Jan Cox Talk 0044

The Future/Now


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Document:  44,  October 14, 1982
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1982

The ordinary mind can not conceive of the absolutely, perfectly balanced justice everywhere.  To help you See it, I continually invent new terms and new descriptions of the Three Forces at work, but this concept is not one that can be of any great value to you on the theoretical level.  It is not an “idea” that can be transferred from me to you or between any two people.  But I continue to speak of it on the basis that it will give you something to Neuralize.

Some events seem to be unjust, despicable acts of inhumanity , such as war.  You read in the newspaper about child abuse, or someone shooting his mother.  From an ordinary viewpoint, such actions have no justification nor explanation.  They seem to be of a grosser nature than some individual’s mere greed or jealousy.

The ordinary mind can accept verbal attacks on common human foibles; and, it can accept verbal justifications of those same acts.  “So and so is jealous because of certain psychological traumas in his past.”  But, beyond those, are the acts of humanity that are absolutely inexplicable, completely unreasonable; and in no way can the ordinary mind understand them.  This inability is based on the continuing binary dance, wherein one course of action, belief, or viewpoint is always opposed by it’s opposite.  As in the old Yin-Yang symbol, everything in the world is supposed to be explained by these two forces continually encircling one another and changing; but that explains nothing, because it’s only two thirds of reality.

The ordinary mind can not see the missing part:  the circle itself contains and divides the forces.  There are not two separate forces floating free.  It is not your viewpoint against someone else’s, and it is not the humane liberal viewpoint of a few as opposed to the barbaric, unthinking, unfeeling masses.  What is always forgotten, is the circle itself, which contains all apparently irrelevant viewpoints.

People continue to want more information about the Three Forces.  I have used various terms for them such as: active, creative, destructive, passive, irrelevant, and reconciling.  You must realize that these terms are absolutely conditional; because everything — including the 3 forces — changes as you change your viewpoint.  Even what appears one way from your own viewpoint can appear to be the opposite at a different moment.  You pray for rain because you planted your garden today:  but, tomorrow you have an important engagement to attend, so you put on your good clothes and walk outside, cursing the rain.

The proper considerations of how these forces are inextricably bound should lead you to a new understanding of what you might call creativity.  Observe that whatever is labelled is always changing.  Yet the labelling establishes only the appearance of stability.

With this in mind, look at two specific kinds of creativity:  one is what all of humanity calls creative. Quite simply, it’s the life of Life moving.  It is Life trying to ignite the higher areas of its own nervous system.  It is the energy of Life’s growth reaching out in new directions and making new connections.

This type of creativity/growth occurs at a rate appropriate for Life, but is too slow for an individual undertaking This Thing.  Even if you live five hundred years, this growth-in-Life is not going to help you as an individual in This Activity.  You should, however, be aware of it because there are parallels to an individual’s efforts.

The energy driving this creativity is continual.  Obvious examples of this abound in the arts and sciences.  A genius will appear and in a great burst of inspiration, writes a book or develops a new style of painting.  Years later, people will say that this act was responsible for a great breakthrough for humanity. This is true at the ordinary level.

Let’s take a broader look at what’s occurring.  At some point a large number of, let us say scientists, are struggling with the current knowledge; with Life’s connections at Line level.  In one man the energy flows through and connects to a new channel.  He presents a new theory or invention.  At the same time, it may not be regarded as creative.  People may contradict the theory, disprove it, or show the invention to be impractical:  but later people look back and say, “This scientist’s great creative stride led us from the dark ages of science.”  Nobody remembers all the other men who were likewise employed nor the great brouhaha of resistance.  The ordinary mind identifies and remembers the form of the change, but is oblivious to the energy and process generating change.

What has happened is that this new connection laterally expands an area below the Line.  It feeds energy and blood into new spaces, so that ordinary people have apparently new thoughts and ideas. These new connections seem to expand people’s view of society and themselves, enforcing the appearance of continual change.  But none of this ordinary expansion enlightens anybody:  that’s not its purpose.

Another type of creativity is far removed from this mechanical type.  This second type is what you are attempting to do.  It is what happens when you get energy above the Line individually.  Only when your energy is so diverted do you, for the first time, have potential to do anything creative.  But you must be able to get the energy of Life itself above the Line with absolutely minimal interference — just enough use to keep the body alive, and to survive the tumultuous so-called emotions in the least disturbed fashion.

This creativity is not what people speak of when they say “I wish I was creative”, or, “I want to paint something like no one’s ever seen,” or, “I want to be lauded and applauded”.  This creativity requires no audience.  No one will know but you and me.  And you will discover that this is just right.

A certain reality encompasses what seem to be “all the difficulties” confronting those who attempt This Thing.  The “limiting factor” — which seems to be you — in all of its glory and gory, is absolutely tied to an unanalyzed, non-understood sense of time.  The personality, (what seems to be your own consciousness) can not exist as it is beyond the confines of that dangerous construct, time.

At the ordinary level it seems to you that a definite horizontal past exists.  You see a non-ending line that stretches back to your birth.  There you are, that little bundle of ugliness, wrapped in a blanket, on such and such a day many years ago.  You also see, from the ordinary viewpoint, a psychological line, a “nonphysical” line that goes back.  It seems that you not only had a physical past, you also had a psychological past.

You garner such memories as, “I can remember the time that I didn’t get my bicycle and my sister got that expensive doll.  If they hadn’t bought that, they could have got me the bicycle.”  “I remember the time that my father hollered at and beat my mother and then left us for three years.”  “I remember not having a date for the prom.  I remember when I wasn’t pledged to the right fraternity or sorority.  I remember everything.”

My diagram displays one’s ordinary time orientation quite splendidly and simply.  Ordinary consciousness says, “I had a past.  I am living here on some kind of line that is going into the future.”  The short line in the middle seems to be a sense of “right now”, the present.  This orientation is beyond any form of reasonable debate or question among ordinary humanity.  There is a past; there is a present; and there is a future, assuming you don’t drop dead shortly.  Each is unquestionably real.

 Diagram # 005 illustration

Diagram # 005 illustration

I am going to tell you something that you will not understand until you get above the Line.  As much as words will allow, I am telling you that above the Line you have no past.  It’s still there, but it is irrelevant.  When you start This Thing, you find that you’re saddled with this “I”, this personality, or as religions sometimes refer to it, this evil side.  It is the past, but it is not something that you can destroy.  It is not really evil either, but it is something from which you must free yourself.  This is what I have sometimes called, “the noise behind the door, the radio playing, the tiger still pacing”.  Your endeavor here is not a matter of somehow destroying this.  Rather, as you conserve your energy and divert it above the Line, all of that ordinary past becomes irrelevant.

When I say, “Above the Line, you have no past”, it is not that you go blank and lose your memory of a childhood.  (Although you may discover that is not untrue.)  Above the Line it is simply irrelevant.  You have this library of memories which are ultimately of no importance.

Now suppose you take an ordinary nap, and stroll down your own memory lane.  This weird, science fiction effect occurs.  The book-of-memories pours onto you, and you become the book.  Suddenly, you’re sitting at home on prom night years ago — crying and making up excuses.  It all happens in a flash.  But I tell you quite simply that in order to ignite the higher circuitry, you must be free of these instant engagements with the past.

Look at it another way.  To the left of the short line on the symbol of the Xross is the past, your personality.  If we take you, physically, as being your personality, and then take an infinite series of still photographs that stretch back to your birth, we would have a picture of you, as you are now, plus this string of pictures stretching back in time, like putty.  That putty is your personality.  The prevailing thought in Life is first, that there is something wrong with your past; that it needs to be fixed; and secondly, that you can go back and selectively cut out undesirable parts.  Psychology wants to find that section where your father abandoned you, and then talk about it and understand it.  But the past can not be fixed.  It is just not possible to chop or erase sections out of the series.  It all exists in ordinary time, and you simply can not rearrange it; you can’t re-chop it.

It’s all a beautiful arrangement once you see it.  When you stop spending energy in these old ruts, when you stop reading all those little memory books, you will be astounded.  You will see something that used to pull your trigger, or you will see some situation in life that no one can explain and you will Understand.  You will understand that the past is not wrong, that you have not been mistreated.

This is not a theory.  You need to understand that you can not push the level of your consciousness above the Line and still continue to be involved with the past.  The past is simply there.  You must discover a place where you have no past.

Many minds assume some great pertinence to the  present.  You are probably aware that there have been attempted schools, theories, and literature based on the idea that Man would be more conscious and would experience some unusual state if he could hold a continuous awareness of the present.  This idea could be used as the basis of a system, but those who have presented it previously did not understand what they were saying because they were not doing it correctly.

It’s possible to theoretically accept the past as finished and unchangeable.  You may accept the words; that it’s fruitless to try to justify or explain what’s happened.  But I’m telling you much more than that.  I tell you directly that if you’re to raise consciousness above the Line, then the past does not exist — except as a stack of old records.  And your taste in music must change, to say the very least.  Once you know what’s inside those little albums, you’ll no longer wish to listen.  Once you Understand, it is no struggle whatsoever to leave the past alone.

People will often theoretically agree with all of this and say they want to move forward.  They want to hear about the great secret that concerns the present, and holding a constant awareness of “NOW”. That’s fine, but that’s not the end of it.  That is only a method.  As I pointed out, those that have provided the descriptions of this method did not really understand it; but even the verbal descriptions do have that intriguing ring to them.  Do they not?  These descriptions are examples of what I described earlier as mechanical, creative energy.  The notion of “the eternal now” captured the attention of ordinary people at a particular time and place.

We are getting to the good part, but try to withhold judgement on what I am saying about the importance of the NOW and consider again what I have said about the past.  It should strike some of you as a great relief that you really don’t have to deal with the past.  It becomes like a library behind a door that you don’t even want to open.  You might think, “Well, that’s great.  So now I am free to deal with the ‘now’.”  That’s not incorrect, but it is not what I’m telling you.

The energy that is consciousness and the energy that animates the physical you — the electrical energy without which you are dead meat — operates in a particular way:  it operates so that you can not actually deal with what you would want to call “now”.

I will relate an example that is short, direct, and to the point, but difficult to grasp.  You are walking down the street and a pickup truck drives past you.  As the truck passes you, a voice screams something very insulting.  By the time you can react, by the time you can take umbrage at this, or by the time you can say, “God bless you, my fellow man”, the guy who yelled has already opened another beer, turned to his buddy, and said, “Do you think Mary is home tonight?”  It happens just that fast.  You were just walking down the street minding your own business and this load of drunken ne’er-do-wells comes by and verbally assaults you.  How can you explain this?  Some would say, “Well, that’s just the way some people are.”  But note, before you can even react to this “person”, he has literally become another “person”.  This is no theory. You should have a glimpse of what I am talking about through your own observations of yourself and others.

Even though you may understand at this moment what I am describing, you are not ready to maintain this understanding on your own.  A new story, analogy, or description may trigger a glimmer of cognition based on connections with your own experiences.  For a moment you almost balance my description with your own experience, and then into your head pops the words, “Boy it’s really hot in here.  What was he saying there?  Oh yeah, I’ve heard that before.”  This always happens, unless you are somewhere above the Line, unless you are struggling to slow down your own automatic reactions.

Your only Aim should be to conduct energy above the Line.  Getting angry or yelling back at the man will not serve your Aim.  Neither will your well intentioned prayers for his soul or your sincere desire to combat the social problems of alcoholism and ignorance.  None of that will do.  You have had your whole life to measure the results of these actions.  To understand what I am saying requires that energy be available above the Line.

As soon as you hear the guy yelling the first word, you know what’s coming and your body prepares to react.  What you have to remember is that as fast as he says it, it’s over and he is asking for another beer.  “Now” was short and sweet.  If you don’t care for trucks and beer, try this one.  You walk into a party and see an old friend.  He says, “Hi!  How are you?”  Before you can say, “Fine, how about you?”, he is gone. He is still standing there smiling, but his attention is on a new arrival or another drink.  This is no social commentary.  It is the nature of personality being tied to time.  It is what no one understands down below the Line.  You can’t, under ordinary circumstances, live in the “now”.  By the time you can react to anything, it is gone.  It might as well have been ten years ago.

If you catch a glimpse of this, you will understand why revenge is impossible.  You can not get even with some person because the person that did the act to begin with was not a “person”.  Even if you think it was a “person”, that “person” is no longer there.  It’s even said at Line level that you can’t get any satisfaction from revenge, and here’s the reality therein.

Under ordinary circumstances, the electricity which is your life operates at such a speed that you can not capture it and hold it in the Now.  You are consistently reacting to the past.

I am not playing a verbal game with you.  When “it” listens, though, it is a verbal game.  I describe a creature with big green ears.  As soon as my words enter, the thing starts thinking, “I may have seen that before”, and it looks around, but can’t see anything, because it IS the thing with big green ears.

You can not, in any ordinary way, deal with what seems to be the present.  You are always reacting to the past whether it was ten years ago or two seconds ago.  You are reacting to the past when your are reacting to anything.  The horizontal line is the flow of time, and the only way you can react ordinarily is when something is just to the left of the short line that represents the present.

Even as I am pointing out that under ordinary circumstances there is no such thing as “now”, you are trying to make some sense of what I am saying.  I have already said it.  You are reacting just as fast as you can hear it, new connections may be made, but it is not “now”.  It is already over.  To the nervous system listening to my words, however, the present does seem to exist, so I am not going to spend more time talking about the fact that it doesn’t.

Even though the ordinary mind will tell you what I said is silly, only from above the Line can you see that nobody has a past — no one has a right “now”; I am going to tell you something even sillier.  Here is a description of the Future/Now.

Like all descriptions that approach reality, this is almost impossible to hear.  If any of you can understand this you are in for a life of nothing but frolicking in the clover, because nothing can get you. There is a spot immediately to the right of the short vertical line that is the closest that you can get to being creative.  Forget the past.  There is no “now”.  You have to consciously live right there ahead of what seems to be now.

You will have to accept what I have said thus far as a basis for attempting this.  There is no “now”, but for the sake of this description consider that short line representing a boundary with the past to the left and some sort of vague future to the right.  That little vertical line is your spine experiencing time. Remember that we are just assuming a past, a now, and a future for the sake of this description.  With that in mind, what you have to do is to find the spot just to the right of the vertical line and live right there.  You must run at the speed of light to stay beyond wherever you were.  Once you do this you can dispense with the description and operate on your own understanding, but at first, you are going to have to rely on what I have said as the basis for trying it.  With time being represented on the horizontal line, you can see that as soon as something hits the vertical line it is dead.  You can not react to it fast enough so you have to react to it before it gets to the line.  You have to operate on the basis that as soon as something happens it’s dead.  It’s a moot issue.  Therefore, you live just ahead of that line, and nothing can get you.

Now, people keep opening the door.  Life keeps adding new records and books to your collection.  You are aware of that, but you don’t have to open them to see what’s inside them.  They start sliding records under the door and throwing books through the windows, and you still don’t have to react.  If you start trying to resist it you are back where you started, complaining and being critical of life.  You don’t have to react to any of this.  You are simply aware of it.

You learn how to avoid staring straight at whatever’s happening.  Cut your vision just a little ahead. You can’t look straight on because you know that no living nourishment is there.  Remember I said this diagram is incorrect in as much as the line does not represent now.  The closest that you can come to it, which then becomes your now, is learning how to live in the Future/Now.  The only way you can deal with things is before they happen, and therefore, nothing ever really happens.  What you now call “my life” becomes irrelevant because whatever “it” is — you knew it was going to happen.  If you didn’t know it was going to happen, when it happened it was too late to react anyway.  You need to react before things happen.

I’ll give you one more very general picture of this.  This whole horizontal line represents a nonstop movie, but it has no impact on consciousness until it reaches the vertical line.  Imagine for example, you’re having root canal work done.  This is not an entertaining thing to imagine, but it’s nothing compared to actually sitting in the chair with a stranger’s fingers and his drill buzzing your mouth.

(I want to repeat that you have got to accept the idea that there is no “now” as the basis for trying this.  Even though it sounds insane, you’ll have to start with that idea.  It’s not going to hurt you.)

When that drill grinds your teeth, you have to remember.  You’re not going to be able to tell yourself that there is no “now”.  At that moment it seems as real as anything else.  But I’m telling you from a viewpoint above the Line that there is no “now”.  Everything you react to is already past.  That’s a physical fact.  You can not react to that which is coming on the film.  It comes by; it seems to be “now”, but before you say “Ouch!”, the nerve has already been hit.  The drill touches the nerve…tick…you say “Oww!”. You’re reacting to the past.  The film continues to roll right through your viewfinder.  Remember, too, the more everyday examples such as when somebody says “You’re a bad person.  I don’t like you at all”. Then you say, “Wait a minute.  You don’t know my full story.”  It’s too late for you to explain.  You’re only reacting to someone else’s reaction to the past.

This little vertical line is as real as your own personality.  It’s a part of the mechanical nervous system which extends from the lower spine.  This vertical line provides a sense of “now”:  that things are happening and I can deal with them.  The horizontal line is the film running.  There is a spot where the lines seem to cross but you must consciously avoid looking there.  Look just in front of that junction.  Don’t worry about doing it incorrectly.  Just try not to be at that line.  Remember that we have already disposed of the past.  You have to stop being there to even attempt this.  The records will play themselves.  The little books will insinuate themselves onto your coffee table.  That’s all irrelevant.  Don’t get bogged down with questions.  Keep your attention just in front of the line and remember that there is no past.

I can keep saying this over and over in various ways.  After a while it may verbally seem to make some sense although you know that it can not be ordinarily true.  It’s very hard to see the truth of it, because this thing is you.  I point out to you that, from one viewpoint, time and one’s personality are synonymous.  It sounds as if they are two different things, but they are not.  Get rid of your personality, escape time, and tell me if you have any complaints.

You can consciously try what I have explained.  Don’t let your imagination get involved.  You can try it with what seems to be your mental activity even if you’re not making much sense out of it.  Just try to remember what I have described.  The horizontal line is like rolling film.  Now picture the point on that line at which you usually deal with things.  The film is moving from some vague future to that point where you usually are watching.  All you have to do is to move your vision just a little bit to the right.  Only you know you’re doing it.  And you can’t do it “too small”.  If you can move even a tiny bit to the right it has the proper effect.  Even a tenth of that would work.  Don’t let anything that seems to be happening “now” catch you, no matter if it seems to be of great personal significance.  Because whatever it may be when it gets to the Line you’re dealing with the past.  And your only choice is to be conscious before it happens.  Only the future resembles what you ordinarily think of as “now”.  And remember that what I am describing is not really the future:  it’s the Future/Now.

Can you see that when you can do this you are home scot free?  No ordinary fear, no ordinary demon, no ordinary anything can get you.  No ordinary human plan, plot, or act can touch you if you experience this place I call the Future/Now.

This is only one diagram of it.  I’ve already told you another way to see it:  that personality is absolutely tied to the notion of time.  Take your consciousness and put it into that crack right before those two lines cross, right before you are conscious of Now and keep it there.  You’re certainly aware that the film is still rolling, and you’re aware of it just before “it” happens.  You hold your consciousness there come what may.  (I admit that you have to hold it there for a long time.  And you don’t even know what a long time is yet.)  You just hold it there and nothing can get you.  You see the film.  In a sense, you see the film better than anyone else.  You see it quite clearly.  You know it for what it is.  You know that you can not react to yesterday’s film, and it’s all yesterday until you actually Do this — then, you’ll see my description as just a bunch of words.

Some of your observations about a trick that I suggested once are pertinent here.  The trick was to deal with people without thinking about them:  To observe and be aware of people’s actions and speech without thinking about them.

One of you commented this way:  “You spoke of feelings of the heart as if they were not authentic.  This puzzled me, as I often felt actual physical sensations connected to a feeling for someone or something. But lately, while attempting to deal with people without thinking about them, I have finally experienced what you described.  It’s usually a very open, refreshing feeling that does not require any thought.”

A kind of counterfeit currency ordinarily passes for emotion.  Humanity says emotion is something that it, in fact, is not.  People speak of “higher emotions” being possible, but such experiences are not yet possible at Line level.  It’s the sound of Life talking about tomorrow.  It’s the sound of Life growing.

If you could refrain from thinking in the ordinary way, if you could conserve the expenditure of ordinary energy in your feeling of “I” and your subsequent judgement of others, then you could be truly objective. You could be impartial in a way that the word does not really convey.  You would be closer to real emotion than all the great love poets, or swamis, or mystics of the ordinary world.  As one of you correctly said: “This sensation requires no thought.”  If you could have a true feeling that didn’t require thinking, then you are indeed approaching a real emotion.

Someone else asked me if a real conversation would require no words.  That is possible.  On the ordinary level that which must be communicated will be communicated whether it be done verbally or physically.  That which, on one level, seems to be necessary communication between people, on another level is actually communication that is necessary to sustain the growth of Life itself.  On the ordinary level, that which must be communicated will be communicated.  It can not be stopped.  Here we are speaking of ordinary conversation between ordinary people, whether it be verbal or physical.

To speak of another type of conversation that needed no words, we would have to speak of people who are not limited to the ordinary, mechanical necessity of transferring nonphysical food within Life’s body. This would be another level of communication not based upon the feeling of “I”.  It is the transference of energy that is not spent in the sustenance of Life.  It’s a kind of energy that’s unnecessary.  This kind of conversation requires no words.

The first time that you are ready for this kind of conversation, the first big time, the only person in the world that you can imagine that you want to talk to is me; and there is nothing that you have to say.  You’ll wish that you could call me and hope that in some way you can hold the phone up to your face.  The most that you might want to say is “Hmmm!”.  If you could find me, all you’d want to do would be to peep your head around a corner and grin in my face.  That would be a conversation.