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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk 164, July 4, 1985, runtime 1:12
[You cannot be critical of Life. No place for criticism in This Thing. However, this does not rule out "remedial action" on your part-- "pertinent action" i.e., what is necessary to effect satisfactory results to you without entertaining the internal voices. You can complain about poorly done work if from the proper foundation.]
[New term: TATA = Things As They Are. Question: Are men wired up first apparently to see TATA and then apparently develop a critical template to describe how things should be? Or is the template in place first and then they see TATA and realize the mismatch? If the latter is the case, then is TATA = E?]
[C & D FLOWS ARE A MATTER OF HEAT/ENERGY GAIN OR HEAT/ENERGY LOSS. Absolutely beyond all notions of good and evil, right and wrong. Good and evil are not even relative realities: just heat gain or heat loss. Example of US and USSR as epitome of mortal enemies. USSR invades Afghanistan = increase of heat for USSR; a widening of its domain of responsibility, its area of nourishment. Yet from U.S. point of view it is a heat loss in the form of a loss of potential domain of responsibility/ nourishment. E as absolutely blind and oblivious to this heat exchange --e.g., starving african tribesmen. E relation is like the 4th dimension relation to the 3rd dimension; incommensurate yet constitutive. Relation to the "fun of getting mad" --the infusion of a new enthusiasm/energy with conflict = heat gain = C flow (aroused by D). No connection whatever to morality.]
[Line level consciousness can have no feeling of truly individual responsibility; always a responsibility only to some larger corpus, i.e., American, Irish, Jewish, etc.]
[What makes you get up finally on a No-Work-To-Do Sunday? Neuralize the trilevel circuitry and trilevel corporation of Life.]
[You should have an awareness now of the effect of inappropriate food on the lower circuitry. When you feel disoriented in the Yellow circuitry, look at what you've been eating.
GOOD VERSUS EVIL = HEAT GAIN VERSUS HEAT LOSS
Document: 164, July 4, 1985
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1985
The whole question of criticism is still a problem for some of you. I have pointed out very correctly that no one can do This and be a critic of Life, notwithstanding the stories you hear of "holy men raising hell." You simply cannot be critical. And you cannot be taught to be uncritical. You cannot turn This Thing into an ordinary religion and make a rule for everyone: THOU SHALT NOT BE CRITICAL -- because no one learns from rules. To really follow the precept, "THOU SHALT NOT BE CRITICAL," would require a true understanding of whatever it is that is going on at the moment. Then you would no longer need a rule, because your lack of criticism would be an unassuming, unannounced manifestation of your Understanding. Put more directly: once you can See things as they truly are, you can no longer criticize them. Because to criticize implies seeing only little parts of Life and then pitting those little parts against other little parts. If you see the whole picture, against whom is there to pit?
I am fully aware that everyone, for varying lengths of time, feels that this prohibition forms a peculiar stumbling block to their intellectual development. "Surely there's a place for criticism? What if you're a book reviewer? If you're a book reviewer and you aren't critical, you're going to lose your job." In the ordinary world, part of the fun of reading book reviews, movie reviews, record reviews, is to watch some literate smart aleck take on the world, or at least take on those foolish few who call themselves artists. Of course, in the ordinary world, everyone else delays with bated breath their true opinion of those artists, pending the final words of those selfsame reviewers.
But let me point out something very basic about all this which people find difficult to discover on their own; that is: the difference between criticism and pertinent action. The difference is very real. Ordinary criticism judges a situation, and then sits there, holding the judgement in its little hands -- sobbing over it. Pertinent action, on the other hand, involves perceiving an imbalance in a situation and then taking whatever action is necessary to correct it. For instance, if your automobile malfunctions, unless it has strewn itself all over the highway, you will take action to repair it. Many things like this fall into the category of "the upkeep of staying alive," and if you do not perceive such imbalances and take pertinent steps to correct them, you will not live very well.
Look at the difference between that and NOT fixing your broken car, sitting around moaning and grumbling about the lack of pride in the work force today, cursing the nationality of whoever designed the car, etc. All you are doing is entertaining the running static in you and everyone else, which shrieks nonstop that the world is going to hell. Something a little harder to see, particularly for those of you born centered in the mid-circuits, is that there is no difference between complaining about the idiot who made your car and complaining about things that truly seem unjust, like world hunger, poverty, murder, and so on. Distasteful as anything may seem to you, ordinary criticism is never useful to those involved with This. And the deciding factor is this: can you PERSONALLY do anything to change things for the better? If not, then you have nothing to complain about, and if so, then the only criticism necessary is that perception which allows you to see how you can help. All bitching is useless and accomplishes nothing but further bleeding of precious substances you need to retain in your system in order to See higher and further. Are you going to sit around wasting your energy TOA (Thinking of Action)? Or even worse, SOTOA (Suffering Over Thinking of Action)? I am not being flippant. You must learn the incredible waste you cause yourself whenever you criticize any part of Life, whether the criticism comes out of your mouth or merely circles in your head. The fact is, all possibility of pertinent action falls in direct reciprocal proportion to the amount of ordinary criticism you engage in. Without noticing, you will absolutely slow your "actionability" to zero by allowing criticism to become part of your attempt to take action. You will lose your possibility to help, and slide back into your normal job of Critic on Life's Daily Paper.
I have a new term for you: TATA, which stands for, "Things As They Are." And I have a question for you in connection with this new term: Are people born seeing Life the way it truly is and then develop a critical template which judges how Life should be in comparison, or are they born locked into an individual perception of Life, and then slowly begin to see things as they really are? Think back into your own life. By the age of 12, you and everyone else began to seriously feel something was wrong with life as you knew it. You had complaints against the way you were treated, complaints against your education, complaints against your playmates, complaints about what you saw on TV, complaints about what your parents would allow you to watch on TV. These many shades of complaints pass for one's so-called "personality." If you don't believe that, describe for me the most colorful popular figures you can think of and tell me if their colorfulness doesn't have more to do with the style with which they criticize things than the style with which they celebrate things. For the ordinary, celebration gets dull very fast. Criticism can hold your attention for the rest of your life.
Everyone has such a "critical template" of the way life should be. I repeat: were you born with it, or did you develop it as a sort of cover over the perception of Life as it really is? Do not get caught up in the argument of heredity versus the environment, and tell me that by the age of twelve, when the conflict becomes noticeable, a child has picked up all sorts of opinions and viewpoints from his parents, his neighbors, his teachers, etc. Disregard that argument. All normal humans by the age of around twelve seem to see a dire conflict between the way they are being treated and the way they think they should be treated. So I ask again: were they born seeing things a certain way and then "mature" to sadly see that life as it is doesn't really match? Or are they born in the flow of life as it truly appears to be and, around the point of puberty, develop an individual perception of the injustice of it all? Either way, all humans end their childhood with a verdict of TATA -- that "Things As They Are" just do not match my critical template of things-the-way-they-should-be.
Of course, you can find argument for either viewpoint until you begin to See for yourself. But suppose you take the stand that a child is born seeing Life as it really is and then develops his individual critical template. Then I have another question for you: under those circumstances, would TATA equal what I have labeled the Third Force, or "E"?
Alright, here is the heart of the matter. In a sense, what we have been skirting is the old question of good and evil. The question of good and evil is NOT a philosophical, theoretical question. Philosophers have wrestled with it. Religious leaders have expounded upon it. And both have implied that the realm of good and evil is their province, beyond the muddy hands of you and I living in the practical world of politics, business, and life on the street. But you will be mistaken if you leave it in their hands, because the conflict of "good and evil" is the heart of what makes things move at the most basic level of life. I could say "right and wrong" instead of "good and evil" -- I just chose the words with the most impact for most people's circuitry. Good and evil is not a philosophical question, nor is it a religious issue. I am going to tell you something quite directly about good and evil, but to catch it you must listen with your quickest ears and then almost instantaneously See it for yourself.
Let's take the matter of what I have called the Three Forces -- or the Three Flows, the Three Areas, the Three Possibilities. Now let's isolate the first two, "C" and "D" -- which are the two most apparently perceivable, and which I have spent the most time speaking about to you. Ordinary consciousness can only see these two directions, and would most readily associate the positions of good and evil with what I have called the "C Force" and the "D Force." I have really done nothing to dissuade you of that connection. I have simply tried to expand your perception beyond that apparent conflict of "yes" versus "no." But now let me go further. "C" and "D" are matters respectively of heat gain and heat loss. I will add that although I have my own reasons for using the word "heat," I could just as easily have used the word "energy." I am now going beyond all descriptions I have thus far presented to you -- of one man's apparent good luck being someone else's apparent bad luck. Or that one group's view of good could be another group's view of evil. It doesn't take a great mind to make up such examples -- people have been creating them for as long as written history has been around. The problem is: that sort of example leaves ordinary consciousness with questions like, "How could this be? How can there be relative degrees of good and evil? How can we all have come from one source and yet find ourselves with daggers at each other's throats?" No wonder ordinary people have always left the problem with the theoreticians!
But the issue of good and evil is not theoretical. It is a physical, directly perceivable reality. C and D, good and evil, are simply matters of heat gain or heat loss. Just to begin to think of good and evil as heat gain and heat loss requires you to go beyond binary thinking patterns and begin to see the apparent two sides and their apparent eternal conflict for what they really are. Ordinary binary thinking will tell you that there is that which is good and that which is bad. Without question, it will continue to tell you that until the day you die. I am asking you to put different labels on the two and see if that doesn't change the way you see the age-old conflict. What people call "good" is, from their viewpoint, anything that causes them to gain heat. What people perceive as "evil" is anything which, from their viewpoint, causes them to lose heat. Remember that you could substitute the word "energy" for the word "heat."
I could explain further by saying the conflict is always over what could be called the locale of responsibility and food. I'll give you an example, but remember to take my examples and translate them to your own personal "locale" between your two ears. Alright, the example: Two great political powers are always in a balance of conflict. Country C appears to be more advanced in the sense that it seems always to be looking forward. It encourages development and so-called "freedom for the individual." Country D is its nearest competitor in size and force. Country D is more cautious than country C. Country D espouses the theory that if you give people too much freedom all you end up with is anarchy, so you tell your populace what you want it to believe and threaten it with punishment if it disagrees with what is good for it. Country D expands itself by forceful takeover. Country C expands itself in a more neighborly fashion by "protecting its neighbors against the horrible, inhuman bondage of country D."
Now country D has just invaded country F and claimed it as part of itself. Country C, which espouses freedom for the individual, including the individual country, is incensed beyond measure. From the viewpoint of country C, country D has just committed great evil. But look a little harder. Country D does not find the takeover to be evil. On the contrary, country D is now bigger than it was. It has expanded, gained people and land and resources. It has expanded its locale of both responsibility and food -- and I don't mean kumquats. It has been good. It has gained heat. Country C, on the other hand, has been the one to lose heat, because although it never attempted to physically invade and claim country F as its own property, it always assumed that country F was on its side. Country F, until being enslaved by country D, had freedom of choice and ran its affairs, though not in such an advanced fashion, very like country C. Therefore, country F was like a part of country C. When country D absorbed country F, that similarity and companionship was lost, heat was lost, trade relations were lost, possible missile sites were lost, and the locale of food and responsibility was diminished.
That is the beginning and the end of the question of good and evil. Whenever a being, whether individual or group, gains heat/energy, it is good, it is a C-occasion. Whenever it loses heat/energy, it is evil, and a D-occasion. The actuality of this goes beyond relativity and becomes a physical fact. Country F was not subjugated and attacked. A large group of people was not misused. In that area of the Body of Life, there was a heat gain, and that is what Life is after. Now this is not a static situation, and that one heat gain is not the final statement. Nothing is the final statement until it has died and the pieces of its remains have been reabsorbed.
I have taken the question of good and evil for you out of the realm of theory and morals. You can no longer limit your sight by conceding that your "enemies" are evil to varying degrees. Your enemies are your enemies because they take from you. They take heat and they take energy. You cannot say country D is less advanced, less educated, and that you will make allowances for its "evil" behavior. It is not evil. It is not moral. It is a heat gain or a heat loss. If you gain heat, for you it is good and for them it is evil. If you lose heat, for you it is evil and for them it is good. Life is always gaining heat. Life is always growing. If you happened to have been on the short side of the stick and you want to remain ordinary, you will have complaints, and you will be critical of the treatment you received. But if you want to become bigger than ordinary, then put yourself on Life's side. And Life always gains more than it loses, because it is still growing. In order to grow, the balance of power must continually move and shift, and the moved, shifted parts always find their new positions either better or worse, larger or smaller, hotter or cooler. Forget the politics. Forget the religious rhetoric. I am telling you the way it is, beyond theory and beyond morality.
Remember that Life has many levels, just like you. And it still speaks to itself on the lowest level through humanity. One part grumbles at another part when it gets a raw deal, only the part that's grumbling looks like people.
Could you possibly glimpse, could you suspect, that the third area or Third Force, "E," might be oblivious to the relative "goodness" or "evilness" of any particular situation? That E might be oblivious of heat gain and heat loss, of absolute "C," or absolute "D"? Suppose you moved even farther out, stretched your imagination to the limit, and expanded your picture of things to include a fourth dimension, which would be as oblivious of C, D, and E as E is of the absoluteness of the conflict between C and D? If you get anywhere close to seeing something like this I can finally promise you the prize in the crackerjack box. Anyway, you might as well run right out to the edges of the universe with this before I change the map again. I have given you enough to go on. There is no difference between one country attacking another and one person trying to convert another person to his religion. There is no difference between either of those and someone trying to get the better of a business deal. Remember, I have pointed out to you that everyone is wired up to apparently be on the side of C or D, and according to how you are wired up, you will judge the severity of the heat loss or gain in any instance. You will think there is a difference between one corporation's hostile takeover of another corporation and a man coming up to you and saying, "Have you got the time?" and you say, "Yes," and he says, "That ain't what I mean, just give me your watch, sucker," and he cuts off your hand and grabs your watch. It will look like a big deal if it was your hand that got cut off. Your hand definitely lost heat and energy. But your head doesn't necessarily need to.
There is no morality in the relative sense philosophers and religions have always preached. There is no morality in your body staying alive, no morality as to what certain organs of the body must extract from food you've taken in, no morality in the way in which you breathe and destroy microscopic entities every time you breathe, every time you slap or wipe your forehead. There is no morality involved at all from your viewpoint. If microbes could think, they might imagine that there is great morality involved in whether they get wiped off the forehead-map or not, just as individual humans feel great indignation at having their country invaded or having their hand cut off so some other human can have their watch. But there is no morality to Life in the necessary adjustments of energy, heat, and power that it makes continually within its own body. We are part of that body, and if you are interested enough to be listening to this, then your efforts should be to see things from Life's larger viewpoint, which is a bigger viewpoint than anyone's individual viewpoint. That is the only way you will ever understand the apparently conflicting individual viewpoints. Of course, you are still an individual human entity, and if you are smart, you will also make every effort to stay away from those elements in Life which need to cut off other elements' wrists in order to gain heat.
When you can see the issue from Life's viewpoint, you see Life is continually feeding itself, continually expanding its locale of responsibility and food. Good and evil exist alright, but not on a moral basis. Good and evil exist on the basis of the ultimate morality of whether there has been a heat gain or heat loss. When you wipe your forehead, for you there is a heat gain -- you've gotten the sweat out of your eyes. The fact that several million microbes may have been discriminated against in the exchange matters very little on your larger level. You gained. In the same way, country D invading country F constitutes a heat gain for Life at that point, regardless of the smaller viewpoint of country C. If it happened, it was either directly good for Life or Life just made one of its minor stumbles, from which it will learn what it needs to gain more heat next time.
When you can see Life's viewpoint, you will no longer wonder about "man's inhumanity to man." That does not mean you will not feel the pain of another living being when it apparently gets stomped on. But your new understanding will settle the burning issue of how there can be evil in the world. Evil is only a word which makes any kind of sense on one level. If you change the label, you can pull it away from being an ordinary moral issue. Scientifically, practically, there can be no one-way energy or heat transfers. If one part gains, the other has to apparently, for that moment, lose. Both parties cannot gain. Tomorrow Life may find it profitable to reverse the balance of power again. But then also, one side will seem to lose and the other will seem to win. You all suspected, didn't you, that the reason humans don't understand everything is because they don't understand the "mysterious ways in which the gods move"? Well, I am describing the gods' viewpoint, and the gods are Life itself.
I said Life sometimes makes a minor stumble in the process of its expansion. I have also pointed out before that Life does not grow in a straight line -- which is another reason why it seems so often incomprehensible to individual people. It stumbles, it staggers, just like we do. Every human has the tendency to operate on the belief that unless we have overdone something, we haven't really done it all. I assure you that you and I could not do that were it not that Life does it also. "Let's see, I think perhaps I'll have a pizza tonight -- naw, I'll have three." And the only way you know you've had enough is when you've had too much. Like us, Life does not grow in a straight line. It stumbles, it staggers, it overdoes things, it explores. It might even slap its forehead in a fit of over enthusiasm and wipe out an entire continent. Perhaps if you point your vision in another direction, you could begin to suspect the necessity for different races, nationalities and religions, when from the normal human viewpoint, these unnecessary differences seem to constitute the heart of all human conflict. Conflict is evil? Evil to whom? You can sit there and wail and criticize Life from any angle you want, but remember Life's big enough to push you around, and that alone should give you pause for consideration.
Suppose you had the power to wipe out all such sources of human conflict. Suppose you could produce utopia -- make everybody the same religion, make everybody green, and make them all the same sex. No political conflicts, no racial conflicts, no nationalistic chauvinistic arguments, no divorce. No new little humans, either. Now what? Everybody's got their personal, critical template of how things should be, and part of the unexamined templates of everybody are voices that seem to be higher, more spiritual voices, which all agree that fighting and conflict between fellow humans just can't be right. And then, on the other side is TATA -- Things As They Are. You should begin to suspect that if things are a certain way, there may be a good reason for it. I have said, and I say again, Life is not falling apart. Things are not going to hell. And the conflicts do not have anything to do with ordinary concepts of morality; they have to do with food, with energy, with heat being transferred so that Life can grow.
To make it still clearer, let me pull out an example everyone can find in your own life. Let's say that despite all your efforts to be a good person, to live by "higher rules," to follow whatever the leading guru might be espousing that day -- something unusual happened and you slipped up and got mad. I'm talking about real anger. Screaming at somebody, maybe even getting close enough to hit them. At least, if you weren't tempted to show them the knuckle end of your fist, you inwardly hated their guts and planned all the great dastardly deeds you would do to them real soon, at least verbally. Now when you remember such an instance in the right way, how do you explain that you're suddenly infused with an unexpected, exceptionally real burst of energy? Did I still not make it crude enough? Getting mad is fun, in a certain way. Thrill isn't even the word -- it's new heat, new energy that you get from getting mad. Did I say earlier that there is no such thing as righteous indignation or holy war? At the ordinary level it works, even if the event is just small-time -- maybe you're driving along and someone almost pulls out and hits you, and you swerve and almost hit somebody else. And then the original culprit is long gone and you yell down his exhaust trail, "Why you god damn son of a fucking bitch, you ignorant bastard, why don't you watch where the hell you're going?" Well? How do you feel after that? Forget any sense of morality or whether the gods want you to do that. How do you feel? Your eyes get big, your breathing speeds up, your reflexes become as crafty as your favorite spy hero's, and as you're whistling your way home, you suddenly decide, "Hey, I think I'll stop by that new club I've been wanting to visit." You feel almost sexy, almost suddenly sociable. And then maybe a car drives up beside you that reminds you of the first idiot that almost smashed your brains out, and your internal voices speed up all over again. It's like someone slipped you a ten-gram amphetamine. How do you explain it, my dear friends? Since you no longer believe it's the work of the devil, there's your reasonable, civilized, maybe even highly spiritual critical template telling you that you shouldn't get mad at people, and there's you, all charged up with extra energy you didn't have before. And you even enjoyed it. Why? Because you gained. So why worry about international tension? You've got it all right here, inside.
I told you if you didn't listen quick, you would become confused. Because you still cannot be involved with hostility and do This. The energy you gain will not compensate for your dragging your consciousness down to the level of ordinary individual conflict. But you do need to become aware of the energy exchanges in everyday affairs happening right before your nose. You do need to see how those things that have been renounced as evil by every human critical template from the blood flow and food exchange of Life itself. You need to see how something that looks like a D-situation, "I got so mad I could have almost died!" could scientifically be a real C-situation. You got mad alright, but you gained heat, you gained energy, you feel better than you did before.
One more thing you should also note, which is, of course, connected. Although every adult individual has a responsible place in the body of Life, there is no such thing as an individual feeling of responsibility. I'm not talking about morality. No one feels that they are in any way responsible for things being the way they are. In fact, you don't even feel that you can relate to Life individually. Look down to your own level of ordinary consciousness and notice how you feel identified with certain locales. Perhaps you even went so far as to identify yourself with a group which burned effigies of past presidents or political leaders in your country. Now there's a statement about responsibility! But did you feel individually responsible? Remember where I started this, saying that if you became involved in a situation of conflict you had the choice of ordinary criticism or pertinent action. So you burned effigies. Do you feel personally responsible? Can you personally help the situation to change for the better? Or are you just complaining again? Do you ever feel individually responsible? No. Not at Line-level consciousness. To whom are you responsible? What is your responsibility? What can you possibly do about the situation? The only thing any individual ever feels responsible for is whatever small locale he is personally involved in. If you are a miner, you feel responsible for being a good miner, and if someone from another group makes fun of "mud-digging" miners, you are going to perceive a conflict and take responsibility for fighting your miner-ness. It's a kind of feeling of responsibility, but still not an individual feeling of responsibility for the situation. It's just the best you can do. You simply can't find any sense of individual responsibility in people at the ordinary level. It doesn't exist. If it did exist, there wouldn't be conflict, and Life couldn't eat, and might die. You know what happens to you and me if Life dies, don't you?
All conflict, all question of good versus evil, must be seen as a matter of heat gain or heat loss -- for each conflicting side, and for the body of Life as a whole. It happens between you and other people. It happens between you and your sexual partners, it happens between you and somebody standing at the street corner, it's happening between me talking and you listening. Continual heat exchange goes on at every level, and whether you perceive the exchange as good or bad will depend on which locale you're in. If you're on the losing side, if you or your whole group lost heat, you will see the situation as bad, as evil. And you will be right, for you. It's not debatable, it's not relative, it's not religious. It's simply bad. For you. You lost heat and you lost food and power. For your opponents, the outcome was good, and that is also a fact. It is not a moral judgement, it is simply the beginning and the end of the question of good and evil.