Jan Cox Talk 3115

Life’s Risk Management System


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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Notes by TK

All of man’s external cultural artifacts and icons are a reflection of the activity in his consciousness. An example: risk management, specifically government catastrophic flood insurance. Originally government encouraged men to live close to water to facilitate commerce. Flood insurance is a mechanism to spread out the risk of inevitable floods over the citizenry. It’s like a gigantic lottery.

Whereas taxation for public works takes a little from everyone to benefit everyone, government insurance takes a little from everyone to benefit only a few. Life has funded in men’s’ minds a lottery of thoughts which can sustain a single man, should his own thinking become destitute, or that insures Life against its own misfortunes.

Thus are all the dumb and useless ideas that run thru all men’s minds constantly, serving as a reserve of mental resources for Life’s own risk management program. (47:47) #3115

Notes by DR

Jan Cox Talk 3115       Risk management: a lottery for the benefit of the people. It’s collected a penny from every possible synapse having a reserve of thoughts that you’ll probably never use. The stupid ideas: what’s working now sometime might not work. The dumb sleeping ideas are Life’s risk management.


03-01-2004   #3115
Edited by SA

Last time, I was talking about the government being a perfect example of the fact that anything related to the intangible realm that you see outside of man—any of his cultural artifacts, his spiritual icons, his intellectual constructs—is an absolute reflection of what is going on in the mind. On a larger scale, those things are a reflection of Life’s needs being served. I called one such reflection “risk management.” I’m going to speak of risk management in its purest form, where it all starts. The thing has become very complex and technical, but the basic principle is still there.

Remember, I’m discussing risk management because it is a beautiful reflection of something that happens in the mind. That is, I’m actually talking about the mind, which I’ll point out again at the end. I know how the mind works, and you should know too, that if I didn’t point out every now and then that I’m not actually talking about the government, then it’s quite possible, despite how brilliant you are, that your mind could suddenly be listening to me lecturing about the government. That is hilarious.

Back to the topic at hand. “Risk management” is a fairly common term, but I mean it in a very specific way, as a government-sponsored lottery for the benefit of the people. As we all know, many people are hostile toward government, viewing it as a huge, faceless organization that’s there to push them around. It’s very common for people to hate the IRS, the tax people, but what I discuss as “risk management” is tied directly to taxation.

Flood insurance is a fine example of risk management. Governments throughout the world have always encouraged people to live close to rivers, to facilitate the transportation of goods. Governments, which are the people collectively, have promoted the development of river fronts—of people and businesses locating there, so as to easily put their crops and other goods on barges and boats, and send them up and down rivers. Most of the world’s material goods are still moved at least partially along rivers. Waterways are still a main route for transporting goods in the United States.

You are no doubt aware that rivers have a propensity to flood. You might buy property next to a river when it’s maybe twenty feet below the top of its bank, and six months later, after you get your house built, the river might rise up twenty-one or even thirty feet and flood your house and your fields, drown your livestock, and wash away your possessions. To keep you living and producing near those rivers, governments offer flood protection. Many governments throughout the world would give you “catastrophic relief” if you were a farmer and a flood destroyed your crops or your home. That “relief” would be in the form of either money or an interest-free loan.

The government is not in business to make a profit, so it has not a penny of its own money. The government is there to aid those that the government represents, which is to say, the government is the people trying to figure ways to benefit themselves. The money that the government gives to people who are flooded out is money that was collected from all of us. If you hear that these people on average receive so many thousands of dollars, you might think, “That’s my money. They shouldn’t be giving those people my money,” but that is how this form of risk management works. If you don’t live near a river, there’s no chance that you’re going to suffer flood damage, so the government’s flood insurance program enforces the government’s will on you.

Flood insurance is like a  gigantic lottery for which only a small percentage of people are eligible. That is not the same as the government taking a few cents out of every tax dollar and paving the interstate highways, or trying to control the climate, because those things in essence would be of benefit to everyone.

There are many types of risk management that are of benefit to everyone. One example is having the government in charge of our money supply. The government is our money’s one source. They determine our money’s value, enforce theat value, and keep out any competing money. You can’t print your own money and have it be considered legal tender. The government also guarantees that when you deposit your money into a government-approved bank, your money, or at least a large part of it, will be returned to you by the government if the bank collapses. The Food and Drug Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission are two other arms of government that use risk management techniques.

Those types of risk management are of potential benefit to just about everybody, but some specific types, such as catastrophic flood insurance, are only of potential benefit to the very small percentage of people who actually meet certain requirements. It’s almost guaranteed that if you live right by a river, sooner or later, and maybe on a fairly regular basis, you’re going to suffer flood damage. That’s why the government provides catastrophic flood relief. I think that now they make you pay a modest amount for flood coverage, but at one time, it was free.

Back before the government provided flood insurance, if you were going to live by a river, and you had any sense, you planned beforehand. You not only accepted the risk, but you might have decided, “I’m going to have to start saving for when I’m flooded out.” You determined what it would cost to replace what you lost, and you said, “I’ll set aside a certain amount of money every month, so that if I’m flooded out every five years, then when the time comes, I’ll have enough savings to rebuild my house and replant my crops.”

That would seem like the way to do it, right? Think how much that would cost, though, if you had to save the money. What if you tried to get insurance from a commercial insurance company? They would have better statistics than you, and they would know that at your location, there is a catastrophic flood on average once every four point seven years. They would charge you accordingly. Those insurance rates would be, I’m sure, exorbitant. You might not be able to afford commercial flood insurance. One of the main reasons, then, that the government involves itself with an affair like flood insurance is that without flood insurance, nobody would live or farm or build a business next to the river.

Risk management has a magical aspect that no one normally considers. People, as soon as they start living in groups, will appoint or elect a council of, say, five members. The group agrees beforehand, “We’ll all vote, and we’ll elect five people. When they decide what we should do, we’ve got to do it, no matter whether we like it or not.” If it’s a group of two or three hundred people, then at least half of you are related. Either you’re blood relatives, or you’re related through marriage, so those five council members are related to nearly everyone in the group.

Now the five council members start acting as decision-makers, and there arises some dispute between you and another man in the group. It turns out that your adversary’s brother is on the council. Before he was appointed to the council, your adversary’s brother, who was known to be a hot-head, was as prejudiced, as biased toward his own family, his own friends, as anybody else. But now he’s been appointed to the council, the group’s only government, as a supposedly disinterested third party.

What happens is that, as if by magic, that brother and the other four men on the council—not perfectly, but in a way that’s truly wondrous—instantly become wiser, more insightful, and more tolerant. They as a group become wiser and more objective than any of them is individually. That’s the magic and the wisdom of government. Remember, though, that I’m not talking about government. I’m talking about the mind, but what I’ve described is government as men see it outside themselves.

Now, back to risk management. Every month, the government takes a penny each from a hundred percent of the people, knowing beforehand that ninety-nine percent of the people will never need to call upon the government to help them recover from catastrophic flood damage. Only, say, one percent of the country’s people live on the rivers. If some of that one percent are flooded, they will be saved from catastrophic damage. They will be able to rebuild, to recoup, to replant. They won’t be devastated, because the government, which is you, will step in with the pennies that it took from everybody.

If you take the pennies from a hundred percent of the population every month, and start dividing it up among only one percent, it turns into a sizable amount—a pretty penny, so to speak. The penny, of course, wouldn’t help if everybody in the country suddenly suffered a calamity that the government had stated it would be responsible for. If the world’s largest tsunami destroyed everybody’s house in the country, then that one penny the government took from everybody every month for the last fifty or so years is not going to do anybody any good.

Would the ninety-nine percent of the people who will never benefit from flood insurance have collected those pennies on their own? No. But the wisdom is that the government can help that one percent, as long as the people have agreed beforehand to accept the government’s decisions and as long as the government has set up taxation. That is the case, whether it be this huge government of ours, or a five-man council in a two-hundred-person village. The council decides that every year the village’s people will each give one cow, which the council will keep in a corral with the other donated cows. Then, if somebody’s cows are all killed by some disease, the council, which represents the entire village, will give the devastated people cows from the common corral.

Do you get the picture? All the way from collecting cows to flood insurance. I prefer the government to commercial insurance, because the government is not there to make a profit but to do good, in the full sense of the word—to help the people. One of the purposes of government, as I said, is that they can decide to do something for the benefit of a large number of people, and make everybody chip in. They can compel you to contribute that penny, whereas you would not have done it voluntarily. But it’s such a small amount, you don’t really care. A penny a month is not worth getting upset about.

Now to the point. I say that governmental risk management is a perfect example because I can describe how it functions in men’s heads, and I can see Life also using it. This is what goes on, in a beautifully parallel way, in the mind: over a period of time, starting at the age of twelve, fifteen, or seventeen, you find yourself brimming over with ideas. Do all of the ideas help you? Not that you can see. Do you employ all of the ideas? It takes somebody pretty alert to even be able to answer that, but I’ll assume that you who are listening to this can come up with an answer. You’re aware of many ideas that just pass through your mind, along with a few ideas that are familiar because they have entered your mind many times. Focus on one of the ideas that are just passing through, and ask yourself, “Do I get any benefit from that thought? Have I ever acted on that thought? Is there any chance I’m going to ever behave in some way motivated by that thought?”

The answer to all of those questions is NO. The thought is useless to you, but you should be able to see it as a form of risk management. It’s a thought that you’re never going to be flooded with. It’s like a river, and you live so far away from the river that no matter how high the river rises, it’ll never have an effect on you or your property. It’s as though Life has made everyone’s mind provide flood insurance. Life has collected a penny from every possible synapse you have, which would be like every citizen in your nation. Life has said to all of you, “All right, everybody contribute a penny.” There was a thought that, as soon as you had it, you realized, “I’m never going to use that thought. I’ve got no possible use for it.” You told yourself that, and Life responded, “Never mind. That’s a penny.”

It’s as though Life has provided a cushion against catastrophe in each person. You’ve got so many thoughts—that is, Life has collected and stashed away so many pennies. Your village council now has all those cows that it collects every year from all two hundred people. You will never qualify to get one of those cows unless a horrible disease wipes out your herd and renders you and your family destitute and starving. If that happens, the council will give you ten brand-new cows. But if it doesn’t, you’ll get nothing. Chances are, you’ll get nothing.

You don’t like giving up a cow each year, but you see the wisdom of it. That is what Life has done in the mind. Life has a back-up treasury of thoughts. The difference is, Life didn’t collect the thoughts from you. Of course, ordinary humans think that they do collect their thoughts. But at any rate, it appears that Life has instilled in you an excess of thoughts, but not for your benefit. The thoughts are for Life’s benefit.

In a minor way, you can see that this plethora of useless thoughts does benefit the individual. Imagine that things have reached such a catastrophic pitch in you that a bunch of your synapses have been flooded and shorted out. Perhaps you were cheated by someone you trusted, or you fell victim to a fraud, and it was as if a river flowed over all your carefully tended fields of goodwill and trust, drowning all of your ideas about morality, about religion, about doing the right thing, about being honest. All will be well, though, because you’ve got a back-up. You’ve got flood insurance. You’ve got thoughts that you never used before that will move in and save you from going crazy.

Think about thoughts that you have that, as far as you’re concerned, if you thought about that thought, your thought would be, “Where did this thought come from? It’s useless. I don’t need it. I’ll never need it.” I just described a situation wherein that could prove to be untrue. Expand that from you individually into Life, and you might notice that all of this, as always, is for Life’s benefit. It’s as though Life is trying to insure itself with catastrophic flood insurance, and its risk management is that it has placed billions and billions of thoughts in our minds. I could pluck a thought out of your head, out of anybody’s head, and hold it up to Life and say, “What does this mean?” Life would probably shrug and look sheepish, and say, “Some day it could come in handy.”

What if the material pressures of this universe began to really bear down on Life, and Life was having a hard time staying viable? What if all of the ideas, the tricks, the methods that Life had always used to resist or combat the forces of the universe began to malfunction? What if something happened in the universe such that the pressures that men are under intensified, and Life’s intellectual wherewithal began to prove insufficient? If Life used risk management, then even if there were very extreme and punishing conditions, Life could help itself survive by spreading the risk over everybody.

You can question why Life would let one group of people believe in Religion X, and another group believe in Religion Y, when they continually ridicule and threaten one another, and even commit violence on one another. Why has Life let that go on for thousands of years? Or to put it more bluntly, why does Life allow competing belief systems to survive when they don’t seem to have any purpose? Can it be doing Life any good to have large groups of people constantly threatening their neighbors? Can it be doing those groups of people any good to continually assault one another verbally or physically? In other words, why is the world full of dumb ideas? Everybody on the planet must wonder that same thing many times a day. They hear or read something, and think, “Good grief! Is the world still full of such idiots?”

Yes, the world is still full of idiots, including you, and you know it. Perhaps you don’t put your idiotic ideas into print or say them out loud, but you know you’ve got them. Those stupid ideas are Life’s risk management. You look at something and think, “All Life has done is set up a loggerhead. Neither one of these two religious or political or philosophical groups has shown any sign of overcoming or converting the other for thousands of years. They’re at a stalemate. They’ll always be at a stalemate.” That’s Life protecting itself. Life has, in essence, an infinite number of locations in which it has placed one penny. Life has disbursed billions and billions of idiotic ideas.

Think of Life’s mentality as evolving the same way that biologists tell us creatures evolve physically. The idea is that if a creature survives over a long period of time, physically, it becomes more efficient. The creature’s biological processes and survival operations become more and more streamlined. You could doubt that Life has ever gone through that type of evolutionary process, because Life is still full, men’s minds are still full, the world is still full, of idiotic, insane ideas about religion, about life after death, about “real” versus “fake” art, about what is the correct and proper way to live. There are too many conflicting ideas, too many dumb ideas with no apparent useful purpose.

That may be true, but what if there was such a thing as a continual evolutionary process for Life, a process of streamlining and increasing efficiency, but Life chose to only stick with ideas that were paying off right now? Maybe after a period of time, say a few hundred years in the future, Life will look around and say, “Religion X’s ideas are now making all of humanity do what I want them to do. I no longer need the ideas that I had made part of Religion Y. I’ll let Religion Y die off. Better yet, I’ll make Religion Y disappear tomorrow.”

Wouldn’t that be what you’d expect Life to do? It would be as if a creature had seven toes on each paw. It would take more food to feed that body than it does to feed a body with only three toes on each paw. Over a period of time, Life would probably discover that the creature could climb trees, feed itself, and do everything else with only three toes just as well or even better than with seven toes. Over a period of time, Life would ensure that the creature lost the four extra toes, and therefore conserved energy and operated more efficiently.

Life has not done that in the intellectual world, and I suggest again that the reason why is risk management. I suggest that Life thinks, “The day could come when I could use some of those stupid ideas. The day could come that what’s working now might not work any longer. There’s no real cost to keeping the stupid ideas alive. Right now I don’t see a need for those ideas, but the amount of food that a man has to eat to keep the brain going is quite small. Why not leave all those stupid ideas in all those human brains?”

What mystics for thousands of years have called “being asleep, being unenlightened,” is simply being a bit stupid. If you’ve got too many useless ideas, you become sluggish, whereas when you have what we might call “awakened ideas,” you feel very alert, speedy, and happy. You could tell yourself, “All of the stupid, useless ideas in me that keep me asleep, distracted, and confused—if those ideas were gone, I’d be awake, or at least the struggle to awaken would be a lot easier.” You may be right, but that is the nature of risk management. Those stupid ideas are not helping you individually, but from Life’s perspective, they are a wise investment. They are Life operating its own government inside of itself.

There are many other examples I could use of risk management, but now I’ve reminded you of the basic idea, of everybody helping to prop up everybody else in times of great need. I say again that what seem to be the dumb and useless ideas inside all of us are risk management for Life. Let’s see Buddha match that!

You miss a great opportunity any time you find yourself being critical of Life. That’s the kind of stuff I like to think about, second only to me listening to myself think. If you find yourself being critical of Life, you’re in a great place to learn something that will help wake you up, because being critical of something in Life, means being stupid about it. In addition, being critical of something in Life means that something interests you enough for you to be critical. You need to stop griping and pay attention, because you could find deliciousness there.

By the way, I recommend again to you most highly, although it may not sound as if it has anything to do with mystical matters, that you think of quite ordinary things like government, or something specific like taxation or risk management, and examine how those things reflect within your mind. I don’t really know how to describe my experience of this type of thinking, but it’s always been helpful. Man did not show up on this planet and find internal combustion engines, windmills and waterwheels, atomic and nuclear reactors, and all the rest. Man developed those things, and thinking about how they were developed can be a very beneficial exercise.

You might be watching a food show on TV, and they say, “Be careful not to overcook the meat in the pan.” You suddenly picture yourself back with the cave men, just barely capable of having any thoughts. How did somebody back then decide, “This animal that I chased all day and finally killed, and that I’m eating raw like I always have, I think I’ll throw it in the fire. The fire might just burn up all that meat, and I’ll be without food, but maybe not. I want to see what will happen.”

Thinking about that cave man and what he figured out does something for me. Over time, continually wondering, “How could this be? How did this come about?” has made changes in my brain. I don’t mean that I come up with an answer, but thinking about such developments gives a body blow to my ordinary thinking. I highly recommend that activity.

The wisdom of risk management in the mind is also something to contemplate. “How did somebody come up with that?” That’s almost as astounding as learning to cook meat, or figuring out how to harness running water to turn a millstone. The idea of Life’s risk management system, which is truly in the intangible realm, is the kind of thing that will put a beneficial shock into your mind, into your thinking, into your consciousness.

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

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Putting It Together For Those Not Satisfied With Being Apart
March 1, 2004 ©2004: JAN COX

This Is Not About What Ideas You Should Have In Your Mind,
But Rather What You Can DO In Your Mind

Mused one man: “We may all be shills for the city,
but I’ll be damned if I’ll do more than I have to.”

“Men who use the word: inevitable in discussing strictly human affairs
couldn’t be of more ordinary intelligence if they took graduate classes therein.”
“Are you trying to say that they’re stupid?”
“What?! — I’ve got a speech impediment?”

What is taken for intelligence in the city is being smart enough to read books by
other men who there are taken to be intelligent.
Rats confined to the track remain safe.
(“And what in life could be more important than safe rats!”)

Noting The Obvious.
One man says: “Isn’t it coincidental that the more you are falling apart
the more you see life falling apart?!”

One guy says he sees no reason for manic depression to give all mania a bad name. (Though he admits he’s not entirely clear why he feels this way…..
…..and after getting a good look at you, it may be best not to pursue it.)

In poor lands, the dumbest like to be appointed messengers for the king,
for by delivering important intelligence they feel important and intelligent.
Note: Every synapse worthy its name understands this from day one —
and a mind ponders: “If I am being fooled by some of my cells —
how could I ever become aware there of?! — in that I AM my cells!”
(“Don’t listen to that shit,” injected a socially concerned neuron.)

The only things ordinary men know to think about
are whatever everyone else is thinking about.
(Quite another coincidence, huh?!)

The way one man found to deal with a problem of having only a limited amount of
a particular substance to be divided between X and Y containers,
and trying to decide how much each would receive,
was to spill most of it as he began pouring — thus solving the problem
by making it moot.
(And — Gawd! — how he embraced this protocol in a certain intangible and quite personal situation.)

One man labeled his mind’s beliefs & opinions: Fads & Fallacies.

Actors trying to describe what they do is hearing a wolf give a demonstration of howling — both being what occurs in the mind with what ordinary men call: thinking.
The indicativeness of four is clearly its fourness — what else the hell you lookin’ for?

A man who doesn’t know the answer will say to he who asked it:
“That is a very good question…”
(And one man’s mind reminded him:
“I warned you: don’t pay any attention to that kind of crap.”)

If you can tell that a man is on drugs — he’s on the wrong ones.
(One man’s slogan is: “Bring an unwrapped gift.”)

Women brush hair out of their eyes;
men, thoughts they don’t grasp.

Reporter interviewing author.
Reporter: “How do you write all of your stuff?”
Author: “You’ve never seen anyone work a computer?”
Reporter: “No – how do you mentally come up with all the things you write?”
Author: “How did you come up with that question?”
Reporter: “Well — I just thought about the kinds of things you would want to ask
an author — then decided to ask you that particular one.”
Author: “Okay, if you can accept that: then take it as my answer to your question.”
(Didn’t seem like the reporter got-it.)

Struggling to say-what-you-mean when you don’t mean nuthin’
is the sport-of-kings (city kings, to be precise).

“All heroic myths are in truth, fears,
and all human fears (save death and laming) are superstitions.”
“How the hell can you call fears, superstitions!”
“Yeah! — how the hell’d I do that?!”

Upgraded Health Update.
For the few: the “Big C” is: “Not big enough Consciousness.”

In the city: all predictions are as good as all others;
in the city: all predictions eventually come true;
in the city: all predictions are meaningless –
in the city things don’t become — they are: they all are but bits OF the city:
a fact completely unrecognizable to those living there.
Things cannot become better or worse in Atlantis;
Atlantis is the mind and once it’s sunk — always so.
The imagination giveth, but it cannot taketh away — not from city dwellers! —
once Beauty is Asleep — forget about it! — there is no awakening her.

The reason men prefer the radio to listening to their own CD’s
is that even the illusion of control is taken from them.

Plainly emblematic of areas of man’s ignorance is his historic choice of heroes.

Terrorists continue to scare the bejesus out of city-ites
via the dastardly weapon of mirrors.

In a creation landlord-tenant arrangement, said one to the other:
“When the matter of upkeep becomes unbearable —
you’re beginning to burn.”

Inspirational tales only inspire those who need inspiration.
Synapses who can ride — can ride themselves.