Jan Cox Talk 0269

Escaping The Middle Ground

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Summary = See Below
Diagrams = See Below #118, #119, #120, #121
Transcript = See Below


Summary by TK

#269 ** Jul 16, 1987 ** - 1:57

  [Kyroot reading to :08]

  [The Few should strive at least to be an adjective, if not a verb, rather than a noun--a stolid old petty fogging noun. Everybody sees their life as it is, but cannot explain or describe it to themselves or anyone else. The old adage of 'Know Thyself' is really an everyday, common reality. Nobody has any misconceptions about their life--just conceptions they don't agree with. The Real Revolutionist realizes his sole duty is to create crisis; whereas the ordinary life is seen to be a continuous series of crises. To create crisis is to transcend, to escape ordinary crisis--your humdrum existence. Seek to become a 'fraud'; there are no mechanical frauds--it takes an extraordinary person to be a sham.]
  [There are benefits to operating at the extremes of life: the binary battlefield. Advantages to escaping 'no man's land'--the middle ground of uncertainty, ambivalence and ambiguity. Example of operating at the extremes: either total denial of any responsibility for any given deed (even while your hand's caught in the cookie jar!), or total acceptance, even bravado concerning responsibility for the deed. This operation transcends and/or eliminates further possible action in the battlefield. The extreme position is a utilizing of 'lying'--extraordinary lying vs. ordinary lying (the lying that Life makes everyone commit--such as assuming willful participation in events and then talking about it). The norm is no-man's-land where everybody belongs. The extremes are seen by the middle grounders as dangerous; requiring treatment, redress, normalization, rehabilitation; ill, pathological. But it is the middle ground that is most dangerous to the Real Revolutionist. It is the place surrounded by enemy trenches and vulnerable to attack from every direction. Thus the Real Revolutionist willfully chooses the trenches (either is about equal) in order to minimize his exposure. The Real Revolutionist must be able to declare, for instance, either total belief or disbelief in say, accidents or fate--period, while still appearing normal, more or less benign. Notice that the more extreme the appearance of the trappings of a given organization (e.g., the catholic church--robes, pointy shoes, etc), the more conservative it is in reality; the more predictable, staid. Also, the converse applies: radical activity appearing in the guise of normality.]
  [A new tool: the Operational Directive (O.D.). When a given task or rule is given such as: The Few cannot tolerate criticism amongst themselves, and it particularly strikes home to you for whatever reason (i.e., not fully understood), it relates to Real Faith and Real Conscience biochemistry. The actual activity itself is not at issue--it's the understanding of it that is important—but you cannot wait for such understanding to happen before you begin to act in accordance with it.]
 [1:47: Epilog. Comments re: 'expert' task. Consider for subject: the 100 greatest ideas of history. Comments re: Real humility as being closer to wallowing in the pleasure of your own talents while saying less and less about it; not capitalizing on it while still not belittling or denying your talent.


Transcript

ESCAPING THE MIDDLE GROUND OF             

UNCERTAINTY, AMBIGUITY AND AMBIVALENCE

Document: 269,   July 16, 1987
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1987

Diagram # 118 Illustration

Diagram # 118 Illustration

    It is better to do anything specifically new or different than to drift along being you. Even when you have recently made an actual change in you, and are even at a new plateau perhaps; in a short time, what was once strange and new becomes habitual. Drifting along being the "new you" is to simply be worse off on a different level.  The famous line from "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is apt here:  the Queen says, "You have to run faster here just to stay in place, and must run unbelievably faster to get anywhere".  Regardless of initial appearances, the phrase has become a maxim; thus it is a reflection of something quite real.

    An example of doing something specifically could be to simply walk into a store with the specific intent to act as Mr. or Mrs. Happy Person.  Now to be specific in the correct way you must not regard yourself as a noun, but rather an adjective -- or even better yet a verb.  The way to approach being an adjective would be to emphasize the living flow of "happy", not "man" or "woman".  Your voices may tell you happy man or happy woman should be one term:  "happyman" but it is not.  Your attention and emphasis should be on the happy.  You should not be calling yourself internally man or woman. Mr. or Mrs. Slipsliding Along apparently being you is always the world of the noun.  To not call yourself anything is closer to the verbal reality of you being a verb.

Diagram # 120 illustration

Diagram # 120 illustration

    Let's address and extend another concept:  In one sense, no matter what you believe or how you look at it, everybody does see their own life as it is.  But they can't describe it and can't bear to explain it to anyone including themselves.  Now regarding the prevailing historical ideas of "Know Thyself" and its corollaries of striving for a closer relationship to great cosmic forces, you would supposedly look down into yourself and there a "you" would be.  Life has put a certain spin on these.  At the very least it has created a non-ending supply of illusionary hobbies, and kept people striving and searching.  

    Would-be mystics, psychologists and philosophers continue to point how difficult, if not impossible, is the search for self.  But again, enlarging the viewpoint with a third dimension, it is not a matter of being impossible.  And from a particular view it is done; everybody on this planet, in a certain sense, sees their life as it is.  But they can't describe it; and so they talk a lot.  As always, the "and so" should tell you that it reflects the overall process of ordinary humanity being alive.  It is a disjointed piece of the full reality and purpose of people believing and talking as if they don't know themselves when actually they do.

    Along with that, let's try and clarify something else:  that is, that there are no such things as misconceptions.  There are conceptions you don't agree with.  You can try and describe "misconception", you can insist that you or another person simply didn't understand something clearly or correctly or that the premise you used was faulty.  But in fact there are many conceptions that you're not predisposed to agree with; that you  aren't going to be able to conceive of in your own mind.  If you can regard all apparent misconceptions as parcels of information that Life may or may not seem to have an immediate use for, you will be able to use them as such; as food.

    Then to mention another related area to focus your efforts in, I'll begin by telling you:  ordinary people live out their lives in such a way that life seems to them to be little more than a continual matter of crisis control.  A Real Revolutionist would understand that his duty is to create crisis.  This relates directly to the idea that it is better to do anything specifically than to drift along being you -- even a new you.  If you don't create a particular crisis, you won't be able to control it; any more than an ordinary person can stop their "problems" or quit "suffering".  At the ordinary level, the only way a person can quit suffering is to die.  It is the ultimate cure for their life's ills.  If you have any doubt as to whether you continue to make progress here, just examine whether you feel like you're surrounded by brush fires popping up by surprise.  If you do, then you are not making enough effort.  Any time you do anything specifically it is a means of escaping what was on its way to happening anyway.  Being Mr. Happy Man or Ms. Happy Woman in the store is, for instance, a way to escape simply being you.  But note here:  you should never play around with negative emotions in putting on an act; don't ever act the part of an angry, or in any way negative, person.  It's unprofitable.  That would be like starting out playing the guitar, and after a couple lines of the song its got you over its knee and is playing you; or better yet, imagine that with a tuba.

    When you conflict with your normal patterns of behavior, when you interfere with them willfully, you can create a kind of intentional crisis that keeps you off balance.  It is the act of specifically being a fraud.  Such willful effort can create new energy in you.  There is actually no such thing as a natural fraud and there is no such thing as "accidentally" lying.  There is no way an ordinary person can be a fraud.  How could there be a fake fake?  That is one of the little twists that Life has given to Man.  Life has internal thoughts of action that come out in Man as his belief that lying and subterfuge are possible, and that one could be a fake.  People can only drift along and be what they are.

    Part of what you ordinarily believe is that other people can fake you out.  Well, why is it that no one believes that they themselves can do some real faking?  You believe that you must always be prepared for trouble; you say, "I'm not the sort to deal in trouble.  I wouldn't lie to anybody, but I don't represent the majority of humanity.  People will actually say things to your face that they don't mean; but not me.  I couldn't do that if I wanted to.  I wasn't brought up that way."  No one is!  The only people that can be actual fakes are people who specifically or willfully do it.  And you could never catch them at it, because they have transcended it.  They are able to be, not fake fake, but REAL fake and that is invisible.  There is nothing to see.  If a real fake were in a good mood and you asked him, "Hey, what you just said to me ... are you faking?", he might smile and say, "Yeah".  And you'd be left with nothing.  You wouldn't be mad or upset.  You'd feel like nothing happened.  You'd soon forget the whole thing.  That is the only possible real fake.

Diagram # 119 illustration

Diagram # 119 illustration

    Now here is the heart of tonight's entertainment:  The benefits of operating at the extremes.  From one quite valid, revolutionary view it is most useful to operate at the extremes of what we will call the binary battlefield.  That is, the battlefield of this vs. that, left vs. right.  Now remember back in W.W.I when they were still fighting in the trenches:  you had a trench on each end of the field, barbed wire in front of the trenches, and the middle ground between them was called no-man's land.  The opposing factions sat in those trenches for months and years.  The idea was to shoot it out until the other side gave up whatever they thought they were doing (whatever Life made them think they were doing).  It  takes only two sides for every good war.  A one-sided war has no existence, no life span.

    The specific revolutionary use of operating at the extremes of the binary world or binary battlefield could be described as setting up a more conducive atmosphere for one to escape from the middle ground.  The middle ground is a no-man's land of uncertainty, ambiguity, and ambivalence and with the way those words overlap, that about covers it.  In the middle ground you are opened for attacks of accusation, doubt, and guilt by both sides.

    One example of operating at the extremes would be in a situation where you are open to accusation, challenge, and questioning about something that you had a possible part in.  Operating at the extremes, the Revolutionary would either totally deny or else totally accept all responsibility.  He wouldn't even discuss it.  Once you have decided to deny responsibility, for instance, if somebody comes up from the ruling powers, from the guards, with a piece of apparent evidence, you won't even look at it; even if they hold it up in front of your face, you absolutely deny any responsibility.  If you instead choose to totally accept the responsibility, there would be no excuses, no extenuating circumstances to describe, no continuing tale.  Verbally you would say, "Alright, I'm totally responsible for this situation you pointed out to me.  Do you hear me?  I am responsible.  And that is that."  If you did it right, you will have closed the door on you being accused, whether it apparently comes from external sources or whether it apparently comes from the unwashed masses, the populace of voices in you, which is, after all, the same what?  Thing.  You have ended the possibility of being accused of complying with the deed under discussion.

     If you did not take such an extreme position, you would be, as everyone is ordinarily, you would be held binary captive.  You would be held binarily responsible.  You would be standing there on the middle ground, filled with the Big Three: uncertainty, ambiguity, and ambivalence.  But can you get a glimpse before I try and push it further that if you could specifically act totally and completely either responsible or not-responsible, you would never have any commerce with the event again?  You have transcended being held accountable for it, you cannot be held binarily captive in uncertainty regarding that event.

    When you take specific action like I've just described, you run into a controversy that is built into the molecular structure of humanity.  It is the reality of how humanity's molecules dance when it hears the word "lying".  What is it about the word "lying", that triggers such a strong reaction in people?  What purpose does Life have in constructing humanity to condemn lying, its perceived dangers and its many shades of definition?  And back to the general area we're looking in tonight:  to take an extreme position, you must do what the old noun "you" believes to be lying.  From the revolutionary viewpoint, lying is what Life has people do when they try to explain their actions as though they were a willful participant in them.  Life uses people to accomplish a deed and any comments they can have on the event are lies.  When you act as a Revolutionist, taking up a specific position and acting in a specific way rather than drifting along being "you", you have escaped or transcended lying.  What you are doing is:  instead of trying to comment on what Life made someone do, you are commenting in deed and word on what you are doing in response to what Life has made everyone else do.  Life may have made you commit the deed at the time, but when you get caught is your chance to escape from it.  If it is actually too late to escape from it, then you may have to choose the extreme of demanding all responsibility for it.  But you would not be ambivalent about your position, you  would not be ambiguous verbally in anything you did say.  A Real Revolutionist, as soon as he unwittingly participates in something and gets caught with his hand stuck in it, knows that he is back on the grid, back in the battlefield, back in traffic; and traffic dictates where you step.  It is time for him to take up one of the extreme positions and lying serves a purpose in a specific way that I now want to try and draw your attention to out in no-man's land.

    Ordinary humanity lives its life in the state of uncertainty, ambiguity and ambivalence that is no-man's land.  People don't know if they are responsible or not, so they all claim some responsibility for everything including the crucifixion of their religious heroes.  When someone tells a Revolutionist that, "Its you and I that let evil happen in the world by our very inaction", the Revolutionist's attitude would be, "Hold it right there Charlie, I don't even believe in evil and whatever you describe as evil I don't care what anybody does, don't ever mention it to me again because I'm not responsible for anything unless I tell you I am."  Ordinary consciousness sees binary extremes as being dangers and ills to be treated.  An example would be:  compare an extremely fastidious person, one who is neurotically tied up with their appearance, and someone who is a complete slob about their appearance.  Both are at an extreme.  Neither is confused or uncertain about how much attention they give their appearance.  Neither is swayed by the doubts and criticism of the people around them.  And both are seen as abnormal and dangerous by ordinary humanity. The prevailing middle-of-the-road wisdom would complain that such neuroses are self-defeating, and should be treated.  But, remember, Life needs both extremes of everything to exist, or they wouldn't.

    To address the Real Revolutionist again, he would find the most dangerous area in the world to be the middle ground, because, for one reason, you'll get shot at from both sides.  The Real Revolutionist would see that to be normal is to be in the most dangerous piece of territory in the 3-D world.  For now, let's call two opposing camps (trenches) Good and Evil, the struggle between the gods and the anti-gods. The spoils are mankind.  Everyone lives out their lives there, except those at the mechanical extremes (the fastidious person and the slob).  Right at the middle would be the height of uncertainty, ambiguity and ambivalence, and a little over to one side would be a little less so and over a little to the other side would also be less so... and to all possible combinations and permutations until you get to the absolute mechanical extremes of the trenches themselves.  Ordinarily everyone feels safer on one side or the other of the battlefield at any one time.  There is always one extreme that seems like it is, "more hospitable than the other side.  I know I won't get hurt there as badly".  But do notice that no matter where you are on the field, you ARE getting shot at by both sides.  Most of you will soon realize that almost everyone believes they are getting shot at by one side predominately.  But you will then note that as you become a Real Revolutionist  you'll know you're getting shot at by both sides; that is, even though the bullets that accidentally hit you coming from your preferred side were not pointed at you, they do hit you.  So what the Real Revolutionist must do is get OUT of the middle ground.  In fact he would not only flee to one of the trenches, where live the fastidious neurotic, the slob, and all the mechanically extreme who were born there, but go farther out.  He would be trying to dig a new and deeper trench even further back from the field -- keeping his distance from the babbling of those in the trenches, as well as from the middle ground.

    Ordinary people see hostility as only being able to go in one direction and disregard the wounds they incur from their side, from their gods' plan as being justified by their cause.  The Real Revolutionist knows that getting shot is getting shot, and the Red Circuit's reaction to getting shot will be negative, no matter who fired the bullets.  He knows that actually either side could kill him.  He has no business out there.

    Again, back to the situation of you being accused of, challenged, questioned about your participation in something and you either accepting or denying all responsibility for it.  You act specifically, absolutely and it doesn't really matter which of the two you pick, except that if you have enough sense to do it, you'll have enough sense to figure out which to use.  One corollary to "who is to blame" is in the idea of accidents.  The Real Revolutionist would always be ready to declare that either he doesn't believe in accidental events at all or he will be equally prepared to proclaim that he absolutely believes the whole affair is by chance.  Now internally you need not be that cut and dried, but don't let your normal inner dialogue, the voices of your parents, teachers, friends pull you back into the middle.  You have a battlefield in your own nervous system just as there is one "out there".  You need to be always ready to internally take up a specific acting position.  When a binary issue, quandary, pops up in your mind, you must be ready to jump to a safe place at one of the extreme positions; either insisting it was completely an accident, or that it wasn't an accident at all.  But you must do it in such a way that the people around you either don't notice anything unusual, or they notice it and forget it right away.  When they notice but forget it, it is because it couldn't gel in their ordinary mind.  You expressed something that normally comes from a fanatic in the trench, and it can't occur to them that you could be faking it, so they feel you're not dangerous because it is coming from you who appear to be normal!  And because everyone else is trying to appear normal, you go unnoticed!

    Let me point out another little twist that Life does.  The twist is that the more extreme and outlandish the trappings of something appear, the more conservative they are going to be.  Look at the religions of the world, and their trappings.  A religious leader urges the people to "chill out, put guns away, don't be a radical, mind your P's and Q's.  Put on your religious costumes, or if you don't have any, come and watch us in the ceremony."  Whether it be a noun (institution or group), or  apparently a verb (movement or activity), the more extreme the trappings seem to be, the more conservative it is.  You would not hear anything really unexpected in any mainstream church service or large established government.

    Another facet of Life's twist on the trappings of the most conservative things is that the routine and conservative can be the most dangerous.  When Mussolini and Hitler first began their careers, they seemed to be in the mainstream.  Their extreme activity began with simply addressing their neighbors with, "My friends, we have a few problems I'd like to talk to you about", and from there they became, for a short time, most outlandish and extreme.  If you ever wonder about Life having a sense of humor, consider the two twists we just mentioned regarding appearances.  Just don't take the humor too seriously; to some degree you're the punch line.

Diagram # 121 illustration

Diagram # 121 illustration

    Now in conclusion I know you all have a continuing feeling that you'd like to do more, you would like me to give you more to do.  Tonight I am going to give you something you can USE continually.  I want to impress upon you that it is a very valuable tool and weapon.  It is a verb tool, a process -- not a noun.  It is not a matter of faith that you use it, we never operate on faith or talk faith or belief here.  I'm not the cornerstone of someone's church.  But I will call this tool an O.D., or operational directive.  Periodically I've said, "Hey, write this down as your dictum for the week", or "get a washable tattoo and put this on your little chest for the week."  And many of you on your own have written down something I've said that struck you when the conditions were just right, and you have said to yourself, "Those are some words to live by right there, I've got to remember that".  In such cases, it is not a matter of faith.  It strikes you that some particular thing undoubtedly had great validity and there is nothing to discuss about it.  You are sure that you would get great benefit out of remembering and using it; as irreverent, illogical, and unreasonable as it may have sounded.  All those personal discoveries could be called operational directives.  And here is the operational directive for tonight:  There is no such thing among the few, among the Real Revolutionists as ANY criticism.  It is not a valid or acceptable feeling, thought, emotion or molecular flow through you.  And right now as we speak you can consider that we are starting on a new level of responsibility here.

     An operational directive is the most important thing that is said on any particular evening of me talking.  It's got to go inside your listing of operational directives from now on, and you've got to live accordingly. Things have struck you as being true and valid beyond question, and there are times when I insisted that something was true and you understood that I meant it.  Even if you can't totally See or Do it yet, you must remember it and struggle with it.  If I get any impression that you're not struggling with this, then you don't belong here, and I will begin putting people out.

      You can look at it in any way that encourages you -- either that you seem to understand some validity in it, or that you do it because I threatened or insisted that what I'm describing in the O.D. is proper.  But in either case we'll assume you do not have a full understanding of it.  (Or would we even have to discuss it?)  An operational directive is not an absolute truth, it is not a truth forever.  Once you understand the reality of it, you can forget about it.  But here is the way this one operates:  the way to do it right now is that I'm saying the operational directive for this week is:  you can't tolerate any form of criticism in you, laughing at someone's hobby, laughing at the way someone looks, not even a sneer or a fleeting thought.  There you are out walking, jogging, standing on a street corner, a piece of Life goes by and this form of criticism just pops up; you're about to sneer, you feel it, you have learned by now to have a certain memory for your habitual states and you hear yourself starting to say, "What kind of bum is that driving such a beat up car, and has the nerve to put a sticker on his window that says, Porsche.  Do they think I'm going to be impressed or something?".  It may start to happen so fast and you may stop it so fast that the words never even form, but you just knew it was coming and stopped it.  Remember, we are still using the assumption that you don't understand the ramifications of not tolerating any criticism in you; but that it is an operational directive until further notice.  In this case "further notice" is when you understand it; when you can forget about it.  The fact that you don't fully understand why but still do it is not a matter of faith.  You did it because you taste its validity; the end is Understanding.  The way so-called faith works in the ordinary world is that people attempt to believe in what the holy man told them and the faith is an end in itself.  "The holy books say it is not for me to understand."

    Refusing to criticise anything has an absolute chemical, scientific basis and as you become able to do it, and can feel the chemistry of it in your system you will eventually understand it for what it is.  You will understand why I tell you that you  can't criticise anything and create a revolution, or change your own molecular structure before you die.  You can't criticise anything and be able to change your perception of you from a noun (or a what) to a semi-noun or even a verb (a who).  It is not that you can stop thought completely, but you can turn your attention somewhere else while still keeping an eye on the old habit of criticism attempting to act within you.

    A Real Revolutionary must make full use of anything that strikes him on his own as being particularly valid and true.  The ideal is to make your own O.D.'s.  If it were to strike you, for instance, that you must not ever be angry at anything, that you can't get mad at people because they are, "Stupid or selfish or lazy, or because they are anything."  It takes an extraordinary amount of molecular change in a person to start to get close to being able to accomplish that.  But until you can, you must operate on the basis that it just strikes you that you know it is true.  You must adamantly remember that regardless of what anyone else, including your own molecules, says, believes, or does, you are demanding of yourself to not ever be angry because it occurred to you that that is one of your personal directives.  If you wait until you "understand" what is going on before you really commit yourself to acting on it, then are you going to be doing a lot of waiting or what!  You will be hanging around my grave with flowers and a tape recorder and big old wistful eyes waiting for messages, for more information; waiting for that flying train to come and get you and take you home.  It was some unusual area of agitation in your own molecular structure, the way you were wired up in life that brought you into orbit with me and This.  There is no further step to take to commit yourself to This.  You are here and it is a matter of degree now whether you're going to do anything with that magnetic attraction and your genetic agitation.  Do you intend to sit around and wait for some blinding flash of complete understanding of what I've been talking about, assuming I understand anything?  Are you thinking, "I'll understand the big picture all at once in one big flash of enlightenment, and then I will understand the spiritual dimensions and ramifications of not hating people."

    If you don't take some continual action on your own part, some specific effort at changing how "you" works, we can get nowhere.  It doesn't matter that you may be wired up to be irritated by almost everyone. If you were wired up that way you have no one to blame; it will be your natural behavior when you are just drifting along being you.  It is you the noun.  It is the part you play in Life's body.  The particular trait, and this example being a general irritation with everyone, is as natural to you as breathing, it is your general attitude.

    You have got to absolutely refuse to tolerate it.  You must refuse to be out in the middle of the battlefield and discuss whether you will allow yourself to be irritated by other people; whether you will allow yourself to be you.  You simply think or do anything other than be angry or be a critic.  "I can stop it right this second and the next, and the next.  I can stop it long enough for "me" to get caught up and distracted by something else.  I can specifically turn my head right now -- even if only on the basis that I know I will not tolerate being angry."

    Try to remember any O.D. is only true in the 3-D world, is only an absolute law in the 3-D world.  We use a "forced act" as a particular method.  It is not an attempt to imitate some heroic ideal, but a means to approach something and it will ultimately become an Understanding.  You should realize that if I started handing out weekly O.D.'s suddenly you'd have 52 commandments per year, and some of you might be sharp enough to note that they aren't 52 different ones.  Boy, would I be chagrined to be caught.