Jan Cox Talk 2545

The Disappearing Buddha Mind


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Condensed Transcript

Jan Cox Talk # 2545 : June 30, 2000
Copyright Jan Cox, Jan’s Legacy,  2008.
These notes prepared by DC on 2/9/2008 from audio file.

Suggested title : The Disappearing Buddha Mind

Begin:  First what I wrote for this auspicious occasion…I have one of these small storage sheds that I bought full of this stuff…and I just go in…and pull out five or six pages…

00:44  (Reads) One mother reprimanded her children with such regularity that all she had to do was open the door to their room and look in and they would all stop what they were doing and in unison say, “Yes, Mama, we know who we are and we know what we did.”  The well known Von Trapped family, made famous in the movie, “The Sound of Self Confinement.”

01:34  And now some news from cosmology:  The universe is large enough to contain everything.  Except one thing.

01:51  Headline:  Some Reasons Why the Mind Is So Difficult To Control.
The mind never stops and it’s hard to find someone who can stay awake long enough to watch it all the time.  Thoughts chase thoughts.  Thoughts have no home base at which to stay.  Your mind automatically attracts thoughts.  Your mind enjoys thoughts.  Nothing can control the mind except thoughts, but they’re the very things of which the mind solely consists.  And lastly, the mind doesn’t WANT TO BE CONTROLLED!  And I have no idea who it was that ever told man that it should or could be.  These are just a few of the reasons that the mind is so difficult to control.

02:56  As you may have noticed, I left out the reason having to do with a closed system.  Which is far too obvious…and incendiary.

03:09  One man pondered, “Is self criticism a function of the primary realm, or of man’s secondary one?”  And after much consideration of this question one fact did finally strike him clearly:  “I never feel any self-directed criticism when I am fully under the influence of hunger, fatigue or sexual arousal.  Hmmmm…”, he mused, “Hmmm….”

03:49  Any new effort to change will uncover new sources of resistance to change.  I remind you:  To clear off one area you must litter another one.  The belief in uncontaminated change is the view of but one rider on one end of a see-saw.  And a sleeper never realizes that he rides both ends.

04:15 The controlling facts in this matter are as follows:  Nothing affects anything else.  Everything affects everything else.  Nothing makes any difference at all.  Everything always makes some difference.  Nothing matters.  And, everything matters.  And this is better than a Chinese menu for you do not have to make a selection from the above list;  they all come to your table automatically.

04:50  An enlightened man does not go from here to there.  What happens is that he tries to clean off ‘here’ and when the dust settles it’s over ‘there’ — same dust, same man, different spatial perception.

05:18  People involved in a system for change are not involved with what the system says that they are.  (Sorry about that.)

05:32  A somewhat poetic parallel is posited between man’s primary and secondary worlds via this offering by one chap.  “What good is it to have a wiener without having a woman or to have a woman without having a wiener?  What good is it to have a mind without having a plan or to have a plan without having a mind?  Are any of you now beginning to have hot flashes concerning the lip-lock twixt illusionary self criticism and the reality of living in a closed system?

06:18  A boy asked his father, “What’s worse than believing that something’s wrong with you?”  And the elder replied, “Believing someone else when they tell you that something is wrong with you.”  The boy pondered this for a moment then said, “Really?”  And the old man said, “No, not really.”  “So, why did you tell me that?” asked the boy.  And his father replied, “Because you are obviously wanting support for your condemnation of yourself for believing that something’s wrong with you and  I just figured I’d fuck it up a bit.”  “Thanks, Dad.”

07:04  If you did not take your thoughts to be you, you would not take yourself to be asleep.

07:14  One man says, “When I read the words of another, I take a fictional dream journey in my mind.  When I read the thoughts in my own head, I take what I perceive to be a non-fictional one.  Ah, perception.”

07:40  After years of going from one expensive mystical teacher to another, one man finally settled on a cut-rate dominatrix.  Self criticism stripped to the bone, you might say.

08:14  And now a reading from our Book of Deep, Deep Thinking:
The first philosopher said, “I had no CD’s and felt sad till I met another man who had no CD’s either but who also had no hearing.  Then I felt greatly ashamed of myself.
And the second philosopher said, “What are you, nuts?”
That was from the chapter entitled,  “The More You Understand About the Bicycle of Self Criticism the More Difficult It Is to Keep It Upright.”

09:05  A boy asked his father, “Is there a place in this life for a man who’s achieved the enlightenment?”  To which his father replied, “Where else could he be but in this life?”

09:20  A boy asked his father, “Is there a place in this life for a man who has awakened?”  And his father replied, “Yes. In the same place with the sleeping.”

09:35  After declining repeated requests that he write his biography, one man explained, “I’m afraid if I did that I’d one day read it and believe that that is actually the kind of guy I am.”

09:53  Anything that anyone says is true and anything that anyone says is also false.  Ergo,  where is the need or benefit in your saying anything?

10:07  The most startling though unrealized fact regarding self criticism is not that it is useless but that it is illusionary.  It doesn’t exist.  Self criticism is simply not possible.

10:30  One day while ruminating on that certain subject one man said to himself, “It’s no actual disgrace to not realize what’s going on — but it probably should be.”

10:50  Rushing in breathlessly one man says, “I may have stumbled on something quite useful.  I just realized that I can focus my thoughts on things of the mind or keep them on things physical.  And you probably are going to have to look into this matter for yourselves, but as for me I’m telling you:  the practical implications of this have proved most surprising.  Related to this, you might be interested to know, is a law in a nearby alternative local reality which says that you can either think from your mind or think from your crotch and that none but the enlightened can do both in the proper proportions.  And another law states that it cannot be stated as to what are the proper proportions.

11:46  And that certain father again said to that certain homebody son, “I’m telling you, you ought to get out more often.”

11:58  And by the way, let’s try to get one particular matter cleared up once and for never:  The only evidence that a man is fully and permanently awake would be that he now  never thinks about being asleep.  And don’t say to yourself, “I don’t get it.”  No one who thinks about it gets it.

12:24  Corollary:  A man who actually knows what he’s doing related to the struggle to awaken doesn’t actually know anything related to what he’s doing.  You can think from the mind or perhaps from someplace else.

12:48  And finally, one lazy summer day as Life was just lounging around, it looked at itself and thought, “God, but I’m putting on weight!” then similarly thought, “What the hell am I doing?  I can’t get away from me to look at me and tell whether I’m putting on weight or not.  Good God!  Am I losing my mind?:

13:16  So much for local self criticism, boys and girls, straight from the universe’s mouth.

13:25  Those of you who were here last time and whose memory spans temporal areas in excess of forty-eight hours will recall that I was speaking about self criticism…

14:46  Past a certain point, self criticism not only is useless but is actually a hindrance.

15:24  If an ordinary man actually realized that self criticism is not useful and in fact is a hindrance, an ordinary man would be awake.

16:47  The most startling thing about self criticism is not what I told you last time…here’s the real startling part.  It’s not possible.

17:48  …self criticism is obviously possible;  that you can do it anytime you choose…to say that self criticism doesn’t exist;  what kind of metaphor is that?

18:32  This is not really metaphorical.  Self criticism doesn’t exist…

19:47  Ruminate.  Reflect.  I’m tellling you, it does not exist.  There is no such thing.

20:13  Counting tonight, for the last three nights in the News I have thrown in a story wherein Life did something…during a lull, Life in some way reflected on itself and in every instance immediately went, “What the hell am I doing?  I can’t reflect on myself.”

21:17  If the universe itself were a living thing…this universe cannot look at itself…how’s it going to stand outside of itself and take a look?

22:50  The universe itself could not engage in self criticism…to be critical of yourself you have to have the awareness of some other possible state…the universe has no other universe…How could the universe be critical of itself?  On what basis?  Compared to what?  There is no what…

24:10  You might think that…when we get to a more local level…that self criticism is possible…there is no such thing as self criticism in spite of the fact that

25:19  If you clean up one area…within a closed system…is to rearrange dirt…does anybody understand I’m talking about the struggle to awaken?

26:51  A closed system is a closed system.  It’s only sleeping consciousness…local consciousness…to be asleep, to be ordinary you have local consciousness.  You have consciousness of you;  you’re the center of the universe.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be…It’s you and then there’s the rest of life…that there’s a division.  Whereas there is no division.  That is local consciousness.  That is individual consciousness.  It is the normal workings of the mind…it’s the only way that the mind can work.  The only way that the mind can do anything efficient…is based upon the fact that the possessor of said mind is not the same thing as Life…under ordinary conditions it is a necessary impression…

28:46  But how can you be separate from Life?…Ordinary people do not make such distinctions between owls and Life, and trees and Life…[ecology]…the human mind perceives humans as being apart from the environment…there’s…no greater verbal description of what being asleep is than that, that you’re apart from Life.

30:47  And it’s not some simple mental error;  it’s not some mistake that’s been made; it’s not the result of some adverse influence in your upbringing.  The mind feels itself apart…you become conscious…that’s one of the great uses of the idea of a fall from grace…the expulsion from paradise…in paradise…you were one with Life, but when you ate of the forbidden fruit, which is just a way of saying when men became conscious, the mind became active — pfft — it was out of there for you.   That is, men then felt as though “What happened?” They felt like, “I’m outside the Garden…”

31:59  The mind feels as though it stands apart, and in one sense it does…

33:51  It is only…by being in the state where you feel apart from Life that you can experience, that you will engage in self criticism.  It doesn’t exist.  When you do it, you are dealing with something that is illusionary.

34:37  …you know that you have self criticism…try and consider…that self criticism is an illusion…it’s very important to people like us…if you’re not feeling self criticism of some sort then that means one of two things.  You’re either wide awake, or you’re an idiot….just repeat it to yourself is my strong suggestion — that self criticism is an illusion.  It does not exist.  The reality of everything, the reality of what This is, the reality of Life is, is right there in that…

37:54  A man went to see a reputed awakened master.  He went in and he set down and he says, “I want to know one thing…am I asleep?”   And the guy said, “Yes.”  He says, “Can you tell me how long I’ve been asleep?”  He says, “Oh, just a couple of seconds.”

3862  How does anybody ever know they’re asleep?  How did you first come to the conclusion you’re asleep?…

42:30  You’re not asleep until somebody tells you you are, until you hear about it.

42:54  The struggle to do this is to achieve Buddha mind.   Then I can say, “Everybody has Buddha mind, until you hear about it.  Then, you don’t have it.”

43:59  When [Buddha] was asked, “How do you achieve enlightenment?”…he said, “Well, there’s nothing to it;  you already have it.”  And then I wait for the rest of it…what he left out was, “Not only do you have it, but you had it and were doing okay until you heard about it, and then you lost it.”…Even if that makes no sense…just pretend for a second it does and then right quick before you can get over it…try to think what I said that self criticism doesn’t exist…or, if you need to slip up on it, that it’s useless…

45:48  At least you can start off trying to consider why would I say that it serves no purpose?…Reconsider:  Have you actually changed at all..factoring in the mechanical flow of aging…have you actually changed at all, through your own effort, from trying to awaken?

46:44  It takes a man pretty well into a dream, if not a full-fledged stupor, to say “Certainly” to anything.

47:23  There’s an old story I’ve been holding in reserve;  I just made it up.  A guy had been at some school for awakening for a number of years.  One day the head, great and wise, enlightened, awakened pooh-bah sage called him in and says, “I understand you had a birthday one year, so my present to you is, after all these years, I’ll answer questions for you personally.”…

51:10  When I thought of that, this one thing, that self criticism doesn’t exist, that was one of the realizations that really helped me.

51:27  It’s the other side of self criticism…how would the universe tell itself something?  How would it teach itself something?

53:00  How did I come up with something I didn’t know?  How?

54:40  “You thought of something that you didn’t know before?”  “Yes.”  “And so, in a sense, you taught yourself something.”…”Yes.  I do that a lot.”…”You taught yourself something that you didn’t know.”  “Well, yeah, kind of.”

56:24  This ignorance about that fact, now that you understand it, where did that ignorance go?…You know where it went?  You dusted off the kitchen and it went into the bedroom…

57:02  There is no place for anything to go…what people call change is rearrangement.

58:25  I repeat, to be ordinary, to retain any semblance of walking-around sanity you must believe that you have some control over your life.  I say amongst others there is no better definition of being asleep, deluded and absolutely captive…