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1789 97017 02/24/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997
There was once a world (not unlike ours) on which most of the creatures
had varying degrees of complaints regarding the external temperature, which
was always changing.
Then appeared first one creature, followed by a few others, who turned their
attention inward and discovered that if they held an awareness of their
own individual, internal temperature that their concern for the external
conditions disappeared — and all of this to their personal pleasure.
But remembering to be continually conscious of their own internal
temperature proved to be a redoubtable undertaking, for whenever the
external temperature changed (which was constantly) their attention would
be almost irrepressibly turned thereto, and thus their inner resolve lost.
So! — here’s the scene:
We have the majority of the creatures concerned with and complaining about
the ever changing external temperature, about which they can permanently do
nothing, and a small group who’ve made it their concern to be ever conscious
of their own internal temperature, a feat which though physically possible
proves out in practice to be less so.
So! — two groups of creatures with concerns for conditions in two opposite
directions — neither of whom can apparently do anything about either area.
So! — what actual difference is there between them?
Nothing would be possible did not every question have more than one answer,
more than two answers — always a third one, a third response which
proves the disappearance of the question.
One man thought a tree had fallen over in his yard, but another look
caused him to conclude it possible that the yard had fallen down around a
tree — then, suddenly, his dog barked, and the sun broke through,
illuminating his entire property.
Pointing an accusatory finger at the subject of her comments, the teacher
demanded, “Then what do you call that?”
And the student replied, “What?”
“That!” she reiterated.
And the student said, “Well, if it is a ‘that,’ I guess you’d call it —
that. What’s the problem here?
Out of the mouths of babes can come apparently illegitimate offspring of
parental bastards who now, a generation removed, if you can read them
aright, are actually legal heirs to that which they trail. In udder woirds:
Mountains and oceans can become dreams and illusions, then dreams and
illusions can become metaphors and allegories, and lastly (for some)
metaphors and allegories can become places in which to climb and sail.
Even foolishness and wrong directions correct themselves —
given sufficient free time.
One man considered, “If I could run these wild rabbits out of my yard,
perhaps a better class of hare would appear.”
While undergoing brain surgery, a man thought, “I wonder if there actually
are different — I mean really different — types of consciousness?…
Hmmm…I know that me and many others believe that there are, and some of us
have had what definitely felt like experiences with different kinds of
consciousness…but…ummm…it could be us just imagining it since our
standard state of consciousness can feel itself to experience anything it
can think of. Hmmm…that’s pretty interesting, but I guess I better get
off it now, they’re about to finish up and revive me.”
Financiers claim that bad money runs off good — so why can’t the mystics
be as smart regarding their awareness?
…You gonna let a gaggle of shylocks show you up?
Only one thing can occupy all the space all the time, and that one thing is
— everything! …(Wild hairs and all.)
One man said, “I know what you’re thinking.”
And replied, “No, you don’t.”
Then said, “Yes, I do.”
But insisted, “No, you don’t.”
Then said, “I can prove it.”
And retorted, “Then do it.”
Then said, “Okay — I know what you’re thinking.”
And had to admit, “Well damn — you got it.”
…If vaudeville and Louie the XIV weren’t dead, there wouldn’t be as many
people out of work.
There was once a race of diving creatures, all of whom were born with the
natural ability to dive from a ten-foot board, but a few developed a desire
to go from a twelve-foot level, and while there seemed no physical reason
this was not possible, usually when they reached the ten-foot mark they’d
forget their intention to climb higher and go ahead and jump from there.
Time after time, the few would start their climb fully intent on leaping
from twelve, only to jump time and time again from the ten-foot level, once
it was reached.
They knew what they’d done every time they jumped, and they realized it
remained their norm in spite of their best resolve.
Some of the few began calling the ladder up the diving platform The Allure
Of Gravity — The Enchantment Of Habit, while a few others fell generally
silent about it, and just began to mentally give it the finger, while
several more of them seemed to have forgotten about their plans and would
just climb on up as high as they could go.
…(And while I said that they seemed to have forgotten about their plans
— who can say for sure? All I can do is say that they SEEMED to.
…[Pretty neat word, “seem,” huh?])
The Intoxication Of Reality…(More Or Less)
A man mused, “It’s hard to take what’s going on when I’m sober, but it’s
hard to know what’s going on when I’m drinking. …Is there perhaps some
way to combine the two…hmmm…”
And suddenly a voice spoke up in his head, inviting him to attend a meeting
of his local mystical group.
…(And who says all the humor’s gone from the transcendental?)
Does not the fact that what we eat can make us less than well but can never
make us better than well tell us something physically that might be applied
to our thinking?
At one mystical lodge, every morning, every monk is required to either take
vitamins or drink some poison (it’s up to you, and you can change from
morning to morning).
One man had a relative who lived in the house with him, who talked all the
time and almost drove him crazy.
So he had a choice: either get rid of the source of the noise,
or else learn to ignore and live with it.
A man once fell from a tree, on his head, and was knocked out for several
days, and when he finally came to, someone asked him what it had been like
to be unconscious, and after pondering the question for a moment or so the
man replied that, strangely enough, it was surprisingly similar to being
…(Everyone who heard this understandably assumed he was still suffering
the effects of the fall.)
In case you’re interested:
When thoughts are stilled,
the dreams of all religious dreamers become realized.
Nothing that man can dream of is impossible —
if he could but only not think on it.
There was once a man who couldn’t go anywhere or do anything, so he’d dream
of all the places he might could go, and he’d imagine all of the things he
might have done — and oh yeah, I lied to you — this is not about some
“man,” this about the mind.
And just what’s the point, you say —
which just proves that — you’ll never know.
“What’s the point of a pencil?”
“That’s the place where it writes —
the place where its function is fulfilled —
where its purpose is realized.”
“Points then are actually obvious and plain, say what, Papa?”
“Indeed, my boy, what else can a point in fact be?”
One man, well on that path toward that extraordinary destination, one day
said to himself, “Perhaps it is time to stop and consolidate our progress.”
…(See, sometimes he’d tell little jokes to himself.)
Contrary to — with the ordinary: If you’re hearing voices in your head —
talking about you! — you’re for damn sure not being you.
…(Contrary to — with the ordinary.)
A funny thing about it:
To be enlightened is to be both enlightened and not enlightened, while to
be not enlightened is to be simply — not enlightened.
A man drove his car back into Life’s showroom and complained, “I want to
trade this one in for one that doesn’t hesitate so when you step on the
And life just laughed at him.
…And under these conditions, you can forget all about any kind of
“consumer protection” and all that shit!
As life likes to say to its own reflection, “It’s every life for itself.”
Which even gives it a laugh at its own self. And why not? It can’t be
embarrassed since there’s no one else around who can witness what occurred.
And a man then thought, “How come I can’t be like that?”
And unexpectedly life answered him, saying, “Who told you that you
And unexpectedly the man was stumped for a reply, for sure enough (he
suddenly realized) no one had ever told him that he couldn’t be like that,
it’s just, like, well…experience had proved to him that he couldn’t.
And again, as a total surprise, life responded to this, saying, “That may
be, but why do you assume that the experiences you’ve had thus far are the
only ones possible?”
And with this, the only thing that the man seemed able to do was to slowly
shuffle over to one of the other cars and kick (with obvious lack of passion
or interest) its tires.
A man said to a mystic, “I read stories of mystics who sometimes give a
ridiculous, unconnected response to someone’s serious question, but it seems
to me that should always be their response.”
And after a moment or so of silently looking at one another, the mystic
said, “So what is it you want from me?”
And some children who found this story and were reading it out behind the
barn were cautioned by their mother’s voice, calling out to them, “You know
that kind of thing will make you go blind.”
And the oldest of the group thought, “Damn, I hope so!”
How To Die: Regroup.
…But couldn’t there be an exception to this?
— Damn right, there can be, but you damn sure
gotta know what it is for your damn self!
Everybody knows how to die, that’s not really the problem, is it?
How To Die: Regroup using only the troops under
your present command.
Everyone has a natural defense force, but that’s not really the problem,
is it? …Or is it?
From what does the mind NEED protection? …From what?
* * *
A mystic at a hunting lodge reflected, “If satori’s an experience, and
enlightenment a condition, then I should be able to tell the difference
between a suitcase and traveling someplace.”
To be able to properly “tell the difference” between things is to destroy
and just then an armed elephant charged through the lobby with an accountant
in his sights.
There’s two things can be noted about it:
There’s the owning of the new car, and then there’s its unpredictable,
periodic going of twenty billion miles-an-hour for a while.
As Concerns Certain Visual Abilities
When one man removed the struggle from around his ears, eyes, and nose,
his sight improved greatly.
Life told one guy, “Give it up!”
And he replied, “No!”
And life said again, “Give it up!”
And he said, “No!”
And life persisted, “Give it up, I said.”
“Okay,” he replied.
If you wanna make some profitable use of the info hidden within this byplay,
then what you need to do is this:
Substitute another certain word for “life,” and three or four other ones
for what life and the guy said to one another.
A mystic on vacation recently wondered, “Is there a difference between
knowing fully what you’re doing and being totally, completely ignorant
…His musing was interrupted by the cabana boy who asked if this round
he’d like to have a gin and tonic or a tonic and gin.
Give it up! — No! …Give it up! — No!
Give it up! — No! …Give it up! — Okay.
One man in the struggle one day thought, “One way to accomplish it would
be to kill myself, but there’s nowhere to take hold of the part that needs
Query: Can a man even give hints to himself?
Answer: He damn sure better can!
One thing to consider regarding your efforts:
Why would a bee return to a depleted flower, or visit a dead one?
Something you might watch out for:
The closer you are to enlightenment, the less you seem to be struggling for
Reminder: Once you’ve “figured everything out” — you can stop.