Jan Cox Talk 0301

Improvising on an Old Standard


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Summary by TK

Jan Cox Talk #301 Dec 7, 1987 - 1:31

  [Kyroot to :11. ]
  [More on the 3 general attitudes in the City. Rapport is a kind of accommodation with life, feeling an acceptable pleasure with one's lot in life. The Real Revolutionist has a "Super-rapport" with life; a super-pleasure, a happiness over the extraordinary info given to him by Life of its own workings and goals; it is a 'non-specific' pleasure; not a pleasure 'because of' as with the ordinary rapport of the successful. The Real Revolutionist should daily give thanks for this pleasure. A pursuit of the pleasure at the Yellow Circuit level is to court a kind of 'controlled insanity'; unpredictable, non-linear thinking: jazz thinking which is beyond the mere increase of mass or tempo of intellectual activity. Jazz thinking is a disruption of the ordinary flow of playing 'old standards' melodies; an improvisation on the old known themes which constantly furnish themselves in the ordinary process of life. What Buddha did, what every new religion brought forth, was an improvisation. The first taste of this possibility for The Few is the shocking realization of the limitation of thought; the realization that you think the same thing over and over. ]
  [Contrast. The prime contrast = the division within man; the 'imperfect' or faulty; the dichotomy of error which evolution must inexorably unify, heal, rectify. However, without division/contrast, consciousness itself is impossible. ]
  [A Real Revolutionist could live life as a satire. "The silly is silly and so is the serious". The Real Revolutionist can turn thinking-of-action into action itself: consider J's discourses. ]
  [As a Real Revolutionist begins to expand, he absorbs the "+" sign in the equation and then he absorbs the not-I. This would be an observable process of expansion.]
  [Question: why is it Life makes men say/listen to: "what effect does conscious perception have on reality?" as opposed to the opposite (what effect reality has on consciousness?). Connected to this is the saying: 'one can't become an alcoholic overnight!'. Time. ]
  [Man gives birth to: objects, persons, actors, while Life gives birth to processes, backgrounds and influences, environments.]
  [The correct use of technique by the Real Revolutionist can make all City truths become lies. "If it ain't fixed --don't break it!" ]
  [Shaking up of the personal background --making a more conducive environment to the struggle: every 5-8 years almost make yourself a stranger to yourself. Create drastic alterations in physical or Blue Circuit or Yellow Circuit. ]
  [1:31 Epilog re: responsibility is greater now that groups have doubled in size. You must continue based on your own understanding of the profit of increased efficiency. Suggested interesting "hobbies" (for 'tasks'): write a slogan with no constraints about public activity in This Thing such as "paradigm'. Mentally write flyers that compare This Thing to nothing existing. ]
  [ end 1:58


Transcript

IMPROVISING ON AN OLD STANDARD

Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1987
Document:  301, December 7, 1987

      I have mentioned that there are three general attitudes in the city concerning the way people feel about how they feel:  resignation, resentment and rapport.  Consider rapport which can be described as a kind of accommodation which a certain segment of humanity is wired up to feel.  They have the hard-wired, built-in feeling that they are Life's little laborers and that they fit right in with what they are doing.  They seem almost dangerously optimistic and satisfied with their place in Life.

     A Real Revolutionist can also be described as being in a kind of rapport, but it would be a new and improved Super Rapport.  There is a difference between this Super Rapport and what is felt by those who automatically express a kind of acceptable pleasure at their lot in life.  Super Rapport is an unnatural, indescribable pleasure in not only the responsibility Life has given you, but also in the pleasure at the glimpses into its workings which it has allowed you to see.  It is the feeling of being indescribably happy over nothing in particular.  It is the kind of feeling that makes you want to say, "Thanks Life for making me beautiful, or for letting me make that great deal at work, or for letting me overcome my enemies."  It's simply, "Thanks."  You cannot really describe what you are thankful for.  It is simply taking a delight and pleasure in the responsibility Life has given you, and in addition, at the insights into its inner workings that it has allowed you to glimpse.  And no ordinary rapport can match that.

     With a Super Rapport you feel pleased with the whole of Life instead of being happy with one aspect of it.  Let us say you have a natural talent (as if there is any other kind).  Ordinary rapport would be the feeling of being specifically pleased with what you are mechanically wired up to be.  That is the specific pleasure people feel that Life has made them tall or American or talented in some way.  This is simple mechanical rapport and it is no different from feeling resignation or resentment.  But a Super Rapport would be a pleasure at simply doing something, anything, and being thankful to Life in a nonspecific way that you are able to do it.  Super Rapport is an unnatural, indescribable pleasure with Life in general.

     I have mentioned before the phenomenon of being able to create new energy by taking up something new.  At the time, I used the Red Circuit and physical activity as my example.  You can also use this Revolutionary approach to create new energy in the Blue Circuit.  This approach can range from a more active pursuit of what seems to be your current hobbies, talents or interest, to attempting to cultivate and activate new interests in you, in some area in which you have never participated.  And, of course, the time-honored Revolutionary approach to feelings is:  don't feel what you feel.  Now, as well as using these Revolutionary approaches on the Red and Blue Circuits, you should be continually attempting the same sort of approach to Yellow Circuit activity.  I can describe this Yellow Circuit approach as "jazz thinking."

     You should be engaged in a continual attempt at improvisation towards the way in which the Yellow Circuit operates.  I described This Activity at one time as being a kind of controlled insanity, which, if you were regular folks, would be a fairly dangerous thing, except that (need I say it), with regular folks, there is no danger.  And you should know that with Real folks (people not limited to City-bred consciousness) there is nothing dangerous.

     The reality of my term "controlled insanity" has to do with the ability to be conscious above Line level.  The reality would be in teaching yourself something, Seeing something, or at least continually attempting to investigate, to roam through and struggle against lineal, logical and predictable thought.  It is not because logic and reason are in some way harmful.  Even those involved in the Revolution cannot get along without logic and reason.  The Yellow Circuit would not be operating to the point where you could attempt to fool with it if not for a logical lineal basis.  We all have that background.  That is not the problem.  If there is a problem, from the Revolutionary viewpoint, it is with stopping there, with putting a period there.  I have mentioned before that one possible description of a Real Revolutionist would be that they were intellectually active.  I am talking about something beyond what normally takes place in the Yellow Circuit.  I am not talking about the natural activity which takes place without any effort.  You must be engaged in making effort that is not normally required for the automatic running of daydreams and internal chatter.  There must be something else going in you.

     You might ask, "Well, does that mean I need to think faster?"  In a sense you are thinking as fast as you can now.  The Yellow Circuit, at Line level, cannot think any "faster" or if it in some way could, it would be to no avail.  One way to approach what I am trying to point toward by saying you must be more intellectually active is by trying to put more mass in possible time and space.  It is not a matter of trying to increase the tempo.  It is attempting to be a "jazz thinker," an intellectual jazz improvisationalist.

     Those who play jazz, in the time-honored, classic, American sense of jazz, first take some known melody and state that melody.  They play the song through once and then start to improvise on it.  There is a corollary here, but whereas a musician must decide which song he's going to play, then look it up, buy the sheet music, and learn it; a Revolutionist doesn't need to do all of that.  All the music is right there in you.  You have continual music.  You have songs known and loved by all, all the old favorites, running constantly internally in your own little brain.  You look around and see a handicapped person and one of your favorite songs begins to play and by the time you're really getting into it, something else catches your attention and another one of your favorites, a completely different song, plays a few bars.  Then someone bumps into you and another song starts in.  You are continually confronted with your own well known "old standards."  I'm not going to speculate on how many songs it takes to fill up your fake book (a fake book is a musician's book that is filled with old standards or old favorites and it is usually filled with several hundred or even several thousand songs.)  I will go so far as to suggest that it's not a thousand ...or even a hundred.  But you can look it up yourself without even having to leave home.

     You have your own old standards.  You look upon everything, from an injured person to an expensive sports car to someone who bumps into you, and you do not simply see a person or a car or a smart aleck.  You also hear a song, that is, your automatic thought about a handicapped person, a sports car and the guy who bumps into you.  The song is right there automatically.  You don't have to look it up.  You don't have to say, "This might be a chance to do some jazz thinking.  Let's see, first I have to think before I can improvise on it."  Everything is arranged in such a beautiful manner that all you have to do is be alive.  The song is automatically there, as much as the sense of yourself is automatically present.

     Now, you are not suddenly going to be able to think the unthinkable.  To improvise, you have to begin with your own known themes.  You cannot, for instance, jump in and look at a handicapped person and suddenly try and think the kind of thoughts you have while looking at a sports car.  Or look at a handicapped person and try to think about things that have no relationship to anything.  That is not what I am talking about.  .paYou must take the theme, the song that is playing on the instrument of your own brain, and improvise on that.

     I have previously pointed out that if information or data is too drastic, the people, in general and in you, cannot hear it.  Nothing will happen.  To improvise, there must be fresh input, but it must still be recognizable.  It must be fresh as if straight from the bakery, but not so hot that you can't handle it.  Or you bite into it, it burns your mouth, you get mad and curse the baker.  I can use the known historical examples of so-called avatars and spiritual people to point where I am trying to get you to look.  What all these historically remembered examples of extraordinary people were doing was taking the general theme of their time and place and giving a jazz version of it.  To use Buddha as an example, what he was doing was not all that drastically removed from the general Indian beliefs at that time.  The people did not go, "Wow, that means we must take everything that is a part of our present beliefs and throw them out the window."  It was a slight shift, a slight accommodation of what was already playing in the general knowledge of that time and place.

     Another way to look at this would be like someone taking a song from your past, an old favorite from when you were growing up, and hearing it played in the style of the next generation.  It would be familiar, and yet, it would have a different sound and feel to it.  If you could improvise on your own standard themes even to that degree, at least to begin with, you would have something.  You would not think the same thing over and over.  You would not be playing the same internal song over and over.  One of the first great pleasurable jolts you can have in This, based upon your own time and place in the body of Life, is to be struck with the realization:  "I have thought the same things over and over and over and over, and I suddenly realize that it could not have been otherwise.  Without the correct kind of analyzation, without the ability to actually Neuralize, I would never have seen it.  It's as though my brain were locked into a teeny weeny little box."  This may sound somewhat negative at first blush, but it is one of the first pleasurable and liberating shocks.

     This is the same area which I am trying to point you toward with my description of jazz thinking.  You do not suddenly jump in and have whatever you imagined great, mystical, unbelievable occult thoughts might be.  In a sense, that would do you no more good than it would if people were confronted with gibberish, that is, by data that was far removed from what was considered to be the prevailing facts or the prevailing reality.  They would not be able to hear it:  it would be meaningless.  And you would have the same kind of internal reaction.  It would be gibberish to you.  You might take a song you hear on the radio, one that brings up a memory in you and realize that this same memory kicks in every time you hear that song.  You realize you have the same picture in your head every single time you hear it.  But you cannot think, "Here's an opportunity to do some jazz thinking," and then try to do something absolutely unconnected to anything.  There is no profit in that; you cannot start there.  (I could say that you could teach yourself something with that.  There's a glimpse you could get, but it is not what I am talking about here.)

     You must start with the Yellow Circuit activity that is present and improvise on it.  You must teach yourself in what amounts to a controlled, disorderly fashion.  It is not total chaos.  Total chaos only exists in a lineal sense.  Total chaos is not what I am talking about.  Jazz thinking would be like trying to write your own internal epigrams.  You're walking along with nothing in particular going on, something catches your attention and a song immediately starts up in your head.  It automatically begins to play and before it gets into the first measure, you become aware of what seemed to trigger it, where it's going, and you take that first note and you start improvising on it.  You take your ordinary thought processes and suddenly make them jump off at a right angle.  Even "right angle" does not exactly cover it.  You jump off at an unbelievable angle.

     Your improvisations may not all be winners.  Even the world's great jazz improvisers hit a dry spell.  But if you're going to make a living improvising -- so what?  If you are a Revolutionist, you don't quit just because you apparently hit a dry spell.  You keep improvising.  When you really get good you can even improvise on that!

     You cannot think in the run of the mill fashion.  You must take up jazz thinking.  It makes the usual kind of thinking look like elevator music.  That has it's place, but it is not in the forefront of any revolution.  And neither is your routine thinking process.  With the ordinary thinking process there is no need to put forth any specific energy; there is no need to give any account to yourself.  All you have to do is be alive and it runs.  It is not jazz thinking.  As far as a Revolutionist is concerned, it is not even thinking.  It is no more thinking than you are a person, at the routine level.  It's just something that happens.  It happens like elevator music, but instead of it coming out of a little speaker in the ceiling, it comes out of your little brain in the top of your elevator.  It's always there playing.

     Here is some more of an attempted jazz exposition on contrasts.  Ordinary people continue to believe that there has been an evolutionary error in man, that there has been some kind of developmental faux pas.  They would take my description of an internal division in man as another manifestation of their belief in a flaw in humanity.  They call it the battle between the godly part of man and the carnal, evil part, the conscious mind of man and the unconscious, or the precise, objective part of man's psyche and the weak, fallacious, subjective part.  Everyone on the planet, even the most unsophisticated and uncivilized, accepts that inside of each person exists two brains, two minds or two spirits.  This is the collective opinion of Life at the conscious level of humanity.  Everyone believes that this division exists and that it is a flaw.  They believe that man should be unified.  Those of a more religious bent believe that this unification is the purpose of religion.  Those of a more humanistic bent believe that unification is the purpose of increased education.  It is all the belief that these different tacks will bring about an internal unification in man.  Everyone in this day and time believes the problem with man is this internal dichotomy of good and evil.  And the cure -- the goal for humanity, the general direction in which evolution must go -- is to rectify this imagined error and unify the contrast into total goodness.

     I have previously pointed out to you, using the five senses as an example, that man cannot experience or be aware of anything without contrast.  Using the sense of smell as an example, I pointed out that you would have no sense of smell if you had access to only one aroma.  You would never know what "smell" was if you could only experience one single aroma.  You must have the contrast of at least two aromas to be able to experience a sense of smell.

     Likewise, were it not for the contrast of man's internal division or dichotomy, human consciousness would not be possible.  This internal division, far from being an evolutionary error, is the basis for basic human consciousness.  Were it not for this internal split -- the feeling everyone has that there is a "we" inside of them -- you would not have a binary sampling.  And without these two samples you could not be conscious of, or experience, anything.  It is not a flaw.  It is not a mistake.  Were it not for this split, this apparent arrangement wherein every man is his own opposition, there would be no "thought."   Consciousness would not exist.  Every man is his own foe.  For every thought a man has, he has his own anti-thought.  And without this internal split, there would be no "internal."  So, once again, you are faced with the fact that everyone in the City has diagnosed, to their satisfaction, that there is an ill.  And yet this so-called ill is Life-sustaining.  It is more specifically the means which makes consciousness possible.  If this so-called ill were cured, the patient would be yesterday's news.  And that includes you, the attending physician, the nurses, the orderlies and the corporation that owns the hospital.  There could be no consciousness in man without his internal dichotomies.

     I want to mention that there is a certain way in which a Real Revolutionist should see and live life as a satire.  Not in the sense that routine run of the mill soreheads back in the City feel that Life must be some kind of bad joke allegory.  They confuse allegory with hard data.  A Real Revolutionist would make no such error because he recognizes that silly is silly and so is serious.  What greater truth do you want?

     I also want to mention that I often throw out some tidbit to you and do not comment any further on it.  I do not press on with it.  Consider this:  there is a reason for me not pressing on.  There is a basis for it and it is not anything as simple as, "Well, I thought of it and I simply don't want to fool with it any further."  The reasons are always allegorical.  And, of course, they are always silly.  But you have to know what silly is.

     So, here are some more little pieces I'm going to throw out to you.  One is that there is a certain way in which a Real Revolutionist can turn thinking of action into a kind of action itself.  I ask you, would that not be Real Revolutionary action?  Would it not be the ultimate, unknown, unsuspected, undetectible attack?

     Here is another one:  as a Real Revolutionist expands, he would begin to absorb the plus sign in the equation I + Not I = Everything.  And then, as he continued to expand, he would begin to actively embrace the Not I factor.  He would actively embrace the full company of the Not I.  And by the Not I, I don't mean simply the "out there."  I am talking about that part of himself.  There would be an observable process of a Real Revolutionist first absorbing what seems to divide him from Not I, what seems to divide I, what seems to separate I from Not I.  And then it would jump to him actively beginning to embrace all of the Not I, the full company of it.  And it is not simply lineal, nor is it some kind of merging with the cosmos.  You must internally embrace all that seems to be Not I and dance with your own contrast.  It would be a kind of ultimate tango palace where you would get down on the floor and roll around and passionately embrace your own internal Not I factor.

     Here is another one in the form of a question.  For quite some time now, Life has had humans stating and assuming the belief that consciousness has an effect on an individual's perception of reality.  Right up until this day, the people in the City, and the people in you, still feel that the question, "What effect is human consciousness having on my perception of reality?" is a pertinent one.  I ask you, why has that question been around all this time and there has yet to be this question:  What effect does reality have on human consciousness?  No one has ever pondered this question.

     I have noted for you previously that Real Revolutionary data is as true forward as it is backwards.  Even in the 3-D world, back in the City, two plus three is five and three plus two is also five.  But what I am talking about here is the matter of how individual consciousness affects the perception of reality.  The common belief is that there is an objective and subjective reality -- that there is something external, the Not I that is reality.  And then there is the individual's perception, and this individual perception affects the way one sees reality.  So, if it is true that consciousness affects one's perception of reality then the apparent reverse is true.  And yet, no one asks the question, "What effect does reality have on human consciousness?"  No one even asks, "Wait a minute, why hasn't anyone ever considered that?"  Consider it.

     Let's take a big jump, although I'm not really changing the subject.  Psychologists, social observers and contemporary commentators have pointed out that someone apparently behaving in a manner not acceptable or not beneficial to themselves did not become an alcoholic, or a psychotic, over night.  The view in the City is, "This sort of behavior doesn't just suddenly happen.  There is a whole string of causes, influences and impacts.  A person does not just suddenly go from being an upstanding citizen to a drunk lying in the gutter."  And they are right.  It took ten million years.

     Ponder this:  Man apparently can only give birth to objects/people/actors, while Life itself can simultaneously give birth to those and processes/backgrounds/environments.  Might this be the amazingly ultimate, unseen contrast of contrasts?  And I still haven't changed the subject.

     What effect might reality have on consciousness?  In the City the answer would be, "Reality doesn't affect a person's consciousness.  It's an individual's consciousness that affects their perception of reality.  That's the problem!  That's what we're all trying to cure.  That's what being a human is about -- it's about trying to be more intelligent and insightful.  But you can't turn everything backwards and ask, "What effect does reality have on my consciousness?"  It doesn't have any effect.  That's the whole point.  Reality is there and it's our flawed consciousness that is the problem.  Consciousness is slightly askew from person to person:  it is splintered from person to person.  And that is what affects our perception.  We cannot see things clearly because our individual consciousness affects our perception of reality.  So don't try and turn it all around and ask, "What effect does reality have on my perception?"  None, for gods sake.  None!  That is the view from the City.  (And it is the view from your own internal City.)

     "Not only does reality ordinarily have no effect on an individual's perception or an individual's consciousness, it could not.  It would ruin how everyone perceives everything," a voice out in the populace would say.  "There are many things that I know have affected my perception of reality -- bouts of drinking and taking drugs, my anger towards my mother, my current fiscal problems.  Hey, even my lower back pain has a definite effect on my perception of reality.  There are many things that effect my perception of reality, but reality is not one of them!  I was conscious without the help of reality up until now.  What makes you think I need anything from reality from here on out?"

     That is the validity to the dichotomy in man.  It is in man believing, "There is old, useless reality and then there is my perception of it," as if in some way man's perception of reality doesn't fall within the bailiwick of reality.  Man believes that his perception of reality exists somewhere outside of reality.

     Here is a "motto" update:  if it works, use it.  Now, this is a motto even back in the City, but I mean it in a stronger manner.  The kicker in this is if a Real Revolutionist uses it, whatever it is, it does work.  It always works if he knows what he is doing.  In the City -- to ordinary consciousness, to the perception of all the people in you -- that notion is outrageous.  They will shake their fists in each other's faces, or you in your own face, and say, "You can't do that, it's not right.  It's either illogical or untrue.  Or worse yet, it's probably not proper.  You can't say, "If it works, use it."  Now, to the City that's bad enough.  To them we're skating on the edge of anarchy right there.  But then to say that a Real Revolutionist can go beyond that to the fact that whatever he uses in some way miraculously works for him, it can't be explained to City satisfaction.  But as far as a Real Revolutionist is concerned, if he is possessed with a certain attitude that goes beyond the three R's (resentment, resignation and rapport), he can use anything.  And it then becomes a matter that the correctness of the use can turn all the truth in the City into lies.  (There is a corollary to this.  It would be a general Revolutionary attitude that:  if it ain't fixed, don't break it.  They have something similar to this in the City, except that they've got it backwards.)

     Here is a little gift for you.  I remind you that the words I am about to give you are either absolutely allegorical and misdirective or they are simple and direct.  You need to keep this in mind.  There is a decorous, profitable shaking up of your personal stage -- the stage upon which you must move in order to act in This struggle.  This shaking up is the answer to everyone's inquiries, verbal and otherwise, as to how they can create more energy within themselves for This.  If you could shake up the background of "you" it would be a kind of magic.  Not simple, lineal magic, but worse.  To say that it would produce a more conducive internal environment in you is an understatement.  And the way to do this is, every five to eight years, to almost make yourself a stranger to yourself.  You would need to execute drastic, extreme, uncalled for, unnecessary alterations.  It might appear to you on the surface to be as simple as something physical, but it must be drastic.  I'm not talking about some small alteration such as losing five pounds or working out for an extra thirty minutes every day.  Right now, you really have no idea what I mean by drastic.  You must almost make yourself a stranger to yourself.  Something remains constant in you even during the Revolution so that you know who "you" are and during your efforts you become accustomed to it.  That is why I'm telling you to do it every five to eight years.  You must almost become a stranger to yourself.  You look down and it is as .pathough it happened in a drastic time frame and you say, "It doesn't feel like me."

     You can do it in the Red Circuit.  But you can also do it in what appears to be the Blue Circuit.  This is much harder.  It is harder to even talk about, much less do, because you are playing around with manifestations called "human emotions," which are directly based upon the chemical arrangement that keeps Life going.  One example is sex drive.  I'm not inferring that you would make a drastic change that was perverted in some way.  Rather you would change your love life, you would change the type of relationships you have.  I'm not going to describe it any further because it can get very arcane and sticky.  There is no danger of you getting hurt by this because there is little danger that you will even try it.  As far as most of you are concerned you've got enough emotional problems now.  What you would like to do is work them out.  "Forget about drastic change.  The drastic change I want is for my little heart to mend."

     There is a way in which you could approach this in a Yellow Circuit manner as well, but I'm not going to go into it.  I'm simply going to say again that if you are really up to speed, every five to eight years you would almost become a stranger to yourself.  And any of you who can find out what that means, will have damn little to ever ask me directly again.