Only the Mind Can Live in a Dream
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.
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Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See below
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Notes by TK
The body does not live in a dream. The mind does. Example of a soldier interviewed about battle and death saying he understands why there is conflict and his purpose in it when he really has no clue. (38:46) #3132
Notes by DR
Jan Cox Talk 3132 How many fist fights have there been in bars over chemistry? None. The only thing that people get passionate about are things that do not exist, and the only thing that men passionately argue about do not exist.
Edited by SA
Let us say that you read somewhere that man is asleep, living in a dream world, and that he only imagines that he’s awake and knows what he’s doing. When we read that statement, some of us immediately accept it to be true. People like us who consider that man could be more conscious or enlightened, that he could wake up from a dream world, find the idea quite agreeable. As satisfying as that idea may seem, there is a trickiness to it that I’m not sure anybody takes into account.
I would suggest to you that there is a subtle difficulty in accepting the premise that you are asleep. If you use your mind in the way in which ordinary people do, as a rational measuring device, and you ask that problem-solving part of your mind, “Am I living in a dream?” the question doesn’t make sense. You have a job. You have a home and maybe a family. You’re doing all sorts of fairly complex things around the house, at your job, when you’re driving, or when you engage in sports or hobbies. If you look rationally at the idea that you live in a dream, just as ordinary people’s minds do, your mind would probably reject the idea. How could you explain to yourself the fact that every day you engage in quite complex activities?
No one lives physically in a dream. What stands between a person like us and the idea that we could be in some other state of consciousness, that we could see life in a different way, is something other than the physical lives we lead. The dream is not physical, but what the dream actually is, is incredibly subtle.
It’s easy to read in books and hear people talk who believe that they understand what “enlightenment” and “awakening” are, but no one can teach you this. You can’t learn what enlightenment is by studying some mystical “awakening” system. That’s just another dream. You’re contributing to your own distortion of reality by reading some book that says, “Here is how to awaken from the dream. Here is the system. Here is the trick.” It’s as if you’re asleep in bed and, rather than trying to awaken, you continually hit yourself on the head with a blunt object to make sure that you do not awaken. To say, as some mystics do, that the dream world has something to do with man’s lack of spirituality or lack of religiosity, is simply compounding the dream. I assume that you don’t have any interest in that kind of dream within a dream.
If you want to truly understand the dream, I encourage you to contemplate how ordinary people live their lives. My example tonight is quite contemporary, even though the process worked exactly the same way in ancient times. The example is right at the horizon of the dream world in which men continually talk—and believe that they think—about certain aspects of life, express their understanding of those facets of life with no hesitation and with absolute conviction. Ordinarily, nobody notices this example, yet when you do see it, it is glaringly obvious. You will see that people clearly have no understanding of what they believe they are describing.
We’re recording this in the early part of 2004, and the United States happens to be engaged in a large armed conflict on the other side of the world, in Iraq. Because we are in the age of worldwide electronic media, and because we live in a relatively free society, there are reporters all over the territory where the conflict is taking place. I assume that all of you turn on your radio or television, perhaps every day, and you hear about this conflict.
Today’s example is part of what reporters generally tell us about any particular day’s fighting. They may describe what kind of guerrilla warfare has been attacking our troops, and blah, blah, but primarily the reporters focus on the death count and the injury count. They will frequently interview a soldier on the front line, usually someone with the rank of private. The soldier will say, “Insurgents blew up our Humvee today, and right next to me, my best buddy was killed.” The reporter will probably ask something like, “How do you feel about that?”
Here’s the line I’m getting at: the soldier will respond, “We’re over here doing a job that we all know must be done. All I can do is keep my chin up and press on, because there’s no doubt that we’re here on a good mission. I understand exactly what we’re doing and so did my buddy who died today.”
There he stands, as they like to say nowadays, “in harm’s way,” (nother great new cliché), with gunfire all around him. You would think that a person in that situation has got to be mentally alert. He’s got to be speaking from his own depths, his own essence, for him to say, “Yes, I may be killed today. My best friend was killed this afternoon. But I understand my mission. I’m proud to be here, I understand what’s going on.”
To put it mildly, the soldier’s comment is one hundred percent gold-plated ridiculousness—but the soldier can’t see that. To be clear, I am not talking about the politics of the invasion. I’m talking about the dream in which that soldier lives. That dream is so pervasive and so subtle—I know I’ve said that word three times tonight, and “subtle” doesn’t really convey what I mean, but the dream is so close to reality. The dream is immersed and intertwined with reality—and even that doesn’t cover what I mean.
That soldier could be your cousin or your brother. He’s a fresh-faced kid standing there with his little rifle, and the reporter is asking, “How do you deal with this?” That’s the main question those reporters ask. And almost without exception, each of the soldiers will look right into the camera and speak with absolute conviction. It’s part of reality that the soldier says, “I hate to see my friends die, and I would hate to die here in this hot, desolate place far from home. But I know why we’re here. I know why we threw out that tyrannical dictator. I understand that this mission must be accomplished. And if I do have to die, at least I die knowing that I died for a good cause.”
Those interviews provide a clear example of living in a dream, because those soldiers are in a death-threatening situation. Our troops are suffering casualties and facing their own possible deaths every day in that foreign country. If there’s anything that would heighten a man’s sense of reality, wouldn’t it be combat?
I repeat, this example has nothing whatsoever to do with politics, but surely you see that the young man saying those things is living in a dream—and that’s a charitable statement. That soldier says, “I understand why we’re here,I know it’s a good mission,” but what that man understands personally, and what he just said, is as far away from reality as Earth and Pluto. His statement is meaningless.
The soldier just said that he understands the mission, that he supports us ousting that tyrant, and that he recognizes the need to help repair the years of destruction the tyrant has caused. If you look rationally at the soldier’s statements, though, you can see that the soldier has no such understanding. He doesn’t know why he’s there. He doesn’t even think about why he’s there. We don’t have a draft right now, so that soldier volunteered. He likes being in the Army. He likes the camaraderie of being with all those other men on a mission. He likes having somebody tell him what to do.
I could have used the example of Vietnam, when we did have a draft, but the exact same thing happened back then. I assume you’re aware that our armed services have no trouble whatsoever getting people to be cannon-fodder. Soldiers who had been drafted were making the same comments when they were interviewed in Vietnam. They’d say, “I understand we’ve got to be here, because I’m sure you’ve all heard of the domino theory, and you know that if Vietnam falls to communism, next thing you know, Laos, Cambodia, and all of Southeast Asia will fall to communism. I’m proud to be an American, and I know that I’m here to defeat the commie Viet Cong. They drafted me, but I understand the mission, and I’m proud to be here.”
That is a dream, and every soldier who was interviewed repeated it. Now soldiers are saying it in Iraq. There stands a soldier who may die today. While he’s being interviewed, you might hear gunfire in the background, and the soldier may continually look over his shoulder, but he says that he’s satisfied to be there, he’s proud to be there, he understands why he’s there. Those soldiers have no idea why they’re there. The Army as a whole doesn’t know why it’s there. Nobody knows why they’re there. If they understood that, they would understand Life, and they would be awake. If the generals understood, they would be awake, but they are not awake. If the president understood, he would be awake, but he is not awake.
I know I’m repeating myself, but wouldn’t you think that if there were any circumstance under which a person would not be living in a dream world, it would be in battle? Facing the possibility of immediate death would surely put your awareness on guard and sharpen your senses, so that even if in ordinary life you were a milkshake-brain, then now, when people are shooting at you, for at least a little while, you would come to your senses. You’re now a soldier. You’re focused. You’re aware. And what the soldier says to the reporter seems to reflect that. He’s only nineteen, but that is a sober commentary that he just gave. “Yes, I’m heartbroken. My best buddy was killed today. I could die here, but I’ll die proud, being a Marine. Being an American. Being a representative of my president. Because I know why I’m here. I’m proud to be here. I understand our mission.”
People don’t think. The people hearing that soldier’s statement at home don’t think. But you would think, would you not, if you turned your attention analytically on that little scene, that they would recognize the unreality of that soldier’s words? Reporters will even interview somebody whose son was just killed over there. The mother is perhaps sobbing uncontrollably, and the father says, “Speaking for me and my wife Helen, we’re of course devastated that our son is dead, but yet we know he died for a good cause.”
I’m not going to lapse into sham theatrics. I’ll just point out that to call that a dream is too realistic. It’s like a sad cartoon. It’s not funny. Those people lost their son. He might have died a horrible death. Imagine how they feel. It’s notfunny in that sense, but in a literary sense, it’s almost a bad joke. Yet all of those parents who just lost a son or daughter, there they stand looking at a camera, saying, “Our son knew why he was there. We’re heartbroken, but we know why he was there. We support our president.”
Those statements are meaningless. Those comments do not begin to describe or explain what is going on, but remember, our soldiers are mostly young, poor, and uneducated. That’s been the case from the days of Hannibal and Alexander right up until today. The troops out front—the grunts, the privates—are always the poor, the uninformed, the unsophisticated. They’re cannon-fodder. That’s why I say this particular aspect of the dream is not new. If reporters were interviewing soldiers in the armies of the kings of medieval France, ancient Rome or Egypt, a lot of them would have said, “Our king called upon us. He told us the gods wanted us to go out and fight this battle, and I believe him.”
What about the people back home, the soldier’s parents, for example, who are more experienced, who may be better informed and more sophisticated? Sometimes I’m tempted to use conspiracy as a premise. We already have a conspiracy theory that says, “We didn’t go over to Iraq to overthrow the dictator, but to take their oil. Those money-hungry bankers and Nazi oilmen are letting our boys get killed just to enrich themselves. President Bush was in the oil business, and his family still is. Vice President Cheney is in the oil business. It’s obvious that this war is being run to benefit the same old gang of millionaires. We’re not there to help the Iraqis or the Vietnamese. It’s just the rich and the powerful using those poor suckers who let themselves be drafted, or worse yet, volunteer. Those rich families who run the world don’t care about foot-soldiers. They never have.” That conspiracy theory is heard a lot these days.
Some of those soldiers’ families back in Alabama, back in upstate New York, may claim that they’re not fooled. They might say, “Those damn conspirators. They’re so smart. They’re so powerful. They control the media. They’ve almost got the power now to hypnotize us.” Of course, those interviews might not make it on to television.
If it helps, imagine that the conspiracy theory is true, because the beauty of conspiracy theories throughout history is that they fit the facts. That’s why conspiracy theories are so powerful—except that everybody’s looking in the wrong place. You won’t wake up by saying, “A bunch of bankers or oil men are running the world.” That scenario might well be so, and go ahead and use that if it helps you bring understanding to your consciousness. Tell yourself, “I see what you mean. It’s not what it appears. It’s a trick. It’s a conspiracy. It’s two or three or ten large families who control the resources of the world. They want more and more, and they’ve tricked us. The dictator we just ousted from that foreign country probably treated his people horribly, so those ruling families used that, and told us we’ll go over there and help these poor little people. We’ve been tricked! That’s not what’s really going on!”
Now we’re getting somewhere. The next step is to forget the conspiracy, but stay with the part that says, “What’s going on is not what I thought.” That’s right! Now you’ve got it! Forget about the rich families who rule the world, because even if that is true, that’s still got nothing to do with waking up. The waking-up part is to realize that human consciousness is being fooled.
Our bodies are not being fooled. Your body is not fooled for even an upstate New York minute. Ordinary people’s bodies, the bodies of the six billion people alive right now, are generally not fooled at all. But our consciousness can be fooled when it leaves do-or-die matters—physical matters—and starts focusing on matters that have no physical reality, things we can’t put our hands on and measure. That intangible reality, I will stress again, is just a dream, a cartoon.
The dream is a person saying, “I know why I’m on the other side of the world from my country, fighting these foreigners with their weird habits and language. I understand my mission. I know why I’m here.” Don’t be confused. The person’s country of origin, his religion, whether he’s a soldier or not—none of that is relevant, because he’s still asleep. He believes the dream—and when you hear him say, “I know why I’m here,” you accept it, because it’s part of your reality too. Your ordinary mind doesn’t stop and say, “Wait a minute! That kid doesn’t know why he’s in that foreign place. He doesn’t understand the mission. His mouth is moving, and I assume that synapses are firing in his brain, or else his tongue wouldn’t create sentences. But with regard to real thinking, a process of reasoning that concludes with understanding, there is nothing like that going on in his brain.”
There are six billion other examples walking around today in whose brains nothing resembling actual thought is going on. It takes you all the effort in the world to make real thinking transpire in your brain. There’s hardly anything to say after that, except—people like us don’t need a secret teaching. I’m not going to tell you that I’ve got some system that you’ve got to learn. What I’m saying is that you should look at the many scenarios of this magnitude all around you. Look at life-and-death situations. The people in the midst of those situations might as well be hypnotized. They might as well be victims of a gigantic conspiratorial hoax. Maybe those families who are conspiring to control the world are poisoning the atmosphere with some kind of gas that makes all the rest of us zombies. That’s it! But now that we’re all zombies, we don’t recognize zombiness in other people. You don’t recognize that the soldier is really talking like a zombie, saying, “Yes . . . I . . . know . . . why . . . I . . . am . . . here. . .”
The reason you don’t recognize that the soldier is just a blind, hypnotized robot is that we’re all robots. It is so subtle. That’s not how the would-be mystics of the world, including you and probably me—or me and probably you, take your choice—started out. The idea was that each of us lives in a dream and if you wake up, the dream will go away, and you’ll see the objective, enlightened, awakened reality. The idea was that you don’t know what enlightened reality is, but it’s got to be great.
No. Awakened reality is just what you’re looking at now, except that you’re not looking at it. By nature, our minds won’t look at reality. That doesn’t tell you much, but think about my example tonight. Looking at that example is better than any teaching you could ever read. If you want to know what being asleep is, what living in a dream is, look at that soldier being interviewed. That dream, with local variations, is shared by every ordinary person on the planet, and by us when we’re not aware.
They interview somebody in our country who says, “Yes, I support our president. I’m afraid my son may be sent over there, and that scares me to death, but I support our government. If they say we need to be there, I understand our soldiers are there to protect the American way of life, the Italian way of life, the Egyptian way of life. Blah, blah, blah, I understand what’s going on.”
There’s the dream. It seems so real that you don’t even question it. It is reality—a second reality. The first reality is the physical one in which there is no dream. In the physical reality, everyone is awake. In the second reality, everyone is asleep. That second reality is everybody’s reality, and waking up is when that reality ceases to be yours.
Jan’s Daily Fresh Real News (to accompany this talk)
PRISONERS DON’T NOTICE BUT — THE MORE SAID ABOUT A CERTAIN THING, THE WORSE
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Keeping Track Of The Special Silence For The Rebels
APRIL 9, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX
The less civilized find life to simply be something to be physically enjoyed:
this keeps them in conflict with the more cultured;
there exists a similar set up in men’s thoughts which ordinary minds find unsettling, but which the real-deal-man investigates, faces — then forgets:
The Way Of Understanding.
“Forgetting about something, you’re saying?!”
That is the outcome.
The unique world of man’s mind is the sole home of his singular psychological,
and personal problems, but also there alone reside their cures (for instance):
there is only one cure for amnesia: forget that you have it, or:
the sole solution to being of an angry nature is to scare yourself out of it.
All said: there is no cure for a dirty sock other than to turn it inside out.
“And that’s what waking-up, being enlightened, and achieving liberation is?”
By the by: the way to identify a reversed sock is that it has no more questions.
You can’t begin to catch on without clearly and impartially realizing that
man’s and your reality consists of two quite distinct divisions:
the physical world of your body and everything it can touch and measure,
and the intangible world of your mind and everything that is in it
(which no one can touch or measure), and that’s it:
everything known to man falls unmistakably into one of those two categories;
this makes no judgment of the two; merely states the facts;
not seeing this, not accepting this, not remembering this is man’s natural
mental condition and also the sly annoyance that drives the nervous-system-rebel.
If you’re a stew bone you’ll always end up in the stew.
“But what if you are born one?”
You’re out of luck — same as other people born something else.
“So where’s the logic in trying to DoTheThing?”
There is none there — only something else: an unreasonable possibility.
Practice Makes Perfect: The Perfect Don’t Practice.
One man meditated while moving;
chanted while silent;
danced while still; fasted while eating,
and prayed while cursing;
he may not yet be perfect — but at least he’s not routine.
On the unauthorized station the DJ announced:
“Coming up next is that all time hit: ‘Time Is On My Side,’
which will be followed by the pick-of-the-week: ‘Space Is On My Side,’
after which we will open up the phone lines and play: Listener’s Call-In Quiz:
the question of the day being: ‘What comes after these two?’”
In one of the city’s exclusive clubs was found scribbled on a restroom wall
this epigram: “Poverty is the poetry of the poor.”
(Note to neural based, urban anthropologists:
private clubs exist both out in the world where you can see them —
and also someplace else.)
An ordinary man has extreme difficulty in grasping allegorically presented information employing the idea of one’s place of residence — if you use HIS house as the example.
(“I find things more agreeably explained if you talk about stuff that’s
way over there.”)
Yet another reason that the certain man doesn’t live anywhere in particular.
If man’s ordinary mind is middle class
then expanded consciousness would be the world’s richest hobo.
Rest wherever you like, but don’t stay anywhere —
it costs more than anyone can afford.
Fun is to be enjoyed on the run.
“Dear Dr. Exacto: Should a man be continually struggling against habit?”
“Dear Sir: Haven’t you written to me about this before?”
“Dear Dr.: Thanks.”
Truth In Mental Publication.
The Doctor writes all of the letters he receives — same as you.
The Ruler of a newly developed area of one neural kingdom
said to his Minister Of Civilization & Culture:
“When it comes to religion: I don’t care who the people worship:
they can worship a chicken for all I care,
just as long as it is not one of my opponents’ chickens.”
Once the Arts become public property rather than royal — the real art goes out of them.
(“So what you just said is really about stuff that goes on inside a man’s brain —
am I getting this correctly?”)
No matter what another person may say,
if you suspect the slightest possibility that life may be eavesdropping
your response should always be: “I know what you mean.”
(Life for some reason really likes this.)
The reason man is so fascinated by the lives of others is that he knows and accepts
the fact that he didn’t even imaginarily have anything to do
with making them what they are.
Hypochondriacs simply adore well people.
Whenever he received an unexpected telephone call from a female
(after she identified herself for instance as a telemarketer, or what not)
one man would often say: “Well, hello, beautiful,”
and some would respond: “How can you say that — you’ve never seen me?!”
He got this from his constant looking for another view of all things
whose appearance ordinary men have already defined.
Two of the most memorable moments in an ordinary man’s life are
the time he takes credit for his talents,
and the time he takes responsibility for his weaknesses.
(“Wow! — two thrills in a single lifetime: it’s almost more than I can bear!”)
The Song Of The Non-Wild, Stay-At-Home Goose.
“Feeling happy and content makes me edgy!”
On one world they celebrate: Life Appreciation Day at which time all the
citizen creatures form a gigantic parade and march around singing:
“We Are In Life — We Are Welded TO Life” — all except a few who
refuse to get in any line or to join in any mass activity and group sing
….(and about whom nothing else need be said…..at this time).
if you’re a’ sellin’ –
hoping they’re a’buyin’ –
keep actin’ real sincere — ya hear!
The reason man is so taken with the notion of: “Telling the future”
is because he can’t tell the present.
A Notion Still Pushed In Prison.
Those who feel life is just to be enjoyed — will not get into heaven.
(“They don’t have to.”)
Just as in the physical world a real bust out dude won’t stop partyin’ ’til either his resources run out or he passes out,
so too internally, the man struggling to awaken.