Jan Cox Talk 1811

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The News

1811 97028 03/21/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


There was once a set of Siamese twins, one of whom sang songs, while the
other one would listen to them. This worked out okay, since technically
they were two separate people…but such an arrangement under different
physical conditions will not necessarily have such pleasing results.
…(If you get my old drift-ola!)


First there was the first thought, and this gave rise to the second thought,
which gave rise to the third one (and so on), and now there’s no-o-o
stopping them! That is, there’s no stopping them past the first one.

Geese set free will always follow the leader, and shooting any but him has
no effect on the flock.


A man stopped his car and asked a man by the side of the road how to get to
the destination he had in mind, and the man replied that destinations of
one’s mind can never be reached, which is why those attempting such are
always stopping to ask directions.

…You ever think how much mystics-with-their-eyes-open save on mystical


One everyday man thought, “There could be no better model than to mentally
live-the-life-of-a-warrior — ever alert.”
This he was thinking when he missed his footing and fell down the stairs.

As entertaining as you may find this little episode, I wish I could tell you
that irony perceived has value — but it does not. It is merely a concept
to camouflage an absence of understanding.

A man is either mentally present where he is, or he is not, and no amount or
type of thinking has anything to do with it.
…(Not unlike that super state of alertness.)


In his skull, where everyone else has their brain and consciousness, one man
had a little cage with a rat in it — served the same purpose, he

And shortly after this story was read, The Lovers Of Caged Rats Society
wrote in to complain, but — screw ’em!


A man had a radio that picked up no stations he liked — he tried to turn it
off, but couldn’t — he couldn’t believe that he couldn’t turn it off, yet
continued to find that he couldn’t.

What to do?
What to do?
What to do?

* * *


One man kept accidentally shooting himself, but it only bothered him if he
looked at the wound.

One man kept accidentally shooting himself, but couldn’t tell for sure if
it was really accidental or not.

One man kept accidentally shooting himself, and decided to finally rectify
the problem, but after extensive experimentation was surprised to find
himself in the perplexing position of not being sure if he should approach
it from the bullet’s side or from his body’s view of it.

One man narrowed down all of his studies into a single question: What is it
that connects all things but circumstances — and just who the hell came
up with the idea anyway?


There was once a band of ipse dixit monks who spent all of their time
searching holy scriptures for occult messages they were convinced were
represented by the letters that made up the words within the writings.
Then one of them decided that if this be true then there must also be secret
meanings in numbers, so he moved the investigation from the twenty-six
letters in the alphabet to the ten single digit whole numbers, and began
drawing complex charts showing how often the number nine for instance
shows up within a certain passage as compared to, say, the number four.
And in response to his new endeavor, his cohorts pronounced him to be
wasting his time! …And for once they were right.

– – –

Animals read signs from the entrails of men
— but only from those from the neck down.

Hey, they’re not idiots! Eagles don’t pay for swimming instructions.

* * *


If “confession is good for the soul,” then having nothing to confess is even
better! But better still is in realizing it’s all a crock a’shit, and that
there’s nothing to confess to.

This public service announcement was brought to you courtesy of the All Is
Known Society — and its subsidiary, The Rest Of It Has All Been Your
Imagination Foundation.

To profess to being an “unworthy sinner” is also a claim to at least exist,
which is all that’s necessary for most.

And I point out again
that all the troubles begin
with thinking about yourself in the first place.

…Once that’s begun,
it makes no difference from then on
what specifically you think about you…
no, after that it doesn’t matter.

So ask yourself: Why step off on the wrong foot to begin with? Hmmmm?
“All right! — stop it! — I confess! — I do think about myself (god
forgive me)!”


We interrupt our normal broadcast for this late-breaking bulletin from the
front lines of the present battlefield, in which our correspondent notes
that, based on conditions as they now stand, it appears to him that the
final showdown may prove to be between the sounds that are made and the
hearing of the sounds.

Phew! News almost too hot to handle. We’ll try and keep you right up to
the moment on this ever-changing story.


One guy’s current ode to his efforts:

“Read, read, read,
man, am I close;
think, think, think,
boy, am I close.

Read, read, read,
man, am I close;
think, think, think,
boy, am I close.

Man, am I close or what?

– – –

Only one with the proper view of this sort of thing can feel somehow a bit
sad over misplaced joy. …(Especially his own, verging on idiocy.)

Accomplishment in the specialized mystical field is the ultimate in non-

* * *


One creation myth says that, shortly after man’s brain created him, he
caught that leftover neural section (which had named itself God) tossing
trash out on the highway, and that man decided to punish him by making him
try to live up to his self-assumed name.

Let his be a lesson to all you less-than-naturally-tidy nippers sitting by
the windows with candy bar wrappers in your hands.

In re Certain Sticky Things And The Things To Which They Stick: Be advised
that the books aren’t yet closed on the matter — in fact are never likely
to be.

* * *


One man’s current “favorite” question:
“If all talk about it is useless,
and all thought about it is useless,
than what are we left with?”

…(He asks me to put the word favorite in “favorite question” in quotation
marks. Guess he’s hinting that he’s not actually all that happy with it,


Such was an idea in one man’s head:
“If I could but wipe my maps clean, perhaps I’d then need no maps.”
“Why,” he thought, “are all the truly astounding ideas impossible ones?”
…(About this, he hoped he’d eventually be proven incorrect.)

And now the weather:

As they were riding along, the parents called over their shoulder to the
children in the back seat, “Don’t stare at those directions ’til you make
your eyes go blind.” Which is precisely what always happens to one’s eyes
after prolonged staring at directions — not excluding those which direct
one not to stare.

And in the aftermath of this, only routine, sleepy travelers would dare to
say “then what’s a man to do?” as though the only possibilities are limited
to either the directions or to your staring at them.
…Yeah, pretty neat excuse, huh?

(Neat enough for the mind, and that’s for sure. And doesn’t that give you
another hint? Or else give you that same old hint, yet another time?)


For a long time one man kept hearing it said (to no beneficial effect) that
“the secret is right under your nose,” and finally began to realize that it
was more a matter of ignoring the area right under your nose — and then the
benefits began to appear.


There was once a prison from which there was no escape — as long as you
were talking…or thinking.

And one man asked himself, “What do you call a–”
And immediately interrupted to say, “Don’t ask me that again!”

There was once a land under a curse, which had all of its dictionaries melt
and run together like a gigantic ocean of smooth, uniform (what would have
been earlier known as) peanut butter, but which now (due to circumstances)
could only be nonverbally known as “what was.”
…(What a shame, what a loss to those poor, poor people.)


What is the thing that
you cannot put your hands on —
yet cannot quite turn loose?


Two Stories

There was once a group of creatures from out in the universe
who flew a space ship into a man’s mind.

(Next story:)

There was once a group of thoughts in a man’s mind
who flew a space ship out into the universe.

A viewer writes:
“Sometimes you surprise me by not adding a moral to one of your stories.
But then I stopped and thought, what difference does it make to me.
…Which in turn caused me to further wonder, does it actually make a
difference to me, or does it simply seem to. Which made me further
question, for what reason did men come up with the concept of “seems”
I must say that thinking about the kinds of things you talk about can
certainly lead to a lot of questions — and not only questions the sorts of
which I’d never had before, but questions whose value eludes me, even this
But wait, does there per chance somewhere within these questions and
confusion lurk our missing moral? …Hmmm, I believe I’ll close out now.
Sincerely, etc.”


There was a man on a journey, a journey that at times seemed sluggish —
unmoving, even — so he adopted a method of only thinking three particular
words (saying them to himself, actually). And they were
“weak, stupid, lazy,
weak, stupid, lazy,
weak, stupid, lazy.”
This man’s journey at times became extraordinary, and during those periods,
the method I just described fell inactive.

* A bone fide traveler only shoots himself in the feet *
when they’re not moving.

And now the weather:
There was once a man who looked down at his unmoving feet and realized,
“Those are not MY feet.”

…Sun — coming up.


One man’s latest question to himself:
“What can you say after you’ve said there’s nothing to say, and what can
you think after you’ve seen there’s nothing to think?
And more than that, why don’t such questions stop me from asking them?”

Hey! now he’s getting somewhere, huh?


The evidence necessary to prove anything amiss is the identification of
something not indigenous to this universe.
Lacking that, all beliefs in aberrations, the supernatural, and injustice
are spurious.


As he walked through the jungle, a man composed a rhyme to the rhythm of his
“Oh you can — look at a tree,
look at a bear,
look at the tangles,
or at a bare wall.

Looking to the left,
looking up and down,
but thoughts wanna make you
stare just at them.”

…He began to sense his step, heartbeat, breathing, and thoughts in synch
— mechanical, automatic, and meaningless synch, as regards one of them.

The waves forever lapping against the hull of a ship will cause vibrations
which groggy boaters will interpret as their own internal circumstances.

A man asked an oracle, “How the hell can there be such a thing as internal
And the wise one replied, “There the hell can’t! How many times I gotta
tell you the hell that?”

When one man first heard the term “futile striving,” he thought, “What
Later in life, when he heard the phrase used regarding the enlightening, he
thought, “What dangerous redundancy — what dangerous, foolish, meaningless


One man (had we been able to hear him) would have been heard to repeat over
and over again to himself these words,
“Circumstances cannot change me — not my body, you stupid oaf!
Circumstances cannot change me — not my body, you stupid oaf!
Circumstances cannot change me — not my body, you stupid oaf!…”


A certain man decided that one way to fight the automatic, sequential flow
of thought-consciousness would be to always say the opposite of what he
actually meant. But suddenly he was confronted by a problem — where to
begin? For he obviously couldn’t start there, or else his decision would
never get executed.
“Hmmmm,” he mused, “a tricky thing, consciousness entangled in thought.”

And now the weather:

There was once a man who invented a gun that, when fired, would send a
bullet racing down the barrel the wrong way, that is to say, racing toward
But he couldn’t get a patent! He couldn’t get a patent, for no one who
looked at his plans could comprehend his intention. …Well-l-l, they said
they couldn’t.

Yes, fair and mild — for a little while.

* * *


Descriptions, The Tao, The Depths Of Recognition:
One Man’s Colloquial Ode

To hear ’em say
you can’t talk about the Way
kin almost ruin
a feller’s day.

But for you to realize
with your very own eyes
what this means
…kin cheer ya up considerable.

* * *


Legend says that many years ago existed a school for advanced consciousness,
which had but one teaching — that a man should “swallow his head.”

There was once a man who developed a process whereby you could turn your
mouth inside out, but he could never get the patent office to seriously
look at his plans. Well-l-l, at least they said they never looked at them.

Once upon a time a certain god accidentally stumbled into a reality not his
own, and was immediately startled by the fact of how seriously creatures
there took the idea of sanity.
…(In fact, he was more than startled, he was amazed! But don’t ask me


A man asked a mystic, “Should I abandon all thoughts?”
And the mystic replied, “Which ones?”
“All of them,” the man said, “should I abandon all thoughts?”
“Yes, but which ones specifically?” the mystic insisted.
“All of them,” in turn insisted the man.
“I know,” said the mystic, “but exactly which ones?”
“There is no ‘which’,” shouted the man, “only an ‘all’!”
“Yes, I hear you,” said the mystic, “but I must know precisely the thoughts
you refer to.”
“All of them, dammit!” yelled the man, “I’m asking about all of my damn,
damn, dammit thoughts — all of them!”
And just as the man appeared ready to bust a gut over the matter, the mystic
put a rabbit into his top hat, pulled his hand back empty, and — viola! —
it was empty. And as he held his blank palms open and out to the man, the
man suddenly smiled, and in spite of himself said, “Yes, yes, but I must
know specifically which thoughts you’re referring to.”
And the bunny instantly had its enlightenment.

And an obviously disgruntled viewer writes to say, “I’m not even gonna
bother to write you about this one.”


How To — Unfailingly — Know The Truth (Short Version)

Accept no views of others.

* * *


A man with sufficient tastes of those astounding states mused, “What better
description than an uninterrupted mind? — an uninterrupted mind?”

And one guy noted, “Normally, regularity counts for little, but here I make
an exception. ‘An uninterrupted mind’ did he say?…”


One man decided that a good name for the antithesis of The Mystical Way
would be What’s The Point — then after additional time on The Mystical Way
he concluded that the two were not that far apart (especially regarding the
name he’d given the latter).


When one man reached his own understanding, he said, “Outside the mind there
is no enlightenment, and inside the mind there is none. God I love it when
things work out so neat!”


There is ultimately no such thing as slight distraction — an acceptable
degree of you listening to you think about it.


There’s this one problem that can’t be cured, but if you look dead at it,
it can!…for as long as you hold the look.
After that, look out! — it’s back again.


It requires a touch of magic
to separate sound from the hearer,
to strip the sight from the seer,
and such be the art
of the unruffled mind.

* * *


One man was pleased to note that he’d progressed to not being bothered that
he could use conflicting enlightening ideas.

…Ahhhhh! — an unruffled, uninterrupted mind. Ahhhhh.

* * *