Jan Cox Talk 3160

Stockholm Syndrome–The Brain Submits Willingly to Its Captor


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.

Stream from the bar / download from the dots

Summary = See Below
Edited Transcript = See Below
Condensed News = See Below
News Item Gallery = None
Key Words =


Notes by TK
Everything that man finds interesting over some period of time, having to do with human behavior, has an analog in the CPU. To wit: kidnapping and the “Stockholm syndrome”. The CPU has been kidnapped and exhibits the Stockholm syndrome—a childlike identification with and submission to its captor: Life-engendered thoughts. The Few rebel against this oppression.

Even the excitement arising from discovery of enlightenment-related thinking or talk is a form of the Stockholm syndrome: an acceptance-reaction to triggering input. Much more so are religion, psychology and politics. Awakening does not come from external impulse and the train of ordinary thought; it must arise from within: incommensurate, un-caused and integral. (39:51) #3160

Notes by DR

Jan Cox Talk 3160       The Stockholm Syndrome: a captive in a foreign environment restricted to what the captors allowed would be quite natural to feel a sort of kinship with their captors. The conscious part of the brain is subject to a form of the Stockholm Syndrome. It has been kidnapped but has identified with its kidnappers.

It’s a momentary flash on the screen that you take to be your consciousness. What goes on in your consciousness can’t be called yours because it’s not something that originates in you. All it does is react to something you’ve read or heard. There are positive reactions like those the body reacts to for survival problem solving. But reactions other than that go nowhere. You are not having thoughts by any definition if they are a reaction to somebody else.


06-14-04   #3160
Edited by S.A.

Everything that large groups of people find interesting over some period of time—a week, two weeks, or more—if the topic of interest is something to do with human behavior, then as unusual as this may at first seem, once you understand what’s going on, you can see the same thing going on in the conscious part of your brain. In this talk, we will leave behind the camouflaged loan business—how’s this for a segue—and discuss kidnapping and the psychologies involved therewith.

I shall assume that you are familiar with the term, “Stockholm Syndrome”. That term was coined in the last decade or two when police and then psychologists and psychiatrists began to notice unusual behavior exhibited by some kidnap victims. One case you may recall was that a group of American would-be revolutionists kidnapped the daughter of a very famous newspaper publisher in California. The revolutionist group sent ransom notes to that publisher,  but they didn’t receive a reply. A short time later, there was a bank robbery in California, and the bank’s security camera showed the publisher’s daughter holding a carbine, with a belt of bullets across her chest. The publisher’s daughter was now an active part of the gang that had kidnapped her.

There were similar instances in Europe, particularly in Stockholm, Sweden. In all these cases, once the police had rescued a kidnap victim, psychologists began to find what they described as the victims identifying with their kidnappers. The Stockholm Syndrome does not occur only in kidnapping victims, but in all sorts of situations in which someone is confined against his will. Throughout history, when soldiers have been held prisoner by an enemy army, it’s not been uncommon for them to begin to cooperate freely with their captors. Imagine that you were captured by some group of people, cut off from everything you knew, in an alien environment, at the mercy of your captors. You could only sleep, eat, or go to the toilet when your captors said you could. At a whim, they could mistreat you, be nice to you, or up and kill you. Can you sense that it would be quite natural for you to start feeling a connection to your captors? Feeling toward them as a child would toward his parents? That is the Stockholm Syndrome.

Last talk, I pointed out how certain money lenders present themselves as being in the used car business rather than the loan business. At the tail end, I suggested that you try to visualize the thoughts that the conscious part of the brain flashes on its screen. I asked if you could see the resemblance between those images and the people who present themselves as being in the used car business when their business is actually money lending, and who dangle used cars as lures to get you to borrow money from them.

Can you now sense that the conscious part of your brain is subject to a form of the Stockholm Syndrome? The conscious part of your brain has been kidnapped, and it identifies with its kidnappers. The conscious part of your brain displays every characteristic of the so-called Stockholm Syndrome, in the same way that it is very common during wartime for some prisoners to begin to cooperate with their captors without much, if any, mistreatment by their captors.

Surely, since you want to wake up, you’ve got a world-class imagination to start with, so you should be able to feel a sense of this, even if you’ve never been in jail, never been in any circumstances like that. Try and imagine the feeling of being held captive, because it is shocking. You may not know what it is to be locked in by dangerous strangers, although you’ve seen it portrayed in movies or you’ve read about it. Now imagine that you’re in a courtroom and a judge sentences you to some number of years in prison. They put you in handcuffs, take you to a prison cell, open the door, push you inside, lock the door, and walk away. Maybe you can look out of your cell and see the guards sitting around, talking and laughing. They’re free to walk in and out of the prison. It suddenly strikes you that for the first time in your life, you are literally a non-free person and that those people out there are free, they have the keys to your cell, and they don’t give a damn about you. They locked you up and walked away and forgot about you.

When those prison guards do come around, you learn that they come at their leisure. You can holler, “I’m bleeding! Come help me!” They will take their own sweet time. That realization very quickly puts you in a certain frame of mind. Your guards are your only access to the outside world. You begin to look at your guards not as horrible people, but almost as if they were your mother or father. Can you recognize that inside of your own brain is something similar to that syndrome?

The police finally freed the girl who was kidnapped by those revolutionists, and they said to her, “We’ve got films of you aiding in their bank robberies.” Of course, her billionaire father had her released into the hands of psychiatrists rather than letting her go to jail. She became a famous case history. Here was a girl from a fine background, with a college education, who was kidnapped by ruffians, by bank robbers. Her kidnappers claimed to be trying to liberate the American underclass from their capitalist captors, but her own father was one of the leading capitalist captors. The psychologists and psychiatrists said, “That girl’s behavior is  astounding. What did they do to her? What kind of horrible torture did they put that poor girl through?” As it turned out, she underwent no torture whatsoever.

The psychiatrists all wanted to be the first to write a paper about the girl’s behavior, and one of them learned about something similar that had happened in Sweden during the Cold War. He came up with the term, “Stockholm Syndrome” to describe somebody being held captive in isolation and how they began to identify with their captors. Rather than feel that their captors were their oppressors, they began to see their captors as friends. When that happened to the kidnapped girl, she started freely cooperating with her captors, joining in their nefarious activities.

If that doesn’t smell familiar, then even if you’ve been listening to my talks for years, you were just bopping along. You may have been thinking, “Sometimes what he says is interesting,” but you haven’t looked at the conscious operations of your own brain, or this would smell in some way as recognizable as a barely-remembered long-ago aroma in your grandmother’s kitchen.

Try and look at the conscious part of your brain in the way I’ve been describing for the last five or six talks. You will see continual momentary flashes on a screen. That screen is what you normally take to be consciousness. People normally take it in an even wider sense as being them, their inner life, their inner you. When you hear me describe something, that triggers something on the screen in your head which you take, unanalytically, as being you thinking about what I said, you meditating on this thought, you reflecting, you deeply probing to bring out the full meaning of what I just said—but that is not what is going on. I don’t mean that you’re not capable of more, but under ordinary conditions, it is almost impossible for consciousness to be aware of what couldn’t be more blatantly obvious—that what goes on in your consciousness ordinarily can’t be called yours because it did not originate in you. Ordinarily, all consciousness does is react to something it just read or heard.

You may not yet have the full negative sense of consciousness just reacting because, as I’ve said before, there is a positive aspect to the conscious part of the brain reacting to something from outside it. Your body and the non-conscious part of your brain are built to react. That is, the body as a complete mechanism is made to react. That is how the body stays alive. Cells react. You, as a total organism, react to the environment. If you didn’t react, you would die.

The conscious part of the brain is also built to react. When consciousness reacts to the environment in a positive way, the result is technology. However, the conscious part of the brain generally reacts in a way that is not positive for people like us. It is difficult to say that the type of reaction I’m referring to is negative, because it doesn’t harm people. If the conscious part of your brain is not engaged in trying to solve some material problem in your life, then under ordinary circumstances, it is not reacting to anything worthwhile, anything substantial, and that type of reaction is what we call sleep.

The conscious part of your brain is not reacting to the fact that all the wheat you stored in that little shack you built is getting ruined because rain keeps bursting through the palm fronds with which you roofed your shack. In that situation, the conscious part of your brain reacts, and comes up with a solution. You go out and weave those palm fronds together. In other words, consciousness comes up with ways to keep that rain from ruining the food that you stored away for the winter.

That is a positive reaction, but that is not what you’re doing when the conscious part of your brain overhears someone tell somebody else that they think you’re an idiot. What you overheard has to do with human behavior in man’s second reality, with things that have no physical substance, not with the material environment. Yet the conscious part of your brain still reacts. To everyone else this type of reaction is irrelevant, because they aren’t hurt when they get angry about what other people think of them. They aren’t harmed when they worry about whether God loves them. They can live almost totally in a dream. They aren’t damaged by that, and they don’t mind it. To people like us, however, this is not a positive reaction.

We are among the few people who worry about living in a dream, because we know that is what being asleep is. I’m glad the notion of being asleep was out there when I first read about it in my teens, because I immediately understood that idea in my own way—but I’m not sure if the people who throughout the centuries have used the terminology of being asleep fully understood what that meant, because being asleep is simply the conscious part of your brain reacting automatically.

If you read something that does not have to do with a material problem you’re trying to solve, like repair a roof, fix a refrigerator, build a house, or plant a garden, what you read puts you to sleep. Anything having to do with—you name it—philosophy, religion, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, human behavior, even awakening—you read it and your mind goes to sleep. You read something that really intrigues you, that says man is asleep because of original sin, man is asleep because of hating his mother, or man lives in a dream because of the poor state of our planet’s health. You read that, and you react to it. You may take that as a positive reaction, as I did for many years, and tell yourself, “That statement woke me up a little bit,” but you are wrong. That statement did not help you wake up.

I hope now that you will see this for yourself, and soon. That is why I’m pushing you to look for yourself. This is the big payoff—to realize that when the conscious part of your brain automatically reacts to something, that is not in any way awakening. The reaction can excite you, as happens when you hear me say something that makes sense to you personally. Your consciousness goes, “Bingo!” and that triggers something in you. I assure you, that is not the payoff. That is just another form of sleep. Don’t leave it at that, and don’t be discouraged.

If you keep looking at this for yourself, you should eventually see that when the conscious part of your brain reacts to something that somebody else said or wrote, that is not helpful. I have been describing the way that this hit me when I first saw it. It doesn’t have to be the way for you, but this is the best description I can muster. You must realize for yourself that whatever you just thought was totally dependent on something outside of yourself.

On the surface that doesn’t sound negative, because let’s say you’re trying desperately to fix your tractor so that you can plant wheat to feed your family, but nothing you try works. You ask a neighbor, “Can you help me fix my tractor?” He comes over and fiddles for a minute, then says, “Here’s the problem. Turn the doodad up, tighten it, and your tractor will run.” You know that the information you got from outside your own consciousness saved your family from hunger. That is undoubtedly the prime purpose of the conscious part of the brain, but if you hear or read anything about the non-tangible world, even if it seems to be positive, beneficial, and even—at least to some degree—enlightening, it was totally dependent on something outside of you that has no substance.

Can there be any doubt that you’ve got to see this for yourself? Even when I give you my best description, it doesn’t convey what I want it to. I can just hear the conscious part of your brain saying, “I hear the words, but they don’t make sense.” Surely you’re wondering how you can tell yourself, “Those words I just heard or read don’t have anything to do with me,” even though you feel that the words triggered something insightful in you. When you grasp this, you will be infuriated to realize, “I may not have had more than one or two actual thoughts in my entire life.” When I first saw this and had that thought, that was the only thought that I knew for sure I ever had. Of course, that thought was the one that blew all of this apart for me. That is what you too will realize.

I know this doesn’t sound right, but if every one of your thoughts is a reaction to somebody else’s thoughts, then you are not really having your own thoughts. A split second after you see this, it will blow apart the sensation that the conscious part of your brain is you, because at the heart of the Stockholm Syndrome, your brain identifies with thoughts that are not yours, thoughts that have been appearing in your head all of your life. The Stockholm Syndrome has created the impression that you now have identified with your kidnappers’ thoughts to such a degree that you have the sense that those thoughts constitute you. When you see that those thoughts don’t constitute you, then for the first time in your life, instead of you feeling that you are thinking, you will realize, “This is not going on in me. ‘Me’ is just the conscious part of my brain.”

I’ve repeated this, in different ways, two or three thousand times by now, so I’m sure you will say to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but wait until you see this for yourself. You surely know that when I say, “See it,” I mean that for the first time in your life, you will realize that you exist only in that thin sheet of tissue wrapped around the top of your brain. There is nothing else.

That realization changes everything permanently. Of course, you can still take snoozes. I want to warn you though, that the realization ruins snoozes, so they never last long. The realization also puts a stop to just about all reading, along with watching television and movies. The realization cuts down on chit-chat too. When you see that realization played out in the conscious part of your brain, you will know that you have gotten over at least some of the Stockholm Syndrome, and your feeling toward the ordinary part of your brain will be, “Well, at least the old fool in my head has stopped babbling so much, telling me what to do, and explaining what life is all about.” That old fool no longer talks back—most of the time, anyway.

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Straight-line Trekkers’ Guide
JUNE 14, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX

Wandering the outskirts of the prison exercise yard is a chap who says:
“Screw philosophical sojourns and metaphysical inquiries,” he says he has condensed all descriptions of man’s-eternal-quest into one simple question:
Whether he or the conscious part of his brain (mind) has the upper hand in his life.
(People in confinement seem to get desperate for something to do to pass the time —
but note should also be made):
Men without something in their mind to look forward to, won’t look around enough at the meaningless matters that spur most facts to keep that realm viable.
Man’s spiritual/cultural ideas cannot be actually insulted;
the closest to such they can suffer is to be ignored;
in the Land Of Woo: a kick in the shins is an uplifting act;
only the undeveloped rebel areas of the certain man’s mind are unbruised,
and thus capable of muscle strengthening.

Peering into the coffin at the deceased, a man mused:
“At least one benefit of being dead is that people no longer try to make you
tell what kind of guy you are.”
(“Did this visibly happen and the man actually refer to physical death,
or is the whole thing symbolic of something else?”
Does what visibly happens in life have any relevance to the certain man
achieving his goal?)
“True,” thought a rebel, “I am soaking wet,
but I am not additionally wet in some dream.”
The real-deal-man can tolerate dying: just not thinking about such a useless matter, (unless of course it occurs while he is still breathing).
A man pondered:
“Which is most important to being a professional wrestler: athletic or acting ability?” – facts are always tutored by acts;
what you say you feel is what your hormones made you say.
Only those prisoners mentally challenged continue to insist they’re free.
“And they are a sizable segment of the prison population, are they not?”
And that is one of the universe’s great understatements, is it not.

Life in prison is a continuing three legged stumble (okay: race).

Why Men Talk About What They Feel And Think.
Men believe that if others could temporarily assume their own consciousness
of themselves they would find their inner life extremely interesting –
this in spite of the fact that they don’t.

Doing The Reporting.
Generally when he would do another exposé of his ordinary mind,
one man would be forced to conclude the story:
“Our repeated calls for its side of the story have not been returned.”

Regarding the endless dire warnings with which humans are bombarded,
one man notes:
“The most frightening aspect is that they come from otherwise normal people,
often our very leaders in various areas.”

The warden said to a group of prisoners loitering about:
“The only thing worse than acting like everything is all right is – hell! –
there IS nothing worse!”

One man says: “Okay! – I’ve got it narrowed down.”

Lounging by a tree in city park, a chap notes:
“If you deliberately listen to others talk seriously about human affairs,
you deserve however it makes you feel and think in reaction thereto.”

One man says: “Having read all of the revered books of science and philosophy,
and after spending many years privately reflecting on the nature of things, I
now propose an all encompassing explanation of everything,
in what I call: The Great Nothing Theory.”

Those who don’t understand how life works
of course can’t understand how the lesser matters within it work.

One man says: “All right! – I’ve got it narrowed down.”

Recently ruminated one fellow:
“Just as you don’t have to be religious to enjoy gospel music,
neither do you have to be a total idiot to enjoy hearing what I have to say.”
(Several people who heard this explanation did not understand it,
but were ashamed to say so [another benefit of being the first to speak.
“Amen to that,” added Jehovah.])

This e-mail just in: “Regarding a story covered earlier noting the benefit of being
the first to speak: would it not also be even more propitious to be the first
not to listen?!”

One bitter old man said: “Yes, I may be a bitter old man,
but that hyena over there is no bundle of joy himself.
Why are only humans singled out for abusive name calling;
I simply wear my spots and stripes like any other beast.”

One man says:
“I hesitate to say this (but what the hell! – you don’t know my name – so!):
if you’re an ordinary person – and think you understand what’s going on –
you are a total idiot.”

One man’s has an important tip to would be spiritual masters who may initially feel restrained from engaging in self promotion by notions of humility:
“If you don’t tell people that you’re awake and enlightened – how will they know!”
Related Agricultural News.
Having never seen a prune tree — one man refuses to drink prune juice.
(“Covers it for me.”)

In reaction to an earlier story a chap says:
“The only way any so called: Theory To Explain Everything could ever make sense would be (to use a musical analogy) in the same way that Cannonball Adderly might be fired at and permanently cripple Charlie Parker.”
(“Oh yeah — what’s better than a chicken shit simple metaphor!”)

The world is divided into two groups: those who clap on the beat, and those who clap on the off beat (and of course those who say: “What the hell is all that about?!”)

“For real,” says one man, “I’ve got it narrowed down.”

And another e-mail arrives: “Are you aware of how many people enjoy reading your Daily News, but don’t understand what it’s about.
P.S. Some also believe you write all the e-mails you say you receive
(not including this one of course). Yours,” etc.
History records it wrong: The Tower Of Babel wasn’t the initial big prank
pulled on man – it was the H.O.M. – The Hall Of Mirrors
(which surprisingly many people still don’t realize was installed in each man’s head).

Every morning one man (who lives secluded from everyone)
stands on top of his house and shouts: “Let my people go!”
which always sends him into such fits of laughing that he falls and rolls off the roof
onto the ground, giving him a continuing hard reminder of what captivity feels like.

Solely in his effort to give others a needed lesson regarding their frailty and fallibility,
one man (sacrificing himself as an example) suffers periodic, personal set backs.

The acts that keep life moving are not sufficient for civilized men;
they must also have facts concerning these acts.
(The difference between a historian and homeostasis.)

“Remember on this, kid,” said the apparently reconditioned ole man
surveying the wide world of man’s intangible affairs:
“If the people who put all this stuff together actually knew what they’re doing,
they wouldn’t have to always include operating instructions, now would they.”
(This, though the very sort of thing the kid did try to remember,
his ordinary mind commonly prevailed to the contrary.)
What normal kingdom propagates schemes for its own overthrow?!
None save the certain man can salubriously pursue suicide.

“Definitely now,” says one man, “I’ve got it narrowed down.”

Upon seeing a bumper sticker: “Life Is Hard – And Then You Die,”
to himself a chap countered:
“Man says that life is hard – then life goes on about its business.”

Life tests man constantly –
to see if he is still submissive enough to tolerate such testing.
(“Wow! – and people are impressed by the über satisfying configuration
of the playing field developed by NASCAR for their sport!”)

“Okay,” says one man, “now that I’ve gotten all those bends out of the road –
it’s narrowed down properly and I can see what the game going on is really about.”