Uncertainty, Misdiagnosis and Conservatism
December 14, 1987
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Jan Cox Talk #303 ** Dec 14, 1987 ** – 1:41|
Notes by TK
Kyroot to :08.
Contrast produces uncertainty (unsure of which of the binary samples to pursue). The feeling that one sample is preferable is illusory since there would then be no uncertainty. This feeling of preference is Life’s device to produce unbalance; Life requires uncertainty. Uncertainty = mystery. Uncertainty = misunderstanding/misdiagnosis. Religions’ purpose is to foster mystery not explain it; thus is misdiagnosis a prime creator of mystery. Consider: whatever “malfunctions” for a long period of time is not malfunctioning –merely misdiagnosed.
The Few have no business condemning whatever is doing its job as designed. All forms of criticism are rendered moot by this fact. “Uncertainty” produces “conservatism”. Conservatism is necessary for the orderly growth of everything. Thus there is an attraction/progression toward “fanaticism”: fanatic certainty (and such certainty operates at the chemical level).
All external revolutions are notorious failures but at the same time this is a misdiagnosis; revolutions do their job and are not failures.
“The People are ordinarily intimidated by the future”; that C is turning on them or that E will become relevant, converted into personal D. This has a basis in fact: everything E, in time, will become C or D.
More on the Look method. Man is wired up not to look. He focuses on the foreground and is unaware of the periphery. Fixation/staring at the foreground is a form of energy conservation for the ordinary man. There is a useful method of bringing in the periphery; it’s a kind of “serendipity breakthrough” in an otherwise deadlocked situation; a kind of blurring of distinctions in contrast. 4-D time-sight eliminates surprises, since surprises always come from the periphery. The efficiency of the surprise is based on the clearcut contrast of foreground to periphery in vision. Connected to this: a foe that stares you in the eye for an extended time without glancing away = a very aggressive, dangerous foe. You can fake aggression by staring like that. Shifting eyes = fear and uncertainty. Thinking of action = shifting of eyes away.
1:41 Epilogue comments: J will make tape specifically for new people, and perhaps visit in person. The Group responsibility now matches his in keeping new people interested. New people need to be prepared in a way for his exposure to them. Make suggestions as to what areas, maps, words etc. J should use with them, what emphases to make.
I am, perhaps, time’s greatest satirist…(especially when I
play me self).
I just read this in today’s paper, “No man’s knowledge can
go beyond his experience.” So they still think that “knowing
something” isn’t a personal “experience”. (And the City still
remains the City.)
They have “large print books” for those with weak, failing
sight, so why not “large idea” ones for those of weak brain-e-
In the City, one of the signs of an apparent intellectual is
that He uses such terms as, “In my humble opinion”, “I believe I
may safely conjecture”, “I submit for your thoughtful
consideration”, and so on, but the Revolutionist does not have
sufficient time to spend saying such things, much less believing
them. If he operated in this expected fashion he would not live
long enough to ever learn, map, or do ANYthing new.
Once heard an old Citified prune-thinker finally hitch up
his drawers, rare back, and declare, “I’ve got it, by god, the
will and the intellect are one and the same thing!” and he seemed
so delighted with his ole self, why I just hated to note for him
that, “Hell, ole timer, EVERYTHING’S one and the same thing.”
What kind of bedazzling food-merchant or ad man you figure
coined the line, “Man can’t live by bread alone”? when the
Revolutionist knows that a real Man can live by ANYTHING alone,
(as long as it’s the right thing, and you know the trick).
Heard a guy who freely admitted he held little love for
physical activity still point out that he did get a dose of daily
exercise when he took his feet out for their nightly walk.
And in that inimitable style native to the City, they
pointed out that “What he lacked in speed and strength, he made
up for in clumsiness and stupidity.”
And then there was the time I heard this little voice bemoan
from the rear of the would-be cerebral crowd, “Just about the
time I begin to truly understand something it becomes passe and
irrelevant.” Some time after that, from that same general area,
I also heard the following, “Bout the time I’m getting able to
overcome a habit, I lose interest in it.” And finally this, “You
know, just about the time I begin to have some interest in a
matter I suddenly don’t give a clinical-damn.”
People say that they “Have no time”, and what is meant is
that they have no perceivable way OUT OF their “time-problems”.
The Revolutionist might say that he has “all the time in the
world, for it all has me.”
Real, fresh data makes you want to lick your fingers long
after initially handling it.
And this guy says, “Hell, I could’a been famous too if I
had’a died a long time ago.”
If you really, really wanted to, you could treat your
ordinary thoughts as boring relatives, and your everyday feelings
I ran across this would-be mystical poet back in the City
who, after a rather trying, if not inspiring night, told me that
before his “very eyes, passed the picture of eternity”, but that
it was a rerun.
In the City, a wiseman flaunts it all. (He’s got no
Those who write odes to death (or have the inclination to do
so) should be killed ASAP.
The new, useful data of the Real Revolutionist must meet
three criteria: It never was, is not now, and never can be. (If
the fresh-info were any of these three it would be true, it would
be stable, and it would hence, be of no value.)
In the City, no one would be righteously expectant if they
knew exactly what their religion’s Paradise would be like, and no
one would be properly impressed with their faith’s god if they
knew what He actually looked like. All dreams of favorable
change must be perceived in a cloak of mist and uncertainty, or
their intrigue and power will crumble and cease to exist.
None of the famous, really important spiritual figures
actually lived; history remembers only minions and pygmies, and
part of their responsibility is to make up those Buddha-kinda
And yet another, (and I trust, final) version: “I think,
therefore YOU are Rene Descartes.”
In the City, everything is merely “true”.
To properly survive in the Bushes, some talent could be used
in willfully disdaining what you cannot presently have. In the
City everyone does this already, but that’s another matter.
Anybody that knows anything extraordinary, is either nuts,
crazy, or insane.
I have heard that once, a long, long time ago, a certain
Revolutionist did agree to be interviewed by someone from the
City, and was first off asked, “We all understand what other
professionals are, like doctors, lawyers, soldiers, by ‘what they
do’, but what you are often called confuses me, just what does
being a ‘Real Revolutionist’ entail?” And just before our
Insurgent apparently “came to His senses” and “walked off”, He
thought, “Being a Real Revolutionist is simply doing what I do.”
(A totally unacceptable definition, and totally telling, at
Damn!…Oh, 0.K., just one more: “I think, therefore I NEED
I once heard it said that “Books are the children of the
brain”, and if so, then in the Cities, literary illegitimacy must
be on the roll-of-the-century, (running better than rampant2).
If bullets and fears are death-by-the-pound, then boredom
and fear are destruction-by-ounces.
And the motto for the rest of this year, at least: If it
ain’t fixed don’t break it.
UNCERTAINTY, MISDIAGNOSIS, AND CONSERVATISM
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1987
Document: 303, December 14, 1987
Tonight I will further comment on Contrast. I will give you another viewpoint and show you what it equals and what it produces.
I told you that contrast is a description of the bare minimum necessary for the operation of all the senses, including consciousness itself. Contrast produces uncertainty. Contrast renders man unsure of which binary possibility to pursue. Thus, Life keeps hopping from one foot to another. You hop in this manner individually, mankind hops and Life hops.
Consider the word “uncertainty” as being in quotation marks, because I am not done defining it yet. I mean something very specific. You always have uncertainty when you are dealing with a binary sampling. And I might point out that, in the City, that’s all you have to deal with. Let me backtrack a little. To be conscious you must have contrast. Man cannot think one thought and be conscious, any more than you can touch only one object and have an operative tactile sense. To have a sense of touch you must touch at least two things. To ever know what a woman’s behind feels like, (just an example that came to mind) you also must reach over and touch something else — a brick, a hot oven, a w-2 form or an IRS agent’s heart. Without this comparative process you literally would have no operational sense of touch. Likewise consciousness in general.
Contrasts are not bad or good, and they are not malfunctions per se. They are necessary for basic consciousness — otherwise you would not have gotten this far, and you certainly wouldn’t have found me.
Any apparent choice carries it’s own uncertainty within. City consciousness might well believe that it can conceive of binary choices that are absolutely clear cut. But I don’t care what the choice might be, uncertainty is always right there doing a heavy breathing routine on Line level necks. For example, if a person is placed at the edge of a bottomless precipice, there arises a choice between life or a loss of balance followed by death. City consciousness may well say, “I am certain that I don’t want to fall.” But nay, there is uncertainty: “What if I do fall? What if I’m pushed? What if some freudian desire for self-destruction causes me to jump?”
Uncertainty gives consciousness the feeling that there is no surety as to which possibility it will be driven to pursue. At the 3-D level, things cannot be explained or understood since binary possibilities offer no certainty and hence no complete satisfaction.
Binary samplings can never satisfy. Referring back to my example, at Line level you might still insist, “Given the choice between living and dying, there is no uncertainty; any reasonable person wants to live.” You missed it. If there could be such a certainty, then everybody would have gone through this short process. At some point, when they are in the “little nipper or post little nipper” stage, everybody has a feeling that it is sad to be alive: “Maybe this is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not what I thought it was when I was seven years old and got my first bicycle. Wait a minute, that means I’m either going to be happy or sad at any moment for the rest of my life. It’s my choice; okay, I’ll be happy.” But as all of you can attest, that is not how Life works. Not only is man uncertain that he can stay happy, he is uncertain even if he is happy or sad at any given moment.
I said contrast produces uncertainty — but a mathematically more correct way to say it is: contrast equals uncertainty. Now let’s go further. Contrast, the binary sampling, is impartial. Neither apparent option in any sampling is weighted. Yet everyone believes that all choices of which they are conscious (that is, which seem to hold a personal interest to them) are weighted. They believe that one is preferable. 3-D perception says, “Of course one choice is preferable. Who wouldn’t prefer living over dying, good over evil or proper over improper.” And I say, they are impartial. If one is better than the other, why doesn’t everybody do it? There is no certain, satisfying weighting of any binary sample. If such weighting could occur, then Life would quit hopping from one foot to the other, and so would you. If that happened, trust me, we would all seriously regret it. And so, to stay alive, everybody on this planet is operating on the basis of binary sampling, contrast and uncertainty. I might point out in passing that this holds true for apparently non-sensual beings as well.
Life itself stays alive by being somewhat “uncertain.” Look around: Life will try anything once. The craziest, dumbest, most unprofitable thing you can think of has already been tried by Life. Otherwise you couldn’t conceive of it.
With uncertainty comes Misunderstanding/Misdiagnosis. Here’s the prime example: Life has made man in the City hold religion responsible for answering, revealing, even banishing the mysteries of Life. Think about it for a second. As long as men and groups of men have talked about religion, there have been corresponding men and groups of men who ridiculed it. For every Pope John The Fierce, the has been a Madilyn Murray O’hare. Let a religion go one day, and the very next day it becomes a target for ridicule; people point out what seem to be the obvious malfunctions and shortcomings of the religion. This is because religion apparently has as its job, they even go so far as to state it, the job of making clear the mysteries of Life. But they cannot do it. You can go to a priest, rabbi or whatever and say, “Where do I come from, why did my little child die, and what comes after death?” They cannot answer, notwithstanding the fact that religion hoists the banner of making clear all the mysteries.
Thus religion has apparently been, not only a sitting duck, but a deserving sitting duck to be attacked, condemned and ridiculed. Every one of you has done it. I’m telling you that it’s a case of misdiagnosis (which of course, is not a mis-anything). Religion, from this out of the City view, has always been misdiagnosed, because it is not religion’s job to solve the mysteries of Life — nay, nay, far from it. The job of religion is to support, protect, perpetuate, and increase the mysteries. And from every ordinary view, the purpose has got to be just the opposite.
Misdiagnosis. Notice, misdiagnosis serves what purpose? Contrast — uncertainty — even a greater mystery.
On the 4-D level, the misdiagnosis “doubles up” thusly: “How come the gods sat down with our prophets and gave us all these rules to live by, and we tried them and it still didn’t help?” It wasn’t supposed to help. Without mysteries, you’ve got no uncertainty; without uncertainty you’ve got no contrast. (We’re moving backward now.) Without contrast you’ve got no what? You’ve got no nothing, that’s what.
Nothing, whether it be religion or your Uncle Charlie, should be condemned for doing it’s job. I’ve told you to cease all criticism of Life. Any process existing over a period of time and is apparently malfunctioning, such as religion, is not faulty. It is being misdiagnosed as to its purpose. So what is there in Life deserving of criticism?
Remember, I said anything. Religion is the supreme example of misdiagnosis apparently outside of you, but what about internally? What about human consciousness and one’s sense of identity? Well, I guess we don’t want to hear about that, do we? Any observable phenomenon that has existed for a long period of time and also appears to be malfunctioning, (ask yourself: back at City level, what is not subject to some form of criticism on the basis of it’s apparent shortcomings?) I’m telling you, it is not malfunctioning. Life is not in error; Life does not devolve.
What I mean by existence over a long period of time is this: If some phenomena exists for a day or a week and then disappears, we’re back to the fact that Life will try anything once. But anything longer than that, no matter the appearance of chronic malfunctions, is doing its job admirably.
Misdiagnosis can be also defined as a matter of dealing with imperfect, fractional 3-D data. I am speaking about expanding beyond fractional data into another dimension — or if you prefer, a new direction — and then you can see it’s not a matter of the failure of something vis a vis its stated purpose. Its stated purpose and its actual purpose are not the same. I ask you again: What does that do to all forms of criticism?
I told you once that you can look at it as a test: “Those secret 4-D forces are just testing me to see if I am all that common.” You cannot remain at the ordinary level, saying to yourself, “Well, what you say is all well and good, but just between me and myself, religion is a joke. It’s not doing its job.” No. Religion is performing its task admirably. You are on dangerous ground if you criticize anything for doing its job. You’ll get caught up in the gears; they’ll grab your finger, then your arm and then your commitment. Suddenly your Hunger will be gone. You’ll be back on the street before you know it. Remember, anything existing is doing its job.
Time to move on down the line. Uncertainty produces “conservatism.” I mean something quite specific: Uncertainty produces conservatism in all things, people, processes, institutions, cities and states. I’m going to whip a little logic on you. If you have uncertainty, you’re going to have conservatism, and if you’re alive you’ve got uncertainty, right? Thus conservatism is absolutely necessary for the orderly growth of everything. Thus it appears historically that the bourgeoisie always prevails.
I can’t resist pointing out the almost undeniable attraction of fanatics. This attraction is built into the human nervous system, now matter how apparently disruptive and even destructive the fanatic may appear from a distant perspective, either spatially or temporally. Fanatics represent an adverse, excitable, attractive extreme beyond the bell curve of 3-D conservatism. By definition, fanatics are anything but conservative.
Never mind that fanatics have a bad name in Life. Lots of stuff has a bad name in Life. When a fanatic speaks before a crowd, regardless of what is said, a chemical attraction is exerted — a real fanatic operates at the chemical level and the crowd knows it. Never mind the verbal content of what he says; this is what a fanatic is tacitly saying: “Fuck the status quo. Fuck uncertainty. Uncertainty is killing us. To hell with it; I’m certain.”
The heart, the breath of fanaticism is not in words, theory and general Yellow Circuit activity. What I’m trying to get you to see it that fanaticism is an offshoot of the progression of uncertainty, mystery, and conservatism.
I asked you what you learned from the task I gave previously of going out and finding new people. I didn’t tell you how to do it; I only wanted to see the results. One of the things you should have learned is that any group of people, even the arguably exceptional group involved Here, is absolutely subject to conservatism. That is, the conservatism stemming from the uncertainty of a group without a leader. Without an active head to counteract the uncertainty, you all should have had your fill of the absolute hold of conservatism. The plans you made, no matter how great they sounded at the outset, succumbed via a short discussion to the unspoken dynamic of, “That’s all fine as long as it will fit into this basically conservative nature under which we obviously must operate.” Ah, slow death by uncertainty.
Now think about this: All external revolutions are notorious failures. By the criterion of their stated purpose, such as ushering a fresh political perspective, a workable economic system, or just ousting the entrenched fat cats, all revolutions fail to achieve their stated purpose. The Russian revolution is a prime example. It is a notorious failure within the context of its stated purpose, both historically and in the present day. They can certainly talk about it, hold parades twice a year, fly banners and introduce new 7 year plans. It’s all in conflict with the fact that the whole thing is a dismal failure.
The power of conservatism renders all external revolutions notorious failures. From my current terminology, the best examples would seem to be those of political upheaval, but the same thing happens in economic, religious, and sociological realms, to name a few. I’m not denying that drastic change seems to happen in the City. It is happening right now in various places on this planet. One set of ruling powers is being thrown out and another bunch is taking over, proclaiming a brand new outlook. But give the “revolution” about 24 hours and it fails; it begins to malfunction the same way religion “malfunctions.” Men fight and die, physically and otherwise, for their revolutionary cause, but 24 hours later, 24 months later, they realize that their revolution failed.
It’s been misdiagnosed. The not to be denied power of conservatism will prevail. Spasmodic disorderly revolutions do happen, but after 24 hours, figuratively speaking, forget the dashing figures with swords and bandoliers and idealistic gleams in the eye. The bourgeoisie, the boobs, the Harold Babbits of the world will prevail. Conservatism will prevail.
Can you see how to use this information internally in regard to your own attempted insurgency? Even in ordinary, City circumstances people speak of the need for a “continuing revolution.” Of course, they can talk about it but it doesn’t happen. Sound familiar? You experience a revolution internally and very shortly you feel it’s failed: “What have I done for me lately?”
Let me give you a new motto: The people are ordinarily intimidated by the future. The people in your state are intimidated by their consciousness, imagination, and perception of the future. They fear that their present “C” may turn on them. Worse still, they fear “E” somehow becoming personally relevant. They don’t know they do, but they do. For example, people living in the suburbs might read an article about the rise of inner city crime but the story is irrelevant to them. If they then read another story about some dastardly crimes being committed in a suburb similar to theirs, the rise of crime is no longer irrelevant. Their fear is that which is presently part of the E pool for them is going to become personally relevant. (Remember, we are not speaking of psychology here — it is molecular, chemical activity.) This is right at the heart of a very cutting fear; it is an unanalyzed intimidation by the future. A City saying goes like this: The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown. That’s okay as far as it goes, but I’m giving you an around the corner refinement. Given enough time, everything that is E will eventually turn into C or D.
Chemically installed within the knowledge of man’s DNA is the unspoken realization that, “Hell, it’s bad enough that acceptable things, that is, C, may eventually turn on us,” (which they will. All C will eventually turn on you; sooner or later that which is C to you will become bad news. You should know that by now.) “That’s bad enough, but that which is irrelevant will become personally relevant.” The former is grounds enough for the ordinary to be intimidated by the future, but the latter is a greater form of fear and intimidation.
Now for more on the Look method. You recall, I told you that with the proper preparation and background, a real method for doing something extraordinary is simply the look method. Whatever is happening and whatever it seems to be doing to you, just look at it. In his native condition Man is wired up not to look. Recall the continuing method I gave you: Don’t let the eyes stare. That is, continually move your eyes about, never letting them settle on one object or direction. If you have done this (and it is really no great trick to do it continually at the physical level) you have found it surprising and refreshing. You realized that you have been staring all your life. But man is not in error to spend his life staring. Man is wired up not to look; that is, man is wired up to stare.
There is more to this business of looking and staring than just the sense of sight, but even within such physical limits there is a world of opportunities. The human organism is constructed in such a way that the visual process divides whatever is seen into foreground and peripherals. The foreground is what an individual man is wired up to focus on — it changes from moment to moment and from person to person. The peripherals are simply that which an individual nervous system does not focus on. They are what you see if you never let your eyes stop moving.
If you constantly look in all directions, there is no division between foreground and peripherals. Ordinary staring, from one view, can be seen as a conservation of energy. At the crudest level it takes effort to move the eyes about. Life causes man to stare at the areas or objects that directly concern his individual, genetic energy transformation/transference purposes. Everything else falls into the category of the peripheral.
The would-be revolutionist must learn to pull the world of his peripherals into his foreground. When he begins to do that, might I suggest to you that the distinctions between contrasts will become somewhat blurred? Let me point this out: Untoward surprises and shocks lurk and “jump out at you” from what area? The peripherals. Additionally, not long ago I told you that lack of 4-D time consciousness is the basis of ordinary surprise. If you had a nonstop awareness of the continuum of time, there could be no surprises — you would know that every C becomes D, every D becomes E, every E becomes D, every Lawrence Welk is reborn as Dizzy Gillespie…I could go on and on with this. 4-D time consciousness precludes such City hobbies as feeling, “How could this possibly have happened? I can’t believe this person could do this to me. I never expected to be treated in this manner.” A whole lot of things, if I may get technical for a moment, a whole bunch of things that could possibly be, have been and you just don’t know it.
I’m combining two ways to look at ordinary surprise, shock and disappointment. Not only is it a lack of time consciousness, it also stems from the clear distinction between foreground and peripherals. For example, you walk out on your back porch, and if you are operating at the ordinary level you are staring. You are operating with normal foreground attention. So there you stand, scratching some part of your anatomy, and then you go down the steps, still staring. You don’t even have to look at the steps. I am speaking of very limited perception. There could be a 400 pound nude holdup man hiding in the bushes the whole time and you wouldn’t even see him. Suddenly he jumps out in your face! Aauugh! If you had not been operating on the clear distinction between foreground and peripherals you would not have been surprised by him.
Now, forget 400 pound nude anythings hiding in your bushes. What about internally? Does any of the following sound familiar as regards your habitual thought patterns? “I can’t believe I just did that. I can’t believe I could be tricked like that again. I can’t believe I harbor such feelings. How shocking!” As long as your consciousness can be defined on the two binary possibilities of foreground and peripherals, you’re going to be shocked and unpleasantly surprised. Remember, there is nothing wrong with this arrangement in the City. This contrast renders sight useable. But you people have got to learn to have the contrasting parts dance a little closer. This would be like the difference between a “get acquainted” dance at a fundamentalist church and an “All Night Tango Palace” in Buenos Aires. If a Southern Protestant minister found himself in the latter place he might wonder to himself, “Are those couples dancing, or are they doing what I think they’re doing out there on the floor?”
On to something else: Only an extremely aggressive opponent can stare you dead in the eye for any length of time. This is correct with humans, and also holds true with baboons, dogs and a good part of the Red Circuit beings. Most women have not been close to or involved in many bar fights, etc., but many men have had at least one occasion for firsthand knowledge of what I am describing. If someone is really close to taking you on, they stare you dead in the eye. Anything less than that, such as staring and looking off, and you are dealing with a combination of hostility and fear. When someone stares at you unflinchingly, you are looking at trouble. Other than that, people do not stare each other dead in the ol’ eyeballs.
As a quick aside, somebody asked me again about stage fright. I’ve given you other descriptions, but look at it this way: You walk out on stage and there is a room full of people staring at you. Not necessarily in an aggressive manner, but nonetheless you are being stared at by a large number of people. If you actually try to do it to someone, that is, just stare at them without making a face or a fist, they will become very uncomfortable and may actually flee. Or, you might have a fight on your hands, depending on the wiring of the two people involved. Note, I just said, “stare,” you don’t need to feel aggressive to do it. Just staring is a form of faking aggression.
Do you see where I am headed with this? What about your apparent internal struggles, your attempted revolution of one part of you against some other part? How is it that everyone attempts the desired change? “I’m going to change this habit.” You stare for a little while, and then you look away. “Yes, I am going to take care of this habit once and for all.” Talking is looking away. You don’t scare anybody.
If you could be as relentless as a re-fried K-Mart boot — you could be extremely aggressive and stare your opponent dead in the eye. Willfully, unflinchingly stare your foe dead in the eye; forget “some length of time,” how about indefinitely? I am actually speaking of a looking as opposed to staring, because you must do this willfully. There are no peripherals in which the habit can hide. There’s nothing to talk about and nothing irrelevant to your willful staring. If you do this, you don’t have to make any threats; the habit will leave town.