Don’t Discuss “The Cost”
September 14 , 1988
AKS/News Item Gallery = jcap 1988-09-12 (0392)
Condensed AKS/News Items = See Below
Summary = See below
Excursion / Task = See Below
Diagrams = See Below
Transcript = See Below
Diagram # 181A video grab
Diagram # 182B video grab
Notes by WB
Must take This Thing personally to hear it initially, but to really get it, you can’t.
What if J told us the Secret but in impersonal terms so we couldn’t hear it?
If you discuss cost it means you can’t afford it. Don’t discuss the Cost. People in this want to discuss the cost. All energy in the effort to change wants to come out as discussion of the cost. To Real Revolutionist, all is same. Only middle class discuss cost. Such discussion is a stalling tactic, leads you to believe in short term progress.
For New People: Neuralize, if J were to tell The Secret that half the group would not like and would leave over, would you want to hear it? (don’t take this personally)
And Kyroot Said…
Heard a City sophisticate declare, “There is an art to being
lucky.” Yeah, but such an art is abstract, and never of the
The unexpected is always willful. The truly unexpected is
also constructive and joyful.
The ultimate ID is to NEED no ID.
One Revolutionist said that, “Men going off into the Bushes
is akin to articles deposited with a dry cleaner; nothing returns
exactly as it went in.”
Now don’t you worry your little head about it; in the City
shabby treatment is equally available for all.
If the City’s good-&-evil, right-&-wrong, true-&-false ever
DID reconcile their differences and get together, the rest of us
On one City station I heard the following advertisement,
“Order today, the one and only, the original cure and treatment
for ALL your personal, financial and household problems, the
fantastic, ‘Mister Fix-It.’ Complete with detailed instructions
as to how to place the barrel in your mouth, and properly grip
The Real, active Revolutionist is he who would stick out
his tongue at the wind, and make rude gestures at lightening.
Just remember, being human ain’t the half of it.
Perhaps I can sum up the long-and-short of attempts to
stretch City logic over the real world by simply noting for you
that IF Jonathan Swift were alive today he would weigh over six
Being quoted in the City is one thing, but you’re not truly
important until they begin to MIS-quote you.
If a would-be Revolutionist waits for himself to somehow
naturally ripen and ignite he will miss the train, break his
back, lose his ticket, and dangle his last participle.
Asked a certain 15th century knave, “If rhyme truly be an
aid to strengthen the memory what, pray tell, can be done to
Read in the City archives the following statement,
“Happiness may be acceptable for the body, but it is suffering
that develops the mind.” Sometimes you got no IDEA how glad I am
not to live in town.
Do it when you can, AND do it when you can’t. (And you
sometimes think there’s no real difference ‘tween us and them.)
Another short scene indicative of, if not downright
explanatory of, City life and thought: A Man standing in the
street, half of his arm asunder, proclaiming, “Yeah, I know you
told me to be careful, but you didn’t say I had to be REAL
People who worry about their health eventually have reason
If water was really such a “big deal” they could get more
for it than they do.
First verse: Be kind to your molecules and they’ll be kind
to you. Second verse: If your molecules are kind to you then
you can be kind to them. Third, and repeating verse: Be kind to
your molecules and they’ll be kind to you. Now don’t drop your
song book, and forget where you came in.
In conclusion, may I be so kind as to remind you all that
EVERYthing’s just the tip of the ole you-know-what. Dig it,
troops, until next time.
9/14/88 – (#)
YOU’RE THE KEY
AND THE KEY WORD IS “IMPERSONAL”
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document: 392, September 14, 1988
I’d like to project some more waves through the ether — using my lips and tongue — concerning the subject of education and instruction.
There’s a reason why I’ve said so often that you can’t take things personally. And yet, when you attempt to learn something specific in the City — guitar, or math, or how to tie your shoelaces — you have to take it seriously and personally, or you can’t learn anything. It’s impossible to teach, to convey any information to a person who is not going to take the information personally. At the same time, part of the difficulty of trying to convey anything in general — or any maps or ideas about This — is that you take the information personally.
To make this even more, shall we say “difficult,” consider that at City level, you don’t even know what I mean by “taking things personally.” You think you know, but you don’t. To take something personally means, in part, that you hear it within your own hearing structure.
In the City, it’s as though right at the place where you don’t know or understand something, a notch is cut out. Everybody in the City looks like a sort of key, and every key — I mean “person” — looks slightly different. The nervous system, in profile, can be seen as a structure with various notches — and at those places, those notches, is where you “take things personally.”
At the ordinary level, you have to take a thing personally, or you would not hear it at all. Unless there is a notch where you’re trying to hear, you hear nothing at all. Yet, with This Activity, from one real view, if you DO take things personally, the information WON’T register. To actually understand something from This, you have to hear the ideas non-personally.
How about all those things you go to the trouble to learn? Look at education like this: you can’t learn anything if you take it personally, but to hear anything you have to take it personally, but to really get anything out of it, you can’t take it personally. So what can you make of all this?
How about all the questions some people come here hoping to have answered: “What is the purpose of life?” “Where do we go when we die?” etc. You’d think, of all questions, that sort would be the kind you’d have to take personally. Right? But do you?
What if there was a real Secret to Life? Can you conceive of the idea that if there actually was a real Secret, and you could Hear it, the Secret would turn out to be totally IMpersonal? What if this great piece of information was even more impersonal than what you think of as “impersonal”? What if THE key word for it was “impersonal”?
But what do all of you ordinarily do when you listen to me talk? You pay attention, take notes; you take what I say seriously, personally. Well, what if all the stuff you take so personally isn’t worth duck-squat? What if anything really worth knowing is totally impersonal, and The Great Secret — The Great Spark — is impartial, impersonal? Consider: the part of you which takes THAT personally is the part that can’t See This. It’s the part of you that can’t take This properly — impersonally.
Why do you think people like me always seem to have to speak in metaphors, symbolisms, parables, and use vaguenesses, indirectnesses? Well, alright, I’ll answer that one. It’s for the same reason people in the City see things the way they do anyway, that is, vaguely and indirectly. In the City everything is seen as though it were a “symbol” for real Life. Hell, it IS real Life!
Everything in the City is vague, even so-called science. Religions, especially, are traditionally great at being vague. “Well, information from the gods can’t actually be put in human words…” What if such information can be verbalized and the so-called Secret can be put into words? Maybe I’ve already told you — you’ve already heard a Secret, but you couldn’t Hear it because it’s so impersonal you can’t fit it in anywhere. Maybe I spoke the words and they went right into one of your notches. What if The Secret can be spoken but is so impersonal you can’t hear what’s said?
Let me wrap up with this. Sometimes within a group, or a person, or a country, all of a sudden something particular seems to become very important. If you look, you’ll realize that particular thing was there all the time, only now, for the first time, people are taking it “seriously” (read “personally”). How about the issue of radon gas? For a long time nobody took the “problem” seriously, then almost overnight it became a big deal. It’s as if, for some unknown reason, Life takes this opportunity to make you pay attention to something. The same type of thing happens in your own life. All of a sudden something you never noticed before becomes important to you. What happened? You began to take that particular thing seriously, which means you began to take it personally.
We’re back to something I said earlier: “personally” is synonymous with “seriously.” Think back. Anything you’ve learned, you took seriously. Only if something is serious will people spend time, money, and effort to learn it.
Now let me ask you: What have you even learned out in Life that meant anything? If you’re honest, you’d have to say, “Nothing. Whatever I’ve learned hasn’t given me what I really want.” And somebody out in the City might realize where this is leading and say, “Sure, even with my 3-cylinder brain I can .pafollow what you’re apparently hinting at — but that just can’t be.”
If I use the City’s own definition of consciousness — Life’s own definition of how reason and intellect should operate — one thing proves another. You have to face the facts, and I’ve just proved to you, using the City form of logic, that everything you ever learned has not answered what you want answered. And everything you have ever learned was serious. So the hint is: What you want to know is NOT serious.
That can’t be, according to City consciousness. But turning City logic back on itself, I say that that can not NOT be. I’ll admit, this doesn’t make any City sense — so go ahead and ask Line-level consciousness whether it’s true, but don’t be surprised if consciousness goes to sleep.
Those of you who have experienced some of the reality of This Activity, let me ask you: Was it personal? I don’t mean didn’t it apply to you — I mean, WAS IT PERSONAL? When you’re listening to me and something begins to click — if you can remember at that moment that the whole byplay going on is not personal — that’s Real weird. By contrast, flying saucers in your bedroom are just tacky-weird.
You can use this all the time. The whole dance of Life is something non-personal. Yet anytime you speak to people in specifics, you are, in a sense, forcing your listeners to take what you’re saying personally. Well, would you listen to anybody if what they’re saying sounds like gibberish? No, words have to be personal — they have to make sense to you — or you don’t hear them. So what does that say?
You’re sitting here and I say, “Ok, I’m going to talk about education.” And you say, “Alright, I’ve got my pencil ready.” Then I say, “This isn’t personal,” and you write that down… Where does that leave you? If I went on and on and the sentences backed up and turned on themselves, and the English was perfect but made no ordinary sense — would you listen? Even if you did, you could listen forever and you wouldn’t hear any of what I might be intending you to hear. Hmmmm.
Let’s apparently change the subject. A Real Revolutionist should never discuss “the cost.” If you look at religions and other institutions out in Life, you’ll see they rarely discuss anything else. They talk about not what to do, but how much it will cost. And when your nervous system or anybody else’s thinks about “change,” you immediately begin to discuss the cost.
Remember what I’m going to say is not metaphorical. If you’re going to discuss the cost, this means one of two things: either you can’t afford what you want, or you don’t really want it. Which, in the City is the same thing — but isn’t it more poetic to give people a choice? (Maybe you remember my comment that “To a Real Revolutionist, it’s all the same thing.” It IS. Sometimes it’s known as a “cup,” sometimes as a “mud puddle,” sometimes it’s called a “person” — and it’s still all the same.)
You do realize the only class of people that discusses cost is the middle class? The upper class — the “continuity class” — never discusses the cost of anything. If they did, they’d probably be sent to a psychiatrist. If you have to discuss the cost at all, you’re already in some position where there is serious doubt about whether you can afford it — or really want it. Yet cost is the first subject that usually comes up.
The second aspect of this is that if you do continue to discuss the cost — of changing, for example — you aren’t going to change. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with discussion — talk allows a transfer of energy between people. But discussion of cost is a stalling technique. Even in the City, people sometimes notice that.
I’m telling you, if you discuss something you either can’t afford or don’t actually want that thing. One popular form of stalling is, “Well, I’ll discuss this with myself.” And what do you discuss? The cost, of course. That’s just as well in the City, since if people actually did what they said they would, the whole place would blow up. Stalling’s necessary there. But remember that Here, if you discuss it, you can’t afford it — or, you don’t really want it.
Back to, “Don’t take things personally.” If you say, “Yeah, I’ll watch that, I’ll watch taking things personally,” do you realize when you say that you’re taking that personally? (I said this was tricky.) The whole thing is not personal. So ok, if you say you’ve got to take things personally in order to hear them, start out taking everything personally. Then stop. That’s easy enough.
Try again. Suppose I say, “Don’t take things personally,” and you think to yourself, “Ok, I hear that. I should do that. I should stop that.” Ok, so do that. Then, right quick, stop. Start by taking it personally, and then stop. That’s the way to do This. And don’t waste your time thinking, “I’m making some kind of short-term progress, I’m preparing myself for the ultimate cost, for the ultimate experience if one day the gods do come down and whisper in my ear.” Thinking that way is fooling yourself; if you continue to discuss the cost, even with yourself, there is a question as to whether you will ever be able to afford it.
In a sense, a would-be Revolutionist has to behave like real, real old money. A really rich person wouldn’t discuss the cost of anything. If you do, perhaps you were not meant to do This.
Since, according to the way I’ve set this up, you may think you have a choice, here’s your second choice: perhaps you “just didn’t really want to do This, after all.” That’s an old trick — Life uses that and so do people. Give someone what looks like a choice and they feel that at least if they take one step and fall down, they still have another foot to stand on.