Jan Cox Talk 2023


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The News

2023 97085.023 12/03/97 Copyright J. M. Cox 1997


A boy went to his father with the observation, “I have things in my head,
and things in my mouth.”
And the old man peered at him with an accusatory eye and said, “Say-y-y,
have you been doing that again?…well-l-l…okay then, I guess…well-l-l
And by then the boy was seriously sorry that he’d brought the subject up.
Which reaction was the intent of the father’s insane comments.

“I say there, I do not find the elder’s words to be deranged!”
Okay, then you take the boy home with YOU!
“That will not be necessary — I have one of my own! That should be
obvious…how else would I come to have things in my head and mouth so that
I could be speaking with you like this?”
(Guess he’s got me there.)

Rule: If you deal in thought, someone’s always “got you” — primarily you.
Ya big ole lug. Commear an’ gimmie a hug!
“Not until you get that stuff out of your mouth and head!”

Rule II: If you keep thinking and talking long enough, nothing makes sense.
(Now, Question Number 1: Why do you keep stopping too soon?)

* * *


You are never “free” within a given reality until you clearly recognize the
nature of that reality.

(And now on to the same subject:)
What is, after all, the desire to awaken, other than the wish to leave one
mental reality for another one?

(And never forget: You cannot depart a place until you know where it is.)


“It is so-o-o important for a duck to be knowledgeable and intelligent in
today’s world,” said one duck to another.
“Yes,” responded the other, “and especially so in the ‘duck world.'”
“And what other kind is there?” retorted the first duck.
“Yeah…well…and that too…I was just ‘saying,'” said the second duck.

It damn-near seems a pity that men and their minds can’t converse in such a
profitable fashion. I mean (after all) ducks doing so, and then men…well,
maybe it’s just me, but it still seems damn-near a pity.

One new theory holds that “darkness” is only a subject of significance with
moles, while water is similarly so only with fish, and retired men with
large yachts.
Which all just goes to show you that only in your own home town does your
home town count for squat, and furthermore that every man’s thoughts
constitute his inner home town, and are relevant to the physical reality
in which he lives to the same degree that geese’s honks keep them aloft.

“It is so-o-o important for the world in which you think you live to think
that you live in that world. So-o-o important!”

* * *


One man thought, “If my “I,” my own inner, secret sense of myself, was of
any true significance, then surely it would more closely resemble the life
I actually lead…surely it would…wouldn’t you think?”


One man had a son who wouldn’t stay home. But whenever he’d look for him,
he be there! Explain that.

The seed never falls far from the tree —
the tree is the same as the seed —
the seed is the same as the tree —
the seed and the tree and this sentence are all the same thing.

No man’s son will stay home —
when a man has a son this creates what is called “not staying home.”

Not staying home never falls far from staying home —
staying home is the same as not staying home,
and not staying home and staying home and anything that can be said about it
is all the same thing.

The boy was never home, but every time his father would look for him, there
he’d be.
“Explain that!” I just did.

* * *


The Alpha And Omega Of All Complaining (Other Than Gripes Related To Dying)

The source of all complaints is conditions,
and the source of all conditions is thought.

Now think about that!

* * *


The forces of good and evil,
of pro and con,
of high and low,
of yes and no,
and of this and that
are ceaseless in their movement,
and settle in no particular place;
their influence is felt however
most by those who themselves have taken up permanent residence somewhere.


The world “out there” is out there!
but what you think is out there isn’t;
what you think is out there is in your mind.


While some claim that the oldest known approach to enlightenment was known
as “The Shut Up Method,” one man offers his addition thereto by saying that
you don’t actually have to quit talking as long as you stop listening.

In the name of equity, I should note the presence of another chap who
claims that, when it comes to affairs in the mind, any method will work to
accomplish anything.

(I do believe that a big-time hint regarding the realm of thought lurks
within his contention.)

* * *


First voice: “I love you.”
Other voice makes no reply.
First voice repeats: “I love you.”
Other voice still doesn’t acknowledge.
And the first voice says: “Don’t you hear me? Don’t you believe me?”
And other voice finally says: “I would even more so if you didn’t have to
tell me.”

The headline to this story could be “You Mean To Tell Me That Life Should
Be Like THAT?” (Which, to my ears, indeed is truly a rhetorical question…


The more civilized you are, the more concerned you are about conditions,
and the less civilized you are, the less concerned you are about conditions,
and the more awake you are, the less captive you are of the illusion that
conditions exist.

– – –

First voice: “I hear a noise.”
Second voice: “It’s the typewriter.”
First voice: “No, I hear another noise.”
Second voice: “It’s the washing machine.”
First voice: “No, I hear another noise.”
Second voice: “It’s the refrigerator.”
First voice: “No, I hear another noise.” And on it went like that.

* * *


Regarding’ This Whole Thing About The Mind…And Attention

If your ship’s not in port, then (when noticed) your port seems unseemly.

– – –

And remember: Geography is irrelevant to a dead man…unless he’s going

* * *


Ponder on this one:
A person’s “favorite vice” is that nonessential activity they engage in
which is the thing they both enjoy and dislike most.
Now! —
figure out how to apply this to your thinking.


Another Visit To “The Garden Of What-Should-By-Now Be Obvious”:

Those who want to tell how they believe things are
don’t know
how things are.

(For those of you in a hurry, who can’t stick around for the after-tour
lecture, let me note for you things aren’t any way!
Which simple fact renders all comments and beliefs thereabout el moot-o.)

Flowers know, but they don’t tell…(’cause flowers don’t know — only men
know. Then they muck it up by saying that they do).

* * *


An enlightened man with a doctrine is an illusion…and if not, a fraud.


Only ordinary minds believe there is anything wrong with conditions; only
ordinary minds perceive there being conditions.

(Yet another reason, you might note, for not thinking about other people.
Seeing’ as how they’s mostly what’s always responsible for there bein’
conditions in the first place.)


A man so addressed a certain mystic, “If, as you have claimed, the primary
purpose of the mind, when specifically and attentively directed, is to
enhance man’s chances of survival, then the random ramblings of his
unfocused daydreams must also at least indirectly serve such ends, say,
by way of ‘time filling distractions and diversions.’ A kind of mental R
and R, rest and relaxation to keep men refreshed sufficiently to meet new
survival challenges when they arise.”
And the mystic nodded his acquiescence.
And after some moments of silence the man again spoke. “But if that be so,
then would it not follow that the individual characteristics of all life,
all birds, fish, plants, and animals, must in some way serve to increase
their chances of survival?”
And once again the mystic made body moves which appeared to indicate his
agreement to what had been said.
Then after a few additional seconds of stillness between them the man said,
“Well now, thinking about this matter in a deeper way than I have ever
before, I am suddenly moved to ask the most basic and simple question, which
I have never considered before: Just what does ‘survival’ mean?”
And the mystic again replied silently through the body, this time by his
shoulder and facial expression which clearly said, “I don’t know.”

* The more specific the mental pointing,
the greater the errors and delusion. *


One man says he had a somewhat peculiar thought, but one he guessed some
of you would understand. He notes that one of the dangers in talking about
other states of mind is that it can be so interesting.
As the ancient proverb points: A braying ass can never ride himself.


Warning! — Be On The Alert:

People who like to say “as I always like to say” always like to say
something. (Well, them and ever’body else.)


A man asked a mystic, “Is ‘not caring’ anything like being awake?”
And the mystic replied, “Not if you care whether you don’t care or not.”

Rule (that should weigh a ton and sit on your bad foot by now):
Nothing is “like” enlightenment if it means anything to you.


A man asked a mystic, “Is–”
And the mystic interrupted him, “Are you about to ask me if such-and-such
is anything like enlightenment?”
And the man replied, “Well…as a matter of fact, I was.”
And the mystic said, “Haven’t you confronted me with such as this before?”
And the man replied, “Well, as a matter of fact, I have asked you about the
possible similarity between enlightenment and several specific areas on
previous occasions.”
And the mystic said, “Let me save you some time and give you a blanket
response to all such curiosity.” “EVERYTHING is ‘like’ enlightenment, for
everything IS enlightenment. But you only know this after you realize that
everything, as you perceived it, was nothing! Not ‘everything,’ not even
‘anything,’ but NOTHING.”
“Only then do you see everything in its pristine state, unencumbered by any
of your thought about enlightenment or nonenlightenment.”

These words appeared to deeply effect the man, who fell reflectively silent
for several minutes. He then brought his attention back to the instant
moment, and once again to the mystic spoke, “Well, is what you just told me
anything at all like being enlightened?”

Roads and words seem to go somewhere, while the surface of a sphere ignores
C.O.D. packages.
(A man lost is close to knowing where he is. …A man, that is, with a new
knowledge of what being lost is.)


First voice asks, “How are conditions out there?”
Second voice replies, “Same as always — irrelevant.”


As long as the mind is talking it can never describe what it is, for speech
can never say what it is, other than to say, “This is me! — this is me
talking, telling you that this is me.”

How long will it take for echoes of reflections to realize that they are not
representations of anything real?

(I guess you might as well look at the Grand Canyon and ask, “How long
should you cook this?”)


There is no reality separate from your thoughts — only your thoughts,
separate from reality.


After hearing loud laughter come from his son’s room, a father called to
him, “What’s going on in there?”
And the lad replied, “Oh, I was just talking to myself, and brought up a
stimulating idea, then said ‘why am I telling you this,’ then replied to
myself ‘well, you are my best friend’ — and that’s when I started


All ordinary speech is either
repetition of previous speech,
criticism of previous speech,
or else new additions to The Imaginary World Of Speech.


The local and specific is always temporary, only the universal, not.


One man says, “I perceiveth there to be two types of mystics: one which
longs for the turning of toads into royalty, the other which strives for the
exploding frog outcome.”

Or as the most enlightened man of 1842 put it, “Say, I don’t wanna be here
when I return!” (And you can wrap your salami in that one, my friend.)


One man’s private principle was “concentrate!”
And when his mind would ask where, he’d reply, “It doesn’t matter.”


One man had a pack of wild dogs around his house, which for years he
attempted to tame and quiet, but to little avail;
he finally hit upon a new approach, he got them to stop yipping about likes
and dislikes, and everything was fine.


After once again hearing a certain mystic’s public comments, a man from the
audience rushed to him and gushed, “Oh, listening to you speak sometimes
takes my breath away!”
To which the mystic replied, “If that would ever reach such a stage with
you as to make speech impossible, then I would have accomplished something.”


If you’re ordinary, being critical provides some sensation of freedom
within your reality.
It’s cheap, readily available, requires no expertise, and like every other
response in the realm of mental pros and cons, it settles nothing.

Conclusion and satisfaction: two beasts not to seek in the jungle of the

* * *


Audible brain waves equal distorted sight.


One man’s approach he offers as follows: “It doesn’t matter what you do as
long as you can do two things at the same time — and stay aware of both.”


A man said to a mystic, “I have heard mystics speak who made a great deal
of sense, and I have heard mystics speak who had a great knowledge of the
mystic scriptures, and I have heard mystics speak who had an impressive
background of having studied with great masters, but something is still
lacking with me.”
“Where now should I seek the additional that I need?”
And the mystic replied, “Find a pool which, when you look therein, your
reflection makes you look like a pool.”


There is a secret legend that says there is a whole other universe next to
ours in which, on one planet, life has appeared in the form of words, and
in fact on that world has become its highest form of life (after developing
the ability to have men).


A Mystic: One whose mind has conjured up a whole other reality to replace
the one that everyone else’s mind has conjured up.


A man-who-knows does not plan —
a man who heeds not his plans cannot plan.
…So — there you are.


One man got his normal mental activities down to this level: a series of
unsigned memos.


To be asleep is to try and make reality conform to your thinking.
(From that you can figure out what being awake is.)


The ancient, revered dictum that a wise man should “do nothing” is saying
that you must become free from the illusion that you CAN do something —
then you may “do” something, but in an entirely new way, much removed from
your previous imaginary doing.


Why not remember this (it doesn’t cost any more than not remembering it):
Not only does no one else know what your thoughts are, but no one else can
ever know whether or not you are paying them any personal attention.

And see, this is to your advantage. Not any advantage over other people,
but a leg up on yourself (for those of you engaged in such metaphysical


Only those of great delusion — plan.


Thoughts’ unrealized (but supreme) dream is to be free from themselves!

This is called “being enlightened.”


Regarding The Matter Of Answers

You’ll never have an answer as long as you have to think about it.


Guy says to a mystic, “After listening to you speak, I just gotta believe
that you must be the smartest person in the whole world.” “Where’d you
learn all that stuff you talked about?”
“I made it up,” he replied.
“But you couldn’t have — it’s all too…too…too extraordinary.”
“I know,” said the mystic, “that’s why I make it up.”

The headline to this story could have been “I Don’t Wanna Hear Any More
About That,” which should for the perceptive, however, be “Le’me Hear A Lot
More About That, And Maybe I’ll Finally Snap Me Outta Listenin’ To


Though the mind produces nothing real, all experience its effects.


A visitor to a mystical school, as he was departing, said to its head, “I
am surprised at how little concern you show for the problems of those
studying here under you.”
And the hotshot replied, “I can’t see why you’re surprised, I have no
concern for my own, why would you expect I would for theirs?”

As the gate closed behind him, someone from a’high shouted a warning as
they emptied a chamber pot from a window, “Look out below, here come