The Internment of Thought
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Jan Cox Talk 2591 – Oct 13 2000
(c) Jan Cox, Jan’s Legacy 2015
Notes by TD 2-23-08
Suggested title: The Internment of Thought
I had written a treatise tonight, finally dismissing thought. (laughs) but before we take so drastic a step, I believe I may be able to reasonably prove the non existence of thought. And I believe that I could make many normal, ordinary, sane people understand it. Until, of course, I point out that I just used thought to prove it.
At any rate, before we irreversibly dismiss thought… I should stop right there… doesn’t it give you the willies to realize that you can not irreversibly dismiss thought? Even if I could prove it to you… Don’t you get it? You would say to yourself, “I’d have never been able to predict that, but I’ll be damned if you didn’t! I no longer believe in thought.” You’re an idiot.
I think it was Hector, the Roman leader who, facing his most formidable enemy, burned the bridge after crossing the river behind his army. He lead everybody across the river and then went back to burn the bridge so that none of his men, once they realized what they were up against, could get away. If thought was anything like that, then I would ask you, “what did that have to do with what I was talking about?”
Before we irreversibly dismiss thought, I wanted to relate a news item, that struck me from last time, that I didn’t comment on. It seemed it would be a good prelude to our final internment of thought. I feel like this would be the moment where a minister or a rabbi, or some other person with a degree from some correspondence school in California, would say “Would someone, who was acquainted with the deceased, (that is, soon to be deceased, Thought) please say a few words?”
And then someone such as a brother in law, or former employer, would fittingly say “I wasn’t particularly close to the deceased, but even from my vantage point, I was close enough to be duly impressed with his exploits.” I consider, that my comment, that struck me, would be that fitting introductory comment to the final dismissal of thought. The news item pointed out that, there has been a long standing idea amongst certain people, those being folks who pass themselves off as being related to us, that have spoken on the matter of trying to get people to do your will.
I assume you all know whom I speak of… Back before the “New Age” terminology era, when the catch term for the myriad activities such as Zen, sufi-ism, belief in any sort of supernatural knowledge and powers was referred to as “occult-ism”. As far back as before the Samarians and Zoroaster, civilians have been interested in ideas about getting other people to do their will, or affect the behavior and beliefs of said people. From the man who wishes to influence women to be more readily available for sex, to one who wishes to get a leg up on his competition, you probably notice that it is the most impotent of them that wish most for these “occult” powers.
This concept has always been around, and orthodox religions, though making a show of trying to suppress it, camouflage it with lip service such as “may god or allah enlighten my enemies to his infinite wisdom and the error of their ways, but in the mean time, may he give me the power to do his will in spite of the stiff-neckedness of their opposition. The believers are trying to live according to their religious precepts, which translates to; I am simply trying to do god’s will by opening this mattress store on 2nd Ave, but, those people across the street who are opening another mattress store are obviously not doing the lord’s work.
So, no offense to them (they’ll make sure that’s said quickly), but may god enlighten them to realize that they should get into some other business (and in a hurry too). If it takes them going bankrupt, well, let god’s will be done. The point is, whether it is hidden or in the open, the instinctive prerogatives of territoriality, dominance, etc. are inherent. But, when it gets into secondary affairs, the manifestation becomes the desire to affect other people’s behavior (typically through their thinking processes).
At any rate, if you could ask all 6 billion people on this planet “If you would like to have the power to make other people do what you want them to do, raise your hand”. I say that 12 Billion hands would go up because every body would be hoping for doubles. Back to the occult idea, this even shows up in things that pass themselves off as schools for awakening, etc. Here is my condensed version of the idea from the numerous traditional sources.
The idea is; that if an individual could let go of their own self centered desires in life, they could affect their own will and that of other people. The general interpretation being, If you strive to be a good (fill in the religion of choice) and you had cleansed your heart (re: your mind) so that you no longer felt that the world revolved around you, then a miraculous thing would happen. Other people would do your will. Now we’re not talking about a lukewarm (fill in the religion of choice), but a real devotee, if you managed to do this, the (god of choice) cosmic forces would be so pleased with you that they (gods) would compel the non-believers with which you must do business or have social dealings, to bend to your will, because unlike theirs, your desires would be righteous.
Behind all of that, there is hard nosed, fundamental reality. If you could be free to not accept those ‘conscious thoughts’. If you had no plans or desires, then everybody would be doing your will. They couldn’t not do your will.
After all, if all preferences are only an illusion, which they are to all but thought itself, a man’s reputation, some one disagreeing with a thought he has would be meaningless. Only thought has any complaint about being disagreed with. If you don’t care what somebody else thinks, says or does, (precluding actions that affect your physical existence) it means nothing.
Suppose that on the other side of the world, half a million people are fighting, killing each other, over some political or religious issue. If you see at all whats going on with life, you wake up a little on some sort of consistent basis and you stop investing energy in things that don’t directly affect your physical, personal existence. I’m speaking of us now, as you know, ordinary people who are simply part of the collective consciousness of man, will feel that “its just terrible, whats going on over there” if they aren’t party to any of the warring factions. And if they happen to be more involved they will be more inflamed. Ordinary people are supposed to be concerned because life itself is concerned.
With us, it may take a week, a month, a year, but you gradually get to the point of realizing that there is no profit in being engaged in the collective thoughts of man. It explains why so few people become actively involved in this, because from the standpoint of humanity, you’re supposed to feel concerned that strangers on the other side of the world are killing each other over issues that don’t even make sense from your cultral perspective. The more civilized you are, the more concern you feel over things that have no pertinence to your life directly. There are cosmologists out there who will expound on why the universe is doomed, so if you’re going to worry about something…(laughs)
If your experience is such that you are no longer totally captive to the collective mind of man, then you already have decreasing interest in matters that don’t impact you directly. You don’t argue when you hear about religions fighting each other, you don’t stop and try to decide whether you should add this to your list of concerns or not. When you get to the point where you can’t be bothered by what anyone’s thoughts are about you, they can’t not do your will. That’s the alchemists’ goal. The holy grail. If you have no expectations, you don’t measure what other people do or say or think, you just don’t care. You don’t walk out to the creek and see water perpetually rolling over this one stone and think to yourself, “That poor stone, in time the water will wear it right away”. That’s just the way life is.
Its not a philosophy that you can adopt, it just happens. The more you see what life is, the less you care about collective matters. As a matter of fact, as you experience success, you discover that you’d prefer to move away from other people who do care about such matters. And as you
become more awake, an even better thing happens, you begin to look at your own thoughts in this way. I mean, someone might catch you napping and sneak up on you and say something like “did you hear so and so said this about you?” and next thing you know your thoughts are bristling.
But that transient anomally aside, your state, due to your understanding of life is indifferent to anything any other human can think or say.
I say, if you look, that happens before anything similar happens inside your own head. I would assume that most of you have an experience based understanding of what I’m saying. That there has been a gradual realization in your life that less and less do you care about people on the other side of the world fighting over some obscure idea, or whether someone else is talking about you like a dog. If you can see it, the sweetest extension of this is what happens when you start looking at your thoughts with the same indifference. What if you could have that attitude toward yourself? In my experience it does not happen in parrallel, it does not track, and it does not seem at all out of place.
For me to find fault with my sleeping mechanical thoughts, that same old meaningless redundant horse shit that flows through my mind, and never mind that I don’t feel anything about what other people say about me, this annoyance with my mind seems perfectly at home.
From my observation and lifelong experience, a person can begin to understand to the degree where he can, with some effort, remove himself from his usual plugged in state with the collective thought of man. He is more awake then those around him, etc., and yet, he will still be as opinionated and biased & condemnatory about his thinking as he used to be about everyone else’s.
I simply see life at work. There is an automatic, worldwide thought organism, a floating thought cloud of which all ordinary men are a part. They’re all plugged in, as with an invisible wire, a potential line between you and everyone else. You also have active lines going on between your lover, family, friends and the people you associate with everyday, etc. But, lets say that you have established your own understanding and it lifts you beyond the usual concerns about what people think about you, etc. and yet, you can still be at that dumb, unenlightened level about what your brain, inside your head thinks. And it seems alright, until someone points it out to you.
I had no one to point it out to me… I don’t want to go into how upset I was about how long it took, but it took me many years before I could point it out to me. Why would I not try to use it? Why is it that this doesn’t hit a person? Why is this so difficult? Why is it so much more difficult for this attitude to be a reality in you, about yourself, when it has characterized your approach to other people for so long a time?
Why is, what is said and thought in your brain, which you did not initiate… just generic conscious thought… I mean, there’s no difference between whats going on in your head and whats going on in everybody else’s head, except of course that its your head. Everyone thinks that whats going on in their head is special. There are 6 billion people thinking that. People such as us, even if we’ve got control of our vanity, believe that whats going on in our heads is a bit out of the ordinary, a bit special. That’s reasonable, because when we’re not sleeping, we see what’s happening in our heads, as well as everyone else’s heads, is utterly meaningless. What I say, what I say I believe, what I think, are all meaningless.
Other people, what they say and think, its just life driving them, they’re just the local outlet for life.
But it seems that I’m special, for no other reason, than that I can see that. We exempt our own brains without realizing it and it makes sense. Its not about feeling superior, only different.
In an impartial way, we can look at what other people say and what they say they think, and see that it bears no direct relationship to reality. That alone would seem to separate us from the rest because those people don’t realize it and we do realize it. I may not be awake, but that much I know. So what goes through my mind is mostly garbage as well, but immediately, I have exempted myself, from the mass of humans because at least, I can see that.
If you were more awake, why would not your attitude be “I don’t care about any thought, anywhere”. In that part of your brain that talks, it thinks, it says things and it talks. The same as the 6 billion other people around you on this planet. Why is not, an awakened man’s attitude at least more in concert with his understanding about the rest of the world? No offense, I just wanted to brag, but if I hadn’t brought it up, probably nobody’d have thought of it that way. Because it seems so right, “I’m still fighting the goods fight”. “I’m struggling against this non-stop criticism, etc.”.
This brings me back to getting others to do your will. Because we keep struggling to make our conscious thoughts do our will. Wake up you idiots! Quit whining! How can you be in my head?
After all, a decent person like me, someone who’s tried so hard to awaken? We keep trying to bend our unconscious mind, our sleeping selves, to our will. And our will is to be more awake and stop all of this noise. But what if you were as indifferent to what was going on in your head as you were to what was going on in life? Would not then everything in your head be doing your will?