At the Far Frontier of Reality
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.
Summary = See below
Edited Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See below
News Item Gallery = None
Key Words =
Notes by TK
A glimpse of the far frontier of exploration beyond even that of cellular-level organization/function, or cosmology, comes in the form of the ‘Passion of Christ’ movie phenomenon and controversy. It is the hoariest old hackneyed chestnut bible story imaginable, which nevertheless has become the hot topic. How can this be? It is Life talking about itself.
Humans commenting on the movie, say, or god, or prayer, are really talking about something completely otherwise: they are talking about the consciousness in their own mind. They taste, indisputably, know immediately, the essence of their own consciousness, yet they can never have a clue of this truth. It is worlds apart in spite of being closer than their own skin! (37:18) #3113
Edited by SA
I was going to speak about one of my favorite topics, the symbolic relationship between government activity and risk management in human consciousness. It’s a great topic, and maybe I will get to it…
But tonight I can’t resist using as a topic something that is going on contemporaneously with us. The example I’ll discuss is not all that unusual, and I’ve spoken on this general matter before. For me, the implications of the example have to do with the frontier—the far frontier. I say that because, at one level, I believe I understand the answers to all of the questions that Life has put into men’s heads for the last six thousand years. When I grasped the answers to those questions, and my understanding didn’t put me into a coma or shut my mind off forever, then I immediately felt as though there was surely even more to see. I had no idea what “more” was, and in one sense I still don’t.
For a long time, I thought “more” would probably have to do with understanding Life at the level of our cellular structure, the structure of an individual cell. I still find the idea fairly interesting, but I had no great success in that exploration.
Tonight, I want to talk about another frontier. Every now and then, I experience something absolutely singular. I can’t describe that occurrence to you, and as I said, I can’t really describe it to myself. That kind of experience happens very rarely, and it generally springs from my daily life, out of ordinary things that I see, or that I hear somebody say. What happens is like a huge, all-encompassing lightening flash that momentarily lights up everything beyond the horizon, so that I have a glimpse of the very edge of reality, beyond which is only blackness. It feels almost as though Life has punched me in the ribs, and then wandered away laughing.
That sounded poetically impressive, but phhhhh! That’s not what happens. I can’t really describe what happens, but I’ll try to come close. Imagine that you’re standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. You’re standing back maybe fifty yards, and you can see the edge of the cliff, and beyond it is only dark sky, infinity, the unknown. That is how I see the frontier of reality. I know that if you can get a feel for what I’m talking about, that will have a profound effect on you, because what I’m talking about is at the heart of everything.
I’ll start with a rather trivial scenario that you can watch as it plays out all around you, but I’m going to preface my comments by noting that I have very seldom—almost never—talked or written about God with a capital G, for two good reasons. One of my reasons is that the concept of God is an idiot spot for almost everybody. I talked about that subject the other day. Almost every human seems to have one small place hidden deep inside, in which they’re still nutty as a fruitcake about God. My other reason for not talking about capital-G God, which is the point of my bringing up the subject tonight, is that when Life had men invent the concept of God, and has men talk about God, it’s actually Life talking about itself.
The idea of God is everywhere in our world. Everybody, more or less, talks about God. Everybody thinks about God, and most people, if really pressured, would say that God has got to be the most important thing in human life. In the universe. Blah, blah.
Now for my example. For the last few weeks, the news headlines in the Western world, and especially in our country, have been dominated by controversy about a movie that was produced and paid for by a well-known Hollywood star, and that shows the crucifixion of Christ. You would think that this big-name actor shouldn’t have had trouble getting some sort of interest from studios. The claim, though, is that when he told the Hollywood people that he would show the last days of Jesus, and present a realistic view of the story, that no one was interested, even with him being involved, and so he finally used his own money to make the movie. I think he wrote the script, but from what I hear, it’s basically just taken from the scriptures. Of course, the Bible is still the biggest-selling book in the world, which gives you an idea of how many people have actually ever opened it.
At first no theater chains would release the movie, because they didn’t think it had any commercial potential, but a few people managed to see a preview, and they started filling the media with headline-grabbing articles. The general public’s attitude now—which is to say, the media’s attitude—is that the movie is quite controversial, due to the way the crucifixion is presented. That has caused a great buzz, and now, out of the clear blue sky, the Hollywood folks are projecting that the movie will set box office records. The movie actually opened today, and the media were filled with interviews of people coming out of the theaters, along with commentaries from social critics, from movie reviewers, and even from theologians.
Now here it is, a story that’s been around for two thousand years, a war-horse, a hoary, bearded chestnut. The actor who made the film presented nothing new, nothing original like showing the crucifixion of Jesus as a ballet with dancers dressed up like hippies, or setting the crucifixion in modern downtown Detroit. It’s just the same old story, yet people are being interviewed all day long, and they’re talking about this movie, about Jesus dying for man’s sins. People are crying as they’re being interviewed.
How is it that, out of nowhere, this movie suddenly became the topic of interest? Over the last few days, multitudes of people have been discussing the movie. There were people discussing the movie days ago who hadn’t even seen it, but had only heard or read about it. The point is, it doesn’t matter whether they’ve seen the movie or not, because what they’re discussing is not the movie. That alone should wake you up! If we lived in a better reality, that’s the sort of thing that would wake everybody up, and you wouldn’t have to spend thirty or forty years in the effort.
None of this is about what it sounds like. All this commotion is not about the movie, not about somebody named Jesus, not about him dying for our sins, not even about sins. Think of any other word that might apply to the story of Jesus, and it’s not about that either. What’s it about? That’s the edge, the frontier. That’s what I can’t describe to you. The closest I can come, the closest I’ve ever come, is that this is Life talking about itself. That’s still not exactly it. That comes close, but there’s something more.
All I can do is suggest that you try to look at a situation like the one I just described as one of Life’s experiments. There is a movie, something that exists physically on a roll of celluloid, or digitally on a card somewhere. The movie is based on a written script, and the story is taken from a book, the Bible. It’s a specific story with a beginning and an end. The story has characters for which there is at least a modicum of historical support for their existence. The movie is all of these apparently specific things.
Ordinary people—not dimwits—are paying money, going into a theater, sitting there for several hours, and coming out with tears in their eyes, anxious to be interviewed. People are eager to tell what they’ve seen—the story of precious Jesus, the son of God, coming down to Earth to be with us sorry, pitiful mortals. They want to talk about Jesus accepting our shortcomings and loving us so much that he willingly suffers and dies for us. The people tell the interviewers how much Jesus’s death means to them, and how once they joined the church, their life completely changed, because now their soul is in God’s hands, and God accepts them unconditionally, exactly as they are.
The interviewers keep asking questions, and the audience members go on and on, and there’s not a thing they say that’s about what’s really going on. What they say has some connection to reality, but the actual purpose is something completely other than what those people are thinking or saying. Every time those people say “Jesus” or “God,” or other people talk about Allah or Buddha, they’re talking about human consciousness. On a personal, a local level, what they’re talking about is their own consciousness, their own minds.
There’s something even beyond all of that, but I’m describing only what I can clearly see, and what you should be able to grasp. There is an emotional impact if you see it for yourself. As I’ve said many times, seeing it for yourself is the only thing that’s really worthwhile.
The edge of the universe, the edge of reality, this lightening flash, is involved with me being able to listen to people who are ostensibly talking about that film, and to hear a running translation of all of their talk, which is really about the mind. That kind of talk is quite typical. You can turn on almost any religious channel on television, and there will be testimonials from people recounting their story. They were living miserable lives as alcoholics, or gamblers, or wife-beaters, and then one night they wandered into a church, and they heard someone preaching the word of God. If this was a fundamentalist Protestant church, then after his sermon, the minister would generally invite people to come to the altar, kneel and pray, and ask God for forgiveness. If sinners do that, the minister says, then God will take possession of their souls and forgive all of their transgressions, all of their flaws, and as an added bonus, God will let them into heaven when they die. “All this is possible,” the minister says, “Because God made you, God loves you, and all you gotta’ do is ‘fess up and ask God to help you. Tell God that you’ve turned your life over to him.”
Each story is very specific. “I walked into that church in the middle of a sermon. The preacher was preaching on such-and-such topic, and when he finished, he called sinners down to the altar. I went down and knelt. The minister said, ‘Repeat after me. Dear God, forgive my sins. God, I turn my life over to you.’ I repeated the minister’s words, and a peace instantly settled over me. That was twenty years ago, and I have never again had any desire for drugs or alcohol. I never again hit my wife. In that one moment, my whole life changed, my mind settled, all was at peace. I have never felt so good, so joyful.”
Let’s assume that the person was giving a fair description. If you listen to people who are religious in that way, who are that sort of Christian or Muslim or Jew, you will hear similar experiences described again and again, and each one sounds quite specific. They will say, “It was December the seventh, 1982. I was in Dallas, Texas. I was terribly distraught, and I happened to walk past a church. I went into that church and blah blah blah.”
Remember, what they describe is not what happened. I know what happened, and here it is. I’m going to say “I,” but understand, I’m not the point. I’m trying to get you to see what I’m looking at, to describe it, and show you what you should do. I know what they’re talking about. There are millions, if not billions, of people who would say something similar, and that is Life at its healthiest. That’s why those people are the majority. That’s why they are ordinary people. That’s where Life is thriving.
There they are, all those people, describing something as sincerely and as seriously as is possible for a human to do. There it is, humanity in general, talking about things that they identify specifically. And they’re all talking about something else.
That is the flash. Let me add something. Those people are all talking about something quite specific that they are convinced they understand. They describe the continuing effects of giving their hearts to God. The people they’re describing this to are all nodding in agreement. And there is humanity. Yet what they’re talking about is not what they’re talking about, and there is not a shadow of a chance that any of them will ever realize that.
There’s the flash again. Those people are not stupid, and it’s not that I can see things they can’t see. It’s got nothing to do with that. What it’s got to do with—I can’t describe to you, but I’m telling you—is the edge of our local reality. I’m not saying that I see it all, because there has got to be something beyond what even I see. But I can see a great deal that the rest of humanity collectively is unable to see.
I’ve read a few philosophy books, so I recognize the questions that spring up in my mind, as well as the questions that people are asking now. They’re the same philosophical and theological questions that men asked six thousand years ago.
Life, at least through my mind, got the answers to those questions. Yet I look at men talking about God so vigorously, so seriously, convinced that they were changed by the act of simply walking to an altar inside of a building constructed for that purpose, kneeling down, and saying, “God, forgive my sins. Forgive my shortcomings. I turn my life over to your guidance, to your will.” They say that when they did that, their life changed instantly. Their common phrase is, “As soon as I did it, a peace settled over me just as quick as I can snap my fingers.”
Jesus is known amongst Christians as the Prince of Peace, by which they mean not lack of warfare, but the peace that enters people’s “souls,” to use their word, once they repent. Again, don’t dismiss what they’re saying, but consider what is happening at the local level, at the personal level. What they’re talking about when they say “God” is the consciousness that’s inside their nervous system, the consciousness that they were born with, which is an electrochemical activity in the brain.
Add all of that to what the people say happened to them, and squish it all together like you’re pressing on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; then see if you can’t get that flash to go, chaaaaa! I can see that even Life, in one sense, is never going to understand why men continue to say, “I asked God to forgive me, and he did, because God knows my weaknesses. He knows the troubles I have, and he forgives me. God will love you just the way you are.”
Those people are talking about the consciousness in their own brains. And they can not see it. They will never see it, as far as I can tell. The way things are now, there’s not a chance. This is not open to question. There’s no doubt. There’s not a possibility.
That flash lights up the far frontier for a moment. I’m exaggerating, but I don’t know how else to tell you the importance of this, and this is just one example. There are many more, and they pop up constantly. These are examples that I realized I can look at, and I assume you can too—if you don’t already—because I’m certainly not supernatural. I’m not even exceptional, except in one way—I can look at something as pervasive to human existence as the idea of God, and see exactly what those people are really talking about. If I can do that in my mind, so can you. You can see what’s actually going on.
At first when you see this, you might think, “If I explain things to people, surely at least some of them will see that the stories they tell themselves about God mean something entirely different? If I point out the salient parallels between all of the characteristics of God that they’ve just enumerated and the characteristics of their own consciousness, wouldn’t they at least find it interesting?”
Yes, it’s just a short, metaphorical step between people talking about God and believing that they’re talking about something outside themselves, to understanding that they’re talking about something happening in their own consciousness. Nevertheless, it’s not going to happen. They’re not going to take that step.
Again, that was the flash. I can’t tell you why it will not happen. That’s what you should find interesting. I could tell some ordinary person, “I’m not trying to make you disbelieve in God, but you might find it useful to see the perfect parallels between men’s descriptions of the features of God, and the obvious features of your own consciousness.” If I said that to someone, and they actually listened, you would suppose that they might at least momentarily see some of the parallels, but you’d be wrong. They can’t see.
The flash I’ve been talking about is the feeling of wondering what the dickens is going on. How can this be? Yet there it is, just as plain as can be, and just as undeniable. What I see, what I describe, is obviously so. No wonder no one is ever going to see. Which is to say, there’s no way that Life is going to see it, no way that Life will admit it, or ‘fess up to it.
None of that makes any sense. I gaze out there where everything I ever wanted to know now makes sense to me—except right at the edge of that cliff, right at the far frontier, where nothing at all makes sense.
I’m being a bit dramatic. No, I’m not. Nothing makes sense out there.
Jan’s Daily Fresh Real News (to accompany this talk)
COURT ETERNALLY POISED TO RULE ON WHETHER MAN IS FIT TO JUDGE HIMSELF
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Articulated Gavel That Closes The Case On Words
February 25, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX
Feeling better through buying is the city short cut to feeling better through buying.
“So what’s wrong with a zebra behaving zebraly?!”
(Question: Why do city-ites always get defensive when their locale is mentioned?)
On one world, on the same day, everyone simultaneously had their autobiography published: “My Life As Someone Else” — which were quickly withdrawn
due to a printing error: the title was supposed to be:
“My Erroneous Impression Of A Life As Someone Else.”
Men making what they call, coincidence equal what they call, magic,
requires that they have minds like the bottom of chicken coops.
Offers this query, one chap:
“Why do men find the portrayal of the travails of people behaving abnormally
to be entertaining?”
“Strange,” pondered one fellow:
“if man’s true glory is his capacity for problem solving,
is not the greatest problem to be solved:
‘How to change one’s natural born state of consciousness?’ — and yet:
how few undertake it — or even consider it.”
Whenever he was asked if he had said or written a particular thing
in response to something he had heard or read, one man would always reply:
“What do you think?” (and not with the accent on “you”).
Ordinary, memory-based consciousness is like a turd without a mandate:
unable to completely divorce itself from its past.
Having a normal consciousness that is inescapably tied to your memories
is being asleep and unable to see clearly what is actually going on in real time.
“In spite of the wondrous diagnostic technology they have developed:
if people knew how little doctors actually understand about the body’s health
they would desert them en mass.”
“They haven’t done so with priests.”
In homage to Broadway, when he opens his eyes each morning the first thing
one man does is glance toward his arousing mind and declare: “Send In The Clowns.”
Music In The City.
In mundane affairs, when you get old, Bo Diddley can’t diddle like he did before,
but a man committed to blowing out the sides of his consciousness
can keep on chugglin’ to the very end.
“Yeah sure,” said the man from his hospital bed, “they took away my foot,
a lung, and part of my stomach — but they didn’t get THIS!”
For a while, one man constantly confused the words: conclusion and concussion — then stopped worrying about it — after realizing its mootness.
The lecturer opened: “Today I want to speak to you about a most bizarre situation
in one place: where everyone realizes what everyone is — except their self,”
and a voice in the audience yelled:
“What kind of commonplace thing is that to be talking about!”
“Would you say that drugs are the city’s substitute for awakening?”
“No, the city itself is.”
A man with a mission in life doesn’t (from a certain alien view) have a real life.
Q: How do you know you are finally home.
A: You realize you are an alien there.
“Cheap men have an explanation for everything.”
“For their cheapness, you mean?!”
When you live in the city — you can’t hide the fact.
Consciousness is like mercury poured on a piece of glass;
in ordinary men it will never roll out to the edges —
that comes only through trying to get-to-the-bottom-of-things.
The way you can determine with accuracy that you are true-blue-ordinary
is that the things most important to you are all outside of you.
“Sometimes I am confused.”
“Every morning when I awaken.”
And a psychiatrist enters with this observation:
“Being confused can be a good sign — it shows you are still alive.”
“Yes — and living in the city.”
“There’s only one person we can’t resist — our self.”
“That’s because it’s the only one we can’t get hold of.”
“Maybe — but consider in full what you’re saying.”
At odd times, one man’s cortex would glance down to his heart and say:
“Can you believe it — I’m still ticking!”
An Actual (Though To Most, So Disturbing As To Be Ignored) Fact Of The City.
Only athletes and farmers actually know what they’re doing.
The best comeback the dumb have to the smart is:
“You think you’re sooo smart!”