Jan Cox Talk 3120

When Thinking is Not Thinking


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

More on consciousness fed from two different sources: internal, biological and external culture-delivered, input. Ordinary thinking is the referral, invoking and rearranging of other’s already expressed thinking. Real thinking is thinking more than you have to; thinking that is not about what fuels your thoughts, i.e., other peoples’ thinking.

The brain is normally, unknowingly, an utter hostage to influence by other peoples’ thinking. Such thought is the support of man’s secondary, intangible reality—a cannibalistic mélange of plagiarism and cultural cud chewing. (43:08) #3120

Notes by DR

Jan Cox Talk 3120       Thinking more than you have to: thinking about things that are not fueling your thinking. When you’re awake you’re not thinking about other people’s thoughts.


3/12/04 # 3120
Edited by SA

To add to what I talked about last time, I want to review why your ordinary mind cannot grasp what’s going on with consciousness. I have been noting that consciousness is fed from two different sources. What you think about first is what is constantly going on physiologically in your body. When there’s nothing going on outside yourself that draws your attention, then the daydreams running through your mind are determined and fed by what’s going on in your body. The other source, the other alternative, is thinking about something that stimulated you from without.

If there’s nothing going on biologically that demands your attention, and there is no external threat, then the mind—consciousness—would appear to be free to think about anything it wants to. The mind’s daydreams, or its ability to think, should be unfettered. People with ordinary minds can make no sense of the idea that they’re living in a dream, living in the dark, not fully conscious, because they can’t grasp that under ordinary conditions you can’t do anything with your own consciousness.

I have an example for you. Picture a radio call-in show, a talk show. Someone is listening to the show and they decide to call in. Let’s say the topic that’s being discussed is the speech the president gave yesterday concerning his proposed tax bill.

Before I go on, I want to remind you that tax bills, presidents, talk shows, are not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about consciousness.

Now, someone calls into the talk show, and they put him on the air, and the radio talk show host says, “Yes, go ahead.”

The caller says, “Well, regarding the president’s speech and his proposed tax bill, here’s what I think.”

That’s consciousness saying, “Here’s what I think.”

That talk show appears to be set up for someone to express their views, their thoughts. The title of the show could be “What Do You Think, America?” The show’s host says, “What do you think, Joe from Cairo, Illinois?”

Joe from Cairo says, “Here’s what I think.” And then he says, “Did you read today’s New York Times?

Greenstine said that the president proposed this bill simply to pay off his political debts to his large contributors.” Then for five minutes, the host and the caller discuss the pros and the cons of Joe Greenstine’s column.

This is a hoax. I’m being funny again, dramatically funny, but you do understand, this is a hoax. The caller says as soon as he gets on the air, “Well, here’s what I think. In Fred’s column today, he claims that the president’s simply paying off his debts to his donors.”

“Well, let me interrupt you there, Joe. All presidents, all politicians, in a sense have to pay off their debts.”

And the caller says, “Yes. But we all know Fred Greenstine is a liberal. He’s had it in for this president ever since his election.”

Do you hear the hoax? The caller is in no way saying what he thinks. He’s not thinking when he says, “Let me tell you what I think.” They’re discussing what some columnist says that he thinks about what the president said.

The reason that makes it so difficult, verging on impossible, for ordinary people to get any grasp of what consciousness is, is that the caller believes he’s thinking. If I could magically jump in there, if I were transported to Cairo, Illinois and was right there in front of Joe, I could say, “You said, ‘Here’s what I think.’ But you’re not thinking. What you’re talking about in no wise represents you thinking. This morning you read an article by a newspaper columnist, and you’re taking about what he says he thinks.”

Would Joe understand what I just said? If your immediate answer is “No,” you’re correct.

As always, I hope my example wasn’t too convoluted. I used an example I thought many of you would be familiar with, something you’re not participating in, so that you can look at it from a spectator’s view. Of course, it could also be somebody saying, “Well here’s what I think about God. Here’s what I think God wants us to do,” and they start quoting the Bible, or quoting Billy Graham, or the Pope. If you interrupted that person and said “Wait a minute. You were going to tell us what you think about God. But you’ve just been quoting the Bible and Billy Graham. You’re not saying what you think.”

Ordinary people, if they took me seriously, would give me an argument. If I said, “You’re not thinking. You’re trying to fool me. You’re trying to fool yourself. Because when you said, ‘Alright, here’s what I think,’ the first words out of your mouth were, ‘Well, as Billy Graham says,’ or ‘as it says in the Book of Job.’ So you’re not talking about what you think. You dragged in what somebody else says they think.”

The person I’m talking to is certainly not going to say, “Oh, I see what you mean. Well, let me see. What do I think?”

This is what I was inferring last time. Ask yourself the question, “Does the mind, does consciousness actually think?” Can you feel what I’m saying? We’ve just been using Joe from Cairo as an example to keep us from having to say, “You.” But now look into your own brain. I assume you can be in two places at once, right? That is, you can sit there and listen to me talk like this and you listen at the same level, in the same way I’m talking, but simultaneously you’re aware of what your old natural-born, dumb, ordinary state of mind does.

Imagine how it would be if you were in an ordinary state, living in the dream, as some mystics call it, just your natural old self, and you and some other human got into a discussion about a movie that you’d both seen, or a magazine article that both of you had read, and you’re intellectually debating the spiritual, the metaphorical message of this movie that both of you saw yesterday, and then I stepped in and said, “You people are not thinking.” I pointed to you and said, “You’re not telling him what you think.”

If you were in your ordinary state of mind, you could have no conception of what I was saying. It literally would not make sense. You would say to me, “You’re crazy. I was passionately talking to my friend here, because he was claiming that the lead character in that movie was a metaphor for death. And I was telling him that the character was a metaphor for man’s future. I was giving him my opposing thoughts.”

If I tried again, and I said, “But you’re not saying anything about what you think. You’re talking about what whoever wrote the movie says they think.” What would your mind do with that? You would probably argue with me. You’d say, “Yes, we’re talking about the movie, but I’m telling him what I think about it.”

And if I said, “But that’s not you thinking. What’s coming out of your mouth, what’s going on in your brain, is not you thinking. It’s not thoughts whose name is you. It’s not thoughts around which the only fingerprints are yours, or you wouldn’t be talking about the movie. You would not be talking about the president’s speech. You would not be talking about Fred Greenstine’s article this morning. You would not be quoting the Bible.

I was not expecting that anybody would swoon or have a moment of enlightenment from this. All I can ask is, can you feel this? You have to try to do it. My words are not going to bring it on. How would you feel if I interrupted your conversation with your friend and said, “This is not thinking. What you’re doing right now is not what I know to be thinking.”

This is not man’s ordinary view. You’re not born with it. Some of us are born with the potential for it, but nobody is born with it. If I had somebody with the right turn of mind, I could start logically arguing, and perhaps lay out to someone of a philosophical turn of mind—if I had a Plato or an Aristotle in front of me, I could lay out a logical argument, and point out to them that talking about somebody else’s ideas is not thinking. I believe I could probably explain this to Aristotle. I would say to him, “Aristotle, you are discussing Plato’s ideas. But no matter how great we may consider Plato to have been—we’re not arguing that—if you want to talk and think about Plato’s ideas, that’s what I would call ‘Thinking #1.’ But Aristotle, surely you agree that theoretically there’s got to be a process in our brain that we could call ‘Thinking #2,’ in which our thoughts are not about, are not fed by, are not in reaction to someone else’s thoughts.”

I went through all that to try and make sure that you’ve got some ledge to hold on to. Consciousness normally can’t do that. I say, again, that what you’re doing is not what I call consciousness, thinking. That is not awakened, enlightened, individual thinking. It is simply not thinking in the awakened sense, in the liberated sense, in the mystical sense. It’s “Thinking #2” that I’m talking about, but I can’t tell you what “Thinking #2” is. Well, I can, sort of. It’s thinking more than you have to. It’s thinking that’s not about whatever’s fueling your thinking.

Some of you may have been in non-standard states of consciousness before. And whether you can remember it directly or not, if you’ve actually been in that different state, I can tell you this: You did not think about other people’s ideas. In a sense, you didn’t think about anything that your ordinary mind knows. Simply put, and as simple as it sounds, this is true. I give you my guarantee. Thinking about other people’s thoughts will never wake you up.

I guess I can state a more negative version of that, put a slightly more sour twist to it. You are captive. Your brain is absolutely imprisoned, and it’s everything but impossible to realize it. Because if an ordinary mind is told, “What you’re doing is not the only thinking possible. There’s another kind of consciousness. There’s another way to use the conscious part of your brain that’s not like this,” the ordinary mind won’t accept it.

Now, I can’t tell you how to do the other kind of thinking, because it can’t be taught. All I can do is encourage you. There is nothing that can be taught. You can’t make somebody, or you can’t literally show somebody because you can’t literally even tell them how to go from this state of mind, from what you think of as thinking, to the other kind of thinking. You just naturally assume that what you’re doing is thinking, reflecting, pondering, studying, figuring. And you’re not. If somebody else’s thoughts are involved, you’re not thinking. I hate to be crude, but you’re not eating. Instead, you’re chewing on someone else’s vomit. You’re not thinking.

If you tell the ordinary mind “You’re not thinking,” its immediate reaction is, “Yes, I am.”

You say, “Yeah, but you’re thinking about somebody else’s ideas. That’s not really thinking.”

And the mind would say, “Yeah, but I was arguing that Plato was wrong, the Book of Job is wrong, the Bible is wrong, Aristotle is wrong, the president’s wrong. What Fred Greenstine said in his column today is wrong. I was pointing out to my conversational partner that Fred’s wrong, that that whole thing is wrong. I wasn’t agreeing with Fred’s column. I was disagreeing. I was thinking.”

That would be the extent of the ordinary mind’s ability to hear what I said, which is zero. To tell the ordinary mind that that’s not thinking would be absurd.

That kind of thinking, thinking in the ordinary sense, keeps man’s intangible second reality going. If that kind of thinking didn’t go on, that phony-baloney world would collapse. If nobody “thought” about Fred’s column, there wouldn’t be a column by Fred. And if people quit looking at Fred’s column and “thinking” about it, then pretty soon there’d be no columns. Shortly after that, the New York Times would have to go out of business. Shortly after that, the paper mills would go out of business. Eventually, culture would collapse.

Man’s second reality—the cultural, spiritual, intellectual world of man—depends upon this continual recycling, this infinite plagiarism, this eternal cannibalism. This is what composes ordinary man’s entire intellectual, spiritual, metaphysical, cultural world, and it is not based upon individual thinking, as I call it, or Thinking #2, as I am labeling it tonight. For religion to continue, men must talk about what other men have said about religion. For music to continue—at least musical lyrics—people have to sing songs that other people wrote.

Here is the perfect symbolic description of man’s entire civilization, man’s other reality, the intangible realm: it’s all based upon singing somebody else’s song. Of course, the day may come when somebody will sing your song. You might be involved in a discussion with three or four people about Fred Greenstine’s column. You make a comment, and within seconds, somebody else points to you and says, “He just said that Fred only picks on the president because Fred used to be a member of the Young Communist Party. I read that in a book a couple of years ago. I read that back when he was at Columbia University, Fred was a member of the Young Communists.” Then he points to you and says, “Now he told me he read that same book, and that’s why he’s picking on Fred.”

Somebody’s now picking on you. That is, they’re singing your song. They’re chewing on your vomit. And they think they’re thinking. And if I jumped over to them and said, “Wait a minute. Now you’re doing it. You’re not thinking either.”

They’d say, “Yeah, I am thinking. I stood right here and listened to him,” and they point to you. “I listened to him ravage and criticize Fred Greenstine, one of America’s better-known political pundits. I stood here and I kept my mouth shut and I listened to what he said, and was thinking about it. That’s why I didn’t interrupt. So don’t tell me I don’t think. What I’m doing now is telling you what Ithink about what he said about Fred’s column, which was about what the president said.”

When you can feel that reality in your head, it does something to you. That example was extreme, but this is what’s constantly going on. Even if you’re not calling in to a radio talk show, you’re not in a discussion, you’re off by yourself with nobody to interrupt you, so you can think anything you want to, what does your brain normally think of? What’s it thinking about?

Tell me that you ever think about things that don’t involve anybody else. Tell me that you’re thinking about an idea that you have not read or heard someone else say. Tell me that.

When you see the reality of that, it’s like you get an elbow to the mind, to the brain. And that is not thinking. That is not what happens when you know what’s going on. For those of you who have had those extraordinary experiences—who have been awake—whether you remember it or not, I can guarantee you that during that period, you did not think about other people’s thoughts. And that’s what I’m talking about, what I talk about all the time.

Not thinking about other people’s thoughts is the kind of thinking, “Thinking #2,” which I can’t really describe to you other than to say that it’s thinking more than you have to. It’s that thinking, and only that thinking, that will ever push you around the corner. That thinking is what will wake you up, not thinking about anybody else’s ideas, even if they’re about the idea of waking up. Thinking about other people’s ideas is not using the brain in a way that it can be used.

But it’s delightful—it makes me smile—to realize that in your ordinary state, this is impossible to understand, because your mind says, “What the hell are you talking about?”

And I say, “You’re just being victimized by the same, continuing fraud.”

Your mind says, “Fraud! It’s not a fraud! I’m telling you what I think. How can you call me a fraud? I’m sitting right here listening to what you’re saying, as silly as it is. And I’m thinking about it. And you’re wrong!”

See, you’re doing it again. That’s how impossible it is. And to me, it’s delightful. Well, that’s easy for me to say, since I know how to get out of it. It drove me crazy for numerous years, but I wasn’t doing anything else. Well, anything that interfered. The great thing about being asleep and a pecker-head is that you can still carry on a normal life, can’t you?

Oh, you’re going to pretend it’s just me.

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A Journal For The Few For Whom The Faux Won’t Do
March 12, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX

One man’s suggested way to get started:
“Take whatever idea is already in your mind about a certain matter and first:
vice the versa — then go sideways with it from there.”

It is for those without a clue to what is going on
that the idea of good and evil forces was contrived.

If you don’t mentally grasp what is going on,
all your memories consist of what has physically occurred in your life.
A man pondered:
“Is that why I cannot be sure if my consciousness is a seamless constant,
or a series of separate moments, which yet yield the impression of a unity,
since they occur in a single brain?”
Everybody rides a bus — but most needlessly ride many.
“Why the word: needlessly?”
Synonym for: speciously.

A Q. & A. Game.
“How can you tell that an awake man is about to die?”
“He starts wanting to argue.”
“I don’t get it.”
“That means one of two things, now doesn’t it.”
A father noted to a son:
“There is a beautifully balanced, super rational math at the base of Enlightenment,
though so elementary as to be ungraspable by ordinary minds,
(or: overlooked, if you like).”
“So does that stop it from being there?”
“No, it’s the same as how being a Baptist doesn’t keep you from drinking —
just from enjoying it.”

A chap in the library looked up from his medieval readings and said aloud:
“Ah! – but I wish I had lived way-back-then,” and at an adjoining table,
way-back-then muttered something harsh sounding under its breath.

Once there was a group of male Homo sapiens who,
whenever they wanted to get together would ask their feminine counterparts
to stay away so that they could more freely talk about guy-stuff
(the real reason they did this was that none of them had any idea what guy-stuff was, and didn’t want the women to know it.)
Warning: This is a solution applicable strictly to a sexual matter,
and should not in any manner be applied to other activities of one’s physiology.

People continue to seem totally surprised by the superior logic of
the man with the larger gun.

Another Query.
What is the difference between ship-building and map-making? —
same as between a knight with hemorrhoids who rides on just the same,
and one who stays home ‘til he can get some treatment.
“Pa pa: would an allegorical tale like that ever lie to you?”
“Son — why would it?!”

And finally a voice objected:
“But guns have nothing to do with logic?!?” –
Ah so! — but: guns have everything to do with bullets!
And this from Recreation Warehouse’s latest sales circular:
“Your consciousness can just lather and take life as it comes — OR:…”
but someone has torn off the rest of that page.

The cowardly band together while the brave mostly live alone.
(Again a caution: This is a sociological comment,
not intended for use in any other area of your life.)

Okay an easy one: What is the difference between being ordinary and not being? — whatever the ordinary say it is.
The trickiness of living in the prison part of consciousness is:
anything the mind there can say is so can for sure seem to be so:
it invents an imaginary shoe store and — Lord-grab-a-goose! –
damn’f every shoe in there doesn’t FIT.
Hey! — that can’t be mere coincidence — no sir! –
that has every trapping of being: The Truth! —
how could something that always fits not be?!
Once upon a time a young lad imagined a disquiet store in his mind,
and every time he went therein — for any reason —
he would always find a problem that perfectly fit the occasion.

Oh Sweet Chronos! — in what times we live — and what times IN us live.

One day a kid mused to his dog: “What does it really take to be a leader-of-men?” — and though speechless, the dog knew the answer:
“A loud bark and lots of testosterone.”
(He did leave out: low I.Q. — but hey! — he’s just a dog.)

One musically inclined man’s favorite golden oldie is:
“We’ll Have These Blank Spaces To Remember.”

(In case you’re interested): during their life time there are three versions of
every person who wakes up to what’s really going on.
(And if they never stop, four.)

One man one day pondered:
“What if (in an unbiased manner) I finally think of everything that can be thought of —
what will I think of then?”
(Do you ever ponder why there are not more men like him?)

(If you want to look for benefits): the unawakened die only once —
the drawback is that they only live half the life possible.

A speaker in city park declared:
“Under its breath: life says everything…..wait! — my mind has obviously printed out
an erroneous version of what I intended to say (here’s how it was supposed to read):
Under their breath: men think everything while thinking that they think it!” —
and from the crowd came this:
“Is that why we do the thing we call thinking — under-our-breath?”
Note: The ordinary mind sees itself as a one-man-act —
in no need of hecklers or would-be partners, and indeed, unwittingly so it be:
a one man hypnotist act.

“The feeling that you are falling-apart is not proof that you are.”
“But it’s not a bad sign?”
The difference between a dead man and one whose consciousness has died
to ordinary ideas is that a dead man smells bad.

Another musically disposed man has a special part of his consciousness
that makes the other parts sound like tired old records.

A real ruler does not talk about the things the people are talking about,
but rather only matters that he thinks up.

One man has a single principle by which he lives: “Drop everything!”


Although it clearly doesn’t sound right: the trick is to think about things without thinking about them.