Solution Substitution Solipsism
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Jan Cox Talk 0446 – January 18, 1989 ** – 1:25
Notes by TK
Kyroot to :05
Everybody believes man is seeking “solutions”. Mathematics would appear to be the clearest-cut example of this. The “=” sign in the math equation means “is another name for” and the answer on the right-hand side of the sign is therefore only another name for the original problem on the left-hand side of it. Thus, nothing new is ever generated except for the energy evoked during the conversion activity itself of devising the “solution”. Everything in the solution is merely a substitution, not a delivery or introduction of new knowledge.
If no substitution occurs then no “correct” answer was arrived at. This relates to Some Success; SS = SS (Substitution-Solution = Some Success). The solution gives the feeling of SS. Consider the purpose of a generic variable in an equation (e.g., “x” in x + 3 = 8 of algebraic equation) as equivalent of “the gods will take care of it” as a solution. Substitution (renaming) is taken by the ordinary as a substitute for continually attempting to understand oneself.
Human talk is a singular way of extending energy conversion. Talk at the individual level is a private pep rally. Talk about oneself is self-energizing. Vanity is self-energizing in the City and is thus criticized by the more revolution-tending fringes of life since it will not fuel Revolution.
The Partnership. “If you’re not smarter than yourself, you haven’t got a chance”. When confronted with a problem there is always a “smarter” partner who speaks up, but it’s not smarter if no behavior change for the better is effected, just talks smarter.
And Kyroot Said…
In city affairs, a man’s best friend is his habits.
One of the several suave talents of the city is that it can
hold you captive and make you live like you like it.
Regarding man’s position in the Life-Of-Life, think of it
thusly: We’re in the very midst of the midst.
Don’t try to be spiritual unless you know what you’re doing,
or else know full well that you do not know, and would like to.
Anytime it’s for “your own good,” it’s also for someone
Only the weak say good bye.
Why be Sam if you can be Sam AND Dave.
One ole city dude sez, “Watching TV won’t hurt you if you
don’t take it seriously,” but Jeeze, ole timer, that’s true
about EVERY thing.
Farm Update Number Seven: If you REALLY have your chickens
you have no need to count them. (Only those fearful of losing
same must log the fowls…FAIR balls don’t even come into play
Another reason the city, by and large, seems oblivious to
the revolution, is that they do not ever expect to find
intelligence without guile. (That which is TOO surprising makes
There’s a short man in Mongolia who sez he doesn’t belong
Even though I’ve seen it all before, I still shiver in awe
and disbelief when, from the city, I hear the roll of the drums,
and blare of the bugles, and the mighty rise of their battle cry,
“Hey, we ain’t responsible.”
If you’re captive, you’re ugly.
The city gradually tries to put everyone into junk bonds.
One little boy said, “Big people who talk seriously scare
Remember, it’s ALL a package deal, every fuckin’ bit of it.
Don’t take no medals.
If they offer you a share, insist on a partnership, if
they’ll give you a sergeant’s stripes, demand a general’s stars;
if they’ll make you a priest, tell ’em that being god is your
minimum requirement. (Then, if you’re still feeling frisky, you
could tell ’em you know who they really are.)
Last month I heard this one bush-oriented guy exclaim, “At
least one good thing, no one can make me as mad as I can.”
A real revolutionist can think of stuff ALL THE TIME.
THERE ARE NO SOLUTIONS: YOU HAVE TO BE SMARTER THAN YOURSELF
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1989
Document: 446, January 18, 1989
Many people would agree that seeking and finding solutions to problems is the “name of the game” in Life. People believe they are involved in solving problems throughout human affairs, from religion to science, to social issues. What is actually going on behind problems and solutions?
Mathematics will serve as a good example because the very basis of math would seem to be that you can get somewhere. You are given a problem and you can find a solution.
Let’s take a problem in arithmetic: 2 + 2 = _____. Your teacher, Life, gives you the problem on the left side. Then you have an equal sign. On the right side, just past the equal sign you fill in the solution: 4.
If you were in school, the teacher would say “very good” and you would get a pat on the head. But the subtle part that no one sees is that “equals” not only means “equal to,” but also means “another name, another symbol for.” The solution is literally just another name for the problem. You just substitute one name for something else.
If you had a harder problem, a long equation with many parts, you could not immediately come up with the solution. You would have to search for the solution. “Somebody is going to have to sit down and spend a lot of time with a calculator to figure out the answer.” But, you are not going to find out anything new. All you’re finding is another name for the problem. Renaming the problem IS the solution.
This is not just true in mathematics. You have the same situation in areas that would seem far afield, economics for instance. Economists calculate the gross national product as goods and services times current market value. It takes a bunch of people months to collect all the necessary data on goods, services and market value just so they can come up with an acceptable figure for the gross national product. They take the problem on one side of the equation, and calculate a solution on the other. But no matter what figure they come up with, what have they discovered? All they have discovered is another name for the problem — literally.
Let’s take another area: science. You have an equation: E = MC squared. You can marvel at the brilliance it took to figure that out. But the equation simply takes one thing and gives it another name. Or, take the equation for heat conversion: TF = (T1 – T2)/T2. All someone did there is take something from experience and put another name on it.
Anything that is called a solution in Life is a substitution. You don’t simply have a problem on one side of the equation and a solution on the other. You may travel the face of the earth, go to the library even, or consult an expert to find that “something” to go on the right side of the equation, but you are not looking for “something.” You’re looking for another symbol. You’re looking for a substitute name.
There is no exception to this. You could be talking about intellectual matters, scientific matters or psychological matters, it just wouldn’t matter. Looking in on psychology for a moment, there is an equation in psychology for a person’s “educational quotient,” whatever the hell that means. To calculate the educational quotient you take your educational age and divide it by your chronological age, then multiply the result by 100.
This idea of an educational quotient was important to somebody. It appeared to help out in a variety of situations: in determining job promotions, or resolving court problems. It is not so different from a strictly scientific formula like E = MC squared. It solved something. People adopted it. In The City, people start out with a problem and believe they arrive at a solution.
But to plug in the numbers and come up with an answer is not replacing the problem with a solution. You are not replacing ignorance with knowledge. You are not replacing the unknown by new discoveries. There certainly appears to be a new discovery. It seems plausible that there is some correlation between education, age and a person’s efficiency. But what you have is just a substitution.
Everyone thinks they have discovered something. They start out on the left side of the equation with “E,” and then say, “okay, ‘E’ equals what?” — as though they are looking for something. But, all they’re going to come up with is another name for “E.” All solutions are simply a substitution for the problem. You have the equation: 2 + 2 = 4. “2 + 2” is the problem, the question. The answer is “4.” You don’t consider that “4” is the same thing as “2 + 2,” only, with a different name. If the right part of the equation were not the same thing as the left, the solution would not be correct.
All solutions are substitutions. You can take the finest minds and come up with answers to any question — but where did the answers come from? All of humanity is locked in the same room and people don’t have anything up their sleeves. Answers are a substitution, a complex shuffle, a fast deal, energy moved. You feel something new has been introduced into the game — into the room — because at one time nobody knew what “2 + 2” equaled. At one time people didn’t know what energy was in terms of mass, and then some guy came up with a solution. But, there is no way to put a new deck of cards in this 3-D room. Anything you can find was already there. You can call it “2 + 2” or you can call it “4.” What difference does it make?
In the city it makes all the difference in the world, or you would have no solution to anything, no answer to any question. You’d have nothing but the left-hand side of an endless string of problems and questions. There would be no solutions, if not for substitutions.
When you can see quite clearly that it’s all a kind of verbal substitution going by the name of solution, you can see an extension of my Some Success dynamic: that “Substitution Solutions = Some Success.” Nothing actually succeeds in the City, it’s always a matter of Some Success. Everything is always conditional and never actually fulfills its stated purpose.
How could it be otherwise? The solution is nothing but the problem renamed in the same way that “2” and “4” are both numbers, but they are different numerals. Two “2’s” represent the same thing as one “4,” only through different symbols. Once you see that, then the idea that no problem actually gets solved should not be a surprise. The only possible surprise would be how everything even seems to move along, even a little bit, when all you are doing is taking problems and restating them over and over.
Now, let’s move into the area of personal problems. Let’s take the problem, “I am too shy for my own good — I should try and overcome my shyness — read a book, take a course, maybe talk to someone.” From a mathematical perspective there appears to be a discoverable solution to every problem. Oh yeah? What solution? The fact is, any solution would be no different than the problem. Any solution would just be the problem renamed. The more workable the solution, the more successfully you have renamed the problem.
The so-called solution provides a place to lay the blame. The shy person goes into analysis and one day realizes: “Ahhh, my father was too overbearing and that’s why I’m so shy!” That might make the person feel better, but it doesn’t get rid of the shyness. The best you get in the City is some success: “I feel better, I’m on the right track, but I don’t quite have it all pulled out of my unconscious yet.” What they are saying is, “This is a partial solution.” They are saying, “A equals B.” They take the solution one as being a linear effect from some cause, a linear solution arising from some perceived problem, when all it is, is a substitution.
The next step past “2 + 2 = 4” is to begin using variables in the equation rather than just numbers. In algebra you have generic solutions as represented by variables. Instead of “2 + 2 = 4” you have “A + B = C” and you can stick in ANY problem. Compare that with saying, “The gods will take care of it.” Such a statement is generic and vague, and is accepted as a solution by many people. Many people get involved in religion and feel that the problems they used to worry about are not as bad since they got “closer to the gods and I realize how they will take care of it all.”
Some of your nervous systems believe that there is a difference between that kind of solution and the solution to the question, “What is 2 + 2?” In human algebra you have variable “gods” and you can plug in whichever one suits your ordinary City self. The gods have different names all over the world and people take such generic, nonspecific symbols as being solutions.
From a more Revolutionary view, to say “the gods will take care of it” is to accept a substitution solution rather than attempting to understand it for yourself. People are not generally prepared to understand for themselves; Life does not require that. “My whole family has died and on top of that I’ve lost my business. I don’t understand, I’m a decent person, I give the church 10% of my income and I’ve never harmed anybody. What’s going on?” Then someone else says, “Let me tell you — I’ve had more bad luck than you and I went back to my church and now I understand that the gods are taking care of everything and there are just some things we cannot understand. Just let the gods take care of it and don’t worry about what man is not meant to know.” People all over the world will hear that an go, “Ahhh,” as though someone said, “2 + 2 = 4.”
From a Revolutionary view, to accept such generic explanations is to accept the vague. To take generic substitutions, to deal in those kinds of algebraic apparent solutions to problems — “Well, my father’s attitude caused me to be this way,” “My father’s untimely death when I was young caused me to be like I am,” “The bad luck I’ve had all my life — the gods know the answer, I don’t,” — is to accept substitutions for what seems to be the problem. The answer is the question renamed. You have substituted “4” for “2 + 2.” In the City that is a solution, and it is correct. Mathematically, that is as close as you can get to a period, a conclusion. For the bell curve of humanity, it’s a case closed. “2 + 2” is the problem and “4” is the answer, which seems different because “4” is one term and “2 + 2” is another term.
You look upon your personal problems — “I am so overwhelmed by my fear of being alive,” “I am so hostile toward people of the opposite sex,” “I am so estranged from my mother that it just plagues me. She’s dead now and still I wrestle with her. I argue with her day in and day out,” — and feel, “I need a solution.” The ordinary feeling is that if there’s a problem, there’s GOT to be a solution somewhere. The solution is a renaming of the problem: that is what an equal sign is; that is what “Eureka” is; that is what “discovery” is — and nothing more. People do not go outside their 3-D room and suddenly “discover a new world.” It only SEEMS that people discover solutions to their problems. In the City, there is no recourse to linear thinking.
May I remind you that everything is as it should be. If not for the feeling that all problems have solutions things would not apparently move from one foot to the other. Life would not be progressing through man in the 3-D way that Life apparently is. Every time you think you have a problem — and everyone thinks they do continually — you have to look for a solution. Your car needs fixing, you believe that your girlfriend or boyfriend is getting a little tired of you, you believe you may be sick. You think there’s a problem and a solution. But remember that the solution is the same thing as the problem. “4” is the same thing as “2 + 2” and it’s not redundant — it’s invisible. What I am saying is subtly devious and is missed by the ordinary intellect.
On to talk. Talk, on an individual level, especially the talk about oneself and one’s life — “What kind of guy I am” — is a very individual and specific kind of pep rally. People think they’re trying to impress others when they talk about themselves. People believe that, “Yes, we’re all a little egotistical. We all like to talk about ourselves.” Forget all that, just look at yourself. Play intellectual hermit for a moment — the pep rally’s going on in you. You’re leading the pep rally and you’re responding to it. One of the prime areas of .pathis internal pep rally is the talk about what kind of guy you are.
Now, there may be somebody standing there. They may be (you hope) the proud and thankful recipient of your talk about what kind of guy you are. But consider that the presence of someone else is sort of superfluous. They might drift off or act bored, but would that ever stop you, once you get wound up? No way. Why stop when you’ve got the crowd inside good and whipped up? Imagine some great public speaker who has got this crowd going and he turns around and sees his girlfriend or his brother-in-law looking bored. Is that going to stop him when he’s on a roll? Not a chance. He’s got everybody else worked up. They’re all cheering at the right places. You don’t stop just because one or two people are bored. A man or a woman talking about “What kind of guy I am” is an individual, within his own state, leading a kind of ultimate pep rally, engaged in a kind of ultimate self-energizing.
It sounds like I continually pick on that kind of talk, so I’ll ask you — of what apparent purpose and benefit is not talking about yourself? No one ever thinks about that. So, here it is. Talking about what kind of guy you are is a known kind of energy conversion. And the kind of energy conversion produced by such talk is not needed for This. It physically will not do.
Does it not strike you that religions and self-help groups of all stripes all pick on egoism? They tell you not to be a vain, egotistical maniac. They don’t know what’s going on, but notice the idea seems to resound in many people, that “It’s not the most profitable attitude to think that you’re a big shot, to think that you’re superior.” All the religions say you should be humble, that you should not be vain and self-proclaiming.
But, “Let me tell you what kind of guy I am” is a necessary ingredient of the energy exchange in the City for ordinary people. And it is also necessary for the person they are talking with to respond: “You know, that’s interesting that you should be that kind of guy, because you don’t know how close that is to the kind of person I am.” Or, “You don’t know how far removed that is from how I am.” So you dance and you dance and you talk and you talk.
Imagine, if Life were operating at some super speed and This Thing was the norm, people would not be running on the kind of energies that are produced by telling what kind of guy they are. In this quickened world, no one actually would talk about themselves. The theory would become a reality and in so doing would fall by the wayside. The churches and synagogues would no longer have to talk about how you should not be vain. People just wouldn’t be.
That is not the situation, though. As it is now, Life uses and needs the kind of energy exchange generated by, “What kind of guy I am.” But that energy will not fuel This. Out on the outskirts of the City they theoretically badmouth talking about what kind of guy you are, but everyone still talks about themselves. But physically, the fuel produced by “Let me tell you what kind of guy I am” in all of its many ramifications, is a waste of your potential to do This Thing. You simply can’t do This with that kind of fuel. This is not a psychological matter and has nothing to do with you either being vain or humble. There’s no clinical difference between somebody vain and somebody humble. They are just two partners in a dance. You can be humble and tell people, “I’m a humble kind of guy.” That’s no different from being vain. Neither energy will fuel This, any more than 20 octane gas will fuel a Thunderbird with an up to date V-8 engine.
You’ve simply got to see talk for what it is. You’ve got to feel the pep rally in you and realize you might as well be bleeding whenever you talk about yourself. You might as well have your little Corvette stuck in the mud: you keep your foot on the floorboard, fuel pours into the carburetor, but you go nowhere. That kind of fuel, that energy generated by talking about your life, is not going to fuel anything having to do with This Activity.
Now let me turn to the Partnership. Everybody has within them a bare minimum of two voices, two hearings (one voice, one hearing), two people, two attitudes, two drives, two minds. I can also refer to this Partnership as the King and the people. Regarding that, if you’re not smarter than yourself, you haven’t got a chance. Operationally, behaviorally, if you will not do what the smarter part says, you haven’t got a chance in This Thing.
There is an electrochemical reality that any time you seem to be confronted with a problem, a question — some doubt — there is always a part of you that is smarter than the other part. The smarter part says, “I should lose some weight.” The dumber part is the part that keeps eating chocolate and two pizzas every night at midnight. If you did not have a smarter and a dumber part, Life would consider you a mutant cell.
Everybody, once I pointed it out, would agree that there is a smarter part and a dumber part in them, and that the smarter part is the one that wants to change for the good. They might be addicted to cocaine. The smarter part says, “I should quit. I should stop now before this gets any worse, I should seek treatment.” The dumber part just keeps doing cocaine.
The truth is, that person doesn’t HAVE a smarter self. I could ask, “Have you stopped?” and they would say, “No.” “Well, did you just think about quitting right now for the first time?” “No, I’ve been thinking about it for months.” Do I have to wink at you or nudge you to get you to see? They sound like they’ve got a smarter part, but they do not. How can you call it a smarter part if nothing happens from it? If the smarter part does not exert some control or power over the part that seems to be less smart, then forget calling it a smarter part. Go back to the City and hang around there and say, “Yes, I’m going to stop that nasty habit,” or, “Give me another beer. I swear I’m going to leave that woman, she’s driving me crazy!” And the bartender says: “How long have you been married?” “Forty five years, but…”
If you won’t do what your smarter self says to, you haven’t got a smarter self. You’ve got one side of an equation like everybody else, but you don’t have a smarter self. In the City it is okay that things never seem to be working correctly. In the City, for some success, all you have to do is SAY you are going to quit doing cocaine. That is part of the pep rally, the energy exchange. That is the nature of the City.
Anyone who says they are going to do something and then does not, is transferring the necessary and appropriate energy by simply saying they are going to do it. That is part of their pep rally. Perhaps they never actually quit and eventually die from cocaine, from drinking, or smoking. But all the way to the grave, they’re telling themselves, “I’m going to stop. I know I should stop. I’ve got enough intelligence to know I should have never started, but I’m going to stop.” Until their last breath, they’re still smoking or trying to take a snort.
There’s nothing funny, ironic or dumb about that. That is the way Life is arranged because talking about it — even if they’re just talking to themselves, with the smarter part saying, “Well, we should change such and such” — is a pep rally inside. “Okay, all of us, lets give up this nasty habit!” “Yeah, we will, we will, right after one more toke, one more snort, one more drink, one more day.” That is simply the nature of it. But if that is the operational nature of your internal state, then you’re not smarter than yourself and you haven’t got a chance if you haven’t got a smarter self. You’ve got a self that talks smarter, but it is not smarter, because if it was indeed smarter, it would have some effect.
You may wonder how The People can say, “Well, we’re a bunch of ragamuffins and a bunch of churls and curls and serfs and peons, but our King, we love the man. He beats us and he takes our women and burns our farms, but he’s so powerful and he’s so intelligent. He makes such good decisions.” If that were not true, the people would not be the people and the King would not be the King. The dance would not be going on.
If the King is the same slob as everybody else, are you going to say that you’ve got a real ruler? Are you going to pay allegiance? Are you going to say, “Well, the King is smarter than us little peons out here in the ditch.” The King is not smarter than you if he lives there in the ditch with you drinking and snorting cocaine, if he lives the same life you live. If the King goes around drunk, beating up on his wife, or if he’s afraid of his shadow — in other words, if he’s human and he’s out there in the ditch along with you — are you going to say, “Well, I may not be much, but at least I’ve got a ruler I can be proud of, a ruler who’s smarter than I am”? Do you have a ruler who’s smarter than you? No. He may talk smarter, but talk is cheap.
Actually, talk is NOT cheap, talk is expensive. And then that is not true either. Talk’s not expensive and talk’s not cheap. Talk has a fair market value which has something to do with the HGNP — the Human Gross National Product.
If your smarter part has no effect on you, if you cannot make some decisions and act on them — for no reason, with no method, no ritual — then you will never get anywhere with This. If you had a smarter part, then you would do everything the smarter part told you. If I said, “Have you got a smarter part?” you would have to go, “Uhhh…” You wouldn’t really know because everything would be put into operation. Once you Understand, you forget you Understand. You don’t walk around any more worrying about “What is 2 + 2?” because everybody knows “2 + 2 = 4” now. You memorized it, and it’s now mechanical. You can just look at “2 + 2” and say “4.” In a real sense, you don’t think about the answer any more — it is as mechanical as a moth flying on the edge of your nose and you sneezing. So, in a sense you don’t even know “4” any more.
In the same way, if you actually had an operational smarter part of you, you would be hard pressed to realize that you did, because everything your smarter part said to do, you would immediately put into operation. The King would be fairly silent. Your own palace would almost be a source of non-information, noninterference with the people. There would be no news.
To the Few, no news is good news. But, not like in the City where they say “no news is good news” then whistle in the dark and wait for the next bit of bad news to come along. If you could listen to your smarter part, you would understand that no news is good news and it might suddenly strike you, “The chances are, I’ve heard the last of my bad news.” You might even realize, “I’m probably never going to receive any more news at all!”