The 24 Hour Lag
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Jan Cox Talk #335 ** Apr 21, 1988 ** – 1:31
Notes by TK
There are no such things as ‘psychological pressures’ –remember that EVERYTHING must be channeled thru the senses. No senses = no problems.
The value of expending more energy to gain more energy. Extra effort = irrelevant = real acting.
The lower circuits (LC) and upper circuits (UC) are out of synch with each other; they operate at different time scales. The Lower Circuit operates 24 hrs behind the Upper Circuit. Talk of change comes from UC and any effect on the LC, i.e., chemical effect (such as the Red Circuit cycle of food becoming energy taking about 24 hrs) is nil because the ordinary consciousness cannot sustain the UC pressure/directive for the requisite 24 hrs, PLUS. The initial 24 hr period is a given, to effect change the pressure must go beyond 24 hrs. The LC doesn’t even get the message for 24 hrs due to normal time lag; it is only then that it can recognize what’s going on and put up resistance, join the battle with passion against your desired change.
Part of the prohibition of drugs/alcohol derives from the fact that they circumvent the 24 hr buffer to effect instantaneous change. Connected to religious conversion; it is an allowed instantaneous change, but only once and relatively harmless to Life’s scheme. Those undergoing such change become super-supporters of Life’s agenda, and then have absolutely no chance for further change; they ‘have arrived’ and thus seek no further; become a pure habit pattern for Life.
The Real Revolutionist can attack this natural 24 hr time lag in 3 ways: 1. alter tempo; 2. alter intensity; 3. alter continuity of what’s being experienced. Either speed up your ordinary reacting rhythm; increase the apparent passion of your reaction; interrupt the usual format or sequence of the habitual reaction you make. This brings the UC and LC phases together by direct chemical means beyond the pale of alcohol or drugs. ]
Action and Thinking of Action (TOA).
The Real Revolutionist has got to absolutely separate the two (make them irrelevant to each other), or merge them; he cannot remain between them as options, cannot get caught on the binary horns of dilemma.
Remember the “Insulting Force”
Dreams: forget them. Only thing to learn from dreams is what you ate.
Epilogue for NP: more on possessions. Excursion: purchase nothing not absolutely needed for 17 days. ]
THE 24 HOUR LAG
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document: 335, April 21, 1988
Several people have sent me notes about their problems and apparent failures, and have attempted to attribute a psychological basis to them. This is one of the great cutoff points. It is an immediate slap in the intellectual face: to a Revolutionist there is no such thing as “psychological.” It is a flawed piece of data. It is as outmoded to a Revolutionist alive today as is the idea of a “capital-g” god. What is called “psychological” is serving, and has served, a purpose with some people. But you must see that any apparent psychological pressures arising from influences apparently “out there” — your boss, your mother, your mate — have to enter in through the five senses. Always stop and remind yourself of that even if you can’t do anything else. If one or all of your senses were knocked out, you would not be suffering this “psychological pressure.” You have to face up to that. Whatever is going on in you is chemical. There are really no such things as drunks; it is people with an alcohol deficiency. Absolutely religious people have a chemical deficiency. The same with people who have phobias, as they are called. It is a chemical imbalance outside the normal bell curve of the populace at their time and place.
You are kept locked into a kind of City mind-set by thinking in such terms as “psychological.” It keeps you locked into believing that there is plenty of pertinent information available, and that you have it. There is no way, outside of This kind of activity, for you to have any ability to analyze or even question the supposition that you have “an unconscious mind.” (As an aside, this kind of information is sitting right before your eyes, if you could see it. The feeling that there is a private and personal psychological self is not all that ancient. It is right there in literature if you know how to read it. Make of that what you will. I told you it was an aside.)
I am going to segue into some other things. Recently I pointed out some differences between a Real (or even a real would-be) Revolutionist, and those who are simply dilettantes drawn here by my good looks. Here is another cutoff point: a Real Revolutionist, when he sees something new and extraordinary, does not simply stop at saying, “How weird.” A Real Revolutionist would be ever alert to investigate the greater topological ramifications of his discovery. For example, I suggested that you try putting forth some extra effort at the end of your daily exercise, whether running, swimming, or whatever. That is, at the particular place where you habitually seem to run out of the energy to continue, you “push it.” And the fact is, if you do “push it” and exert more energy, you suddenly have available more energy. It is illogical and irrational, and yet it is a fact. But I did not bring it up just to show you that .payou could run further. A Real would-be Revolutionist would realize it has ramifications that are staggering.
To divide up the human again artificially into my three circuits, we could say that that example is a Red Circuit phenomenon. But a Real Revolutionist would then ask himself or herself nonverbally, “If I can exert more energy and then have more energy in something as bourgeois and fig-brained as running, what if that would work with other circuits?” What, for instance, would this leave a more Blue Circuit inclined person? Does it mean you could be more apparently emotional and therefore benefit? The last time we met I talked about the questioning of oneself. Only a Revolutionist understands the true ability to act. Only he understands that it is all an act: Washington, Moscow, the Vatican, your mother, your father, your family life, the traumas in your life…an “act.” It’s as good as any word in the English language; if you could hear it in another way I wouldn’t use it, but I don’t want to make up a word and then have to define it for you.
Life will make people say things such as “all the world’s a stage and men are players,” but very few people actually see it. When you see it, you understand it’s not an act in the sense the dictionary defines it, but you would understand why I use the word. Only a few people can see it, and here is the weird part: it is only them who can then act. As long as you don’t know it’s an act you cannot act. When you know it’s an act you can then do — oh, what shall we say — irrelevant things. For instance, let us say you suffer from being depressed. A good, admirable and quite promising middle class human emotion. Especially if you live in the suburbs and are sufficiently in debt. What if you could then act even more depressed? Do you understand that this is similar to running further than you normally want to run? It is an extension and ramification of the fact that you can gain energy by expending more than usual. You’ve been depressed for 30 years — how about something new? How about being more depressed? More angry? (Not overtly. You can do all of this privately.) I have slipped in a very potent weapon whether you heard it or not, and I am disinclined to continue trouncing upon it.
All of this lends itself to be connected with something I’ve been holding back for a year or more. I periodically will mention that I am about to tell you something even closer to the Secret than I have; those of you who take any of This seriously, you might take this seriously. So here it is. Coaches of high school athletic teams have an admonition to their little ball players: “Today’s game is played on yesterday’s chow.” In other words, you can’t eat twinkies all week and suddenly get in shape on the morning of game day by eating twenty bowls of oatmeal. This has a quite valid (I assume you would say) physiological basis. What you do food-wise today is going to pop up tomorrow. Now let me tell you something. It is yet another view of man’s desire and need to change, and of what seems to be the brick wall preventing him from doing so. The lower circuits are out of sync with the upper ones. They are out of sync time-wise — they do not operate at the same tempo.
The upper circuits operate what amounts to 24 hours ahead of the lower circuits. Generally speaking, whatever is going to affect the lower circuits is put in motion by the upper circuits 24 hours before the lower ones feel the effect. I am aware, speaking of food, that some substances run completely through the digestive system and are extracted in less than 24 hours. But I am pointing to something else: a basic rhythm under which humanity is living. You do know I did not bring this up to discuss nutrition? There is another aspect of man’s condition that has never been seen. It has to do with his great resistance, and apparent inability, to change. People cannot ordinarily change because the lower circuits — the home of chemical reactions — do not fully feel the chemical effect of an upper circuit decision until 24 hours have elapsed. And ordinary people cannot keep it up for 24 hours. Hence, someone can throw away a pack of cigarettes and say, “That’s it, I’m through.” It’s going to be a minimum of 24 hours before the lower circuits feel any effect. A person can quit smoking for 24 hours, believe it or not. But what is lacking is that the original passion of the decision to quit cannot be sustained for 24 hours. The first 24 hours are given to anybody. It is almost a free prize. Although it turns out to be, from a Revolutionary view, a booby prize.
I am not simply talking about some kind of candy-ass addiction like booze or nicotine. It is being “you.” It is feeling the same way and talking the same way. A person decides to quit being angry at his loved ones. But it take 24 hours before the lower circuits completely realize that there has been no anger for 24 hours: “What’s going on up there? My normal chemical balance has been imbalanced! Where’s the nicotine? Where’s the self-pity?” If anyone could keep the original passion of an upper circuit decision, anyone could change. Everybody would change.
For any of you who are listening with a third ear, everything I’m telling you is known. Except nobody can put it together. In other words, people know that they cannot stick to a decision. People have been writing about it for thousands of years. And one of the reasons that a part of Life’s body has always condemned drugs and alcohol is that they can apparently facilitate a potential for almost immediate change. Just look at a shy, maybe depressed man take a triple shot of whiskey in a bar. Give him, not 24 hours, but five minutes. Suddenly he has become someone else — pinching waitresses, talking loudly, admiring himself in the mirror. Life is not arranged to handle the use of humanity in such a manner on any widespread scale. Alcohol is condemned because it enables immediate, if temporary, change. Can any of you see a connection between that and what is called religious conversion? Religious people (no matter what religion; doesn’t make a damn) get a chance, as it were, to change one time. In some of the protestant sects it takes the form of a ritual with a minister and other people whooping and hollering, and the person says, “Forgive me, I am a sinner!” and they then will say that they actually feel different. They got one time to change, and that’s it. But the change amounts to this: by undergoing this apparent one-time change they then become like a solid dogmatic member of LIfe’s shoddy honor guard. They will now hold up the banner of Life itself. The more they have undergone this so-called conversion the less room there is for any little bitty change. Because two of the main things which all good religions forbid are what? Drugs and alcohol. The more religious a person is, the more they are forbidden at their own molecular level to even think about change, much less try. “I am now it; I have found the truth; what is there to change?”
Even if you can’t see it, it is one example of the great coup-de-maitre of Life itself. “I have undergone the change, I am now a better person, and all ideas of change have now been taken away from me.” This one-time change is meaningless from the Revolutionist’s standpoint; it is simply part of the scheme of Life. And those who have not had such a “conversion” are left with the upper circuits. That is, the nonspecific feeling of being not quite up to par. This is not an attack on humanity; it’s the way things are. It is the way you are supposed to be. Life makes man’s upper circuits discuss, name and picture “change.” But the upper circuits, need I point out, cannot do it alone. (For those of you who are real good: you could ask yourself the question, “Can they do it at all?”)
Well, what I’ve already told you is potentially dangerous enough, so I’m not going to stay with it. Do let me point out some practical aspects, though. A Real Revolutionist would have to see this situation. You are always running 24 hours behind what appears to be your consciousness. Not your damned old liver and spleen and intestines. Nah — the great part. The real part. The artistic part. The human part. The spirit, the brain, the soul. Remember this though: the rest of you (which is all of you) is always 24 hours behind whatever you decide right now. Whatever you decide now means nothing. It is shit unless you can tell me the same thing 25 hours from now. That is, if after 25 hours you are still on the same track. Those of you now smiling, let me ask you this: don’t that explain a lot? Don’t that explain almost everything, except for those who don’t want to hear it?
Since drugs and alcohol are a waste of time, what can be done once a Real Revolutionist begins to understand it? I’ll tell you. You can chemically begin to attack the 24 hour lag. And there are three ways to do it. If you have the need and the will to do it, you can alter either the tempo, the intensity, or the continuity of what is going on. This makes alcohol and all forms of drugs look like lollipops. An example: you are apparently suffering “the psychological tremors of depression.” What you must do is note that the full envelope of feeling that is “you depressed” operates at a particular tempo. You must then alter the tempo. The easiest way is to speed it up — suffer faster.
When you feel pressure (usually “caused” by somebody else) there is a tempo to it. There is a tempo to your life. Every little thing. The speed at which you move. The speed at which you react to things. If someone, say your boss at work, continually provokes you to suffer, change the tempo at which it apparently happens to you. Before the words are even out of his mouth, say, “Yeah, I know. I’m behind schedule again.” (You don’t have to do this overtly. Don’t lose your job.)
The second area you can alter is the intensity of what is going on. People will say that there are degrees of “depression.” That is, “Some things make me more depressed than others; at times I am more depressed than usual.” If you would notice, that is not really true. There is a same intensity to your suffering in the same way there is a generally same tempo. Thus, the way to alter the intensity of depression is to be even more depressed. You have to willfully decide to be more depressed. It will interfere with all the fun and screw it all up; it will alter the lag time.
The third possibility is to alter the continuity. When the boss comes down the aisle and says, “Tut, tut — you’re behind again,” there is a continuity to it and to your reaction to it. You break a pencil, or your jaws get tight, or maybe you get sad. Whatever it is, you can affect the continuity of it. When he goes by saying, “Tut, tut, tut,” as usual, look around and grin at your co-workers. Or go in the bathroom and make goofy faces in the mirror. Anything other than the usual continuity. (Once again, it does not have to be overt.)
If you break the tempo, alter the intensity, or chop up the continuity you have done worse from Life’s viewpoint than any amount of alcohol or drugs. And you can feel it right then. What you are doing is unnatural in the sense that it is unnecessary for you to live. it is unnaturally affecting the lag time between the lower circuits and the upper ones. The real magic is to let your whole organism feel the effects of a decision to change almost immediately, not 24 hours later. That’s what is so much fun about it. You have directly affected the chemical flow and balance of you. Chemical — not psychological, not spiritual, not intellectual — chemical, chemical, chemical. When things go as they normally do, simply affect it. Change it. It is not weird, but it is almost forbidden. In the larger scheme of things, Life has no need for you to do that. But it is the only way you can overcome this 24 hour lag time. Otherwise you will live 24 hours behind, all the way to the grave. No matter what seems to be the upper circuit verbal excuse as to why you did not follow through on a decision, it is simply the lag time in action. I can’t say I can’t stress that enough, but I have stressed it enough. I have told you something potentially of great value. It is there; it has always been there. And nobody recognizes it.
Along similar lines, believe it or not, I’ll tell you something else about acting and thinking of acting. Humanity alone, of all other observable creatures at this level, has the possibility of thinking about acting, sometimes known — laughingly so, to some of us — as planning. The Real Revolutionist must either put great, great distance between the two or he must merge them. That is, you either put such distance between the two that they have nothing to say to each other, or you absolutely bring them together. Once you begin to see how Life is wired up — once you see the act going on — you realize that all plans, generally speaking, are a waste of time. They are irrelevant, except you can’t live without making them. And nobody else realizes it. The rest of Life believes that thinking of action is not only important, but inescapable: a prerequisite for action. All you have to do is see what is going on in Life, and you see that what people believe ain’t necessarily so. You see, in fact, that everybody is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Nobody thinks about acting; they think they think about acting. They think it has some pertinence, and Old Man Life just keeps on rolling along.
But even when you see it, you’ve got to go ahead and think it; even when you know it’s irrelevant. That is what I am trying to point at by telling you to either put cosmic separation between thinking of acting and acting, or merge them. You cannot stay in this situation where there are two distinct aspects of anything which to you seem important, impending, inescapable or even desirable. If you stay in that situation you dance awhile and then you sit it out. Then you dance awhile and you change partners. You end up limited to bifocal sight and binary consciousness. And to binary sight there does seem to be a time for thinking of action and a time for action. Nobody but a fool would say otherwise, right? But I can always play dirty with you and say, “That’s the way you’ve always lived, right?” And everyone says, “Yeah.” So then I’ve got to kick you in the balls again and ask, “What good has it done you?”
The truth is, none. If you continue to live under the auspices of this apparent separation, you are caught. Life has got you. You can’t move. You are forever a victim of the time lag. There is no “time to act” for a Revolutionist. There is no thinking of action for a Revolutionist. A Real Revolution is not planned. You can’t plan it. That’s part of the job of somebody like me: I apparently plan it. I apparently show up with some kind of general blueprint. The intriguing, if not helpful, words for you, the viewing audience. And it’s apparently a plan. But there is no plan; it’s just improvisational bull shit. I don’t have a plan. Don’t get upset, now; don’t get the blues. Okay, I do have the plan. But it’s obvious I’m not going to give it to you.
If you stay tied up and actually distracted by the apparently distinct division between action and thinking of action, what you end up doing is, in a sense, “phoning your life in.” You are always left with the feeling of having acted too soon, or not acting soon enough. Or of acting without enough thought, or thinking so much that the time for action passed you by. Is that not the story of your life in the City? It always seems that there is something out of sync. You may have a great interest or hobby: do you do it, or do you think about it? Are you pleased with it? And of course the answer is, “Not completely.” When the inspiration to write or compose music hits you, it’s 2:30 in the morning. Or you sit down at the typewriter or piano the next morning and nothing happens. It is the lag time. It is the distinction between apparently acting or thinking of acting. That is how you end up in a sense “phoning your life in.” You begin to not only think about acting but to think about what you’re thinking about acting.
You should either passionately do your hobbies and interests or forget them. You should stop thinking about it until you can find your own way to put almost universal distance between the two or else to merge them. If you have a hobby, don’t keep talking to yourself about how someday when you have more time you’re going to paint more, to write more, to do more with your sculpting or wood working. Here is the Revolutionary view: either passionately pursue whatever interest you have or else, god damn it, shut up about it. Otherwise you keep yourself locked into the same tempo and intensity — the same ghetto — where you have always lived. You might as well be a switchboard somewhere that you call every morning when you get up. “I’m still dreaming about being an artist…I’m still dreaming about changing…” The central office replies, “Fine.” Then you say, “Oh, by the way, this is…,” but they cut you off. “You don’t have to tell us who you are.” No need. Believe me, no need. They know who you are. Just phone it in every day.
I’ve had some questions regarding another couple of areas I’m going to hit right quick. One is dreams. I have a small pile of inquiries about dreams. “What’s the purpose of dreams? What should I be doing about dreams?” The first thing I have to tell you is, forget about them. What in the world are you going to learn from your dreams when you don’t know what’s going on up there right now? Right now. Until you can tell me what you’re going to say next, where do you get off believing that there is something to be learned from dreams? The main thing you can learn from them right now is what you ate before going to sleep. That’s it.
There is no significance, not now. And I hold out very little faith: I’m not trying to hide anything from you. I’m just saying to forget it. And you should see the validity of that. It is again one of Life’s master strokes to have people in the City always involved with apparently thinking about the impossible. Because that keeps you from doing what? The possible. Think about, may I say, the humor (from a Revolutionary view) of people paying large sums of money to have someone else talk to them. Not only for psychoanalysis, but to go to school to learn about humanity…does it not strike you that if you want to know about humanity, you can lock yourself in a closet nude and you still have a humanity? But does anybody ever look there? The concern about dreams is built-in. It is as old as recorded history. But look at the beauty of it; there are people who believe that the secret of Life can be discovered through dreams. They pursue the irrelevant; they pursue the impossible, the impertinent and the moot. It holds everything safely together.
Why in the world would somebody believe there is something to be learned from their dreams when they can’t learn a god damn thing — that’s technical psychological talk — about what goes on when they are most awake? And what do you know about you? What is the significance of the chattering going on all the time in your head? Forget about dreams unless you can tell me what is going on in you right now. Unless you can, and of course, you can’t.
The other area I want to address is crying. I’ve never had an occasion to mention crying, and now I have some questions from some people. Let me point out what the basis of crying would be for a would-be Revolutionist. It is a realization that you cannot put together thinking about doing This and actually doing it. It is a realization of frustration. I’m not admitting that a Real Revolutionist would ever cry. But if any of you feel moved to tears and it seems to be connected with This, I suggest that it comes from a growing awareness of the frustrating experience of being in the midst of an act, and you can’t yet act. Some of you would be just as well off to get extraordinarily pissed. You have to know how to turn crying into that feeling. You can always cry about it…I guess…but you could get pissed just as well. At least it would be a refreshing new taste for you instead of the same old potato pie.
You say, “Whenever such and such happens I get extremely depressed. Always have.” All right, at the very least, the next time it happens throw a god damn holy fit. Threaten the universe. Threaten the very people that seem to depress you. Threaten you. Of course, do not necessarily do it in front of your boss.