Jan Cox Talk 0487

Life Talking To Itself


April 26, 1989
AKS/News Items = None
Summary = See Below
Diagrams = See Below
Transcript =See Below

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#487 ** Apr 26, 1989            ** – 1:19  
Notes by TK

More, connected with the undecidability of causation within the neurochemistry loop of the human NS. This has a direct connection with the Inner Dialogue. The manifestation of inner voices is taken seriously by everyone; no one considers it less than a serious matter, although in others it is discounted as silly.That which is verbalized is rendered more complex.

This is the job of the cerebral cortex: to enrich what it is attracted to by talking about it. Its digestion of info-food is an enriching process for that system, not a purely destructive-assimilative act. From another view it is also a stabilizing process via repetition (daydreaming, feedback conversation); an autopilot operation. The question is, which will you engage in? The enrichment only or will you skid on into the autopilot stabilization?

The nervous system is roughly divided into upper, verbal levels and lower nonverbal levels. An example: there are two neighboring states of differing culture/religion etc., having nothing but a history of enmity and war between them. How could an individual of one of the states, who is trying to rid himself of the destructive-feeling reality of his NS hatred/fear of the other state, ever help himself? What would be New Information for him? It would be to tell himself (if he knew how to do it) “I’m going to help those people” (not for some/any reason).

This would be included along with the feelings of hatred/fear, rendering it more complex, absolutely different. The words are only a verbal notation of new, more complex, energy flow in the NS. Note that the words are not new, that there is a tendency to dismiss them as some vague spiritualism or verging on the irrelevant. Man’s fear of death is an uncontrollable reflection of fear of New Info.

Death is the ultimate New Info. Once you can recognize and be aware continually that TD voice is Life talking to itself thru you, note how repetitive the whole process is, how slowly Life moves thereby. You are stuck in a circuitous loop. Connection to the White Elephant gift; Life is continually serving up ill-timed, demanding info into man.

Opening and Closing statement for the night: Hey don’t laugh, you’re next!
[Diagram #?]


Copyright 1989 J.M. Cox


I would like you to refine your sight a little more regarding the
system that is us — thinking man. On the surface, what I’m
going to talk about may appear physical, although we’re moving
toward the threshold of where people can see. If you want me to
put this another way: ordinary intelligence runs up to the
fence that IS “the mind” and goes “Uhhhhh….”

The situation is related to the old biological quandry, that the
central nervous system can react almost immediately to a threat,
can make the human organism run, with no thought whatsoever. In
such a situation, you could say that it was the limbic system
alone, with no help from the yellow circuit, that reacted. But,
on the other hand, scientists cannot conclusively decide whether
the person who was threatened perceived the danger, for a split
second and thought, “My, my, there’s a hungry lion facing me!” —
and then THAT part initiated the flight, taking the rest of the
organism with it.

The thing is, ordinary intelligence can find no way out of that
loop. People study for l4 years or so to become research
biologists and still can’t figure it out. The reason is, they
have just reached the threshold of ordinary intelligence and
perception. There’s something they don’t know — just past that
threshold. So they can’t say, “I’m afraid, therefore I’m going
to run,” and they also can’t say, “I’m running and now I’m

In physics, they have started treating light as both wave and
particle. But in the case of the man running from the lion,
which came first, the fright or the action? One answer would be,
“Well, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s both.”

I’d like to refine this now. My description so far has not been
entirely physical, but I have kept it simple. But now some of
you should be able to make a quantum leap.


Here’s my old map of the nervous system. Now, consider cutting
up the system, more or less in thirds. At the bottom we have
what most people call the life of the body — the visceral,
animal, life-support level. Everyone understands that part.
Then you have the so-called emotional level, generally described
as the limbic system. But scientists can’t tell where this part
begins and where it leaves off. (That is, once a man began to
run, if you grabbed it and asked, the man’s system couldn’t tell
you whether the impulse came from inside or outside. The man
himself might very well wonder, “Well, if that impulse did come
from somewhere in me, how’d it get in there?”) Finally, there is
the thinking part, the cerebral cortex.


I have gone round and round with this, but to get to the point,
consider the system simply as having verbal and non-verbal levels:


Even if I drew a line somewhere, you still could not tell exactly
where the loop begins and ends, because it does not exist in two
or three dimensions. But there’s enough validity to this simple
description for you to do something with it. You can tell the
difference between the verbal and non-verbal levels, from your
own experience.

There exists a non-verbal, life-support level: the breathing,
the eating and excreting. If there were a person on this planet
(which there is not) who had a nervous system which was not
developed up to the verbal level, that person could still live.
He could breathe, eat and excrete. He could do all that without
any words, without any conversation with himself or other people.

There is, on the verbal level, a similar situation having to do
with energy exchange. The upper end of the nervous system takes
in stuff and puts out stuff, but what it eats and excretes is
information/energy. At the verbal level, words are digested and
put back out the same way your stomach takes in a zucchini
sandwich and puts out…let’s not go into that.

One of the voices in everyone’s dialogue is Life. And one of the
ways this manifests itself is that everyone takes his own inner
voices seriously. By seriously I mean, well, SERIOUSLY. There
is no way that an ordinary person (someone in the bell curve of
ordinary intelligence) can take his own inner voices as being
anything less than very serious. I can joke about this and
you’ll laugh along and nod, but still, you — at the ordinary
level — take the dialogue very seriously.

An ordinary person might notice that at times, for example when
there’s some physical preoccupation like hunger, the dialogue is
less than adequate. But the admission itself is proof he takes
it seriously. If your own system is operating in such a manner
that you experience, shall we call them, “transient anomolies,”
it’s SERIOUS. Even if you realize that the information coming in
is temporarily flawed, you get concerned. “Hey, I could make a
bad mistake here while my brain is sluggish.” I’m not talking
about people who’s head-wrapper is coming loose. I’m talking
about normal, mainstream intelligence. So don’t laugh, you’re

Here’s another fact of life you should all become familiar with:
You do not (and nobody else does, either) take anyone else’s
inner voices as seriously as you take your own. “Here I am,
seriously trying to crunch up all this information. But that
doesn’t mean anyone else is.” It’s a known fact that other
people’s thinking apparatus is never as important as your own.
That’s my opening thought for the night.

Let’s make a subtle shift. That which is verbalized is rendered
more complex. That is one of the discernible operations of the
higher end of the nervous system. Whatever is verbalized by the
intellect is rendered more complex. The cerebral cortex is
responsible for that; it enriches whatever comes in by speaking
about it.

Some of you may have popped in here, from time to time, and
thought you heard an attack on talk in general. Wrong! The
intellect is SUPPOSED to talk, to others and to itself. There
are now loops within loops in the human system, so that one part
can take the temperature of another part. One part can measure
another: “Let’s see here, how do I feel about what I’m thinking?
Am I mad? Am I so mad my stomach’s starting to hurt? Maybe I
should ease up on being mad for a few days until I stop feeling

The brain itself has no feeling, but it’s responsible for the
digestion of input. The intellect’s job is to enrich the
energy/information that comes in by talking about things.

There have been times when I’ve warned you about talk and have
said that whatever is talked about, is debased. Most of you have
already had a fender bender with this sort of thing. You’ve
learned not to talk about what you’ve done or what you’re doing,
to others or even to yourself. But the normal function of the
upper circuitry is to talk about things. It comments, it
mutters, it enriches everything. If you can see a little
further, the upper circuitry actually does both: it debases and
makes whatever it talks about more simplistic, while
simultaneously enriching and “complexifying” it. Thus you have
such well-known phenomena as “criticism,” theoretical discussion
of ideas, and arguments and complaints long after you’ve
“understood” the issue.

Let’s take as an example a professional atheist. Call him Mr.
Zigfield, Jr. The first couple of times he says, “I hate
religion!” he enriches the whole concept. Then, he has to start
adding on. It has to become, “I hate the Catholics!” Then that
gets old, too, and Mr. Zigfield might add, “And I hate Muslims
even more!” After awhile, each comment loses its potential to

For the intellect to take note of anything makes that thing
richer, in some form. If an outside observer could look into Mr.
Zigfield’s brain, he might say, “Look, this guy isn’t enriching
the area, he’s debasing it by talking religion all the time.”
That’s true, but it’s also true the other way around. Think about
it: talking about things makes them more complex. Think about
that for a minute. See? Now that you’ve thought about it, it
has become more complex. And that increased complexity could
just be that you now realize you really do not understand it.

There is another way to look at this which also sounds like an
opposite but is not. Rather than the idea that talk enriches,
consider that talk acts as a kind of stabilizing factor. Words
stabilize the present. “Huh,” Mr. Zigfield says, “That religious
stuff is just a bunch of salami!” After awhile the bundle of
energy in him reflected by the word, “religion,” becomes
stabilized. So every time he reads about some church in the
newspaper, or sees the Pope on TV, there is a mechanical
reaction. He’s like a smoker who smokes one cigarette for
awhile, forgets about it, picks up another and lights it… The
intellect almost has no bearing anymore. A kind of stability in
the current state of that individual has been established.

If you hadn’t fallen into my clutches, you’d be in a situation
similar to that of Mr. Zigfield, Jr. By now you have, by god,
been around the block once or twice. You know most everything
and you’ve seen most everything. It’s not so easy to pull the
old salami over your eyes anymore…

Now the question is: Can you enrich that semi-automatic level?
No. You’ve enriched all those churning thoughts as much as you
can — in fact, you did that a long time ago. All you are
experiencing now is a continuing stabilization of your present
level of nervous system health. All those inner voices only
serve to stabilize you.

Can you see a connection between that and something I pointed out
last week, that there is a resistance in the nervous system to
anything that is really new? By “really new,” I mean new to you.
There is built-in resistance to anything that’s really new,
really alive, really demanding. Can you see the connection? That
which is really new is tied to that which initially produced an

Here’s an example. You’ve got two states and they are followers
of, let’s say, the northern religion and the western religion.
Their religions are different, their cultures are different. And
they’re continually at war, or under the stress or the threat of
war. Now picture one individual from the northern side. His
verbal and internal thought is, “These western people are an
immediate threat. They’re less sophisticated, uncivilized,
savage vandals.” That person’s nervous system sees westerners —
verbally and non-verbally — as an undeniable threat. Now what
is the only possible known 3-D reaction to that? You see the
other side as the enemy. And what are you going to do about
that? You’re going to hate them.

In that situation, you have to prepare to defend yourself against
them, even agressively, by striking first. At that level, that
kind of hatred is quite in order. So, to bring the example back
to the verbal level, what would be new information to the
northern person? What would be new information to a person who
has an identifiable, undeniable enemy?

Remember, he hates them, he fears them and he’s on guard
constantly. What if I took him aside and said, “All right, you
seem to be fairly intelligent and I bet you don’t like this
situation.” He answers, “No.” “Do you see any way out?” “No,
better people than I have tried. Whole committees. Nothing

What if I then said, “Well, individually you seem to be
intelligent. I’ve seen your library. Would I be incorrect to
speculate that you’ve even tried to talk yourself out of this,
that you’ve tried to tell yourself it’s unprofitable for you
personally to hate these people so much, even though they’ve
killed half your family?”

“Yeah, you’re right, I’ve tried. I’ve prayed, I’ve studied
various philosophies, but I can’t come up with anything that
seems to cause a shift in the way I feel about the bastards.”
Try and put yourself in the position of this guy. If you belong
in This, you should be able to understand how it could be. He
feels hatred, which is the other side of fear. And he says he’s
tried to rearrange his thinking, clean up his feelings. He knows
that having so much hatred is not good. So consider, what could
be new information? That is, what could change the situation for
this man?

What ordinary intelligence would call new information might
amount to something like this: “You’ve got it all wrong. These
people aren’t really all that bad.” But I’ve already told you,
this person’s inborn system needs to feel the way it does. So
don’t give me that. Consider again, what could be new

Here it is, right at the horizon and super-subtle. It has
nothing to do with anything moral or spiritual; it has to do with
chemistry. Listen carefully, because your own nervous system may
prevent you from being able to Hear what I’m going to say by
thinking, “I’ve heard this all before.” Sure you have, back in
the City. Big deal.

Here’s what information that is truly new and alive would be.
Let’s say the person realizes that after all these years he or
she should be able to do something about the hatred. Yet, “I’ve
tried everything, I’ve tried telling myself, ‘I don’t hate them,
I don’t hate them,” but nothing works.” Remember, new
information is alive. How could you attempt to change the entire
reaction of your own nervous system, from the limbic, non-verbal
level to the talking, cortical end? What kind of new information
would bring about such a change? The answer is: new information
that your nervous system is not prepared to digest, without
effort. Really new information would be like brand new food —
your stomach would have to do something differently and finally
learn to process it. The system would have to rearrange itself
in order to use new information. What kind of information would
bring about such a rearrangement?

I’ve asked you the question so many times, I’m tempted not to
respond to the original question. I’m tempted to leave it with
your nervous system. Picture the scenario. There you are,
thinking, “What to do, what to do?” Your system hates some other
person, or people, and the talking part thinks, “What can I say
to myself that will affect this hatred?”

Remember, “hatred” is just a chemical reaction. And without the
cerebral cortex, you could not note that you hate. And if you
can’t note it, you can’t do it. So, what would be new
information? Should I actually respond to this? Squeezing the
answer out of you is similar to squeezing a pimple — I’m trying
to squeeze you to the point where the energy will finally run up
into your brain and squirt. Just don’t squirt on me.

At the verbal level, supported by the non-verbal level, the guy
in the example hates these other people. And he’s tried
everything, to change. What new information could he attempt to
feed into this loop that would be alive, that change his own
nervous system?

I’m going to force myself to answer. He could — if he knew how
— tell himself the following new information: “I’m going to try
and help those people.”

If you knew what you were doing, you’d understand that those
words are a chemical reaction. Those words ARE what to do about
this sort of situation. You don’t have to try and physically
help the people you hate. You just have to take that new
information and every time your normal reaction occurs, you put
that thought in its place. Who knows how your original reaction
got there, just consider you were born hating them. But what you
add to that is: “I’m going to help them.” Not for any
particular reason. Not “because I’m a good neighbor,” “because
they need help,” “because I’m a good Christian,” or “so they’ll
leave me alone” — just, “I’m going to help them.” THAT is the
new information.

Note, it’s not new verbally. You’ve probably said something like
this many times, within yourself. But in the condition I’ve set
up, “I’m going to help them,” would be absolutely new, dangerous,
demanding and alive information. At the least, it would be the
opposite of hating them, or fearing them.

If your nervous system tells you, “I’ve heard all this before,”
then this probably has, for you, a tinge of “be nice to your
fellow man.” But what I’m describing is not that simple and not
that reasonable. Nowhere does it promise that you will stop
hating and fearing these people you hate and fear. The only
thing about, “I’m going to help them” is, it’s new. It
apparently verges on being — irrelevant. And though it sounds
sort of like “trying to love your enemy,” it has nothing to do
with that.

You simply decide, “Whenever I have the reaction of hating these
people, I am simultaneously going to note this new information.
I am simultaneously going to say, right along with the rest of
the voices, ‘I’m going to help them.'” And you never, never again
feel hate and fear without adding that new information. If you
understand how to do this, it’s not that you’ll no longer hate
and fear them, but that your experience is now more complex. So
complex that your experience is no longer deserving of the names,
“hate” and “fear.” Your experience is really new.

Well, “I never promised you a rose garden,” as some great
southern drinker and song writer once said.

Have any of you ever noticed that people’s fear of death is an
uncontrollable and unaccountable reflection of their fear of the
really new? It’s the ultimate fear, no matter how you try to
think about and rationalize it, “up here” at the top of your
nervous system. You can toss around theories all you like, death
is THE ultimate new, beyond any ordinary experience. So, it’s
also THE greatest fear people have. Death. Obviously too new
and too demanding for anyone to deal with. “None for me, thanks.
I’m living. I’m driving today, thanks, so none for me.”

I suggest you note something else. Once you have a full and
continuing recognition that the inner dialogue is a dialogue
between you and Life — that the other “partner” IS Life — then
it’s time to also recognize that Life is talking to itself
through you. Whereas, most ordinary people who have even a
modicum of verbal notation to themselves, think the opposite:
“Yeah, what’s really going on is, I’m talking to Life.” Well,
that’s real close. As always in the City, they’re fifty percent
incorrect — or correct. In other words, don’t worry about it.

The dialogue is Life talking to itself, through you. But once
you realize this, you might further note how slowly, how
circuitously, Life thinks — as evidenced by your own thought
processes. Look back over you entire life. Are you going to
deny that your thinking has been — to be charitable — slow? At
least I didn’t say, “glacially slow.” Look back. Have your
thoughts moved since l957? Since whenever? And if they did seem
to move, did they go anywhere? How about round and round?

Life is talking to itself through every person. Life is the
voice within you, within everyone. At the horizon of ordinary
perception, things move in a glacial manner, but that amounts to
stability on the ordinary, human level. How would you know “who
I am” except for repetitious, circular thoughts? You think the
same things over and over, and you just know, “I’m me.” Your
thinking is circuitous: “Did the chicken come first, or the
egg?” “Am I frightened because I’m running, or did I start
running because I was frightened?” “Do I think, therefore I am,
or is it that I am and therefore I think?”

Life is talking to itself, through man. And it does everything
— through individuals — from thinking, “I’m thinking too slow,”
to “My thought processes are too simplistic, too circular, I need
to get out of this rut,” to “I think in a manner that is far too
complex.” Life thinks all of that. If not, there would be an
“out there” — except it wouldn’t be an “out there” to you; it
would be an “out there” to Life. And if there is an “out there”
to Life, you’d better not worry about it. You can’t even tell
whether there’s an “out there” to you. You may think, “I only
deal with ideas that actually exist, not with ideas that are
imaginary.” What you’re saying is, “I only deal with sensory
information.” But what you’re forgetting is that loop I described
earlier this evening. There’s no way in and no way out. How did
the brain get this information? When people say they see ghosts,
that’s sensory information. If someone says, “I see the spirit
of Edgar Allan Poe over there,” and you tell them, “That’s
imaginary,” they might say, “That may well be, but I’m seeing
it!” “Yeah, but what’s you’re seeing, well, it’s not serious.”
(The implication being that “Of course, I, on the other hand,
only see what which is serious, taste that which is serious, hear
that which is serious…but what you’re seeing is not worthy of
my serious consideration.”

Life does ALL of that. Life has everyone, in a sense, ending up
in a kind of armed confrontation with everyone else just outside
your skin. The person right next to you — whether it be an
individual or a group of people, another country — is a
philistine. You feel, “I am surrounded by dangerous, hateful,
stupid people.” The other person “out there” could be thinking
the same thing you are, or apparently just the opposite. And all
of this is going on simultaneously. Can ordinary intelligence
perceive all this? Fat chance.

Can you see any connection between this and a white elephant?
The white elephant is a gift of some value that could ruin you,
but the King sent it, so you can’t throw it out. You’ve got it,
but you can’t do anything with it. Life continually produces,
through people, urges, daydreams, that seem to be ill-timed.
What could be more ill-timed than a gift of a sacred white
elephant from the King? Is there a proper time to receive such a

Can you see another connection here: Life provides complex
information to the simple; or, you find yourself too complex in a
situation that is mechanically simple, wherein you should be
acting in a more direct manner. Is there a proper time, at the
ordinary level, for someone to realize that a situation is far
too complex for his (relatively speaking) simple thinking about
it? There can be fear, but whatever thought goes with the fear
will not be new information. That is, it will not give you some
jolt to the system wherein you can think about the situation and
behave differently.

Or, conversely, is it possible for a person, seeing he is too
complex for a simple situation he finds himself in, to just
immediately become more simple? Is it possible for an ordinary
person to go, “Well, I’ll just stop that,” and act more directly?
It is as though they have, with no warning, dropped a sacred
white elephant into your backyard. It takes up all of your
backyard, and part of your house; they’re gone and you’ve got it:
it’s both too simple for this complex situation and too complex
for this, relatively, simple situation.

The situation that calls for you to attempt something new is
always ill-timed. When you’re faced with putting new chemical
information into your nervous system, your system, if it could
speak, would say, “This is not the time to try this!” “Well,
when would be a good time?” “Probably never. At least not in
this lifetime, Charley,” or, “None for me thanks, I’m driving.”

Since I’ve been defending talk tonight, maybe I should defend the
past as well. No, I think I’ll just leave you with a stopping
thought: “Hey, don’t laugh. You’re next.”