Jan Cox Talk 1831

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The News

1831 97037 04/14/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


There was a man who lived on a ruler. When he lived at one inch, he dreamed
of going east. Then when he lived at two inches, he wanted to go south.
And when he lived at three inches, he imagined himself in the clouds. And
when he lived at four inches, he thought of being underground. Then when he
moved to five inches, his dreams of such travel began to diminish. And by
the time he reached six inches he surprisingly found himself interested in
the nature of the area around six inches, the very place where he was.

Those on the inner voyage are the only ones who actually go anywhere.

– – –

After taking a full survey of his mental life up to that point, one man said
to the various thoughts that had run through him thus far, “You guys are
gonna metaphor me to death, or even worse, to distraction, to the degree
that I ultimately accept your clever verbal interpretations of what life is
about, rather than the plain, direct seeing of what it is.”

Those seeking that different, wondrous relationship with the mind must, in
the beginning, “dance with words,” but they eventually turn out to be the
kind of date to have fun with, not to marry.

* * *


In a certain cave, in a certain mountain, everyone is given a light, and
many go on to try and study the nature of their light, but the only source
of light by which to study is the light they already have.
What can come from such?


On one planet was a man who unsuccessfully spent his whole life attempting
to rid his yard of weeds.
…Problem was that they weren’t weeds.

Questions of good and evil are not matters to be dealt with by amateurs.


There is a place you can visit that is curious in several ways: first is
that you can’t seem to just “go there” anytime you want; second is that no
matter how much you’d like to go there, as long as you’ll simply sit around
and think about it, you will (for that same period of time) forget about how
much you wanted to go; and third is that just thinking about it can be so
pleasurable as to eventually replace any effort to actually go there.
And upon hearing this, one hippo, partially submerged in a pool, muttered
under his breath to a pal, “That sure seems unfair — that humans can
engage in such wondrous affairs and we can’t.”
And after a reasonable stillness and silence, his buddy muttered back, “Are
you sure that unfair is the operative word here? Take a look at the world
of man, then take a look at us.”
And with that, the first one slowly slipped completely under water, letting
the leisurely arising bubbles stand for his response.


In a certain cave, in a certain mountain, when you attempt to study a verb
it becomes a noun, and then as you study the noun, you forget what it
originally was, and you are left observing something no longer in its
operative condition.

What can result from such?


The mightiest conqueror of them all was a king whose warriors, when they
fought, only fought, and did not think at all, and when they thought, did
naught but thought.

– – –

Myth tells of some birds from another solar system who once visited Earth,
and were amazed by the fact that humans find themselves to be “sick” in
several manifestations, and only survive by them ignoring the obvious,
immediate cure.

(But birds [I should add, no matter their home base] do not recognize
“won’t” as a synonym for “can’t.” Which is why they can fly, and we can’t,
but we can buy things on credit, and they won’t! So there!)

* * *


One Doctor’s Notation Regarding Geography And Existence:

“It seems to me that you must live in one state or another.
(Well…that’s how it seems to me!)”


Myth says there is a lab at the center of the Earth wherein they analyze all
the problems of the planet; the secret core of the myth goes on to say that
this analyzation is the cause of all problems.

One man developed a belief that, if he could but stomp on his own foot in
precisely the right fashion, from this act all blessings would flow.

One man started out hunting birds, and ended up collecting worms.


A man had a garden in which his passion fruit plant fed from the wrong soil;
he cut if off therefrom. So should you.


Many people have the feeling that their present problem is that they are
“stuck” in some particular unprofitable place or the other. But here’s how
it really goes: thinking about there being such a problem place to be stuck
in IS the stuckness.


One Rabbi’s Notation Regarding Attention And Its More Profitable Directions:

“It seems to me that the only reason to ‘study the holy scriptures’ is to
get your mind momentarily off of yourself.
(At least, that’s how it seems to me.)”


Two kids were talking and one of them says, “What’s more fun than doin’
what you want to in life?”
To which the other responded, “Knowing what you want to do.”

– – –

There is a land
only to be found when you sail off the edge of the Earth,
wherein creatures grow up backwards in time,
going from old and brittle to
youthful and pliant,
and truth is it’s not that far away,
for everyone has the edge of the planet right with them,
just look up! — there it is.

* * *


A Nonstandard Look At The Possible Training Of Domesticated Pets
Who May Be Occupying The Same Residence As You

If you keep calling a dog a cur, he’ll growl at you, and as long as he
growls at you, you’ll continue to think of him as a cur.

Yes, that was A Nonstandard Look At The Possible Training Of Domesticated
Pets, etc.
…(The original headline on this story concerned motorcycles, until it was
realized that the word “motor” herein was unnecessary.)

– – –

The simple with big muscles believe that weakness is the question and
strength the answer, while the simple with much thinking believe that
ignorance is the question and knowledge the answer. But there are a few
(always around) who see it as a matter of questions being the question,
answers are the answer, and yes, someone did bring salt-free catsup to the

* * *


For a short while last Wednesday, one man had this picture of himself, “I
am in a washer — in a dryer — on a merry-go-round — on an endless
assembly line.
“I’m a busy little rascal, to what purpose I don’t seem prepared to see.”
(He, amongst others of his species, sometimes finds it helpful that the
weekend so closely follows midweek.)

A boy asked his father, “Is there something in particular that each of us
should be doing in life?”
“If you think there is,” he replied.
“Then,” asked the lad, “is there actually nothing in particular that any of
us should be doing in life?”
“Not if you don’t think there is,” he responded on cue.

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to ask life this question.


Recent Discovery In The World Of Engineering As Reported By
Engineers On Another World

There are two ways to stop trains from running through a tunnel: one is to
stop the trains from running, the other is to close up the tunnel.

…(‘Tis good to access news from other planets concerning other creatures
who, by virtue of their diverse natures, are able to make such mortally
inconceivable discoveries.)

– – –

And now this item regarding Leisure Time — Here And There:

(I hate to call them “parochial rubes,” but) what can you say about the
intellectual vistas of people who spend their vacations visiting the places
where they already live?

* * *


A man had a radio —
the radio was special —
the radio was special because it only picked up one station —
the one station it picked up was also special —
the station was special because everything it broadcast was about the man.

…(If you ask me, the opening line of this story shouldn’t be “a man had a
radio,” but rather “a radio had a man.”)

– – –

And now this story regarding Avocations — Here And There:

(I am loath to dismiss them as mere fools, but) what can you say about the
range of intellectual interests of people whose leisure activities are indistinguishable from those of their work?

(“Wasn’t a similar item earlier presented?”
Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
“Well that’s a pretty rotten thing to bring up, I must say. Hmph!”)

* * *


To change (dare we say, improve?) life in the city for humans, one man
offers these recommendations: that the Fire Chief be an elected position,
that anyone wishing to practice dentistry must be a qualified skydiver,
and that everyone be forced to have a twin brother or sister whether they
want one or not.

…(Something to think about, I’d say.)


For Those Who Don’t Care To Be Themselves As They Now Are

To “be yourself” you must prefer to be yourself, and to “prefer” to be
yourself you must believe that certain thoughts are preferable to other
thoughts. And there you are! That’s the story of that game.
(What’s your next problem?)

– – –

A Poem For Those Who Haven’t Cared For Poetry Thus Far

A man looked in a mirror and saw himself;
he looked in his mind and saw himself;
he then said, “Hey-y-y, what’s going on here?”

* * *


Here is how one man has been attempting to direct his days:

Hack at the roots — pick up the limbs;
hack at the roots — ignore the limbs;
hack at the roots, and nothing else
…just keep hacking at the roots.

One man’s college of directional knowledge has as its motto
“Poison runs uphill — poison can, by God, run back down!”


A question one man recently was seen pondering, “Does the body have an
individual ‘self,’ and if it does, would it be aware of it?”
(The twist of his lip and the turn of his eye gives hint he suspects he
may be on to something good.)


Someone said to a man in charge of a sizable mind-altering enterprise that
it must be quite a burden to be responsible for so many people in such a
matter, but he shook off the comment, noting that they were no problem, and
that he was the greatest weight he had to deal with.

– – –

One stage of progress could be assumed when you quit criticizing other
people, and one past that when you stop thinking about them altogether.

* * *


One man so pondered to himself, “Is there a better state — or statement —
of awakening than an undisturbed mind?”
“When I began,” he tells us, “I had a much more exotic picture of what a
greater state of consciousness would be, but now that my experience has
caught up with my dreams, I find no better description of that goal (as I
presently perceive it) than that of having a mind undisturbed.
“It seems nice…and somehow familiar to have traveled such a route, going
from a mystical imaginer of magical conditions to being a satisfied customer
of all that is plain and natural. Plus (as it seems now) nothing is more
fascinating and magical than the naturalness of everyday life, now that I
see it without the disturbance of the mind.”


The expanding realization tends to make one turn loose where one had held
on, and to hold on where one had turned loose.


With increased time spent in the land of unequaled opportunity, one tends to
act where one had previously been still, and to be still where one had
previously acted.


The Farm Lab Report

Soured milk is cured — when to it no longer any thought is given.


Trying to get to the bottom of this by listening to someone talk about it is
like being in a crash with another moving vehicle.
…(And if luck is with you, a serious one!)

And one man mused, “Well, even if I don’t know what I’m doing, my mind

One night, someone slipped in and stole one man’s mind; later someone asked
him how he could tell.


The Sailing Of Life

After growing up on the choppy, shallow waters of a small local lake, one
man discovered an ocean — an ocean of infinite depth, limitless boundaries,
and eternal calm.
An ocean in which was carried all he’d wanted to know.


A man told his son, “There is no enlightenment until you look in that dark
closet correctly and see that it is empty.”


After many years of many struggles with many methods from various
directions, one man has it all presently summed up to himself in two words:
“Just don’t!”
…He says that from his current understanding of what needs to be done,
this covers it.

And though particular words may be true, error can still arise from their
“So, no matter what I do, it’s still up to me?”
That’s right, no matter what you do, it’s still up to you.”

And the coroner in one neural city refers to the postmortem condition of
those who die while pissed as “frigamortis.”
(And tags their toes with a note that says “You can quit thinking now.”)

* * *