Jan Cox Talk 0651

You Can’t Rise Above the Energy You React To


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651 ** May 23, 1990 ** – 1:05
Notes by TK

Kyroot to :05. To react to (accept) criticism is to become your own adversary in the sense that you acknowledge your less than perfect status, i.e., that you’re less than completely pleased with yourself. The efficiency: criticism-defense are interchangeable. A related law of physics: you cannot rise above the energy you react to.

Consider the non-response of Jesus to Pilate. No defense, not defining yourself; response/defense = defining yourself. At the level of interchangeable energy transfers (i.e., criticism/defense) you are under the law of: you can’t win. Yet Life constantly broadcasts the message that if you don’t play the game, you can’t possibly win, and this is accepted and taken into account universally, i.e., everybody plays.

Man is a catalyst. A facilitator of change in other processes w/o undergoing change himself. Connection to words/emotions being independent sentient entities using man as a medium. This throws light on man’s inability to change.


…and Kyroot said:
All the rest is background.
…and Kyroot said:
Question posed at recent Questioner-&-Posers Convention; Does it bother you
some that intellectuals don’t have unions?
…and Kyroot said:
All motion conveys information.
…and Kyroot said:
People who use a lot of prepositions should be respected…
…(or feared.)
…and Kyroot said:
Yeah, sure; Once one person says it EVERYbody’ll say it.
…and Kyroot said:
To make up an idea is not the same, As to make up a fact…
…but it’s close enough.
…and Kyroot said:
Oh, all right,
For you Telodramticists –
Have it your way; Everyone’s life, is falling apart:
…and Kyroot said:
All rumors are true.
…and Kyroot said:
Most great ideas can be said in four words.
…and Kyroot said:
Sometimes five, Sometimes three.
…and Kyroot said:
Although they don’t bother to advertise the fact, constant use of stupidity
will produce frequent flyer bonus points.
…and Kyroot said:
The Question Of The Day is; Are you going to say something familiar,
Or make me mad?
…and Kyroot said:
The landscape says it all.
…and Kyroot said:
A tree taken from France to Spain is still a tree, If you think the same is true for an idea, Your dictionary needs watering.
…and Kyroot said:
At last month’s Ole Sorehead’s conclave, Thursday night’s semi-featured
speaker kicked his podium, and shouted, “All of the really great stuff’s already been
done – let the criticism
…and Kyroot said:
We interrupt,
For the latest race news: Coming out of the first turn, The score is; Fifteen-Love, Advantage, Hormones.
…and Kyroot said:
The constant repeating of the rules is the job of the City, Your application, past a certain point, Can he optional.
…and Kyroot said:
Some parts of the world still aren’t up to speed…
…Hey you – quit lookin
out the window!
…and Kyroot said:
One guy said that the worst thing about not needing glasses Is that you can’t stop and adjust them At awkward moments.
…and Kyroot said:
In the midst of his speech the speaker spoke the phrase, “in the mean time”,
and from the crowd came the
comeback cry, “Hell, around here there ain’t no mean time.”
…and Kyroot said:
Me cure for all contradiction Is an additional dimension.
…and Kyroot said:
Everything’s fair game
Where vivacious intelligence is not an endangered species.
…and Kyroot said:
Everyone made up everything they know,
(Or Life made it up for them…one or the other.)
…and Kyroot said:
That can be,
Satisfactorily divided into two, Can be killed.
(Attention shoppers,
Is there a,
Solomon in the house?,
If so,
Keep him away from
your under-age ideas’)


Copyright 1990 J. M. Cox
651 5/23/90


I was thinking that perhaps tonight a one-word signal might,
if not set some of you off, at least push you a little further
down the orbital track. But before the one-word, let’s go back to
where we left off last time regarding the interchangeability of
criticism/attack and defense. These are interchangeable states
not unlike, for a crude for instance, matter and energy.

If you “take” — that is, if you accept any criticism, if you
with some passion consider it — the criticism, in essence, makes
you become your own foe. Because at the heart of any defense to a
critic is you accepting that in some way you have let you down.
Otherwise, the critic would have no basis for the attack.

Notice, even though this makes sense verbally and
“psychologically,” it is not normally taken into account. Yet, if
you accept any form of criticism — all the way from a comment on
a work of art you own to the way you run your business — then
it’s not just you responding to the critic. If you “take” the
criticism — even if you don’t agree with it, but you REACT — if
you accept even part of it as being justified, if the energy comes
in and you refry and transform that energy — then, in essence,
you have become your own foe. There would be no reason,
otherwise, to defend yourself. What you are doing is based upon a
non-specific, nonverbalized belief that you have let you down.

Were you absolutely, unconditionally pleased with what you
did, with your business, with your work of art, then the criticism
would not compel a response at all, not in any real way. If you
did not believe one iota that you had let you down you would not
react to any criticism.

Now consider: Is this not a most subtle basis for extreme
efficiency? Normally people believe that the byplay between two
people centered around some form of criticism has a particular
discernible direction. One person criticized the other — the
interchange appears to have a particular direction. You think,
“He badmouthed me and that’s not justified. I’m going to have to
respond.” But you are not simply responding to an external
source. The way energy schematics are arranged in Life, for you
to accept the kind of energy normally referred to as criticism, is
to put yourself in the position of being your own adversary. Were
it not for the fact that there is some room in your nervous system
for you to be criticized and affected by it, you would not
respond. By responding, you’re expressing that you somewhere have
the distinct nonverbal feeling you are your own foe. If you were
not letting yourself down, if you were not operating at less than
full, splendid, exhilarating efficiency, there would be no room,
you’d have no Achilles heel, for criticism. We’re talking about
efficiency on the hoof.

There is a law of “funny physics” I’d like to give before we
get to the one-word fireworks of the evening:

You cannot rise above the energy you react to.

In the city, this is still true “psychologically”: you could hear
this, leave here, think about the idea, operate and probably
benefit from it just on the basis that it was some sort of
psychological commentary. But it’s much more than that. More
happens at the level of energy transactions than can be seen or
verbally described, which is why I sometimes refer to that level
as being in the realm of “funny physics.” Thus, although this
idea stands up psychologically, what is actually going on operates
beyond mere city explanations.

If you are reacting to a form of criticism, which is a form
of energy, then you are going to remain at or be brought to the
level of your critics. There`s no way out. Part of the power of
the stories of Jesus, Socrates and other historical and mythical
figures lies in their reported refusal to respond to criticism and
questions. According to legend — and I’m just referring to what
I’ve read — those suckers just refused to answer their accusers.
And, of course, from that sprang other myths that make Zeus’
forehead look like a barren desert. There is a real physical,
chemical, electrical basis understood by the people who have
refused to respond. It wasn’t to show off, get their name in a
history or holy book, or to do a cheap imitation of John Wayne
suffering in silence. If they responded then they’d be inside an
inescapable trap: inside the law of not being able to rise above
the energy to which you react.

If you respond, you will, at the very least, remain where
you are. At the worst, if you were a few steps ahead of the
crowd, energy-wise, a few steps ahead of the city, you will
suddenly find yourself back at city level. You cannot rise above
the energy you respond to. All forms of defense, any variation of
“Let me tell you what kind of guy I am,” (even if you say, “I’m
the kind of guy that won’t tell you what kind of guy I am”), any
response of any kind to any criticism will take you back to that
level. It doesn’t matter what the content or source of the
criticism is, or whether the complaint appears legitimate — all
that is irrelevant once you look behind the verbal foreground and
see what’s going on at the level of energy.

Try and keep from your own thinking the notion that some
forms of criticism may be deserved or must be countered in part —
all of that is irrelevant. If you’re trying to do something
extraordinary, at the very least a response is wasteful, and it
can be downright destructive to tell what kind of guy you are.
When you do that, you are a “kind of guy.” If you could see the
energy transaction, then any question about some criticism being
deserved, or that you can learn from criticism, or that certain
ideas about religion and nationality or what kind of guy you are
must be defended — all become moot.

If you think you must defend and explain what kind of guy you
are, that it’s necessary for your “psychological health,” if you
feel the need to do that then you should. But if you’re trying to
do something exceptional, attempting to pursue This Activity, you
have to realize that what race, religion or nationality you are is
irrelevant. That’s why I never even talk about such things. What
kind of guy you are is only meaningful in the city, where attacks
on your nationality or religion are “fighting words.” And, I
repeat, that’s just fine in the city — having to respond keeps
people busy.

There have always been crude reflections hanging around
religion of what we’re talking about here. I’m just paraphrasing
a wide swath through religious literature and belief, but there is
and has always been some form of: “Don’t respond to your
critics. Let the gods defend you if you’re righteous.” Someone
has always been saying that. Such information seeps out into the
general city awareness, although it has no great impact. It’s
interpreted as a goal to be strived for or a philosophical quest.
But there is a purpose behind the circulation of such ideas in

You must realize, regarding criticism and response, that
what’s going on is not a struggle or a form of justification, and
I’m not describing some philosophical exercise to help you cope
with the attack. You don’t have to cope with the attack because
the attack is not personal. At the ordinary level it is personal
and people have no choice but to respond, if not overtly then
internally. In the city, they have to take it personally. They
must argue and defend themselves, keep the conflict alive — those
energy exchanges are basic to the continued good health and growth
of Life itself. But you don’t have to take criticism personally.

Energy is directed through you and if you respond to it, you
cannot rise above it. (When I use the term “rise above it,” I
imply no city connotations that you’re superior to the other
person or that you’ll be a “bigger person than they are” by just
ignoring their actions.) The point is: the criticism is
irrelevant. Other than the fact that energy must be generated,
must be transformed, criticism is meaningless. If you respond
to that kind of energy in any way, no matter how composed, civil
or intellectual your response, you’re stuck right there. And
you’re not doing anything extraordinary. If in some way you were
outside or above that level of energy and you responded to it,
then they got you. As they’d say in the military: You cannot
gain new ground if you’re forever protecting your flanks.

Here is a related theorem:

At the ordinary, three-dimensional level where
you have total interchangeability of criticism
and defense, you can’t win.

At that level where defense is criticism in reverse, that is, at
the level of ordinary intelligence, if you respond you can’t win.
Even if you apparently win by putting your detractors royally in
their place, you are now in their place. You cannot win.
Because you cannot rise above the energy you react to; you’re
locked in at the same three-dimensional level.

Keeping all that in mind, consider how Life sends out the
widespread message: “If you don’t play the game, you can’t
possibly win.” Life wants everyone to play — it has a very small
need/tolerance for those who don’t play, for hermits and suicides.
In your own way, you have a small tolerance for nonoperational,
non-functional cells, but they must stay within certain
parameters. That’s why there is such a small number of people
(and they are not part of the middle plebeian bell curve of Life)
who do not want to play. As I said, those voices also exist in
you, but they’re very minor.

In the middle of the bell curve which runs the secondary
world and keeps humanity alive, everyone is playing. And if they
had to come up with a reason they’d say, “If we don’t play, we for
damn sure got no possibility of winning, no possibility of
improvement or success.” We’re talking now about subtle, subtle
efficiency. Your own nervous system responds to that, hears the
validity. The feeling is that no matter how discouraged you get,
if you don’t try, you can’t win. That energy drives all of
humanity. The subtle efficiency is that people do continue to
play in spite of the fact/law that you can’t win.

If you respond to the criticism in life at the 3-D level,
wherein criticism and defense are interchangeable, you can not win
— because you will forever (for 60 or 70 years) stay at the level
to which you respond. But contrary to that fact, all of sane
humanity accepts, believes, thinks, repeats and operates on that
basis that if you don’t play, you can’t win. That, in spite of
the fact that you can’t win, period! (Don’t you think that
qualifies as subtle, subtle efficiency? I mean subtle, subtle
extreme efficiency?) (This is no cause for pessimism. The ever-
increasing realization of the subtleties provides fresh, non-
directional neural games for a Real Revolutionist.)

Tonight I promised a one-word potential firecracker. Let’s
hitch up our drawers, tighten our bodices, steel our upper lips,
mix our metaphors and prepare for a straightforward exhilarating
jump forward (well, not really forward but off to the unmapped
side). I have talked before about man being a transformer, a
transmitter, of energy, part of Life’s manifold circulatory
system, part of Life’s body. Each person acts as a conductor, a
transmitter of energy. Consider now a further elaboration: Man
is a catalyst. You may all remember your high school definition
of a catalyst as an element which facilitates change and initiates
activity in other elements (read “people”) without itself being
permanently changed.

I bring this up specifically at this time in light of my
recently posing to you the possibility of words and emotions being
separate living entities and man being their medium. Often you
hear people say and you have said, “I just can’t seem to express
what I feel.” Rather than the individuals blaming themselves for
their apparent failure to express what they feel, if words
themselves are alive then the idea of people not being able to
explain what they meant is of only peripheral importance, to be
charitable. Imagine words and human emotions as invisible
creatures, with their own sentient existence, whose only means of
manifesting themselves is through man. Somebody has to verbalize
them, or they wouldn’t exit.

Now beyond that possibility of man as the medium for words
and human emotions, consider man as a necessary catalyst — that
which changes other elements without itself being permanently
altered. Notwithstanding the wear and tear of age (because
everybody does obviously change) and not ignoring temporary
alterations that can occur during some period of extreme passion
and catalytic action, man essentially does not change.

Ponder this possible explanation of man the catalyst: He is
constantly “involved” in some way with change going on all around
him, flowing through him; he is in part its initiator and support,
yet he himself does not change. Now consider all of the feelings,
all the irritations, all the dissatisfaction that Life makes
everyone feel: that they would like to change, but can’t. Then
consider that a catalyst cannot change, it’s not supposed to

If in fact man is a catalyst (and I’m suggesting that Life in
some ways needs a catalytic action only humans can provide,
especially in the areas of human speech and emotions) then all the
questions about, “Why is it so hard to change?” would be
explained. Every minute of every day in the city is spent in some
dispute or question about change, growth and success, or in
uncertainty and guilt over the inability to change. Consider what
this explanation would mean about all such disputes and questions.
What if man is a catalyst? What if, by definition, man is
capable of initiating and creating change in other elements, but
he himself does not, can not, change?

To say man lives in the midst of change is an understatement:
all he hears, feels and sees is change. And all this change
would not be going on if it weren’t for him. He seems to be right
up to his hips in it, but he himself cannot change. “Is it just
me? I don’t seem capable of all this change although I think about
changing. I try.” He’s not supposed to change.

Let me repeat that people do age over horizontal time. This
constitutes a type of change, but is something that just happens
mechanically. Nobody wills himself to lose his hair, get a turkey
neck and become hard of hearing.

In addition to the changes that come about through aging,
there are certain times that people experience a passionate and
extreme event — a death in the family, news of one’s own
impending death — and an observable alteration takes place in
that person. Someone who’s had a brush with death might return to
his or her religion or may become a passionate teetotaler and
start an organization like, “Drunkards against Drunk Driving.”
People can experience an extreme catalyzing occurrence and change.
But this is not an exemption to the observation of man as a
catalyst, because note that all you have to do is distance the
person from the passion which altered him, by the passage of
ordinary time, and the person will snap back to what he was.
(Remember the rule of physics that heating something will change
its molecular structure, but once it cools down the structure will
snap back to what it was.) Ordinary people (including you at the
ordinary level) do not change all that much.

There is no change, in a real sense, going on. Looking at the
situation from the ordinary view, Life has man feeling that he’s
doing something wrong, he is not playing the game hard enough and
that’s why he’s failed at changing. But I’ve already pointed out,
non-pessimistically, that you can’t win on this playing field.
You need to go to another ball field where the rules are as yet
not established; a place where you can make up your own rules. If
you can’t do that as yet, then at least realize that if indeed man
is a catalyst, and you fully understand the purpose of a catalyst
just by its ordinary definition, then all questions of change are
bloody moot. A catalyst is not supposed to change.

It’s not at all unexpected for man to have all sorts of
dreams, all kinds of ideas about change. If he’s the catalyst,
after all, he’s right there in the middle of the action! Change
is everywhere around him, because there would be none without him.
Change is everywhere, change is IT, it’s the name of the game in
Life. Change IS life. But man can’t change, not personally.
Nobody can. Catalysts are not supposed to change and if they did,
they’d no longer be catalysts.

For even more subtle efficiency, consider the notion that the
gods want us to change. This idea is everywhere in the history,
the genetics of man — yet you’re constructed in such a way that
if you really did change you would be interfering with the very
things that Life has made you dream about.

Man dreams “of change because I should, of change to aid in
the Herculean struggle that the universe has set before me to
become more conscious.” If you could change, and if indeed man’s
responsibility was to be a catalyst, then you’d cease to be a
catalyst, cease being useful to Life. Is that not efficiency?
(Remember: Efficiency is irritation. Energy is irritation. And
what could be more irritating, by god, than to be alive — and not
be able to do a damn thing about it!)