Jan Cox Talk 3173

Consciousness–The Only Activity In Universe That Does Nothing


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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Notes by TK

Consider: why weren’t tops put on automobiles, after their invention, for twenty or more years? This is another example of the working of consciousness (i.e., horses don’t have tops!). Consciousness as a salad bowl, an empty salad bowl. But a salad bowl holding a tossed salad: thoughts.

To contemplate this metaphor adds more salad makings to the bowl, a pernicious development for one seeking awakening! The first thought to slip into consciousness cloaks and distracts from its reality. So, is consciousness the noun and thought the verb? Or vice versa? Could consciousness be the only activity in the universe that does nothing? (27:46) #3173

Notes by DR

Jan Cox Talk 3173       “Why did they manufacture automobiles for 20 years before someone put a top on one. Everybody looked at it as the horseless carriage, like a horse of a different sort. What sorts of things are right in front of me? Consciousness is like an empty salad bowl. When you go to a store for a salad bowl you walk past the display that has full salad bowls and find an empty salad bowl. A salad bowl is empty. But consciousness is a salad bowl holding tossed salad: thoughts. How can consciousness see that it’s an empty salad bowl?

For it to even ponder the possibility, some salad ingredients must be put in the bowl or it can’t even consider the matter. Now you put this idea in your salad bowl. To hear the idea is already to put consciousness in the position of not being empty. Thoughts are what are in consciousness that makes us aware of it. But if consciousness is the thing in which thoughts exist, is consciousness a noun and thoughts a verb? Or is consciousness the verb and thoughts the noun? Could consciousness be the only activity in this entire universe that doesn’t do anything?”

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

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Slipping In The Lost Chord To Those Not Terminally Lost
JULY 14, 2004 © 2004: JAN COX

One man’s thoughts said to his consciousness:
“Can Billy come out to play?” and he suddenly realized that all his life he had been absent mindedly acquiescing in this request, resulting in his consciousness having reached its present age without him knowing where its time had thus far been spent.

Listening (here’s how it goes):
first you stop listening to others, and you start listening to one special person only;
then you stop listening to anybody, including yourself,
and finally you just stop listening; all you do is the talking that goes on in your head.

Mind At Work.
Looking upon the manuscript of his verbal efforts to this point, a man mused:
“What is the sense in numbering the pages if you are just going to keep them in order anyway?!”
(And a by stander inquired: “Are unemployment benefits available in this area?”)

“You may,” said one frothy father to a salty son,
“jolly well ignore the admonition about minding your own business,
for in prison my boy, I say – Ahoy! –
everybody’s business IS everybody’s business.”

A speaker in city park so disclaimed: “No one as yet grasps fully the applications
and implications of electricity (certainly not our minds!)”
“A most curious thing,” noted Doctor Drano to an apprentice,
“I have yet to meet a flooded basement that had the word, ‘flooded’ in its vocabulary, when (since this is such a common condition) you would expect it to be one of its most used,” and the assistant didn’t know whether he had sufficient time on the job to point out to the master that he was in fact talking about the mind and not basements,
or whether perhaps the more experienced one knew that already.
“Sometimes it’s tricky being low man on the plumbing pole (although I really only think that at the times when I allow my untutored mind TO express a think).”

“Look Here, My Good Man.”
Among ordinary men: just because an explanation doesn’t explain anything
doesn’t mean it’s not an explanation.

“There are no stale doughnuts in heaven,” said the cop to his son,
“And why is that, pa pa?”
“Because,” he replied, “there they have no yesterdays —
you either get it NOW – or it won’t be got.”
“But exactly which now are you talking about?”
“There is why you miss it.”

How Mind Works Words.
When it came to in-prison braggin’ rights:
one man boasted that he was so tall he could stand on a chair.
A man who escapes proves to have a mind that can trump its own thoughts.
Waking up to what is actually going on with life requires an act not only of
a tree climbing itself, but stripping off its bark as it goes.

There have been at least several people in history who did certain un seeable things that several other people didn’t care for.
(“Are you really talking about people – or synaptic connections?”)
“Well at least he didn’t say: things that life didn’t care for.”
Pop Quiz.
Do you see that last comment as representing an acid test of one’s understanding –
or a humorous threat?
(And appearing on the riser, the Tart Trio began to sing:
“Yank my doodle it’s a dandy.”)

When one consciousness heard the catch phrase promoting the city’s notion of education: “No neuron left behind,” all it could do was shake its head and smile.

Allowing yourself the standard prison education permits you to cease leaning on
the wall you are now and commence learning on another one.
(Those doing metaphysical graduate work may substitute the word, “pushing” for, “leaning.”)

Men talk about the past – “Why?”
To make up for not knowing what to say about the present.
Men predict the future – “Why?”
(This is getting tiring.)

(Found scrawled on a prison wall):
“Things are not as simple as they may at first seem,”
(and under it):
“Not to the mind not individually refined.”

“Look Here” Redux.
Among ordinary men: just because an explanation doesn’t explain what it
purports to explain doesn’t mean that it doesn’t explain anything.

After a normal morning’s exposure to the city’s gossip and public dissemination
of the news, one man one day suddenly thought:
“If I didn’t hear how bad things are, would I know how bad they are?”
(and don’t overlook the tacit kicker in that idea.)
Religion Update.
Faith will never go out of style as long as man’s thoughts expect the worst.
(“Now that you’ve raised the subject, I’ve been wanting to ask:
just who is responsible for the situation being like this anyway?”)
A question to a chicken in a coop is as good as a written reply to a blind colonel.
(“Why does everything always work out like this?!”
Verbally, you mean?
“Well…..yeah! – how else!…..hey! – wait a minute…..”)

“Dear Dr. Exacto: Is it better to get it late than never?”
Dear Sir: Why did you wait so long to ask?
“Well Doctor: I have begun to feel as though I just got here.”
Bravo Sir! – Bra-vo!
Faith Redux.
It will never go out of fashion as long as everyone is satisfied
holding on to what they’ve got.
(And coming out slowly from the wings in a swan,
the Toe Jex Memorial Background Singers are heard softly intoning
that enduring ditty: “Skinny Thoughts And All.”)

When his consciousness speaks of one man it frequently employs the term,
“wonderful person” (which he then gently and pleasantly tries to dismiss…………usually.)

News From The City’s Latest Welcome Brochure.
Those who do not claim to speak to god (or a famous dead guru)
will not be listened to seriously by idiots – (correction: strike, “by idiots.”)

Sign recently discovered next to the sun:
“In this part of the universe: personally conceived-of ideas are prohibited
on week ends, and otherwise not allowed Monday through Friday.”
Life coos: “I am the wall and you are the climbing vine,
(remember your place, you lowly scrub!)”

The pressures produced by The Long March Of Words has proven to be such that
the guy who invented movable type was forced to move.
(And the Mendel Commemorative Choir of Chartreuse Cathedral
let forth with the resounding strains:

“Vines gotta die – walls gotta grow,
once you know this – you’re free to go…”)