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Key words = Don’t explain; don’t complain; regrets
Jan Cox Talk 2554 : July 21, 2000
Copyright Jan Cox, Jan’s Legacy 2014
These notes prepared by DC on 07/26/08 from audio file.
Suggested Title: Can’t Complain
00:03 Something from last time we were here…
[Reads] Much of man’s ordinary mental time is taken up with regrets, remembrances of words and actions which the thinker now regrets. From one perspective you could conclude that by entertaining regrets a man continually reviews his past behavior so as to identify that which was unprofitable so as not to do it again. But make an instant investigation of this matter and ask yourself just how many of the various regrettable memories that pass through your mind do you actually make use of in your ongoing present life? I suggest that you cannot put any firm number on it of any size, and for the simple reason that you cannot say for certain that you even make use of any of them (the regrettable memories, that is.)
01:09 [Reads] Consider more specifically: regrets are limited to the thinking animal, Man. And while the name “regret” could be applied to mentally-based elaborations of physical recollections of some past costly action, when the regret concerns anything that a man has ever done that was not life threatening then it only serves to cloud his mind by feeding it a particular type of non-essential memory that is thoroughly laced with a most indsidious and destructive sham emotion, that is, regret itself.
01:45 [Reads] There is an old dictum that breathes both literally and allegorically: “Don’t complain and don’t explain,” which are but two inseparable partners in a common tango. Which I say is danced to the tune entitled “Regrets”. If you are ever to see to the bottom of things then do not complain about the words and deeds of others which your mind finds regrettable. Then, do not ever explain, which means excuse, words and deeds of your own that you find regrettable.
02:21 [Reads] But it is trickier than just this even, for you should study how this matter plays out entirely within yourself. I.e., you obviously should not try to explain and excuse past actions you now regret to yourself, but it gets even better. You should also come to see that neither should you complain to yourself about anything your mind sends up as regrettable.
02:48 [Reads] The advanced understanding of this business reveals to an alert man the fact that it is meaningless, thoroughly meaningless for him to even regret that he is not permanently awake. I tell you this: An enlightened mind has no regrets.
3:09 Everyone knows — you’ve heard the concept, “Don’t explain; don’t complain”…there are folk heroes that are the living exemplars of this. You could just pass them off as being taciturn. I always think in our lifetime of the John Waynes, the Clint Eastwoods — of a figure who simply says so little that the matter of complaining or explaining doesn’t come into play…
06:40 There is something unheroic…about a man who will complain…and explain in the sense of excusing yourself…
09:29 The complaining part…to me, it fits no idea of a hero…I have seen some of it depicted in movies…
11:58 You could see it, by the way, as depicted by Socrates…as Jesus: “What do you have to say for yourself?” He had nothing to say. Pilate, his judge reads out the charges…
15:10 In both cases, they would be well within their rights to complain; would they not?
15:40 I am tempted to say from a more awakened view that a man would not complain about anything…I can’t see anybody complaining who’s awake. If you understand anything, you won’t complain…What can I tell you? Ask yourself, “What’s the use?” “What’s the point?” You can call it all kinds of things, but what is it besides damned childish whining? If there was something to do about it, you should do something about it. If there’s nothing to do about it, why talk about it?
16:54 One day, this whole thing came back to me: “Don’t explain; don’t complain”…strictly being applied to yourself…
18:04 It hit me that a man should not be explaining himself to himself.
18:32 All attempts to awaken…if you can see it in a certain way, it is all an on-going explanation to yourself OF yourself…but I still say that that dictum is more applicable to us…than to anybody — that a man should not be explaining himself to himself.
22:02 The conscious mind cannot [tell the truth about itself] so any “explanation” that you give — you could be Buddha…any explanation you give yourself…is not true…
22:50 Plus, I ask you again, for those of you who don’t like it, I hope: If you see what I have been saying and realize you’ve spent a lifetime doing it, my question…exactly what good has it done? Exactly what has it accomplished?
23:29 The other side of it…is not complaining to yourself about yourself…beyond any explanations cum excuses about what you’ve done is simply don’t complain about it. If you can do that, then you can ignore the other part…
24:03 As long as you are using the mind and you’re attempting to explain to yourself…if you just wouldn’t complain then there would be no explanation…
25:27 If you could mentally never complain again you wouldn’t be asleep…I guess I’d never see you again…
25:51 Something I mentioned last time…you realize that every complaint that a man has about himself is based upon the unanalyzed…assumption…that there’s something foreign in you. And I ask you again, “Where did it come from?” “How did it get there?” “How can a man be trying to resist some part of himself…without having something unexpected result from it?” “How can you attempt to hold down your thumb with your thumb and not get — eventually, once you wise up — and not find it, shall we say, frustrating?” That it has had unexpected results? That by trying to calm the mind you simply agitate it?
27:20 If you attempt to study yourself ad infinitum you know less and less about yourself. Because eventually what should happen is you realize the folly of what you’re doing and realize that the thing attempting to understand yourself can’t understand ITself. So, how’s it going to understand anything else?
27:50 One other thing: I suddenly saw again…complaining…the mind continually complaining about life, that is being asleep. That is the normal state of the mind, but that is what mystics call “being asleep”.
28:56 [Mystics] keep seeing the state of sleep as being something foreign…something to be cast out…it’s not possible…
29:50 There is nothing more foolish, more asleep, more idiotic than complaining.
32:27 I’ve got to conclude by pointing this out: It’s not just have a complaint — may as well get to the bottom of it, as always, and leave it here. If you have any — even to yourself — comment about things, it’s laughable…Nothing deserves a comment, not unless you want to sleep.
33:22 See, I’m sorry I even made that comment.