The Food/Energy Chain
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THE FOOD/ENERGY CHAIN
Document: 40, September 23, 1982|
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
For those attempting to ignite the higher areas of the nervous system this is the most perfect map on the planet. Keep in mind, though, that like all maps, this one is disposable.
The Horizontal Line that indicates the Line level of ordinary consciousness represents and refers to something quite specific. Though you cannot see it, you can feel it. And given the proper efforts you will learn to See it. That Line does exist. It exists in the frustration of being what you have always been; it exists in the unrecognized ubiquitous feeling that, “Something is not right; I should change.”
At Line level, there is no way for a person to improve in any objective sense. Difficult as this is to realize, it’s true: there is no change possible under ordinary conditions with the food ordinarily available in Life. In order to do anything extraordinary, in order to ignite the nervous system above the Line, you must have extraordinary conditions and extraordinary food.
Energy runs through your system continuously, exactly as an electrical current, and culminates in Line-level consciousness, in your ordinary thoughts. Your ordinary thinking process is an electrical flow. One of the most potent questions I could ever ask is, “What are you going to say next?” It sounds like a simple, straightforward question, but Line-level consciousness — this pulsing surge of energy — can’t answer it. It is not structured to know what it will say next.
Ordinary consciousness has an explanation for everything, which is part of the difficulty in anyone being able to Hear the message of This Thing. If the information is not too drastic — if the words make sense at all — ordinary consciousness says, “I already know that.” Everyone in the world is familiar with the message disseminated by religion. What they don’t know is that the source of the message is Life itself. It’s Life talking about tomorrow, but it comes through the mouths of men as directives for being a better Jew, a perfect Christian, or a true Moslem. What Life is talking about is one extraordinary reality: the real possibility of igniting the higher areas of the nervous system. That is what it takes to be truly religious. What man talks about, though, is what ordinary consciousness already knows. “Change? Oh, yes, I know what that is. Being religious? Yes, I’ll start going back to church every week, plus I’ll give up drinking for two days a week.” But that ain’t it. Real change involves only one thing: extending yourself above Line level. Anything else is no change at all.
An ordinary person attempting to change goes through three stages, and there are three descriptions, or types of non-physical food, available to such a person. The first, most prevalent stage, usually involves some form of religion. The general idea is to turn your problems over to somebody else: “Give your heart to the gods and they will take care of you.” “Put yourself in the hands of the master; do what he says, or rather, try to do what he says, and you will feel better.” It is the belief in the teacher or system that is supposed to solve the problem. Or, if all else fails, there is always the promise of a reward in the hereafter: “We have all missed the mark; nobody is perfect and nobody understands; just forget it because after you die you’ll see the light.” They are pointing to “heaven.” They are pointing in the right direction, but to the wrong place.
Compared to the first, the second stage can seem complicated beyond belief. It’s what’s involved in psychology and talking therapies. It is the feeling that if you talk enough you’ll eventually uncover the cause of your problems. You’ll talk your way back to the beginning — or the end.
The third stage is very, very similar to the first one in its simplicity, except that you could not get from the first stage to the third stage without experiencing the second stage. In fact, the third stage is so simple that it strikes the ordinary nervous system as foreign; no one can believe in, no one would trust the fate of his problems to, anything so simple. (Hence, the second stage, where most people wander into an absolute rain forest, never to see the sun again. I guess we could subtitle the second stage, “Who stepped on my compass?”) Even ordinary people occasionally experience the third stage. It’s simply that all obstacles, all opposition to your progress — including your problems — seem to disappear. You suddenly feel you’re about to make a major breakthrough, if not have an honest-to-goodness mind exploding mystical experience. Then the phone rings, or you go back to figuring out your taxes, and everything clouds up again, and that’s as far as it goes.
That is the extent of the food available in Life to assist one’s efforts to change. At the ordinary level, the same non-nourishing food is available to everyone; everything available runs through everyone’s brain. To continue thinking what you have always thought is to limit yourself to Line-level consciousness, where you can only see what everyone else sees. The Line is not just a line. It is the literal Level of Consciousness in humanity, and ordinarily everything — all information and energy — is processed at that level. As long as you continue to process what you hear through the Line, whether it’s my words or the tenets of a religion, you will never change.
It is literally as if the whole world were living in one big apartment with a ceiling that is only five feet high. Most people cannot stand up to their full height. They complain about it. They tell each other, “Quit slouching! Stand up straight.” To shorter people they say, “Grow up!” But nothing changes the reality of the situation. Everyone is limited to that level, physically. There is an absolute ceiling on consciousness in the ordinary world, and when you’re subject to that ceiling — living in that room — the most astounding information in the world will do you no good.
Man is, as is everything here, part of a food chain. And he is also part of an invisible nonmaterial food chain. He is a processor of ideas, theories — which are information and energy. Everything man calls “psychological” or “spiritual,” as opposed to physical, is nonetheless food. And man serves as a processor of this invisible nonmaterial food. Ordinary consciousness sees human conflict — the eternal battle between good and evil, the ups and downs of the stock market, changes in relationships, shifts in the political climate. He doesn’t see that what is actually going on is a continual processing of the nonmaterial food and energy necessary for Life’s growth.
You continually chew up and spit out energy. And what you eat always leaves some sort of trace. You take in food from some guy in a pickup truck who drives by and yells, “Hey, fatso!” He may be long gone, but two hours later you’re still munching on the food/energy he tossed you. It’s like dealing with radioactive waste. Once you handle it, you can’t ever totally abandon it. You may seal the waste in a huge container; wear a special insulated suit and use a machine to lift the container so you won’t have to touch it. But then you have to bury the suit, and the machine as well. You use a bulldozer to push dirt over the container, and now the bulldozer gets contaminated. So you pour gasoline on it, and strike a match. Then you go back to work, if they’ll let you in the building. But you’re covered with soot, and you have to take off all your clothes. Now your clothes have touched you, so you have to wash yourself. But now you have touched you… There will always be an element of contamination. Energy will always follow you; you cannot abandon whatever you have handled.
This sort of lingering contamination is a large element of what seem to be psychological problems. Everyone has the sensation, “I am working against a particular problem — my temper.” At the ordinary level whatever you’re handling seems important and personal. But you are simply processing the energy necessary to that level, and there is nothing personal about it. Everyone is in the same position; everyone’s in the same room.
The level of the Line of Consciousness rises in man as Life grows through man. Each generation is developed a little higher than the previous one. So, in truth, you are more conscious than was your grandfather. Your nervous system’s activation extends higher than his did.
Don’t think too quickly that you already know what I’m talking about. “Well, any fool knows that. Things are different now. People are more sophisticated, better educated, and they are exposed to a tremendous amount of technology at an early age.” It’s not that that is wrong, but it tells you nothing. If you approach the study of humanity on that level all you can see is what you’ve always seen. All you’ll see is the form of things rather than the energy behind the form. To argue that your great grandfather was not more conscious because he missed the opportunities you have, is to talk about form. And it tells you nothing that will increase your understanding. If you have any ability to See, you can look at photographs of people of one hundred years ago and See that they were not the same then as people are today. It’s not just that they were wearing different clothes and hairstyles. They were not physically the same. The Line of Consciousness sat lower in the nervous system.
As long as you’re alive, you’re continually processing food — both physical food and that which is nonmaterial. You continually take in energy and send it back out to others. When the guy drives by and yells an insult, you react. It is as if he threw food out the window and you opened your mouth. And he will never miss.
Observe your reactions with respect to the upper end of the nervous system. I am not talking about the physical level where the system must react to protect itself — the man did not stop his car and threaten to kill you. But observe how the upper end of your nervous system processes nonmaterial food. Someone yells; you want to yell back. But he’s already gone, so you end up mumbling to yourself about crude, unsophisticated people. “What am I doing living in this part of town? Why do they let people like that out on the road?” Your nervous system chews on the energy. You return home, and when someone asks, “Have a nice run?” you immediately transfer that energy to them. And they react, “What’s wrong with you? You were whistling when you left the house.” You absorbed and digested part of the food, passed some along, and somebody else is chewing on it now.
There is nothing strange or metaphysical about being part of this energy chain, it’s just that ordinary humanity (which means Line-level consciousness) cannot see it. To operate at the level of the Line is to pass along energy just like everyone else does. It is to believe that you’re the source of what you say and think, when in reality it all comes from somewhere down the road. You’re just part of the pipeline. If you could grab a president, a religious leader, or the greatest philosopher of all time in the middle of a rousing speech and say, “Quick, what are you going to say next?” you would find out one thing: at Line level, everyone is the same.
In order to be able to Hear This Thing, you must have the potential to extend yourself above the Line. I have called this potential a “loose wire” in your nervous system, a weak spot in the wiring, a crack in the ceiling of consciousness. It is literally a point of access for energy to reach the higher areas of the system. You cannot take a back door approach to This Thing — a theoretical approach will never work. Anyone can come in contact with This, but if there is no loose wire it will effect no real change. You simply must get that energy above the Line. That is the eternal difference between This Thing and all other information ordinarily available.
Everything available at Line level, from pseudo-forms of This to psychology and self-help systems, are based on the belief that you can improve upon what now exists; that a person can change his Line level system. Such systems do no harm at the ordinary level, but if your Aim is true radical growth, they will do you no good.
Just for a moment, Consider what on the surface would appear to be similarities between psychology and This Thing. Consider ordinary self-improvement: “I used to smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, and now I have quit smoking.” Unless they own stock in a tobacco company, most ordinary people are going to admit that is an improvement. “You’re better off not smoking; you’re a better person for it.” Psychology deals in something similar to this, moved up a level: “I used to spend heaven knows how much time hating my mother, and now I have dinner with her every weekend.” Any ordinary person will feel, “Well, that is important. It’s better not to hate your mother.” And that is fine; it is no doubt better to not hate your mother. But it has nothing to do with igniting the higher areas of the nervous system; it will not help you escape from the frustration that is life at Line level.
“Anything you can think is of no value.” The ordinary nervous system can do nothing with this statement, though it has a certain ring to it. Consciousness hears those words and, for a split second, they have an impact. Then it is gone. But Neuralize: if there were any information out in Life that would do the trick, if you’d ever thought anything of value, you wouldn’t be listening to me. You’ve wandered around all these years; you’re read books, listened to all kinds of teachers. If there were any value in the ordinary food available, wouldn’t you know it by now? Wouldn’t you already be enlightened? On the contrary, everything that has been named, everything humanity at Line level sees and thinks, helps keep you at the ordinary level.
Remember, there is no successful back door approach to This Thing. It’s not a matter of espousing a system of beliefs, no matter how drastic they seem. The mind can only see theoretical alternatives: “Well, if it’s not this, it must be that. If this system won’t do it, I’ll believe in that one.” But changing your beliefs at Line level is no more significant than cutting down on cigarettes. The only radical change is to move above that level.
When you become conscious above the Line, you simply See in an instant that everything in Life has no significance to This Thing. You see it completely, with no cynicism or sarcasm. You just realize that everyone’s speech, everyone’s explanation of reality, everyone’s so-called emotional life — everything humanity accepts as being both proper and improper behavior — is a barrier. You see that for you it was all a waste, but a necessary waste. There was a crack in the ceiling, and you got above it.
All human activities — from mass murders to all night mass — are the same in the sense that they keep you right where you are. This is not to imply that you cannot learn from new activities. (And it’s certainly not to imply that you should engage in criminal acts.) If your Aim is to ignite the higher nervous system, almost everything you look upon is of use. But do not get caught by the mind arguing, “Well, there has to be something of value out there. Some ideas deserve more attention than others.” There is no such thing as a back door approach to This Thing, and there’s no such thing as an idea that will produce real growth.
Look again at the diagram. The Primal Flow enters the nervous system at the base of the spine. The current travels through your system, feeding the body, feeding the emotional tenor of the system, and feeding the intellect, before it culminates in Line-level consciousness.
Diagram # 28 illustration
The eternal dream of being enlightened has a simple reality: it is the physical activation of a portion of the nervous system which has no business being alive today. This part of the nervous system, above the Line of ordinary consciousness, serves no purpose as far as most of humanity is concerned. It is the level where man will be tomorrow. But your connection to tomorrow sits right there today. And if you are properly attracted to This Thing — if you have that loose wire — you have a conduit to carry energy above the Line. The current can move through your weak spot to activate unactivated portions of the nervous system.
The reality of getting above the Line is a physical one. It is more practical than anyone wants to believe, and it is stranger than anyone can imagine. You’re quite correct to expect the unexpected. But if you’re waiting for something that fits any ordinary notion of weirdness, you’re in for a long wait. You are not going to one day experience an explosion in your head and forever “become enlightened.”
The ordinary nervous system continues to function. If it’s any comfort to you, you will always have the possibility of staying home on Saturday night with a cold cup of coffee waiting for the phone to ring. Who knows why it happens? Maybe the humidity’s too high — but there you sit, suffering, back in the hands of Line level demons. When this happens, you will have a better understanding of the old story about a demon tempting a prophet. This demon appears and says, “Come over here. If you’ll stop what you’re doing, I’ll give you all the money and power in the world.” Notice that, in the story, the prophet does not immediately say, “No.” He does not say, “I’m too far above Line-level consciousness to be tempted by that.” The truth is that he probably sat down, smoked a cigarette, and gave every appearance of thinking about it before he answered.
I mention this to disavow you of the common notion that there is an absolute other state of consciousness. Humanity dreams that, “If I give my heart to the gods I’ll be in some mystical state,” but that is not what the experience really is. As long as you are alive, the ordinary parts of the nervous system continue to operate, but you cease to be under their power.
You cannot just walk out of the room and shut the door on your nervous system. It’s more like you walk into another room, and the door’s still open, but you don’t look back. You can hear noise coming from in there. You can see demons peeking out, saying, “Are you busy? Can we come in?” and sometimes it is hard. There you sit on a Saturday night in some weakened condition, and one of the demons peeks around the door in a party hat. Another one holds up a sign that says, “car wreck.” And you’re tempted to go over, to look. After all, they’re your old friends — on the ordinary level — you’ve lived with them for years.
Of course, this is playing with words. That’s not some silly demon peeking around that door. It’s your “me.” It is “I have problems,” “I feel pressure.” Above the Line, there are no problems, there is no pressure. And once you experience that, you do have the ability to stay out of the room.
People often ask questions about how to deal with fear. Fear is just another Line level demon, and the way to deal with it is to ignite the nervous system above the Line. There is nothing to be afraid of. To put it another way: you can only be afraid of the unknown. There is no fear above Line-level consciousness, because from that viewpoint you can See what is going on. When you’re above the Line, there is nothing foreign, there is nothing unknown. Human activity at Line level can be described as dissatisfied, frustrated suffering; it could also be called fearful. The nervous system is afraid it is going to die; you are afraid of being unloved and unwanted. Fear is a commodity of energy — it is one of the common forms of non-material food people are in charge of processing. But what ordinary people fear is an imaginary future: things have scared you in the past, and you are afraid those same things will scare you again.
Consider that you can only be afraid of what you don’t understand. Whatever you fear seems in some way superior to you. Your ordinary fears are based on the notion that “There is something in the world that is beyond me; there are people I cannot deal with.” Being able to See above the ordinary nervous system means you have no equals. This has nothing to do with any ordinary feeling of superiority. It is simply that you have been living cramped down in the apartment with everybody else and suddenly you get above the ceiling and have a better view. A part of you stays in the apartment (remember, you cannot abandon your lower nervous system), so you still understand what it is like to live there. You do not feel superior. But you understand you have no equal and there is no one to be afraid of.
Unless you undertake this sort of Neuralization of your fears, you will go on feeling helpless. Igniting the higher areas of your nervous system will not give you the power to stop a freight train with your bare hands, as far as I know. But remember that the only real helplessness is being limited to a Line level existence. On that level, the types of people that scare you always will scare you. It’s their job. Somebody somewhere chews up aggressive food and vomits on someone else; that person chews it, then throws up on you. Then you pass it along. So what else is new?
It is the function of ordinary consciousness to divide and separate everything it perceives. Indeed, that is how it perceives. All the world is divided in two camps: what you’re doing now and what you’ll be doing later; all the good people in the world versus all the bad ones; everything that is right and everything else which is obviously deluded. Everything is neatly divided, at Line level. And it is the process of consciousness itself — it is the pulsing flow of current culminating at the Line — that created the division. With every pulse, you experience another rebirth of consciousness. But when you activate your nervous system above the Line, what you experience is an unbroken, undivided, omnitaneous flow of energy.
Ordinarily, energy follows the same path, over and over, through your nervous system, until it stops at the Line, until you think a thought. But you can interfere with this habitual process of thinking what “you” thinks. And in doing so, you’re conserving the energy that is normally dissipated at the Line. You feel the current just before it hits the Line of Consciousness; you see the thought coming and you catch it before you actually think it, before it merges with the screen. Before that energy stops — before it becomes another expression of you — you catch it and hold it and focus it at the weak spot, at the loose wire.
There is a way to physically intercept thoughts before they reach the Line where you “think” them. You can look at things and people without thinking about them and find yourself more acutely aware. You can be fully conscious and not think about anything, but it is a running battle to maintain this state. No verbal description will suffice, but picture yourself grabbing a hot wire with each hand, trying to allow the current to flow through without being electrocuted.
In the same way that you can look at someone without thinking about him, you can not-think your “personal” troubling thoughts; you can not-fear your fears or you can not-feel what you ordinarily feel. It is an immediate, direct remedy for any ill Line-level consciousness can think of.
Let me describe another aspect of the nonmaterial food exchange. There is a continual exchange of ordinary, interpersonal currency. It could be described as “emotional” currency, and it is funny money for anyone attempting to ignite the higher areas of the nervous system.
Everyone continually passes this currency in an attempt to identify himself: “Where I’m coming from, how I feel, what I emotionally believe to be the proper conduct for humanity.” Every instance of ordinary human intercourse is an exchange of counterfeit currency. It is a particular form of energy/food, and you should simply attempt to See and Consider it. Do not fall into cynicism. It’s not that people are phonies. It’s not that when someone tells you how well you look, he’s lying. At the ordinary level, people can no more lie than they can tell the truth. They are not the source of their own words or actions. It’s all in the pipeline. But for the Few, what comes down the pipe is counterfeit currency. Simply attempt to See and Neuralize: What is going on here?
Remember that being at Line level means seeing what everyone else sees. And I am telling you, that is not all there is to be seen.