The Government in Your Brain
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, transcripts are being made and will be posted.
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
Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See below
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Notes by TK
“As above, so below” = ‘as in here, so out there’. The world of thought mirrors the physical world. Take for example monolithic government. It reflects what is going on in Life’s consciousness (and therefore our own). How did government start? Its original form was in effect a tribe-appointed unbiased third-party agency (composed of elders, say) for the purpose of settling disputes: mediation and law making. Thus the collective dynamic preempts the individual.
An individual appointed to the council must assume an unbiased attitude in his purview; must overlook his own self-interest. Miraculously this happens and government works! Government serves purposes beyond the individual: it serves Life’s own ends. Life has created a government via man, specifically his mind, and makes decisions thru man for its own workings. (36:40) #3114
Notes by DR
Jan Cox Talk 3114 What is inside of us intangibly (thought) is the same outside. As in here, so out there: Man’s fingerprints are everywhere; government, religions, arts
Edited by SA
I assume that all of you have heard the ancient philosophical statement, “As above, so below.” For thousands of years, would-be mystics and thinkers have used that idea, which is that human life on earth is a watered-down version of supernatural existence. A variation of that idea illustrates a view of tangible reality, with the saying that you can see the universe in a grain of sand.
Regarding intangible reality, a better statement than “As above, so below,” would be “As in here, so out there.” Thought, which is an intangible process that occurs inside of us, is the same thing that we see in the intangible world outside of us. Man’s thoughts, his mental fingerprints, are on everything. Take politics, for example, or more specifically, take government. Government is an aspect of politics that is, in a way, even closer than religion to the heart of everything.
We’re all aware that many people have an innate dislike of government. They hate the tax man and the IRS, or they hate the idea that the government is continually sticking its nose into their private affairs. Other people are just not interested in examining what government actually is. I find that curious, since man is naturally a social animal who wants to live together with others. From one view, government is a natural result of that desire to live in groups. In any case, there are two or three splendid aspects of government worth examining, one of them being risk management.
Let’s start off with some basics to ease us into the subject. You’ve got to let go of whatever your natural-born mind’s idea of government is. Consider why government exists, what government’s main function is. I propose to you that the function, the purpose, from which everything else flows, including risk management, is that any government, no matter how large or small, serves as a relatively disinterested third party to direct the affairs of some group. Government acts as an unbiased source of decision-making and dispute-settling.
Once a small group encompasses more than just one extended family, once it includes people from different families, it never fails that they will appoint or elect a group to settle disputes. Let’s say we’re talking about a tribe of two hundred people. They get together and decide to choose five of their number to be on the council.
With a group as small as two hundred people, you can imagine how much intermarrying has been going on. Even though tribal members may identify themselves as being from ten or twelve different families, they’re probably are all at least distantly related by blood to everyone else. You would think that it would be difficult to find five unbiased people to be on the council. If one of the council members has a brother who gets into a dispute over the ownership of a cow or a pig, you would think that the council member would have a natural bias in favor of his brother. Yet that is not a big problem. The two brothers could be so close that throughout their lives they’ve defended one another, but once one of them is appointed to the council, then that very day, his own dear brother could come before the council with a dispute, and the newly-appointed council member will be able to act impartially toward his own blood, and rule against his brother, if necessary.
Something happens when people become part of a government. There is something instilled in humans, so that if Life sets up a specific group of people to be a government, and if everyone else considers those people apart—if they agree that those five men are the council, or those hundred thousand men are the federal government, and the whole tribe, the whole nation, agrees—then whether the men on the council or the men in the government are somebody’s kin, or somebody’s good friends, is no longer the point. Once those men are established, once they are separated and identified as the council, as the government, then it’s as though a minor bit of magic transpires. By and large, the people on the council suddenly are able to operate impartially to a surprising degree.
When we look upon ourselves, with all of our flaws and all of our weaknesses, as much as we want to protect our family, as much as we want to favor our friends, as much as we want to look after our own interests, we could be appointed to the council, and the next day, our family could be in a dispute with another family, and we could rule for the other family if we thought they were right.
Say there was a dispute between your parents and some other family about some land. As an individual, you could have gone against the evidence, against what appeared to you to be reality. From an ordinary view, you could make a decision that you knew was wrong, just because your father said so, and you thought it was your duty to take his side. If your father said, “It’s our land, and we’re not going to give it up,” then you might have been out there ready to fight the other family, even if you doubted that the land really belonged to your family. But you’ve just been appointed to the council. You’ve been made part of a government, and it’s as though something magical happens to you. You have instantly become wise, insightful, tolerant—all of the things that men individually are not known for. The other family comes before the council and presents reasonable, persuasive evidence that the land is actually theirs. After you examine the facts, you will probably rule against your own family, against your own best interests. You will have accepted your duty to the entire tribe, and have become a disinterested third party.
Whether it’s two hundred people in a tribe or five hundred million people in a large country, there can’t be what would amount to a true democracy, because there would be anarchy. You would have endless discussions going on between two hundred people, or five hundred million people, all with different opinions and different desires. If somebody in the tribe said, “The food’s running out here. We should move the village to a new location,” and that suggestion were opened up for discussion, there would probably be two hundred different opinions about whether the group should move, and where. Nothing would ever get done. But if you picked out five people to make the decisions, then you would have a controlling force in the tribe that could keep the tribe functioning.
Notice that men agree to be governed, even those who hate the government and just wish it would disappear. I’m familiar with that feeling, because it’s very common, yet within men, in spite of their dislike of being governed, there is an acquiescence. You could be a real rebel, a loner type, but if you live together with a tribe of two hundred people, even though you are the least sociable of the whole crowd, if you still live with your family as part of the tribe, and they one day for the first time decide, “We’re getting so large that we need to appoint a council,” you would naturally agree to it.
It is very strange, from any reasonable view, that basically what government boils down to is a relatively unbiased third party. Consider that all disputes are two-party, and any dispute that’s based upon a two-party disagreement could continue forever, unless a third party is there to intervene. As strange as this is to contemplate, I say again that it’s almost magical what happens to men who, as individuals, will look after their own best interests, their family’s interests, their best friends’ interests. They will change when their tribe, their country, says, “We’re appointing you men to make certain decisions that we can’t make efficiently, or that we, as individuals, can’t make. We can’t decide who owns this pig. We can’t decide where to move the tribe. Some of these decisions that we can’t make, we’re going to turn over to you, and we trust you to operate in a way that’s not just favorable to you individually, but to the entire tribe. We trust that you five or ten or forty thousand men who form our government will look at the facts, and then you will do what’s best for all of us in general, or that if there’s a dispute between two people, you will make a decision that is fair, that is just, that is right.”
Don’t you find it interesting that amongst all the creatures we know, only men have an immediate understanding of what “right” means, of what “just” and “justice” mean? Those men who are now the government are expected to do the right and just thing, and for the most part, they do. Somehow, government actually works, and better than you might suppose it would work.
The surprise is that government works so well that most people don’t really worry about it. Why not? After all, men have a pretty poor reputation amongst themselves. Pick up any book of proverbs or quotations, and you’ll find most of it to be verbal assaults on men—on their poor sense of honor, their lack of honesty, their prejudicial thinking, their hostility, their aggression, their insensitivity. Yet a government, when it’s operating with just minimal efficiency, overcomes virtually all of that. How can that be, when the government is made up of those same no-account, unreliable, dishonest, prejudicial, self-centered individuals?
We all know that corruption goes on in government, blah, blah blah, but compared to the world’s best tyrant, the world’s worst government is far superior. Any government will work much more impartially, tolerantly, justly, and equitably, than any one man.
Government makes our lives more tolerable, which I will discuss when I get around to talking about risk management. Of more immediate importance to people like us, though, is that government is one of two or three specific areas that are visible outside of us on a large scale, and that are a perfect reflection of something that Life is doing in man’s consciousness. That overbearing monolith that takes a huge bite out of your income every year, and even has the power of life and death over you, is perhaps the best teaching tool to show what man is intangibly, which is the key we all need to waking up. This is right where our consciousness springs out of our brain stem, and it’s directly related to what Life is doing through man’s consciousness—that some group sets up a government.
Government also benefits Life, as strange as that may sound. If you look at government a certain way, it reflects something going on in Life’s consciousness that is missing even in such things as religion. It’s as though Life can’t make certain decisions on its own, so Life behaves as if it were a tribe of people, sets up a government and says, “You decide, and I’ll go with that.” Life uses a part of itself—us humans, and a specific part of us humans—our minds, because there is no government without mind. Remember that instead of “As above, so below,” the more informative mystical phrase is “As in here, so out there.” Everything intangible that man has created, including government, religion, the arts, philosophy—anything out there that you can’t touch—is right in man’s brain, in man’s mind.
You can feel that same situation if you consider your natural-born thinking about things. There is what amounts to a government in your mind, in your brain. I don’t want to drive us crazy talking about it in minute detail, but instead of five men out of a two-hundred-member tribe, imagine that the government in your mind is perhaps a half-million neurons out of the billions or trillions of neurons that make up what seems to be your personality, what seems to be you. When you say, “I think,” or “I believe,” then your “I” is a form of government, and Life does that same magic in your consciousness. Your “I” is speaking impartially for all of the neurons or synapses that you have in your brain, because they certainly don’t, or can’t, all speak at once.
It was Plato, to the best of my recollection, who was given the earliest credit for the concept of an enlightened despot. Plato was interested in the idea of government, and in The Republic, he proposed that the ideal form of government would be a state or nation ruled by what he called a philosopher king. Technically, the philosopher king would be a tyrant, an autocrat, but because he was a philosopher, Plato said he would be everything that an individual man normally is not. He would operate in an unbiased manner. He wouldmake just decisions. He would do what was best for the people and not himself.
It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that there are no such human beings. The situation in the mind, however, is vastly different. When you are ordinary, when you are asleep, your brain is governed by a small group of neurons that operate together to hold you in check, and make you act civilly and reasonably. Once you wake up, your brain is free to be governed by an enlightened despot, as if your brain can be ruled by one unnatural synapse, or one unconventional neuron, that now can run everything, that now can make decisions by itself. That is what being awake is.
Risk management, which is a variation of what I was talking about tonight, is even more fun. I may get to that very soon.
Jan’s Daily Fresh Real News (to accompany this talk)
KING ANNOUNCES ABDICATION PLANS – – FOR THE PEOPLE !
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Covering The News From Man’s Only Regal Arena
February 27, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX
To the certain man’s consciousness:
It’s always darkest just before he’s about to doze off.
Motto: “There is nothing that can happen that can’t be made worse
by sleepwalking through it.”
Watchword: Turgid consciousness is almost as good as no consciousness at all.
Even should someone say something that could be of use to you,
if you start thinking about them personally you’ll get lost and miss it.
Happnin’ termites have no interest in what kind of tree the wood came from.
One man’s lungs said to his cortex:
“Just because you’re breathing doesn’t mean you’re alive.”
For the-man-who-wants-to-know: It’s always darkest just before the nothing.
Some Of The Strangeness In The Placement Of City Mind.
As entertaining as Psychology and Sociology can be,
they actually hide real understanding of man;
it is not just them, but all of man’s social sciences/liberal arts;
they are part of a fascination the mind has with the second reality it has created
that keeps it from focusing on areas which life clearly wishes it to not.
“No — don’t look over there, instead: stare at the tip of my finger in your eye/I.”
It is the size of their consciousness that’s responsible for men’s squinting.
Ordinary men engage in certain physical rituals in an ostensible attempt to
appeal to alleged gods outside of them —
since they know not how to directly do so their own consciousness.
When it comes to the question of whether there is supernatural knowledge:
The-writing-is-on-the-wall — the wall of the awakened man’s consciousness.
“All great things are accomplished after a night of partying.”
“Okay: All great things in the city are accomplished after a night of partying.”
“It still sounds weird.”
“All right: All great things that men imagine are accomplished in
man’s cultural reality come after a night of partying.”
“Okay — but now you have to tell me exactly what you mean by partying.”
The larger you make your consciousness —
the more it lives in the moment (if that’s of any interest).
“What’s more embarrassing than to be a suicide bomber
who faints just before the time to detonate his load?!”
“Or a man who stops before he totally awakens.”
An ugly man will sing to a beautiful woman:
“Let me be your little dog ‘til your big dog comes,”
but a man-who-wants-to-know will not do so the Muse Of Enlightenment.
(“All or nuthin’, sweet mama — all or nuthin’!”)
Everybody thinks they’re Mister Hot Shit — ’til they wake up.
The-man-who-wants-to-know is always on trial — but —
he is always not guilty — and —
he never takes the charges seriously.
One man asked a sage (or maybe it was himself) what humor has to do with waking-up —
— which near brought the wise one to tears.
What the ordinary find funny the certain man sees as self-abuse;
the certain man gets nothing from self abuse except sleepy.
Everything sounds more serious if you make an acronym of it.
Vacuousness assumes heft with an official patina.
(Just check with the city part of your own thinking.)
In trying to decide where and how to arrange the new stereo in his room,
one man was struck with the quandary:
“Which is more important: how it looks, or how it sounds?”
(And the mechanism for word interpretation in his mind nodded knowingly:
“Tell me about it.”)
As futile as it is for a woman to sing to a man:
“Don’t come home a’drinkin’ with lovin’ on your mind,”
it’s double so to tell a man-who-wants-to-know to stop it.
If the idea of waking up from a dream doesn’t intrigue you
it is precise proof of the size of your consciousness.
For the man trying to expand his: the circus is always in town.
When the certain man is in his pushing-out-my-consciousness-mode,
nothing in the entire universe can be going wrong.