Posing Questions is a Package Deal
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Jan Cox Talk 2592 – Oct 16, 2000 TRT = 49 min.
Notes by: TD from mp3 on 3-6-08
Suggested Title: Posing Questions is a Package Deal
Have any of you considered the many things that man’s mind thinks of, that at first blush appear to be potentially important issues/questions for which his mind can produce nothing remotely resembling a conclusive answer? I’m not speaking necessarily of complex scientific theories, but mundane everyday affairs which can be resolved with simple yes or no answers. I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t think of this. If I were to walk around the world pointing this out to people, they should, figuratively, fall to the ground, wriggle spasmodically and get up, fully awake, their minds deregulated.
We have a destiny individually, man knows it and proposes the question “Do I have a destiny?” and can not produce a conclusive answer. Throughout recorded history, be it in myths, teachings or just philosophical reflections, men have effectively asked the question “Does an individual man have a destiny?”. “Are we fated to live a certain kind of life?”. Anyone with anything resembling active consciousness, finds the question, at least momentarily, interesting. Many have found it profoundly interesting to the point where it consumes their entire lives. But the question only draws one of two answers. The human mind proposed the question, it wasn’t the gods who proposed it. No one found it lying on the ground. Conscious thought, after residing in the brains of homo sapiens for a time, came up with a query that strikes everyone throughout their lives.
An incident may happen, it may be necessary for it to come via the force of a physical episode of some trauma, but people are continually confronted with situations where they must ask “why did I behave as I did?” “How could I have operated in such a way as to harm myself?” “I knew better, I even told myself not to do it… its as if I was helpless.” Its similar to ideas of evil spirits, being possessed and the like, not that they’re any worse than any other fairy tale, but ordinary minds take the idea of destiny to be on a higher, more philosophically sound level.
But the idea that each of us has a destiny, a fated role to play, strikes man as not only valid, but far superior to religious notions of being “demon possessed” or having evil spirits guiding your life in nefarious ways. But what if there is just fate? As I said, you can find it all through the Vedic literature, the Greeks, Shakespeare, right up to today. Subconscious psychological influences are another way to try to explain the same thing. As suggested by questions like, “Does a man act as he does because of free will or because he is subject to irresistible subconscious influences, of which he is unaware?”
By now, you should see that all these questions boil down to the same thing, “Who’s in charge here?” “What is running my life?” Everyone knows they have a certain destiny. You know that if you were born a female, you’ll never manage to get somebody else pregnant. If you were born a male you will never give birth to offspring. There are certain irrefutable aspects of a fated life. We’re talking of course about ordinary folk with the predictable balance of X & Y chromosomes, etc. There are genetic anomalies, but for the sake of our discussion… we have gender, race, physiological make up, etc.
So there is the kind of destiny that your genetics dictate. Everyone knows this, but we also live a life in denial of destiny. Instinct of course, is in denial about nothing. Using the model of ‘instinct’ being the area below consciousness, and then there is human consciousness, which we ordinarily take to be ourselves, its what you refer to when you say “I” because it is consciousness saying “I”. Instinct is living by destiny and our mental self is living in denial of destiny.
I decided I would take an oblique approach today, rather than just say that man’s mind lives in denial of destiny, I wanted to point out that man’s consciousness is more subtle and there is more there to be made use of. Consciousness, unlike the other organs in one’s body, says “I have freedom” Lungs on the other hand, can not decide that “today I will choose to breathe some different gasses than usual”. They must breathe the requisite oxygen and nitrogen mix or the body will die. Your body is destined to live its life within very narrow parameters. Consciousness operates primarily by denying that it is fated to operate in a set way. It says “I’ve changed my mind about that”. If I disliked somebody yesterday, I can like them today. Political ideas I once rejected, I can now embrace.
The mind still poses the question, nothing else, just the conscious mind that asks the question, and remember, that part of the brain from which conscious thought emanates is just as dependent on instinct as any other organ. The thing producing the oxygenated blood, etc. that the brain needs to live, has no questions or opinions on whether or not we have a destiny. And so it winds up in the hands of the one thing that can think and talk, and it has the nerve, the stupidity, the greasiness, to ask “do I have a destiny”? “Am I actually playing out an unwritten script”?
Very few people, can withstand the willies that this gives them. I assume you know what I mean when I say willies, I can stand here talking, keeping my balance, trying to remember the thing that I just thought of 30 seconds ago that I wanted to inject into my discourse and it just hits me. Its kind of like, “here I am”, coming to my senses, becoming slightly more conscious and it hits me, “Am I just playing out a script?”
Now I don’t mean it in some philosophical way… Its all just been absolutely scripted. When you do this it just gives you the willies. If you say you’re doing it and you don’t get the willies, then you aren’t doing it. It gives me chills even when I know its coming. I can tell that other humans, going way back now, from Homer to Shakespeare, etc. I can just tell when they are approaching it. I can feel it. “Is our fate in the stars or can we do whatever we want to? Or are we literally just simply players on a stage and too dumb to know it? Or are we even capable of knowing it?” I can just feel it when someone like Shakespeare, gets that close.
Here was this king who gets back to the castle, looking out at the sky wondering what may happen by day’s end. Will he return from the day’s battle? He’s already heard that his brother in law is plotting to kill him. He wonders what to do and then it strikes him, perhaps there is nothing I can do. Before this day is over I may be dead and there’s nothing I can do about it. Why not just resist going to battle and hide in a closet and then when my brother in law shows up, just have the butler tell him I went out? And it strikes him, I’ll not do any of that, I’ll go to the battle and before the days out, I’ll be dead.
All this happens to people in a fraction of a second and the thing that really gives the willies, is that the mind should also think “since I’ve been forewarned with prescient knowledge of my circumstances, what’s to stop me from altering the situation for my benefit”, but at the same time it realizes “I don’t know, but I’m not going to. I’m a dead man…”. Its not usually that extreme, thats just how it commonly shows up in literature. The human mind just can’t dwell on that.
Any sane person’s mind knows that within a certain context of one’s existence, there is an individual, unavoidable destiny. Your size, state of health, color, etc. But then the mind takes it further. Many people’s minds take it much further. De ja vu is a fairly common experience, you all know the feeling associated with this, I suggest to you that this is another example of what I’m talking about. I’ve never heard of any ordinary people or psychologists even theorize about that. I’ve got another one for you, its the mind being aware… ‘this is fate’. Rather than look at it like that though, the mind says “Hey, I’ve been here before”. If you slapped the face of the thought that said that, it would wake up. If you were able to follow that, I’d say you were one of the few people who know what Dejavu is.The rest of the world has only been talking about it for several thousand years now.
I understand that there are neuroscientists who are pursuing that phenomenon to discover where conscious thought comes from. Its such an anomaly, but its so real to people there must be something to it. Its like camouflage, “this is so familiar I think I’ve done it before”. Now wait a minute, thought, the first part, “this is very familiar”, is alright. But why is the only conclusion “I feel like I’ve done this before”. In any case, the experience is so strong that the question continues to hang in the air. I’m sure that some people would speculate “ I’ve thought this before, and the feeling comes from my memory of my previous thought”
The whole possibility is real enough to thought that it strikes you, and the question just hangs in the air. The question of how much our environment and upbringing contributes to our personality development is much the same thing. The mind just keeps trying to hide it, like a warehouse full of boxes that the mind doesn’t want to look in, it keeps moving them around and putting new labels on them. It will pick up a box and just know that that thought was in there last week (for an individual) or 100 years ago (for the collective) and so it changes the label and moves it to the other side of the warehouse. Then it’ll stand there and look at it, and say “there, now we’re getting somewhere”. The part I like the most is that the box is empty anyway.
It is pressing enough on people, that the mind continues asking the question. The mind of man has proposed the question “Are we fated individually, do we all have a scripted life which we are destined to play out? Is that all this is? And as we all know, whenever the mind poses a question, the answer comes always in the form of duality. It has to be yes or no. But the mind can never answer the question satisfactorily.
I can’t believe that that wouldn’t just wake people up. When you consider the fact that there is a handful of questions that both collectively and historically, men have taken to be of grave significance, “is there a god?”, etc. It presents these questions that everyone, in a lucid moment, will agree are very important. “Do you believe in god?” “Well Jeez I don’t know…” “Well brother you better make up your mind, because your eternal fate depends upon it!” Does any one ever stop to think about that one? My eternal fate… (laughs)
I can’t understand how anyone can face this, if they can see just that one thing, and continue to believe they are what their thoughts tell them they are, or that life is what their thoughts tell them it is. The mind says, “If it could be proven that there is a god, the world would change instantly for everybody. If suddenly this voice would ring out across the earth saying “Hello this is God. I’m getting kind of sick of people arguing over whether I exist or not, so look up at the sky!” and then he could turn the sky purple or make it full of stripes. And everyone would ooh and ahh. And the voice would say “I just wanted you to know there is a Me and I’m here, ok? I just wanted you to know”. And the mind says that if this happened, life on earth would never be the same again, for anyone. And thats just not true.
Perhaps now-a-days, it would take some extra terrestrials showing up, but you get what I’m saying, the mind believes that without changing anything in the physical world, the knowledge alone of the existence of god or what have you would change everything irrevocably. And its an absolute lie. The point is the mind thinks up these astounding (to itself) ‘what-if’ scenarios what if there’s a god?, what if there’s extraterrestrials? Its the same thing as saying, what if we’re all just in a play and don’t know it?
And all this shit about me wondering how I’m going to pay the rent or become rich and famous or whether my old girlfriend is ever going to come back to me, what if thats just insanity?
What if there’s a script I’m playing out and part of my script is just to look off stage periodically and deliver a soliloquay about how my life is going down the toilet. What if all that is scripted? I say that that is one of those thoughts that the mind likes a great deal less than speculating about God. Of course to me their all the same.
A man says “I don’t remember ever seeing the script, but sometimes I feel like I’m just playing out a role on a stage.” If it could be proven that playing out a scripted life was all we were doing or even capable of doing, what would be the result of this knowledge? What would any reasonable man’s mind say to that? The same thing it would say if God spoke from the heavens. Wow! Everything is gonna change now. Life will never be the same. And I would like to grab him by the throat and say “Is there anything remotely similar to thinking going on in your head?”
Now you know, that your own thinking, if you had been presented with that scenario, in response to the question; “If it could be proven to everyone, that each and every one of us was doing nothing on our own steam, but simply acting on a stage”, everyone of you, everyone else in the world would say “I can’t imagine… Everything about life would change. Instantly”.
Except, nothing would change.
Whenever the mind poses questions that don’t have anything to do with physical circumstances, the answers are always yes or no. And no one seems to notice, but it can not accept either as satisfactory or definitive answers. But there they are, yes and no, they come with the questions. Its a package deal.