Jan Cox Talk 1861

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The News

1861 97049 05/19/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


One morning one man woke up to find himself almost not there…at least a
particular part of himself…the part that was always searching for himself.


A man complained, “I am addled and confused.”
And someone asked, “For how long?”
“Every time I think about it,” he replied.
And someone said, “Then it would seem to me, based on the words you used to
describe the situation, that you have three ways to approach it — abandon
being either addled, confused, or thinking about it.”
And the man slapped himself on the forehead and cried out, “Dunce! — how
could I for so long have missed it?”

In the world of the mind,
to believe that illusionary activity
can produce real results
is a quite high and impressive peak in the Stupid Mountain Range.

“Climbing, climbing,
always climbing;
never moving but
always climbing…and whining about it, of course.”


There was once some nonstop activity, which developed the ability to speak.
And what do you think was the very first thing it did?
— Yep, that’s right, it gave itself a name, thus turning itself into a
verbal-sounding object, rather than activity.

And why, you may ask, do I bring this up? Is it because the activity did
itself harm by this naming? Did it interfere with its operations? Or
simply create a confusing situation?
Yes why, you may ask, did I bother to bring the subject forward?
(Well Jeeze! — it’s just a subject, why all the “why”s?)


A man asked a stranger, “If man’s mental world is an enclosed, go-nowhere,
self-fueling, self-consuming, meaningless illusion, then what could be more
foolish, and increased doses of the same, than struggling to realize this.”
“In what way is the discovery of a septic field of more value than the field
And the stranger said, “Do you really want a response to that?” And when
the man hesitated, he added, “Or do you really need one?”
And the man suddenly recognized that it had been his hesitation to see this
that had caused him to ask the question, thus — case closed!
(As if within a finite system there can practically be an endless, ongoing
“open investigation.”)

Knowing where to stop and shift directions can be as important as knowing
where to begin.


One man chewed his food really well —
for fifty years in fact
before spitting it out.


As soon as the two brothers got in the house one of them said, “Boy, I hope
there’s something good on TV, or else I’ll have to listen to my thinking.”
And the other one said, “Man, I hope something good goes on in my thinking,
or I’ll have to watch TV.”
And somewhere the muse of all mortal media said, “That’s okay, let ’em go on
and bad rap their local diversions, I won’t take it personally since they
can’t actually think about anything that is not in truth themselves.”

(Or as the latest kid quiz joke goes:

What’s the difference between a movie screen and your own mind?
— You have to sit further away from the movie screen.

Ha, ha, huh?)


A man went and stood before the cubicle of the oracle, and from within the
oracle’s voice asked, “What is your problem?”
And the man replied, “You mean right this instant?”
“Okay,” said the oracle, “right this instant.”
“Well,” said the man, “right this very instant I don’t have a problem.”
“Next,” yelled the voice of the oracle.

“Roll me over in the clover and do it again” was one of the first songs
that life taught man’s lax mental flow.


A man asked a stranger, “What is the difference between information and
entertainment?” “I realize that they’re both aspects of the mind, but what
specifically is their difference?”
And the stranger replied, “If you realize that anything is an aspect of the
mind then you should have no need to ask how it differs from some other
specific something — you should then be aware that in the mental realm
nothing differs from anything else.” “It’s all the same thing.”
(And for a moment the man didn’t know whether he was informed or


There was once a man who began to suspect that he was dying faster than was
necessary…due to a gradual but continual loss of blood (metaphorically
speaking) represented by every word he uttered.


From our Viewer’s Mail Bag comes this letter:
My uncle and I have been watching your show for several years now, and
we’ve gotten into an argument over a question that we’d appreciate you
answering for us.
In a story some time back a man was someplace wherein he was confronted
with a sign that said “Don’t spit on the floor or pee in the sink,” and
my uncle says that the man was in a weight lifter’s gym, and I say the
location was in someone’s mind.
For the sake of familial peace, please settle this matter for us.
Faithful Viewers Us, etc.

(Do you ever wonder, is it the mail that runs slow or some part of man
that’s behind time?)


A man asked a stranger, “If there is such a thing as “The Enlightenment,”
can it be achieved in the midst of others?”
“No,” he replied.
“Well,” said the man, “if ‘The Awakening’ actually exists, can you be taught
how to reach it?”
“No,” he replied.
And the man asked, “If The Great Liberation is a real possibility, can it be
gained from where a man is now?”
“No,” replied the stranger.
And the man, not being able to think of any more immediate questions,
thanked him and left.
(Did you notice that in that story of nearly a hundred words, the word
“think” appeared only once?)


For years one man chased his shadow (and of course never caught it), but
hey, don’t be embarrassed for him, he wasn’t aware of any of it.


Based on the man’s apparent interests in such, a certain stranger so said to
him, “Theoretically, the best way to go about this would be to study every
map ever used by any who’ve successfully gone before you, then ignore them
all and make up one strictly of your own from scratch…which seems an
impossibility, what?”
And after the man pondered this for a moment, then nodded his agreement to
the improbability alluded to, the stranger added, “But what question does
this actually address: the difficulty in producing a truly original map, or
the inherent limitations of the mind itself?”

Directions can’t go where the mind can’t go, and the mind can’t go anywhere
it’s never been before.

(And of course the mind will refute that last idea, pointing out that it is
demonstratively impossible, or else no one would ever be able to learn
anything new.
Sounds impressive…can you see the hole in it? If so, then you’re on the
way to seein’ a whole heck of a lot more.)


If you’re in the mind when you say the word “mind,” you have no
understanding of what the word represents.
(Simple Version: No one knows what the mind is.)


A boy asked his father, “What is the difference between being stabbed and
being insulted?”
And the elder replied, “Years ago I would have found such a question
indicative of your promise, now I find it disappointing that you can still
find such distinctions while knowing that, without blood, no thought flows.”
And cringing in familial shame, the lad attempted to kick himself in the
crotch, but missed and struck instead his old man in the head (which
constructively served the same ultimate purpose, since trees seldom far from
unrelated nuts spring up to claim their place in the woodwinds section).


According to one super-duper supersecret, life in this universe, when it
wants to delude a race of beings, will make them believe that planning is
a meaningful possibility.

One man used to ask a stranger questions, until he began to suspect that his
inquiries were getting somehow close to the end of what could be asked
about, so he stopped asking. Well, he didn’t really stop, but he’d
periodically think about stopping.

(And one man thought, “I already know too much as it is.”)


Everything’s an illusion, and the struggle to realize this damn sure is.


One man advises, “Don’t bother to say that it’s always somethin’.” “In a
universe that’s alive it is always something. (This includes your mental


There can be a difference in you thinking that you have a mind, and you
thinking that you have thoughts.

A sack of unopened cement is not exactly the same thing as a sack with a
split in it.


A father asked a son, “In such terms as ‘the method of Zen,’ ‘the Sufi
method,’ and ‘the method of yoga,’ which is the funniest word therein,
Zen, Sufi, yoga, or method?”

One day, as he began to remove his trousers, a man thought his pocket had
been picked, but then realized that he had no pocket, and wondered how long
this had been the case.


The effort to “get on the right track” has derailed many a train.