Jan Cox Talk 3117

Stop Dancing With The One That Brung Ya


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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Summary = See below
Edited Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See below
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Notes by TK

“Only to mine enemies have I shown my true nature.” Friends are fatal and the familiar is lethal in the internal intangible world of man. Physically man survives by doing the habitual; internally this habitual pattern helps a man to know who he is. The struggle against sleep is the struggle against all that is familiar and friendly to you internally.

Men are not programmed to fight against the familiar—therefore do they enjoy the vicarious shocking event that shakes them out of their usual mental milieu; even in actual personal untoward events there is a kind of pleasure involved. It forces the experience of unfriendly thoughts and unfamiliar feelings. This is the reality of the word: ‘bittersweet.’

You can never achieve awakening by doing what is natural to you. (30:21) #3117

Notes by DR

 The enjoyment of bad news; “bittersweet.” Feelings that produce thoughts that are quite unfamiliar to you, i.e., your familiar feelings and thoughts are your worst enemy. The ‘awakened self’ must only expose to its enemies those feelings and ideas that are not natural to you, not familiar, not comfortable, and its not that they’re true.  Its not that they’re correct, it’s that they help.


03/05/04 # 3117
Edited by SA

Many years ago, I wrote a little tale that I haven’t spoken about before. The story was set on a planet far away and long ago, in a field on which it was said colossal battles had been fought. In the sand, written in blood, were the words, “Only to mine enemies have I shown my true nature.”

It’s easy to see that all forms of life are programmed to seek the familiar and to behave in a habitual manner. All humans love the familiar. With regard to physical existence, you stay alive through engaging in habitual behavior, and when you get into your inner life, into what you feel and the thoughts you have, everyone is by nature, by their own programming, desirous of the familiar. That is one way that you know who you are in the intangible sense, the personal, individual sense.

Remember, we’re not talking about the physical. We’re not talking about you enjoying going home to the same house, sitting in the same chair, eating the same foods. We are talking about things that you can’t touch—your emotions, your feelings. Those feelings are habitual to you, they’re friendly to you, they’re familiar to you. And along with them are all of your habitual thoughts, which, when you are exposed to someone else’s feelings and ideas, trigger automatic feelings in you.

When you hear somebody express an idea about religion or politics that is antagonistic to your ideas, and you immediately jump onto your Archie Bunker chair and start hollering about what meatheads all those other ideas are, you have run back to the bosom of your family. Your neural family. Your neural friends. Your emotional compadres. It’s almost impossible not to run home internally, because when you do, you feel as if you’re involved in a conscious, willful activity and making informed, enlightened judgments. From an ordinary view, your correct ideas, which deny the idea you just heard—your ideas immediately begin resisting the idea that you consider wrong.

You’re back in a familiar place in your head, in the part of your brain—the limbic system—where you feel not just physical sensations in reaction to the tangible physical environment, but also feelings about intangible things outside of you—responses to ideas that you’ve heard, or things that you see people do. Those automatic ideas in your head are what is familiar to you. Those ideas are your friends.

There could not be a more deadly foe for people attempting to wake up than those automatic feelings and thoughts. If there is any struggle to go through on the path to enlightenment, it’s not against other people. It’s not against stupidity. It’s not against Life itself. You could even say that the battle is not against whatever sleep is, which nobody can define. But you can define the struggle against sleep as the struggle against everything intangible that’s friendly and familiar to you.

Ask yourself why people are so attracted to bad news, to heartbreak, to horrible things. Why does everyone want to tell you about the latest disease they have? Why do they want to bring you up to date about who in their family has died recently? You could view it as some sort of quirk, with an effect that seems inexplicable, but I propose a very good reason why bad news has such appeal. Ordinary people are not programmed to make any effort to fight against the familiar, but they enjoy, in a quite special way, something that shakes them out of their usual feelings. People routinely relish talking about their horrific experiences. You meet someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, and you ask him how he’s doing. His face lights up, and he says, “Oh, you haven’t heard. My wife died. I lost my business. Everything fell apart. I was almost put in jail.” You can feel a kind of positive emotional excitement emanating from him as he relays to you all of the terrible things that have happened.

The enjoyment of bad news has got to be the origin of the word, “bittersweet.” Taking pleasure in horrible experiences makes no obvious sense. Nobody is going to accuse an ordinary person of enjoying the fact that their family was killed in a car wreck, or that they have some horrible disease. But if you look inside yourself, there is a quite obvious reality to it. Remember, we’re not talking about you running a saw through two or three of your fingers. We’re not talking about physical pain. We’re talking about feelings that are quite unfamiliar to you, and that then produce unfamiliar thoughts. Under ordinary conditions, even you might choose to see a movie that you’ve been told is nothing but non-stop murder and torture, which is just a vicarious version of having horrible things happen in your life. That is the attraction of horror movies.

All of us are programmed so that in our intangible world, in some strange way, we feel an excitement, a pleasure, over horrific experiences and negative emotions. Think about country music songs. Why do people go to the trouble to write songs that say, “Got up this morning and found a note from Betty Sue. The woman who means more to me than life, my one sweet love, had left me all alone!” A man made the effort to write down those words and find an entertaining chord progression to go with them, so he could get his song on the radio. Other people heard his song and took the time to write down the title so that they could buy the song. Why? It’s bad enough that the man cared for a woman and she dumped him, but then he wrote it down in a permanent form and sang about it. He wasn’t even ashamed to admit that he couldn’t hold on to his woman.

You’ve all had horrible things happen—things that have been said or done to you, and created negative emotions in you. You re-read the note that Betty Sue left. You call her sister, who says, “Yeah, she’s long gone. It’s over, buster.” You think, “Oh, no! My whole life is ruined!” But once you get over the first shock that she’s gone, once you accept the fact, once it sinks in for real—probably within an hour—a kind of pleasure, an excitement, comes over you, because the experience of losing Betty Sue has shaken you out of your habitual inner state and forced you to have unfamiliar feelings and unfriendly thoughts.

People like us could not have a worse enemy than our friendly thoughts. There could not be anything more deadly, more detrimental, more disadvantageous to ever understanding what’s going on in life than your familiar feelings and comfortable beliefs. If there’s anything that will keep you in the dark and asleep, it’s your buddies. It’s your easy chair. It’s what you agree with. It’s what you feel comfortable with. At the crudest level, it’s what you believe is true and right.

Your ordinary nature is supported by those familiar thoughts and feelings, but if you only stick with them, you will never discover your true nature, your awakened nature. Nevertheless, people find it almost impossible to struggle against those feelings and thoughts, because it’s so difficult even to get a mental grip on the need for that struggle. This is almost impossible to think about, because to your natural-born mind, what I’m saying is not an attack, not a criticism. When you hear an idea that is patently false and misleading, even if you don’t argue with the person who said it, internally you do what any conscious, intelligent, insightful person would do. Your brain rebuts what they said, even if the rebuttal is silent. When you see somebody behaving in a way that you feel is not appropriate, your mind tells you that you should be glad that your feelings are around to remind you of what’s proper.

On the surface, it’s insane for me to say that your most familiar feelings and thoughts are the worst enemy you have to awakening. You might think that’s a paradox worth a dismissal, but it means exactly what it says, even though it’s almost impossible to get your mental hands on it. In your struggle, you need antagonistic thoughts and feelings, which is the point of the story I wrote years ago that, “Only to mine enemies have I shown my true nature.” For a feeling to be unfamiliar, it generally will be negative. For somebody attempting to awaken, it is only to and through feelings and thinking that are not your old buddies, that are not part of your army—it’s only to your enemies that you can reveal your more awakened nature.

A built-in resistance to trying to wake up is that you must struggle for freshness, struggle against what seems to be yourself. The habitual, intangible habits of your mind are the whole basis of your feeling of self. You have probably read descriptions of people cracking up, experiencing what’s referred to as a nervous breakdown, people saying that one morning they woke up, or came off a three-day binge or a long period of staying high on drugs, and suddenly they got the scare of their life. They had the sensation that they didn’t know who they were. In their mind, in their feeling, they had lost all sense of self. It’s a classic description that people have written about for thousands of years. To use the vernacular, it’s a description of going crazy. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar, you know that there’s nothing more frightening. The point is that the person is conscious, he knows that he’s conscious, but he’s lost a sense of himself as an individual.

Your whole sense of you, everybody’s ordinary sense of themselves, is based upon habitual, familiar feelings. That’s how you know you’re you. I could say that to any intelligent person, and they’d say, “I understand the sentence, but I don’t know whether it’s true or not.” That would be how their friendly, familiar feelings and thoughts would react to what I said. As always, you should be delighted that everything continues like that for everyone else on the planet.

For thousands of years, every system or method for achieving enlightenment has started by putting you into a new physical environment and making you do new things. The classic idea is that you give up your ordinary life and you go into a monastery wherein they make you sleep on a bed harder than you’re used to, make you get up earlier than you did, make you eat foods that you didn’t normally eat, make you give up foods that you’re accustomed to, all of that. Those physical changes give most people about as much shock as they need, about as much irritation as they can stand.

That is the weekend version, the shortcut version, and it’s always been so. Nowadays, everybody expects to experience that type of physical deprivation, so I’ll leave it to your insight as to whether it accomplishes anything, because unless you’re doing something of great physical harm to yourself, like drinking too much, or taking drugs, the habits of your physical life are of no great consequence. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, sitting in the same chair every night to watch TV; those types of physical habits are irrelevant to the search for enlightenment.

If you really want to apply yourself, what you must struggle against is your intangible habits—every familiar feeling and thought that you have. Indiscriminately. There is no morality to this, no right and wrong. You don’t have to sift through your feelings and wonder, “Maybe this is a good feeling I have about other people, about how life should be lived. Perhaps I should reserve this feeling, or at least set it aside until I can decide.”

No, no, no. You’ve got to surround yourself with your enemies, with those feelings, those ideas, that are not natural to you, not familiar, not comfortable. It’s not that those enemy feelings are true. It’s not that they’re correct. It’s that they’re the only things that will help. They’re the only ones to whom you can reveal your true nature, your awakened nature.

Talk about not making any sense! What could be more insane than the statement that there is nothing you can think about that feels right to you that will help you wake up. To put it even more crudely, there is nothing you can think that you know is true that will help you wake up. There is nothing you can feel that you know is the proper way to feel about this that will assist you in seeing what’s going on. I could put this even more crudely. You can never get to the truth—let’s call it the truth instead of awakening—you can never get to the truth by thinking true thoughts. That is a valid description of what people have tried to describe for at least four thousand years, of being asleep, living in a dream, living in a world of illusion.

Quite simply, being asleep is living with familiar feelings and thoughts, and you can’t fight familiar thoughts with other familiar thoughts. You can’t use your comfortable truths to think your way out of being asleep. You can’t fight your way to the goal with the army that you came with. You’ve got to leave your intangible friends and family. The only ideas and feelings you need to hang out with are the ones you don’t like, especially the ones you’re uncomfortable with. In the inner, intangible world of man, friends are fatal, and the familiar is lethal. To put it into even more countrified jargon, you’ve got

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Limning For The Outliers, The True Lay-Of-The-Land
March 5, 2004 ©2004: JAN COX

If All The Stories Of All The People Were Put Together
You Would Have The Story Of One Fully Enlightened Man.
(Some Surprise, Huh?!)

A father told a son:
“People aren’t as stupid as they may first appear (for instance):
Each person knows full well that his own mind will never explain what life is about,
so men have tacitly agreed to the collective make-believe-idea that there are books other men have written (and not their own puny intellects) which have such answers.
Let’s see a hippo match that!”
Why Men Can’t Mentally See What Is Really Going On.
Can you truly picture a puck ever comprehending the sport of hockey?
Without a man’s consciousness get off-the-ice —
the game of life is a confusing jumble of unexpected, inexplicable twists and turns;
only the certain man in the stands (the sole spectator) from his internal vantage point, sees the sense in humanity’s relentless, collective activities in the rink.
“What a sight, my boy! — what a thing to see!”

“Dear Dr. Exacto: Is part of civilization’s raison d’être
to make life seem more challenging than it actually is?”

Whenever one man would hear fashion mentioned in city circles he would wonder whether the reference was to clothes men wear, or ideas that wear them.
Fashion means nothing if you’re in it at the time;
only the man out-of-his-native-attire is smartly dressed in consciousness.
“Do you know the difference between wheat and religion?”
“One look at me should answer that.”

Man’s standard mental-flight-through-life is done on what amounts to: automatic-pilot: an easy to observe, incontestable fact.
“Is that why men don’t observe it — it’s too obvious?”
Really: can you imagine a remotely controlled toy plane ever conceiving of
radio waves and programmable chips?
“We’re back again to the matter of escape, right?! —
a break-out from ordinary sized consciousness.”
Pandora Exploded.
There is no knowledge, no miraculous info that can be placed inside a box that has
the intelligence, or ability to ever grasp at all the existence of the box,
and thus the position of the medium (the mind) for such neural activity.
You can know everything in the world, but as long as it is confined to the
sized consciousness you came with, it will not reveal the secret the certain man seeks.
Fact: There is a specific corner which every seeker must turn to initially awake at all from the basic dream (which is): that the descriptions of life they normally hear
both from others and in their own head are not and never will be sufficient to
explain what is going on to their satisfaction.
Even The Library Of Alexandria means nothing — as long as it is kept in:
The Library Of Alexandria.

One chap offers:
“In the city (that is: man’s standard state-of-mind) it is impossible to be: too-smug.
MY GOD, MAN! — the place thrives on it!
You can’t really believe that mental-unease brought the Brothers Grimm
to where they are today!
My god man! — wake up and smell the needed conceit-&-complacency!”
Fact: The city does not run on fuel alone — but mostly fumes (and imaginary ones at that).
As he sat by a sunny window, travel brochures in hand,
a man mused on how unusual it is to live in a land where the exposing of Scheherazade
is taken as a meaningful step in the march to enlightenment.

Medical-Police News.
The intellectual health of the city depends on continuous thievery.

As a blatant example of the appropriateness of his position, the ruler of one kingdom would only attack his neighbors when he was drunk, or extremely upset.
A true, pisser-of-a-monarch (and one you might note whose influence is world wide.)

Heroes may swim;
cowards may sink,
but dullards can float forever.

Sitting with a cup of coffee in the diner near the city museum a chap remarked:
“The true stigma — I’m sorry, I meant to say: the true sign of being civilized
is being able to resist kicking an economist when he’s down.”
And irrespective apparently of nothing, the guy behind the counter muttered:
“The cost of upkeep of men’s standard thoughts isn’t worth it —
no matter how you slice it, twist or turn it — it simply isn’t worth the effort.”
(A man not long for a city job.)

(And from Mythology): as noted Nolanios (the God Of Plumbing):
“There are not only two ways of looking at everything — but one as well.”

Collectively, men are always thinking: the-next-big-thing,
but only the certain man has his own version of it within himself.

Ordinary men (even experts) attempting to explain man
is a toaster trying to explain a microwave oven to toasters;
a nervous-system-rebel explaining man,
is a hot wired toaster trying to stick a fork into ordinary toasters.

One advantage of philosophers over theologians
is that they generally do not think that their subjects actually exist.

The Actual (Though Collectively Unacceptable) Fact.
There is dirt for sure — all else is opinion.

Some Social/Sexual News: (Don’t You Believe It!)
A man who will tell a woman that she is not attractive
is the sort of human who believes that the things he says, he thinks up on his own.

A man cannot have (as the ordinary call it): humility — only understanding;
the former that a man may display is a cover up for his lack of the latter.

The man-who-knows tells the rest of the world to go-to-hell —
except he doesn’t actually say it —
and he doesn’t really address it to the rest of the world —
and he doesn’t use those words — but other than that

One guy noodles: “Just as the coach of a team with a questionable record
shouldn’t walk up to the owner and ask directly: ‘Am I out of here?’ —
neither should a man’s ordinary thoughts so approach his consciousness.”
(As always the case in The Daily News:
the story is feasible to routine readers at one level, and to the few at another.)

Though it makes no city jungle sense:
a one eyed owl sees more than a two eyed one.

The nervous-system-rebel always enjoys having his son around:
only the nervous-system-rebel has one.