Jan Cox Talk 3138

Just Mind Your Own Business (a Secret as Good as Any)


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

You couldn’t be in the arms of ignorance, of slumber, if you minded only your own business!  Everybody is constantly minding each other’s business.  It is to life’s benefit that people take the general concerns of life to be their own.  E.g., fretting over the plight of people halfway around the globe–worrying over what has no impact on your own immediate coping w/ life.  (32:06) #3138

Notes by DR

Jan Cox Talk 3138       You can’t go to sleep if you mind your own business.


04-23-2004   #3138
Edited by S.A.

I’m no longer sure that there is a limit to the number of things that could keep you from being in what we call a state of sleep, but minding your own business would certainly be one of them. As un-mystical as this might sound, you could not be in an ordinary state of consciousness, you could not be asleep, if you minded your own business. A broader version of this is that if you gave no heed to any news that wasn’t pertinent to you, you could not go back to sleep. That’s a lovely one, but as always, if you can pare something down, the stripped-down version is better, so I repeat that once you are awake, once you are enlightened, you would not go back to sleep if you minded your own business.

There are very few things that are your business, and with everything that’s not your business, if you take it as your business, you’re asleep and you’ll stay asleep. All that being asleep, being unenlightened, is, is taking things that are none of your business as if they were your business.

The rest of the world—ordinary, sane people—would find that statement to be insane, irrational, and downright foolish. That is of interest, if for no other reason than to illustrate the difference between what it takes to do This, and what is required to be of ordinary consciousness. To be ordinary is to find a multitude—a multitude—of things to be your business which a man, if he’s going to awaken, or is awakened at all, realizes are no business of his.

If I listed the sorts of things that are none of your business, you would find nothing on that list to be at all unusual. Let’s just go ahead and pretend that you know what those things are. They are the very things that your ordinary mind tells you, “That is my business.” Isn’t it strange that anybody of ordinary mind would take extreme, absolute umbrage and exception to the things that I would name?

By the way, when I use the term, “That’s none of your business,” I’m not referring to being nosy, because as we all know, that term can be used colloquially to mean, “You shouldn’t know about this.” I’m not suggesting that there are some things that you shouldn’t look into.

If you can see that what being asleep is, what being captive is, what being unenlightened is, is being concerned with things that are none of your business, then twist that just a wee bit, and it defines civilization. What does it mean to be civilized? It means being concerned over things that are none of your business. You could list everything that constitutes civilization, and none of it would be on the list of things that are any of your business. None of it. There might be things of interest to you, things that you might find entertaining, but those things are still not any of your business.

Look at it this way. What is being uncivilized, from civilized people’s view? Uncivilized people don’t have a concept of being civilized or uncivilized. In other words, uncivilized people don’t know that they’re not civilized, assuming that there is anybody uncivilized left on this planet. There were some uncivilized people left up until probably the last twenty years, before satellite dishes and portable generators spread around the world. There were uncivilized people in New Guinea, and in some of the jungles of Brazil and Ecuador. People who had never seen civilized humans before. People who still had to hunt and fish every day in order to eat. For those people, their whole life consisted of minding their own business. They didn’t do anything but mind their own business.

To start being civilized, people have to start becoming concerned and involved in things that are none of their business. A civilized person has to hang around the uncivilized people out in the jungle long enough—it doesn’t seem to take long, by the way—for one of them to point at the civilized person’s t-shirt, or his brand-name sneakers, and ask, “Where did you get that?” Now they’re becoming civilized, because they’re interested in stuff that’s none of their business.

If you look at what we civilized people call the criminal class—the people who go in and out of jail all their life—to be a criminal in civilized conditions, to be a professional, lifelong criminal, your main transgression is that you only concern yourself with your business. You find yourself broke, but you just happen to have a knife in your pocket, so you walk into a Seven-Eleven store, and you say, “Give me all your money.”

As I said, to be civilized, you have to be concerned about things that are not your business—concerned about other people’s feelings, concerned about ownership—not what you own, but what other people own. You have to think, “I’m hungry, but I can’t walk into that store and just take the food off the shelf, because the store owner bought that food and it belongs to him.” That’s being civilized. You’re concerned, you’re involved, with things that are actually none of your business.

Fifteen seconds is plenty of time for me to list all the things that are absolutely your business, and only those things. Everybody has physically demanding business, such as getting enough to eat and getting sufficient sleep. That physically demanding business is your only business. You must get the rest and sleep your body requires, and ensure that you and your family are fed adequately. I repeat, that is your only business. Other than that, for people like us, our only business in life should be to try to become more awake, to try to have a deeper understanding of what is going on. Anything other than that is none of your business.

If that is all that’s any of your business, what are you thinking about during the rest of your life? What are you worried about? What are you talking about in your head, and talking about with other people? What is the rest of the world talking about? How much of what other people talk about, and write about, is their business? Any of it?

If you look at a national newspaper like the New York Times, every day there might be something in that paper that could be some of your business. Perhaps the wheat crop in the Midwest is failing, or there’s been an outbreak of Groover’s Cattle Syndrome in Texas, and the price of beef has shot up. Let’s look at something more exotic than that. Is there anything in the Bible that is any of your business? Is there anything? Of course, I’m including the Koran and every other religious scripture. Are they your business? Is there anything that ordinary people in the rest of the world would consider to be of a spiritual nature that’s any of your business? The answer, of course, is no.

Consider that the rest of the world, if they heard that statement, and then heard you list the few things you consider to be of your business, would ask you some question about religion or spirituality. Some ordinary person might say, “What about the eternal fate of your soul? What about where you’re going to spend eternity? What’s going to happen to you after you die? What about your relationship with God? With Allah?” Another ordinary person might ask, “What about politics? You didn’t mention that it’s your business who’s elected president in the upcoming election!” You would have to reply, “You’re right. Politics wasn’t on my list.” If you replied, “None of that was on my list,” they would tell you, “That is why your idea is somewhere between preposterous and blasphemous.”

Consider again what ordinary people would make of your telling them, “What you should do in life is mind your own business.” At first, everybody would agree. They’d say, “Yes, you’re right.” Now you add, “I assume you agree with me that your only business is to get enough rest, and to feed yourself and your family adequately. I assume you agree with me that that’s everything that’s your own business.” The rest of the world would then instantly say, “Oh, no! You’re deranged!” Then they would talk, I assume, for as long as you would stand there, describing to you all the things in life that should be any decent human being’s business. Boy, would you be embarrassed, sitting there with your little piss-ant list that says, “Everybody’s business is to be sure that you and your family have enough food and get enough rest. That’s it.” Those ordinary people would all turn on you.

I mention all that in case you keep thinking that we’re ordinary people. What greater division could there be than that? I’m assuming that you understand this sufficiently. I do not mean that other people shouldn’t be concerned about spiritual matters,shouldn’t be concerned about their fellow man’s welfare, or shouldn’t be concerned about the plight of people on the other side of the world, people they can’t do anything to help. Those are the normal things that civilized, sophisticated people say are their business. Everything from political injustices all around the world to the person in the next apartment’s sex life—as far as ordinary people are concerned, all of that is their business. All the way from neighborhood gossip to world-wide political situations, it’s all every ordinary man’s business. But I repeat, if you want to wake up, you’ve got to ignore all that stuff and focus on your own business.

Assuming you weren’t born wired up to be uncivilized, to be a criminal, then minding your own business now will not turn you into a criminal. Minding your own business now will not make you insensitive to other people’s feelings, either. You would simply understand that all of this is none of your business. Just because a man woke up to what’s going on wouldn’t mean that he would become insensitive or speak in an insulting way to people. He would understand that if he were engaged in conversation with ordinary people for whatever reason, he should be constantly tuned in to what the ordinary people are thinking about, and simply talk to please them.

If you talk to people without talking to please them, they’re inclined to get their feelings hurt. You would understand that allowing their feelings to be hurt is their business, not your business—but that doesn’t mean that you don’t cater to it. When you realize what’s going on and you’re around other people, your concern should be to not upset them. You would understand that they might be upset by words you use, by whether you’re paying attention to them, or by whether you agree with them. You would do what you could to keep from upsetting them. You would, of course, appear to be ordinary. In other words, you would act as if you’re asleep when you’re not. You would nod along, or say, “Yes, yes, I agree,” but you would understand that if ordinary people do become upset, that’s their business. It’s not your business. On the other hand, what ordinary people think about you is literally none of your business.

I might ask, did you have as stringent a conception of minding your own business as I’m now portraying it to be? I mean it literally. If you’re trying to awaken, if you’re minding your own business, then you’re not going to think anything, you’re not going to say anything, you’re not going to do anything that will distract you and put you back into your natural-born state of un-awake mind.

I agree,” but you would understand that if ordinary people do become upset, that’s their business. It’s not your business. On the other hand, what ordinary people think about you is literally none of your business.

I might ask, did you have as stringent a conception of minding your own business as I’m now portraying it to be? I mean it literally. If you’re trying to awaken, if you’re minding your own business, then you’re not going to think anything, you’re not going to say anything, you’re not going to do anything that will distract you and put you back into your natural-born state of un-awake mind.

I was going to talk for thirty minutes on the topic of minding your own business. I’m a bit short of that, even though the Archdiocese of the Alabama Assembly of All That Is Mighty requires that all of us preachers preach at least a thirty-minute sermon. Nevertheless, I will conclude now, by reiterating my initial statement. You can not go to sleep if you mind your own business. I’ve never been that strictly literal before, but now that I’ve reached adulthood, I may start. When people have written to me or emailed me and told me about all the problems they’ve been having with whatever method they’ve been trying to use to awaken, generally I have replied with long communiques. I think maybe from now on, I’ll just say, “Mind your own business.” That can’t do them any harm. They can’t be any worse off if they don’t understand that. They’ll just get pissed at me and think I’m a smart-ass, won’t they?

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Dispatches For Despisers Of Leftovers
APRIL 23, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX

Although by the very arrangements of things the Neural Revolution can never be
the majority power (and if it ever were, a new revolt would then have to arise under it), it is larger than its active constituency in that every human who has ever tried,
even for an instant to think independently (that is: outside the structure of
the thoughts native to their brain) was momentarily a rebel-in-civilian-clothing,
and indeed may have at least once, had a brief gulp of fresh air and glance at things
as they really are.
The momentum of the arrangement however is sufficient to keep such random, spasmodic sightings from disrupting the regular rolling of the mortal, mental wagon.
The man committed to getting to the bottom of things can only disturb himself,
not humanity’s status quo;
its vehicle must maintain its steady movement for the rebel to ever figure out
how he might jump therefrom.
The man who would awaken does not want the collective plane-to-go-down —
he’s just interested in fashioning himself a personal parachute.
The Revolution can’t start without you — nor with more than just you.
(All real parachutes & escape devices are just for one
[and ultimately, self-constructed-from-scratch.])
Fact: Everyone must start from somewhere.
Fact: Most people never leave that spot — thus:
one time, would-be rebels become part of the established inertia (the establishment).
Note: Everyone is and always will be part of the physical arrangement,
but in the invisible version: who knows what a few may be up to?!

Once you realize that it has become natural for many to find talking-about-things
a more interesting pastime than even sex, you have one less annoyance.
Sight, smell and touch are the adhesives that hold the human herd together physically: words, mentally.
(Tip: If you want to jump ship — keep your lips closed least you drown while
trying to swim away.)

Contraire a city truism: men do not continually: reinvent-themselves,
what they do is, by endless verbal self reference,
reinforce the self they were born with.

The man-who-knows has no role model —
he doesn’t need one —
he has no role.

The sign of the really rich is that they can hire someone else
to make mistakes for them.
(“Sounds to me also like the mark of the truly intelligent.”)
In the city they consider a man apologizing for a faux pas to be proof he is civilized,
while outside of town in rebel camp, not ever mentioning your past,
potentially questionable words and deeds is minimal evidence you belong there.

The sign of the secretly & especially rich is that they display no sign there of.

The man who knows what’s going on doesn’t promote himself —
he has no self to promote —
getting free from one is what he spent forty years doing.

At the landfill (as he was attempting to dump some apparent excesses)
one of the city ipsedixit philosophers said: “To be young is to be credulous:
to be mature here is to be possessed by credulity that is well wrinkled.”

This email from a reader:
“I’ve noticed that in your Daily News most of the stories are about people;
I guess people wouldn’t pay much attention to them if they weren’t.
Sincerely, Oh! — P.S. I was on the verge of realizing something significant
about the mind from this observation, but managed to turn away in time.
Sincerely Again,” etc.

Certain children, to ever have the special fun they seek,
must come out of the basement and do their playing upstairs.
One guy found it interesting that he saw no one trying to dump neurons at the landfill — only hormones;
would-be saints cannot dream of spiritually flying bearing the weight of their genitalia, and GI tract;
if there is one thing the rebel is clear about it is the area of his nervous system
from which there is an actual need to jettison.

If you have a self image that has no flaws — you don’t have a self image.

Fearing being overtaken by either death or mental density:
one man decided to begin walking around the planet endlessly,
stopping only when sleep demanded it.
As long as his muscles kept his hormones moving (he conjectured),
his neurons wouldn’t let him down.
The certain man discovers how to directly keep the muscles of his consciousness
in motion and can thus lie down whenever he pleases.

Attempting to keep himself on his toes,
one man periodically announces to himself in a quite serious sounding voice:
“I have made a momentous decision…..”
(And to up the ante he sometimes follows this with the comment:
“And of course it goes-without-saying that…..”)

Words referring to physical matters can be properly serious;
if they seem so concerning anything else, their source is a nitwit, a cow, a dunce,
an ordinary man (take your pick of descriptions).
“Pardon: but were those words just then meant to be serious?”
You tell us: did you take them seriously?
“That’s not what I asked — don’t shift this around on to me.”

The city dump not only receives — it also gives.

Human thought is the only thing in the whole universe that can never
reach its destination.

A son so said of his father:
“Being constantly around someone who understands what’s going on
is like being continually beaten up by a subtle smile.”

When he heard it said that if you become rich you don’t change
but everyone around you does, a man mused:
“If you wake-up does everyone else become dimmer?”
Note: only a man with no idea what it would be to be awake would so wonder.

Men engage in two activities: rearranging physical matter,
and attempting to rearrange other men’s words & ideas.
Q: How does one who is enlightened help his fellow man?

The man who understands what’s going on doesn’t advertise —
he has nothing to sell —
what’s-going-on needs no promotion —
everyone on the planet but him is already engaged full time in its support.

“No matter of what they can be accused, at least neurons never kill people
like do hormones.”
“You’re sure of that?”

Neurons that know what is going on are a threat to no one;
those that don’t compose the city dump.

If you can sleep without nightmares — you don’t really sleep.

People who can think without talking do better thinking than those who do.
Proverb Update.
Only with ordinary men does the noisy wheel get the grease;
what right thinking person wants to be covered in grease.

Recipe For Success In The City.
Says one chap: “I came into this life with nothing, but a natural willingness to submit.”

If you can tell good stories — you don’t need a purpose in life.

If victory in war is the outcome of a series of blunders,
then is being awake the culmination of a life time of failures to sleep properly?
Kings do not get killed in battle, nor do a man’s natural born thoughts
ever have to suffer the actual consequences of their condition.
The real-deal-man has no ruler to laud, nor defend;
the consciousness of such a man would make the standard definition of democracy pull out its hair.

For the real warrior:
a good kick to the verbal plexus is better than any pugilistic theory.
“Never mind the hormones, boys — aim for their little neurons!”

Success is in the trenches — of the brain.