Jan Cox Talk 0311

Information and Behavior

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Summary by TK

Jan Cox Talk #311 Jan 11, 1988 ** - 1:40 

  [Kyroot reading to :11. ]
  [Consider again the question: what do you want to gain/accomplish with This Activity? Is it to gain "the secret" or to feel/behave differently? Consider further, are they mutually exclusive; are they the same? The Real Revolutionist should conduct himself in accord with his present understanding. The Real Revolutionist may not live long enough to understand all that he is capable of ("LL 4"). Moreover he should conduct himself as if he knew even more than he presently understands. This goes beyond the 'fake it till you make it' method. ]
  [Reading of additional items from the Real Revolutionist 'Code of Conduct' :22 to :26. ]
  [Should man's search for answers to his chronic problems be confined to finding one huge ill or a pattern of smaller maladies? Would it be better one way or the other? This connects to question above re: payoff of This Thing: search for a 'big secret' or a host of smaller ones; search for a complete behavior change or for a series of small improvements.  The correct struggle to see outside the limits of binary sampling consciousness is likened to the continual rejection of everything you already know; the refusal to depend on it. All that you know, at City level is the appearances of things; "In the City, appearances are damn near everything" and even this dictum is taken on the surface only. This is proper in the City for appearances are the way things are there. The People aren't deluded or involved with chimeras at their level. ]
  [The People hide cowardice behind a 'wall of words'. The Real Revolutionist, in an act of speech of ordinary conversation is an act of cowardice; a cover-up for fear; talking for doing. When this happens, the Real Revolutionist's extraordinary knowledge does not match his behavior. Connected to this: how could you determine if a recruit has promise? If he manifests abandonment of all talk, all accusation of others or anything for his problems.]
  [To the Real Revolutionist, 'yesterday' has all the significance of parsley: it adds a small dash of color; it's bland and lacking in much nutrition; dispensable; and cheap! ]
  [How could you use the fact that the King and beggar never even try to impress each other. How to use it internally? ]
  [Basic chemical information is not linearly limited. Thus the trio of low, high and plateaus have more attraction/intensity than say the trio of beginning, middle and end. ]
  [Revolutionary behavior is extant in the City; it has to be or Revolutionary behavior would be incomprehensible, unusable. But the instances of apparent Real Revolutionist behavior in the City are mechanical; are of no significance. ]
  [1:40 Epilog. More on Group interaction. It becomes very dangerous to Know, to understand new data but not act in accordance with it. It is an absolute disgrace. J. gives out a 'ritual' to aid the abandonment of ill feelings toward another in the Group: say to them "I once thought that someone was mad at you, but I set them straight".]
  [Optional task: for 38 days go without looking at advertisements or going shopping in any way (except for the bare necessities). Pretend there is nothing else you want; cease being a consumer for 38 days.
  [1:47 end.] 



Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document:  311, January 11, 1988

     I haven't asked this in a while:  right now, does it seem to you that what you want out of This is ultimately some astounding new information, or is it that you want to be able to behave differently?

     You should be able to hear the question in a different way, without my having to search for more esoteric terms.  Everyone, when they first start out with some form of This, is ambiguous about their response to that question.  In fact, the response would ordinarily be co-mingled.  Many of you, at the start, would have had a personal interest in behaving differently:  to give up certain bad habits, or to treat people better.  And all of you would at least partially have had a desire for "The Secret," or at least a bunch of "little secrets."  But now I ask you again.  Which is it you want?

     Even more so, let's get into a little topography about it.  Are both of them possible?  Are they mutually exclusive?  Can you specifically work for one or the other, and if so, is working for one at the literal expense of working for the other?  Are they the same thing?  What are we doing?  What am I doing, specifically?

     I bring this up again tonight partially in light of that little curio from several meetings back -- that fictitious Code of Revolutionist's Conduct.  Is it possible that there could be a real way in which one should conduct oneself?  Now, all religions say there is.  But as I have pointed out, they do not expect you by any means to be able to do it.  That's not the point.  There must be the contrast between a standard of behavior and humanity's inability to live up to it, because if you could live up to the standard, you would kill it.

     Let me put it to you this way.  We are still considering my original question about information and behavior.  What if, at any given time, there is an absolute level of possible knowledge available?  That is, a level which no one can surpass for any given generation, at any given time?  Let's say that there is that level.  Let me say that here on this planet, there is a limit.  Let's say that.  If there is such a limit to knowledge, then you have to take this into consideration:  you may not live long enough to reach that limit.

     So, here is my suggestion.  You had best begin to go ahead and behave on the basis of what you do now know.  And further, when you get just a little bit better, begin to conduct yourself as though you knew even more.

     I'm telling you, it is theoretically possible that there is a physical limit to how much you will ever understand in your lifetime.  Even though I sound like I'm speculating, you know by now that I'm bringing it up for some reason.  You've got to see that it is possible you won't live long enough to reach that limit.  I strongly suggest you not wait another day to begin behaving according to what you already understand.  Don't wait.  Don't expect something else.  A lot of you should be doing that already.  A lot of you need a good kick.  You should already have the respect for This to do it.

     Once you can behave on the basis of what you do know -- not just talk about it, or feel a glow of satisfaction at knowing it -- you could then proceed to understand that it might be to your benefit to go ahead and increase your behavior.  To behave as though you actually know more than you do know.  What I'm inferring by that last statement is:  assuming there is a ceiling or maximum limit on knowledge, go ahead and behave as if you were already there.

     I'm going to lasso in a few things which I have hit and missed on purposefully over the last few weeks.  First, a question.  In attempting a 3-D or 4-D diagnosis of man's so-called problems, should we be looking for a single ill or a pattern of smaller maladies?  Which would it be?

     By any definition, of course, you do have a flaw.  The one unhealing eternal blister on your foot.  At the very least your flaw is believing you have a flaw.  It is the flaw of being alive and routinely conscious enough.  And I ask you, would it be a boon to a person if there were simply one big flaw, or would it be better if there were several sundry smaller flaws?  Or, to play in your forefathers' generational back yard, would you prefer to be beset by just one big old horrendous demon, or a little pack of smaller demons?

     Would you prefer to have one really egregious, huge habit, or a whole bunch of not quite so egregious habits?  I don't have to carry this into cartoon land any further.  You've been faced with this all your life.  In some manner this idea has run through your nervous system before.  You just didn't look at it this way.  At times you believed you were wrestling with some major demon in your life:  it could have been nothing more than overeating, smoking, alcohol, or drugs.  And there have been other times you felt beset by, or infested with, a whole handful of gnats.

     Back to my opening question:  should we be looking for a single ill as the basis of human problems, or searching for a pattern of lesser ills?  Then how about my opening prologue?  Does anyone see any connection between that and my question?  Well, since I ask them, I guess I have to answer them.  Who better to roll the ball than the pin boy.  I set them up -- I knock them down.  (Of course, I had that backwards.  I knock them down and then I set them up.  And then I point it out to you.  And then some of you go, "What?")

     If the payoff of This is knowledge, is it going to be one big old piece of info, or a whole bunch of little info-ettes?  Which is it?  Which do you want and/or expect?  And/or, which do you think it must be, regardless of what you think you expect or want?  What's it going to be?

     Or, if the payoff of This is to change your behavior, what do you need?  Just look at yourself; not theoretically.  Would just one big change in your behavior do it?  Is it enough to change just one "behave" or do you need info enough to change several "behaves"?  Right now, what would make you into the big New Person?  One big immediate and drastic change, or more than one?  You should find all this very interesting.

     Let me point out something else about info.  In the struggle for an individual to have a new kind of data which will go hand in hand with being able to see outside and beyond the level of city consciousness, it becomes a matter of continual rejection of what you already know.  That should give some of you a slight jolt.  You should be able to take a small sidestep off the dance floor when you hear me say that.  The correct struggle to see outside the limits of the senses is literally like a continual, willful remembrance to reject everything you know.  How can it be otherwise?  Were it not for that, anytime you apparently have gained new ground, you would start looking for a place to put up your tent and rest.  If nothing else you want to sit down in the privacy of your own little bush and go, "Boy, is that interesting!  Is that weird, or what!?"

     Now, I don't want to ruin all the fun, because everyone deserves a little of that.  But if it lasts longer than three minutes, you begin to choke on it.  Whatever you can get out of new info, you have to get it in three minutes.  If you do not continually reject everything you know, you remain caught up, in a linear pattern of logical thought.  If you are not attempting continually to find the velocity to escape that which you already know, you are to some degree always tied with your foot in the past.  That is, of course, the problem of all the circuits of man in the city.  You know that in the ordinary operations of your own intellect, there has to be a kind of, at the very least, rhetorical logic.  The problem is, you are trying to escape the gravity of the city while not going into an absolute tailspin.  You can hurl end over end and explode without my help.  There are people whose small time job in the city is to do just that:  launch themselves out of the city limits and explode.

     It's like the old picturization of a quite dangerous and quite tricky tightrope.  You are attempting to do two things, which from a city view, are diametrically opposed.  You are attempting to discover new information, but to do it, you have got to reject what you already know.  It sounds tricky, but remember, it is only 3-D stuff that is impossible.  If you started operating with 4-D weapons in a 3-D world, may I suggest that you'd have a certain advantage.  May I suggest that you would then not be limited to the limits.

     You have to do it willfully until you learn the trick.  The trick is, there are molecules in you which can do it, but which are now underemployed in you, to say the least.  In everyone else they are not employed at all.  And once those molecules learn something brand new, they look upon what you know as being sort of humorous.  They could say, "Well, Life has had a laugh at our expense."  That is a dangerously close verbal description once you begin to see it.

     Your motto should be:  the world is big enough for everybody.  Something is seriously wrong with your intent here if you do not almost get cold chills when you consider that.  It is one of the great Revolutionist mottoes; it is every golden rule and fourteen commandments put together.  But when you begin to understand that, you could simultaneously begin to see that it is almost as though Life has had kind of a cynical, smart ass laugh at everybody's expense.  It's not true, but from a certain view, it's close.  Consider the basis of what you "knew" until you came across me.  The knowledge you gained, as the city would say, "from your life experience" is not a fit usable basis upon which to do This.  It is in no wise proper fuel for a Revolutionist to eat.  You cannot change the way you behave based upon what you now know.  If you could, then I have to ask again:  what the shit are you doing here?  Not only you, but nobody can change, at Line level.  If anybody else knew, then how in the world are you going to explain the fact that you ended up with me?

     It is simply that there is no new information out there.  It is not possible at the city level of consciousness for any individual to find the knowledge.  Or, if you want to look at it this way:  you cannot ordinarily find a way to behave, that could affect what you see.  And, at the ordinary level, people who cannot affect their behavior end up with the not incorrect assumption, "Until I can change the way I behave, I am never going to get any better."  The only way you can pursue This on your own is to find a way to abandon what you now know.  Every time you have seen something new and important on your own, it was coevally a rejection of what you already knew.  If it were not, you would not have seen anything.  For an example:  seeing someone of a certain type for the first time, a filter of distortion removed, as though something had been peeled off your eyes.  It was a rejection of what you already knew or you wouldn't have seen it.

     I want to recant/elaborate on one of the Curio Codes of Fictitious Conduct for Revolutionists mentioned before.  That is, "To civilians, appearances are damn near everything."  Speaking of civilians we are, of course, speaking about you below Line level.  Below that, appearances are just damn near everything.  (And I believe that charitably understates the case.)

     Ordinary intellectual or would-be spiritual people in the city could take that and if not run wild, at least run amuck.  If not run amuck, they could maybe run out to Bedford-Stuyvesant or Tarzana.  That is, shaking their little fists and crying out:  "It is only the ordinary, constipatedly conscious people who worry about the appearances of things, whereas people with my potential insight attempt to look deeper!"  But they still fall into the dictum, because they have taken literally the appearance of what it seemed to have said.  As with any good dictum, you can't get away from it.  A good dictum in the city is like either the universe's largest python, or it is like two or three herds of termites.  Ordinary consciousness can hear the dictum, "With civilians, appearances are damn near everything," and take it to be an indictment of humanity's "shallow concerns about the non-spiritual world."  To that I say, "Oh yeah?"

     If I'm losing any of you, try it this way:  what you already know is the appearance of things.  It's the appearance of what you know, and if you can't reject that, you can't see anything new.  We have again, as always, the fact that what appears-to-be is either of supreme importance, or it's of no significance whatsoever.  The inference being that there can be some way in which you are not tied to "how things appear."  But in the city, to do that which is apropos, you have to remember the dictum.  Actual crude everyday behavior in the city is based on appearances being damn near everything.  Not illusions, not delusions, not imagination -- it is appearances.  And I repeat, it is no attack on the material world.  Nothing wrong.  It's not a flaw.  You cannot look upon the great marvels of our time -- the skyscrapers, the space program, harmonicas, brassieres -- and believe that appearances don't count.

     If things are not as they appear, then what are they?  If you say that appearances count for nothing, then I have to ask you:  what does then?  From one view, the way things appear to be is the way things are.  At the ordinary level, people are not deluded.  That old dictum "know thyself" is a good example.  The world is full of people who are respected as being intellectual, if not insightful, and who would agree that to "know oneself" is the most important thing one could do in life.  Not just philosophers.  In our part of the world you could find many people who would agree to that.  Many, many people -- right in the fat juicy part of the city bell curve.  But they, one and all, will also say that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to know yourself.  And that's not true.  That's not even close to being true.  Except for the fact that it appears to be true.  And so, in the city, if it appears to be true, it's true.  It's not correct, but it's true.  Just because something is not correct in the city, of course, does not stop it from being true.

     Still using some Revolutionary picturizations, I'd like to point out something else.  The people hide cowardice behind a wall of words.  All fears are, to varying degrees, hidden behind words.  If you begin to get a notion of that, you can see that it is tied to the dominant/submissive dance.  Also you would have even more fuel (if you need any) for your attempt to talk less.  See how much of what you say is an act of cowardice.  How much of what is ordinarily said in the city is disgraceful, from a Revolutionary viewpoint?  I suggest that if there is a judgement day and they play back everything you had said at the ordinary level as a punishment, you'd try and commit suicide.  That is, assuming by then you have some sense of respect for yourself, for Life, and for the Revolution.  You would be disgraced by it.  But you should be disgraced by it now.

     If you can begin to listen in a certain way, you will hear a lot of what you say as being nothing but a cover-up for fear.  Of course, I don't mean fear of being mugged in a dark alley.  The more people are frightened, the more they talk.  Fear of what?  "I wonder what they think?  I wonder if I'm slipping down the ladder?  Hell, almost anybody can handle being hit in the head with a 2 x 4.  I'm talking about the real kind of fear.  You know -- ridicule, being ignored, being overlooked, etc."

     Some of you very specifically have things that you will not do.  You say, "I can't do some of what you are talking about."  If you are going to behave like a Revolutionist, be exact.  Don't say, "I can't."  Say:  "I will not try."  You are as weak and as common as anybody if you say, "I can't."  At the very least, if you had any Revolutionary potential, you wouldn't say any fucking thing.  You sure as hell wouldn't say, "I can't."  The weak version is, "I will not try."  The real version is, "I won't."  That's what you would say if you were to be exact.

     Although some of you may have cut it out of your life in its verbal, overt form, what goes on randomly and continually in your internal brain molecules is also an attempt to cover up cowardice.  It can even pass for thinking-of-action.  But when you know just enough about how you should be behaving in certain areas, and you don't do it, such a cover-up becomes more disgraceful and finally intolerable.  Oh, I know, you "can't do it yet."  After a certain point, I am suggesting to you, there is a reason for your apparent lack of fuel for doing This.  There is a connection you have never put together:  you now know things which you will not do.  You have "info" that does not match "behave."  (You have behavior that does not match the info.  Is that right?  Well, it's in there somewhere.)

     I want you to know I understand and I feel for you.  But that is one area in which you do not have to look for a pattern of small maladies.  You can look in one place.  There is info you possess upon which you do not act.

     Let's ease up here.  (No sense getting all this dead serious.)  How might we tell that an enlistee has Real Revolutionary potential?  How might we tell that there's any hope for you?  Let me tell you that you would be showing some promise if you had ceased to accuse.  Specifically, if you had ceased to accuse family, the gods, life, society and yourself for your problems.  That would be a demonstrative move from the gravity of city behavior.  The accusations, of course, are not going to abandon you -- you have to abandon the accusations.  There is then more to your thinking-molecule collection than those which rely on what you already know.  What you already know is:  "I got problems and it's somebody's fault."

     Of course, I'm really playing in the nether world now.  Who in the hell can not accuse?  Ordinarily, the only way to do it is to be unconscious.  You might reach such a non-accusing condition in the city if you take enough drugs or hit yourself in the head with a heavy-duty coke bottle.  Without accusation, there is no contrast available for ordinary consciousness.  One would not be able to depend upon what is probably the ultimate feedback mechanism (guilt) without accusation.  How could you even talk?

     How could I even do This unless there was an accusation underlying all of it?  It is always there:  "There's a lot more to know, and you ain't getting it.  There's a way to feel differently, and you ain't doing it."  How could you learn if there were no accusations?

     I need to say another little thing.  As was pointed out before, to a Real Revolutionist, "Yesterday would have the significance of parsley."  I would like to say something about that.  There is some real validity to it; I like that picture.  I like the picture better than I do parsley.  First off, parsley on a plate adds just a small dash of color.  (Remember, we're talking about yesterdays.  The past.)  But, and more, parsley is bland.  It has almost no food value.  It's dispensable.  Who misses it if it's not there?  It's dispensable, and above all, above all, it's cheap.  Cheap.  Just like memories.

     I brought something else up a while back.  Remember when I spent some time pointing out to you that the extremes in society never try to impress each other?  I want to ask you:  did any of you attempt, much less succeed, to find any internal individual pertinence in that?  The king and the beggar (and they alone) never try to impress each other because they cannot.  For one reason, which is, things are arranged in such a way that it isn't possible.  They don't even try.  Is there any possible pertinence to that individually?  And the resounding answer from the crowd must be, "Aw, I don't know..."

     I'm going to close out with a couple of questions I received recently.  One asks, "It is easy enough to see that the concept of beginning/middle/end doesn't have all that much pertinence anymore.  Why then does the idea of lows/highs/plateaus still seem to be so proper and to have such a hold on my attention?"  Are you ready?  Basic chemical info is not laterally and linearly limited.

     Here is another one.  It's in reference to what I have said about hierarchical status concerns and their lack of pertinence to a Revolutionist.  This person observes that there appear to be just ordinary people who do not care what other people think.  Now, that's a fact.  Bag ladies; drunks in the gutter.  You can walk by being just as middle class, tight-ass, and dressed up as you want, and tell some drunk, "Tut, tut, my good man."  I'm talking about a good drunk, not some alcoholic.  And boy, you sure ruined his day.

     Or, on the other extreme, whip off a postcard to the reigning scion of the Rothschild's and tell him how offended you are by the price of their champagne nowadays, and that you think the rich are absolutely getting out of hand, and he should be ashamed of himself.  Naughty baron, naughty count.  You know -- ruin his day, too.

     Out in the world you can find someone, somewhere, apparently doing any one thing I can describe as being Revolutionary behavior.  Out in ordinary life, any possibility that can be named is being done by someone.  It has to be.  But of what significance is that?  To "not care what people think" is used on the playground as bravado to cover up fear.  As always, it is the difference between automatic city behavior and willful usage of the reality behind the words.  The only way to escape the gravity of the city is first to be born into the city.  The only way you can profit from "not caring what people think" is, of course, to have been born "caring what people think."  You cannot go from "here" to "there" unless you are "here" to start with.  If you think you are overlooking something in all this, you are not.  Appearances are damn near everything.  You can see someone  -- a cab driver, a bricklayer, a priest -- doing something which you thought I may have said would be profitable to do, but it's automatic to them, and therefore, meaningless.

     I guess we'll stop there.  Does that mean I'm guessing we're going to stop?  Or in a more figurative sense, that I think maybe we should just go ahead and stop.  Does that mean I'm waiting for a vote?  Like, "I guess we should stop here, maybe."  That's about all I can tell you for one night.