Investigating the Investigation.
Note: as you stream the audio, you will notice that there is no background noise, as if the volume drops to zero when he is not speaking. This is in the original digital recording and is no big deal, but makes it sound a little choppy. It may be that the cassette audio does not share this effect.
News Items = only copy available is in the Notes below. ( Kneeded )
Jan Cox Talk # 2522, Recorded May 8th 2000
Notes by DC
Suggested Title : Investigating the investigation.
00:00:22[Reads The News] Initially, it’s proper to turn the attention to matters of being asleep and awakening, but eventually…must turn their attention to the matter of it’s seeming so proper to turn the attention thusly.
00:48The idea of “Know Thyself”. No one knows what their self is.
03:45Knowledge of your self is to know you don’t have a self.
05:18I am always waiting for Life to be more interesting to me.
06:38Why jokes are funny: the punchline is not expected by the self.
08:42Any comment you can make about yourself…anything you think you know about yourself is a dream….It’s a skunk saying “Where is that smell coming from?” It’s the sole of a foot saying “Get that thing off of me.”
11:28Everyone lives according to their self, but when asked what it is, they do not know.
11:48You got no self.
12:30Everyone originally realizes the truth about this ‘self’, but are now consistently rendered blind to its reality by their talking about it, both to themselves and others.
13:26Archetypal Adam…as he went from being a silent, purely instinctive creature ….[tape flaw]
…into a verbal, thoughtful one. I picture there was a split second [of transition]…and I say it’s that split second that all this is about. And I say it’s that split second that ordinary mind avoids through all its secondary activities.
16:38Religion was a masterstroke….people originally realized the truth about life and thought “This is it?” Then they began to make up things…to distract them from facing this fact.
25:11Approach of never using word “I”.
28:50Not investigating investigation….people do not turn and look at what they are doing, whatever method they’re attempting to use….[Is it possible to consider you’ve made no progress in twenty years of whatever method?]
36:08Your instinctive essence never changes. What you genetically are…you were as far back as you can remember.
38:15If you keep talking about yourself…you are doing nothing but reinforcing an absolute illusion. You’re keeping yourself asleep; you can’t ever move.
40:15If you are talking to you about your self, you are having a self.
41:45[Awakening:] I blanked out. I was as conscious as I have ever been but my head was as empty as the universe. And I was aware of it.
And I was aware that all of those thoughts were behind there, just waiting.
42:45You have no self. You’re what you are; that’s what makes it so astounding.
47:47All of these methods…they’re tricks, they can’t BE done…how is it that I spent X number of years doing this…what is going on that I’m so attracted to it?
52:33What you’ve ultimately got to do is ask yourself this question: “What is going on that I’m doing this?”
54:10When watching TV (or reading) you think you are watching sights and sounds coming out of a box, but you are watching what’s evoked in your head BY it, not it itself…there is a whole illusionary world going on in your head.
56:10What we have, all of us, is a thought that doesn’t like the rest of our thoughts. We don’t like the general automatic running of your thinking.
59:09 What is going on in me in this scene…if you can answer that, you will wake up.
59:54What’s going on when you see somebody rush over to a sports team jacket…same as being religious…pick out your greatest book…what’s going on? It’s better than any method that I know of…why am I reading this book on how to achieve enlightenment…turn the investigation on the investigation.
01:03:51Awakening then the lifetime of perfecting of enlightenment.
01:05:05Why was I so attracted to the study of X system? How is it, it is possible I have made no progress. What is going on?
Jan Cox Talk #2523 – (Notes by DC include the News.)
00:25 My written items tonight, 30 pages, concern 3 major subjects…the illusionary self, the sensation of disappointment, and the question as to whether there is a proper protocol … of considering whether one should dismount a trolley that seems to either have an end of the line or runs on to infinity.
01:22 All men are born on the move. The few find an invitation to mount a special horse, after which they ride off in search — of that horse.
Few of the few ever realize what they became involved with, but those who do holler “Yahoo!” and finally dismount the horse.
02:01 If you think there is any difference between the ordinary and the awake, you could have been correct — had you not thought about it.
02:11 Waking up to what life’s really about is not a cure for being dissatisfied. What it gives is an understanding of the nature of your dissatisfaction. Understanding being the closest thing there is in life for a cure for anything.
02:29 A Poem. My stomach was uneasy/but now it’s at rest/My thirst was aflame/but now it is quenched./My sex was aroused/but now it is quiet./I ached all over/but now I feel well./Where, pray tell/are my thoughts in all of this?/Why, I’m right here/It’s me writing this little rhyme/Which, somewhat surprisin’/is ending up with an attack on itself/Man, that’s weird/even for us poetic types.
03:45 Headline: Even though it is all an illusion, talk about self–have a self, if that’s your desire. That’s how simple it is: talk about a self, and you have a self.
04:07 When your capacity for thought is totally taken up by the automatic thoughts available to you (asleep as the mystics label it) and you are talking aloud or silently about your ‘self,’ you never have any doubt as to having a self. But if you suddenly stop and look directly into the heart of all your talk about self, there is no self to be found, only the words about self, nothing but the words.
05:01 Only he can believe he is in charge of his life who does not look into the matter.
05:07 As regards the idea of being asleep and wanting to awaken, one man offers his personal view. “I have this one thought that dislikes how my thoughts automatically run, and whenever I have this thought, I dislike how my thoughts automatically run, but the rest of the time, when my thoughts are automatically running, I don’t mind, because I don’t even notice it.”
05:34 After he had been off the horse for awhile, one man said to himself: “I am not my apparent self and now I’m no longer my original self. I am now what my thoughts say that I am. And what they say that I am is dictated by what I originally was. What a grand and encompassing affair. Perhaps my home can finally come pigeons to roost.”
06:07 Part of the original dissatisfaction of the few is in their realization that the thoughts they have about life do not match life’s reality. And while this disparity is sometimes noted by the ordinary, it is passed off as isolated examples of “irony”. However, the keen of eye quickly come to see instead that such is the general nature of the lives routine men live. Ergo, you could say then, that being asleep is in accepting the common ideas men have that describe the nature of life and themselves but which do not match the reality of it all.
07:02 Even grownups find it fun to play pretend, though the few, when they catch themselves doing so, find it highly annoying.
07:07 Then from that point of view you could say that an awakened man is he who, in private, is a refined, literal-minded stick-in-the-mud.
07:32 What the ordinary do not recognize, and what unwittingly bothers the half awake is that men share the same available limited thoughts. They take some in; they put some out, same as they inhale and exhale the same available air. Does knowing what’s going on take you out of this network? Realizing the situation for what it unalterably is does have that constructive result. Except of course, should you unwittingly take back in some of the available thoughts that are floating around.
08:15 To make any comment on the nature of your self is to reveal that you have no understanding of the matter.
08:27 As with all other creatures, perhaps man’s most useful talent is in being able to act by unthinking instinct. And for the few this is also the bane of their existence, or so they say. Does anyone understand what’s going on here? Does anyone realize that any criticism made of the attempt to wake up is justified? When you understand why this is so, an understanding of what waking up is, is not far behind.
09:00 The question was, do you understand that any criticism you can make about seeking for enlightenment, the struggle to awaken, that any criticism made of it is justified. Any.
09:25 Few of the few will ever go beyond a study of the scriptures, i.e., schools, methods, disciplines to awaken, and go on to a study of what is behind the readiness to study scriptures.
09:41 What is more profitable than sitting at the knee of some enlightened master asking him questions? What is more profitable than that is sitting by yourself, at home, asking yourself what is going on with dreams I have of sitting at some other human’s knee and hearing words about a thing called enlightenment? To ever finally get to the actual bottom of things, you must get to the bottom of what it is that wants to get to the bottom of things.
10:11 There are no actual schools or systems that will produce awakening. They can be used to get a man started, but if pursued too long without ever realizing what’s going on instead of producing freedom they result in a tied goat staying tied.
10:27 He who wants to awaken thinks there is nothing greater than awakening. But amidst everything you do, there is, unnoticed, something that is greater even than awakening — the realization of what’s going on.
10:45 The way by which ordinary people are able to tolerate their ordinary state of mind goes like this: If you stay out of town, most of the time, you finally forget that you are out of town. If you’re going to drink, go for blotto.
11:08 When one man reached a certain stage in his lengthy pursuit of this matter, he noticed that his fingerprints were beginning to fade away.
11:23 If there is one universal law it is habit. Reality is perceived of by humans as constructed of, and totally dependent on habit. Only when things are going in their normal, habitual fashion do mortals consider life to be normal. When temporary deviations therefrom appear, men feel that circumstances have become UNreal.
11:51 People are healthy and physically satisfied when habit within them prevails. What disturbs the few is that no exception is made for thoughts. Life depends on habit and ill-placed displeasure therewith only creates unnecessary agitation.
12:12 A mind that knows what’s going on is like an experienced beach, no longer disturbed by the endless mechanical pounding it must take by the waves, and about which it can do nothing. And that it is the natural situation between beaches and waves.
12:52 It’s not out of order to commence this activity with the thought and feeling “I don’t like where I am internally,” as long as you eventually recognize that where you are internally is the only place there is, and that the voice saying “I” in the sentence “I don’t like it” is the very thing that is unwittingly claiming it doesn’t like.
13:21 The only thing a man wanting enlightenment is involved with is a dissatisfaction with the inherent mechanicalness of thought. The hunger for awakening is a struggle against nature.
13:34 One man said, “The problem with getting old is that you start to LOOK old.” And another guy thought, “Well, at least that is one advantage that being asleep has over aging.”
14:17 Was he being smart ass? Was it wishful thinking?
15:01 Go to the mirror and look and see if you look any more asleep than you did yesterday. At least I have never done that to you…I don’t suggest it.
15:18 Mentally, everyone is in a whirlpool. Those who undertake to awaken unwittingly attempt to swim in a whirlpool.
15:26 The ultimate question for them is this: In which direction are you attempting to swim in a whirlpool?
15:42 In the beginning, it is noble to struggle against that which should be struggled against. But eventually it clearly becomes folly to struggle against that which has proved to be useless.
15:53 Toenote: Only a man who has gotten to the bottom of things knows what is useless.
16:04 To the listeners, the speaker said: ” Not only is he a fool who will not quit when he’s ahead, but how about he who will not quit even after he realizes there is no more ahead, ahead? Not only is he a fool, my friends, he is also me.”
16:32 Headline: The illusion of self as regards jokes and other matters: The appeal of humor is in the voice that delivers the punchline saying that which is contradictory to the expectations of the self of the listener. This is also involved in schools for enlightenment who promote the idea of spontaneity, mental responses outside the confines of one’s normal self.
17:01 Another difference between a regular mystic and a real one is that the regular kind wants to sit in a quiet, motionless position and calm their minds so they can wake up, while a real mystic also wants to awaken, but he wants to be able to do it while on the run.
17:20 Headline: Everything you need to know regarding “Paths to Enlightenment”: There’s only one school for enlightenment: your own thoughts.
17:32 Headline: Don’t You See? Since everyone is continually deceiving themselves, it wouldn’t do you any good if you actually had a self. Don’t you see?
17:54 Alright, then. Since man does not have a self he cannot, ergo, be deceiving himself. Hmmm. But something funny is going on. Hmmm. Okay, then. His thoughts are deceiving him. Hmmm. No, that still would require the presence of a self. Hmmm. Hmmm. Okay, how about this: thoughts are deceiving themselves. Yeah. Yeah, that’ll work; won’t it? No, something’s still not right here. Hmmm. Alright, I think we should just stick with the first shot we took and say that everyone deceives themself, which is pretty weird, which is a pretty weird deal since no one even has a self. Okay. Even as open-eyed and dangling as that is, I guess we’re best off just leaving it there. And so concludes another chapter in our hard-hitting series, “Don’t You See?”
18:56 In case I never get back around to it, I want to read it one more time, at least for my pleasure.
19:32 A speaker said to a certain, ahem, select audience: When I say that as concerns the few that there is a difference between being satisfied and being content, I am not merely playing with words. But of course me saying this could be an example of me playing with words. Or, I could be serious when I say it, and not realize myself that I am still playing with words. Of course, it’s all just playing with words, since that’s all you can do with words.
20:05 When you ‘wake up’ you understand what’s going on, but can’t hold it. When you get to the bottom of things, you realize what can’t be understood, and you are able to maintain it. Or you could say an enlightened man realizes what’s going on, while a really enlightened man realizes that no one knows what’s going on. Or, it might be put like this: A liberated man is free of the things that bother everyone else, but a truly liberated man doesn’t know whether he is free or not.
20:47 First you don’t know, then you know, but beyond that is the real pay off.
20:56 Stage One: I won’t be satisfied until I know. Stage Two: Now I know, but I won’t be satisfied until I can remember what I know every single second and never forget it even for a moment. Stage Three: Uh….now what were those first two?
21:25 If you didn’t think that your thoughts are you [tape static] — you wouldn’t think that you’re asleep. You know, there is this possiblity that that just sounds clever and doesn’t actually mean shit. There’s always that possibility.
22:24 After becoming interested in the idea of awakening, enlightenment, liberation and the like, one man versed himself in all of the respected historical means that others have claimed to have used in order to achieve the goal. And after trying them all with little to show for it, he took a new position whereby he assumed that everything ever said about it, and every method ever employed was wrong, perhaps even diametrically opposed to the proper approach and direct thinking about the matter, and proceeded from there.
23:05 Worthy lines of investigation in your attempt to get to the bottom of things would be, for instance, to ask yourself: What goes on in my head as I watch a movie?…as I read a book…as I converse with another…as I quietly sit alone? And finally, the big one: What goes on in my head as I ask myself such questions as these?
23:40 When a man is in that extraordinary enlightened state, he understands everything, in that all questions are gone from his mind. But when his enlightenment has matured, he comes face to face with the unexpected. He is asked to accept the fact that the very matter always of most interest to him can never be understood. It is at this point, in my opinion, that there appears a new breed of mystics. The conditions are ripe for such an appearance of this new type of mystic — the diehard. Or, if you prefer, the hardhead.
24:32 In the beginning, all success comes from your awareness of your inclination to drift away and fall asleep. The final refinement of your success will come from your awareness of your habitual attempts to do and to understand the impossible. Achieving understanding is certainly our goal, but beyond that is an even greater achievement of recognizing that there is one thing that will never, ever be understood. This is what you find at the bottom of the secret — the bottom of your mind.
25:07 It is difficult indeed to undertake the great struggle; more difficult still to ever let go the useless part.
25:57 [Introduced at a previous session] Awakening, enlightenment is not really a cure for being dissatisfied….when a man has solidified his enlightenment, when he’s gone beyond the mere conditions, it becomes a matter, not of being satisfied, but of being content, even should the state be one from there on — the state continues to be one — of something less than real satisfaction. And I didn’t make any comment, and it may not even strike you as being very noteworthy. But that was the introduction of it. And tonight, if you’ve noticed, I’ve brought it up several times….
29:09 What you want is to be satisfied. Something in you is not satisfied….what’s going on in life does not satisfy a certain dissatisfaction in you…that the goal is a personal feeling of satisfaction…merely waking up, merely knowing what’s going on, merely knowing the secret…does not produce, necessarily, satisfaction….
31:01 [Recorded mystics] have expressed otherwise….referring back to behavioral matters…
33:15 You would think that the minimal result of that would be complete satisfaction…I do not find that to be true.
34:43 There are things you can understand which I’m inclined to say is everything…there is one thing that you cannot understand … is there a proper time…is there an absolute protocol as to when a man should realize that there’s one thing he’ll never understand? Can he be helped to understand that; should he be helped to understand it; should he be told about it…is there a proper fashion … as to whether or not a man should abandon it? Or should he fall into my new breed of diehards?
38:22 It’s possible to understand everything; that there is no question, no question about anything, and yet, that is not true….There is one thing that you can’t understand…and if you don’t realize it, you can keep riding this trolley, this special horse that all of us few mount. And you ride off in search of the horse.
39:46 You can achieve enlightenment that would please the ancients and not be satisfied….pursuing an understanding when you’ve got all the understanding that you can have….that is humanly possible.
40:45 I don’t know if any of you will ever get to the point where this is of any practical use, because you would have to be internally quite passionate…
43:32 If you can just remember, whatever you’re trying to do…there’s one thing that you cannot understand…it is this unknowable that drives this whole affair from beginning to end, except in the beginning you can apparently make such progress. You can apparently make a lifetime of progress…yet you never really understand that what drove it from beginning to the end is the fact that there’s one thing that no man can understand…[not the standard ‘eternal questions’.]
45:30 There’s only one thing that you can’t know, and it still drives me to a good time….I have not quit.
47:15 You’ve got to struggle against what it’s proper to struggle against; that’s all you can do.
But I’m saying that the day, at least, should come that you realize what is useless, if there’s a useless part of it, in the struggle. Then the trick is you’ve got to be damn-well awake to know what’s useless and what’s not, to recognize it. Or else you would just be involved in routine self deception….you should let everything bother you until it reaches the point that nothing really bothers you, and then you know what I mean by ‘content’. You’re not satisfied, but you’re content. You’re content with not even being totally, completely satisfied.
49:42 …And it could not be a more simple affair…this is right up close…but there is one thing that it is not possible to understand, and that’s what’s at the bottom of everything.
49:54 And every time you look off and think about anything, especially This, you’re living proof of it. Well, not just living proof that there’s one thing that you can’t understand, but it’s living proof that you don’t realize it. And I say it’s almost impossible to realize. Maybe that’s two different things; I’m saying that it’s one thing that’s impossible to ever understand. I’m saying it’s impossible to ever realize that.
50:35 Well, I had great hopes for it. But if we went by my record of my great hopes paying off….we’d all be in pitiful shape. That’s why it’s good for realizing what’s going on as soon as possible, because then you can replace hopes with that.
51:12 Would you consider it. Would you just chew on it and consider the fact that I’m telling you, between you and me — take it for what it’s worth — that I say that no matter how awake you are, no matter that you can understand everything, that there’s nothing left, there’s no question about anything…there is one thing you cannot and will not ever understand….it’s in you, and it’s not vague…well, it is, it’s like ‘self’. Everybody thinks they’ve got a self until you stop and look at it, and it’s not there.
54:21 I guess we better mark this date “Don’t sell it,” or if we do, offer money-back guarantees.
54:37 One more time…there is one thing that you can’t understand that is the heart of this….If I had had a me to tell me this….why am I still doing this…why am I still not ‘satisfied’…and he’d said, “There’s one thing you will never understand”…
01:01:56 Picture this, physically…what you know of reality, you can keep cutting smaller…you get down to some point….down to a point that you can’t cut….but you can’t cut something until it disappears…you can’t finally cut the last piece….you just can’t; you just can’t.
01:06:02 I’m going to tell you what: being human, and thinking, is a quirk. That’s the anomalistic behavior to some of us that every…the other people, the six billion go “So what?” As well they should.