Do You Have Any Control ?
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Condensed Transcript = See Below
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Keywords = control, prisoner, last day, life sentence
Jan Cox Talk # 2543 : June 26, 2000
Copyright Jan cox, Jan’s Legacy, 2008
These notes prepared by DC on /1/2008 from audio file.
Suggested title: Do You Have Any Control ?
00:01 In my attempt to continue to talk about that which you can’t talk about…to fluff up your memory…using that same general model, that is, that to live an ordinary life, to be accepted and to accept yourself as being fairly routine and sane, you must believe that you have some control over your life. And then to, specifically, awaken you must believe that you have some control over your life. But I submit to you that to believe that you have some control over your life is the exemplary example of being asleep. That’s about as strong as you can put it…the story I made up of a father telling his son that he’d told him everything that he knew that would help him…except one thing [that he] couldn’t even say to [him]self…if it’s of any interest to you, that is not a joke.
01:27 There is one thing that I know that I have never thought in words to myself…
01:57 The other night, Terry and I were talking…and I mentioned that, “Well, maybe if you were dying you’d go ahead and say it…
02:44 I have not said anything — I haven’t said that it’s true or false, ’cause it’s not true or false whether you exercise some control over your life.
03:17 …being an expert in something…the area of ecology struck me….the whole network of life…If you were to grasp the full understanding of the network of life, it would be without any thought…
04:13 Here it is from the other view: A person who becomes an expert in ecology…assuming that some person could just look…[at] the web of Life…If somebody could grasp that, and see it for what it is, you would be in an awakened state…
05:39 Then the point is…the more you know on a subject, the less you grasp what it is.
06:04 For those of you that notice, I have tried to say this since I’ve known you people over the last two decades… it’s the attempted full telling of what having achieved the goal is…
06:43 …me talking about This denies its full comprehension — that you have to undo what you hear me say…
06:58 Let’s say that there was someone who was struggling to awaken and one day they had that great anomalistic experience…let’s say that they were trained as an ecologist…their first time that the state hits them…sooner or later his mind would have drifted over to ecology, and as long as he was in that state called ‘being awake’…in one instant he would understand everything that can be understood about the web of life…
09:04 If your experience is not sufficient for you to follow this…you’re not going to do yourself any harm to just accept what I say.
09:20 Let’s go forward a day later…the man finally has gone to sleep…got up, and the state, for all intents and purposes, is gone….he’s thinking now…The first thought he has, his understanding of the web of life, or of ecology, is gone. It’s gone….taking in the thing-as-a-whole is gone.
10:48 The curious part that can be useful if you look at it is that the more expertise you have in a subject, the further away from a full grasp of it you are. By the way, this is not true, but verbally it’s useful for me to put it to you this way….
11:47 The more you know the less you’re awake. Which just sounds like some throw-away fortune cookie line, but it’s the truth.
12:12 What I’ve been trying to talk about, that you have to believe you have some sort of control over your life to be sane, to be ordinary, and you’ve got to believe that to be asleep, and you’ve got to believe that to try and awake from sleep, but until you see what it is, you’ll stay asleep. That can’t be talked about, and here I am, trying…I can’t present a full comprehension; there’s no way it can be done…Anybody who tells you that they are…is not a lot better off than the people listening to them…
13:32 It’s very easy to think, “Well, this is It. Now I understand it all.” Then you’ve got to face the fact that after you take a good night’s sleep, the state’s gone…if you’ve been working 10 or 20 years for it, and you had it, just ’cause it’s gone, you’re not going to forget…that you had it…to believe, “Well, I may not be in that same emotional state; I’m more used to it now, but at least I’m smarter than all the people I know. I have seen that which they haven’t seen.” And so, it’s expected that they present themselves as being “Well, I’m awake…and I can explain it to you totally”….
16:37 We all know that in all religions…the most commonly persued part…has…an attitude that’s expressed in these kind of words:…that what I want to do is turn my life over to God, or to Jesus…think about it for a second in light of what I’ve been talking about.
19:37 The belief that it’s possible, the claim that they’re struggling to arrange it for God Himself, Jehovah, Vishnu, Allah to come into your heart and take control of your life and that you give up your selfish will and you submit to God’s will. (Which, in fact, was supposedly the Arabic definition of “Islam”)…[people, even mystics do not deal with the question of whether man exerts some control over his life]…I say that the whole description of being asleep is not dealing with that question…consider it in light of how common it is. Just ordinary, down-home religious people, all across the world, all across the calendar of humanity saying that they wish they could turn their life over to God…
22:48 And as good or better than that is the idea of karma tied to reoccurring lives…now you’re boxed in…there are certain influences over which you have no control and about which you have no comprehension….
24:36 Even though people do not discuss the question in the sense I put it to you…do you see what I’m pointing at? [Through submission to God’s will, karma people are] looking — dare I say it? — for some relief that is tied to the question.
26:22 …then God will come into your soul and He’ll override your old bull-headed unprofitable will and His will, His Divine will…which is always profitable…think what a beautiful life you’ll lead…
26:54 Life made the human mind conceive of that and not put it into the question as I say it…
30:28 “I’m not exactly sure why I’m this way, but no, I can’t say it’s completely beyond my control because I do worry about it, I do think about it and I have made some improvements.” People look…for the solution to a problem, but it’s a problem they won’t enunciate.
31:50 Of course, even I am being genteel about it because the question should be “Do you have ANY” [control] .
32:18 I wrote something Friday….I’m going to repeat it…I said that if a prisoner knows for absolute certain that tomorrow he will be shot…there’s a certain benefit because you could then totally relax and fully, unconditionally enjoy today. If the audience was fairly sophisticated wouldn’t you assume that they would take it as a metaphor for something?
34:00 What if I didn’t mean it as a metaphor? Alright, what if I meant it as a hybrid. It’s half a metaphor and then you get up toward another part of the sentence and then it turns into a metaphor…
34:51 The grand revised edition: A prisoner who is given life [sentence]…he is there forever. He could then relax.
35:44 I can’t tell you what I’m really trying to tell you. What would drive a man crazy? (Do I have to hint in the preface beforehand that I’m now specifically talking about trying to achieve enlightenment?)
36:05 What would drive a prisoner crazy?…[to] adopt the position that it’s possible to get out…as long as you believe there’s a possibility of getting out, what could be of greater torment?
37:37 I put it to you another way. What if God, or Buddha or Jehovah or Vishnu or Somebody…even you agnosticrostics, you infidels, what if God has already taken over your spirit and He IS directing your life? [Laughs]
38:15 Based upon my present model in my head, understanding that I know what I’m saying it won’t do you any good to go, “Well, I’ve never gone to church; I don’t believe in that shit.” Yeah, but look at it this way. If He looked at you and decided, “Well, there’s a little spirit or a little heart to come into…how you going to stop Him?? What if He’s in your little heart now and guiding your life?…Maybe He picked out somebody that never asked, like unexpected charity…does anybody know I’m not being funny? Does anybody know what I’m saying?
39:30 Does anybody really think that you’ve changed?….you’ve got to be able to factor [aging] in and then dismiss it…have you actually changed since you started this? Even those of you that have had your major, several satori experiences and all the related minor ones — even with all that, even with understanding damn-near everything that there is to understand, I ask you: Have you really changed?
41:34 That’s the second funniest thing, maybe, to me in the universe, that I’ve ever seen…just the question, “Have I actually changed?”
42:30 I wrote up some more stuff for next time. I was trying to soften you up one more time…Why would a person try to change if they didn’t believe that they had some control over their life? The question seems worthy of no response; doesn’t it? Not so. That is a question among questions. And anything you think about the question is wrong. Anything you think about the question just keeps you from a full comprehension of the question. You’re becoming an expert.
43:50 “Do I have any control over my life,” that’s the question. As soon as you say it, you’ve got to drop it…do not tolerate even the beginning of an answer coming into your entire universe. Stop it, as soon as it peeks over the threshold of reality.
44:24 Well, that’s your story for the night, and I know you’re sticking to it.