Jan Cox Talk 1801

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The News

1801 97023 03/10/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


A war once broke out between two factions of one kingdom, but since they
were both parts of the same domain it simply meant that the kingdom was at
war with itself (a distinction never perceived by the majority of those
caught up in the conflict).

Those who do succeed in leaving their homeland for a new state do so by
becoming totally self-centered and concerned about no one but themselves.
Anything less or other than this will leave you forever in the middle of the

Okay, for those of you who want to take the test early, let me add that
there are two distinct types of self-centeredness: one is the type displayed
by some ordinary people; and the other, totally dissimilar and


One man said, “I keep looking for help.”
“I know you do,” he replied.
“I keep reading, hoping to stumble upon some ultimate secret,” he said.
“I know you do,” he replied.
“And I, more than anything else, think all of the time about this matter,”
he said.
But this time replied, “Have you ever considered that right there may be
your problem? — and that upon realizing that, that what you search for
might be revealed?”

Upon arriving back home for one of his periodic visits, the first thing the
child said to his mother was, “And don’t tell me again that scratching it
only makes it worse. I know that, and am either an idiot or else
incomprehensibly lazy not to be always acting accordingly. So please don’t
remind me again. My idiocy and laziness are all too well known to me.”
And his mother simply stared at him silently until he added, “But you’re
right, my laziness and stupidity are not ‘all too well known to me,’ or else
I would not still be so dense and lethargic.”
…And Mama replied with a wide-eyed smile.


If the noise of the trains running by your house continues to bother you,
the trains will continue to run by your house.

And a man wrote to the “What Do I Do Now?” doctor and asked, “Well, what do
I do now?”
And the doctor replied, “You know damn well what! It couldn’t be clearer
and you know it. You’re just asking me in the attempt to waste some more

If the noise of your questions continues to strike you as relevant,
questions, to no satisfactory end, will with no end in sight continue to
annoyingly run past your house as long as you live there.

…And with that, another man was tempted to write to the “Well, THAT About
Does It!” doctor, but instantly realized the inherent redundancy.
…(Sorta like all them trains a’goin’ by — huh?)


After performing his own yearly exam, one man presented himself with this
diagnosis, “Forget about cancers — it’s the conversations you should be
concerned about.”

And speaking of health matters: Do you realize that man is the only creature
who has an organ that, when it’s involved with its natural activities, by so
doing precludes itself from further development?

There are several types of minds in men roaming about this planet: one type
accepts life pretty much at face value (while allowing themselves the right
to complain and criticize); and a second type believes they see deeper and
find life fraught with strangeness; then there are a few who find it strange
that men cannot take life as it is, without perceiving the need for comment
of any kind.
…(What these few find actually most incomprehensible is why, once they’ve
acquired this view, it is so difficult to put into constant practice as
regards the running of just their own minds.)


There was once a land that was constantly troubled by a local dragon, and
upon seeking advice from an oracle the people were told that they could
either try and kill the beast (which they would ultimately find impossible
to do), or else learn to live with its continual presence without it being
of any concern to them (which they also would discover was not possible),
or else they could — and right here the oracle glanced off into the
distance, seeming to think better of what she was about to say, then waved
her hand dismissively, cutting off the conversation where it stood…(not
by any means to most of the people’s satisfaction, but strangely enough a
few in the crowd lit up like Roman candles.)


One man developed this attitude toward thinking: He’d think all he seemed
able to on a subject (determining this by the fact that he either reached
what he could accept as a satisfactory conclusion or else found himself
totally weary of the subject), then would try again to look at the matter,
but without using any of the thoughts he’d had about it previously.

…Any practical point to be derived from this is far too obvious to have
to be noted for the few, and much too obscure to ever be of any use to
everyone else.


In his striving for ever increasing efficiency, one man has made further
condensations in his personal dictionary by combining the listings of the
words — treating them as synonyms — weak, stupid, lazy, and annoyed.


So pondered one chap, “How can thinking be so much fun, and on the other
hand such an irritant?”
…And as he waited for an answer to come to him, he finally realized that
part of the answer was the fact that no answer would be forthcoming.

The man race is divided into two groups (actually 34, but for the sake of
this, 2): one group which is always upset to be told that they have missed
their train, and another much smaller band which is annoyed to find that the
trains are still running.


Even though words have no power, they can provide pleasure — the question
then is what is your pleasure?


How To Faultlessly Judge Your Immaturity: You still worry over behavior.

And a man wrote the king: “What else is there to worry about?”
And as always, with much pleasure did His Grace receive a fresh example
of a good subject’s steadfast allegiance, known to a few beyond The Liege’s
grasp as “unwavering, senseless submission to the mind’s meaningless
attachment to external matters of the kingdom.”


Talk may well be the most frustrating, biggest waste of time there is when
it comes to the enlightenment state…but so is everything else.


There was once a kingdom that was divided into two parts — it didn’t
actually exist in two parts, but since the people said that it did, it
certainly seemed to.

There was once a man who went to see a great mystic — only to discover he
was merely a tailor.


And one man said,
“Okay, let me get this straight:
first we don’t know anything,
then we know something,
and then we don’t know anything again?”


Men watch their thoughts for about the same reason they watch TV — because
it’s on.


Be clear on this: The message is never the problem — it’s the medium.


Cocking his head from side to side, a kid said, “I hear a noise.”
“Ignore it,” said his father.