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Document: 30, July 8, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
I want you to Consider this: it is impossible to truly say good-bye to a place until you are completely familiar with it. You could draw different conclusions from that — all the way from the literal, physical extreme of people saying good-bye to their neighborhood and moving to some other part of the country, to the obvious necessity of saying good-bye to what you’ve heard of the historical manifestations of This Thing, if you want to benefit by being here in the middle of it.
For one thing, regarding any episode in the past you can always assign a beginning and end. Whatever you think may have originally been some form of This Thing, you can easily look back and observe, “You know, it makes a lot of sense.” You recite the little story about the leader — who he was, where he came from, how he overcame all his trials and tribulations and found enlightenment. Perhaps he was, himself, one of the gods, or at least their agent; but no matter the details, the story is always tidy. It’s always a version of: he did his work, he set up the religion; then he died, and his loyal followers have carried on the good work ever since.
But for you right in the midst of This Activity it’s quite different. The only way to make use of the idea that “the only way to say good-bye to a place is to truly know it,” is in terms of the ongoing attempt to become a student of “yourself.” But you should be able to See — and it shouldn’t take that long — that the “study of self” is one form of learning to say good-bye.
All forms of This Thing can be described as an attempted liberation; an effort to gain freedom from a certain dissatisfaction and ignorance. All of you, at some point in your lives, have felt that your parents, the religious leaders, the philosophers — somebody — knew what was going on, even if you didn’t. By now you should be over that. In fact, I could say that the freedom of This Thing is the freedom from feeling that there is some Great Secret available from anyone in ordinary life.
The kind of knowledge allowing you to say good-bye to a place is simply not available in ordinary life. Even if you went to a different psychiatrist every day of the week, and in your spare time read every psychology textbook, nothing new would happen. You’d simply go in a circle, without any new “knowledge of self.” You’d only modify your repertoire of complaints. At best, you might one day say you feel much better. But I ask you — what else would ever come as a result of that? The most anyone can ever get from any ordinarily available knowledge is a new verbal repertoire of complaints. It doesn’t matter if your hobby is psychiatry, religion, the current occult book or self-help fad. All you learn is the current jargon to describe the same old self.
Before you came in contact with This, that is all any of you had ever experienced. Because it’s all that’s ordinarily available. And for the ordinary it is harmless and appropriate. There is nothing wrong. There are no psychiatrists duping anybody. But no nervous system can “know itself” through any ordinary pursuits.
Diagram # 001 photo
In each person Life forms a nervous system up to the Horizontal Line. That is the level of consciousness of everyone on this planet. And only that level of development is possible without some extraordinary effort. Without effort, the closest a nervous system can come to anything that would appear to be self-knowledge would be to look into its past, which is its less developed portion. No more is possible because the “growth potential” in the blood has been removed from the system with surgical beauty by the time activity reaches Line-Level. The activation of the nervous system ceases, the current is spent at the Line. That’s how “I” takes form. So looking backwards into the lower circuitry is all that’s possible.
You’re already aware that attempts at This Thing throughout history, including today, use as their basic methods some form of attempted work on these lower circuits. The methods range all the way from physical exercises to sitting and fasting to the attempt by a person to self-observe. All those methods can be used, but they’re not ends in themselves. For one with the Aim, they are among many tricks that can be used to divert energy above Line-Level. It is possible for a person to observe much about his lower circuitry, such as: “I seem to have some unspoken attitude physically. I hate to look in a mirror. If I walk into a room full of people, suddenly I’m filled with nervous energy. When I’m around imagined social superiors, I seem to take an almost animalistic, cowering posture of submission. Then if I walk outside and a beggar approaches, I’ll straighten up and act like someone else.”
All of you are familiar with the term, “the unconscious.” In the Western world, it’s everywhere. Of course it comes from psychiatry, but now it’s commonly used in advertisements, by housewives, and people with an eighth-grade education. Anyone from a Ph.D. to a bricklayer might say, “Sometimes I get mad and want to hit my wife and kids. But I truly do love them. I don’t know what comes over me. It must be some kind of unconscious…something…I don’t know.” And the justice of it is, they’re all verbally agreeing that they don’t know why they do what they do. But the concept of an “unconscious self” serves as an ersatz explanation: “I have these unconscious motivations, these urges, and I don’t know where they come from.” This is simply a new version of “The devil made me do it.”
But I tell you plainly that there is no such thing as the “unconscious.” You can’t find “it” anywhere. All you’ve got to do is See that there is no consciousness. Simultaneously, you’ll See that there is no “unconsciousness.” What people unwittingly refer to is their own lower level — the older circuitry. They are speaking of the history of humanity in their own spines. They are speaking of the nervous system below Line-Level. They are referring to the “less civilized” parts of the system. (But even at Line-Level, which is the highest point of development in Life, you’re still faced with the fact that no system can conceive of itself at its own level. That’s why there is no real consciousness.)
The absolute epitome of ordinary life resides right at the level of the Horizontal Line in my diagram. That includes the feelings expressed by those involved in pseudo-systems: “I should love my fellow man. I should meditate or pray for guidance; I shouldn’t let myself get angry.” It’s not that such feelings are silly or baseless. They’re one small manifestation of all creation’s continuing expansion — and the expansion always pushes the Line higher and higher.
People who are involved with some swami or some church, some new age group, come back and say, “I feel much better.” It’s true and it’s not true. What they are doing is pushing their consciousness as far as is possible on the ordinary level, to a place on the Line which seems less connected with all the “uncivilized rumblings” of the lower circuits. The relief is only temporary, and its effects weak — but for most people, that’s enough. None of those temporary experiences entail the real understanding of which This Thing has always spoken. Only after you manage to get above Line-Level can you See for yourself that an ordinary nervous system never transcends itself, no matter the exotic descriptions that may be recited.
In ordinary would-be attempts at This Thing, whether it be a church or some run-of-the-mill guru, nobody is ever upset that the promised results never occur. Even when people realize that the chief guru himself can’t do it either, they barely bat an eye. They don’t ask for their money back. Because real expansion is inconceivable and not expected. The kind of so-called knowledge achieved through these pseudo-systems leads nowhere Vertical; it’s all a matter of lateral connections. But it appears as — and feels like — new knowledge.
When someone first starts This, he may be directed to do certain things making it possible to See in a new way. And a common observation would be, “I tried what you said, and I begin to realize — Well, I thought I was a sweet, loving person, but boy! I’ve got anger and hostility in me that I never imagined!” And that seems like a great breakthrough. But it’s just child’s play. That is kindergarten, but it is leading somewhere else. That’s only the beginning.
If that were all there was to it, it would just be a variation on the same old suffering. “I joined this new church, and now I’m worse off than before, because they’ve pointed out all these new sins I didn’t even know about. I had no idea how terrible I was.”
If you would aspire to say good-bye to someplace, and to discover a new homeland internally, you must be able to See it all from above the Line. From there everything looks completely different. On the ordinary level there is no information, no tricks, no drugs or exercises, that can produce what you are looking for. You have to get above the Line and activate the higher, untouched areas of the system. Only then can you See your homeland, and only then can you say good-bye. It does not go away. But to say good-bye is to be able to forget it.
Another way for you to Consider how to say good-bye is by picturing a razor-sharp scalpel in use: you cut cleanly, as opposed to Life’s ordinary process of fits and starts, where there is never a definite “yes” or “no,” never a clear beginning or end. I could make up examples as fast as I can talk, but just take one that everybody’s familiar with — relationships. A point can come where it finally just seems like, “Well, we should split up.” But the relationship continues for months. Even if one party moves out, he or she keeps finding excuses to call up, or to drop by. And even if the person stops doing that, for months he or she is still tied to the situation internally. “Is he going out with other people already?” Or, “How could she start seeing somebody else so soon after having had me all those years?” Such a connection is never cleanly severed.
Ordinarily, a person can’t really stop doing anything. And there is a reason. All human activities are a continuing transfer of energy. You can begin to See that everything in the world, and specifically what appears to be people, is wired together — everybody. It’s like Horizontal puppets — whenever anybody in the world moves, you’re pulled; and your actions pull everybody else.
For this reason, there is never a “clean cut.” The ordinary cannot operate surgically. Everybody attempts to — and all they have is a rusty, twenty-nine cent knife from the five-and-dime. It’s been rusting for twenty or thirty years. Every time you attempt to say “yes” or “no,” to stop a relationship, to move, or quit your job, to start something new, you’re operating with a knife that barely cuts. It’s continual torture. You think, “Well I’ve got the nerve to do it, and I’ve got the desire to do it.” But it will take you the rest of your life because you haven’t refined your own scalpel. And the more you try and don’t succeed, the more you suffer.
Those properly drawn to This are looking for a way to hone a scalpel that will go, “Pffft!” It’s learning how to say good-bye to a place and never remember it. It’s being able to See that the past is not only to the left on the Horizontal Line of time; it is also inside you, in the lower parts of the nervous system. You do not kill it, you do not stamp it out. You do not go back and in some way unravel it. Because you See it, you See it was never raveled. You don’t go back and attempt to undo your sins, because there were no sins. There was a primitive nervous system doing what it had to do.
When you become involved in This, I told you that I had revoked your suffering card, that you were no longer authorized to continue using it. I’m aware that just my saying this doesn’t immediately stop your complaints and soap operas. Your system at Line-Level continues to reexamine the books: everything that’s owed to you, how you’ve been mistreated; and of course the few — the very few — terrible things which you have done.
You can’t satisfactorily explain the past on the ordinary level. You can’t ordinarily undo what appears to be a despicable act. You can — once you’re free from Line-Level limits — to change the past. But it’s of no benefit to talk about that now. What you have to See first is that whatever happened was absolutely mechanical, and was for the ultimate growth of Life. You were simply an outlet.
To See it aright, to See beyond what you’re supposed to see, is to See that you did nothing. You think you have done something despicable. You think “it” was you. But everyone on this planet necessarily thinks that. And on the ordinary level there is nothing that can be done. But if you continue here, you’ll See that you have done nothing despicable, and that nothing despicable has been done to you.
Once you begin to See this, it is possible for the past to be literally changed. But the past must first be Seen for what it is. It must be understood. The kind of Seeing I am talking about is the wielding of a scalpel. It is freedom. For the first time in your life, it is the absolute once and for all act of severance.
Some of what I’ve told you to do, such as not saying “Hello” or “Good-bye” to each other is the enforced use of a scalpel. It’s one small opportunity for you to See that everybody wants to hold onto mechanical talk and habitual behavior. If I never stopped you from your habitual “hellos” and “good-byes,” you’d still be participating in the ordinary ritual: “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow. No wait, I won’t be here tomorrow.” And the other person says, “Well, anyway, I’ll see you Saturday at 2:00. No, that’s right, you said you wouldn’t make it till 3:00…”
That’s all quite natural in ordinary life. You try to leave someplace, and you keep dragging your feet. It just goes on and on. And it’s perfectly natural. It’s exactly the way things are supposed to be — under ordinary conditions. It’s an accepted, and expected, form of lubrication for the social machinery. But once you begin to See that everything mechanical is useless, all that lubrication is of no consequence. Once you begin to understand the completely mechanical nature of the urge to “lubricate the social machinery,” you simply cut it. You get ready to go, and you leave.
But in the beginning, you are not operating from the basis of understanding. You can only try to abide by this “rule” I have made: “Don’t say ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye.'” And it’s absolutely unnatural. But the only way to See that is to interfere with your habitual behavior; and simply stop it.
Surely you can all understand by now that to an ordinary person, this makes no sense at all. It seems rude, ill-mannered, like some kind of game at their expense. They cannot abide it. Everyone in ordinary life is continually stuck in some unprofitable, non-understood, gooey connection. There is no such thing as a clean break, no clean “yes” or “no,” “hello” or “good-bye.” Everything is always conditional, relative and interminably entangled.
The ability to make a surgical cut, to say good-bye to a place, is only possible for one who has acquired an unnatural familiarity with the operation of his own mechanical nature. There is no knowledge available in Life, or in your own lower circuitry, that can lead to this unnatural familiarity. Only those properly drawn to This, using the methods and tricks they discover here, will ever See aright the nature of their connection to an illusory self. Consider it a matter of being able to use conscious theatrics. No longer is the great human soap opera driving you. It becomes merely the necessary background, the stage setting, on which you willfully act out whatever role is appropriate to your own secret Aim. Only then is it truly possible to say good-bye to a place, to really move for the first time to a different place. And once you can do this, it’s no more remarkable than walking from one room to another, or taking off your brogans and putting on sneakers. You get ready to go, and you leave. What could be simpler?
I’m going to apparently change the subject, but surely you suspect by now that I never really change the subject. For This Thing to operate — no matter where, when or in what guise — there must be the appearance of a system, a map. This is simplest to See on the level of words or thought. If I had attracted a group of you through various announcements, such as “This is it! This is exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you won’t find it anywhere else!” — then if I didn’t say anything or write anything, nothing would happen. That’s not to say that a few people wouldn’t benefit and that even more might not believe they were getting something. But as an approach to doing This Thing with necessary intensity, it just wouldn’t fly. It’s simply impossible. You need the appearance of a system.
You have all had the opportunity to See by now that something funny happens whenever you start to think you’re finally beginning to get a handle on “the System.” Just as you feel that you’re on the very brink of “making sense of it all,” I suddenly pull the rug out from under you, and everything begins to sound new and strange all over again. It’s as if I were walking some invisible line of making it appear that there is a system, a definite form to This — then before you know it, it seems like everything is re-formed. It seems like I shifted, and that you are on a completely different track. But through it all, there is still somehow the appearance of continuity — that there is some form to This, and it’s just that you can’t quite see it yet.
The maps of any real system at any given time and place must be anti-matter maps. If you can Hear this at all, you will begin to get a glimpse of why I have to continually change things. If the map seems too static and stable, your Line-Level consciousness accepts it as ordinary matter. That is, the map almost becomes reality, and it can’t be. It has to be anti-reality. It can never be allowed to become the reality of life-as-you-have-always-known-it: the accepted reality that “makes sense” to Line-Level consciousness. This Thing must always operate through a system, through an apparent map, that is really nothing but anti-matter.
Now, quick before you miss it — remember, I’m not talking about contemporary physics, and I’m not gossiping about the history of whatever you may imagine This Thing to be. The death-defying gonzo part is to realize that by the time you can see anything “out there,” it’s already too late. You’ve got to immediately take any impression, whatever it is, and shove it right inside your own skull. You’ve got to See that anything “out there” already exists in your own nervous system.
Once you begin to properly use my continually shifting tricks and hints, you discover the extraordinary. You cease trying to reduce my anti-matter maps to “making sense.” You begin to understand them in the proper manner — as tools you can use to conduct extraordinary experiments in your own neural laboratory. And you begin to learn from yourself. You See with absolute certainty aspects of Life that not only did you never realize — but I never described to you either. It’s no longer an idea or a theory — it’s right there in front of you, and it couldn’t be simpler or more obvious.
You’ll never learn about “you” simply by some kind of attempted reversal. Many people play out this role in ordinary life — they are the so-called “rebels.” But they are a dime a dozen. That’s just one of the ordinary roles in Life, and it’s a necessary outlet for a certain kind of energy. You must learn to See for yourself that anything and its opposite are the same. They are two sides of the same coin. My anti-matter has nothing to do with simple negation, of turning “yes” into “no.” What I’m speaking of is not simply rebellion. It is to create a universe of anti-matter, which is different entirely. It’s a completely different matter, as a matter of fact.
It is impossible for a man to go beyond a certain point in This Thing until he understands the necessity to be freed from the appearance of opposites. He must somehow get beyond all ordinary notions of being forever confronted by idiots. He must abandon the illusion of evil in the world. For anything to happen in Life, there must be opposition. Movement requires resistance. But you must abandon the role of mechanical resistance, just as you see that ordinary resistance is simply necessary. Your Aim here requires that you abandon your complaints about resistance. For anything to live, opposition is required — but there must also be a third aspect which cannot be seen. This unseen third leg, the Third Force, is missing in any ordinary perception of reality. Man’s inability to see this missing aspect produces in him the notion of right and wrong, good and evil, and all other binary connections. In short, it is only by understanding this Third Force that you will be freed from your own ordinary concept of opposites.
What This is about is to put a kind of continual shock into the nervous system. Such a continual shock allows the current of creation itself to go beyond the Line and to activate the higher areas of the nervous system, to produce that which men have always dreamed of as great mystical states. That current itself, the ultimate creative force, is the motion behind all Three Forces simultaneously.
Can you See how this explains why all the people throughout history who have attempted to write about their “mystical experiences” — their accidental, temporary excursions above the Line — have never been able to give any satisfactory description of their experiences? They’re stymied because the experience is non-comparable. The experience reveals that “yes” and “no” exist simultaneously with a something else. But never mind the “something else,” it’s enough that “yes” and “no,” up and down, right and wrong, good and evil — all are simultaneous. There are no opposites to be found. Everything is just, well — everything. The language is just not constructed to say anything “sensible” about such a state of affairs. But more to the point, by the time a person who accidentally got above the Line sits down to try to write about such an experience, he’s back to being his old self. He can no longer See it. He can’t even really remember what it was. All that’s left is the overpowering feeling that something extraordinary happened, and a vague recollection of seeing that “Life is beautiful, people are beautiful. It was like I was in heaven, but it seemed to be happening right here, right now.” But once it’s over, he’s back to being himself, and he’s ordinary. And in that natural condition, opposition is on every hand: “My wife is driving me crazy, my kids are driving me crazy. I could make more progress along spiritual lines if only I had a better job or if I’d been born rich…” He’s right back in the middle of it.
The only way an ordinary person can deal with such an experience is to begin to force it into existing neural molds. “The gods spoke to me, they touched me. I thought I was seeing this world, but it was really a mystical experience, a vision.” They begin to break it down, to divide it up into this and that. They have no choice — that is all the circuitry below the Line is equipped to do.
For the current to rise above the Line requires all Three Forces moving, living simultaneously. It’s not a matter of one causing the other — it is one and the same thing. Can you see that when that happens there are no alternatives, no “on the one hand, but on the other hand”? There is only everything existing simultaneously. No more right or wrong, true or false. They’re all in there, along with everything else, but it’s all one.
I’ve told you before that you cannot accept what you hear in This as anything you have ever heard before. Nothing you have ever heard or thought in the past is of any use to you in This Thing. In the beginning, no one can make anything of This. Nonetheless it is absolutely true. “I’ve heard all this before,” makes it completely impossible to hear anything at all.
There is another unrecognized aspect of this. It’s not simply that you haven’t heard This before, or even that you mustn’t allow yourself to think you have. It’s that you cannot convert anyone. There is no such thing. Now of course, in Life people appear to be converted all the time. They join up somewhere and try to go along with the game at hand. Then say they feel better, that their life has changed completely. It appears to be a conversion, but it is not. No such thing as true conversion is possible. What ordinary people call conversion exists like everything else, but it is what I call a real illusion. Under ordinary conditions, there is no way for a walking nervous system to be converted. You cannot take a man who grew up in one religion and convert him to another, any more than you can take someone who is 5′ 2″ tall and say, “Here, sign this card and you’ll be 6’4″.” It’s just impossible.
You may think that what goes on in This Thing is a conversion, but it is not. A person must already have that certain loose wire in his circuitry. It must somehow still be alive above the Line or no growth is possible. A man simply must have the potential to Hear This, or he will never Hear it. That’s all there is to it. It’s not a matter of converting somebody — that’s impossible. I’m not ultimately to blame for This — the potential must already be there. I just create conditions which are not available in Life, in which the potential can be developed. But it must already be there, or nothing will happen.
If any of you can hear real quick, you have another opportunity to See true justice. This is the real conversion, and it’s no conversion at all. All the people playing weird — adopting weird diets and weird names, shaving their heads and painting their faces — the justice of it is that they haven’t converted. They’re not weird at all. You’re the weirdest people in the world; yet you must appear ordinary.
I was not using my reference to anti-matter as lightly as I may have appeared to pass over it. I ask you to seriously Neuralize that behind the idea of anti-matter is something you haven’t heard me speak of in awhile: internally you cannot continue to be you. You cannot be you and change. Real change is not temporary or gradual. What This Thing has always produced is sudden, abrupt change. It is not a matter of further education, of trying to “improve yourself,” or change your .pahabits. It is Seeing that you are a bad habit. Then you must learn how to let go of “you”: good-bye, once and for all.
You must create a field of anti-matter internally; you shift your internal life from the world of ordinary matter to the new world of anti-matter. You must attempt to seriously, continually find the loose wire that brought you here — the part that can hear This and use it. Anything else is a waste of time; anything else is wrestling with a tar-baby that sticks the more you fight it. The longer you hang on to it, the harder it is to say good-bye.
You can’t be you and do This. You can try it, but it’s never satisfying. You’re back to wielding the rusty knife. You can listen to me talk, or read my books, and try to take the ideas in the ordinary way. You can continue to live in the lower circuitry and try to mix everything together and think great thoughts. And all you’ve done is throw this opportunity into a blender. You don’t get anything out of it. It just comes out the same kind of mush you’ve always had.
The opposite of you is not simply a negative print. It’s not just that everything you know is wrong, although it is. You can’t do anything with that, because the opposite of you is still you.
The universe of anti-matter is beyond all descriptions and ordinary experience. And here’s one last example of justice: you have to discover it for yourself.