different from the way it appears. Remember that I’m using “bricklayers” as a shorthand nomenclature for those who are more physically oriented, as opposed to those who are more intellectual. As always, there is no qualitative difference, because there is no difference. It’s all Line-Level humanity, and it all exists in you. But education will not change the bricklayers, because bricklayers do not become educated. That is not their function in Life. Their function is to lay bricks and throw bricks, figuratively speaking. But Life, pushing itself upward — making its message of growth heard through the intellect of man — puts out the message that education must be the answer.
What you must see in all this is how man grows, and where this growth is primarily centered. The message is “We must do better.” And the only place that the energy of “doing better” can come out is in those creatures who can do better, those whose system is open-ended. Of course, the people who talk about doing better are those who transmit energy from the highest level of current development, and they see the problem of “doing better” from that perspective. They cannot see the whole arrangement. They can’t see the process of continual, gradual expansion. So it looks as though the situation caused itself, as if it were self-contained: “If the bricklayers of Life were just more knowledgeable, they would behave better.” But the bricklayers, of course, have their own idea of what it means to “do better.”
The only place the energy of “we must do better” finds outlet is in man. It cannot come out in a rock or a tree or an animal. I might point out that this is directly connected to your sense of time. A rock, for example, is not going anywhere. It is a closed system; it cannot even move physically, much less change or improve itself. So what meaning does time have to a rock? A rock springs from the bottom line as a rock, and there it is — a rock. I assume most of you suspect that a rock has no real sense of time. At least I’ve never seen one in a hurry, and I’ve never seen a boulder with a watch.
Man’s sense of time is directly tied to his possibility of further growth; it is only man who knows, without understanding it, that, “I am not closed in. I feel the possibility, even the urge, to change, to grow, to become a better person.” Whereas a closed system does not move. It has nowhere to go.
But one of the things I want you to Consider is how much, literally, everyone is driven from his lower system — even intellectuals. I’ve previously given you a map which divided man into a biological side and a psychological side. And I pointed out that that map, like all maps, was imperfect, because there is in fact no such division. There are no lines, really. Everything is a gradual process. And in humanity, that gradual process moves upward, always upward. Even within the level of the Line, there are gradations, and the more highly developed is your system — the more your consciousness of “I” resides in the upper levels of the system — the more you feel you must change and grow. But only a few individuals are born open-ended enough to grow within their own lifetime. And that growth within an individual lifetime is not gradual. It is, on the contrary, quite abrupt. For the many, gradual growth is all that is possible. Your children will be more developed than you; that is, the Line will have moved further up the nervous system. And their children will be more developed still. But it will be a mechanical, gradual, Life-produced growth. This Thing is the attempt by the few to grow as fast as their children and children’s children.
The closer you live to the common Line, the less your system will take into consideration, the less interest it will have in, any direct connection with the lower end of the system. And the more you will assume that whatever occurs in people, including yourself, occurs at the upper levels of the system. The intellectual cannot understand that the bricklayer does not share his point of view.
Someone several thousand years ago attempted to define an intellectual as a person who can turn his mind upon his own mind. I know what they were trying to say, but that is perhaps not the best description. One aspect of the expansion of this Line through humanity, this unclosed box of the human nervous system, is that the intellect is the only part of the system that has the ability to modify and to analyze its behavior. It’s certainly not that everyone at the ordinary level is “captain of his fate.” People do not know what they’re doing. But man is the only creature with this analytical ability.
Animals can, in a sense, modify their behavior. But it’s a lateral modification and a very limited ability. For example, a dog finds that a fence shocks him and so he avoids that fence. But this apparently modified behavior is contained within lateral limits; it produces no Vertical expansion. It has nothing to do, you surely understand, with the dog figuring out what electricity is. He simply stays away from the fence.
Only at a certain point of development does the system have the ability to modify and analyze and predetermine its behavior. That is what you think of as intellectual activity, and it occurs only in man. Were it not for this ability, humanity would also be a closed system. And to take this in a slightly different direction, if you did not have the unique ability to change your behavior and plan to change your behavior, you never would change your behavior. The lower part of the system literally has no ability to analyze itself. For example, I have pointed out before that if we could temporarily cut off your intellect — your so-called personality — the body would never go on a diet; it would seldom get any exercise beyond what was necessary to find food. You’ve got to See the justice of it, though: if you weren’t developed toward the top of the present Line you’d be out laying bricks or digging ditches anyway, so you’d be getting plenty of exercise. I assure you that if you took a survey of joggers, you’d hardly ever find a bricklayer or a carpenter among them. People who work outside for a living, people who do physical labor, are not concerned with physical fitness. The more physically oriented a person is, the less interest he’ll have in such analysis and modification. The lower level of your system hasn’t the ability to analyze itself. It has no need to.
Without the interference of the intellect, the lower part of the system operates in a quite efficient manner. “You” may not agree; you may think you’re overweight or your nose is too big, but in the part of the system where your weight and nose originated, there is no process of analysis. You are what you were born to be; you’re doing what you were born to do. The lower nervous system has no ability to intentionally modify its behavior. It can alter its behavior in order to protect itself, as all animals can, but it cannot be instructed; it cannot be taught to do something that is not part of its natural function. You can’t teach the lower system the importance of getting to work on time any more than you can teach it mathematics.
The proper Consideration of this nervous system arrangement should lead you to realize how much of what seems to be personality comes from the lower system. Everything you call personality, including your problems, including that which hinders your efforts in This, is not personality. It doesn’t originate in personality. It comes from your genes.
For example, everyone is familiar with the idea that women take forever to get ready to go somewhere. That idea has formed the basis for many a joke. A woman may say, “I’m just going to run up to the store.” And you say, “Great. I need cigarettes anyway. So if you’re going, get me a pack right quick.” She’s only going to the corner store, but you check 30 minutes later and find that she’s still getting ready. Those stories normally get a little laugh, and I remind you again that I’m not picking on women. I’m not pointing out a foible, a personality disorder, indigenous to the female sex. On the contrary, this behavior doesn’t come from personality. You’re all likewise familiar with the observation-cum-complaint that once a woman marries, she lets herself go. She puts on weight; she doesn’t dress up and fix her hair. Of course, it’s an observation that issues from the mouths of men. “Boy, I don’t know what happened. All women want is to get a man. She used to primp for two hours when we went out dancing every night. Now look at her. She doesn’t give a damn how she looks.” But has anybody considered why I would bring such things up? Such apparently unreasonable behavior is perfectly reasonable down lower in the system — except that the lower part of the system does not deal in reason. My examples have nothing to do with women. These two, in particular, happen to be common enough — accessible enough — to all of you. But the point is that everyone takes such behavior as being a psychological manifestation. Everyone assumes it to be a matter of personality, and subject to modification by reason: “Women should not let themselves run downhill and put on weight once they get married and have children. By god, I’m going to tell her that. And I’m going to tell her, ‘Listen, next time I tell you we’re leaving at 7:30, you be ready.’ And if I say, ‘Are you ready?’ and she says ‘No,’ I’m just going to leave. That’ll teach her a lesson.”
But it’s not psychological, and what it actually is can’t be reasoned with, because it comes from another part of the system. Do you See the connection between this and the intellectuals of the world trying to educate the unwashed masses? You’re talking to the wrong end of people. No, it’s the right end, because only the upper end can talk and listen. But it’s the wrong end, because the so-called “psychological behavior” does not come from the upper end. At the ordinary level, psychology always gets dragged into the argument: “Let’s see. My mother used to take a long time getting dressed. Maybe that’s it. And it used to burn my father up. Maybe I hate men. Maybe I’m getting even.” And it seems this way because the upper end of the nervous system feels that it is the source of whatever it perceives.
Information — the energy of Life — enters the system from the bottom line, and it runs through you exactly like an electrical charge. But it is one piece of you at the top that feels itself to be “I”. That one piece of you believes that it conceives and thinks these things, while, in fact, it is only the mouthpiece for an electrical signal that issues from somewhere else. And, just like electricity, that signal can be short-circuited. If you were to imitate the electrical energy coming out of a person — his behavior — exactly, you would short-circuit him. You can affect the behavior of others by treating them the way they treat Life, by giving them what they put out. For instance, if there’s a loudmouth pushy type you can’t deal with at work, simply do an imitation of him to his face. Not cynically, but sincerely, as if you’ve suddenly become him. And it will stop him. Without exception, that person will never display the same behavior to you again. This is a physical phenomenon, rather than a psychological one. You have, quite simply and physically, reversed the flow of current; you’ve short-circuited him, and it temporarily shuts down his machinery. If you do it properly, even to a minimal degree, that person will leave you alone. And it’s not psychological.
Once you begin to push yourself above the Line, you See that what you’ve assumed to be psychological or based in personality — that which seems the exclusive domain of man’s higher functions, from decision making to philosophical debate — comes from another direction entirely. The growth of humanity has been a growth into higher areas of the nervous system. It is a gradual growth, which is a definition of being ordinary: to be ordinary is to grow at Life’s controlled, humanity-wide rate. That’s the difference between being ordinary and being part of This. This is not a gradual process. Life’s gradual process of growth does not manifest itself in the individual’s lifetime. You cannot mechanically, gradually, extend yourself into higher areas of the nervous system. What you can do gradually is expand yourself laterally. That is, you can collect more facts, get more education, learn another language. But all the later expansion — all the education in the world — will not produce Vertical growth.
What you need to See is that everything below the Line partakes in only gradual change, and is always tied to the Line. The possibility Here is for abrupt change; and the abrupt Vertical ascent of This is tied to nothing. The area above the Line doesn’t even exist, so far as ordinary humanity is concerned. No one is supposed to be there yet. Sometimes it happens accidentally, as I have mentioned before, but such an accidental “enlightenment” produces no real change. It is of no objective benefit to the person, because it is not a product of, nor does it produce, real understanding. The best such a person can say is, “The gods spoke through me… Well, actually, I don’t know what happened.”
Your Aim and intent must be to develop yourself, to extend yourself above the Line; to grow in an untimely and abrupt fashion into higher areas of your own nervous system. Then any “enlightenment” becomes an abrupt change, not the ordinary gradual one. You will still be living on this planet, but your existence above the Line is not tied to — it is not a product of — the gradual process that shaped your Line-Level system. It is, in a sense, the reality of true intellectual development. The Seeing of this will stop all complaints about your Line-Level system or your personality problems, because you will understand, without any pessimism, that nothing down there will change, at least in one lifetime.
Remember, Life will continue to send the message to “do better.” But it’s talking about tomorrow; it’s talking about where it’s going, where it’s growing. The electrical energy of Life is expanding itself, saying, “We’ve got to be more humane. We’ve got to stop killing our fellow man.” But realize that those messages are not coming from the top of your system. They’re coming from the bottom line, though it is the top — the Line of consciousness — that verbalizes the messages. Life must shout such things through people, because people are its only mouth.
The concept that human life is sacred is relatively new in the history of man. Although this has been a gradual development, it is only in the last five or six generations that humanity has expressed such an idea. Up to that point, the general operational feeling was that human life was no big thing. Unless it was yours, of course. But there was no tribal or communal sense that life was somehow holy. If somebody got on your nerves, you’d just kill him, with no thought or consideration beyond wondering if his brother would then come after you.
Do you See how the system grows, how Life is pushing the Line gradually upward? The development from primitive war dances to The Committee for the Prevention of World Holocaust did not happen overnight. Life is growing, but for everyone except the very Few, the process is slow and gradual, and the participants have absolutely no notion of their participation in it. The only way ordinary humanity gets a glimpse of the growth process is through the messages Life expresses through man. But no one sees the messages for what they are, because no one can see this process of which he is part.
In an instance such as the concept of the sanctity of human life, you can see how such a belief would be necessary for Life’s continued growth and good health. It was a gradual process, this belief taking root. But at the same time, I could go back and point to a certain time in history where the belief apparently abruptly started. I could also point to a place on the spine of any average person and say, “Here’s where it started.” Where it started was the point at which the messages began to be manifested in humanity’s behavior. Whether I point it out historically or on your spine, it’s the same thing, because human history is recorded in your own spine.
You embody the entire history of human growth. In the past, you may have sworn, in all sincerity, that you had a great reverence for your fellow man. But you must realize by now that in your lower system lives everyone from Attila to Hitler. There is a part of you, even now, that has absolutely no reverence whatsoever for human life. But remember also that the more you mechanically live at the higher end of the system, the more vehemently you will deny this, and the harder it will be for you to see it.
But it’s true. What about those feelings everyone has that, “I feel like I’m torn in different directions sometimes. I don’t know what I’m doing. It seems like my whole insides are under constant stress”? It’s your higher system repeating, just as it should, “We have got to become more civilized. We have got to do better. We have to stop killing each other. We have to try to understand that everyone has a little divine soul and everybody’s life is holy. And that’s that.”
But until fairly recently — several millimeters down the spine from the present Horizontal Line — such a message was simply nonexistent. It was not true. And in that part of the system, it’s still not true. The lower end of the human nervous system is still there. It is not supposed to be in control any longer — not in general. But there is still a segment of humanity for which that part is still in control, because somebody has to be in prison, somebody has to murder, and somebody has to be murdered. Life still needs some people to be almost entirely ruled by the lower end — and here we are back to my bricklayers again. But the more you mechanically live at the higher end of the nervous system, the more difficult it is for you to be aware of that fact. This should not be too difficult to See. If I were to go to a cocktail party and collect a group of highly educated people, you understand that they would vehemently deny that there must be murder and warfare; that there must be those more civilized and those less civilized and it all serves a purpose. They simply couldn’t see it. And they would see even less of the fact that it all exists in them. If I insisted, “There’s a part of you that has no regard for human life,” these people would respond, “I hear what you’re saying, but it’s just not true.” They would go into detail about their liberal background, what books they grew up with and the principles they believe in. The point is that it’s almost impossible for such a person to see. They might finally agree, “Yes, there are such people, heaven help us, but it’s our duty to help them, to educate them. We are not that way, so we must help those who are.”
That’s not true, but it is true as far as they’re concerned. They do not, in fact, commit murder and mayhem in the streets, but it’s still there in them, down in the spinal column. They just have no awareness of it because murdering is not their function, their place, in Life.
I will ask again, do you See why the lower system can’t be changed? It’s mass confusion down there. Only further up does the energy come out talking about tomorrow. It’s like the upper nervous system has little roots popping out and crying, “Higher, higher!” But you can’t tell you’re getting higher in one lifetime. The roots think they’re in charge of growing; then they feel, due to the push from below, that they’re not growing fast enough. “I should be greener. I should have prettier flowers.” But it’s the dirt, the base soil that’s talking, always talking, sending the message of growth.
Look at this in a slightly different way. I may sound as though I am talking about “personality,” but I am not. You have to Hear this and put meat and bones on it for yourself. You all, no matter how long you’ve been associated with me or This, fall back into your normal, mechanical “personality” mode of operation at times. Even if you can make extraordinary efforts some of the time, you still fall back into your ordinary Life-produced role. Some people, for example, seem mechanically driven to destroy everything within range. If there is a glass on the table, and they touch it, they will “accidentally” drop it on the floor and break it. If there is a chair in the way, they will stumble over it. When you do this — when you do things for which you have to apologize — you are simply transmitting the ordinary kinds of energy your system was built to transmit. It’s not that you’re evil, or that you’re beset by Freudian devils. You are simply ordinary.
The only sadness is that you have fallen back into the lower parts of your system. You are no longer striving to allow Life’s energy to ignite the higher areas of your system. You may think you have improved: “At least now I apologize when I screw up. In fact, I smile when I say ‘I’m sorry.'” But if you have any interest in This, there is no room for apology. There is nothing to apologize for. To do so is incontrovertible proof of where you’re living. And at that moment you are beneath contempt to yourself.
Despite any protests to the contrary, for an ordinary person, nothing is truly sacred. There is nothing sacred about the ordinary. All you’ve got to do is get a little free from your own nervous system and you can See this: everything, every person, is simply a little branch pushing out of Life’s huge trunk. Every spine, every nervous system, lives upon a larger spine. But you must simultaneously See that everything is sacred to an ordinary person. Humanity must believe that life is sacred, that there is something sacred. But, to flip it over again, nothing can be sacred for the Few. That is, nothing can be sacrosanct from your investigation and continuing attempt to See “what’s going on here.”
You need to See that the real sanctity of anything in Life is not where people in general say it is. It’s not that human life is not sacred. It’s that the people who say that are not people. The truth or untruth of what they say is irrelevant, because it’s not them saying it. They are open-ended nervous systems, and they’re saying what Life is saying. The cry “human life is sacred” is Life talking about tomorrow. Life is telling you where it’s going. People do not know what they are, and they do not know what sacred is. But for you Here, nothing is ordinarily sacred, and everything must be extraordinarily sacred.
Life’s growth is never a straight-line affair, but to begin to See how Life grows, you must See that people are not people. People don’t start wars; people don’t stop wars. People are not destroying the planet with pollution, and neither do they stop pollution. Man is simply the medium. Life operates within the Three Forces. Life pushes and pulls itself along, this way and that. Now on an ordinary level it sounds insane to say people did not pollute the planet. On an ordinary level, it looks like some people polluted and others formed committees to unpollute. And I’m not saying they didn’t. But they didn’t. Life did. Growth produces by-products. In this case, Life’s expansion through man, technologically and otherwise, produced harmful wastes. Things only proceed so far in one direction before Life checks itself, to wit, before pollution and waste build-up reaches the point where it needs to be controlled. And when it needs to be controlled, it is controlled; i.e., men form committees and pass legislation. Except it’s not them doing it. It’s Life moving in one direction, then going off in another direction. And it’s all for regulated, multi-dimensional growth, never straight-line growth. Things move, you might say, in fits and starts. Your life does not go in a straight line. Neither does Life’s life.
There is nothing wrong. Life is moving; Life is growing. It is the growth itself that you feel as a great internal, and external, tension. People feel that everything is a struggle, and everywhere they look they see confusion and conflict. But ordinary humanity is the growth process, and the process cannot See itself.
Your job Here is to See the whole picture. Life is breathing; its lungs are working; its blood is circulating; some people cry for peace, some cry for war, some sing, some laugh, some weep. It is simply Life being alive. But that part of Life’s system or your own system is not your concern. Your concern is to push yourself high enough to get above the confusion, the arguments and all the apparent problems. You can occasionally go back down into the war zone, but you only visit there when you’re slumming. And, after a while, the thrill is gone.