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STRUGGLING AGAINST THE SPEED LIMIT
Document: 56, February 3, 1983
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1983
You should be aware that I have tried to disassociate you from mechanical beliefs in the mystical, impossible and unprofitable. And I have ofttimes referred, through various picturizations, to the tiger behind the door, the radio going on, and I've even used comments such as, "This Thing is not a matter of killing what seems to be "personality". It's not a matter that the gods have, in some way, inflicted an evil demon upon you. It's not a matter, as most religions would have it, that if you could indeed become a true follower of their gods, this burden that passes for being you would be lifted off your shoulders." But I want you to try to hear something now. If you want, consider it as a little bit of encouragement.
Everyone approaches This Thing with some form of a dream, such as, "I'll find the magic word and boom, all my problems will be over." That is not the way it works. I have pointed out in some detail that it's not a matter that, in some way, you have sinned, or, in some way, you have been mistreated and you have to take steps to redress your past. It is not a matter of going into the Circuitry and just snipping an untoward connection here and there, or holding up a cross and seeing your past wither. But that which appears to be the enemy -- a foot-soldier of an army that you can't see -- this thing that seems to be what everyone is struggling against -- I say that it is not a matter of killing it -- but neither is it a matter of listening to its noise at full volume for the rest of your days. Some of those voices still go on but it is not a problem for the rest of your life. Once you have begun to sufficiently stay conscious above Line-level you'd be surprised how quiet that radio can get. You should be able to see now and consider that what seems to be the heart of human problems is here in your own Circuitry, below the Line.
I want you to try and neuralize something: as far as absolute rules go, everything I have ever come up with -- not eating meat, no alcohol, and now no caffeine -- you will find similar if not identical strictures in that which passes for some form of This Thing all over the world. But now try and Consider that such rules are all a reflection of something real. And if you were not taking an active hand in This Thing, what would you be left with? If you had indeed, through whatever accidental circumstances, wandered into an ordinary church, and you liked the people and hooked up with them, and they said, "By the way, from now on, you've got to give up coffee," and you gave up coffee, and the next week you came back to church and wanted to comment to the people that, "I feel better, I feel physically better, I am pleased this has happened." The people would then have to say to you something along these lines, "You're indeed becoming a true believer and what you have experienced is the gods' approval of your doing the right thing." And that's all you're left with. "You feel better because our gods are rewarding you. You feel better because you are living by the god's rules of which we are the keeper." I continue to bring up such things because you must begin to peer into this, you must be confronted with it. There is an absolute pull of this in all of you, in your own way. You must see the difference between your efforts in This Thing and then that which passes for some form of religious activity, some sort of self-improvement in a spiritual manner. You must begin to see the reality behind the mechanical reflections. For instance, if someone gave up alcohol, and they had been having two or three drinks every day after work -- let's assume they were of a general sort -- after a week or so, they might tell the priest, minister or rabbi, "I am glad I came here because I was just simply not aware of how much alcohol I was taking in. I was not really aware of its overall effect on me. You have stopped me, brought it to my attention, and I feel twenty years younger." But what are they left with, whether it was said directly or not? "Well, you are now doing that which the gods want you to do and they are now rewarding your effort." There is a line that only few people can ever see, only a few people can deal with, that that is not what is happening, the gods are not rewarding anyone. It is a reflection of something -- humanity did not simply make it up, but there is a fine line between the apparent truth that people feel good as a reward for struggling against their sins and the reality which is hidden behind it.
To undertake This properly, the benefit simply becomes the benefit, it is not a reward. This is also related to something I've warned you about before: everyone has the desire to worship something, whether you like the word "worship" or not. It is a desire to worship something external to you -- a priest, a rabbi, gods, a holy shrine, a monument, another person -- "someone or something greater than I am, that can, in some way, reward me if I can make it happy." But to pursue This Thing, you cannot stop at that place. There is in everyone this great inclination to take an experience of pleasure after giving up some undesirable habit and say, "Thanks a lot, I can tell you approve of me." Because there is within Man, the actual desire to immediately attribute the feeling to something external.
I'm going to try to get you to Neuralize something else: a man struggling to do This Thing cannot suffer. If you are sitting somewhere suffering, you are back in the hands of your ordinary Circuitry. You are doing nothing. And there is no exception to this. But there are, as always, at least two ways to Consider this. I'll put it to you verbally, quite simply: it is the difference between pain and suffering. Everyone is subject to getting sick -- you cut your finger or you catch a cold -- and eventually everyone will suffer from the Big Sickness, i.e., death. But you should Consider that there is a difference between pain and suffering. Without going into any so-called reasons as to why, you wake up and find your tonsils swollen, you're hacking and coughing, you've got a good dose of the flu. And there's just no doubt that you are sick. There you are, and you are in pain. But although it may be physically and literally true that you are sick, there is a difference between the actual pain of being sick with the flu and the expression of it -- the suffering over it. It's the kind of thing that you need to observe. For example: It is expected ordinary behavior to let people know you are sick as soon as you walk in the office. The first thing you do is cough. And maybe several people in the office are now suffering pain from the flu and you sort of have to fight for attention. People say, "Boy I had the flu about a month ago, it was horrible. By the way, I had an uncle two years ago who had the flu like that and he died!" You should see that there is a difference between pain and suffering and whether you can find yourself absolutely capable of dealing with it now, or not, you've got to become aware of it. That is what I have always meant by saying I'm taking away your right to suffer. You may be sick, but you must deny it; don't let anyone know it. But let me try to move it a little out of the obvious physical area.
There is a reality behind these words, of the difference between pain and suffering. I have never attempted to tell you, speaking in the name of This Thing or anybody, that there is no pain associated with being alive, and I'm not speaking strictly of colds. If your father or mother dies, you are in pain. But then there is an additional flow of energy that is part of what humanity is here for, and you can not see it without seeing that missing dimension. What started out as real pain -- the death of a loved one -- then turns into suffering, ordinarily. It quite commonly manifests itself in your remembering the dead, of talking about the dead. It seems quite proper under ordinary conditions: If, in some foolish moment, I were to attempt to go out on some street corner and say, "everyone should forget their dead mother or father. If you ever had a friend, a pet, or an acquaintance die, forget them." I assume you realize the kind of response I would or should normally expect to receive. I would probably be equated with Attila or Hitler. But there is a difference, for you who are trying to do This.
With ordinary people, it is neither here nor there. If we were to go back and engage in kindergarten schoolyard talk, I could say that if people would not live in the past, they would be better off. It's not true on the ordinary level because they cannot do it and they're no worse off now. It is a part of this whole general fabric of Life, like the fabric that has become a kind of astroturf on the playing field. There is something in everyone's Circuitry -- I can call it a yen or a desire -- but it is a flow of energy going through you that manifests itself by tying you to that which seems to be the past. And without any ability to analyze, it would serve no benefit in an ordinary person, to be made aware of it. It is simply a feeling that there is a great continuity, that you almost have a duty to remember the dead. I'm not talking about anything such as going out to your father's grave on his birthday and placing flowers -- I'm not talking about something that simple. It is a matter of observing in you and other people this flow which manifests itself conversationally -- people talking about their dead father or, "how old I am and my hair's falling out." You start a conversation with a man and he then starts talking about his departed wife. And he tells you how his life has never been the same, "I've lost interest in my business, I can never get attracted to another woman." And you say, "When did she die?", and you expect him to say of course, "last month" and he says, "ten years ago." That is suffering, and it is part of being ordinary. It is a normal part of playing out your role. It has to do with that missing dimension.
It has do to with the Three Forces. It has to do with that which seems to be, crudely put, the force in charge of change, and the force which seems to be in charge of resistance to change and then the Third Force that no one can see. I have tried to point out on several occasions the manifestations of these flows in ways that can be seen, such as the idea of political and social groups being easily identified as liberal or conservative -- you're either a New York liberal or an Alabama conservative. And what is involved in these examples is energy flowing through the first two Forces. One of the forces is in charge of change, and it always is going to be met with resistance. And this force which seems to be in charge of the status quo can be heard as the voice which says, "things have been all right thus far, why fool with them?" It is resistance to being alive. But this resistance is an absolute integral part of the process that humanity is serving. It cannot be stopped on any large scale. The best that can be done on a large scale is that which you have already been exposed to -- the religions of the world. They are serving that purpose, in part. But this flow which resists change is tied to the past. It is co-mingled with all forms of suffering. Men will even state that the main duty of the church is to "comfort the suffering, the downtrodden", which is everybody. Everybody is suffering. Everybody is downtrodden. Everyone is going to die. But once you begin to see outside these forms, once you begin to be able to see it on your own, once you begin to even strongly suspect, you begin to see that I was pointing at something that was real but cannot be described. You see that it is simply forces flowing through, and people are little walking transfer stations. You see that there is no such equation as I + not-I = Everything: it just appears to be and therefore is, below Line-level. You begin to see that and it's no longer a matter of, "well, this person is an arch-conservative", or, "here's a person whose whole life seems intent upon suffering." That's not it. That person is a thread coming through the fabric of Life. Additional ignorance, blindness, if there is such a thing, is to suffer over other people's suffering. As in, "I worry so much about my dear mother. All she does is swear she's about to die. She has been a hypochondriac for as long as I can remember. If she could only see herself as I see her, her final years could be lived in peace." That is like worrying because daisies are yellow. "They would be so much happier if they were pinstriped."
There is a difference between pain and suffering which you must taste for yourself. And the only way you can taste it is attempt to See it. You have, if you want to call it such, a right to pain. There is no way to escape certain kinds of pain, there is no way to escape, if you live long enough, the death of someone close to you. But you cannot suffer over it.
If you are suffering, you are ordinary. It's one thing if you've experienced the death of a close relative. I'm not questioning the pain of that -- but then if you suffer over it, on top of the pain, you are ordinary. That's not harsh, it's not hard, and it's not any sort of theory because that kind of suffering is just a name of a kind of cohesive flow that holds all of Life together. You cannot suffer over reality; you can only suffer over that which you don't understand. You can only suffer over that which you can't see. And it sounds simple enough. We all see that everybody dies. There is no condition, there is no exception, that allows one of This Thing to suffer over that which simply is. Those of you who would like to Neuralize further, note: such suffering over a death in your family is looked on as holy. People will pat you on the back and say, "There, there, I know how you feel." And people cry and wring their hands together in grief and it's looked upon as something sacred. But it's just the opposite. It's an aid to being ordinary. You cannot struggle to do This Thing and suffer. You are doing nothing if you are suffering. There is nothing to suffer over. And there's a difference between real pain and suffering.
Just consider how absolutely alien this idea is to everything in Life, regardless of your religious or cultural background. It's absolutely alien. Once you begin to see that kind of suffering, once some of the energy begins to be drained out of your suffering, you're going to see the kind of space it took up in your nervous system. If we could blow up a balloon inside of everyone and call it a personality, most of the air is tied to some form of suffering. (Remember suffering is just a word, and once you see it, the word is no good). But that is the nature of being alive and being ordinary. Except for a small handful, everyone on this planet has cause to suffer. Everyone has been hurt. Everyone has lost friends, everyone's family has died. And so everyone seems to have at least that much in common. "There is some great bond between us all: we've all been hurt, we've all known pain." But you cannot suffer and do This. I cannot reach into you, (and if I could, I wouldn't) and find a little switch and turn off suffering. It is a miraculous trick for even a few people to hear this and not resist it and say, "you know, that's not true." "I read a lot and had a pretty good idea as to where this is all leading anyway before I saw you. I know one thing for sure: suffering's got a lot to do with it. I mean, I've had such great bouts of suffering in my Life, I just knew that the gods had called me for some great work, some great purpose, that's why they made me suffer so."
Everyone is eventually going to die. So you could say that everyone holds pain in common. But you cannot hold the suffering in common. Not if you are attempting to do This Thing. There is nothing that you can suffer over. If you are suffering, you are ordinary. I don't care if you are sitting there believing that you're on the verge of some great breakthrough. If you're sitting there suffering simultaneously, you're doing nothing. You're ordinary. There is no way to doctor it verbally. There is no way to describe it to make it sound justified. If your son has just died, I'd agree that that's pain. You don't need me to agree to that. But anything other than that pain is suffering. And that is being ordinary. It will keep you ordinary. Pain can operate in what appears to be now. It can appear to be at the juncture, in my old diagram of the Xross, of the Line of time and Vertical Line of consciousness.
You can be in pain now. But suffering is always to the left of now on the Xross.
Since I have not mentioned it much recently, let me remind you of my map wherein one attempts to push what seems to be consciousness just one second ahead of all that's happening. Some of you should be benefiting from this, after at least getting a glimpse of what I have previously described in some detail. I told you there is no "now". There is no way that the nervous system -- what seems to be you -- can react to that which seems to be contemporaneous. It is impossible to respond to someone saying, "Hey fatso!" As fast as you can respond, the person is gone, the energy flow has changed, the magnetic field has been altered. There is no way that you can simultaneously react to what seems to be now. If you pursue this map, as strange as it may have sounded to you verbally the first time I mentioned it, you will find that there is an absolute Future/Now. There is a place just to the right of the Vertical line of the Xross where you can be conscious in a way that cannot be described. This new consciousness is not parallel to the ordinary consciousness of your circuitry, but it's more like you're having to force what seems to be your consciousness just ahead of what seems to be now. And in this place there is no suffering.
All you've got to do is try it. You cannot suffer there. And if I wanted to encourage you, I could say, or at least hint, that if you do try it you may find that it has a great effect on real pain. But all you've got to do is, where the Vertical Line of what seems to be now crosses the Horizontal -- "I am conscious right now, I'm conscious of pain, I'm conscious of what's going on in here, of me worrying, I'm still suffering over what happened" -- all you've got to do is push your consciousness ahead just that smallest amount -- try to find what I mean by the Future/Now. Ordinary consciousness will have much to say about this. "How can you be conscious right before now? Now is all we've got."
You can do it. And you will begin to see that as you do it, you are not living in what seems to be now. And you are no longer victim of the natural flow of the forces. They're still going on. And you will still die. You will still get a headache sometimes, probably. But if you can be conscious right beyond what seems to be now, right in front of it, everything that seems to be ordinary consciousness, you realize, is misnamed. There is no past, there is no future, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Because you're a second ahead of it all. And you see that there is nothing to be afraid of.
You should also Neuralize my diagram of the Xross on a slightly larger scale, outside of what appears to be the individual struggle within yourself. The Horizontal Line that seems to be the external world, and the Vertical Line which I originally intended for everyone to consider as being your internal state, your consciousness -- continually cross. There seems to be a movement of time flowing along this two-dimensional line from your left to your right, like the past going into the future; and the Vertical Line is a man's level of consciousness. It is you internally. Where these lines meet is where the external conditions and the internal states continually meet as vectors. But can you, after all of this, Neuralize that right there, on the larger scale of Life itself there is an astounding juncture -- the flows of energy meet on this level in a way that is unique. And that point is Man. It is not just you individually. It is flows of energy that do not manifest themselves in any other creature. It is a simply astounding confluence of energy going in different directions and it meets and interacts right at that intersection. This juncture does not just exist internally within you, you also exist in it. And it is astounding. Then what is doubly astounding is, when you See it, you understand that there is a Future/Now. It's right there to the right of the Vertical Line. Or -- let's turn it around ninety degrees:
Can you see that we now have essentially my diagram of the nervous system. And can you relate the two diagrams to each other? Everything that was the past has now become everything below the Line and you're attempting to get above the Line of Consciousness into the Future/Now.
Below Line-level there is a feeling which is proper, without which nothing would occur, that says "I am separate from everything else." There is no possible way to prove otherwise to the ordinary man. Man feels, "I am separate from the environment." "Humanity could go out and simply destroy this planet. They could go out and just unwittingly or wantonly tear down the environment and destroy the animal life, and the first thing you know, boy we'd be sorry."
Man is locked into the feeling that he is, in some way, uniquely separate from the environment. If an ordinary man cared to listen to this idea, you could show him my Xross and he would simply take it as reinforcement for his previous feelings of isolation. "Yeah, I see what you mean. There is the external world, the environment out there, and then there is me, my internal state and, yes, you're right. We do cross. There's a continual juncture. I have to put up with all this insanity. I have to make my way. I have to deal with people." And you could say, "No, no, listen quick, see where they meet, that's where you are and you're not separate from the environment." But unless he's struggling to be more than ordinary, you would be wasting your breath.
At that juncture point, it is very noisy. It is like an internal whirlpool. Everyone is screaming, whether they're doing it externally or not, "I am caught in the cross fire." In times past, it was referred to as the struggle between good and evil -- "The gods are fighting against the bad guys for the possession of my soul, -- they're fighting over me. I'm just a pawn in some great game that I cannot fathom." This description may sound outdated but people would say the same thing today, though in different, more psychological terminology. But right here, to the right of this juncture on the Xross, it is not nearly as noisy. Because, from the ordinary level of consciousness, right here in the Future/Now, nothing has happened yet. And to the ordinary mind, this makes no sense. "It can't be true." "You know there is no such thing as the Future/Now. He surely means something else." But right there, nothing has happened yet, in the sense of ordinary consciousness, and it is very quiet. Very calm. It's very safe, for those of you still worried about such matters.
Just ahead of the juncture hasn't yet happened. And you can, literally, be conscious, right there. You do it, not by being conscious at the Vertical Line, but to the right of it. You have to find that, "I can cease to be totally dependent upon what is going on internally in me now." "I can function and besides all of the mundane aspects of it, I can continue, for small moments, to do what I am doing, pass for being sane. Yet what is supposedly my consciousness no longer exists in the present -- I have pushed it somewhere into the Future." Or, you may find that, "I am caught here in this magnetic field situation, with somebody else, this stranger at a bus stop, (my wife, my husband, somebody in the supermarket, my own imagination). I am stuck here in this field and something is going on." And through whatever apparent methods that you find to use, you remember something I said, you remember This Thing and you suddenly discover a way out. You find yourself caught in some sort of short byplay, almost like a small scene out of an unscripted movie for you and this person, and it suddenly strikes you -- not in some cynical manner -- but it strikes you objectively, "What am I doing here?" "What is going on?" It simply strikes you that you're not dealing with somebody. "I'm not even somebody under these conditions. I was drawn into this. There is no rhyme or reason to this. There is no explaining this." Except that you can move right ahead of it and the Future/Now literally exists. You are still aware of what's going on, but it's as though you have looked right past where that juncture is and you are conscious ahead of it. But you still have enough peripheral vision to see exactly what's going on at the juncture. You see what's going on before it happens. There is nothing strange going on for you, nothing unusual, nothing frightening, because you saw where it came from. You know that it came from nothing. Because you're looking right inside of it.
And your old dreams, that, "I will, in some way, develop occult powers, and I will peer into men's minds and read their innermost thoughts and no one will fool me anymore..." There is a kind of transparency to the circuitry of men. But as long as you are conscious at the juncture, you are absolutely tied to the past -- and there is a sensation of continuity: "I am somebody, I'm a (pick a nationality or religion); I'm from the North or the South; I'm a carpenter, I'm a doctor; I'm a somebody -- a somebody that's separate from you, and from everybody else."
But it is something else to be freed from all that, to find out that there is literally a place to live in the Future/Now. You're still here, you're not in a trance; you're not in a dream because you are, to understate it, keenly aware of what is going on. But when you can look right ahead of what's going on, then the dream of reading people's minds is just simply reality. And there is no trick to it. Neither is there any great benefit to it, by the way.
Some of you should have the ability to at least hear a piece of the justice in the fact that those that can do it, have no need to do it. But notice, on the ordinary level, you always believed, as all of humanity does, that if there were such a power, if you could just look at people and read their minds, you'd be rich in a week. You believed you could push people around, get revenge on those who mistreated you. You would just be a walking man to contend with. But in reality, it's nothing. Some of you are beginning to get real glimpses of this. Perhaps it's in a public place, or perhaps you're at home with your mate. You suddenly experience the sensation that the person you're with has become almost transparent. It's related to what I've described to you before: one day you look at your icebox -- the same one you've had for twenty years -- and you suddenly realize, "I've never really seen it before." It's still the icebox. Nothing strange is going on, not in the sense of imaginary mysticism -- but you realize up until now, "I have simply been a perceiving unit." "I have been little more than a perception mechanism. I have looked at that icebox a hundred times, I have been looking at people around me but I have never seen them."
Someone recently asked me to speak about the speed at which ordinary consciousness seems to operate. This person had observed that when he became engaged in some way, he seemed to move and operate at a faster rate. There is a certain speed that is required for an individual to fit into the ordinary flow. But in a sense, each person has a kind of tolerance. Everyone has to operate within a certain range of speeds. Let me just make up figures -- say that everyone has to operate between fifty and sixty miles an hour in personality. But then, on an individual level, everyone has a certain kind of tolerance and what seems to be your personality will only operate at a certain minimum or maximum speed within the overall limits. You can see this readily in someone who becomes really engaged in something, or gets very angry. It's as if his internal process speeds up, and sometimes it's quite obvious. He may move faster physically, but you can see also that internally something gets cranked up, or conversely, something within seems to be slowed down. But there is a bandwidth within which every person must operate. Fred's personality will only operate somewhere between fifty and 52.7 miles per hour, and it cannot get slower than that or faster than that and still be Fred. It has to do with the modes of the exciting and calming between his Circuits that I have mentioned before. There is the continuing drive in everyone to be calmed or excited, and it varies from one person to the next.
People attempt to push the limits of the speed tolerance with drugs, alcohol, caffeine. People continually seem to be seeking new excitement, "I want to do something new." Or, it might be, "Yeah I did take up karate." "How do you like it?" "Love it, love it, love it. I feel like a better person and I'm down there working out every day." That might appear to be change, an increase in speed for the person, but I've pointed out before that the only real change a man can make is to become activated above Line-level. There is no other change. That which passes for change on the ordinary level is not real change at all. It is merely movement within this tolerance that everyone has.
Every time you try to change, it becomes, "Hey, it's been months since I've seen you. How's the karate lesson going?" "Karate ...oh ...oh, I got so busted I had to give that up." When you start straining the limits of the tolerance in consciousness, it shortly snaps back. I've pointed out to you previously that, in a strange way, one's personality and time are synonymous. Time is just another way of describing speed. I could describe each person's consciousness in terms of speed: "Fred? Oh, we're talking 50 - 52.7." If we moved him outside of that range in either direction, he'd no longer be Fred. This is why it appears at times that someone can consume drugs or alcohol and his friends or spouse will say, "you know, he gets enough drinks in him and he's not even himself." And in a sense, it's true. Or, on the other side, you can see somebody undergo an emotional shock of some kind -- a husband or wife or family member dies -- and he seems to slow down. He goes through what would normally be referred to as a state of shock. But under such conditions people can slow down to the point that they are really outside the limits of their consciousness. But they can't stay there. To push it either way and stay there is death for an ordinary person. Everyone has an absolute speed tolerance and you can observe it in yourself in quite common areas. There is only so much excitement you can seem to stand. There is only so much calming you can seem to stand. At times you feel you would like to sit down to smoke a pipe and look at one of the great books of the western world or listen to Beethoven string quartets. But there is a limit to how much of that you can tolerate. And there are other times you feel, "I want to do something new." "I want to have fun. I'm going to go out and hear some music and have a few drinks." You try to push your personal speed faster or slower and it limits itself. It gets to the point that you're straining the speed limit, either the minimum or maximum for your personality, and it will snap back or else you'll die.
Of course I should point out that everyone struggling to do This Thing is absolutely struggling against the speed limit.