Jan Cox Talk 2861


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July 8, 2002 © 2002: JAN COX


In silence, just before dawn, cups in hand, they had walked out into the woods behind their house, and were sitting on stumps, sipping and watching the sky slowly light up, when the elder finally spoke:
“You should be old enough now to bear up under big boy talk.
From one view,
there is absolutely nothing of substance that any man can ever say about man;
you can speak practically and profitably about the environment out there,
with supportive concrete examples,
but about himself — in here —
nothing that man has ever said thereabout means anything,
nor accomplishes anything –
not metaphorically, or allegorically, but simply and literally:
nothing that man can say about himself has any significance,
nor serves any purpose (other than providing the entertainment of story telling).
As always, I could note that what he is presently doing in this regard might be preparation for some future ability, but man has been practicing in this matter now for well over six thousand years with no progress yet discernible — so…………………………

If you listen at a certain angle, all of man’s talk about himself is about motivation;
it is the sounds his brain makes in search there for concerning himself.
Men commonly say that they want to, know-themselves, or to come-to-grips-with-themselves, or to-learn-to-love-themselves-for-what-they-are,
or to discover-the-purpose-of-their-life, but what they are saying at root is:
“What motivates me individually to be as I am?” and to that quizzer –

no human has ever uttered a word that means anything whatsoever.

Stroll through a university campus:
over there in the Science buildings men are talking about the motivations of materials, tangible objects in the environment outside of themselves
(the actions of elements, atoms, cells, and stars),
and over there in the Arts departments, wherein if something resembling essential
instruction was the object, there would simply be musical students playing music, and would-be painters painting, but rather, while there is some of that,
there is a great deal more of talking thereabout — specifically of the motivation behind the desire for artistic expression,
and then finally over there, the Social Science classrooms wherein, under a variety of titles, men are talking about one thing only — human motivation;
that is all they talk about, and about it — no human knows anything.
No man has the slightest clue, not the smallest shred of probative evidence,
yet the collective minds of all mankind are made to the fact — collectively blind;
men are caused to say that they do in fact — know the motivation for their life,
or at least have well grounded theories which are continually becoming more sustainable, and they cannot be told or shown otherwise (since they obviously are not intended to be — since obviously if they were — they would not be as they presently be),
but I say to you, same-neurons-as-my-genes — the human mind (that function of the brain men call consciousness and thinking) has no knowledge whatsoever of what the motivation is for the life of the invisible person apparently inside of them,
and I repeat: not even a little piece of knowing — not any close theory.
What any man’s mind knows about the motivation for his life is non existent;
if there is a particular place in the brain where this knowledge is being stored,
the place is not only empty, but the place itself is not even there.
I am speaking in redundancy for emphasis, since there is nothing more that can be said beyond the fact that no human mind has any knowledge at all regarding
the motivation for the life they live and the things they think.”

The elder stood up, walked over and leaned backside on a tree.
“From a view within a view, you could say that a sizable part of the motivation
of the collective life of ordinary man is his effort to know the motivation.

There is no doubt: the common wiring and construction of the human brain does not allow it to realize plainly that it has no idea what the motivation of its life is;
there are surely men who can say such a thing, but just as surely —
their mind will not understand what was said;
the ordinary thinking of normal, intelligent men is demonstratively incapable of grasping the reality of them not having any knowledge whatever of what motivates what they do and what they think — indeed, if such could somehow be
forced on an ordinary man’s mind it would (to employ common parlance) — drive him mad.
The mind and thinking of everyday humans is not in any manner fashioned to
realize this — just the opposite:
normal, sane men have thinking which says they either do know the motivation
in their life, or that they are in the active process of discovering same:
that is man’s routine mental condition, and it is against that that our family (you and I) have spent our life struggling……….but of which directly, you remain mostly oblivious.”

The old man sat back down on a fallen tree, facing the younger.
“I am well aware that you have never been much smitten by
my description of the goal of all this being: the-mind-trying-to-comprehend-itself,
and I could certainly have offered alternatives,
but the common marketplace is already replete therewith —
all of the good and useful ones were long ago conscripted,
and via pointless employment, mangled beyond redemption thereof.
But were that not the case, we could say that what is at the very bottom of
those of us who want to get to the bottom of things — wanting to is:
which implies the presence of something intangible within man besides thought,
which would lead common tongues to likely exclaim — spirit — or perhaps, soul,
but in any case, words-&-ideas already such a standard, mindless part of
mankind’s routine vocabulary as to be useless for our assuredly non routine goal.
Your reluctance to fully embrace my description of this activity being totally about
the mind is not without foundation,
but it would be equally misspeak and misdirection should the aim of this activity be described as: the-mind-trying-to-comprehend-man’s-spirit, or soul,
but if my words today ring to you, and you care for an alternative, here is one:
what this is all about is: your-mind-trying-to-grasp-what-is-motivating-you,
indeed in several ways it is preferable — except that it is easier to initially misconstrue than the one of: the-mind-trying-to-comprehend-itself,
which has the native ability to more readily disorient the mind and discourage it from instantly lapsing into saying (as would be its proclivity were the word, spirit or soul used
instead of, mind): “I already know the answer to that.”
There is something inherently discombobulating to the mind regarding all ideas of it trying to deal directly with itself,
which is in fact the reason for it inventing the concepts of, soul, spirit, even god,
so that even while it is actively in the midst of attempting to grasp itself
it can do it whilst pretending to be doing something else entirely.”

The father drained his cup: “Which offers another intriguing poser;
who exactly is the mind intending to fool with this? —
who is available for it to fool?”

He stood, and leisurely stretched, with face to the ever brightening sky.
“Once you get more zeroed in on what this activity is actually about,
the clearer it is that what interests us and what we in truth attempt to do,
would drive ordinary people crazy —
which, from one view, you could conclude is why their innate thinking is that they already know the answers to everything we start out searching for;
our minds try to grasp what is motivating our life — they already know what it is,
and thus by knowing — save themselves the risk of going crazy by looking for it.”

He winked at himself in that secret mirror & thought, as he started back to the house:
“If this was any more fun — I couldn’t bear it alone.”