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1560 (96026) 03/01/1996
Copyright J. M. Cox 1996
Having the mass of humanity live in a mental dream state of
uncontrolled distraction, fragmentation, and uncertainty,
forever plotting impossible goals and clinging to dead ideas,
serves to keep them on the measured, moderate move,
and is thus, at the collective level, a useful and practical arrangement —
but, for an individual wanting to change his own condition,
life therein in no wise offers anything useful.
After some number of years pursuing a certain construction trade,
a man one day suddenly — and finally — was struck with the stark
“It is possible to build a ladder,
and only one thing can stop you: not remembering to build it.”
A man once asked a mystic,
“What is the greatest threat to one undertaking The Quest:
or having a bad memory?”
And the mystic was loathe to reply, there being such little ground between
One man says he was recently struck with a new definition of his mind:
he says he now thinks of it as “my ancestral talk machine.”
Criticism and condemnation only have value when they are properly directed,
and at the ordinary level they rarely are —
for to inveigh against men’s failure to do things impossible
is to heap distraction on top of illusion.
Mystical ideas never condemn or accuse,
they simply tell man that he could be more than he is —
after that it is you who must accuse yourself.
The turmoil of growth disorients unenlightened onlookers.
Two facts and then a question:
The facts — ’tis a real fool who can rail against sleep
while he himself doth sleep
…and — no man has ever reached his full potential.
Now the question: In what order would you prefer to hear these facts?
Two men once approached a mystic, requesting that he take them under his
guidance, and he told them they must first write for him a history of their
lives, and one man gave an account of the events that had happened to him
in his life, while the other reported what he’d thought and felt about what
had happened to him, and the mystic allowed only one of them to stay.
How do you see the history of your life?…
The common mind speaks much of political, economic, and social freedom
while ignoring the true nature of man’s enslavement.
After some years of studying the complex interconnections of things,
one engineer finally asked himself,
“Does man-the-machine operate improperly? — or just inefficiently?…”
A man once asked a mystic,
“Is the greatest hindrance to one pursuing The Secret
being ignorant of much? —
or not making constant use of what he does know?
And the mystic was reluctant to reply,
there being so little practical difference between the two.
One man changed his mind’s name to Head Goiter,
thinking that perhaps the establishment of a physiological excuse
might bring about an improvement in his condition —
and surprisingly enough it did.
…(And if you don’t really much wanna think about this one,
– – –
There was once a race of men who saw the two forces of Good & Evil
not as in conflict, but rather as Evil being an offshoot of Good,
existing for the purpose of reminding men of the Good.
…(Now this one you should be able to handle and ponder on.)
* * *
How To Tell That Men Are Becoming More Conscious Of Themselves:
Some now look out at mass human movements and speculate as to whether or not
men are actually as in control of their collective destiny as they generally
…(That was a joke, you see…
them looking at other people to come up with such a notion.
One father’s advice to his son:
“Never say anything that anyone else has already said —
and above all, never think anything!”
…”It’s not just the traffic itself,” he added, “that’ll kill you,
but its banality as well.”
Men dedicated to changing events remain servants of events —
only the few seem ever to suspect that
all that is possible is to change oneself.
Mystical ideas always contain both an inner and outer message,
and the hearer can take whichever he needs.
…In contrast, popular ideas never have an inner message.
One myth says that, on your Ultimate Day Of Judgement,
as you wait in line to be judged,
you are given a small stone to hold in your hand until your time comes,
and when it does
and you’re brought before the Bar Of Judgement,
you’re asked only one question:
Did you remember, all the time you were in line, that you were holding the
According to legend,
the head of one mystical school once said to those struggling therein,
“If you can just hold on for eight more years…”
And they asked, “And after that?”
And he replied, “Hold on for eight more.”
“And after that?” they asked.
“Another eight,” he replied.
Real guilt is not a natural nor easy thing —
one must work to achieve it.
One man says that for years he
fought the forces of evil,
battled the bastions of darkness,
waged war against injustice,
and wrestled mightily with his own mechanical nature —
and now says it’s down to one great challenge:
the struggle to get his toilet to flush correctly.
One day the head of a certain mystical school suddenly turned to a group of
those therein, and unexpectedly said to them,
“As much fun as laughter can be,
it can also operate as a wasteful and undesirable ‘pressure valve’
for those in the heat-and-heart of the active effort.”
…(And no one found that very funny!)
The commotion surrounding change causes confusion among uninitiated
For whatever possible use there may be for any common idea,
it may be taken at face value with no thought about it on your part,
while with mystical ideas it is just the opposite:
unless you do think about them for yourself, they are useless.
Fish swim and swim,
birds fly and fly,
man sees it all,
then sits and wonders, “Why?”
Below our feet is land,
above our heads is sky,
it all seems well arranged,
still man keeps asking, “Why?”
Everything is born,
and everything doth die,
it’s all as plain as day,
yet man keeps asking, “Why?”
At first the asking of the “why”
seems natural and proper enough,
but some men reach the point they wish
their mind would just shut up.
“Everything is as it is,”
they want to say,
but know as sure as hell they do
it’s gonna ask ’em, “Why?”
The upside to being asleep is that
if you never become aware that men live in a dream
then yours seems to be your own individual dream.
A man once asked a mystic,
“What is there in a man that can actually be changed?”
And the mystic replied,
“What do you think there is?”
As he stepped back on land,
coming back from the sea,
the sailor shook his head in horror, saying,
“It is really rough out there!”
But, ahead, the bow of his frontal lobes just laughed in mocking ridicule.
Maxim Update For The Few
That which does not make me stronger does worse —
it makes me more ordinary!
* * *
At all times there exist two major classes of myths
regarding man’s present condition:
one says that he was once better than he is now,
while the other professes that his best days are still ahead of him.
Note the absence of any which proclaim that he could
essentially improve himself now.
The speaker addressed the assembled,
“Each diamond in a basket of diamonds
sees itself reflected in every other diamond.”
And a voice from the crowd shot back,
“Yeah! — just try telling that to my mind!”
…And the rest of the mob added, “Yeah-h-h!”
Images seen through the dust of turmoil and confusion
always appear hazy, dull, and uncertain —
which is not the world that is actually out there.
One day a certain man sat — with chin in hand — and seriously pondered,
“How is it possible to know something with absolute certainty for forty
years and yet half the time forget that you know it?”
…(But he knew the answer to that.
“Being human” makes it possible —
yet being so also makes available additional possibilities!
…[This awareness almost causing shift-of-chin to other hand.])
A man once asked one more conscious how he could better understand
the difference between religious ideas and mystical ones,
and received this reply,
“Religious ideas do not expect you to act on them,
while mystical ones do.”
The only help that ordinary men can give to one another
will not help them rise above the ordinary.
One man says that some years back he offered up a public epitaph of our
species which went, “Man: he dreams of angels while lying with pigs.”
Which he says, at the time, he considered not only clever,
but somewhat of an understatement.
He says that now, however,
he’d like it withdrawn from circulation.
After many years of reading and thinking,
one man became an expert and commentator on all the many paths to
enlightenment — then he died!…and thought, “Thank god!”
Common behavior comes from the belly of man;
common ideas from the natural mind of man —
mystical ideas come from somewhere else altogether,
yet not some place unavailable to man.
To believe that something is more demanding than it actually is
helps keep the ordinary from demanding much of themselves.
A man once asked a mystic,
“What is the difference between failing and not trying?”
In its desire to remain secret and invisible,
one mystical school gave itself the name “You Can’t Possibly Do This!”
One man reached the place of knowing so much
that he was not impressed with
how much he knew.
One man says he now looks on his mind as a mere “go-between”
and even more ignorance.
Once seen for what it is, what is does, and its far-reaching embrace,
you understand that the only shame in being enslaved is in not realizing it.
If there is not something that you can do alone,
that pleases you,
without the need for anyone else to know about it,
then you have nothing that is under your independent control,
and you are not active in the struggle to change.
A man once visited a mystic and asked him,
“Is man complex?” And the mystic replied, “Yes.” And the man left.
A year later the man returned to the mystic and asked him,
“Is man simple?” And the mystic replied, “Yes.” And the man left again.
A year after that the man returned once more and asked the mystic,
“Is man complex?” And the mystic replied, “Yes.”
And as the man was walking out the door, the mystic called out, “Come
In one legend,
The King Of Death was also the guardian to The Gate Of Awakening &
From a pretty harmless view you can say that it is a theoretical shame for
ordinary men not to make the effort needed to realize their fuller
potential, and from a less harmless one say that it is indeed a true shame
for a man who knows what he’s capable of not to do so.
A man asked a mystic,
“If you’re weak,
is it better to never know
than to know?”
And the mystic replied,
“Is it not too late to ask?”
One father gave his son this stern warning,
“Never plead with higher powers for help
when you have not done all for yourself that you can do.”
And the boy asked,
“Why? — is there some sort of supernatural danger involved?”
And the elder replied,
“No, but it makes you look like a fool.”