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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk #334 Apr 18, 1988 - 1:35
[He who defines --controls. The first priority of revolution is to secure the media thereby controlling the definition of reality. Life does ALL defining, no man can define himself. The Real Revolutionist MUST define himself, define himself and deviate not from his agenda; he must make up his life as he goes. The definition itself is not even important except that it must NOT be the prevailing one of the City. The Real Revolutionist has got no other choice; no chance otherwise. ]
[The "What's yours?" method --a kind of self questioning, a continual rebound questioning of every defining statement made by the partnership. Give no straight answers --rather, respond with another question. It is a form of self-parody, although never publicly done. The act of clinical questioning will disrupt the ordinary flow, the mundane reality definition Life forces on all men. ]
[Consider: what is the definition of 'simple job'? One simply described (despite complex action required to do the job) or one simply accomplished effort-wise despite a complexity of description. This is connected to Thinking of Action (TOA) vs. action. Is Life's job description for you simple? ]
[Apparently, the basis of all action in ordinary life is divided into what people want or what they need. The animal kingdom can only act on the basis of need. But for man there is a third basis: what is "deserved". The Partnership speaks of what is deserved, BUT it does so always in regard to another person. When it comes to what "I" deserve it is merely a cloak for 'want'. Why is there this third basis of 'just deserts'? Does wants + needs = deserts? ]
[People with talent cannot really inhabit the center of the bell curve. They are eccentric. ]
[Paradigm presents 1:00 ]
[Epilog at 1:35: Re: possessions. There is a reality , a validity behind living a 'stripped down' existence. Experiment: store all non-essential possessions for at least 39 days. ]
[Excursion: try to divide up your interests in Life into categories of wants, needs or deserved. ]
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Document: 334, April 18, 1988
Out in the ordinary world, when it comes to revolutions and governments, he who defines, controls. I remind you: we are not talking about politics. I am just using this as a springboard. If a coup takes place, what's the first thing they do? Not go to an army-navy store and buy cheap fatigues. They take over the means of broadcast, whether it be newspapers, radio or TV. They will take over that which turns out information and they then begin to define reality. They define what is happening in the country they have seized: "We have now taken over the government; the president is under our control and the three leading generals have been put on a northbound Greyhound bus." Simply: he who defines, controls. It is true also in stable political situations. This has nothing to do with your old dreams about some kind of media conspiracy. There is a conspiracy from Life, of course. Whatever you know about outside affairs you get from the media; it is defined for you, but there is no conspiracy involved.
Now let's get into something worthwhile -- the internal use of this. Internally, a Real Revolutionist would do his own continual defining and redefining of reality. He must do it. Otherwise, Life is defining for you. No one defines themselves. They will not withstand any sort of scrutiny. No one can turn on themselves and say, "Where did I get my beliefs?" No one, no one, no one. (If you do find someone that says, "Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can" -- I advise you to get out of the room. Such people are extremely dangerous, especially if they have a dynamite charge in their pocket.) The Revolutionist must continually define and then redefine for himself his consciousness of Life and his own agenda. If he does not, what is the choice? The choice is, what is going on now; that's your choice. Whereas, people are ordinarily made to believe that a great change in their life does not involve their participation. Sure, you might sell your Volkswagon and go to India, and kiss the feet of some guru -- if he tells you something and you believe it, you are still being controlled. You have had your reality defined for you.
There is a difference between somebody listening to me talk about This and somebody who is actually doing it. I'll bring you down to the bottom line. The bottom line is: to actually be a Revolutionist, you have got to define. If you are not defining, you are not doing This. Some way you have got to find the spot wherein you make up Life. Everything you've apparently been taught or have picked up -- forget it, no matter what it is. Now somebody ordinary would say I'm either being silly or talking about the impossible. It would seem that since your perception of reality has already been placed upon you, then there is really no free will. So where is the source of being able to define for yourself? There is the cutoff line between people who say they want to do This, and those who do it. The Revolutionist is not trapped by logic, common sense, or proof, because the Real Revolutionist is still alive. He understands that the people who argue with him are only seeing partial reality. They are seeing at the very most three-fourths of what is going on right NOW.
It is not even important what the Revolutionist's definition is, as long as it is not the prevailing definition. As long as it is not what you presently believe. That leaves it pretty wide open, would you not admit? That leaves you the possibility of going over to the great well wherein is all the world's right then E -- once you recognize it. Just stick your little hand in and take out whatever comes out: and that is today's definition. This hour's definition. If you can't do that, what chance have you got? What hope do you have? Are you going to hang onto my ankles? Or do you hope that listening to me talk will carry you away to some great flight?
Oh, maybe it will. But that's not the real fun. The real fun is to be absolutely sane. That is, to see what is going on, with time as the background. Everyone else sees episodically; everyone else believes that "up" and "down" go in opposite directions. To be absolutely sane is to see that everything is everything else, if you'll just wait until next Thursday. All right, it might take until a week from Tuesday. So what? Who's in a hurry? Everyone else says NOW. The Revolutionist can see it. Nobody else can.
You have to take over the transmission, and the apparent sources, of information. I repeat, otherwise what chance do you have? Of course, if you are ordinary, you fall back on the idea of the gods..."somebody will protect me." Same somebody that has gotten you where you are. Same person that put you in line and dressed you up, and you're waiting there with all the other piggies, cows, popes and rabbis -- the tall, grown people. You're in line and you're headed toward this big building up on the hill. That same somebody will come along and say, "If you'll shift your weight back and forth, you won't get so tired." And you want to fall down and thank them. Or they might say, "If you hold something over your head, the sun won't make you so hot while you're waiting to be slaughtered." And you kiss their hand -- "Oh, thank you." If you are not defining, how are you going to do anything? The answer absolutely is, you're not. You can think about changing but it will always be TOA: thinking of action. It will never be acting itself, because all you can think about is what has already been defined.
If any of you think this is getting too strange, I refer you back to the premise of it. You don't have to seek anyone's advice; try and use the Yellow Circuit as it should be used. Walk out in the back yard when you get home tonight. Look at the sky, look at the ground, look at your dog, look at your hand. "hand," "dog," "sky," "trees" -- ask yourself where you got this. "It's my back yard, my house, North America; it's midnight -- where did I get all this?" And one of your partnership will answer, "It is the common consensus reality under which we must all operate. You would be an idiot to say otherwise." Assuming you are even that passively intelligent, your response would be something along that line. It apparently makes enough sense to stop there. That will not do!
It is not that you let This "hang out." You're not a Revolutionist until you can go back into the City and no one really pays you any attention. You can appear to be a walking poster-child for the bourgeoisie. There is nothing at all to be gained from appearing to be weird. Nay, nay, don't do it. It is a waste of time and it devaluates the currency that you have. And it will keep you from defining yourself in you. You must be able to walk amongst the stockyards and smell and look like the rest of them. But inside you have got to make your own agenda or you're done for -- nothing will ever stop being as it is. And there is no one who can define for you anew. Apparently, many people will think somebody like me is doing that. You take notes and you remember things, and they seem to help. And they do help. But when it gets down to it, you have got to define or you've got no control.
Since everyone seems to like little practical things, let me give you a method. I've talked around the edges of this on and off for years in different ways. But it is about to become a method, since I'm about to turn it into one, aren't I? "Yes, you are, oh great one." Here it is. I have used the premise of it, in times past, in telling people how to handle certain situations. And I've even pointed out how it infuriates grownups when it happens in children. It goes like this: someone walks up to you and says, "What's your name?" So you go, "What's yours?" "Where are you from?" "Why, where are you from?" "Would you answer my question?" "Well, would you answer mine?" "I just wanna know, WHO ARE YOU?!" "Well, who are you?" Carried far enough, that could be the beginning of child abuse. Grownups cannot bear that. People cannot stand that, and you don't have to be coming across as sarcastic. Contraire. Do it impartially and smile -- Life is not wired up for people to handle that.
I guess I could call it the "What's Yours?" method. It is a kind of self-questioning. It is in fact like a "dancing with a greased noodle" act. There is a continual conversation going on internally, and part of what is known as ordinary consciousness is a continual redefining of what reality is -- of what you are. "How bad I feel; how disappointed I am today; how I have been kicked in the private parts again." Here is how you can use the method: internally you turn on the voice which says, "Oh, how bad I feel," and you begin to question it. "How bad do you feel?" As much as possible, imitate the voice. An expressed feeling is trying to dance with you, and you should turn into what amounts to a greased noodle. "I hate that person." "Really? How much do you hate them?" "They never treat me right." "Aw, in what way?" You cannot put up resistance, and you cannot give it a straight and expected answer. That is, an answer that fits into ordinary definitions of reality.
All of you who are smiling and taking notes, that is a cheap way to try and impress me. Because most of you are not going to use this. Because most of you have already got a nonverbal sensation about it: "Boy, that's shitty." (To use technical terminology.) Because you know what's going to happen, you can feel it. It's going to RUIN EVERYTHING. It sure is easy to write it down, though. Maybe some day you'll get around to doing it, or first thing tomorrow. "When I'm mad/disappointed/upset, I want to be mad/disappointed/upset!" I know, I know, I know. That's the difference between the Real Revolutionist and people who just want to hang around the army-navy store.
It is a true way to use one area of the circuitry in Man against another part of Man, against other parts of the circuitry. I'll talk vaguely right here because some of you might hear this: in one sense, at the 4-D level it's what psychoanalysis tries to do at the 3-D level, except you don't need another party. (I hate to tell you this, but a Revolutionist never needs another party. Except maybe if he's going to eat stewed prunes or get laid.) I could point out also that what I'm describing almost sounds like psychosis. Ordinary people would say I am telling you to put yourself in a psychotic state. What does that tell you? Anything which has the potential to actually facilitate change is condemned in the City. Always. It is only that which is impotent -- that which has no validity -- which is embraced by Life. Did any of you follow that? In the City, condemnation of real methods for change is part of the guiding force of Life at any time and place. It is Life's primary generalized definition of what its own necessary reality is at present. People like you are just hanging around the fringes. You are drawn between the City and someone like me. But in the City, their definition of reality is the necessary definition and it is correct. Real Revolutionists don't ever attack it, for all kinds of reasons.
The intrinsic resistance to real change is why I said most of you will not try the "What's Yours?" method. You understand that parodying and questioning yourself as I have described it would throw your ordinary processes "out of whack" -- and it will. Doesn't that give you any sort of hint as to the definitions by which everyone is wired up to live? Life will not abide real objective questioning. That is, where the questioner has no preference for the answer. The church, your mother, or some other force of the City says, "Do this -- don't do that." "Well, why?" "Don't ask me why!" You are not going to get far with that kind of questioning and somebody is going to slap the piss out of you. You might be able to pull it off with some people for about 90 seconds -- but to do it to yourself requires an unholy effort. Because you are correct: it will screw up the prevailing flow and definition of what your life and reality is. The act of questioning itself impedes, and then turns in a radical manner, the flow of what was happening in you. And Life is not prepared to let that happen to many people.
Of course, you always have the way out: "I could do it, I just can't remember to do it." (Boy, you got me there.) "I could control my temper, it's just that when someone disagrees with me I forget." (Ha ha, silly me...that's the way it goes.) I've already told you, that is how you stay even relatively sane in the City: bad memory.
Let me ask you this, rhetorically times four. When I say to question yourself with no purpose in mind, it sounds simple does it not? I understand that in your busy life little things like that are hard to remember, but grant me this, it sounds pretty simple. Anybody can do it; you can hear me describe it. But is a simple job one which can be simply described no matter how complex are the actual efforts it takes to do it, OR one which requires simple effort to accomplish no matter how it is initially described? Which is it? This is useful information or I wouldn't bring it up. Okay, an example. Let's say you have taken a job (or, for those of you who know where I am pointing -- you got the job whether you want it or not) and you ask for a clarification of your job description. And they tell you, "Your job in life is to move this from here to there." Six words. Very simple description. So then you get to work. You bend down and find out that it weighs forty-two billion pounds, plus, you discover it has a root growing out of it that comes out near Peking.
Is that the simple job? Or could the true simple job be one wherein you ask for a job description, and Life tells you. And the description makes you want to take a vacation. The description goes on and on and it's very complex. I'm talking about VERY complex -- and it takes hours if not days to describe the job. So finally you get it all; maybe you have to write it down. And then the actual action it takes to do it turns out to be no more than, let's say, to move something from here to there. What is it that Life seems to have asked of you up until now? Why did you end up here in my clutches? What do you feel that Life has thrust upon you, has been hinting at? Everybody else keeps talking about "the truth" being "simple," and you keep going, "Yeah, but..." What kind of job do you feel that Life has been describing to you? Is it a simple job? As always, there is a four-dimensional point to this, so I'm not going to take it any further.
If you've noticed, in the 3-D world everything would seem to come in opposites. On a good day, when you don't have gas, opposites may even seem to be pairs of possibly semi-agreeable possibilities. (What a preface that was!) But here is a strange one: it would seem that the motivations of people fall into two immediate classifications. That is, what people need and what people want. Man, being the observable supreme creature of the planet, has always got one foot up on who? Skunks, possums, beavers, even a rare mongoose here and there, because these other creatures appear to be driven solely by needs. A dog doesn't want anything. You cannot show a dog pictures of plastic fire hydrants and eventually win him over to where he wants one. So, man being obviously somehow superior to wombats, he must have an additional aspect -- right? Animals act only on the basis of need. Man can do that too, but people also spend great parts of their lives to get services and goods which they don't actually need to live.
That would seem to cover it, except there is a third classification. And its genesis would seem to lie always, not with those involved, but with a third party. Somewhere along the line somebody came up with this: not what somebody else needs or wants, but what they deserve. So we have three: needs, wants, and desserts. Is that strange or not? And now after six thousand years humans can say, "I deserve so and so." What if you could turn that clinical noodle dance on yourself: "Why did you tell me, oh great partner of mine, that we deserve this? Why didn't you just say that we need this or we want this?" Whether you followed it or not, my hint was that originally the idea of "deserving" did not arise within one person, but was one person thinking or saying what another person deserved. "I hope they get what they deserve." But this other person is not referring to something someone would need or want. Not hardly -- more like, "I hope they fall in a big hole." But today people not only talk about what others deserve in the negative sense; they also talk about deserving things themselves. As in, "I deserve that raise in pay. I deserve a sports car." As opposed to what? Nobody questions themselves in that manner.
What is going on? Why do you say we "deserve" that raise? Why not say we want it? What is Life saying about the nature of its own definition of what it is? What is it making people say about themselves? Why do you apparently need three divisions? I'll tell you this: there is a kind of revolutionary mathematics involved. It might give some of you a hint. Desserts can be seen as one side of an equation -- if you know what to do with wants and needs on the other side.
Another little something. I continue to be aware that I have people attracted to This who are involved or want to be involved with the arts: music, writing, literature, dance -- which is all as it should be. I'm all in favor of it, in case anybody cares. Many of you have hobbies for which you don't need an audience and which I have strongly encouraged if not insisted you pursue. I want to say a little something: in general, people with talent are not going to be found to consistently inhabit the center of the stage. It is an extreme difficulty to be talented and to be middle class. The way Life is arranged makes it very difficult for someone to attempt to pursue a talent and simultaneously pass for bourgeoisie. If you do not pursue a talent you have, you'll lose it. You won't in some way lose your, quote, "talent" -- but you'll end up as bourgeoisie oatmeal. You will end up as a foster child of the great ennui monster. You'll have nothing but thinking of action, thinking of hobby, thinking of talent. And you will be in broad, good company.
How else do you explain one book (much less hundreds of thousands) that tells you "How to Paint"? Or "Dance Appreciation"? You can buy a book for only $22.95 and look at two-dimensional photographs of people dancing. This is not an attack on the publishing industry. Books are an offshoot of thinking of action. If you do not activate and execute any interest you may have, you will lose it. You might become a critic. (I wish I hadn't said that. That frightens people.) You become a dilettante, a reader, a dreamer -- as you should. And suddenly you are thirty years old and it's all over. I can hear you doing your imitation of Marlon Brando: "Yeah, I coulda been a contender..." The definitions of Life take over completely whatever talent or interest you had, and you end up standing in line. You end up serving Life as you should -- absolutely living and dying by somebody else's definition, the prevailing definition, the incomplete definition. All you've got then is dreams of what you should have done. You're mad; you're bored; and if you're lucky you might live just about long enough to pay off the last payment on the mortgage. Then, POOF. But, boy, won't Life be proud of you! All the neighbors will say, "What a good man he was...he finally paid off the mortgage." It is living by the definition that is not yours.
Consider this an epilogue. I have mentioned, concerning the acquisition of goods, that many times people keep things around which they no longer find either useful or beautiful. A lot of you responded to that. There is no easy way to talk about this directly because it's one of those things so much a part of the genetic consciousness of humanity that the currency has been debased. To believe that possessions are an impediment to your "spiritual development" is bullshit. You'd be an idiot to believe that. You might as well include trees, stars, and your little fatty earlobes. It's all the same thing. But there is a validity there or humanity would not have the continuing low level suspicion of it. People would not join communes and monasteries and give everything away but a begging bowl and sandals were it otherwise. But forget everything you ever heard -- there is nothing wrong with goods per se.
For those of you who are intrigued by it, I'll tell you something you can try. Don't give everything away. Most of you don't know what you're doing, and I don't want you to do it. But for a Real Revolutionist there is a reality behind that. That is, to live in almost a stripped-down Japanese warrior fashion. I say "Japanese" on the basis of their kind of home furnishings -- stark, spare. I don't have to go and look at the houses and apartments of most of you, I just know how life is -- cluttered, knickknacks, "stuff." Some of the knickknacks were big ticket items for you at one time, but now you just shift it around and it collects dust. At one time you needed it. Life told you that you needed it.
For instance, you could literally do this: own one bathing suit, a pair of sandals, one plate (maybe a real fine plate with gold trim), one cup, one glass, one knife, one fork. (One more time, I'm not telling you to do it.) Now, I'm not picking on things which are truly your hobbies: record collections, tape collections, books. But the rest of it...you could strip down to what you actually want. That is, what you find to be actually useful and/or beautiful. Here is what I am suggesting you could try. I strongly suggest that those of you who find this interesting do try it, because you will find a surprise. Do this: round up everything, but the few things you really want to keep, and put it all in storage for 39 days. Take it to your mother's garage, anything. But store it for at least 39 days. You have to use your own lives to decide how much clothing you actually need. Don't tell me about your dress collection -- a lot of them you don't even look at anymore. If you do, that's something else again.
Move all that stuff out and turn your house into a Japanese-type house. Get it down to almost nothing. Those of you that find this interesting, do that and you'll find it REAL interesting. The only danger is that it can be habit forming, so don't blame me. That's why I'm saying to put it all in storage, because any time you weaken, you know where it is.