Jan Cox Talk 3112

Reminiscing Is Ruinous to Awakening


The following recordings are from Jan’s final years, when his voice was diminished and he spoke in a low whisper. Some listeners may find these tapes hard to listen to, or difficult to understand. Thus, as another option, read the transcript below.

Otherwise, turn up the volume and enjoy! Those who carefully listened to Jan during this period consider that he spoke plainly and directly to the matter at hand, “pulling out all the stops,” as he understood that these were to be his last messages to his groups, and to posterity.

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Edited Transcript = See Below
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Notes by TK

All animals require an immediate physiological input to experience fear. Humans can fear w/o a sensory input via memory of frightening experiences. It is the basis of human stress syndromes. Remembered-fear has survival value; it guides future behavior in similar conditions. Animals too have this faculty but it is instinctual recall, not intellectual remembrance.

Human remembered-fear can have adverse physical affect. “Reminiscing is the ruination of life”. Whereas, remembrance of ideas is fine, it is the recall of feeling-emotion that is detrimental. Of what value to Life is the non-sensory fear reaction in man? Is it to evaluate if there are any kinds of such remembrance that have any redeeming use for survival? Still, for the Few, reminiscing is ruinous to awakening. (31:38) #3112


02-23-2004   #3112
Edited by SA

Man is the only animal that does not require a physiological basis to experience feelings that are essential to survival. For any other animal to experience fright, which is probably the most important emotion in all of life, the animal must see, smell, or hear something to trigger that fright. For an animal to touch or taste something that causes it to fear is unlikely, because most animals won’t let danger get that close. Nevertheless, for any animal other than man to be frightened, there must literally be something at that moment that the animal takes in through its senses. There must be a physiological, a sensual basis for the animal’s fear.

Only humans can remember a feeling. Only humans can remember a frightening experience, or think about one that might occur in the future. A man can think about something that would be dangerous, and instantly undergo the same physiological changes that would occur if the man were actually exposed to something frightening.

The point is, we experience things physiologically without having a physical basis for the experience. This is interesting, because the outcome is, according to publicly presented information, that the majority of the beds in hospitals in the Western world are filled with people who suffer from emotional problems and mental illnesses. To what purpose could things be so arranged?

Increasingly, experts from geneticists to psychiatrists say that stress is the most common cause of man’s mental and emotional ills. And what is stress? Stress is having your system queued up for a dash to safety, as though you had actually been frightened by the appearance of some wild animal. You may be a stockbroker in Manhattan, and very seldom do you see lions and tigers in the street, but your job-related stress is experienced in the same way, and has the same result on your body, as a prolonged state of fright. It is exactly as though you were chained to a wall somewhere, and there was a hungry tiger chained just out of reach, that kept jumping at you and seemed to be getting closer and closer.

The stress that your body suffers produces terrible effects. Stress breaks down your immune system and wreaks all sorts of havoc on your body. Stress can weaken you so much that you might not be able to withstand your body’s normal bacteria. That kind of stress would be very likely to eventually kill you.

Why, then, would Life let this situation develop? Why is Life allowing this? Why does Life do this? It might strike you that thinking about frightening experiences could serve a very distinct purpose. Because humans are able to mentally experience fear so real that it actually affects our nervous systems, we can prepare for defending ourselves against dangerous situations in the future. That sounds fine, except for one small problem—other animals do the same thing without thought.

You can’t burn a dog but once. You might be able to trick the dog into getting close enough to a fire that he burns his paw, but that dog will never approach that close to a fire again. If you gave him a gulp of garlic water, then the next time you poured out some garlic water, he wouldn’t drink it. In other words, the dog does not have to sit around in his spare time and recall the taste of all the horrible, and perhaps dangerous, substances he may have been exposed to in his life. The dog instinctively avoids those things. He instinctively learns from sensual experience. All animals learn from sensually unpleasant or dangerous experience. Once they have tasted something that made them sick, or once they have heard a noise that they’d never before heard and immediately were attacked, they learn to avoid similar experiences.

The animal has a physical, sensual relationship with the frightening experience, rather than an intellectual memory. Instinct guides the animal to respond appropriately to an experience that it’s had before, so you can’t say that Life’s purpose in allowing men to remember unpleasantness and fearful matters is to help them prepare for danger.

Let’s say that a few years ago, you went to the doctor with some complaint, and it turned out that your condition was so serious that it almost killed you. Two or three years later, you have similar feelings, similar symptoms. Days could go by between the time you experience the symptoms and the time of your appointment with your doctor. During those days, you could become ill from the stress of worrying, from the stress of your ideas. Why? You’ve already made a doctor’s appointment. There’s nothing more you can do.

To what purpose does Life have us recall unpleasant ideas? Regarding real, physical danger that we experienced in the past, we are essentially the same as all other animals. If the danger was actually caused by something we did, by something that we experienced through the senses, then our bodies, our instincts, everything other than thought, will remember that danger. We don’t need the thought.

I present to you again the question, to what purpose do we remember ideas that upset our nervous systems, cause prolonged stress, reduce the strength of our immune systems, make us more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, and put us in the hospital? It’s got to be over a million times that I have said not to worry about things that have already happened. I’ve said that there is absolutely no point to worrying about insulting things you said to a dead friend or relative, or things that a dead relative said to you, and that worrying about things in the past that you can’t do anything about is a complete waste of time. Even if the unpleasant memory just fatigues you, just makes you lose your appetite, to what purpose does Life do this?

We were talking about people being able to experience things physiologically without the benefit that  all the other creatures need of a sensual accompaniment. You can suffer fear without seeing anything that causes fear. I first said that this happened because we can think about fearful things, but I just realized that I can be more accurate. The problem is not that we think about fearsome things, but that we remember fearsome things. In my first example, you were waiting for your upcoming doctor’s appointment, and thinking, “I wonder if my Groover’s Syndrome has come back?”

It has suddenly struck me that reminiscing is the ruination of life. It’s not as if you are projecting into the future in some pristine manner unconnected to your past. What you’re doing is reminiscing. You can’t think about anything fearful unless you’re remembering something fearful. The term for this just hit me, and it’s now my brand-new favorite expression. Here it is in its entirety: “Reminiscing is the ruination of life. Remembering ideas is fine. Remembering feelings will kill you.” As always, when it comes to problem-solving that has to do, directly or indirectly, with survival, then there is never a negative side-benefit. If you are problem-solving about the conditions of the universe, about material matters, there is nothing that will depress you, or that will in any intangible, spiritual, emotional, intellectual way, do you any harm.

Not only will remembering ideas not do you any harm, remembering ideas is an imperative, or else the whole point of consciousness would be lost. If the first guy to invent the wheel didn’t remember what he’d done and pass his knowledge on, nobody would have benefited but him. That would have been extremely inefficient, because everybody else on the planet would have had to invent the wheel for himself.

The practical benefits of consciousness, of human thought, would be greatly diminished were it not for the ability to reminisce about ideas. Let’s say you hear somebody complain about something in their physical environment, and you say, “Hey, I had that same problem a few years back, and here’s what I did, and that fixed it.” That’s fine. But what good does remembering emotions do?

Don’t say, “It’s good to remember something that hurt you.” If it pained you to touch Thing X over there, if Thing X knocked you to your knees and rendered you unconscious, it would not be unusual for your mind to operate retroactively in such a way that you won’t consciously remember touching Thing X—but you’ll never touch Thing X again. Thought does not have to be involved. You will instinctively, you will non-consciously, you will physically remember not to ever touch Thing X again.

I’m saying flat-out that reminiscing about emotions is not good. Let’s say you’re an ordinary person, and you’re standing on a street corner by a church. People come pouring out of the church wearing black armbands, so they’re obviously leaving a funeral. You’re waiting for the light to change so you can cross the street, and you hear a man sobbing. He’s saying, “I hate funerals, because they remind me of my mother’s death, and that hurt me so bad, I have never fully recovered.”

There you stand, the light’s still red in your direction, and your mind starts listening to the guy who’s crying. You’re listening because you’re nosy, or because your mind has nothing else to do. Your mind, not your instinct, is what understands what’s happening. You hear “mother” and “funeral” and immediately you know what he’s talking about, and your consciousness starts focusing on that. Your mind starts reminiscing about your mother’s death. Perhaps you remember that, at her funeral, you threw yourself across her casket and cried for the first time in your adult life.

It’s a sunny day, you were feeling fine, but suddenly your emotions are causing you to have a physical reaction to a non-physical influence. You are now feeling fearful, sad, miserable. Psychologists would say that you’re now feeling stress. We normally come out of that kind of stress within a few seconds, because that’s how the mind’s attention seems to work. Your attention could be on something very serious, and your mind might suddenly jump away to something totally frivolous.

There’s nothing instinctive about what your mind is doing while it remembers your mother’s funeral. Your mind knows that the people you hear talking are all involved with their own business. They’re not about to attack you. While your mind listens to the people, your body, your instincts, ignore them. Because we can multi-task in a way that no other creature can, your instinctive hearing is noting the sound of cars in the street. Your instinctive attention focuses on watching for the light to change, so that you can cross the street safely.

At any rate, let’s say that you are thinking about something as dramatically, emotionally impacting as your mother’s death was. There you stand, listening to a man you don’t know talking about a dead person you never met, and you are undergoing the same kind of stress, the same kind of useless diminishing of your immune system and increase in your adrenaline and your heart rate as you felt when your own mother died, or as you would feel if you were about to be run over by a car. You have undergone an emotional experience that did not in any way serve a beneficial purpose. Medicine and science say that feeling those emotions, even at second hand, is detrimental.

To return to my question, why does Life do this to us? I could propose that Life is trying to learn which types of recall of feelings can help Life survive, and which types of recall are useless. If Life knew that, then it could cause us to stop remembering useless feelings such as past sadness unconnected to any present danger. That could be one possible purpose of reminiscing, but then I’d have to remind you that Life has had six thousand years to work on this, which makes me wonder about the disparity between our conception of time, and Life’s conception of it.

Even without entertaining the question of our disparate senses of time, I present you my considered conclusion, which is that reminiscing is the ruination of life. Unless, as I said, the remembering is about ideas and not feelings. If the reminiscence comes about because of a non-sensual reality, if the recollection is triggered by mental pictures, then any negative feelings that may follow are useless.

Can you name any exception to my statement? Of course, this is among people like us, not ordinary people, but can you think of any type of reminiscing that’s of any benefit to your individual life? That’s the easy version. Don’t look any further—unless you want to.

The real version is that recalling any feelings is the ruination of life. With that statement, I can finally and completely wipe the dust, the grime, the smell off your hands of all reminiscing. Reminiscing is the ruination of every man’s life, so stop bringing up personal anecdotes about your glorious past. Stop telling war stories that highlight the kind of wonderful guy you are. All memory has “I” somehow at its center. There is no type of recollection that is better, or less questionable, than other types. All reminiscing about feelings, whether the feelings are positive or negative, is the ruination of life.

Reminiscing is the ruination of life—that’s the kind of statement I find grand, because I know it’s true, and I know it’s impossible in operation. Nobody in the world, including my own natural-born mind, will put up with refusing to ever, under any circumstances, recall any past feelings, good as well as bad. No ordinary, sane mind on this planet, no one who’s ever lived, would accept that all reminiscing equals ruination. I love that statement. It’s impossibly dogmatic and sane. I’m sure that ordinary minds would say, “Ah, come on. That can’t be true.” Yet it is.

Jan’s Daily Fresh Real News (to accompany this talk)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Putting For The Few, The “In” Back In: “Intangible Environment.”
February 23, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX

Life wants everyone to soon settle-down and play their appropriate role,
and with hippos for instance: there is no problem: they are born being hippos,
and that is the end of that — but with man! — ah yes: But with man! — WELL! —
we all know what comes into play in his case, huh?!

Time, Space, Man And Reality.
The mind’s natural domain is the temporal.
“Is this why most people’s thoughts have so little maneuvering room?”
That is one way of looking at it.
“Hold it! — I don’t want: ‘one’ way of looking at anything — I want THE — real,
and only correct way of looking at everything!”
Thus is man’s natural mind, and by so being, does it never see things as they
wholly are since (in the mental realm): no matter what you naturally believe you see — there is always another a view of it; it is always possible to see one more facet
of whatever it is you are mentally handling.
To be (as ‘tis sometimes called): asleep —
is having your consciousness confined to a world of time:
a place where your thoughts see all things existing and working serially;
waking-up (as is often labeled)
is having your consciousness freed from this normal confinement.

One man asked: “Which is the most grinding to hear:
an elected official speak, who must be constantly courting favor with his listeners,
or a dynastic ruler, who is accountable to no one?!” and his mind warned:
“I’ve about had enough of your lame-ass jabs at me!”

Rabbits attempt to puff themselves up by being messengers of news,
frightening to other timid creatures.
Only the man-who-knows is full of good news,
but of a sort he can only keep to himself.

Words are neurons;
words are hormones speaking through proxy;
neurons are words;
hormones are actions;
all neurons can do is talk;
all hormones can do is feel and act.
(“Will all of you please take your seats so we can get this bus on the road.” )

The two sides face off across the line of scrimmage:
one side holding that the mind is too tightly connected to the body,
the other believing that it is too loosely tied to the rest of the physique.

Question: Will a lion cry if you strike him with a gazelle;
Question Two: What sound will an intellectual make if you peek under his mind?

One man re reads his incoming mail numerous times,
but never once looks over his outgoing
(and his mind growled: “I just warned you about that shit!”)

One man offers:
“If you see you in the future saying: ‘I’m sorry’ —
go ahead now and sign the: I’m-Surely-Never-Going-To-Wake-Up pledge.”

News Concerning Matters Of Sexual Legality & Mental Originality.
Anyone who speaks the words of another is a whore.

Due to the ever increasing encroachment of humans & civilization,
it is becoming de rêgle for mallards to discuss the pressures of being a duck.

All men flow from Adam:
some fed more from his head — others more from his loins;
what a team they make — even when in apparent contest.

Taciturnity is natural to the man who is awake —
and the best course for those not sure whether they are or not.

Life In Mirror Land.
The nice thing about being a reflection is you can’t be proven to exist or not.
(And self growls: “Are you people attempting to discuss me again?!”)

Someone you feel you must defend — you envy and despise;
look after your own reputation — if you’re asleep and concerned about yours.
(And, oh yeah — if you’re concerned — you are asleep.)

The ordinary are finished when their body dies —
the certain man when his mind does.

The way to the rebel’s inner safety is through his not embracing
the ideas the collective accepts as sureties.

The real name of a real sage is: Anonymous.
(Check with those special rebellious synapses in your own brain.)
Being identified is the way a nervous-system-knight is slain.

More City Info.
One chap known to have frequented that collectively based area of the mind poses:
“Tell me what in man’s intangible, second reality is not in need of explanation!”
(“It’s becoming clear to me why mountains do not have a publicist.”)
The substantial speaks for itself — even though silent,
while all things in man’s mental-only realm must be verbally detailed,
hawked & humped.

On another world: their tradition of trying-to-wake-up goes by the name:
Educating Trees.

A Reminder Quiz For Those Given To Intermittent Bouts Of Blindness.
What is the most obvious thing in the world? — That life itself is alive;
what is the most difficult thing in the world to remember? — That life itself is alive.
(“Okay — I’ve got another question for you:
Why does life obviously not want men to realize and remember this?”)

In Re Residency.
One man lived so high up, that it was difficult for him to come down — oops! —
an update to this story just in: He has no interest in coming down.

A pig who left the woods and moved into town
would never wear his business clothes when he went back for family reunions.

Closing Tip.
An awake man never goes back home — not entirely.


P.S. Where a man goes — is where he belongs.