Jan Cox Talk 0367

Layers of Insulation


Audio = Stream from the arrow or download from the dots.

AKS/News Item Gallery = jcap 1988-07-15 (0367)
Condensed AKS/News Items = See Below
Summary = See Below
Excursion / Task = See Below
Diagrams = None
Transcript = See Below


#367 * Jul 15, 1988 * – 1:00
Notes by TK

Note: an outline entitled “You Can’t Work Alone” exists for this tape

Kyroot to :08.
More on modern inability to work alone; it is a growing fact, unrelated to sheer logistics of contemporary complexity of technocracy. Example of acquisition of wealth—bankers, financial advisers, etc., as layers of complexity to insulate/separate a person from his initial apparent interest or problem. Connected to teaser/previews of upcoming news on news programs; a built-in insulation. People are involved in the same thing by making promises to themselves; it is a separation from the action of doing the promised/desired.

Thinking-of-action insulates from action. (Human life is a mockery—bad joke—of what it purports to be; it is a pretension. To do This Thing you have got to be absolutely indifferent to C or D.) It is almost impossible to see any one person involved with direct pristine unilateral action with no need of an audience and of immediate satisfaction—even with hobbies. People are insulated—have frontiers of separation.

Life is arranged to fill up these layers—to cushion to the point of irrelevancy, impotence; the hobby/activity becomes pointless. One’s whole life approaches a teaser/preview status. The most successful historic projects arose from the most freewheeling, loose, even chaotic conditions—e.g., wars; voyages of discovery (Columbus; moon landing). Yet always consc picks out a singular, individual ’cause’ for the chaotic condition fostering the event. Committees of people do not create anything. Internally everybody is run by a committee: more than one (i.e., two). 


1:00 For NP: Decide whether you are an ‘inhaler’ or an ‘exhaler’.

And Kyroot Said…

The only lasting tyrant is the future; the only true
aristocracy, the band leader who can’t hear the requests of the


Things are equally both what-they-are, and what Men perceive
them to be, and only the Revolutionist knows the difference, and
whether it MAKES any difference.


In the heart of the City, the most reliable forms of
“treatments” are: A strong religious faith, firm family support,
and suicide.


Just about the time I again think Man as bland and
humorless, I hear something like this, “Art imitates life.”
Gads, is that a thigh-slapper or what! …that IS a joke, isn’t


A Real Revolutionist could be offended by only one person,
(and you know who THAT is…)


Do you know about that certain rotund ruler who considered
himself somewhat of a “thinker,” and scholar, who once announced,
“We will hold no opinion before its time.”


Remember as you “walk through the valley of Babylon,” and as
you “pound the pavements of the Wall Street Philistines,” that
goods are to services as nouns are to verbs. Tell the
Rockefellers to “Get Real,” and the Melons to “Ripen Up.”


Again, an example of Man “almost gettin’ it”: Whereas in
routine anthropomorphic views, Men are wont to see “Life in non-
mortal entities,” they should be looking at it the other way


To a Revolutionist, NOTHING means simply “what it means.”

There is never enough data/energy present in any situation,
or combination of just C-&-D to facilitate any change.


Most City religions are akin to “gourmet cuisine”; they give
you REEL teeny little portions, charge like hell, and make you
dress up for the privilege.


I believe the most pressing question that should be of
present concern to the best minds in the City is, “What ARE the
safe limits of stupidity?”


All attempted change is an insult to present conditions, and
a direct threat to the status quo.


What the City folk call “reality” is but the ONE possibility
they can presently perceive… but hell, that’s true for all
their thoughts and feelings as well.


I’ve told you that, “Life’s heard it all before,” but do you
see why? Life’s SAID it all before.


Yeah, if you know the words you can sing-along, I guess, but
generally those in charge aren’t gonna be all that pleased or


There was this one ole revolutionarily inclined dude who
used to hang out around the area ‘tween the City limits signs and
the Bushes, and who, on certain geometrically pleasing nights,
was wont to sing what he called his own “national anthem,” which
began thusly, “Oh-o, say can you ‘C’, when you want to be ‘D’?”


The People don’t want mere info, but rather a person WITH
the info. (Hush, chile, the City knows what it’s doing.)


Those who realize that everything from religion and warfare
to romance and charity are but dominant/submissive patterns, are
no longer spooked by history.

O.K., I know it’s been a while, so I’ll bring you up to date
on the City’s literary scene. The hottest new book I spotted on
one list had the simple, yet promising title, “Do Canadians Have
Karma?” Let’s hear it for the City.


“What easier way,” realized the King, “to abolish a rebel
than by absorbing him into the power structure.” What a move!
What a trick! What a lasting silence after a threatened storm.


When you get right down to it, what IS the routine use of
the City intellect but to prove that “A is obviously A”? To
verify in words that you DID experience the experience you


The Past is a yucky place to visit.


Those who have to write a book of their “life experiences”
didn’t really have many.


Ordinary Men have ordinary understanding.


…and Kyroot added: Oh, yeah, and routine People behave
routinely, and the mundane do the “Mundane Boogie.”


I heard a sergeant in the City Army once tell fresh
recruits, “First off, in times of peril, or catastrophe, don’t
panic. Stay calm, look the situation over as carefully as
possible, and then if it STILL looks threatening — panic a lot.


The too-well-known, too-well-done enthusiasm of City Folks
caused one ole soul to exclaim his surprised pleasure in seeing
someone do something “one time in a row.”


Beware, the vice-presidents of the mind.

Ordinary memory is like a drunken anthropologist.


And thus, here we stand, at the far reaches of Man.




Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document: 367, GSIBM, July 15, 1988

I have previously tried to hint and give you a general idea that, at the present time, it seems almost impossible for a person to work alone. Forget any kind of apparent personal, psychological, or economic reasons such as, “It’s cost effective to hire others for particular skills,” or, “It’s too tiring to work alone.” There is something else going on. This is another aspect of the phenomenon wherein Life is driving men to become more and more involved in additional layers of insulation: insulation between the person and what seemed to be his initial interest/problem. I am going to give you a good hard example. Try to take this in a 4-D way because I’m going to stretch it throughout history, jumping back and forth through different times.

Once people started accumulating wealth, which in the western world was sometime shortly after the good old dark ages, once cities started coming together and the people could collect money and become rich in a manner beyond owning cows and lands — it wasn’t enough. A rich man needed something else; he needed somebody to help him, he couldn’t work alone. He lived to be rich, putting in long hours of thievery, working, slaving, stealing from his own family, if necessary, to be rich. But now he’s rich and he suddenly needs somebody to work with. And Life provides bankers. That wasn’t enough. What comes after a banker? Well, the money can’t just sit there. The next thing you know there are other people with money and businesses and they begin to share the wealth, so then they need brokers. Suddenly a rich man must have a broker. After the broker you need a financial planner, then a financial advisor, and then people who advises the advisors. The guy with money is now paying more and more people to do what? Evidently to make him more money, right? I suggest that you consider further. It is additional layers of insulation to separate a person from his initial interest or problem.

What about a person with a particular problem? Can anybody in the City suffer alone? Can they? Fat chance. If anybody suffers alone and someone else finds out about it the first thing they do is put the person in some kind of hospital. You can’t have a problem alone, you’ve got to have other people, and it becomes successive layers of insulation. A man might say, “My problem is that I’m living in the streets. I lost my job, my wife took the kids back to Idaho, and I’m about to starve.” Someone else offers help: “Let us help. That’s what we’re here for.” What happens? Do I have to go into a scenario picturing the layers of bureaucracy a person must wade through to “get helped”? You do know that the government, the mayor, the secretary of HEW, the president do not go into the streets and offer the treasury money directly to people lying in doorways and on park benches. That’s not how it works. The mayor would say, “Of course I’ll help you. Be down at city hall Monday morning at 8:30, bring your social security card, fill out form 547-b, etc.” You know how it goes. This is not an attack on the way things work in ordinary life. Nobody thinks about it this way, but there are continuing layers of insulation to separate a person from his apparent initial interest or problem.

I have pointed out to you before, in different contexts, how a certain percentage of television news time is used for teasers of coming attractions of the news. Not teasers for tomorrow or next week, but for what is coming right after the next commercial. The cameras are running, the sponsors are paying for it, and they will actually show one/third of a film clip scheduled to be run with a story that is going to be aired immediately after the next commercial. Something very similar is happening in the movies. The previews of coming attractions seem to get longer and longer. Do you see any connection with where I started out: The continuing insulation of people from their apparent initial interest or problem.

Now to turn this internally. People are driven, made to use this same sort of phenomenon, by making promises to themselves, talking to themselves. Everybody makes promises to themselves. It’s teasers, previews of coming attractions. It’s hiring, finally, an overall financial advisor to oversee three other guys who are each taking 5% of your total income. It’s separating yourself further and further from action, through promises, through talking of acting. These provide successive layers of .painsulation between a person and any need or possibility he may have of actually doing something.

I have pointed out the necessity in the City of man being able to serve the present purposes of Life as it appears to be on the 3-D level. Men must have the ability not only to act in response to what seems to be going on, but to think of acting. I want you to try and see that thinking of acting very often (it’s almost the rule) will eventually act as an additional layer of insulation further separating you from your initial interest or problem. Making a promise, and you don’t have to call it a promise, is almost a sure bet, with an ordinary person, that he is not going to do it.

All of you have a part of your nervous system almost immediately refuting my last statement. You say, “That’s just not true. It’s a dogmatic statement and it’s just not true.” I know it’s not true to say, “Nobody does so and so.” Anyone who has ever been involved with this kind of activity throughout history or with me today knows that you cannot talk about freedom — the freedom to change, the freedom to do anything — until you do not have any feelings of like or dislike about any of the forces in Life. You can’t feign it, you truly have to be at a place where you do not like or dislike C or D. To be in that place you understand that any dogmatic statement is taken as a statement of reality in the City. People may not like it, they may think the person speaking is crazy, but at City level, it is still taken as being a real statement.

You must see, without liking or disliking it, and I repeat that this is not sarcastic or hostile although the words have that connotation, that human existence is like a mockery of what it purports to be. Not a serious mockery, like, “Ha ha, those dumb people,” but a mockery in the sense of a living humorous pretension of what it purports to be as opposed to what it is. It’s not right or wrong, and has nothing to do with gods or religion. It has to do with the purpose Man is serving and the way in which Life has arranged it for whatever reasons. Take what Life purports through man, what man ought to be doing, what he has done, what he thinks he will do, his dreams and fears, etc., without liking or disliking C or D as you perceive it — and then simply look at the way things are, and it’s almost like a bad joke. Not bad in the ordinary sense. Once you see it, it’s like, “Can everybody really believe that? How did I believe it all those years?”

Now back to where we were. Can you see how people internally insulate themselves through promises, or for that matter all manner of ordinary talk, from their initial interest or problem? People insulate themselves in such a way that there seems to be almost no direct, pristine, straight ahead, solely operated areas of activity in the City. It is almost impossible to just turn around and see, at any level, a person with a hobby or running a little business entirely alone; one who is just observably involved with direct, pristine action, just going about his business. He or she is not proselytizing, he’s going about his business; in fact, it’s almost impossible to get him to talk about it in terms of whether he likes or dislikes it, or .pawhether you like or dislike what he’s doing. You just don’t readily find anyone working entirely solo.

Rather than worry about whether you have ever met anybody like that, turn this on yourself. Is there anything that you could really say operates in you on such a direct and pristine basis — where you can do it solely, without an audience, and you do not need help of any kind?

In ordinary life, and this is not cultural, it is in the nervous system of man, if you have a problem what do you do? The first thing, by all means, is to talk it out. You talk to your mother, or Aunt so and so, or to your best friend Betty Sue, or your old buddy Fred. They suggest you to go your minister or rabbi who then recommends a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist first sends you to a doctor who’ll take a battery of tests to make sure it’s not a “physical” malady. It finally gets to the point, maybe it started out that your problem was that you couldn’t sleep well, that by the time you consult all these people, drive all over town daily to several appointments, you’re so tired you can barely stay awake. That’s a cheap joke, but do you see that you get involved with what appears to be the new organization of your life, and the initial problem has been so cushioned as to become, if not moot, at least semi-impotent or semi-irrelevant. It’s like a hobby you started, but then you forgot what the purpose was.

A Revolutionist can not deal with Life on that basis. You can not allow these layers to continue to accumulate as they do automatically in life, and to insulate you from what you are trying to see. Of course by then, for the Revolutionist, everybody’s idea of problems is no longer valid. But, if a Revolutionist is going to deal with a “problem,” something that is consuming an undue amount of his energy, he is not going to put on thick gloves to insulate himself from it. He’s got to see what it is. One obvious way to keep yourself from putting on gloves is don’t talk about it, don’t solicit anyone’s advice. Every time you ask someone if you can come over and talk about something, you might as well be rolling yourself up in fiberglass. In the City it’s necessary, but if you do it, you’ll never learn anything.

Historically, more or less, it would appear that the most successful projects and adventures would seem to arise from what could be described as very freewheeling, loose, even chaotic conditions. It does not appear to be based on people working alone. (Now listen, because this is not a history lesson, and don’t let your own nervous system try and say, “Wait a minute, there are exceptions to that.” It’s all ad hoc or I wouldn’t have to talk about it. If it wasn’t ad hoc it would be available in the City. There is a reason I’m bringing this up, and it does fit. You must begin to find your own holes in the fabric through which you can see things, and think about things you’ve never thought about.) Just at the ordinary level, looking back over history, what are the greatest epochs of history? I suggest to you: wars. If, instead of being my Fictitious Reasonably Insane Person, you were my Fictitious Reasonable Insane Alien looking upon the whole scope of humanity and its course, I would suggest that you would look down and what would appear to be the most chaotic thing on the planet? Wars. Large numbers of people running all over, clashes between herds of people, etc. What would you make of it, and we’re not speaking morally. You’d look at wars and they would fit my initial description of freewheeling, loose, and chaotic.

How about adventures? What appear to be great turning points in history: Columbus discovering the new world, Europeans pushing into the mysterious East, man sending rockets to the moon. Events that apparently had great historical significance seem, at first blush, not to have been one person working alone, and apparently they seem to have arisen in the midst of loose, freewheeling, even chaotic, activity. But consider this, because it must be stuck into the equation: Even things involving large numbers of people still, listen quick, still were based upon the dreams or fears of just one person. Just ordinary history, human consciousness operating in that institution, looks at the past and says, “Had it not been for that one person, that war would not have happened. Had it not been for Queen Isabella, Columbus would not have discovered America.”

The situation appears to be that one person can not make a war, nor can one person get in a row boat in 1492 and discover a new world. Can you understand that? It’s not so simple, because some part of your nervous system thinks it could have happened, one person could have done that. I can guarantee that some of it did happen. Some Viking in a little boat got swept across the Atlantic into the so-called new world. But do you understand — that does not count. You never even heard of him. It had to wait for the right scenario, for a large number of people to be involved. One gunslinger can get in his boat and discover Dodge City. But you had to have Columbus, with all his people, kings, queens, historical records — to make it count. It had to be a big deal. There must be all those layers to insulate and make it part of remembered history. If one person does something it doesn’t count; even if a historian dug up unequivocal evidence of one person having found the new world and he told it briefly on the news, it makes almost no impression.

The setup for this is potentially pregnant for those of you who heard where I started. What appear to be the great historical pivot points, the adventures and projects — the Great Wall of China, the great wars — are chaotic. I am not speaking out in favor or disfavor of wars, that’s not the point. I’m telling you that the great shows in history are not the birth of Andrew Mellon or Zarathustra — they’re wars. What could be more chaotic? Even Life has had some great generals admit that there are no plans for wars. In the past war was not a science, and if it was called an art, then we’d have to say that, although nobody knew it, abstract impressionism started thousands of years ago. Something threw all these people out on a great canvas; it’s chaos. Adventures, discoveries, wars are chaos.

If you looked outside of the great historical adventures, your nervous system would say, “Wait. There’s a glaring hole here. What about the great intellectual discoveries: the Newtons, Galileos, Einsteins? Are these individuals not exceptions to this idea?” Well, is it? You do realize by now that groups of people can not create. Committees do not do things: they cannot start wars, create art, create technology, invent pivotal mathematical formulas. Groups of people, committees, have never created anything historically significant; they cannot do anything creatively.

Now what about the possible inner significance of all this? Using my metaphorical picture of man as a state with a ruler and the people — then within you there is this would-be pretender to the throne, this ersatz regal that answers to your name. Can you see that, in a sense, you are history of man run be committee. All of you have felt this: that your life, by and large, was chaotic. You’ve felt, “God knows what’s going to happen next to me, inside. If the rest of the people knew what I was internally, they would run for their lives.”

You can’t be run creatively by a committee. May I define a committee for you? A committee is more than one person. That is all you need and you have a committee. And with that, you have chaos — and the denial of any possible creativity.