What Are You Going To Say Next?
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WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO SAY NEXT?
Document: 41, September 25, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
I want to remind you that what I have drawn is, for somebody properly here, the most dangerous and potent map that the planet has ever seen. And in the next generation whoever will be fulfilling the same kind of role as I am will truthfully say the same thing: whatever map, whatever basic description is then appropriate will be the most dangerous and potent, and this one will no longer be valid. But right now it is absolutely valid. It is all encompassing.
It does not address symptoms. When we’re apparently talking about aspects of human behavior, about personality, we’re speaking about the symptoms. The continuing necessity, for everyone at Line-Level consciousness, to continually identify themselves is one of the symptoms: they are simply describing the forms manifested by the underlying motivation. This diagram is a map of the motivation beneath the forms. It is the actuality of everybody on this planet.
As potent as I say it is, you should also note that the first time I drew it, and even now, pointing to it, people do not fall onto the floor and roll their eyes and foam at the mouth. Your ordinary consciousness can ponder it, can look at it, and you may attempt to give me the benefit of the doubt. You may admit that there may be some validity to it and some message you can’t yet see. But to the ordinary nervous system below the Line, by and large, it’s just a bunch of lines.
If you could get free of the captivity of your own system below the Line and See, you would not see people. You would not see presidents. You would not see mothers and fathers. You would not see humans on this planet. There are no “people”. The only people alive on this planet, in the sense that everyone thinks, are those not totally captive of their own automatic nervous systems. Ordinary people are my diagram from the Line down. They’re covered in flesh, with a bony structure: they have hair (in some cases on their heads); they have beards, noses; they talk, eat, and breathe; but there is no “person” in there.
Diagram # 001 illustration
If you could answer the dastardly question, “What am I going to say next?” then everything would be different. If the ordinary system had the ability to use that question as a self-inflicted, non-necessary wound, then it would See. And that would change everything. But this system cannot ask what it’s about to say next, because it’s not a thing. It is a food processor; it is a conveyor belt, and that’s all it is. And believe it or not, that is in no way pessimistic. Nobody is wrong. People are not stupid in any ordinary sense. There is nothing pessimistic about it. It is in no way a negative theory. It is a reality, but the ordinary system cannot see it.
To live in the nervous system below the Line is to be ordinary. The ordinary, limited nervous system is the reality behind such terms as “being asleep”. It is everybody, no matter what the “I” in you thought before now. Everyone has tried to identify themselves in particular ways. (Now we’re back to speaking about the form, what seems to be one’s personality, but remember that’s always kindergarten talk. We’re not talking about the energy, we’re talking about the form of it.) Every one of you here has attempted to establish yourself by your education, or by your dress. You felt you had established a “something”. In some cases you considered yourself an extraordinary diamond in the rough, a genius waiting to be discovered, as if you were a mystic lacking only some little assistance. You thought perhaps somebody like me would show up, and you’d finally piece it together, and we would be extraordinary upon extraordinary.
Everyone from the Line down is ordinary; everyone is subject to the same limitation: it is the same ceiling; it is the absolute level of consciousness at any given time, which is the Line, and everything below the Line is ordinary. It’s ordinary on ordinary with whipped ordinary on top of it, ordinary sauce on it, and a maraschino ordinary on top. It comes in different forms — some people appear to be from Princeton. But everyone is ordinary. It is only those who have any potential to ignite the higher levels of the nervous system who can tolerate even that much understanding.
To ordinary consciousness, everything appears to be most complex. Not withstanding my saying that you had no past, that you had no problems, that you have no particular current problems; to this “I” system, life appears to be a nonstop morass of complex problems. You no sooner have one “problem” under some apparent partial control, than — what happens? There’s a brush fire over here. There’s another small revolution. Something else has gone awry. But — some day you’re going to get it all fixed. That is what I have previously referred to as the “clean desk” syndrome. It is built into the system.
The clean desk is ordinary man’s idea of heaven. He would never, under ordinary conditions, connect a clean desk with heaven, but that is exactly it. “If I could freeze this moment, it would be heaven.” The little system thinks, “My desk is clean. All business is done by the end of the day. No problems. I’ve just been paid. The check’s in my hand. It’s not raining outside; I have on my good suit; happy hour’s not over down the street. Everything is right. If I could just freeze this moment, if I could reduce Life to a freeze-frame, right now, it’d be heaven. I’d be happy forever.”
But the belief is also built into Life that you are able to clean your desk. From the Line-level down, the nervous system continues to tell you, as it should, as it must: “All things are possible. You can be better. You can be happy. You can be satisfied. It is simply a matter of just one more piece of information; if we had one more hour; if I would get in to work a little bit earlier; if somebody else would take over part of my workload; if…something…I could get my desk clean, and then bronze it. I would be, once and for all, satisfied. I would be happy. I would know what was going on.”
Everyone has dreams about what it would be like to be freed from ordinary consciousness. Many of you imagine that activating the higher areas of your own nervous system would be a mystical state: “I would be blown from my senses. I’d be able to have the kind of dreams I had the first time or two on hallucinogenic drugs, but in some way I’d be able to handle it, I’d be able to use it. I could manipulate people. I could clean up my desk.”
Such terms as “being ignited” have a physical basis, and it has nothing to do with the gods of your father: nothing to do with your imagination of “mystical states”. It’s an unbelievable simplicity beyond conception. Ordinary consciousness is in continual operation below the Line. It is the limit of what you are. It is constant: “I’m thinking about this. I’m trying to listen to what you say. I’m trying to do the things you say to do, and I’m trying to figure out what it is. I’m trying to figure out why I can’t remember to do it.”
There seems to be no way out, other than to wait for me to give you a secret zap, to force you to ignite your higher nervous system beyond your will. Or you feel in some way you’re going to stumble across this missing verbal, intellectual link that’s going to tie all this information together. It will never happen that way. There is nothing extant in Life that will extend your nervous system — no matter what strange, obtuse, arcane books you may have thought you have read, no matter how many strange lectures you have heard, no matter how many strange thoughts you think you have thought. There is no food anywhere “out there” of any nature that is provided by Life whereby Life will outgrow itself. The Life-of-Life is not going to overeat and get diarrhea. It’s not going to get tense and get an ulcer. It’s not going to play a joke on itself. It’s not going to tie its shoelaces together so that when it starts to walk it will blow up the universe. It does not confuse itself. It does not, as many people believe, harbor a group of people in one part of the world who will destroy the planet. The Life-of-Life does not stick pins in its ears. It does not burn cigarettes into its cheek. It does not, for a hobby take a paring knife and sit down and whittle off one of its toes. It is a continual process which the ordinary system cannot see, because each nervous system is an outlet for all of Life. Man is Life’s outlet for creative growth on this level. That is why these walking nervous systems act as “something”. That’s what all the great proclamations and all the activities on the global and individual scale are manifesting. But there is still an utter simplicity.
Almost everything you say, do, or think hinders igniting the higher areas of your nervous system. And yet, that cannot be true. The system cannot make any sense of that. Surely some of the things you do must be better than others. Some of what you attempt to think about — such as your diet, contributing money to charity, and reading the gory news, with pictures of the burning buildings and women chopping up their children — give you the feeling that you’re doing something worthwhile. And at Line-level, you secretly feel, “I’m a would-be angel, because I can read this and feel absolutely terrible.”
There is still a simplicity. It’s beyond any question of absolute freedom from captivity.
A lot of your imaginations amount to this: “I’m awfully close to a great experience of some kind.” There is a reality behind that, but it’s not what anybody thinks. It is not some imaginary new connection to what you know now. It’s not up in the stars. It’s not hidden somewhere in the Middle East. I don’t keep it in a trunk. I can’t sell it. It is absolutely unknown, and it is literally, physically right above the Line. It has always been there. That space has always been heaven. That physicality has always been the mountain of the great gods; it’s always been the hidden caves in Tibet. In that territory the prophets of every great religion learned all the great secrets. It contains every dream that has filtered through humanity as a dream of something superior, all the way from the gods to, “I could be a god,” or, “I could be happy.”
You sometimes feel that the rest of the world knows a secret, as if it’s a hoax, a plot, a conspiracy against you. Maybe you have a flat tire and you were on your way to interview for a new job. You had to miss your regular job; you had to borrow money to buy these interview clothes. You’re doing this so you can get married to that beautiful little woman and raise beautiful little children and lead a beautiful life, and so you can always do what’s right. And here you are with a flat tire. You’re going to miss the interview. You have a sudden feeling — it’s a huge conspiracy. Everyone’s in his car, laughing and punching each other because the joke is on you. You know the gods now have it in for you, and the rest of the world is helping them. The rest of the world is more conscious, and you’re the only one not in on the secret.
This is a feeling which, for ordinary people, never amounts to anything. But in people properly drawn to This Thing it represents to an extreme itch, the almost irrepressible feeling, “There is a secret.” And you look everywhere but you can’t find it. It is right there, above the Line. It is physically always there. It is the future of the nervous system. It is Life as it will be tomorrow. When you begin to get a real feel for it, you simply know that this is where you belong. Beyond any doubt, this is it. When that occurs (and it is not some blinding flash), you discover a simplicity. It does not happen overnight; it is not something you can discuss, and it’s not something I try to verbally instill or talk you into. Your Aim becomes the ignition of the higher areas of your nervous system. And everything else can only be judged, everything else can only be perceived, everything else can only be dealt with (as best you can at the time), on this basis: “How will this help ignite the higher areas of my nervous system?”
Almost everything you do, say and think (and you can start off with just the thinking) absolutely hinders ignition. The electrical energy which is Life itself, the electrical energy that runs through this system and as the electricity takes form in “I”, appears to be a “something”. You express it as “I have a brain; I can learn things; I can figure out things; I can read a map; I can listen; I can recognize the truth when I hear it; I can recognize folly when I hear it.” That energy, and also the secret, unknown ingredient in the blood, are both extracted as they course through your nervous system. And anything that you have ever thought before is of no value. It is a detriment, because it represents the depletion of the blood substance: an expenditure of energy.
Seen from Line-level, that can’t be true; it is absolutely folly. If these depictions were understood widely in Life, surely you understand that within a matter of an hour, civilization would fall apart. If it suddenly happened that you could only think everything once, you could no longer find your way home. You wouldn’t know what color at the traffic intersection meant stop. If it was red this time, it wouldn’t be red next time. Everything would just come apart. But for This Struggle, it’s still true that everything you do and have done remains a hindrance. Anything that you can think, say, or do is an absolute hindrance. You’re attempting to get this enriched blood, literally, up into a region of the brain where it does not normally belong, where there’s no named purpose. And at the same time, every time you are being you, every time you say, think, or do something that you have already done, you are cutting a vein. You can sit there for the rest of your life and say (to use my description), “I’m attempting to move higher in this system, and I understand that I’ve got to get a certain kind of enriched blood up there, that’s part of it.” You can say that forever, but, as long as you are being you, you’re bleeding.
Nobody knows what “igniting the higher areas of your nervous system” may be, except those who know. For a long time, everyone suffers from a lack of real experience. But until you see it for yourself, there is no other way to explain it. It is the simplicity that I have been trying to hint around the edges of. Remember, my phrase, “igniting the Higher areas of the nervous system,” is just a shortcut, a term to use as a description for the indescribable. But you do not know what it is. I’m not trying to hide anything. There is no secret definition. I’m giving you the physical, dangerous definition. It is absolutely potent. It bypasses apparently spiritual realms. It bypasses the notion of a continuing, connected system of eternal, cosmic, ancient truths passed from person to person. There are no ancient truths. They are dead maps. Somebody’s already thought them. Somebody’s already used them. There’s nothing to them.
You are still greatly concerned about, “What is igniting the higher areas of your nervous system? I do not understand it. I’m not sure why I’m here. Am I just out on another lark? What is it that I’m after?” I tell you, your potential physically, literally exists. You have never been exposed to it. You can’t stumble upon it. It does not happen accidentally in some way — not of any consequence. If it did, you’d be worse off for it.
For those properly drawn here the experience will come. It just simply happens and you get a taste, although it’s still the “struggle”. A kind of liberating simplicity frees you of the complexities and problems in your life. It is not a decision you make. But everything you feel and think and view changes through experience. You may find yourself falling into a gutter over some imaginary conflict between you and someone else. Then maybe something I said pops out of nowhere and triggers something you thought you Saw one time. Your efforts begin to have a cumulative effect. It is not a matter of sudden, forever, absolute ignition above the Line. You’re still down there wrestling with demons, evil people, problems, complexities. But, with effort and the application of these maps, you will experience them on the basis of, “How is this related to igniting the higher levels of the nervous system?”
I repeat one more time: these words are extremely fragile and inaccurate, but they’re the best ones available. The very things you now consider to be extreme problems (not what you think I’ve laughed away for you, like fears of destroying the planet), the ones inside you, the great fear demons, are experienced in a different light. You begin to sense a certain simplicity. Some of you might hark back to my original warnings that any of you who have potential talent or interest should pursue it. You’d better have something on the back burner, because, to get freed from this system at all, you’re going to be short many, many, many, many, many hobbies of suffering, seriousness, and “you-ness”.
One description of living at Line-level consciousness is that you see everything as everyone else sees it. You live life as though it’s as everyone believes. You experience yourself as if “self” existed. But also note that from any reasonable, ordinary viewpoint what I’ve just said is absolute insanity. A person should be insane by any ordinary definition if he maintained a view of Life and other people directly, repudiating the accepted reality.
Another description is that to live at Line-level consciousness is to see only a non-ending series of problems. It doesn’t matter how many problems your system sees. You must simply beg to see for yourself that at Line-level, Life is simply one wart after another.
I could also say that to live below the Line is to see Life divided sequentially – in bits and pieces. That’s how the ordinary nervous system operates. You should be able to glimpse the basic physical reality of this: Consciousness operates with a single focus. It operates as if Life is a series of divisible segments, strung together in a sequence of causes and effects. Consciousness freely applies these divided causes and effects to explain whatever happens, all the way from car wrecks to fits of temper to the stock market.
On the other hand, one above Line-level consciousness would See an unending, indivisible, omnitaneous process with no beginning, no end: no sequential line of cause and effect. But to See it is to see simplicity itself. It is to See there are no people, there are no divisible entities. No “person” exists as a thing. “People” exist as a process. You would See that there is no conflict, that Life and growth require resistance.
Attempt to generate a continuing awareness of your own process: “I am here, no matter what I am doing – talking, listening to the radio, listening to somebody talk — simultaneously, I realize I’m late, getting tense, having flashes of the boss…but beyond all of that, I have some sort of continual awareness that I am simply here.” You cannot do it ordinarily. But with the slightest ability and practice, your own nervous system will deliver you into the world of subatomic physics. If you were continually aware of your own nervous system, you would be stumbling into a realm of subatomic physics, because you could no longer grab and hold “I”. As the physicists would say, if you can identify a particle’s location, you cannot determine how fast it is moving, and vice versa. Little do they know they’re describing the energies and forms of “I” as well. If you try right now to turn upon “I”, you’re suddenly launched into the world of subatomic physics, because you can’t identify both its location and its movement. It is a process. It is an open funnel. Energy runs through it. The energy itself is spilled at the Line, and takes form as noise: “I think,” “I believe,” “I insist,” “I have decided.” But if you attempt to observe the energy taking form, it disappears at the split second of your focused attention and you are left these echoes: “It is there, you can’t tell me it’s not there; no matter what you say, it’s there, because ‘I’ was just thinking…”
You can try to look internally for a Fred or a Mary. But you cannot locate one. You are left with an impression of movement–it was here, and it has an inclination to be here. But you cannot look at it. When you look at it, it is gone, because it is no “thing.” When you exercise your ability to hear any of this and turn your real attention to the automatic process, the process stops. You are left with looking at nothing. You’re vaguely aware that “it was here.” You should then realize almost immediately that as soon as you stop looking, as soon as you again transfer ordinary energy, the “thing” is back.
In your efforts here you are a physicist working on the sub-atomic level. You know that the sub-atomic particle is there. If you don’t engage yourself with worrying about its exact location, you can learn to See its movement and speed. You’re then only a short step from the great explosive questions: “What am I about to think next? What am I about to say next?”
“Hello in there, Fred. What are you about to do?”
“Well, I am about to…”
“Wait a minute, when did you decide to say, ‘Well, I am about to…’?”
“Did I give you enough time?”
Does this nervous system actually operate at the speed of light? Let’s give it some credit. It was just that fast that you decided to say, “Well, I was about to say…” and you got that far before you were interrupted. All it takes is a very clean, swift glimpse, and you simply See that no such process takes place.
You cannot leave a place until you know where you have been. You can’t say goodbye until you know the place. And This Thing, what I am doing, is not about spending years browbeating you or giving you busy work. You have got to See that you are not living with some repairable enemy, and that This Thing has nothing to do with suffering, or with pointing out, “Listen, things are in worse shape than you ever imagined. You just thought that there were a few small problems; you had a few rough edges, and you thought that if in some way they could be filed down and shaped up, then it’d be on to bigger and better consciousness.”
You must See where you are living. You must See that this process is not a thing. There is no thing in you. And the whole world says, “There is.” It’s a gigantic lie. But ordinary consciousness doesn’t even have to debate or dismiss such a statement. It is totally beyond the statement. It cannot even hear that, because the thing that is hearing it is the thing that seems to be “I”. Here’s a scenario: You ask it, “Are you there?”
“May I look upon you with no particular reason? May I look upon you without thinking about you?”
“I don’t know what you mean, but go ahead.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m right here.”
If you have the Aim, you can learn to non-verbally, without thought, refuse to tell the process what you are doing. You don’t tell it you have adopted some system. You don’t tell it, “I am about to attack you, because I am now a follower of X system.” Don’t tell it anything. You simply See it. And it’s not there. And then don’t ask questions.
You must simply See that everything has always just happened. And you cannot ask that thing, “What am I about to say next?” If you understood the answer and, if you could ask the question correctly, this whole room would explode right now. You would simply explode the system if you could ask the question, “What am I about to say next?”