Knowledge and Experience
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KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Document: 34, August 5, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
I have, from time to time, commented on past schools. I referred to two groups: those attempting to pursue some apparent form of This Thing based on “knowledge,” and those who base their attempts on “experience.” Though a real system can’t be one or the other — it can’t be based upon knowledge and be devoid of experience — there can be the appearance of that. What people think they want is a school based upon an attempt to gain some sort of knowledge not ordinarily available. But all of you now have enough knowledge. What you must See is that without a certain kind of experience, change is impossible. Whereas ordinary people dream of becoming better, those involved in This Thing might be described as making the attempt to simply become more.
As vague and strange as some of This can be to certain parts of your mentation, there is a basic simplicity to it all. Part of why This remains so hidden, why it always operates on a small localized scale, is that few people can ever undertake so direct an expansion. The directness of it is that I have taken This Thing a step beyond anything that has ever been a part of it before. I have given you a specific physical description of the total makeup of man and of what Life itself is. That is the knowledge side. This diagram I have drawn is absolute simplicity (part of the reason it has remained so hidden). And it is absolutely unsatisfying to all your dreams about spiritual or mystical activities. The Horizontal Line in the diagram is simplicity itself. The Line has always been there. The Line separates This from everything else; the ordinary from the extraordinary, the possible from all that’s impossible. Everything you feel to be “I” lies below the Horizontal Line: where you were born, who your parents were, what your history was, the way in which you were raised, how much money you had, how you were treated or mistreated…all of that lies below the Line. And all of that has nothing to do with This Thing, other than the fact that it is proof that you are human, that you are alive. From the Line down everyone lives in the same condition, no matter how glorious or repulsive their circumstances. They live as outlets for Life’s growth. They manifest the hunger to grow, and they cannot grow — not in their lifetime. But they are a living manifestation of Life’s need to expand. Each person’s “dreams and problems” are sounds of Life exploding its limits.
In Horizontal time, you’re born, you spend sixty-five years living, and then you die. But that “sixty-five years” is only one possible description of a lifetime. On another level of time — in another nervous system with one small nerve ending growing — sixty-five years can be an instantaneous moment. That kind of condensed time makes another sound. It’s the transference of energy from one place to another, so the entire nervous system can grow and expand.
Without the kinetic activity of This Thing, not even the loose wire could affect the growth of Life. Even if a few people here and there had the ability to change, under ordinary conditions nothing would happen. Because this Line is the current level of consciousness and development in humanity, and a system cannot teach itself something it doesn’t know. You could lock yourself in a closet for as long as you like to try to teach yourself a foreign language. But without some form of instruction, no matter how long you stayed or how hard you tried, when you finally emerged you still wouldn’t be able to speak a new language. In the same way, even if there are people in Life with the potential to expand above Line-Level, without my tutelage and methods — labeled “This Thing” — nothing will do any good.
Nothing available in Life can teach you real growth. It doesn’t matter how many books you read, your education, or what hobby you pursue: no system can expand itself beyond its limits. There is nothing available in Life to feed even the few people wandering around who could Hear something, unless they can find a real source.
Have you ever wondered whether or not people can hear more than what is being said? Everything I talk about, everything I have written for you or directed you to do or that I have encouraged you to See through your own new experience — all of this has an effect. Try to See what can be seen; try to Hear what can be heard. If you would expand, you cannot continue to think what you now think nor feel what you now feel. When I point to the Horizontal Line, I am talking about you under ordinary conditions, at your balanced position of playing the role you’ve always played. Anything possible at that level will still not get you above the Line. But everything that I am doing with you, everything that you think you Hear, is all having an effect.
Assuming that you belong here, then all of This is not what your ordinary mind seems to tell you at times. The mind says, “This is a battle against injustice in Life; we are here to right the wrong; I am here to seek revenge for some wound inflicted upon me; This will make me a better person.” And it is not so. The Real process is very cut and dried, but the system below the Line cannot see it. This Thing proceeds in a direction the ordinary cannot comprehend. This Thing administers a timely and an untimely shock, a jolt, into the ordinary flow of Life. That’s what This Thing has always done. And each individual nervous system is still a “leftover,” insofar as you still seek nourishment in the past. That’s what produced you below the Line. And so, you’re still listening for some “spiritual message.”
When I say “spiritual message” or “mysticism,” I include a multitude of sins. I lump together everything you expected to hear, everything that you imagined This Thing would be: a “supernatural” something beyond all reason and comprehension. I have pointed out that each of you harbors a built-in desire for that. And I have said that, in a sense, you have been cheated because your system up to the Line-Level needs ritual. All of you have looked for that kind of “serious mysticism.” But in a sense all those expectations can now be superseded because you can understand each and every irritation, longing, and dream in humanity. They can be understood from knowledge-through- who have been there — not accidentally, not through drugs — did not use any ordinary imagination to extend their nervous systems above Line-Level. They grew Vertically with enriched blood. They moved up by activating the cortex in places where it had never been hot. If you picture the epitome of the human intellect as a V-12 engine, are you prepared to learn that there could be a V-14? Medical science is absolutely certain that approximately 85 or 90% of the physical brain seems to be nonoperational. You might read a magazine article based upon this information which states, “Everyone should expand his intellectual horizons. We are wasting most of our brains.” And you think, “Wow.” But notice, after you say “Wow,” you drop the magazine, and that’s the end of it. It never goes any further, because the system below the Line cannot educate itself. It cannot fire itself up.
I have given you a fair and accurate description of what happens when people even make the attempt to expand the mind. The expansion proceeds laterally, because it must connect with what’s already in existence. Through any ordinary means, you can expand the brain only up to the level at which it is biologically developed. This is always limited to lateral-growth-by-association. You can memorize new facts; you can repeat them and be the life of the party, but it is all information that fits in with the lateral connections you already have. This is necessary and proper, as is the belief in Life that additional education will be the answer to everything — which, of course, is the reality of saying that the continual expansion of humanity is the drive and desire of Life. But it is accepted in all civilized quarters by now, that “The answer to everything — poverty, crime — is more education; that’s the only reason people are going hungry. That’s the only reason people are in prisons.” This is not an attack on education, or upon stimulating the mind. But any additional information available in Life always connects in a Horizontal, lateral manner. What you already know rests below the Line, and it will not expand your nervous system beyond “you.”
Everything humanity imagines it wants, the reality behind what you imagined before coming here, behind the would-be mystical poetry, religious speculations, and great songs to the gods; all of it lies in one place: above the Line. It’s always out of reach. This is why, out in ordinary life, people cannot make any sense of their own idea of god. As soon as the mind of man comes up with the idea of a great old man or woman up there who understands everything and loves each and every one of us, that same mind immediately asks, “But what about the people I don’t love? How can god love me and love them too? How can god love everyone and still let people starve to death?”
The “god question” becomes another part of the sub-game of Life, but a reality lies behind it. Out in Life no one is interested in such matters; they’re not supposed to be interested. Theological speculation or the philosophy of religion, as it has been called in the past, is now accepted. Thousands of books have been written in the attempt to explain: all of this. Those normally referred to as the thinkers of the church, the religious apologists, write and attempt to explain, “If god is great and god is good then why are people starving to death? I can explain, it, that’s part of my job. You, the unwashed masses, don’t have the time to devote your life to the study of god. I know you’re busy so I’ll explain it all for you.” So they write a thirty-five thousand page book in small print, which, of course, the unwashed masses never read. They just assume he did explain the god problem. The point is that it’s accepted fact in theoretical religion that certain aspects of godliness cannot be understood: “That is the nature of the gods.”
I have told you that the answers to humanity’s burning questions can all be known. But not down below the Line. The answers all wait up above the Line, where you currently are not. And you cannot “accidentally” be there. You were not there before you met me, nor did you in some way have “correct ideas.” Your ideas were wrong, no matter what they are, because no matter what you believe down below the Line, it is incorrect. It’s incomplete.
Diagram # 001 photo
The nature of the system below the Line is a non-ending flow, and to call it complex is a charitable understatement. It is an absolute confusion of repetition and collision. If you had any kind of an objective memory, you would see that it not only goes around, it also goes around and around. That is, it is not simply you sitting there whistling the last bar to some song on the radio over and over again, it’s not just that. It’s that you did the something two hours ago; it’s that you did it yesterday, and the day before yesterday. That is what I meant by the second “it goes around and around.”
Heretofore, you have never been able to figure anything out. All your reading brought you no closer to understanding the great question; no amount of starving yourself, no amount of exercise, no lecture you ever attended brought you any closer. In short, nothing you ever did on your own brought you any closer to the possibility of being intelligent, of being a real person, of being “enlightened,” of understanding what seems forbidden, of living at peace, with no further questions. Everything connected to the system below the Line is wrong, but not in the sense of “wrong” as opposed to “right.” It is not that you personally are wrong, or that humanity per se is wrong, but that everything is wrong from the Line down. Remember also, as I have pointed out, that the opposite of wrong is not right. The opposite of true is not false. Everything that the mind can name is somehow true, and when seen from above, everything from the Line down is incorrect because it’s incomplete. Everything from the Line down is wrong, and everything from the Line down is proper.
All of this is in the form of a trick. But it is a trick which is not ordinarily available; it is not any form of Horizontal instruction. There is always a dance going on between leaders and followers. And many people in the world believe they are afraid of being trapped in something: all the cries of cults and brainwashing, etc., address this fear. But you must have some ability to See how extraordinary This Thing is. You must See (as complex as it seems), that, simplistically: This is the ultimate mystery. It is the ultimate religious experience. You don’t know what This is until you have known what it is, but it is as simplistic in reality as my drawing with a circle and a few lines. And it is this simplicity, in part, which makes it almost impossible for a person to comprehend through any map. You must pursue the experience, the simple experience.
A little more on the matter of experience. People do have a certain taste of it. I have referred to it as “accidentally” getting above the Line. This sometimes happens in Life. Never mind why; there is no particular reason why. It’s not as if some great force accidentally dispenses a moment of enlightenment. It’s more akin to accidentally getting run down in the street. There are always people with the “hunger” and ability to Hear some of this, but that doesn’t mean they will ever Hear it. If there is nothing to feed their growth potential, nothing happens. If someone does happen to spark an accidental moment of experience — of actually getting the nervous system activated above the Line of ordinary consciousness — all they can say when it’s over is “just extraordinary, totally amazing.” They don’t know what to say. They want to skip and scream. They want to recruit the world. They want to tell everyone, “There is another reality, I’m not sure what it is, but it’s all around us. You’ve got to experience it for yourself.” I am telling you all of this to get you to see that is not all of it.
I have mentioned that certain drugs under certain conditions produce unnatural temporary states. But drugs cannot produce the reality of a person learning how to extend his own nervous system. The experience without the proper kind of knowledge, the proper kind of map, is wasted. Experience alone is not the essence of This Thing. It is not the total Aim of This Thing. That’s why, even if it were possible for me to put some kind of magical zap on you, to produce some sort of temporary taste of this, I wouldn’t. But note: people look for that kind of instant zap, the “quick conversion.” The desire for it is built into each nervous system.
Here’s a variation of the question, “How could someone pursue a map that seemed to be knowledge without the experience?” Look at the kinds of books you have read and the kinds of lectures you have attended; or look at your own imagination, if you want to see an internal lecture to yourself. Look at your own version of such thoughts as, “If only I could become an exceptional person with magical abilities to push everyone around with no fear of repercussions.” Each is an example of an ordinary dream of knowledge with no experience. Such unstudied dreams lead people to read the same books and listen to the same lectures over and over again.
That is what holds pseudo-groups together. They even adopt “new behavior,” such as giving up eating meat, or shaving their heads, and it turns into a social club, like everything in Life. They offer lip service to the original motivation, and therefore they chew on maps. No one demands any real growth. That is a great part of religion throughout the world. Take the example of the priest on the steps who says, “My friends, life is a great pain.” And of course everyone responds, “Yeah.” So he says, “Hey, you’re my kind of people; come on in.” And then they go through certain rituals. They attempt to describe that which is indescribable. They even admit, “We are dealing with the great mysteries of the cosmos which no man can understand; but, be that as it may, please have your donations ready, and be at the picnic next week.” All such social clubs continue to chew on maps with no experience. You may continue to wonder, “How can this be?” but all you’ve got to do is look around. It’s not a matter of “How can it be?” It is, rather, “How can you not See that it be?” That is simply the nature of it. You can begin to look out in Life and See it. And when you become skilled at looking around, you can look down inside your own nervous system and See it.
Those properly attracted to This Thing have the genetic potential to be almost anyone. And if you struggle even the least bit above this Line, you will See I haven’t lied to you; my maps and descriptions are symbolic flimflam. The history of everything is within your own nervous system. My maps and methods are not some kind of spiritual dream, wherein “everything is written in the clouds; and in some way you get in touch with the gods, and they sweep you up into the heavens, and there is this big book with the history of humanity.” All of that is but a childish mechanical reflection of another reality. The history of humanity does exist somewhere; it is right here in you, in the system below the Line.
If you can rise above Line-Level, you will find that you are everyone. Reflections of this permeate all the so-called spiritual and religious writings of humanity. There is nothing foreign in Life. You will find that you can understand everyone: you don’t need psychology books, you don’t need to hear anything else, you don’t need anybody to explain his behavior to you. Whatever would seem to you to be the act of the most despicable person on earth — you can feel that potential in your own nervous system. Whatever it is you hear that has been done, you could have done it. And most of it, on the level of intellectual imagination and daydreaming, you have done. You have all heard the idea, “That which you have done in your mind, you have done,” or, “If you kill a man in your mind, you have murdered him.” Ordinary humanity construes all manner of meanings from this. But it’s not that if you had physically had an opportunity you would have done the unthinkable; it is not a matter of good or evil. We are talking about the possibility of understanding all ordinary humanity. And this understanding begins by conserving the energy normally spent in binary judgements of other human nervous systems.
Below the Line, everyone must play that game. The mechanical nervous system is in charge of transferring a certain kind of energy. The basic physical function of humanity originates at the base of the spine. The organism functions in a continuum of refinement, culminating in what seems to be “I”. Note that part of the lower activity conflicts with the higher circuits, so that the higher circuitry denies that certain of these “lower activities” even exist. The higher circuits cannot see it; they are not in charge of seeing it. If everyone could see everything going on down in the spine, then everyone would be the same. The whole world would be the same. Everyone would be everyone else. (Of course, in reality, everyone is everyone else, but no ordinary “I” can See the truth and simplicity of that.) It is not simply that under certain conditions you might have robbed, raped, or murdered. Rather, you just can’t see what’s just beneath the surface of “I”. And to “I”, the lower level doesn’t even exist, except as the backdrop of continuing friction and irritation. Who has the “hunger” to See through such friction? And who is prepared to give up his hobby of suffering? Who?
What the ordinary world calls “unconscious conflicts going on in humanity” transpires in each nervous system. It is only how each system is put into operation and fired up that makes everyone appear and act differently. If you can get above the Line, you’re going to See that everything you hated or loved is in you. And, you will understand why you never saw it before.
I want to respond to some questions concerning that certain substance in the blood. It is not oxygen — it’s not anything identifiable. You won’t find it mentioned in any book — it’s not written down, and you won’t find information about this anywhere else. If you went to a library and looked around for awhile, you might find something that would seem to reflect this information, but it doesn’t.
Remember that sometimes, when I start to speak about something, I’m not always telling you the whole story. If you want the whole story, you have only one place to look: inside your own nervous system. In no way can an ordinary person examine the blood and find that substance, because it doesn’t exist in ordinary blood. In order to isolate the substance, you’d need the blood of someone extraordinary, and someone extraordinary would have to study it. But you won’t find any extraordinary volunteers for such an undertaking.
The substance in the blood cannot be identified under ordinary conditions. It does exist. It can be felt. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with reading any kind of book, you are wasting your time attempting to take this information and mesh it with any ordinary information. That’s like trying to put a new nose on a statue. You are simply wasting your time. If there is anything else to tell you, I’ll tell you. You don’t need to look in a book.
The more you rise above the Line, the more you can begin to See for yourself, and the more you will understand what I meant when I told you that This Thing is everywhere. If you went back and read all the religious books again, once you begin to See, you would find that they’re all saying the same thing. But then you could pick up a comic book, and you’d see it there, too. And on television. It’s what I’ve been telling you: you’re everybody, and the truth is right there along your own nervous system. But in the ordinary world the only truth available has been from the Line down, and that truth has been available to everyone. It’s been named and associated with every other kind of so-called truth. Everyone’s been thrown into the same closet and they’re all yelling, “Where is more additional information? Who’s got the secret?” And nobody does. Once you See this then you have completed the great circle. Then you know it all.
This idea now circulates commonly: “The level of your being attracts your life.” It’s a fair verbal statement, and as with anything else, there is a reality behind it. The truth of it is that you literally generate a magnetic field through your own hard-wired nervous system. So can you See, from a new perspective, the perfect justice in everything? Everyone is dancing together with a certain perfection. Look at what passes for sexual attraction between men and women, as in the example of your poor aunt married to the abusive drunk. One day he falls over dead and two weeks later she’s got someone else just like him. Or you complain, “I always end up with women who mistreat me,” and someone asks, “How many?” and you shrug and say, “Well, l lost count.” It’s simply that each nervous system generates a specific magnetic field. And that magnetic field is one element in what I’ve called “the machinery of Life.” Each field-system attracts certain energies, repels others, and transfers yet other kinds of energy. When you See that this is what literally happens, then you will See that everything is in its place; everything is connected. And when you understand the web of connections, you understand that your level of being does attract your life. And then one day you’ll wonder how long it’s been since you asked about good and bad luck; why any two people are together; why…
This carries over into an area of great interest for many people’s so-called “relationships.” At the ordinary level, all attractions are mechanical attractions: who you have been attracted to is who you should have been attracted to. The kind of magnetic field that seems to surround “I” — what you call “yourself” — propelled you to the kind of person you’re with — and vice versa. Something else is possible, but it cannot be described as “this” or “that.” Consider it on the basis that you are no longer dealing with someone as part of a forced dance — nothing that even appears as, “expect such and such.” It is based on something beyond some certain kind of give and take, beyond the common energy-currency traded back and forth. If the ordinary level was devoid of all of that tension and exchange, how could it be called attraction, much less “love”? Look at the great love songs of humanity — “I love you baby and I can tell because I’m miserable” — that’s mechanical and is the essential attraction of humanity. How would you know that you were “in love,” if you were not continually suffering? I’m telling you there is something else possible. But you won’t find it below the Line. I won’t even describe it very much in below-the-Line language.
Someone mentioned becoming concerned because of periodically feeling that “no one is at home.” You have all felt a kind of descent into the hands of your own mechanical sense of “I”. And I might suggest to you that instead of it happening more and more, could it be that you’re just beginning to notice? With the right kind of attempt to force yourself to the highest possible point in the nervous system, you cultivate a distance from that certain stale odor of “I”. You can no longer just accept yourself as you are; you can’t simply think “your” thoughts, nor can you blindly continue to feel “your” feelings. You are no longer attempting to look at the stars with a microscope. You’ve got to be able to get away from the system to See it. Then you can tell it goodbye.
It doesn’t matter how much coffee you drink or don’t drink, how many times a day you take drugs, or what you read: the system below the Line will never be “at home.” It cannot be at home. That is its nature. That is its job. And when you can truly tell “it” good-bye, you’ll have found a real home.