Cost And Value
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AKS/ News Item Gallery = jcap 1988-07-20 (0369)
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Excursion / Task = See Below
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Transcript = See Below
#369 * Jul 20, 1988 * – 1:23
Notes by TK
Note: an outline entitled “Cost and Value” exists for this tape
Kyroot to :08.
More on the maximally and minimally inclusive—the “duo”. Life could make everything a “one-o” or “tri-o”–why doesn’t it? Consider the ‘want vs. need’ duo. The apparent distinction: needs sustain life, are necessary for the very survival of the organism; wants are not so, are a cultural, environmental acquisition. But wants are essential for a middle class survival; w/o wants = non-middle-class. For the middle-class, for the City, the supposed distinction between wants and needs is not a valid one in a living sense—operationally; people don’t actually live as if there were a difference between wants and needs.
To what purpose is this so?—i.e., that people believe that there is a distinction. A related duo: misled vs. misguided. With the former there is an apparent blame possible externally; for the latter, blame is placed internally (blame = motivating cause)—self-generated. But how can anyone ever be misguided when nothing they can do or think is original, sui generis? Another related duo: cost vs. value (quality). There is no such thing as value in the City; cost only is always discussed. In fact all discussion/comment is always cost-related.
Talk of possessions is talk of cost-to-you; talk of self is talk of cost-to-you. But in the City everything is available/furnished by Life, and therefore has no value/cost. Only the RR can be involved with value; he should possess nothing that is not of value: beautiful or useful. The RR should have no parameter of cost to his life. The ultimate value/quality of Revolutionary Info is its absolute lack of City purpose. Another duo: excuses vs. reasons. Reasons are acceptable-to-you, valuable, meaningful, and solitary explanations for events. Excuses always require another involved person, a partner, whose reasons are invalid-to-you; excuses are always tandem, binary.
No one gives himself an excuse, just a reason-why. Reasons connect to needs- and value-half of pertinent duos. Excuses connect to wants (to escape undesirable behavior) and cost (of humiliation). Men are designed to accept only behavior with moral contours/charge, that has a sense of morality contrast. Morality = cost. Morality is a dual phenomenon, requires two people. A RR needs only pertinent information; takes the ‘spare me the sermon’ attitude. There is no sense of morality to Rev. Info, and it’s that which is so difficult to hear; it generates no natural response in the NS.
Excursion for NP at 1:23: New Rule: do not discuss money/cost-of-things with anybody. If absolutely necessary, write it down.
And Kyroot Said…
If you’re not prepared to be an unknown-exception, you’re
not ready to be a Revolutionist.
The “ultimate City cynic”?, how’s this: He who says, “Sure,
it’s magnificent and inspiring, even frightening in its
grandeur and sublime power, but so what!”
Then there was that mysterious Dr. Turnaround, who, half
way through med school, realized that the only real cure was to
kill the patient. (Leave mere “treatments” to interns, orderlies
One City pundit announced, “The differences in religions
cause more deaths and destruction than do any differences in
politics.” Still a bit surprising how relatively bright People
believe that something named “two”, and something called “dos”
have some qualitative distinction.
The only reason a Real Revolutionist might deny Himself
something is because he doesn’t want it.
Is the best that will be said over you as they finally “lay
you down”, “Well, he lasted right up to the end”?
There is Life, and there is the picture-of-Life. There is
the world, and the map-of-the-world. (And there is Man, and His
long lost x-rays.)
Nothing is as deeply and satisfyingly chaotic to a
Revolutionist as real, natural chaos.
The real studies of the Revolutionist are never simply
passive, for even His observations are a kind of right angle
Many of the People believe that the Great Ones still watch
Man from their graves, but the Revolutionist reverses the
Although some routine habits may not be the Revolutionist’s
main concern, He should still try and abstain from suicide and
stupidity. (Oh yeah, and He shouldn’t make up His face, or mind,
with goofy dust.)
Never use your real name when doing anything real.
Last Dry-day, I heard this cry in the City, “Why lower our
pride? Let us simply decrease our expectations.” Such
philosophical insight is enough to put the lead back in
Pythagoras’ pencil, and make Euripides fix-i-dees.
Only ordinary People discuss their so-called “moral
decisions and actions” so as to apparently remind Life what It is
doing. A Real Revolutionist refuses to do so, and this aids Life
Give no heed to any philosopher, no matter how famous, or
fat, who is MORE depressed that you are, or you’re in for a long
day’s journey into shit.
Never trust a god who’s broke.
If, at certain times, you can’t “go it alone”, I’m not at
all sure you can ultimately “go it” at all.
Other night I heard this City guy whine, “My life has been
not unlike a toll booth with my best ideas and loved ones reduced
to catching quarters in their mouths, and me struggling
to keep New Jersey on my right, and at bay.” His southern
cousin chimed in, “Know how you feel, say I know how you feel. At
times Alabama completely overruns my front yard and highest
ideals.” And from a distant coast, a distant aunt added, “I
know, tell me about it while I suffer tremors in my vineyards
and valleys. But in my steely resolve I no longer worry about
slipping into the sea; my fear now is in slipping into me.”
In the City, things remembered and things discussed are
always things unfinished.
And always remember: It’s ALL an act. (And for god’s sake
don’t make me define “all”.)
The only thoughts worth having are those that take your
And a mighty cry arose, “The king is dead, the king is dead.
Long live the earthworms.” (And a regal feast they had.)
In a peculiar part of one peculiar City, things resemble
each other more than they do themselves.
Beware the slip knots of the mind.
From a more dimensionally complex view, the study of Man is
a survey of surfaces.
In the City Men operate on “auto pilot”, directed by genetic
necessities. The difference with a Revolutionist is that He is at
least partially guided by His awareness of certain biological
COST AND VALUE
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document: 369, GSIBM, July 20, 1988
When I speak of duos, it is not some philosophical incursion into a question of why there are so many dichotomies. Neither is it a question of whether a particular dichotomy is correctly adjudicated and described. Nay, Nay: the greater question is, “To What End is this being perpetrated on Man?” It seems necessary that there be two divisions in any field, or the field does not exist. Theoretically, you will agree that Life could have set things up in ones or threes. Life could turn everyone into a cyclops and that would be that. Why is it all duos with apparently no room for another possibility?
Concerning the great duo of “wants” and “needs”: I want you to try and consider how those are apparently related to the relationships both of others to you, and of you to yourself. Perhaps you would think that “needs” are that which keep you alive — everything that would sustain life on the bare biological level. And “wants” would be the superfluous things, such as wanting a new car or wanting to have your nose fixed. Everyone’s nervous system would agree that one does not need a nose job to stay alive. Oh yeah? Is that true? Could the nervous system of anyone in this part of the world pass for being a real, dyed in the wool, stolid trooper for Life if all they had were the absolute life-sustaining necessities? Think about it for a second.
You might also note that many of you in the past believed you would be better off getting rid of all your possessions and joining a back to nature commune. No cars, no electricity, no cleaning bills, no nothing. But notice: many of you had that dream but none of you actually did it. Those who do it are way beyond the fringe of the middle class bell curve. They do not really count in the general census of Life’s body — they are back almost in prehistoric times. And if you found such a person and got him to appear on a news show to talk about his experiences, do you understand that if he says anything he has already gone beyond “needs” into “wants”? He doesn’t need to tell anyone about it, does he?
Could you live with only the absolute necessities? Do you think that Life needs people to live like that? It does not; otherwise you could look around and see people doing it. Do you see that there is no clear place to cut a division between “needs” and “wants”? You could distinguish such a division even as I just described it: the biological necessities versus everything else. But look around. Life makes no such division, at least in this and most other parts of the world. To What End, then, does Life still make people believe in such a division? All across the world people attempt and apparently succeed in labelling things as unnecessary. Not just nose jobs and prom dresses. It gets into the world of ideas, beliefs, and theories. Anytime you do not like something back in the City — that is, something not up your alley as a hobby — it is a trinket. It is a hobby to someone else: a tenuous and weak avocation. It doesn’t matter if it’s your mother or a stranger. If they announce, “I must have so and so,” your nervous system will deny it is an actual need. Unless, of course, you are wired up to agree. The nervous system in everybody is wired up to believe that other nervous systems can pick up some kind of extrinsic information from “out there” which has nothing to do with inborn needs.
To speak for a City nervous system: “There are things that I, and other right-thinking people, need. But those wrong thinking people seem to be experiencing a brain hernia…they holler that they need so and so, but why don’t they just tell the truth? They want it, they don’t need it. It’s not the same as my needs.” It is as though what others call needs are simply some imaginary “want” which they picked up and are now trying to pass off as a “need.” But it is not so. The nervous system itself is already arranged to believe that it is not the source of everything.
Not too far afield from that is another duo: “misled” and “misguided.” The difference, in the way I want you to see it, is thus: “This person I know does not seem to be acting in his own best interest, but he is probably misled. His family was full of retrograde chiropractors, you know.” As opposed to “misguided,” which is used without reference to outside influences. Calling someone misguided is not as harsh a judgement: “Poor guy, he’s .pajust a little misguided, that’s all.” He is not being misled; his erroneous journey seems to be inspired internally.
Ponder that. There is obviously a great deal to ponder because there is such a great distinction between being misled by other people and being misguided on your own. Would anyone like to tell me how you get to be misguided? How? To What End do people believe there is a difference? There is no such distinction, as always. Then why does there clearly appear to be one? I know that plenty of your nervous systems still believe in spirits, haunts, devils, and psychological traumas. But pretend that you don’t. If you have not been “misled” while trying your best to tread water and stay afloat, how have you become “misguided”? At what age did you begin to notice it? Did it all happen at once or gradually? Did you begin to notice the term and come to consider that perhaps you were? Is it something in the air, the water? Before I leave this, I refer you to a somewhat interesting situation which I have described previously: Man is the only creature observable through 3-D consciousness that has any feeling and belief that he can operate in ways not in his own best interest. There could be some connection.
Another duo: “what is its cost” and “what is its value.” Again, one of these would seem to be a local and individual field of interest, while the other would apparently require the participation of somebody else. What something costs must involve somebody else because you have to buy it from them. The cost of a thing could not interest a person singularly, right? If they were reasonable. Ha, ha. As opposed to that, the question of value would be a singular and local phenomenon. That is, what is its value to me? If again you were (ha, ha, ha) reasonable in a certain four-dimensional way.
If you were a reasonably City-sane person and were trying to acquire a $l00,000 Lambourghini automobile solely for the effect it would have on other people — whether envy or status — the quality of the automobile means nothing under those conditions. The value doesn’t enter into it. The only question for your nervous system then is: “What does it cost?” How much stuff do you have in the world? Let’s start with material objects. How much stuff do you want right now about which you have any question other than “what does it cost?”
May I suggest that you probably want nothing not in that category? In the privacy of your own nervous system you may argue that you “have to worry about the cost, because I am saving up to buy it.” That’s just it. You answered it. The nervous system is not made to see it. You have not been misled by Madison Avenue advertising. Everyone’s nervous system is tied into this phenomenon. If you take away consideration of the cost of something, at the ordinary level you have nothing. Does anybody hear? Any of you who are really good, consider this: what is it you think of when you think about your “dream car” — its cost, or its value to you? And further, you can turn to your own nervous system and see what it says in response to this (assuming it wouldn’t lie to you, which is another story). If Lambourghinis were $5,000 instead of $l00,000, would you still want one? You have to be real good to answer that and go, “Wow,” .paand not care anymore. Because some of you can go, “Yeah, that’s weird…,” and still want a Lambourghini after you leave here.
Do you remember my question as to why a Real Revolutionist would possess anything not either beautiful or useful to him? Let’s now turn “beautiful” into “having some value to its owner.” Maybe you have, for instance, a book of Matisse reproductions. You can’t even remember what it cost — you saved up for it years ago, or a friend gave it to you. The cost is not important, and the book serves no utilitarian purpose; you did not acquire it to impress somebody. You keep it in a drawer and look at it once or twice a year. Maybe you could sell it for $20, but you would not: it is beautiful to you. It has value.
I have stated that a Real Revolutionist has got no business owning anything that is not either beautiful or useful to him. But where does everybody seem to live in so far as what they think about acquiring something? Cost or value? The value of something you can determine on your own. It is a singular, local phenomenon. And if you have a nonverbal awareness of something’s value, you can have a true clinical impartiality as to its cost. You can do that. Instead of a book of Matisse paintings, it could be a stone or a sea shell. It might be a bird that comes up in your back yard every day. Serves no purpose, but it has a value to you. But in the City, where everyone is on the same “electric power grid” — where everyone is in touch — there is almost no appreciation of what I now mean by value. (I point out again: this is not a judgement, and life is not going to hell.)
Do you remember what I have told you about a real hobby? A real hobby would be that which you could indulge in with no audience. It is a solitary act. It has value to you. In the City that is almost impossible, but not because Life is wrong. (It’s for other reasons. Keeps everybody in line. Keeps Mr. Hormel — I’m sorry — keeps the gods from getting very upset, wondering where their next meal is coming from. Nah, that’s a joke.) Do you understand what I’m pointing at? In the City the reality of single solitary conception of value is almost nonexistent. I could say nonexistent, period, but I sometimes refrain from such absolutes to keep some of you from simply taking them to be the word-of-god, figuratively speaking.
Think about it. In the City, people have to continually talk about what they do. They have to talk about their hobbies. Psychologists would say it is “necessary reinforcement by others…we are social creatures.” That doesn’t explain anything. Even if it is a sea shell which you found, and you experience the feeling, “I found it and it’s mine,” you are talking about its cost. And part of the cost is that at least one other nervous system has to respond to your acquisition. You are talking about the cost of it even though you didn’t pay anything. You found it on the beach.
“You were on the beach?” “Yeah, I was in Naples.” “Naples? I thought Naples was expensive.” “Well, I know some people.” This is not an attack on vacations, and certainly not on Naples, but you are talking about the cost of the damn thing, not the value of it. A revolutionist does not have to talk. If it has value, there is nothing to say. He or she has got it, they like it, and it has value. They find it beautiful if not useful, and they don’t have to show it to anybody. There is nothing to discuss.
Now let’s skip sea shells and Lambourghinis. How about that which people claim as being their own characteristics? “I’ll tell you what kind of guy I am…play a little guitar…living with a girl who’s a painter…don’t have a Lambourghini, but I have a little Triumph…”Do you know what you’re discussing? You’re discussing the cost of “the kind of guy you are,” when it didn’t cost you anything to start with. “I play a little guitar.” If the other person responds, “I always wanted to play an instrument but just haven’t had the time,” it is a discussion of the cost it must have taken on your part to set aside time out of your busy, busy life to practice guitar. The truth is, if somebody can play guitar pretty well they didn’t hardly practice worth shit. They didn’t. The same with possessions: people talk about “what kind of guy I am” and bolster the identity by referring to possessions. That is, the cost. Not the value.
(Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with psychology. That’s just paint by numbers, or connect the dots. I am using all this as a springboard. It is a surface place where you can grab Life by its little head and read the bumps.
If you tell someone, for instance, how some tragedy happened to you and how you hit the skids and finally pulled yourself back together — you are apparently discussing the cost of what it took to get you where you are. But it says nothing about the value of it. Does anybody know why? Because it has no value. But the trapeze act which you wouldn’t believe is that not only does it have no value — it has no cost.
You can say that you’re a better person for having survived some trauma, but you’re not, because you don’t feel better. Nobody does. And everyone on this planet knows that. But nobody knows how to make this division. They are not supposed to. Everyone in the City is on the same party line, and everyone listens to everyone else’s story about how they feel better, and nobody is impressed. The audience applauds while understanding, on an unrecognized level of non-hostile mockery, that value is not being discussed. Nobody talks about the value of what they have done: all they can talk about is its cost. In the City there is no value. One thing is worth as much as something else.
Take it a step further: into the area in which you are your own audience. How about those things in you which you tell yourself are admirable characteristics? That is, the frontier you draw between what you do that you approve of, and what you do that you do not approve of. One of them is thought about in terms of: “What does it cost to change this?” The other is thought of in terms of: “What is the value of this?” And which do people pay attention to? It is not the latter. Nobody would change if it had to do with quality. Man, as he is wired-up, would not attempt change if it was based on, “Do this and it will have value to you.” That’s not it. It is based on cost efficiency: “I’d be worth more. I’d get more.” And since that won’t work, Life has arranged it so that is the only reason people will try to do it.
If that didn’t make sense, remember: I have warned all of you that the only purpose in doing This is that This has no purpose. So work on that. That is the ultimate, once you can see it. Because if it had a purpose you could simply save up for it. “What would it cost me to develop such and such characteristics?” As long as that is the question, there is no answer. Or accept any answer you want. You have your choice, because you are talking about the apparent cost of it.
I will drag in one more thing that some of you every now and then are able to see. And that is: nothing actually costs anything. If you believe there is an “out there,” then you believe that somebody produces goods. You believe that somebody actually prints up money. And don’t tell me they print up money in Washington: I know that. But you believe that there is something outside this closet we’re all in. You didn’t pay to get in (although you feel like you did), and you can’t pay to get out. Everybody is switching bids; they are passing money, deutschemarks, and pesos. And you feel like somebody’s got more than someone else, but it’s just being shifted around. In other words, nothing costs anything. I know it seems like stuff you have goes somewhere else — to the banks, to the loan companies, and to your landlord. But remember this: you didn’t always have what you gave them. You got it from somewhere else. All the little piggies and cows are standing in line and they just pass the stuff back and forth. But to believe otherwise is to believe that wealth — the measure of the cost of things — is “out there” somewhere. It is to believe that you can go and find it. You ordinarily don’t analyze it this way, but to you it’s outside the general flow of humanity. Thus, everyone is made to believe .pathat the cost of something is actually the value of it, whereas, nothing actually costs anything. That’s why it has no value.
Let me jump to that ever-popular duo of “excuses” and “reasons.” Again, one of these would seem to be a local occurrence, and the other not so. One has to have the participation and existence of other parties: excuses. Reasons, at their very best, would be a valuable and acceptable answer — to you — as to why you did or did not do something. And you could even ask and answer yourself. Say you promised somebody you’d help them at 9 o’clock. You wake up at l0 o’clock and you’re overcome by what they call in the City, guilt. That is, your nervous system is now vibrating in a way that you find distasteful. But why did you oversleep? Your speaking molecules are now going to have something to say to your hearing molecules; you don’t need anyone else. In other words, “I’ve got a reason — the person I’m supposed to have met kept me up until two last night talking about what we were going to do.” That’s just one example of a “reason.”
But when it comes to the other partner of this duo — excuses — you’re dealing with more than a local phenomenon. No one would make any excuse unless there were at least two people involved. Because nobody gives themselves an “excuse.” You give yourself a “reason.” And of course, so do all right-thinking people in the world. (Which at any given time is constituted by 50% of the people; except that that 50% sees itself as l00%.) That is, when you give somebody else the response as to why you did or did not do something, you give not only an excuse, you give them also a reason. It’s only the other people who will not reciprocate and play the game correctly: they won’t give you good reasons. They give you excuses for their behavior. Right?
Remembering my division of the duo partners into local phenomena and phenomena requiring at last one other party, can you see a connection between reasons/excuses and needs/wants? “Apparently, reasons in life are needed in order to communicate. Otherwise things would fall apart. But excuses are just wants. People want a way out; people want to be forgiven. Excuses have nothing to do with the necessities in life, whereas there is a good reason for any valid act.” (I’m speaking for ordinary consciousness.) And what about cost/value? “Well, reasons do have some value. They must. Science uses reasons; but excuses are involved with cost — the cost of gaining a reputation as a liar, or an idiot, or a weasel because all you offer is excuses.”
Now let’s get dirty. (That is, “Let’s get more obtuse,” right? I didn’t say that you ought to be able to Hear this.) There is another phenomenon regarding duos which should really interest you. Men are wired-up, at the ordinary level, to take seriously only those choices of behavior which have apparent moral contours. If there is no sense of morality to a binary possibility, it will simply not be taken seriously. Take my division of reasons/excuses. If I presented that to ordinary consciousness and said, “Do you agree that that covers it?” How many people would say, “Yeah.” If they do say “yeah,” it’s on one basis: that one of those possibilities is more moral than the other. Do you see the tentacles of this? Otherwise, the .pahuman nervous system will not tolerate such a division. It will sound like garbled background noise.
For you to find any of this to be of “pertinence,” you have to already have a sense of morality about it. That is, if you are only listening with City consciousness, I’m telling you, this is a good one. Even if you cannot Hear it, at last try to remember it. In any particular binary division, ordinary consciousness will not see any — any — possible pertinence, profit, or value unless there is an apparent sense of moral superiority to one choice over another. Do you see where that leaves the nervous system? It will entertain no inquiries unless a moral valuation is involved. And nobody ever analyzes it. Never. This is the first time it has ever been said in words on this planet. If something has no immediate, unspoken sense of morality to it, you sleep through it. You don’t hear it: it’s like a TV commercial between the acts of a movie. Do you see where that leaves humanity?
Along with that, do you see that morality involves also the participation of other people? Morality is the cost of something. The obvious one: “What will people think of me? If this gets out, will I lose business? Will my friends turn their backs if they find out I acted in this manner?” How about my other questions of late — why is it that nobody seems capable of working alone? Do you realize what this means? You can’t even be fucking moral by yourself. You can’t have a sense of morality unless there is, as far as you’re concerned, the existence of someone else. There would be no sense of morality as a local and singular phenomenon. Because then it would have value, but it doesn’t — it just has cost. It is the phone bill tied to everyone’s nervous system in the City. All excuses are moral. Reasons have some value. And in the City there is nothing with value. In the City there is no reason, there are only excuses. Where does this leave humanity?
Let me put it to you a little more bluntly. A Real Revolutionist would need simply pertinent information. And his operation slogan would be: “Spare me the sermons.” You have to have your own nervous system operating in another way that is not automatic. Only then can you refuse to discount information because it has no apparent morality to it. Only then are you not locked into that City grid-level of seeing and understanding. Because there is no sense of morality to any new information. The ordinary reason you will “agree” to anything I say is that there appears to you to be an unanalyzed sense of morality to it, and as long as that is the case you are locked and can never see anything else. You have to find a place where it is true. It is the place of: “Spare me the sermons.” And This is not sermons. People in the City are preaching sermons; everybody is at the same level, and there is nothing to be learned about a sense of morality.
It always sounds like I’m talking about the way things are and the way they could be, or about what you should do and what you should not. If you never see me again, I have to tell you this: you cannot eat leafy vegetables. You do Hear? There is no sense of morality to that. Therefore, it is just ridiculous.