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Remember: When you achieve enlightenment by my method there is no limit to the amount of money you can make, working part time at home--and everything you cook will be virtually grease free.
And someone asks just how does my approach differ from all the others:
In ordinary systems touted as paths to super understanding the method is always one of studying, that is, "talking about" objects men find in a box.
My approach is to investigate the box--nothing but the box (once a quick study of the objects is effected and out of the way). Without a man understanding the nature of the box, he understands nothing.

You see life with your own mind-- through non-committal consciousness--you see the whole thing is zombies and it doesn't matter. And you realize, the biggest zombie has been me--looking out at life and trying to analyze and criticize life--without knowing anything about this zombie jamboree

For years, a man with a certain hunger searched and explored, discovering one new thing after another, until one day -- BLAM-O! He made a single, sudden discovery that rendered all of the others unnecessary, and brought satisfaction to his hunger. Yes, I know, life can seem to be harsh and unforthcoming, but remember this: Cinderella's not dead, she's only snoozing, hiding behind eyes that are closed, but which could be otherwise

  Several people have sent me notes about their problems and apparent failures, and have attempted to attribute a psychological basis to them.  This is one of the great cutoff points.  It is an immediate slap in the intellectual face:  to a Revolutionist there is no such thing as "psychological."  It is a flawed piece of data.  It is as outmoded to a Revolutionist alive today as is the idea of a "capital-g" god.  What is called "psychological" is serving, and has served, a purpose with some people.  But you must see that any apparent psychological pressures arising from influences apparently "out there" -- your boss, your mother, your mate -- have to enter in through the five senses.  Always stop and remind yourself of that even if you can't do anything else.  If one or all of your senses were knocked out, you would not be suffering this "psychological pressure."  You have to face up to that.  Whatever is going on in you is chemical.  There are really no such things as drunks; it is people with an alcohol deficiency.  Absolutely religious people have a chemical deficiency.  The same with people who have phobias, as they are called.  It is a chemical imbalance outside the normal bell curve of the populace at their time and place. 

above quotes copyright 2000
jan cox
 
July 5, 2000



MacBrain 101
click here for part 2

copy4ight 1988,2000 Jan Cox--originally presented 09/22/99- 2424
Oftimes to lead us to our harm, the forces of opposition will tell us things true.

 If this struggle to, as we call it "wake up,” were nothing but a wearisome, burdensome affair and were not entertaining, then no one would do it, not even me. On the way here tonight, one or two lines of MacBeth hit me about, "It's the attempt that confounds us and not the deed itself."  This caught my attention in such a way that I went back and dug up MacBeth and got through about half of it.  I decided that, up to the point that I took it, it is a splendid story. If you have never looked at things this way, consider that everyone is struggling to awaken in his or her own way.  This is true especially of writers, artists, poets, psychologists, historians--anyone who is sincerely involved in "trying to figure man out”--is struggling to awaken, whether they know the term or not.

 I'm going to quote Shakespeare tonight, though I don't mean to overdo it.  As you know there are still debates and argument over whether a man named Shakespeare even wrote all of these stories and plays.  There are people who claim that he couldn't have because of the lack of education and sophistication.  The man is not important.  As I always point out, whatever I may have taken from Buddhism, Buddha is not important.  It doesn’t matter whether such a person existed, but that is not the way ordinary minds ordinarily think.  Whether it was a man with that name, or someone else, rather than worry about who, consider it was the cellular activity in one man's brain in the late sixteenth century that wrote this.

 I'm telling you I only got halfway through, so I picked out seven lines that struck me.  Remember, MacBeth is a cellular message of awakening--it carries a message directly as old as that from Buddha's writings, the old testament, right up to the 1600's and what is happening today--a message from the cellular activity of one man's brain telling a story.  A story, by my analyzation, is those brain cells expressing their struggle to do whatever it is they are attempting to do.  The cells that constitute our mind expressing their desire to change comes out in us as "the desire to awaken,” to change our state of mind.

 I know that Shakespeare's dramas tell a rousing good tale.   And people are then tempted to extract some psychological meaning from them.  I say the psychological story of MacBeth is the ordinary cellular activity of other ordinary brains.  But, as readers would often like to explain it, it is a psychological drama, not just the murder of the king and the struggle for power.  It is the ramifications of the feelings of guilt and doubt; the fear that seizing power causes in the person who has seized the power.  I’m saying it is way beyond that.  I say it is the cellular activity in one man speaking, delivering a cellular message, an expression of cells wanting to awaken.  So in MacBeth, as per yours truly, something else is going on.

Here we have MacBeth, a general (and I'm just going to give a general outline, not go into detail with the story).  He and his friend, another general, are on the way back from a war.  Three witches come upon them, or vice versa, and address MacBeth as the "Thane of Caldor,” a title he doesn’t hold.  It's sort of like the Duke of Earl.  It's a title he doesn't possess, and then they call him "Future King of Scotland,”   He points out to them when they say, "Hail, MacBeth" that they got the name right.   "I am not a Duke or the 'Thane of Caldor' and I am certainly not the king."  He then realizes it is a prognostication and tries to question the witches, but they disappear.  Later some riders catch up with him and it turns out that King Duncan has already heard of MacBeth's heroics on the battlefield and has given him the title, "Thane of Caldor.”  Of course, he and his friend are somewhat taken aback that what those three strange women, witches, predicted has already come true before they even get home.

 The first line that hit me, after loving Shakespeare and admiring his obvious love and facility of language, is the one that I decided to rewrite.  It starts off after he's saying it's amazing that what those three old women forecast—something he never imagined--has happened.  It starts, "Oftimes to win is to harm the instruments of darkness."  I changed it just a little bit but the intent is still there.  I propose that his friend, in response, says, "Oftimes to lead us to harm, the forces of opposition tell us things true.  Some small, some partial, winning us over with shallow trifles so as to later betray us into deeper consequences.”  That is the first line.

 So, MacBeth sends word by messenger, home to his wife, and by the time he gets home she is already speaking as though it is fait accompli that he is going to kill the king.  He told her that the three old apparitions appeared to me and called me by a title that I did not possess, they called me King.  She takes it as a done deal.  She just starts treating it as he has decided to kill the king and he doesn't put up a lot of opposition.  But as it happens, throughout the rest of the day, he hem-haws a bit about doing the deed, afterwards expressing great regret.  His wife already treats him like the King is coming over and spending the night and just how are we going to kill him.  He hems and haws a little bit about, "I can't do it that way."  She replies, "Well, just what kind of a man are you?"  Now I'm not going to change anything--MacBeth says, "Well, I dare do that which becomes a man and he who does more is none."

 She goes out and he is still fretting over it.  She has already figured out how we'll get the guards drunk and all that.  She has figured out that he will take their daggers and leave bloody daggers in the guards’ hands, and it will appear that they in their drunken stupor killed the king.  So then she leaves and MacBeth sees this new apparition of a knife floating in front of him.  And part of the line here is the part I'm going to use.  He says, "Is this weapon real or is it a dagger of the mind?  Is it a false creation preceding from an overheating brain?"  The actual line is "oppressed brain" but I couldn't resist "overheated.”  

So they do the deed.  Morning comes and one of the Noblemen comes in to wake up the King and discovers the King is dead.  He hollers to MacBeth and Lady MacBeth, who fein surprise, and cries out, "Wake up and shake off your downy sleep, death’s counterfeit.  Come and look at the real thing."

MacBeth’s two sons run for their lives when they realize the king is dead and there is some question as to why the guards would kill the king.  The boys realized that someone might think they were behind this and without any further word, they galloped off.  So the finger of suspicion is there.  But then due to the way of the hierarchy, MacBeth becomes King.  I think it is the same day, he also recalls the three witches foresaw his rise to power, and that his friend who was with him at the time, has heirs who would become the power of Scotland and not MacBeth's.  And so MacBeth sees now that everything has come to be and his friend has got to go.

 MacBeth decides this friend has got to be murdered and he calls in two murderers.  They don’t say how, but after what MacBeth says to them it seems fairly obvious that they had been condemned as murderers and probably awaiting execution.  So he calls them and without any great details, he lays all the blame on Banquo.  "He's the one responsible for their predicament.  It is all his fault and all their troubles are due to him."  And then he gives them a question like, "So what do you think about that?  What are you going to do about that?  Are you going to stand for that?"  And to show that they were real men they should also be mad at Banquo.  They may be murderers but they are not stupid.  They can tell the king wants them to agree.  So one of them says, "Are we not men, my liege?"  And being king I guess he can afford sarcasm, he says, "Well, in the general catalog you go for men."  That is my other one, and I won’t point out the others ones.  That would be my fifth line.

 So they do him in.  MacBeth decides he wants to know where things stand now.  So he digs up the witches.  He goes to the cave and just before he gets there, they are really upping the stakes.  They are mixing up a whole cauldron of charms and mischief to work on him.  They seem to know what's going on already, but they are going to do worse.  They are throwing in a whole bunch of hearts of attorneys and the humility of priests or something.  They are all around the cauldron singing and muttering and what all.   Suddenly, MacBeth pops into the cave and says, "What is it you do?"  One says, "It is the deed without a name."  That is my sixth line.

 Then he is back in the castle and whining again.  Just MacBeth and the Lady MacBeth, and he is whining and bemoaning the king and his friend Banquo, wishing they were alive.  He's wishing he hadn't done it.  Now they're both dead, my god how he regrets it.  Then she says--and it terminates in a line that is fairly well known--"What's done is done."  But the words right before that, the line right before that is my final one for tonight.  She says, "That without remedy should be that without regard."

Now that you know the story, here are my seven lines:  "Oftimes to lead us to our harm, the forces of opposition will tell us things true.  Some small, some partial, winning us over with shallow trifles so as to later betray us in deeper consequences."  The second line was, "I dare do that which becomes a man.  He who does more is none."  Third line, "Is this weapon real or is this a dagger of the mind.  A false creation preceding from an overheated brain?"  Four:  "Wake up.  Shake off your downy sleep, which is the counterfeit of death, and come look upon the real thing."  Five:  "Are we not men my liege?"  "Aye, in the general catalogue you pass for same."  Six:  "What is it you do?"  "It is a deed with no name."  And seven:  "That without remedy should be that without regard."

 Of course, now that I’ve read these lines, I should just stop for the night and you do your own.  But I have a point to make, the same point that I have been trying to make, that I cannot put into words, over the last several weeks.  It is about what we call "the struggle to awaken,” to change permanently.  Of course the ultimate goal, as I keep encouraging you, should be to have an ongoing and ever shifting definition of what this is to you.  But it definitely fits this description:  It is, to me, the attempt to permanently change what goes on in my brain, in the area that produces consciousness, that produces thought.  I see all seven lines that I picked out as representing that struggle

 I see these seven lines as telling the story in another way.  Consider the first line that I picked out and remember the story is these witches that forecast great changes in MacBeth's life.  They forecast huge changes, going from being a warrior to being first a Nobleman and finally a King.  In fact, at first MacBeth tells Banquo that, "I like fortune telling as much as the next man, but they should have told me something that at least was believable.  It was unbelievable enough that they first tell me, ‘Thane of Caldor,’ but then to say, 'Hail MacBeth, King of Scotland'.  They went too far.  If they want to pass themselves off as fortune tellers, they should learn to deal with something a little more believable."  And his friend says, "When they seek to lead us to harm, the forces of opposition will first tell us things true."  

They called him by name.  They knew who he was.  See, they will first tell us things true, things small, truths that are partial, just enough.  Does that sound like, "Man believes he's awake and he's not."  They give you some trick of, "Can you hold ‘I’ for two minutes?  See, we told you.  Read on."  And you think, "Hey, they know what they are doing."  Man believes he's conscious and awake when he gets out of his downy position and he's not.

“Oftimes to lead us to our harm, the forces of opposition will tell us things true.  Some small, some partial, winning us over with shallow trifles so as to later betray us in deeper consequences."

 So, Banquo says, "the forces of opposition."  This is when it changes from “the forces of darkness.”  Although I don’t assume that you people think that I believe in the idea of evil forces, you can look at them as being the opposing forces of life.  Opposing forces don't have to be active.  Consider that your mind inherently operates in a certain way.  The mind has a repertoire of repetitive thoughts, over and over.  You have a certain physical temperament that makes you feel ways that directly affect what you think about.  Whether this has an aggressive edge to it, or whether your thinking just seems dull one morning, there are opposing forces.  You don't have to look at them as some sort of nefarious forces.  We are simply fighting our own nature; we are fighting the nature of life, fighting the status quo.  I repeat to you that I don’t see the status quo as being static.  There is such a thing as an alive status quo, an active status quo.  At any rate, he says to MacBeth, "Oftimes to lead us to our harm, the forces of opposition will lead us to things true.  Some small, some partial, winning us over with shallow trifles as to later betray us in deeper consequences."

 I don't mean to overdo this, but I see that I have fallen, well, I'll speak for me--it came on like an addiction.  It was like; if the Great Work existed out in life, it gave me the first snort, the first vial of cocaine free, as dealers are wont to do.  After that they have got you, and can betray you into deeper consequences.  Again, this is very theatrically put, but I love it because I do not see it as some dangerous consequences.  We mystics start out attempting to do something that sounds to us very reasonable.  Remember, it's no one's fault, we are not being tricked, unless you are being tricked by your own cellular activity.  But we start out attempting to do something--again remember, we are in a small crowd.  There are not many people who can hear the description that man believes he's conscious when he's actually dazed and half asleep, but through certain efforts he can be alert, he can change his state of consciousness.  Out of six billion people on this planet there are damn few that can hear this message.  They are not led to their harm through it.  They do not take these as shallow trifles, they don’t hear it as the truth of any kind.  There are only a few of us--MacBeth and Banquo--two guys out in the wild of Scotland, who hear it.

 At any rate, I don't know if I can go any further without lying.  As soon as I decided to go back and look at the book itself, I looked at that line and I was hooked.  That is when I decided to use it.  First there is a forecast made of a great change.  If we are going to go back and forth from symbolism or metaphor, however you consider it, a simple warrior, man of no title and position, is given the forecast that he will be King; there will be an extreme change.  It is the opening volley, I say, not just the opening of MacBeth but the opening volley of someone attempting to awaken.  They read the opening drama, the opening lines of the struggle to awaken.  Except in MacBeth there is someone to point out that when we are led to our harm, down a nowhere path, led in a way we don’t understand, that at first we are told things we can almost understand.  That is, that the forces of opposition first tell us things true, some things small, some things partial, but enough that we are won over by shallow trifles so as to later be betrayed and led deeper into consequences.

 So you can look at Lady MacBeth and just so I can ramble on, I must tell you that I don’t see any great significance to the characters themselves.  I could stop and spend three or four hours here, but by then we would all be sick of them.  She represents something and I will leave it to you to consider. She encourages him in the deed to make the forecast come true.  Right now it is just a dream of a warrior MacBeth being King MacBeth, of going from being an ordinary sleeping person to being an awakened person, to being a Buddha mind.  He goes, "I'm all right now, I've got a title."  She says, "You don't fool me.  When you sent me that note, before you got here, as soon as you heard about it from those three witches that you would get the title, you said you couldn't believe it.  You don’t fool me.  If you didn’t have something in mind you wouldn't have mentioned it.  You had in mind making it a reality."  And he never does say no.  And of course, as some of you henpecked men would say, "She was so overbearing."  He offered some resistance, but then all of us offer some resistance.  "Well, I can't do this."  Like when someone said to "constantly hold your attention" and you say, "I can't do this."  It’s like we all have a Lady MacBeth saying, "What kind of a man are you?"

"I dare do that which becomes a man.  He who does more is none."

 Dig my second line.  We are dealing with 16th century middle English.  I didn't want to change all of these, but I can make it sound like me talking.  He says, "I dare do that which becomes a man to do.  He who does more is none."  It's like, "I'll do whatever is possible and whoever attempts more than that is not even human.  They're an idiot."  "I dare do that which becomes a man to do.  He who does more, (but it really means he who attempts more), is none."  That is to say, he doesn't qualify as being a full man, an intelligent, reasonable man or he wouldn't attempt to do that which does not become a man to do.  Of course, in the play MacBeth is saying it is unbecoming for a man whom the king has raised up and given a title, to betray the liege.  That is the way it is taken psychologically.  But to say, "I dare to do that which becomes a man to do," you could also say, "Well, it doesn't become a man to get up on the castle turret and fly.  That is not becoming of a man.  He is a reasonable creature and he knows that he cannot fly.  So I dare to do that which becomes a man to do.  He who does more is no man.  He doesn't qualify as a man."

 That is my analyzation of moving right along with the struggle to awaken.  That one, I went ahead and put into chronological order and I started to shift the time and put it down towards the end of the seven lines I was using.  It could have come, but that is where it came, and you could even have put it near the end. It fits almost anywhere in the struggle to awaken as I am interpreting this.  But then by the third line, she has convinced him that we will kill the king.  "We'll take the daggers out, get the guards drunk.  I'll take care of that.  You get the daggers, kill the old king, put the daggers back in their hands and they won’t know what to say."  

You know how this goes, no matter what you are attempting.  MacBeth has proven to be the type that worries; he frets about doing these dastardly deeds,  but not enough to stop him.  Likewise, does not every one of you continue, even up until today, to fret, "Should I keep doing This?  Am I getting anywhere with This?  Is This just a dream?  Have I not been going to all these meetings all these years?  Is this just one night's dream?  Am I back in 1982, in the middle of one night's dream and I'll wake up in a minute and find out I've been listening to him and fooling around with this for the last twenty years?  Could it be just one midsummer night's illusion?"  

Again, if any of you think that is not possible, you still don’t get it.  Yes, it's possible you could be dreaming….
 

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