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recorded by Jan Cox December 1, 2000
Notes by DB
00:00 I was going to talk some more tonight about the brain…until just a minute ago whilst I was in the WC…taking care of business that exists in the first reality. I was simultaneously dealing with the second reality and decided to say what I am about to say now. Which I look forward to. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be.
00:50 I was going to say, “People like us.” But I have less and less faith in saying that. That is why in the last year or so I have begun referring to me a lot and saying, “Maybe I should just speak for myself.” Because I know what the six billion people on earth are up to. I know that there is one “big mind.” I discovered it myself. No one fools me, no one trips me, no one confuses me (not that they are trying to anyway). I see perfectly well everyone else’s mental processes.
02:00 I exempt all of you folks and the ones listening on tape. I may not see your mental processes because you are not like the other six billion out there. With talking with the other six billion people (the sleeping people) I don’t hesitate…I read their minds. I learned as a teenager, before I even had a description, that you can read other peoples minds, that you know what’s going on. If people are not totally sleeping then I do not read their minds…I do not know what’s going on in their minds.
02:59 You can say that everyone who is asleep has everything in common. Everyone who is not completely asleep has something unique about them. So …I don’t pretend anymore that I read your minds. I don’t even think about it. I don’t even know why you are still here.
03:17 When I first started talking to people I just thought that everyone here was asleep and that they realized it. I would say, “Thank God they found me”… because, as far as I could tell, I was a little bit more awake than everyone else. And I realized that they wouldn’t be here unless I was. UNLESS!…It’s a trick and all of you are just putting me on! Or that life had sent you here…or maybe you don’t exist outside of this room. That life just conjures you up every time I decide that there is going to be a meeting…and you just come down here and it is some sort of a trial…or maybe I am being punished for something I have done. But now…I just don’t know why you are still here.
04:09 I want to encourage you to think more about…to ask yourself…what is it about people like us? We are not all that strange. We are not crazy. We can get by in the ordinary world. So… our brains, our minds, our consciousness operates, when it must, in a way that is acceptable. We can fit in. So all of you in a sense can read other people’s minds. You know how to be ordinary. You know when to keep quiet. You know when to go along. So, in addition to all this, ask yourself, “What is it about me that is so different that brings me to this…that keeps me held on to it?” …That was what I was going to talk about.
05:39 I was going to ask you to ask yourself, “What is going on in my head?” There is the silent part in the brain that does not talk but regulates the body… and the part of the brain that is always talking. I was going to ask you if there is a relation between these parts and wanting to wake up. Could it be that people like me notice the difference between being asleep and being awake. Other folks …who are asleep…don’t notice that they are conscious. But if you ask someone, “Are you conscious?” They go, “Well, Yeah.”
Then they are aware they are conscious. Being asleep is not realizing that you are conscious.
10:22 My best encouragement of late, and from here on out, is to urge you to study not only what is meant by “waking up”… but also to study within yourself, “Why do I want to wake up?” “What is the basis of this urge in me?” And not just using my maps…which like all maps are difficult to shake free from…but to ask yourself, “What is it that is so different from other people that is going on in me?” Other people do not know that they are conscious…they are fast asleep…yet what is going on in their brain is the same thing that is going on in your brain. But they don’t think about thinking. They are not conscious of being conscious…except in rare moments.
12:00 Also consider…How are you conscious of being awake…or of being asleep for that matter? There has got to be two brains or two consciousnesses in there. And that’s the end of it. You either get it and wrestle with it …or you don’t. And it is not that simple to do. I guarantee you that it will take years! There has to be two of you to be conscious.
14:07 How can we be as common as we are and still be exceptional? There are very few groups or communities that are as “hardball” about this as we are. Our brains are common. They do what everyone else’s brain does. We are no worse than regular humans…yet there is something radically different going on. But you are so used to showing up here and hearing me talk that you forget about it.
15:16 The little thing that is different in us can’t be much of anything or the rest of our lives would be affected. We are mostly common as dirt. We are mostly like everyone else… but this one little piece that is different is radically different. The way that I look at life…the way I see it…you can’t just say that it’s just the opposite from the way everyone else sees it…that doesn’t even do it! The whole idea that people are living in a dream (even though you can’t beat that idea) doesn’t even do it. What people think life is, is no where near what’s going on. It’s close… but the little bit of radical difference is why the terms “Living in a dream” and “Not living in a dream” seem so applicable.
17:15 If you told the ordinary person that everyone was living in a dream they would just brush you off. Many years ago when I first started I felt very superior just knowing this. Those people were hypnotized…asleep…too asleep to know that they were asleep. I was not saying that I was awake just that I understood my position. That all seems funny to me now. Not that it’s not true but that it’s just meaningless. It does not explain a damn thing. Well …it really explains everything…but there you go again! If you take that statement “It really explains everything”…that statement explains nothing!
18:50 Back to me [but you do it to yourself]. What is it about me that I understand what’s going on. That I can see everyone else’s position …That I have no opinions about anything, yet I have everyone’s opinion. That I can nod agreement with anything (and it does not take any acting to do so)…That people can say almost anything and I go, “How true, how true!” I don’t mean it but I know that they don’t either and they don’t realize it.
19:50 I see what’s going on and they don’t. In one sense I am right and they are wrong. But knowing this amounts to almost nothing. Their position does not sound very appetizing and in a very real sense it is not correct. Except “literally” speaking it has a certain validity to it on this basis: Ask yourself this… if I am right and they are wrong then how is it adversely affecting their lives!?
We have nothing to compare it to. If you see what’s going on you see that it is not adversely affecting them because you have nothing else to compare it to. You can be asleep and be the Queen of England or President of the United States. You can be rich and successful.
22:00 The difference we are looking for is not psychological. It is not based on something that happened in my childhood. It is something that I was born with…something temperamental… something in the way my genetics were put together that makes this important for me. There is nothing more important to me. Yet in a very real sense it is almost of no importance. Because you can be fast asleep and be the Queen of England or one of the most powerful people in the world. So you can’t say that being ordinary is in any way adverse to living an ordinary life.
23:23 So the thing in me that makes this so interesting, so important, is not psychological it is genetic. Something that I was born with. And you were born with it too. So that is how I got involved with an attempted “physiological” (understanding) of what’s going on in me. I started reading about what is going on in the brain and now I constantly refer to it. The conscious part of the brain and the part that is just regulating instincts. When I am referring to the brain I found that I can be more specific with more detail. It involves less useless metaphysical ramblings…except this: When I start talking about the brain, and what is going on specifically, I don’t have any damn idea of what I am talking about!
25:20 Somebody was supposed to have “waked up” from that one.
25:47 Other than being in those totally extraordinary and out of control times and states when you are conscious and thought is not swamping it, [and even these times are suspect] there is no direct hands on knowledge we can have of consciousness. When I talk about the brain I have a picture in my head, just like I would if I were talking about geography, a picture of the brain and each of the parts and how they are said to function. I know what each of the parts is supposed to do, and all of that …except…I don’t know what the hell all that means…I just read it in a book.
28:12 Let’s say that over the years I have read a dozen such books. Here is what could have happened. You will miss the point unless you take this seriously. All of these books, even though they were supposedly written by those with credentials, could have been written by someone who just sat down and made it up. I don’t know that all those studies of the brain have actually been done. I do not know that the functional anatomy of the brain is the way I have it pictured now. I have never even seen a brain or a brain stem. I don’t know that any of that shit is true. Not one bit of it.
There is nothing in my knowledge or experience that tells me that it is not true…but that does not mean shit! What could I have had in my experience that tells me that the function of the thalamus is to be a gate keeper involved in decision making with the cortex and the automatic workings of the subconscious regulatory operations? What the hell does that mean!? What if they have got that all wrong?
31:25 What the hell does all of that mean? Well you know that I can make it mean something. I can explain why we want to awaken by connecting together different so-called functions of the brain to explain aspects of human behavior. Except for this…I don’t know that any of that is true. Do you think that anyone knows that it’s true? Even the guy who’s doing the tests…the studies…writing the book? Well don’t count on it.
Anything that you know about consciousness is about two miles away. It is always second order. You have seen the movies where there is a radio active isotope in a box and the lab technicians have to put their hands and arms through holes in the box and into sleeves with gloves on the end of them…that’s about as close as you get to consciousness.
33:00 Sometimes it occurs to me that I must know more about the mind than any human being on earth. More than Fraud…Freud…Jung…I may know more than anybody. Except for this…I don’t know anything! And you look at me that way too. “Jesus…he must know everything…he must be awake….he must know the secret.” And I say to you, “Yeah?…So what!” It was fun and entertaining but so what?
34:40 Consciousness…for people like us…no one else is trying. We are trying. I have always been trying. I was trying before I even found out about being asleep. I have always been trying and you don’t get any closer than that. But you keep feeling like you do. Every time you find a new way to look at it you feel like, “I’m getting closer.” And I am not saying that you are not…(Well yes I am). I’m saying that you only get so close and that your hands are in these huge gloves. You are wearing oven mitts on the brain and you are trying to feel a subatomic particle…to feel the structure of an atom. Why doesn’t that wake you up? You know why? Because you are wearing gloves!
36:30 What if I were seventeen again and I walked in here and heard me talking. Would I find it discouraging? I have found it highly useful to ponder this. Would I find this encouraging or discouraging? I would be on one side or the other. I would hear this as an expose, or either a backhanded denouncement of waking up. In essence saying that there is no such thing as waking up.
38:10 How could you be discouraged from wanting to do this when you have to do this? I can answer that. You would leave here and walk down the street somewhere and find someone who would not be so discouraging.
39:40 Disregarding ‘’scientific’’ words and terms you still know that something is going on in your head. There are those who are not conscious of being conscious. Mysticism has called this being asleep. What’s going on to these people is “them.” That is their private “them.” They are not bothered by being asleep they do not even notice it. They may pop in and out but they don’t even notice it. That’s mans normal state.
But what is it about us. I have given countless explanations of why this is so…and in great humility and great humbleness I say that even my worst explanation…whatever that would be…is better than any explanation I have ever heard. Mine are world class…and having said that I now say, “So what!?”
42:00 You may say to me, “What you have given us has been so meaningful,” But look inside and take any map that you have gotten from me or from anyone…and look into your own consciousness. Anything you have ever heard is irrelevant at that very moment.
You have this great map over here and you look inside at what’s going on at that very moment… and there is no relationship in what’s going on inside your head to that map. It’s not that you are doing it wrong…it is that it can’t be done right.
44:00 Even though I love it (this pursuit), I use to keep a pistol in the house and hold it to my head to force me to read some of the books I had around the house…Zen…or Sufi books…that I thought were good for me. I would be about to turn on the TV to watch the game and I would pull out that pistol and put it to my head and say, “Naw!…Read!” I can’t even do that anymore. I can’t even frighten myself. The point being that only what goes on in my mind is worthy of my mental attention any more. Except for this…it doesn’t mean shit. But it is fascinating… and in all due humility I can say, “I astound me.” And… it doesn’t mean anything.
45:00 I don’t know what a cortex is. I don’t even know if I have a brain. I’ve seen films where they have cut open a head and say, “That’s a brain.” I have a head so I must have a brain. If I could open up my skull, hold up a mirror and say, “Yeah I got one.” Would it do any good?
47:00 The ultimate “box within the box” would be me there with my skull open holding up a mirror and a brain surgeon standing next to me. He points to my cortex and says, “that‘s where all your thoughts come from.”, and the cells in my cortex seeing me looking in the mirror say, “Turn the mirror a little more this way so we can see ourselves.” Now that’s wanting to wake up and the cells wanting to wake up! They have been driving me to do this all these years.
47:15 Maybe that’s it! Maybe that’s the final satisfaction! To have our skulls sliced open, to hold up a mirror, and to let our cortex look at itself. That might be it. Who is to say?
48:00 OK… my final encouragement. There is nothing that has been more fun to me than to expand my understanding of why I don‘t know anything, and how it’s not possible to know anything. If you can’t wake up at least have fun.
This has been a banner Day for me (Even though I am liable to forget it once I’m home and start watching TV). Because while I was in there in the bathroom I realized that I don’t even know I have a brain. In my talks I have been relating everything back to the brain. I’m even impressed at how well I have done this. And then I realized, “This is not impressive at all.”
50:30 Do you realize that at this very moment there are people in monasteries studying musty books and studying how to wake up.
There can be no greater fun.
Looking at waking up from a different view…[and this even gives me the chills sometimes] …there is the idea that trying to wake up is the ‘’dream’’ and that all those other people out there who we call asleep and are living in a dream…that compared to that ….. this is a dream!
51:20 In spite of what I have said…has anyone learned to feel your brain yet? You’ve got to ignore thought because you’ll believe that you can feel thought. You have to get below thought.
You have to get below the cortical level…whatever that means. You have make the part that is not conscious, conscious. If you can feel instinct then you can feel the brain. You have to learn how to make instinct talk…which it can’t. So you have to learn to listen to something that can’t talk, talk.
Which by the way is how you become conscious of being conscious. Which is not possible. But there is how you do it. There is how you do it automatically.
52:37 Throughout history mystics have believed that being more conscious is to make consciousness more conscious. There is another way to look at it. You are not going to make consciousness more conscious…you are going to make that part of the brain which is not conscious talk to you…which it is already doing… but where you can hear it.
But look at it in life. People talk about life being this way or that way and you look at them and say, “You don’t know what you are doing.” That’s life talking to you. You are hearing that which is not said. You can do it yourself. Because life is doing it out there with everyone else on a mass scale… but it also does it on an individual scale.
Jan’s Posted Daily Fresh Real News
December 1, 2000.
We are here today in, It’s Relative, Ohio
for obvious reasons: The Pickle Festival,
and its proximity to Petulance, Pennsylvania.
While 99.99999% of the worlds population never has
any interest in the idea of an individual man
privately effecting a radical change in his
operational state of consciousness,
99.99999.% of those who do exhibit such an interest,
are but expressing the same impatience & irritation
common to everyone.
It is easy for a man to adopt the mantle:
“I am asleep;
my consciousness is living in a
confused state of dreams,
from which I wish to Awaken,
and achieve a state of metaphysical Enlightenment,”
and never face the fact that he is simply pissed,
and looking for magical powers
to use on those responsible for him being so.
Men always call it something else;
“Wanting to rectify the injustices of life”;
“Wishing to warn others,”
(and the mother of them all),
“The desire to awaken others from their sleep,
and make them see the truth,”
but all they really want is to give vent to their frustration while pointing out that other peoples stupidity is its cause.
Everything that lives,
lives in a constant state of dissatisfaction
to one instant degree, or the other,
which itself is a hallmark that distinguishes the
living from the not so,
but man is further differentiated from other creatures
by his non-physical based dissatisfactions.
A lion is dissatisfied when its stomach is empty,
but only man can be physically hungry and simultaneously be mentally fuming about the greed of
bakers as he looks at the price of bread.
The brains of all other animals act only to note
dissatisfactions of the body which are essential for survival,
and direct appropriate responses,
while mans brain has the addition of conscious thoughts
which registers dissatisfactions that do not appear
directly related to matters of immediate survival,
(in other words):
Men can be upset over the irrelevant —
men can be mentally dissatisfied about anything.
This could be considered a working definition
and certainly one of a, “sleeping man.”
even constant smilers,
and purveyors of positive proverbs,
is impatient and irritated with life, and specially
with human life.
Men are not annoyed by a thunderstorm
in the way they are by an inattentive waiter,
and people do not get angry at a volcano
in the way they do at another human being who
disagrees with them.
This irritation that humans experience is unique to them
in that it concerns matters that no one can touch.
Only mortals are annoyed with things they cannot eat,
have sex with, or seek shelter in,
and it is this singular mental capacity
that is responsible for the good physical life
they now experience,
but it is also at the heart of what makes a few seek
inner experiences not on the current menu.
To varying degrees at any given instant
every person on this planet is potentially
impatient & irritated with everyone else on the planet,
and this, as surely as the food chain itself
makes the world go round,
but when not fully comprehended,
this plain reality also serves to keep a man who
says that “hes asleep” — asleep.
Being righteously irritated by the
sleeping behavior and ideas of the
sleepwalking fools by whom you are surrounded
is to be solidly of their ranks.
If you take your justified impatience with the stupidity
constantly evident in human affairs — seriously —
— you are fast asleep.
If you accept your irritation with the inane ideas
men continually spout as being a signal of your insight —
— you are mentally living in a world of fantasy.
Everything that bothers the few who seek a new state of awareness comes from:
“Worrying about the irrelevant
— fretting over the frivolous.”
Take a sang froid look at the things ordinary men are
concerned with: death, social position, reputation, wealth,
(and to lesser extents, various aspects of his
second reality, such as: politics, religion, nationality,
art, music, literature etc.,
insofar as how his comments on such matters are received.)
Such affairs are only of secondary concern to all men,
and are certainly not essential for mere physical survival,
but the life of man is obviously one of more than mere
physical survival — it is also a life of mental survival,
and to accomplish this requires that men be at
mental odds with other men,
that they be impatient with their uncertainty;
that they be irritated by their clumsiness,
and that they be annoyed that life does not run as
their thoughts say that it should,
ignoring the fact that it is life that
put such thoughts in their minds.
To be a living human is to be annoyed;
to take your annoyance seriously & personally
is to be asleep and without even a suspicion of
what is really going on.
Anyone who tells you that you are asleep
is pissed because they are.
Fellow fools recognize one another.
If you say you seek to Wake-Up,
and become Enlightened,
but all you are is — annoyed-at-being-alive,
then I remind you of this simple fact:
however you feel about life,
whatever be your attitude toward yourself & others,
its all a matter of DNA
— its a case of the shoe sole,
and the gum stuck thereon.
“Hello, circumstances. Let me introduce myself:
you are me.”
“Oh — Hi! Glad to meet you.”
An awakened eye asked an enlightened ear:
Hows it going?
Yeah, I’m mad too.