A Proper Question Contains Its Own Answer
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A PROPER QUESTION CONTAINS ITS OWN ANSWER
Document: 43, October 7, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982
Although it confounds the ordinary mind, it is nonetheless true that a proper question contains its own answer; that is, when you can formulate a question which has some pertinence to your level of understanding. Of course those of you who understand this, understand that these words are not at all representative of the reality of it. I’m talking about the kind of question that Life would never have fed you, but just off on your own it came to you: “Well, what if so-and-so?” And some of you are now to the point where such questions do present themselves to you. A rhetorical question comes to you, such as “What if so-and-so is connected to so-and-so?” What you would now normally call “the answer” is contained within such musing: not within the verbal context itself, but in the Consideration that motivated the question, in the ability to ponder that which is insane, that which has no reasonable connection, that which is outside and above Line-level consciousness. Consider that at Line level there is neither reason nor capability nor opportunity to ponder such things. But there you are out taking a walk or sitting around or watching t.v., and suddenly something happens that has no apparent consequence or connection to This. And it suddenly strikes you — a possibility, a connection, that you would have never conceived. The answer is within this irrational, unnatural motivation and ability to have such “questions”. The answer is there.
I’m going to speak more specifically about emotions. I’ve always referred to “so-called” emotions, and I’ve even refused to talk about them. I’ve denied that they exist: that is, as something real. You can see the emotional interplay between people as a kind of monetary exchange, except that everyone’s using counterfeit money. Of course, they think it’s real; every teeny exchange seems to be quite meaningful on the ordinary level. But from the view of This Thing everyone deals in funny money.
There is, of course, no cynicism attached to this view; we aren’t uncovering the folly of human life here, because there is no such folly. In fact, though I say counterfeit money, though I obstinately refer to sham emotions, though I deny that emotions even exist, those of you with keen eyesight should already understand that there must be more to it than that. Emotions are not an individual, localized delusion. Neither are they a gross form of humanity-wide imagination. Emotions do exist; I’m not saying they’re real, but they do exist. And the reality of it can be seen in your own nervous system.
Remember what I’ve said about energy circulating through the nervous system, and that the circulation of energy is tied to a particular substance that is gradually filtered from the blood as it runs through the body. I’ve given you this diagram as an incomplete, but nonetheless true, mapping of the flow of blood through the system.
Diagram # 012 illustration
To put it crudely, and to divide that which cannot be divided, the lower filter box in the drawing feeds the life of the body — your physical processes, while the upper box, situated roughly at the juncture between where the spine becomes the brain, feeds the upper levels of the system.
Consider that the ordinary reflections of This — everything from pseudo systems to all forms of religion — have always concerned themselves with Man’s emotional condition. There are whole systems constructed on the basis of love, and, at the very least, they all proscribe negative emotions — anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, lust — the list goes on and on. And as always, such systems — such directives, are an unintended, involuntary reflection of something quite real. The people involved don’t understand why such “emotions” are prohibited, except that it’s obviously un-godlike behavior. But you must understand more. You must See that the energies that are expressed as human emotion are, at best, irrelevant to your efforts in This. And at worst they are a direct hindrance. And, in any case, you must See just what these emotions are, within your own system. It is true, as religions would have it, that it’s not good to engage in negative emotions. It isn’t, in fact, godlike behavior to hate your neighbor. But to leave the description there tells you nothing. It furnishes no food for understanding, no fuel for further ignition of the higher regions of your own nervous system.
And here we go: the continual filtering of the blood is a necessary process; it maintains a certain physical stability, and the filters may be seen, both within the body of Life and within that of the individual, as localized places of conflict.
The filters do indeed extract a necessary substance, but they are also places of growth, places of refinement. And the higher filter box is where the gradual, Life-controlled process of Man rising from the lower levels occurs. This final filtering is the final battleground: it is the scene of battle between man-the-animal and man-the-intellectual-being. Even though higher levels of the system are now in operation and, in fact, now seem to dictate and govern a man’s existence, a certain raw passion is necessary at the lower levels for the simple maintenance and defense of the system. It is a passion-of-the-lower levels that keeps you alive; it keeps the body alive. And notice that I don’t call this passion by the dreaded name of “emotion”. I’m making a distinction here: at that level, it is passion. Physical passion. And the same intensity and degree of this passion is not required for the development and operation of the higher system. Hence the necessity of the final filtering and refinement of the blood for use by the upper nervous system.
What I want you to See is that this final filter is itself the scene of continual eruption. It is the birthplace of the ordinary emotions. So emotions — whether they are labeled good and proper or not — are in a very real and physical sense, in a way that you can see in your own system, the result of a continuing battle between the upper and lower systems. That final box is a battleground, but it is a necessary part of growth. It is part of the process of Life, and of Life in Man, continuing to the farthest possible reaches of the nervous system.
Attempt to See and Consider it on the larger scale of Life’s body. Life itself, of which we are all a part, is continually attempting to grow. And its growth generates conflict: there are inflamed relations between individuals, and between nations, as well. You have these same inflamed relations within your own body. It’s like a skin rash, an outcropping of pimples. It’s a kind of adolescence through which Life passes in the process of its growth. It is a continuing battle between red and white cells, and it is part of Life’s regulatory mechanism. It comes with the system attempting to both author and control its growth at the same time. Life continually speaks through Man about how things must be, about how things will be tomorrow. So people continue to say that “Wars are useless. We must do away with this conflict, this senseless killing and destruction.” But wars continue, conflict continues, hatred, greed and lust continue, because it is all a by-product of the necessary filtering and refinement of the blood. It is the flow from the past, from the lower system, to the future higher levels of the system. But before the blood can properly feed the upper system, it must be filtered. It must flow through this place of eruption. And this place of eruption, this battleground is, in you and everyone else at Line level, the ordinary emotions.
You must See it for what it is. And then I suggest that you take care not to stand around in Life’s battleground. By the same token, don’t give expression to the products of your own internal blood-battle. It is an involuntary and mechanical process, and on the ordinary level it is necessary. But, as harsh as this sounds to your ordinary ears, you must realize that the circumstances, the conflicts, that are necessary at the ordinary level can only be abandoned. No ordinary emotions can be of any profit to you in your attempt to ignite the higher areas of your system. And there’s nothing to be done but See it, and then leave it behind, in the past, where it belongs. You have to begin to take charge of what is processed through you; you can’t do This and continue to be a product of Life’s battle for growth.
The closest you can come, at Line level, to a real emotion is through what I’ve called the passions of the body. One would be the instinct for preservation; one would be, if such a thing existed, a pure sexual urge. Another would be the feeling of a mother for her child. Anything else is literally, physically, of no profit to you in your attempts to grow. Real emotions — real love, true compassion and humility — cannot exist at the ordinary level.
What is called love at the ordinary level is only the flip side of hate. It’s one person saying, “I’m correct. My attitude is proper.” But the only way he has to judge what is “proper” is for that which he considers “improper” to simultaneously exist. We’re back to the Three Forces: whatever you “feel” carries its own opposition. What is proper to you is improper to those who oppose you. What the human nervous system is not constructed to See is that either viewpoint is equally true.
There is always conflict in the body of Life. Again, it is a by-product of growth. And its manifestations range from political and religious confrontations to the guy who gives you the finger at the traffic light. He does so for no reason that you can see. He doesn’t know that you are of an opposing political party. He doesn’t even know why he gave you the finger. It is a localized eruption. It has to do with Life itself attempting to continually grow. It exists on a larger scale, and it exists in you. Every time you’re drawn to an emotional conflict or confrontation, you’re walking into a battleground from which there is neither escape nor victory. There’s no such thing as righteous indignation. You cannot feel, “You are wrong, and I will not stand idly by. I have my beliefs. There is a higher force motivating me. It is only proper that I stand up for what I believe.” You just have to see that there is no profit there.
As long as Life grows, there will be tension and hostility, there will be conflict between people, just as there is a continuing battle for stability in the cells of your own body. But before it can get to the upper levels, to the Line, it must run through that battleground, that scene of continual eruption, where the passions of the lower levels rise to what I’ve portrayed in the diagram as the filter box. That is why more intellectually oriented people, in general, speak very ill of that which seems to be negative emotion: hostility, hatred, prejudice, greed. But in the same breath, they excuse it. “There is some cause for this. It’s a test. It’s something we’ve got to overcome. So let’s don’t dwell on it. Let’s rather just be compassionate and tolerant.” It all sounds fine, but who can do it? No one can, at Line level. And there are no exceptions. People say, “Of course we can’t do it all the time. But we must strive for it.” And that’s exactly true. Except that individuals do not strive: it’s rather Life striving through Man. It is a part of Life’s intricate system of expansion, that there is an unanalyzed (for it will not withstand scrutiny) acceptance that it IS possible to realize the higher, positive emotions. But it is not possible for an individual at Line level. It is a dream of tomorrow: it’s Life, through Man, talking about where it’s going, where it’s growing to.
I’m going to say something else regarding this particular diagram I drew. I’m well aware it can sound as though I’m just running around in circles and talking in a vague way, but as more of you now realize, there’s nothing vague about this. I’m going to alter the diagram so as to open the Line of consciousness, so that it’s not one line, but a channel.
I have told you this Line is absolute and that through your own efforts to rise above it you can actually feel it. All of you had attempted to some degree to become “enlightened” before you ever got here. Everyone has had the feeling that “I’m on the verge of seeing or experiencing something astounding.” But no matter what efforts you made, you felt like you constantly ran into an invisible wall. What you felt was the reality of the Line. You can spend your life lifting weights, eating weird food, eating no food, running, not running, laying down, standing up, praying, cursing. You do anything you want to, but there is an absolute ceiling to your efforts. And without some extraordinary information, you can only go so far. You keep trying to go somewhere, and you just can’t get there. You read about some new guru; he sounds exactly like what you’ve been looking for, you rush out to hear him, and nothing happens. There is a reality to the ceiling. That line I have drawn for you over and over is not just a line drawn on a piece of paper. It exists. You can strain forever, at the ordinary level, but it is as though you’re standing in a coffin just your height. You keep trying to raise up to stand on tiptoe, and all you do is bang your head against the lid.
Diagram # 062 photo
Consider that the nervous system consists of three areas: “A level” is the area above Line-level consciousness, “B level” is below the Line, and “C level” is the containment level. It is the level of objective conception, and I want you to Consider it in a particular way. Everything below the Line, when I drew it as just a single line, is everything that you are. It is everything that you try to struggle against under ordinary conditions. It is everything that seems to be yourself. That level is the height of ordinary activation. You can take up a new field of study, learn new facts, read a new book introducing a wild, new idea that for some reason seems to strike you: “This is weird. It says there are secret spirits still hanging around here from the lost continent of Mu, and that if you can get yourself in touch with them, they will come down and aid you in this internal blossoming of the soul.” You think, “That sounds like what I’m after. I’ll remember this.” So the information connects with something that is already in the network below Line-level consciousness. It’s happened to all of you to some degree. You get through with the book, and maybe you try to send up a chant, or do something else the book said. But you are trying to move against the ceiling, and the effort goes nowhere. But what’s happened is that it has apparently expanded the existing network. Yet it is a lateral expansion. The ceiling stays right where it is.
The reality behind humanity’s (and your) dreams of enlightenment lies in the area above the Line. It is an activation of previously unused areas of your own nervous system, above the level where “I” exists. It is when someone accidentally gets a glimpse of this, that mystical books are written. You’ve all read them — at least one of them — before you met me. They all say something along the lines of “We’re all of the one great brotherhood. I saw there was no good or evil. I saw that there was no beginning or end to the universe. I saw that everything humanity believes is true and is not true.” I’ve mentioned such people, such writings to you before. It runs on the basis of an accidental, one-time occurrence; it was something done through the person, not by him; he doesn’t understand what happened, and so he’s left with having to interpret it on the basis of his existing Line level knowledge. But it is not some vague, unspecific, spiritual gift. The gods didn’t select him, nor did secret, magnetic waves from the sunken continent of Mu suck him into a sanctified orbit. There is no external force at work. The nervous system itself has been activated beyond the point of necessity for the time and place. Now, in comparison to the dreams of humanity, compared to all these mystical books, that just sounds as mundane as can be, except for the fact that there are people right in this room who would say “It sure does sound mundane, but there’s nothing else that comes close,” if you would get them to say anything about it at all.
Shift your Consideration from the Line itself to this third level — the containment level. Many of you are beginning to get a certain taste of something. Many of you had a taste of it before you came here, but you didn’t know what to do with it. This level is the rightful point of termination for electrical energy. It is a turnaround point. It is the culminating point for electrical energy and that continual pulsation, the electrical charge without which you are literally dead. Medicine and theology and just about everyone else want to know the difference between a dead man and a man who’s still alive. Well, the difference is this: the pulsing electrical charge. If you’re dead, it’s gone. The energy of Life itself is simply gone. And that’s it. That person is no longer an active transfer station. He is no longer a food processor on the level that we all serve, he has now become food.
This third level allows that energy to rise a little above the ceiling, in certain people. It creates the feeling of a potential in you. I’ve described it as that one loose wire that is not yet properly fed, but it COULD get fed. The sensation of that capacity, that potential, is the only reason you’re interested in This Thing. It’s a passing sensation, almost like an internal timeout. It’s as though there are split seconds in which you realize you’ve been seeing the whole world, people included, as a flat, two dimensional picture. And suddenly another dimension has been added: you’re suddenly seeing in 3-D: people talking, waving their arms, and they’re just as serious as hell, and you realize it’s not serious as hell. Remember the pop-up books you read as a child — you’d turn the page, and the storybook characters would pop up. A flat page was miraculously transformed into three dimensions and you thought, “How wonderful! How amazing.” It is the same feeling that some of you have now. Suddenly you’re beginning to see things about people that you never saw before: “I was talking to someone I’ve known for years, and it struck me that, though we’ve worked together for ten years, I have never seen that person.” Or “I’ve been living with this person for the last five years, and for the first time today, I saw her. I literally saw her. She was suddenly a person rather than simply part of a mechanical relationship. We have been processing and transferring energy for five years, but she didn’t really exist.” It’s the fleeting sensation that your internal machine has almost shut down; as though the radio went dead, the tiger stopped pacing, and suddenly everything became very quiet.
That is the operation of the containment level, where objective conception is possible. It’s not a matter of being in a final and complete state of enlightenment. It is rather a level that is more properly described right now as the struggle itself to reach beyond the normal confines of the nervous system. Rather than being concerned over “Am I enlightened?”, which shouldn’t be your concern anyway, get a good personal taste of just igniting the area contained within the C level. I can give you one of my few assurances: once you do get a good 3-D taste there is no longer any question “Is all this worth it?” All questions are gone, and you’re hooked.
The energy that ordinarily terminates in the feeling of “I”, in your thoughts and feeling, is instead contained in the C level. It is the physical reality of the distinction between ordinary consciousness and what I have labeled omni-directional consciousness. Ordinary consciousness is like a spotlight, fixed first on one thing, then another. It is you walking down the street with your attention focused on one internal picture of your mother saying, “Why don’t you ever call me?” Suddenly a car horn blows, and you look out to see what it is. And then you go back to the picture, “Why don’t you ever call me?” And then you notice that your right foot hurts a little; then it’s back to the phone call again.
I have told you to attempt physically to not stare; and to be aware of the fact that not-staring is not natural for the eyes. It’s not only unnatural, it’s uncomfortable. You’re just not used to it. That should be enough indication of its benefit. I’m talking about simply the continual physical movement of the eyes. But, as you should suspect, you can also not stare internally, because mechanical consciousness, the automatic termination of this constant flow, is tied to the eyes. And you can internally disconnect your attention from your eyes. For instance, you can stare somebody dead in the eye, and you can talk to him as sincerely as possible, all without staring internally. You’re not even there. I don’t mean that you’re off in a mechanical daydream; I mean you’re not staring at the person. That is, your attention is not a flashlight fixed on one spot. Internally, you’re constantly scanning, seeing all possibilities in 3-D. The reality of it lies within the C level. You’re not actually above the Line; It’s not a matter of your now being absolutely enlightened: it is, rather, a struggle to consciously not think about somebody. By all appearances you’re still functioning on the ordinary level. You hear their words; you see their gestures; you might even see that they’re beginning to get hostile. You see it all; you’re absolutely conscious in the ordinary sense, and yet you’re not thinking about them. You’re not held by them. It is not “I” who sees and hears them; the energy information entering your system does not terminate in “I” over and over, but is instead contained, in C level. You’re still involved with a struggle: “I’m trying to see what is going on here. I’m trying to consider everything at once.” But I am describing a condition, a consciousness, that differs from the ordinary, a consciousness that is capable of being impartial and objective. They are not the correct terms, but there are no terms for it, because it is outside of ordinary human experience. And as you might suspect, it is therefore outside the human dictionary. There is no way to describe it.
What you would ordinarily think of as your consciousness is an electrical charge. It has gone as far up the nervous system as it will go, and, in its route through well activated pathways and connections, dissipated into “I”, into everything that “I” now knows, says and thinks. But instead, you don’t let it stop. And the way to keep it moving is to attempt to do everything at once. Remember anything I’ve ever said that seemed to be of specific importance to you personally. It doesn’t matter what. It’s all the attempt to not become engaged with Life, to not stare at what’s going on, even if what’s going on seems very important to the system below the Line. The energy gets up to the C level, and for short periods — sometimes just seconds — you can contain it. You feel, “I’m about to explode. Something weird is about to happen. I can tell I must be close to what he’s talking about.” It’s as though you can’t hold it, but then you find out you can. It is here that the struggle itself becomes that which ignites the higher levels of the nervous system. You find that “There are times I am as different internally from ‘me’ as I can imagine. It’s beyond imagination, because I am not now simply the opposite of me. I am not now simply that which I always imagined I wanted to be. I am simply not me. And yet I am conscious; I am alive. It is as though somebody opened up the ceiling. It is as though someone opened a trap door in the Line and let in a nice cool breeze. For a few seconds there, I could breathe.” Pseudo-systems invariably name this condition, this struggle. And just as invariably, they attribute it to an external source. It always has a vague otherworldliness to it: “It’s a gift; it’s magic. It’s a puff of smoke; one person gets a whiff and the next guy doesn’t.” Or someone says he has it in a box and he’ll sell you some of it. And it all seems to be everywhere. In some cases, it seems to affect the body and, in others, the so-called emotions. And I’ll tell you again that none of that is true. It affects everything, but there is only one area within your nervous system that has the ability to grow. Nothing below the Line grows in this way. If it did, everyone would be enlightened. All you’d have to do is lift weights, take up ballet, do something to expand the system physically. Similarly, there is nothing to be done below Line-level consciousness to affect the so-called “soul” of the old religious era. “All I have to do is pray to the gods and the miraculous will happen.” Remember I am not attacking Life, either generally or specifically. This is not about revealing the folly of any religion or group of people; there is no folly at the ordinary level. You simply must See within yourself that, below the Line, real change is not possible. You cannot starve, fast or exercise your way into glory. You can’t pray your way into heaven. You cannot grow into the higher areas of the nervous system by dealing continuously with the lower areas. The only possibility is in the C level, which sounds almost too mundane and disappointing. Everyone, or almost everyone, prefers the mystical change of his dreams: “This is some kind of great journey of the spirit. It’s my eternal cosmic soul calling out to return home. It’s certainly not what you’re describing.” But this is literally and physically the only possibility. It literally, physically is. You can’t go down in the spine and make it grow in the other direction. It is literally activated right from the bottom: that’s where the basic flow of energy starts. There is no area below Line-level consciousness that has been overlooked, no area remains inactivated. And, likewise the middle area offers no possibility. There is no way to branch out down below the Line and open up this “great, cosmic soul”. There is only the flow of energy; and the only thing to be done with the lower levels is to keep them working at maximum efficiency, so the energy can flow upward with as little impedance as possible, so it isn’t wasted at lower levels. A minimal amount of this particular substance in the blood, the energy of Life itself, the spark of creation, is necessary to keep the body alive and functioning as it should. There must also be enough tensile resilience to the emotions to maintain a kind of self-protective mechanism.
In short, a certain health is necessary at lower levels in order to allow that substance to free-flow to the higher reaches of your system. You must be healthy, but without constantly tampering with the body; you have just got to be naturally physically sane. And then you have to See that that which seems to be human emotions is of no profit to you. Emotions are indeed part of Life; they serve a necessary purpose in Life’s own process of expansion. But nothing that goes under the banner of emotional or spiritual effort is of any profit to you. Nod and smile “Hello” to it, and keep your hands off it. You have to let the substance, the radical energy in the blood get up to the Line and then above it, extracting only that which is minimally needed for maintenance of the system. And the minimum is all you need. Let the lower circuitry take care of itself, and any additional energy will go to only one place — the upper end of the nervous system. That is the only thing that can be expanded. It is the only part of you that is not already fed by Life today.