Jan Cox Talk 0069

Nouns, Verbs and Ball Bearings


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Document:  69,  June 16, 1983
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1983

You can all begin to see how the ordinary mind of Man seems to run in circles whenever the Yellow Circuit gets involved in trying to “figure something out.”  The only way that anyone can come to any real conclusion — make a completely satisfying decision — would be for that person to have Considered what was going on.  By using the word “Consider”, I mean something specific, with a capital C, something other than what consciousness calls “thinking” about it.  What you are normally confronted with in trying to make a decision is what humanity refers to as the “ambivalence of feelings”, because under ordinary conditions, as soon as you decide that you want to do something, you’re confronted with immediate resistance. Whatever the decision, as soon as you hear a voice within say, “Let’s do so and so,” you’re going to hear another voice that says “you must be crazy”.  If the decision is to have any life, if it is to survive beyond the immediate hearing of that first voice, it must bring about its own resistance.  You think, “I am going to get a new car.”  That is immediately followed by, “Well, I want a new one, but this old car is paid for.  If I buy a new one I’ll be stuck with car payments again.  Maybe I’ll just keep this one.”  So there you sit.  It always seems to be a question of this or  that.

There is an old lawyer joke about a man who decided he had legal problems and needed to find an attorney who was one-armed.  Someone asked him why and he said, “Because with all the attorneys I’ve been to before, when you ask a direct question they give you an answer and then say, ‘But on the other hand.'”  If you can observe what seems to be this nervous system within yourself, you will see that it is always a question of, “but on the other hand.”

Considering could almost be described as putting off making a decision.  But it is not putting it off in horizontal time the way ordinary people might think.  Everyone’s uncle or grandmother has said to them at one time or another:  “Don’t decide today.  Go sleep on it.”  That’s not what I mean, because Considering doesn’t happen in horizontal time.  You can’t postpone Considering.  There are voices within you saying, “Well, on one hand I believe I’d like to do this, but on the other hand look at the drawbacks.”  Considering is not a matter of, “I am going to sleep on it”, but is rather based on the understanding that “I am not going to be directed by either one of these voices because they are based on an incomplete equation;  there is something missing.”

And indeed the only way you can make a decision not based upon an incomplete equation would be by having Considered it.  Attempting to Consider is not listening to either voice — not taking either this or that position — but instead attempting to have an omnitaneous awareness.  There is initially something missing from the equation and by Considering the missing part will eventually come to you.  You refuse to base your decision on these two apparently coefficient parts, because then the result would be based on an incomplete equation.

Results based on such an equation are always to some degree surprising and to some degree disappointing, and they’re always unsatisfying because the imagined result is never exactly what you foresee.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a new car and I’m not restating the religious proscription against acquisitiveness.  I’m not saying that worldly possessions will not make you happy.  But notice that the first two voices which speak constitute an incomplete equation, so no matter how they are put together, the result is never going to be anything more or less than unsatisfying.  And no one ever knows why.

In the ordinary world, this is just as it should be.  It is part of the circular movement of things;  it is like a wheel that is weighted to keep everything in motion.  If it were indeed true that you could buy a new car and be happy for the rest of your life, everything would grind to a halt.  But in reality having a new car doesn’t change anything.  You might have fun for ten days.  After that, it’s just another thing you have to make monthly payments on while you plan what to buy after you unload this gas-hog you bought last month.  Can you see how this keeps everything moving?  The world would stop if buying a car — or whatever else you imagine — could make you happy in any real sense.  Then you would no longer be motivated to do anything else in Life.

Ordinarily, when you “decide” something, it simply finally happened.  This in no theory.  You can see it.  All it takes is a little awareness of how Life normally operates through you.  Once it seems that things have worked out in a certain way — “All right, I’ve decided to buy that new car!” — you are always left wondering, “How did this come about?”  And the truth is, you don’t know.  It just suddenly seems like, “I’ll do it!”  It is not actually a decision.

To be able to make a real decision, you need more information than what’s on those two hands.  But at Line level, there is no more information available.  But Considering fills in the incomplete equation, it shines a light on that unexpected missing part.  It is as if there are apparently two forces at work, and Considering brings in the missing third force, which is everything else in existence.  But ordinary consciousness cannot fathom that.  Confronted by it, everyone would become frozen and sit until fungus grew on them,  wondering, “What should I do?”  It is not ordinary humanity’s responsibility to know what to do.

Being able to Consider brings in new information that cannot be described.  For the first time, you are able to see another possible result:  what was true at the ordinary level, the conflicting alternatives, “on the one hand or on the other hand” — is no longer true.  The whole situation turns itself inside out and upside down.  And what had seemed to be a terrible problem is no longer a problem.  At the least, you get adrenaline, if not a good laugh.  And you find for the first time .pathat any decision you make is a safe and harmless one, because it is based on the unseen totality of what’s going on.

I continually receive questions about what I have described as the three forces.  You should realize that this is not a theoretical idea; the forces are working through Man.  It is the movement that keeps everything going — this constant struggle between forces — and it operates in such a way that it sometimes appears as if Life is working against itself.  Remember, as I give examples, that when it sounds as if we’re talking about something “out there”, it might all be in here — in you.

Consider, for instance, the history of the development of air flight.  Many of your parents can remember a time when there was no such thing as air flight.  It was a dream, and a dream that drove people all over the world to try to get things off the ground.  They had all the pieces — they knew the theory of flight, they had the internal combustion engine — and it seemed that if they could just put everything together right it would become something real.  At least a decade passed with individuals, companies and even governments attempting to put it all together for their own purposes.  And for at least a decade, large numbers of people were killed in these attempts.  They tried single wing, bi-wing, two, four, twelve engine planes — even crafts with balloons on top.

I use this example because you can see where it went.  Now you can go down to an airport, pay your money, get into a tin box and have every expectation of arriving safely at whatever destination you choose.  Life  has produced feasible, profitable, safe air flight.  It is now an important, indispensable part of ordinary life.  But there was a period of time when, for all intents and purposes, it seemed as if Life were trying to stop this from happening.  People constantly crashed.  They burnt up, they spent years and millions of dollars building contraptions that would lift five feet off the ground and fall, killing everyone aboard.  Life seemed to be saying, “We should build airplanes, make them safe, and bring people closer together.”  But simultaneously, it was saying, “No.”  It seems as if Life was struggling against itself.  If it was not, then why didn’t all this happen in a quite direct and more profitable manner?  If Life said to itself, “It’s going to be necessary to close the physical distances on this planet and speed things up so the world can expand,” why didn’t Life just put its finger on the Wright Brothers and go, “WHAM!” so they would sit down one night and draw up plans for a Boeing 707?

But that’s not how it happened.  That’s not how anything happens.  It was almost as if Life whispered to people, “air flight”, and pushed that energy through inventors, dreamers, engineers, profit-minded businessmen all over the planet.  But there was also energy coming from somewhere else so that all these people planned and schemed and scraped up the money to build flying machines that would barely get off the ground before going “Pffft”.  Do you find this interesting?

Can you see the relationship between this and,  “On the one hand, I’d like to do this; but on the other hand, it has certain drawbacks”?  Can you Consider this in relation to more than just air flight?  You are surrounded by examples of the forces in operation.  It is going on in what would appear to be the areas of science, economics and business.  You can observe it in human relationships.  It can appear as if Life is trying to launch two people:  “It’s just you and me, babe, from now on.”  You work on it and it takes off. Then out of the clear blue sky comes this mountain of problems, and the relationship is over.  Life seems to have motivated you to fly, but five minutes later it can go “WHAP!”  When that happens to you personally, of course you can do just what every ordinary person does:  wring your hands and curse the gods for their injustice.  Or you can Consider it.  You can use it to see the forces moving through you as they do all of Life.  There is a process, a continual refinement of movement going on, whether it’s on the larger scale of Life or the smaller personal scale of the individual.

At the level of ordinary consciousness, it always appears as if there is a conflict between me and somebody else here in Rainbow Valley:  “Somebody’s trying to shoot down my plane!”  And nobody is. Considering this, you can get a glimpse of why ordinary life appears to be nothing but a continual stream of small, medium sized and large disappointments.  Why don’t things ever happen in a simple, direct manner?  Let me give you another way to Consider this:  From an ordinary viewpoint, they don’t.  Then, once you become simple minded, once you become adept at Considering, you see that everything is simple and straightforward.  It’s a matter of being able to see.

Man is the only creature with any awareness of nouns.  Only Man can take that which would be a verb to any other creature, and turn it into a noun.  For instance, let’s assume that your dog knows the word “food” or “eat”.  You say, “Are you ready to eat?”  and provided you say it at the normal time of day and he has a good appetite, your dog will wag his tail or run to his bowl and wait for the food.  But you may have also noticed that if you put food out when your dog in not hungry, it’s as though it does not exist.  Or suppose your dog eats part of his food and then walks off.  Do you think it will have any effect if you say, “Wait a minute.  Why didn’t you eat your food?  This is special food, don’t you want to come back and finish eating it?”  The point is that food only exists for your dog as a verb.  “Food”, to the dog, is the process of him eating it.  When that process has ceased, in a sense that literal food — the noun in that bowl — does not exist for him since he is not involved with the verb of eating it.  It is only Man-the-dieter who can conceive of food-the-noun, it is only he who can think of food while not engaged in the act of eating.  Now Consider what happens between people.  It is only Man who names other men, and with a certain specific effect.

One man calls another man a name.  He calls him a bastard, and in so doing he has turned this other person into a noun.  Let us assume that the first man speaks in a righteous rage, “I’ve known you a long time, but I’m telling you now I see you’re nothing but a lying bastard!”  To the degree that he can no longer think of that man or hear his name without remembering that he’s a lying bastard, he has turned that other into a static noun.  It’s no longer Joe, but that bastard.  He has locked Joe into being a noun and the strange thing is, he did it based upon the fact that he was denouncing Joe’s behavior, that is, the verb of Joe.  There is no such thing as a bastard.  There is no such thing as a liar.  If someone lied to you, it was their behavior; it was the process of someone lying, someone engaged in the verb of lying.  What ordinary people do is turn other people into nouns based upon the automatic action — the verb — that took place. From that verb, you turn someone else into a noun and at the same time you also turn yourself into a noun:  “I was lied to — I’ve been had — I’m a patsy!”

You have turned you into a static noun.  You have turned the other person into a static noun.  And the cause was your denunciation of a verb.  What you found fault with is the behavior, not the person.  But you are continually engaged in the process of attempting to put a suit on the other person.  The suit has a label from your closet; it is your clothing, not theirs.  You didn’t ask what size they were, you just sized them up:  “What you are is a lying bastard size.”  And sure enough, it fit.  It all fits.  “How could I have been so blind as to never see you this way before?  Now I see clearly what you are.”  You have suited the person and unless something extraordinary happens they will wear that suit henceforth.

The particular danger to you in This, the specific affect naming has on one attempting to expand his own nervous system is that it hinders, if not stops, your efforts at growth.  Once you name another person, once you suit him up, you’ll not find it easy to undress him again.  You’ll find it very difficult to ever see him in another way.  In other words, you’ll cut down on your own possibilities of movement.  You’ll cut down your possibility of truly seeing, you’ll hamper your possibility of ever making a satisfying decision.  The danger is bad enough with other people, but it’s worse when you do it to yourself.  Everyone at Line level continually defines and explains themselves.  People constantly deck themselves out, telling what kind of guy they are, claiming talents and abilities they may or may not actually possess.  At Line-level there is no choice:  people must identify themselves.  But you should have a choice by now.  Every time you identify yourself, you’re strait-jacketing yourself:  you’ve turned you-the-process-of-growth into you-the-static-noun.  In short, you’ve killed yourself just a little bit.

Someone at a party asks, “Do you dance?”  “As a matter of fact, I’m an excellent dancer”.  Your voices said it, you repeated it, it’s now a fact, it’s now a suit and it will hamper your movements from henceforth. With ordinary people, it doesn’t matter — they have so little latitude for movement anyway.  But part of your efforts in This are directed toward increasing your alternatives, expanding your capabilities for internal movement.  You don’t need any more obstacles.  The closer the situation is to the original, the greater the effect your words will continue to have.  For instance, you might run into that same person at a club next week.  You see him coming and think “O Lord. I told him I was a good — no, I said excellent — dancer.  Why would I say a pompous thing like that?”  And you have an almost uncontrollable urge to hide in the bathroom.  Or you may never see him again.  But sometime, someone will ask you to dance, and you’ll feel that suit tight around your chest.  Understand what I’m saying:  it doesn’t matter whether you told “the truth”  or not.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you can dance.  What matters is that anything that hinders your opportunities to increase your range of movement, anything that cuts down on your alternatives hinders your efforts in This.

You should never identify yourself, whether aloud to other people or in the assumed privacy of your own voices.  Whenever you noun yourself, you stop yourself.  You’re here, you’re a part of This, because at the very least you suspect that there is a difference between what you’ve always thought to be you, and certain higher possibilities.  And there is a difference — most of you have tasted enough of the reality of getting yourself above the line — above everything you’ve ever called yourself — even for a split second to know the difference.  It’s not a matter anymore of relying on my promises.  And even at the ordinary level, man’s speech reflects the reality of this difference.  Religions refer to Man’s carnal nature as opposed to his soul; in the past, I’ve used the terms essence and personality; more recently I’ve called it your life-induced sense of self.  But now I’m tempted to take you back a few thousand years and ask you simply: Do you hear voices?  Everyone wants to deny it immediately:  “I’m not nuts!  I don’t hear voices.”  But you do hear voices.  Everyone hears voices.  Since the beginning of recorded history — since the birth of the intellect — man has always heard voices.  In the far past, it was, depending on the voice, either the gods or demons talking to Man.  But you hear the same voices.  It’s just that now, you take the voices as being you.

It’s worth your Consideration.  You do hear voices.  The question is, which voice are you going to listen to?  Which voice is you?

In any organism, in any machine, it is the smallest part that is the most mechanical.  It is the smallest part that has the least range of motion, that is the most confined and defined in its  operation.  The smallest ball bearing in the engine is the most mechanical part of that engine.

And of course, I’m not just talking about machines.  Consider it in terms of your own system:  Consider it in light of your voices, specifically in light of the voices that so readily say “I”.  That is the smallest part of your system:  to deal with someone (including yourself) on the basis of their apparent “I” is to deal with them at the most mechanical level.

Try to see it in terms of that which causes you the most dissatisfaction.  Is it not the tiniest things that produce this constant feeling of friction and dissatisfaction?  Yes, it is.  Your voices might rant and rave about nuclear disarmament;  you might march in every peace parade that comes down the street.  But what concerns your every waking moment?  Is it the threat of bombs falling on your house tonight, or the fact that you stubbed your toe this morning and it still hurts?  All you have to do is take a look.  All you have to do is See:  “My girlfriend was supposed to be home ten minutes ago.  Where the hell is she?”  And while you’re fretting about your ten minute late lover, the t.v. runs a report on the evening news about the possibility of world wide extermination through nuclear accident.  But who cares?  Your girlfriend is late, damn it.  The smaller it is, the more mechanical it is.  And the more mechanical it is, the more friction it is subject to.

Dealing with something, or someone, at its most mechanical level is at best a waste of time.  And you should be constantly involved in the attempt to see every person in a global manner.  You’re watching a politician being interviewed on t.v.  He talks about what kind of guy he is, he identifies himself, and how concerned he is with this or that issue;  and of course, he suits up his opponents — all those misguided individuals who oppose his most worthy efforts.  If you’re captured at the ordinary level of consciousness, you have no choice but to take him as a responsible individual with meaningful, personal motivations. Which is tantamount to one ball bearing looking at another, saying, “Uh huh.  I see what you mean.  Yes, this machine is in a terrible mess and we should all join your efforts to clean it up.”  Again, it’s one ball-bearing looking at another; it’s your most mechanical part rubbing up against his most mechanical part.  And at that level, you can see nothing; you’re down to the lowest common denominator.

To Consider, to keep your consciousness moving, to see this politician globally is to see that he is a reflection.  He is an  outlet for the movement of the three forces.  Everything you can see is the forces in operation.  When you look at one man, you look at Life itself.  This is not an individual, this is Life-in-action.  I see the whole machine, and I see the position of this ball-bearing.  I see its mouth moving, making the sounds that cog is supposed to make, and I see all the parts around it.  And I see that every one of those parts takes itself as being the whole machine.

And then you begin to see Life in action.  Should I state the obvious?  If you’re looking with your most mechanical part, if you’re standing at Line level, you’re not Considering.  The only thing you see at Line level, the only thing visible to one ball-bearing is another ball-bearing.  You’ve got to move; you’ve got to get yourself above the Line if you’re ever to see anything but the most mechanical part.  If you’re ever to be more than the smallest, most mechanical part.