Much Talk—All for Naught
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.
Summary = See Below
Edited Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See Below
News Item Gallery = None
Key Words =
Notes by TK
Civilization = talk. Thinking = talk. Talk is the vast majority of activity occurring in an ordinary civilized man’s brain. Yet that majority activity has little if any impact on a man’s life! It is mostly gossip and talk about other’s talk. The technological, problem-solving and impacting activity is a tiny minority of brain activity. Talk likened to a safety mechanism protecting against the great void (imagine a void like that of deep space w/o any stars) of the source of the universe.
Talk-show fascination is based not on the visual of it, but the audio, the word content of the people on display. The visual is almost like an adjunct of the truly important role of talk. Consider: what is talk’s purpose? (46:09) #3137
Notes by DR
Jan Cox Talk 3137 The thing that you spend more of your life doing means… (nothing). The built in safety mechanism is that no one thinks to themselves “Does all my talking have any affect on my life?” You spend more time talking than anything else, (including books and TV) but what role does that take in your life? This is not a crackpot theory. This is a crackpot reality. How could you spend all the time in your life talking and it has no affect? All intellectual fields and art is talk and they have no affect on my life. The built in mechanism: you’re protected.
Edited by S.A.
The more civilized you are, the more important talk is in your life, because that is what being civilized is. If you’re not having to spend most of the day struggling to feed yourself, what do humans do automatically to fill in the time? They talk, and not just to one another. You’re engaged in talking when you sit alone and daydream, when you watch television or a movie, and when you read a magazine or a book.
From one quite valid model, there are only two things that people can do—they can act, and they can talk. That’s it. If you’re not acting, then what are you doing? Talking. Notice, I didn’t say that people can do three things—act, talk, and think, because what ordinary people call “thinking” is a form of talk. I am, as always, excluding what goes on in your head when you are specifically applying your mental activity to solving a problem. Other than that, what is going on privately in your brain is idle chitchat between you and your consciousness.
If somebody had told me years ago that the most important thing in life is talk, before I did the work to see it for myself, I would have walked away. Wishes don’t count for doughnut holes, but I wish that all of you hearing me would come upon this on your own, because this is best grasped when it’s not just a sudden realization. I wish that after many years of struggling to awaken, after a long, slow walk up a hill, you would come to the crest and look out, and see for yourself that everything humans do—and I’m no exception—is either acting or talking. All of our glorious dreams about the many metaphysical, spiritual, almost magical aspects of human life, amount to only two things—acting and talking.
The less civilized you are, the more acting is of most importance in your life. You can see this for yourself if you observe relatively uncivilized people living in civilized circumstances. Right in the middle of the world’s most civilized environs, in the midst of Paris, Rome, and Manhattan, there are people to whom talk means little. One such group is found among the criminal class.
Picture a Saint Patrick’s day parade in Manhattan, with thousands of uniformed policemen marching along. Somebody walks up to the front row of spectators, grabs a woman’s purse, and dashes into the parade. That purse snatcher had been standing there and saw a woman flashing big, shiny rings on her fingers. She looked as if she might have some money, and she was holding her purse loosely. The thief glanced around, and nobody else appeared ready to snatch the purse, so he knew he wouldn’t have to fight another mugger. He grabbed the purse, and then he ran right into the midst of rank after rank of marching policemen. Later, the thief was brought before a judge, who said, “What on earth were you thinking?” The thief was unable to respond.
The point is, that thief didn’t think. He just acted. Talk played very little part in his life. If he had been a person for whom talk played a greater role, even if he’d had some larcenous feelings, he might have looked up and seen all those police, and told himself, “There’s a mighty good chance of me getting caught. This is not a good time to purse-snatch.”
Back to people such as us, who are interested in trying to awaken, and back to all of the normal, civilized people of the world. Surely you recognize that the more civilized you are, the more importance talk has. If you had to measure it, would not talk take up a greater proportion of your life than action? If I say that talking is more important than eating or sleeping, it sounds insulting. Your mind immediately wants to say, “No, I wouldn’t prefer to talk if I had a big meal waiting. I wouldn’t pass up food in order to talk.” Take a moment now, act as though you are a scientific observer with a clipboard and a stopwatch, and examine your daily existence. What do you spend the most time doing? Eating, sleeping—or talking? You will see that, without any doubt, you spend more time in your life talking than you do anything else. You, and virtually every other person on this planet.
Perhaps you were going to say, “I spend at least three hours a night watching television or reading magazines, not talking,” but remember, both of those activities are talking, as is watching a movie, or listening to the radio. Remove talk from the activity, and you wouldn’t do it. Likewise, if when you read somebody else’s words, or listened to somebody else, your own mind shut off, you wouldn’t do it. Listening to someone else talk spurs your internal talk, sometimes even into areas that you would not have explored if you were just sitting there daydreaming.
Can you feel the reality of this? Although I didn’t plug in the details, do you realize that literally, if you time it, you spend more of your life involved with thinking—which, remember, is talking—than you do any activity? I had that realization for you and saved you many decades, but I say again, to see that on your own is quite startling, and you will get more out of seeing it yourself than by just listening to me—but that’s still not where I’m going tonight.
Wouldn’t you agree that each of us spends most of his time on that which is most important to him? Have you ever suddenly thought, “Wow! Talk is the most important thing in my life!” If you observe yourself, along with everyone else, eventually you will come to realize that the more civilized people are, the more important talk becomes in people’s lives. The talk that happens in your life, including the talk in your head which you call “thought”—you don’t have to admit this to anybody but yourself, and it’s almost impossible to admit in any case, but isn’t that talk really the most important thing in your life?
Nobody wants to admit that. For one thing, that doesn’t sound manly. A man wants to say, “Nah, fishing is the most important thing in my life.” A gourmet wants to say food is the most important. An intellectual wants to say his field of study is the most important, or art is. But all intellectual fields, and all art, is talk.
Isn’t that interesting? Talk is the most important thing in everyone’s life, based upon the amount of time they spend doing it. This sounds strange, but you can see for yourself that you spend more time talking than you do anything else. How can you deny talk’s importance? It’s either the most important thing in your life, or else you’re crazy. Don’t you find it fascinating that you spend a majority of your time, a majority of your life, doing something that you want to deny has such supreme importance?
Are you crazy? No. People don’t think about this, can’t think about this, because there is a safety mechanism built into consciousness to keep humans from realizing that the most important thing in their life is talk.
When people are talking, what are they talking about? I can virtually guarantee that they are talking about people. Nobody ever seems to be very impressed by that, but I still remember the day it hit me that almost the only subject people ever talk about is people.
The built-in safety mechanism doesn’t want you to see this, but if you do manage, then it’s amazing to realize. Look at all the things in life; all the stuff. Look out your window. Look out from a top floor window of a building in a city. Stand on a mountain top. Look at the sky with all its stars and planets, the ocean with all its fish, the land with—but you see what I mean. Now, look at a group of people talking. Before you are close enough to hear them, you know what they’re talking about—people. In every hour that people talk, they might talk about things for about a minute. The rest of the time, they’re talking about either themselves, or other people, and the odds are that what they are talking about is other people’s talk.
This is not theory. Think about the scenes you see in your own head. Compared to talk, the scenes that the brain is able to conjure up are adjuncts, add-ons, and they’re driven by the talk, not vice versa. The talk is what is important.
Turn on the evening news. They do spend a bit of time reporting stuff, reporting behavior. They like to show shocking pictures, even when the pictures are fairly irrelevant, because seeing shocking stuff keeps you listening. They’ll say, “The Shining Star guerrillas of Indonesia took credit for setting off a bomb in downtown Djakarta today that killed forty people.” They report the fact for maybe ten seconds. They show you pictures for another fifteen or twenty seconds. Next, they play a tape in which the leader of the Shining Star guerrillas describes why his people set off the bomb. After that, the reporter announces, “The president of Indonesia said this,” and off they go again. Blah, blah, blah.
How much of a thirty-minute news show is taken up with reporting behavior, reporting the actions that people took? I’d be surprised if it were a full minute. Isn’t that shocking? It may sound like reporting on behavior to say, “Doctors at Johns Hopkins have a new finding about treating lung cancer.” Are they reporting on activity? That’s questionable, because generally, they’re not actually reporting on the research. They flash over to the researcher, but they don’t show him researching, or if they do, there will be a voice-over of the researcher telling us what he did, and what he thinks about what he did.
Here is tonight’s equation, tonight’s formula, tonight’s sickening fact. I’m horrified to have to tell you, but the thing that you spend more of your life doing than anything else means absolutely nothing. Talking has somewhere between very little and no impact on your life.
Remember, there is a safety mechanism built into our consciousness. Part of that safety switch’s function, part of its operation, is to keep us from sitting around and thinking to ourselves, “Boy, all my talking—including my daydreaming, including everything that’s going on in my head—it’s amazing how little effect, how little impact, my talking has on my life! Wowie! Isn’t that something!”
I’ll tell you again how much importance all that talk has. Zilch! Point zero, zero, zero, zero, zilch. At first, your mind wants to dismiss this. Talk does feel super-important, doesn’t it? Your mind tells you that my statement is anything from silly to patently ridiculous. Nevertheless, this is not a crackpot theory. This is crackpot reality. All of that talk that you’re engaged in is of no significance whatsoever, but when you try to look for yourself, you will find it almost impossible to wrap your mind around this.
If you are able to look at this, it won’t take more than thirty seconds before your entire understanding of life will change. Try to make a quick survey of your life, as if you were running a virus scan on your computer. With your consciousness absolutely clear and still, and doing nothing but this, spend thirty seconds on a focused scan of your life. If you do, you will realize that the influence, the impact, that talk has had on your life is literally zero.
That statement is just ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s not worthy of discussion to say that everything you’ve ever thought, everything you’ve ever said, meant nothing. How could you spend more time on this one area than on any other, and it have absolutely no bearing on your life? How much time do you spend eating in a day, not counting any socializing that may occur along with eating? Twenty minutes? Thirty? And does eating impact your life?
Maybe your response is, “I’ve never spent over thirty minutes a day eating, and I’m a walking tub of lard. I’m so fat that I can hardly breathe. My health is failing because of my eating habits.” Clearly, something you only spend thirty minutes a day on has had an obvious impact on your life. Conversely, if you’re starving to death from lack of eating, that has definitely affected your life. No doubt, you will find that sleeping, or not sleeping, has also affected your life. Now, how many hours have you spent on talk every day of your life? I was going to be charitable about this, and not actually say that you talk twenty-four hours a day, since you can do other things and talk.
When you have problems in life—when you think you may be sick, when you think a loved-one may be sick, when there’s some catastrophe looming in your life—you know what happens. You’ve lost your job and the bank is about to foreclose on your mortgage. You think, “I can’t lose my house! Not after paying that mortgage for twenty years! My family will be homeless! We’ll be on the street! This is horrible!” People commonly say, “I’m almost going crazy thinking that I might lose my house, thinking that I might be fired from my job, thinking that I might have Groover’s Syndrome.”
Let’s say you’ve had some medical tests, and they warn you that you may be terribly sick, but you won’t have the test results until next Tuesday. From that point, and for the next several days, until you get your results, you know how it will be if your ordinary mind takes control. You will think. You will obsess. The ordinary mind can not face this, but I ask you, when it gets to be crunch time, what effect, what importance, what role did all that thinking, that talking, have on the outcome?
No effect whatsoever. Face it.
If you notice, you didn’t want to face it. The built-in safety mechanism stopped you. Even if you struggle, you can hardly face it. To face it is to wake up. That’s a painful way of putting it, because that says that you realize that all the thinking, all the talking, you’ve done since you read about man being asleep and you began trying to wake up hasn’t moved you forward one step. Seeing that, really seeing it, is what wakes you up.
The most important things in life mean the least. I can put this even more crudely: The most important things in normal, civilized life mean absolutely nothing. That’s horrible to contemplate, isn’t it? Don’t worry, though, because it is not possible to contemplate it. All your mind can do is go pfffffft! You just have to feel that the most important thing in your life is talk. Then, right next to that, realize—and the faster, the better—“The most important thing in my life has, for all intents and purposes, no effect whatsoever on my life.”
It’s as if you spend twenty-five hours every day in the gym, working out non-stop, and at the end of every day you look in the mirror, and sure enough, you look exactly the same as you did when you started. You work out every day for your entire life, and when you die, you look exactly the way you did when you started working out. That is what a lifetime’s worth of talk amounts to.
No need to thank me. I understood beforehand that you wouldn’t be able to feel grateful that I pointed this out, because you’re protected. You have a built-in safety mechanism that won’t let you accept this.
Jan’s Daily Fresh Real News (to accompany this talk)
WHERE CAN FEET LEAD THAT UNKNOWINGLY TREAD ON THEMSELVES
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Tracking The Only Trail True For The Few
APRIL 21, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX
Only sheep believe that issues in their life have made them what they are.
Soggy slop makes pigs swine and being unusually tall, men lengthy.
Hormones accept what they are in quiet while the very nature of neurons
is to snipe at themselves.
This plays out as a unified whole thus:
the north pole is incessantly trying to get the rest of the planet to fit into
its image of what it should be:
the neural end of the nervous system continually talking
(often indirectly and in camouflaged terms)
to the non thinking hormonal areas — exhorting them to change their ways.
“Are we dealing here with suggestions being given to the deaf,
or to the in-alterable?”
To the real-deal-man, committed to getting to the bottom of all questions:
it doesn’t matter;
step by step as he moves along he sees for the present what must be done —
and he does it — end of story — until the next time.
(“I figure that must be one of the real joys in being such a man:
not being hemmed in by even the illusion of choice.”)
One man’s diagnosis:
“People do not drink-to-forget any more than they sleep-to-be-stupid” —
at which point all the sleepers shouted: “Barkeep! — another round!”
Those still being called by the past don’t have as far to go as you might think.
Those who don’t get it are by nature inclined/given to think that either: it can’t be got, or else nobody alive now can do it.
When you’re a regular prune in the pack you accept as natural the way
everyone is packed in;
the wrath of gods is not near as dangerous as vegetables.
In a peculiar way on the physical level:
some people find it profitable to be unattractive;
question: who shudders on behalf of unborn synapses in contemplating
this potential scenario on the mental level?”
(“Are you suggesting that some men enjoy being stupid?”
Does sound a bit harsh, doesn’t it:
perhaps: uninformed would be a more polite term.)
People will applaud damn near anything.
This email just in from a reader:
“I have come to the conclusion: If the situation described, sounds harsh — it IS harsh.
I will probably in the future regret it being thus, but right this moment
I am able to see it so.
(P.S. Is it possible at times to be more enlightened than you actually are?)
Non Standard Medical Definition.
Intellectuals In The Collective Context: Occipital lobe leeches.
Herds are smarter than individual cows.
“But not by much, right?!”
Not by much.
An ant colony has its own plans and intelligence to execute same;
ants satisfied to be there are perforce content with what they seem to know —
which to them seems adequate,
but which strikes a few odd ones as completely fraudulent in that
although the physical well being of the colony is the physical well being of each ant, the info available to them collectively gives nothing of mental value to the individual.
Herds and colonies exist also in the land of neurons.
In city affairs: a well placed, timely, “because” can solve a multitude of problems,
and let everyone off the stupid hook.
On one world: in some sort of effort to encourage-mental-creativity,
they would, whenever executing intellectuals, blindfold the firing squad.
(“Hey! — hold up! — you’ve finally done one that I almost get!”
Barkeep! — hit us over here, one more time.)
In politics: candidates want to be seen as outsiders
if they believe the electorate is ready to throw out the current officeholders:
the nervous system rebel holds a similar attitude toward his position vis a vis
his neural populace.
One man had his name changed to Tommy
so as to be a more fitting mental companion to his half brother Rot.
Patting the bulge in his coat ominously:
another guy gave himself ten minutes to get out of town.
The man who wakes up doesn’t die from what kills everyone else.
Hearing that being cold won’t give you a cold spurred one man to making even more strenuous efforts to be hot.
If you can’t yet do it, start thinking about it — relentlessly! —
and without mentioning it to anyone.
A father advised a son: “Don’t even let yourself know the extent of your knowledge.”
On the fields of city neural combat:
the greatest amount of saber rattling is done by the empty handed.
When one man heard it said: “only sissies cry” — he stopped in his tracks! —
he heard it to say: “Only sissies have anything to cry about!”
The great Human Drama is played out in an ongoing, infinite number of acts;
the view however from the certain man‘s seat reveals gross redundancy.
The difference between knowing what’s going on,
and ordinary ignorance passing for intelligence
is that the latter has its limits.
A Mirror Never Realized.
Intelligence is one of your reflections.
One man in the city says that if he allows his thoughts to run down the full list of possibilities — he runs into trouble:
not the kind that physically hurts you or causes you financial damage,
but another type of really peculiar trouble.
Note: What bothers a prisoner in his cell loses its force on the outside.
“Does this explain why you are only dazed and confused when you aren’t realizing
that you are?”
In man’s intangible reality: You cannot drown except when you are imagining water.
“In brief flashes I sometimes suspect that being awake is way simpler than
I normally believe,”
briefs or boxers: it’s all the same,
and whenever orders were being taken, one man would always call out:
“Give me whatever life’s having!”