Jan Cox Talk 0073

The Four Tie-Downs of Consciousness


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THE FOUR TIE-DOWNS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

AND  ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS

AND THE BUILT-IN DESIRE TO FREEZE REALITY               

Document:  73,  July 14, 1983
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1983                         

     There are three or four things I am going to specifically mention.  They are all tied together -- even though I am often the only one who sees this.  One involves a feeling that almost everyone here has had in the past:  ordinary sensations that you might be going crazy.  I don't mean any type of lingering illness but the kind of sensation wherein you're sitting at your desk working, or you're walking across the street and suddenly there is a feeling of, "I'm not sure who I am."  Ordinary people say, "I'm losing my mind," when this happens.  In a real sense it almost feels as though the sensation of "who I am" is somehow drifting away:  "I'm here and I'm not sure what I am doing at this second on this planet.  Who am I?  What am I doing?  Where am I going?"  And then, like a fisherman, quickly you try to reel something back in. You try to "snap out of it".

     I have asked you before to Neuralize, "How do you know that it is you?"  Beyond the ordinary answers of, "Well, it was me when I went to bed," or, "This is my body",  or, "I can look around, and know who I am," there is a deeper question which is neither philosophical nor theoretical.  The question is:  Under ordinary conditions, how does a man define himself?

     People have always identified or defined themselves with what they do -- where they're moving physically, what their job is, which car or house they're going to buy, where they plan to travel.  Everyone has a feeling of continuity, that there is a "me" inside their body.  Continually, each person identifies himself to the world through his clothes, speech, facial expressions, etc.  Internally, each person naturally attempts to stay sane, to support the feeling of continuity.  But this feeling is usually based upon what a person does.

     Now I am going to refine this slightly and turn it in another direction.

     Humanity, up until this day and age, has been primarily involved with keeping oneself and one's family physically alive.  Those activities, in a sense, defined the man; a man was described by what he did. People would meet and say, "What do you do?"  "I'm a farmer."  Or, "Who are you?"  "I work for the railroad."  To some extent this type of self identification still goes on today.  It is based in Man's lower circuitry.  But there has been a slight refinement, especially in this part of the world in this generation.  So nowadays you would find people's self defining based not so much in the survival action of Man, but upon what they would call the desire for some kind of psychological fulfillment.  You might meet someone today at a bar or party and say, "What do you do?"  And they might respond, "Well, I wait on tables at night but I'm an actor."  Or "I'm a sales clerk but, uh, I'm in analysis.  I've been in analysis for fifteen years now."  The emphasis of people in identifying themselves is not so much anymore on scrounging up food, working the earth, building their own house, and looking after the family.  The root of a Man's self-identification, however, is still foremost in what he does.

     An individual's attempt to identify himself in this manner is not a psychological something that he has picked up individually.  It is built into Man.  A person does not sit around and talk to himself about the need to identify himself.  But, if you notice, at the ordinary level of consciousness, there is a continuing sensation of, "Where am I going next?"  "How soon until work is over and I can go home?  Where do I have to be tomorrow?  What new responsibilities will I have when they promote me to assistant vice-president?"

     There is a continuing flow of apparent information based upon what one is doing, one's actions.  You can find that you are continually identifying yourself based upon what you apparently do, your movement in the environment.  "I'm the kind of fish that swims against the water," "I'm the kind of fish that hides down in the rocks," "I'm the kind of fish that chases other fish."  This ordinary, continual attempt at self identification through "what I am doing" seems to be related directly to the environment, the external world. Now what you should begin to Neuralize is:  "What am I doing internally?"  Not the dreams or the plans; not swimming or diving or running from other fish, because that  is still all tied to, "What am I going to do in the water?"  Forget the water.  The way you begin is, "What fishy things are going on inside of me?  What am I doing that's fishy inside?"  This is what an ordinary person cannot deal with.

     No system can conceive of itself on its own level.  So the system of consciousness in Man apparently turns its attention outward.  There is a sensation of stability, continuity, direction and short term plans, but it is on the basis of:  "What am I, this physical organism, doing out there?"  Who, though, can answer, "What am I doing inside?"

Diagram # 018 illustration

Diagram # 018 illustration

     I want to draw you a new map.  Consider if we were looking down on your little brain with your skull split open.  The parts of your brain that would be activated would in a sense be a fingerprint of your consciousness.  Now imagine viewing the brain laterally.  There is a way in which you can conceive of the part of the nervous system that operates at the most human level (the place of ordinary consciousness wherein a person operates in an average, educated, sophisticated, fairly safe, fairly sane manner) as a floating cloud of gas, floating at the Line of consciousness.  Now if this were actually a physical something, floating in the air, it would require four tie-downs to secure it.  It'd be like trying to tie down a blimp.  Four tie-downs is the minimum for stability and control; they would stabilize a floating object yet still allow a slight bit of movement; anything less than four connected to this floating cloud of consciousness, and a person would not even pass in the ordinary world as being okay.  If someone had less than that you would have the sensation of, "I do not trust that person.  Sometimes when I talk to him, it seems like he's not the same person I talked to yesterday.  He's just weird."  There is a minimum requirement in Man that consciousness be tied back down to the brain itself, back down to the lower nervous system, in at least four places.  That is the minimum requirement for a man to be considered sane.  It does not have to be mathematically exact, but there has to be a certain kind of uniformity of tension in the straps between the four points.  Now I give for your Neuralization:  What are the four tie-downs that keep you ordinarily conscious and sane?

     We have been talking about the Three Forces for a while now.  I may, though, abandon this map shortly, then make you not notice I did so, and sneak back up on it later.  However, as long as I am going to talk about these forces for a while longer, let me point out that there is built into ordinary consciousness, a peculiar use of time that none of you have ever considered.  Consciousness attempts to deal with and conceive of the Third force -- the unknown -- partially behind the idea of time.  This process operates in a way that I can initially point to in a fairly direct manner, but it gets trickier.  From the viewpoint of ordinary consciousness, time apparently resolves everything.  This does not belie the fact that someone might find their position in the grid of life apparently, electrically, finalized.  They may find themselves engaged in some minor tragedy, as they would call it, "My boyfriend has just walked out on me and I could just die." Or, "I lost my job and have no money.  My life is falling apart."  And with it, the unspoken feeling of, "I am miserable now and I'll be miserable forever."  This sensation of finality is a necessary part of the timely fashion in which everyone's nervous system reacts in its own particular way to the tugs and pulls of the grid.  The variations, intensity, frequency and amplitude of the tugs and pulls all help keep everything turning and moving.  But at another level, as witnessed by the proverbial statement, "Time heals all wounds", time is used by ordinary consciousness as a non-understood attempt to see that everything does indeed resolve itself.  Without people knowing it, that is, without consciousness knowing it at the ordinary level, humanity is hiding the Third force and conceiving of it as time.

     We can look at this from another angle.  Time equals all relationships; time and relationships are synonymous.  We could take two things so different that you could almost say they were absolutely unrelated, not even opposites, but when you add time to your consideration of these two things, they suddenly seem to be related.  Let us say that we have a scenario with the following elements:  a plot of wooded property with beautiful virgin trees, a real estate agent selling the property, a man who buys the plot to build himself a fine home, a man in the construction business, men with bulldozers and heavy construction equipment, environmentalists, and people who live in the neighborhood.  Suddenly one day huge bulldozers and other implements of "destruction" appear, felling trees that have been alive for hundreds of years, running off the forest animals and just skinning the land down to nothing but red mud.

     Now, don't forget where we were.  Time equals relationships.  Could we not take this scenario as an apparently obvious example of at least the First and Second forces, especially if we Consider -- at least for this one story -- that First force can be seen as constructive, and the Second force would be, of course, destructive?  

     Let us say that the environmentalists drive by the site and get very disturbed.  They discuss it around the community:  "They're going to pollute that stream...They'll probably end up wiping out that whole section -- make it nothing but a condo development."

     From a certain viewpoint, the environmentalists see the construction as destructive:  "If I could get away with it, I'd go out there at night and dynamite those bulldozers.  They're almost as obscene in appearance as the skinned earth.  In two short hours they can completely destroy thousands of years of growth."

     Now, Consider the contractor.  It has been a bad year for him -- he eagerly awaits the clearing of the land so that he can start building.  For him the new development is constructive.  Or, how about the feelings of the real estate agent?  Or the owner?  The owner feels like, "Ah, now we're getting somewhere."  And, "No, dear, our front yard won't always be mud.  We'll get some landscapers out.  Just imagine our beautiful house sitting right there."

     You can step into this scenario in the place of any one of these people on a particular point of the grid, and from that viewpoint, something, no matter what it is, could be called constructive.  But all you would have to do is move over a little bit, move over in time, in space, and something else would be constructive.

     Ordinary consciousness is wired up to conceive of that which is apparently moving through it as "constructive" First force:  "I want to get out of the dirty, hectic city and its flimsy apartments.  I want a new house, and I want it out here in the woods."  And see Second force as something external, "There are a bunch of radicals down the street starting a petition to stop me from removing trees on my own property!" But what about Third force?  Well, one small example would be the people driving by, whom, if we pulled them out of their cars and told them about the raging battle going on between the man trying to build his house here and the environmentalists attempting to stop him, would respond, "Hey, give me a break, who cares?"  These passersby are people with apparent forces moving through them that say, "This is irrelevant."  How then, do you explain the fact that things resolve themselves?  Given what seems to be ordinary time, and it could be anything from seconds, to minutes, to days, everyone's position changes. And it has nothing to do with ordinary decision making.  Everyone's position in an apparent human drama, given enough time, will not only change but will reverse itself; and no one sees this.

     Now can you take all of this story and Neuralize it in terms of what appears to be the conflicting forces within yourself?  There is within yourself that which seems to be this "I" that says, "I want to do so and so." It is what appears to be First force.  Then in time -- and it can be a split second later -- there seems to be something else that says, "Don't do that.  I keep thinking I'm going to drop everything and start a new business.  But I'm too frightened of the risks involved."  Where did this second force, this internal self opposition come from?  No ordinary person can see that this is only two thirds of reality.

     Can you remember where I started?  That, if you could see it in a very unusual way, time explains all relationships?  Given time, the Three Forces will switch and that which seemed irrelevant -- the Third force -- will, apparently from nowhere, become one of the first two forces.  At the ordinary level, no one has the kind of objective memory necessary to see this.  No one can see Three Forces, they can only see:  "There is something I want, I have opposition, and anything else you want to talk about right now is irrelevant.  I've got a problem here to work out and I'm not concerned with the irrelevant."

     Take the example of a fish getting hooked.  If he could look at the problem he would identify it as, "I want to live and something is trying to kill me.  This hook is stuck in me -- it is me against the hook."  But that which is irrelevant to him, his environment, the water, is part of the problem.  If he had not been in the water, he would not have been hooked.  People do not go fishing for fish in trees.  The forces do not run through humans except at a certain level.  But no ordinary person can take the environment into account.

     No one can take into account that which is irrelevant, and at the ordinary level of consciousness, everything but First and Second force is irrelevant.  "I have a problem here.  I have something that must be dealt with.  There is this confrontation between my aim and somebody else's.  Don't talk to me about fish and disinterested people driving by in cars."  But a fish would not be hooked were he not in the water.

     The main thing that I am trying to point out is that without people "thinking about it", there is a peculiar way in which consciousness uses time in a very low level attempt to understand the unknown, Third force. The definition of a problem on the ordinary level is First and Second force and a person does not want to hear about that which seems to be not presently pertinent.  But there is built into humanity the unusable knowledge that given time, the problem will change.  Time will resolve it.

     Now let me see if I can really up the stakes.  Let me use an example of toys manufactured by plastic injection.  There is always one spot -- you can see it on cheap products -- where the liquid plastic was injected into the mold.  There is always this weak point where the injection was made.  It is the same idea as the old story of a god leaving his fingerprint on you when he went "pfft" and created you.  That one spot where Life went from him to you is, in other words, a weak spot.  But instead of talking about plastics and fictitious external gods, let's get closer to what Man is; the system itself must have an entry point.  And as long as a system has an entry point, it has an exit point.  

     People often talk about building foolproof systems -- a computer-run aircraft, for instance, that once correctly constructed could be set into motion and run itself and would be foolproof.  The pilot who pushed the start button could not interfere with it once it's in operation.  But this cannot be done.  If there is an entry point to the system, there is an exit point.  There is no way to go back and stop up the hole.  There is no way for the gods to put their finger on you to make you alive and then take the point away, because then they have to withdraw the act of life.  There is no way to inject a doll with plastic and then cut off where the injection was and not have a point where it was injected.  If there is an entry point into the system, there is always an exit point.  In the attempt to construct foolproof and failsafe systems, ordinary consciousness is confronted with the fact that there is always at least one exit point, and that was the entry into the system.  You can not go back and stop it up.  If you could stop it up, then there would be no you.

     All of humanity at the ordinary level of consciousness, without any way to analyze it, can only conceive of death as the exit from Life because birth was the entry point.  You come into the system of Life through the process of birth.  Nobody is conscious before birth.  Consciousness and what seems to be your total being entered into this system through one spot.  And the only thing that ordinary consciousness can now conceive of as being the exit is that same entry point.  The entry way into a system is always, at the bare minimum, an exit point and you .pacan't stop it up.  You can't foolproof it.  You can't failsafe it.  

     I want you to try to Neuralize what This is all about, and get closer to the reality of Man being a very real something.  I suggest to you that what everyone else calls consciousness, individuality and psychological self is quite possibly a gross misnomer.  Can you Neuralize the fact that what you are attempting to do through This Thing is to create an entry point into a new system?  Indeed, that is exactly what you are doing.  When you start to be able to Understand what this is all about, you know without any doubt that you can see things in a way you never could before.  You suddenly begin to See that there is another life going on simultaneously that is either so out of sync with everyone else that they can't see it, or else it is operating at a different speed.  You are creating an entry way, literally, into a part of the brain that has never been used, not just by you, of course, but by humanity at this time.  It is tomorrow.

     You are creating an entry way into a new system, but you know where the entry was made.  It was not forced upon you.  It was not an accidental thing that happened.  Unless you're going to join the ranks of the authors in the metaphysical section of the library, you did not suddenly accidentally find yourself able to See.  You have willfully created an entry point into a new system, and above Line level you know where it is.  At Line-level consciousness though it's simply, "I found myself here and alive through the process called birth, and the best that I can tell is unless some miracle happens, I'm going to go out the same door, and that is death.  It just swings two ways."  Ordinarily the entry way is also the exit.  But how about an entry point into a system that is not necessary -- a system in which you were present at its conception?

     There is a validity that I have not touched on having to do with operations of the system even below Line-level consciousness.  Let me hint with this question:  Who can conceive of entry points into emotions?  Or, why in the ordinary world at Line-level consciousness, is there no cure for a problem?  "I've always had a bad temper and I've done my best to do something about it.  I really get annoyed at myself when I get mad the way I do."  Where can you go with that?  At the bare minimum, the point where you deal with the emotion, is always an exit point.  It is always a wound.  It is the open point where the system was entered, and you can't close it up.  Can you?  Can you see why ordinarily nothing can be done about anything?

     Let's go back to the person who conceives of some system and attempts to make it foolproof.  About the closest I can give you as a possibility for this to happen under ordinary conditions is for the man to go inside the system and seal it up.  (This is still having to discount the possibility of the system having a power source outside that somebody could shut off.  And remember this example is still missing one dimension.  As strange as this example sounds, it's still not true).  "I'm going to go into the system, and from the inside, I'm going to seal it up."   What if that is not total insanity?  What if you could use this approach .pawith problems?  "This terrible temper, this terrible fear I have."  What if you could go inside and seal them up?  

     But let's flip the example back over.  Consider my man who is actually going inside this system he conceived of to make it failsafe and foolproof, by closing it up?  I point out that it's irrelevant from his viewpoint, because he would no longer be.  He would now be inside the system.  You could no longer ask him, once he sealed it up, if he succeeded.  You could no longer communicate with him, or you'd have another entry point into the system.  He would be in there, sealed up and nobody could get in.  But also understand, the man could never get out.  He has succeeded from one viewpoint, but he no longer exists.  Alright -- what if you could use that?  What if you could find inside your circuitry, inside of a sub-system in you:  "This great anger I have, this kind of nagging non-identifiable fear and dread I have."  There must be an entry point into that system for energy to flow into it.  But the entry point is always, at the very least, the exit point and it continues to circulate the energy.  Now, at Line level, nobody can do anything about anything.  But what if you in some way could get inside that system and close it up?  What if by doing so, you killed yourself?  Or, what if it didn't kill you, but killed whoever you put in there to stop it up?  What if you could identify one of the voices within you, "I can't stand this anymore.  I'm sick of it," and you could convince the speaker to climb inside his system and seal it up.  Right up to the final moment that he is riveting in the last closure, you shout encouragement of what a great chap he is.  "Only you could have undertaken this feat.  I'm delighted to have a voice like you in me.  Can you hear me?"  Now what if simultaneously, when he quit hearing you, that particular circuitry stopped?  What if you could close up the system so it could no longer receive new energy and could no longer transform it?

     As long as it has an entry way, it has an exit, and the system will run.  It will take in the same energies that originally caused the entry point, transform them in the same way, and exit them in the exact manner it always has.

     Let me try and tie this in for you in another way.  Ordinary consciousness believes that some things are true and that these "truths" or "answers" would be First force.  And that which denies them would appear to be false claims by ill-advised, ignorant people.  Consider again that humanity, without knowing it, uses time in a peculiar way to cloak Third force in an attempt to try and conceive of it.  It is an attempt to try and confront the apparent manifestation in Life that everything irrelevant eventually becomes relevant.  

     You can hear someone observe, "You should meet my grandfather. He worked all of his life as a carpenter up until the age of seventy.  And now, he still gets out and jogs everyday.  Can you believe it, at his age?  It shows that exercise and a good hard life produces longevity."  Nowadays that is a very common observation.  But there is just as much reality in the statement that it was the power of the particular aspect of the primal flow -- or put simpler, genetics -- that made him what he was through all his circuits.  Genetics made him a carpenter, made him live to be seventy nine years old.  Not jogging.  He jogs because of what he is. Can you Consider the possibility that it would be just as true that because of the circuitry, some people are just as satisfied to sit and look over insurance forms at a desk and become obese?  It is the same as your grandfather ending up being a carpenter and running everyday.  Does jogging create health, or does health create jogging?  But now, what if we take ordinary time and inject it into such a conversation.  Let's take your grandfather, and move back in horizontal time to when he was thirty.  There he is working like a dog, out in the hot sun fourteen hours a day, six days a week.  At the time you might make the observation that working that hard will kill him.  But now, he's seventy nine years old and you observe, "Look at the good it's done him.  There is no question that the good, robust physical life and continuing to stay physically active is keeping him alive.  That is what causes somebody to live to be that kind of age."  An apparent movement in time has changed the observation from, "Hard labor will kill you," to, "Hard labor will make you healthy."  From an ordinary viewpoint, why did this man live to be seventy nine years old?  Is it because of the fact that he led a physical life while he was working, and continues to get exercise on a regular basis?  Or is that what he is, where he is in the grid system, where his circuitry is gave him no choice?  What if he didn't decide, "I'm going to get up and jog for my health" -- somebody like him just can't sit around?  Line-level consciousness jumps to one conclusion only.  The other appears to be just some kind of strange word play.

     The power of the Primal Flow cannot be gone back into directly and in some way altered.  You may, in a weak moment think, "Boy, it's amazing I'm alive.  Here I am over thirty and I can still get out and run ten miles despite all those years I took drugs, smoked and drank.  It's amazing what a great person I am, through my own efforts."  Are you sure?  Are you sure your efforts are the cause of your ability to run ten miles?  How about instead of just physical health, we look at beauty.  What about books of secret beauty tips, on how to become beautiful?  I'll tell you how to be beautiful.  You've got to be born beautiful.  I'll tell you how to live to be very old.  You've got to be born to live to be very old.  Can anyone Hear anything beyond these words?  It is built into ordinary consciousness to say, "That is not true."  "That book says I too can be beautiful."  But you can't unless you were born that way.  People want it, they want to hear about it.  But it won't work.  But ordinary consciousness leaps, not just to conclusions, but to insist that none of what I'm saying is true.

     People ask me about tragedies, such as a death in the family, a relationship breaking up, or somebody losing a job.  I could call them "misfortunes", but let's go all the way.  They strike the ordinary level of consciousness as they should, as tragedies.  "I am just reeling.  It's  all I can do to just hold on to my sanity.  It's a miracle I'm not home locked up in the closet crying.  I can't help it, I can't explain the way I feel.  And I can't justify it."  At the ordinary level of consciousness, a tragedy is a tragedy.  You have to get up to a certain point through your own efforts, to realize that a tragedy could be a great opportunity.  If your mother died yesterday, a piece of you in a very real sense has died.  A person would be less than minimally sane not to feel that as a terrible loss;  as a tragedy.  But at another level of consciousness, that roller coaster, that beast in all the tragedies, presents opportunities that until you know how to use them, are almost unbelievable.  That is why I don't talk about them.  They almost sound too incredible.  Once you can reach a certain point to see it for yourself, it is almost as though life unknowingly hands you a secret package of energy that you didn't deserve.  On the ordinary level what you are supposed to use the tragedy for is to feel a kind of negative emotion, but once you can get away from that, it is as though Life itself has unknowingly picked up the wrong package and handed you a small atomic bomb.  When you have enough strength and perception of this; when you can bear through a tragedy that feels like, "Well, this is finally going to get me.  This is something I cannot bear."  Then you'll understand what I meant about Life unknowingly giving you a secret package.  There is an opportunity in tragedy that is far beyond anything I can describe.  And the worse the tragedy is, the greater the opportunity.

     Recently, someone asked me, "If one were to take the view that the internal and the external were of two different worlds, then it would seem to me that it would be possible to hold onto the external while remaining free in the internal."  Returning to the picturization of the fish and water -- if you were a fish and you attempted to grasp the external world, the water, what you would have done is strangled yourself.  I keep bringing up fish in water, but you do understand I am talking about humans?  Descriptions of fish just seem to be more tangible  -- not all this "secret internal world of the mysterious me".  We all know what a fish is and we all know what water is.  They would seem to be two distinct separate nouns, two things.  Yet a fish and water are one.  You cannot separate the fish from the environment.  The water must flow through its gills.  They are one.  Now in what profitable manner would a fish attempt to grasp and to hold onto its external world?  This gets tricky, even in words.  Let us say the fish could stop water, whatever water is.  He could stop it from being a verb and actually make it a frozen noun so it no longer flowed through his gills.  By grasping and holding onto the water -- the external world -- he would have killed himself.  Take it one step further:  What if you in some way could take a fish and leave him there in the water, but take his consciousness outside of the water?  You would have to get his consciousness outside of the water, he and his environment are the same thing.  He would say, "I plus not-I equals everything, my friend.  You can't fool me just because I am a fish.  There is me and then there is all of this."  But if you could get him out so he could look down, he'd say, "No, it's not me and 'all this'.  There is just 'all this' and me's in it.  Me and it are one."  Does that give you any hint?  Can you conceive of any way in which something like that could be used personally?

     Everyone is driven to attempt to grasp and to hold on to the environment, although that is not the way it is thought of at Line level.  It is a continuing attempt to hold on to something:  "What I want is to have my reality frozen.  I want it to be a continuing line of freeze frame photos, of me getting that award in high school, having sex for the first time, winning that game in college, buying my first car...Oh, if I had all these pictures in something like a holographic scrap book where I could just look at them, and they would suddenly come back to life; then I would be right there again, back in time."  Everyone is driven, no matter how they describe it, to want to hold onto, and freeze reality.  The feeling of, "Right now I want this happiness frozen," is just the other side of the coin of, "Right now I feel miserable, and I'll always feel miserable."  Both feelings are always attributed to the external world.  "How come she is not always that sweet to me?"  Or, "Last night was so wonderful, the way he treated me and brought me flowers.  It was like old times.  Why can't life always be like that?"  There is the inherent feeling in ordinary consciousness that not only is it possible, but in some way it is profitable to reach out into the "environment" and stop things.  "I'll make her love me forever."  "I'll make him always find me the most desirable woman in the world."  Can you sense how close that would be to death?  The fish says, "I am tired of this.  It's making me seasick. For twenty years, it's up and down, back and forth, wave, wave, wave.  If I could just meet a mystic octopus to teach me how, I would stop all this."  But as soon as it stopped, there would be no more water going through his gills and he would die.  That's literal fact.  Man says, "I am sick of this.  Nothing is constant. The waves push here and there.  I can't go where I want without a great deal of effort, and every time I start to do something, a swell comes along and pushes me back.  I like it right here if I could just stop it all." But if a man could reach out into Life and stop it, it would mean death.  He would have found his entry point.  "Yeah, this is the source of all my problems.  I'll stick my finger in it and stop it."  But that would be the last thing he would ever stick his finger in.