Jan Cox Talk 1961


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The News

97078.961 09/17/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


Opening a kitchen cabinet, a man found he had a full shelf of tinned
vegetables, with several cans of corn, several of beans, and a few more of
tomatoes, carrots, and peas. And as he looked at them he became for some
reason uneasy, and after a time spent staring at the cans, to try and
relieve his discomfort, he changed around the positions in which the various
cans were stacked.
(Why don’t you just put your own headline to this story, since I’m sure that
you realize it is not about the order and pattern some guy uses in putting
his cans away in the pantry. Right?)


“Son, let me tell you something,” said a father to the aforementioned.
“Life can not only be as it seems, but otherwise as well — a fact few ever
realize. For example, not only do mimes know that they drive people crazy,
that’s why they become mimes.
“When the shift closes for the day, here’s what’s left. Even men’s best
takes on what they call ’cause-and-effect’ suck — and we’re talkin’
big-time, BLIND inhalation. Now, get on outta here and let your ole dad
get back to ole-dad things.”


Another Brief Dialogue

“If you think about it, humans are plagued by a multitude of problems.”
“But if you don’t think about it, they’re not.”

Nothing forces verbalization to conform to what’s actually going on like
looking at what’s actually going on.

* * *


There are two varieties of “seriousness” alive on this planet: one is the
silent seriousness of physically staying alive; and the other is the
verbally expressed sort, unique to man, which is a pretend seriousness.


So said one man to himself, “I do not believe that what is now needed is any
further condemnation of my rambling, unfocused awareness and thought, but
rather a solution to the situation.”
“Am I wrong in this?”


The following tips, gave one father to his son:
The way to lead a more deliberate life physically would include
not to slam things,
not to toss things,
not to drop things,
not to handle things roughly,
not to handle things while not looking at them,
and not to talk to things.
After that you should then turn all of these hints to your inner life of


For those with experience sufficient
in travels from their own home town,
the fact becomes evident that
the various members of their family
live their lives in different time zones.

– – –

Within the rhythm of the music-of-life,
rhythms within rhythms play.

– – –

A certain man mused,
“If there were speed bumps
on the road of the mind
I would have been awakened a thousand miles back.”

– – –

And yet another man said,
“I am astounded by that which I see.”
While still one more noted,
“And I by that which I do not.”

** So many arrows — so few targets. **

* * *


We know that the physical, chemical world survives by cannibalizing itself,
so why cannot man see a synonymous situation with thought?

Men miss the creamy center of their confectionery, saying, “What goes
around, comes around,” by not recognizing that the only “what” there is, is
composed solely of the reoccurring.

Ask not for whom the new tolls —
for it does so only for the unknowing.


There is but one place to look for so-called “significance” in this life,
and that is in the mental world of man, a world which when once understood
is clearly recognized to be totally without any.

In one way, words are the most powerful entity known to man, that is, in
their ability to endlessly reproduce their impotent selves.


Look! — What’s That Up Ahead?

Just before an enlightened man becomes really enlightened, he is like a
hippopotamus choking on a sesame seed.

…”Did you say ‘up ahead’?”


A man so pondered, “Having the mind correct itself is a tricky thing
To which his brother responded, “Not tricky — impossible.” “Same as in
having a brother of yourself.”

** So many voices — so few thoughts. **

* * *


A man asked a mystic, “Do you answer questions?”
And the mystic replied, “How can I say no?”
And the man said, “You could’ve not been a mystic.”


A correspondent writes to ask if we know of a song with the title “It’s
Hard To Know What You’re Doing If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing, But It
Seems Even Harder To Do Anything If You Do Know!”

(He says that he’s never actually heard of such a ditty, but figures if one
does exist we’d be the ones to know about it.)


When a man, interested in such matters, heard that one of the renowned
ancient mystical teachers had said “all events are preceded by thought,” he
thought, “I’m either on the wrong track or’ve picked the wrong business.”

What entity within the entire reaches of the universe and reality, other
than man’s thoughts, would promulgate such an outrageous canard and captious
deception as that of saying “all events are preceded by thought”?
Don’t allow your sense of reasonable propriety or belief in the significance
of a weak stomach bar you from the recognition that even illusionary
cannibals consume their own.

* * *


Looking into that mirror that no man can hold in his hand, he thought,
“There is no self, only the actions of the thing we call a self, and we
are not working to create a self, but rather to live a deliberate life.”


Shall We Discuss Success?…Success, Did You Say?
Definition from The Land Of True Freedom:

The destruction of a promising musical career — Having a hit record which
you must thereafter forever perform.

And now for some news of a totally different sort:
After losing part of his sensibility in the fire, the man developed what
came to be known as “the phantom alarm syndrome” whereby he heard the
warning beeps of a nonexistent smoke detector.
“Having a hit record which you must thereafter forever perform”…hmmm…
give me that land of “true” freedom, which would be a state of unconditional
freedom — liberation even from success.

You start a fire with a match — and then the fire consumes the match!…
What d’ya make of that?

A witness sitting ringside finally thought, “This fight should’ve been
stopped long ago.”

* * *


“Remember This,” announced a billboard by the road on the way to a secret
monastery, “There Are Always Two Levels Of Mystical Activity Going On
Wherever You Find The Activity Going On: One Level Is The Talking And
Thinking About It; And The Other Is Neither Of Those Two, But Solely Of The
Doing It.
“Do — Please Do — Try And Remember This, For So Few People Do.
Thank You For Your Attention, And Drive Haphazardly As You Watch For The
Turn-Off Sign Up Ahead.”


As purveyed by one afterlife myth, as soon as you expire you find yourself
in line to face the Ultimate Judge, and when it comes your turn to enter the
Big Court Room an angel by the door cautions you to “watch your step,” and
if you show any sign that these words effected your movements you’re
instantly turned away and sent to Goethe-knows-where!

– – –

To know-what-you’re-doing, you’ve got to know what you’re doing no matter
what life you’re in.

* * *


Things “have meaning” only to those who THINK meaning, and the “meaning” is
no more substantial and permanent than are the thoughts on which it is
The true and unseen “meaning of things” is known only to those freed from
thinking about their meaning.


One man’s personal religion and philosophy-of-life he privately titled


A boy asked his father, “How are we to overcome the mind when there is
nothing to the mind but the mind?” “What am I to employ in this task?”
And the elder replied, “A man with any faith in words is like one who
confidently folds up his legally printed map, puts it safely in his deepest
pocket, then continues along his lost path.”

After a silent, separated interval, the lad returned and made point, “But
did you not once tell me that any man with any map is already a fool?”
And his father said, “Why do these reported conversations between us two
have you, the younger, asking the questions, and me, the elder, responding
to them?”

And again a silence arose between them before the father added, “Just
because the way things are seems to your mind as not only proper but also
as the only arrangement whereby things make sense, it is not the conclusive
proof assumed, in that the mind can play only games of its own invention,
with goals and restrictions of its own design.
“To the mind, two and two always equals four, but it does so because the mind
always equals the mind.”


At one mystical monastery, at the end of each day, one of the elders would
call together all of the monks and to them say, “Okay, to recapitulate what
we’ve learned today — WOULD BE AN INSULT TO US ALL!”

(Or perhaps, as their more afterlife-interested brethren might put it,
“There’ll be no refresher courses in heaven.”)

While leisurely stretching and good-naturedly yawning, a dog said to a tree,
“What an absolutely wonderful day to — be alive.”
“As opposed to what? — as opposed to what?” puzzled the tree.

At the beginning of each day, at one mystical retreat, the head would so
address all of the monks, “I guess you wonder why I’ve called you here.”
And, “No,” they would all reply.

* * *


Additional note regarding the statement that “thought precedes every
The body pours, then the mind measures what was poured.

(I did not label this as a rebuttal to the claim, for the mind can never
hear such, and the body does not listen to such.)


Phone lines were run through one man’s yard, in return for which he was
allowed to either notice them or not.

As it peacefully rose and fell, an ocean said to a gull, “Is it great to be
the highest ranking entity on a terrific planet like this, or what?”
And as it soared silently away, the bird thought, “How do the waters know
that they talk, in that when they speak to me I never reply?”


If consciousness is an orchestra, and the mind, its rhythm section, then
listening to the thoughts that naturally run through it is you letting
someone outside your band set the tempos for you.

(Dizzy would roll over in his grave…if dead bodies could move!)

(And upon this idea making its appearance, a man mused, “Hmmm, perhaps
instead of a revamped rhythm section what would go best in my brain would
be a dead body.)


“All-in-all (ask yourself),” so lit up the message in the sky, “what
greater proof of stupidity is there than a man taking life seriously?”
“Ask yourself,” the message insisted, “before the rains come!”


To cleave to thoughts not of the immediate here-and-now is to hallucinate —
it is to “see what isn’t there.”

(“Hmmm,” says a guy, “that helps explain why even ordinary people are nuts,
yet don’t realize it.”)


A boy asked his father, “Is there any type of struggle with yourself that is
wasteful and improper?”
“Yes,” replied the elder, “if you come to see it for yourself.”
“And what type of struggle would that be?” asked the lad.
“Any type,” he replied. “If you see so for yourself,” he reminded.


A man complained to a mystic, “Since I’ve undertaken the observation of my
thoughts, it seems as though they have multiplied, and thus disturb me even
more than before.”
To which the latter replied, “Since you can only think sequentially, of one
thing at a time, this is not possible — it is something else that you are

Believing that you can awaken the mind will cause you to forget what you
look like and lead you in pursuit of your reflection.


After observing his son wrestle with a certain idea for some time, the
father touched him on the shoulder and said, “It’s not so much a matter of
there being no meaning to life, as it is that there is no meaning to your
thoughts about life.”

A guy on the street walked up to a man and demanded, “Are you happy?”
And the man replied, “I was until you made me answer that.”


When you’re not clinging to thought, you then only care about what you
REALLY care about.

Life speaks to man in a special way which he does not hear when he is
talking to himself.


The more that you let thought pass unencumbered through you, the more that
you think it to be you.

– – –

There is nothing new to be discovered, only new uses for that which you
already possess.

* * *


Conversation (In Three/Four Time, Perhaps)

“Nothing is better for one’s sight than deliberate silence.”
“Do you mean one’s eye (I) sight?”
“What other kind is there?”

In matters of import, words do not so much reveal as they do stain the
outline of the subject at hand.


One day a man, who’d long been involved in activities such as this (but
whose successes or not we will not note), had the thought, “It certainly is
easy to make more out of enlightenment than there is.”
Then upon further reflection said, “No, although I understand what I mean
by that, it’s not actually so.”

The Great Struggle To Awaken:
The taking of what everyone else considers serious as foolish, and what
everyone else considers foolish as worthy of note.

* * *


A lad inquired of his dad, “Does anyone in the world really know what’s
going on?”
“For sure,” he replied, “none of those who say they do.”


A toad asked a prince, “In chasing enlightenment, what have you done but
substitute a new bunch of thoughts for your old bunch?”

Under certain conditions thinking could save your life, but it does not lead
your life.


The Great Mystical Work: Illusionary maps of imaginary places.


It has been noted — on a thousand monastery bathroom walls — that a man is
enlightened in the blink of an eye, but then it takes the rest of his life
for him to figure out what it means.

(That’s a thousand walls, plus or minus.)


“Having no thought,” said a mystic to some monks, “in the sense that I mean
it, does not mean that you have no thoughts, but rather that you do not
think of your thoughts as having any significance whatsoever.” “This, in
the extreme, is having no thoughts.”


The Great Mystical Activity: Illusionary escapes from imaginary snares.


In the enlightened sense, to “not care” is to not care about your thoughts.


“It sure is quiet in here.”
“Welcome home.”

* * *


To escape the aimlessness of wordy thought is to realize the fullness of the
silently empty.


And a lad asked his dad, “Is a sham man a happy man?”
“If the condition is deliberate.”

And as if that weren’t enough (regarding man’s tour of life), this other guy
has begun to think of his periodic states of being more conscious as “I
fired my guide.”