Jan Cox Talk 0454

What Is Human Thought  ?

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Summary by TK

Jan Cox Talk 0454 - February 6, 1989 ** - 1:24
  [Kyroot to :05]
  [Everything is in a state of symbiosis —a mutually beneficial arrangement (can be more than two) --from cellular level to galactic level. Live is not fragile; it is hardy and resilient. The environment is overtly hostile toward survival. "Survival fears" are rooted in the past, in the cellular level. Modern life is overall pretty safe, stable and predictable. Life is benign to itself, healthy and safe for itself. ]
  [This Thing centers around the question of "what is human thought". It is not necessarily true that thinking cannot discover what it is, per se. Human thinking can only tell what is going on, not why, just that such-and-such is happening. If it could it would tell what thinking is. Scientists try to distinguish the difference between the possible thought processes of the lower primates and that of man, but they cannot really describe or define the difference. It is a gradually increasing complexity, not some quantum leap for scientists to grasp. If Life were to make revolutionary new info available about what thinking actually is, it would do so in two stages: 1. Someone would realize that human thought is characterized by the capacity to think about thinking (without such capacity, speech would be impossible); 2. Someone would further realize that to be human thinking, thought must be directed at, involved with, the connection between thought and action, specifically, the affect (historical and otherwise) thought has on action, the payoff, the benefits it holds for action. Thinking is why, not for what, re: all questions. ]
  [What if the ultimate answer, the why, can be told in a short, (blood and guts) simple sentence understandable by anyone? 
  [Consider: what if there is only one original thought, and everything since is a rehash, a rehashing of rehashing, etc.? What if this is what thinking is? Consider the Partnership: a ping-ponging of original, unitary reality. Connection to the E/C gate. Is it possible that intelligence is a symbiotic relationship? Connection to not telling yourself what you're doing.


Transcript 0454

                     WHAT IS HUMAN THOUGHT?

                 Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1989

             Document:  454, GSIBM, February 6, 1989

                          2/6/89 - (#)
2/6/89

                     WHAT IS HUMAN THOUGHT?

     Would  you  like  me to tell your  thinking  apparatus  what 

thinking  actually  is?   Would you like me to tell you what  the 

Partnership  actually  is?   Would you like me to  tell  you,  in 

strictly physical terms,  what is going on within you?  Would you 

like me to tell you,  on an absolutely cut and dried, biophysical 

basis,  what This is?  Would any of you like me to explain, using 

no more than a few high school biological terms,  the very things 

which  seem  uniquely  human?   That is,  in  a  way  that  would 

physically explain your thinking, your so-called personality, the 

Partnership, human problems, and "the eternal questions"?

     I  keep warning you,  and I know you keep  forgetting,  that 

human  existence  may have some things in common with  root-hogs, 

slugs, and ferrets.  But there is apparently some area wherein we 

leave the world of blood and guts,  and go somewhere else.   What 

if  I  could describe to you just where the "somewhere  else"  is 

located,  and describe it so plainly that anyone who actually has 

the  ability to think -- which certainly does not include all  of 

you at any particular time -- would see it immediately.  And that 

would be that.   Who would like that?  If I could answer for some 

of  you,  I  would  suggest that if  you  really  understood  the 

question,  you  should  at  least put up some resistance  on  the 

chance  that having such a thing shown to you might take all  the 

fun  out of This.   Or at least you should try to gauge how  much 

longer I might live and see if you could strike a deal.  That is, 

for me to tell you such a thing when you finally ask me directly, 

and not before.

     Can you by now begin to see that everything, in a quite real 

sense,  is in a state of symbiosis?  Symbiosis being the existing 

together of two -- and I would say "or more" -- organisms,  in  a 

condition  which is mutually beneficial.   The Partnership is not 

confined  to  two parties.   There is a  condition  of  symbiosis 

existing  all the way from your own cellular level to the  makeup 

of galaxies.  What makes it of particular interest, in connection 

with  my rhetorical questions earlier,  is the unrecognized  fact 

that  ordinary human existence is not delicate.   People are  not 

fragile.   This  is  true from the cellular level to  the  cosmic 

level.   It  is  perhaps archetypical of  mothers,  for  example, 

always  to be warning children of the dangers of picking up  food 

off  the ground,  and the necessity to wash one's hands.   "Germs 

are everywhere... you'll die, you'll get sick."  But by now, have 

any of you taken notice that life on this planet, as regards Man, 

is not actually very hostile?  All the little creatures that live 

in  us and on us...   Do you realize how resilient people  really 

are?   Do you realize how difficult it is to get  sick?   (Except 

for a few of you,  I know.)  Regardless of what your mother said, 

you  can go out and pick up something someone threw out of a  car 

-- of  course I'm not telling you to -- or work in a sewer,  wipe 

off your hands,  and eat a sandwich.  Even out in the City, there 

is  growing  knowledge  that the cries  about  the  environmental 

fragility of planet Earth, and the effects of pollution, may have 

been overstated.

     I've told you all that things are not falling  apart.   Life 

is  not going downhill.   It is in fact becoming more complex and 

more intelligent.   That's what This is about, and that's why you 

are  interested in This (no matter what it's called).   The  "bad 

news  syndrome" is extant at the cellular level.   It is not  the 

news  networks  scaring everyone about pollution and  disease  -- 

they  are  run like everyone else,  that is,  from  the  cellular 

level.   But notice,  regardless of the "bad news syndrome,"  the 

cellular  level is healthy.   You are healthier than your parents 

were.   Life itself is healthier,  day after day.   There is less 

and  less  evidence of really overt,  non-friendly  bacteria  and 

parasites.   Even in some areas of biology they are beginning  to 

theorize  that  viruses may not be directly hostile to the  host, 

but  that viral illness results when a symbiotic relationship  is 

upset.   In other words, that a small creature already present in 

your system got sick itself, and your illness is a byproduct.

     As you know,  this is not by any means a lecture on  biology 

or hard science.   But you have to be able to look around and see 

that being alive is not that big a hostile episode.   I know that 

people are being killed and are starving.   I know all that.  But 

look at you:  you have made it this far in spite of the fact that 

you  are  surrounded  by  news from "out  there"  and  from  your 

cellular  level  (which  is  the same  thing)  crying  out  about 

survival fears.   Destruction, sickness, or bad luck seems always 

to be around the corner.  You may be all right now, but something 

terrible "could happen."  But now I ask you:  has it?

     You are not fragile.   Life is not fragile.   Survival fears 

are  a holdover from old intelligence.   Fear is the one  emotion 

which  runs humanity.   We could call it other things,  but it is 

fear.  What is there to be afraid of?  From a certain quite real, 

hard-nosed  view,  human  life  on this planet  is  pretty  safe, 

stable, and predictable.  The reason that things make the news -- 

disasters,   killings,  burglaries  -- is  that  such  a  hostile 

occurrence is,  in a real sense,  an aberration.   Other than the 

fact that we're all going to die...   But between here and there, 

life is pretty safe.

     Notice,  though,  how everybody has the feeling that life is 

tenuous;  that you must watch out for people attacking  you,  and 

for germs and illness.   You have to watch out for lightning, and 

to  be careful not to drown if you take up boating.   People  SAY 

that  they are careful,  but in a sense hardly anyone is careful.  

You don't really have to BE careful:  Life is careful.  What does 

it really say when I point out that Life is safe and predictable?  

Am  I saying that Life is specifically arranged to  be  agreeable 

and safe for man?  If you are centered in that way, you are quite 

ordinary,  and it's one step from there to being religious in the 

unprofitable  sense.   What is being said is that Life itself  is 

safe to itself.  Life is stable; Life is well.

     At  the cellular level the fear for survival is still  built 

into  all of us.   The information in your cellular heritage says 

that Life is dangerous.   This is not a history lesson, but let's 

assume,  as  they do in the City,  that life was  more  dangerous 

7,000 years ago.   (I won't comment that I know different;  let's 

assume  that  City history is correct.)  How often today are  you 

jumped  by  a  saber-toothed tiger?   When's the  last  time  the 

Bubonic Plague hit?   That was a little close for  comfort,  I'll 

grant you that;  but still,  it was 500 years ago.  No sign of it 

showing back up, at least around here.

     LIFE  ITSELF  IS NOT FRAGILE.   That is a matter  of  simple 

observation, yet notice the constant hand-wringing on the part of 

frightened  individuals  and well-funded  research  institutions.  

"Impending  Ice Age"...   "Irrefutable evidence of coming drastic 

weather changes"...so what?  The planet is not delicate.  What if 

the planet has been through ice ages?   Do notice,  humanity  has 

not disappeared.   The planet has not disappeared.  The planet is 

not even coughing or wheezing.

     From  a certain view,  This Activity can be said to be right 

around the question,  "What is human thought?"  In the City there 

is  no  operational  definition of  what  thinking  actually  is.  

Ordinary  science  simply cannot define  it.   Life  periodically 

makes  people stand up and point this out.   And the same  people 

add  that human thinking will quite possibly never be understood, 

because  we  have to use human thinking  to  investigate  itself.  

Such  people,  of course,  do not understand the ramifications of 

what they are saying.   But what if I insinuate to you that  that 

analysis is not necessarily correct?   Would you want to hear any 

more?  Can you stop me?

     I  might be able to drag a few of you up to a point that  is 

almost frightening.   What is human thinking?   First, as always, 

human intelligence can only describe what's going on -- it cannot 

tell you why.  It will offer theories about "why," but if you can 

hear  me,  those  are  still speculations  about  "what."   Human 

thinking cannot tell you "why."  I don't care what the subject of 

study is:   political problems,  biology,  psychology.  No one is 

trying to delude anybody;  it's just that in the City, "what" can 

be  turned so many ways.   If human thinking could truly tell you 

"why,"  it could tell you what thinking is.   But that's  another 

story.

     Science  attempts  to  establish  a  hierarchy  of   nervous 

systems.   They  study chimpanzees for years and attempt to  find 

out if the little hairy creatures approach actual thought.   They 

try to draw cutoff lines:  what is it that actually distinguishes 

Man  from  the  higher primates?   The general feeling  in  human 

nervous systems is that there is a drastic,  quantum step between 

the  intelligence  of  the  highest  animals  and  actual   human 

thinking.   It  is conceived as a jump which cannot be  measured.  

This  is not an unqualified endorsement of orangutans,  but there 

is  no inexplicable quantum jump between the higher  animals  and 

Man.  It is a matter of gradually increasing complexity.

     Scientists  know that monkeys are not thinking like we  are, 

but  after  that they don't know what else to say.   They  cannot 

describe  what the difference is.   Well,  how do they know  that 

monkeys  aren't  thinking like we are?   Ordinary  thought  would 

reply that it is because such creatures do not talk.   But wait a 

minute.   Can  they PROVE that the animal is not  thinking?   No.  
.pa
The point is,  science does not know how to define in a  singular 

manner what human thinking is.

     Take  a few seconds,  and YOU consider this.   If I ask you, 

"What  is  thinking?"  -- what can you  do  with  that  question?  

You're  doing it now.   Well,  actually what IS it?   Think about 

this  a second.   What is thinking besides a  merry-go-round?   A 

hall of mirrors?

     A chimpanzee's nervous system is doing something.   There is 

something  going  on  in  there.    Let's  call  it   "chimpanzee 

thinking."   So  what is the unique difference between the  chimp 

and us?   If we live long enough to see drastic changes in  human 

intelligence,  let  me  give you a scenario of how the  discovery 

might take place.   First stage:   an individual or group defines 

real  thinking  as "being able to think about  thinking."   Think 

about it a second.   Without that,  no creature in the 3-D  world 

would  ever  speak.   Even  if  a dolphin  were  having  "dolphin 

thoughts,"  until  its nervous system became  complex  enough  to 

think about thinking,  it could not talk.  Put crudely, what's it 

got  to say?   That is the real,  operational distinction between 

you and other animals.

     Second  stage:   someone  comes back a few years  later  and 

provides the missing piece.   Here is what it would be:  thinking 

is only thinking when it can think about the effect that thinking 

has had on actions.  Anything less than that is not thinking.  It 

is  an  increase in complexity.   Not "live and  learn;"  I  said 

exactly what I meant.

     Even if you're not being struck by all of this, would you at 

least  wonder  why  I brought it all up?   I put it to you  as  a 

possible scenario of discovery.   But what if I brought it up  to 

tell  you something else?   Not "what."  What if I just told  you 

"why"?   That is,  why the nervous system reached the point where 

it  can  not  only  talk,  the nervous  system  can  think  about 

thinking.   And of course, talk about thinking about thinking, ad 

infinitum.   And  further,  it  can think about how its  thinking 

affects action (and vice versa).   What if there is some validity 

to  that  old idea that Man will never  understand  his  cerebral 

processes through his cerebral processes?   But what if that idea 

is   not  a  contemporaneous  cul-de-sac,   but  a  statement  of 

operations?   What  if  it  is  not  a  statement  of  "what  the 

limitations  of  consciousness  are,"  but  "why"?   What  if  an 

apparent question -- such as, "Why does the sun shine so bright?" 

-- contains its own answer?   Not an explanation of the processes 

of  stellar  combustion  and  eyesight.   That  is  "what."   The 

question was "why."  What if some of these questions are  answers 

to "why"?

     "Why  cannot ordinary intelligence understand itself?"  What 

if that question is the answer?   Not an insoluble  paradox,  but 

the  answer.   A  statement of "why."  What if "The Answer"  that 

everybody  wants CAN be told?   I ofttimes say that  words  can't 

begin to cover it,  but what if that's just a smoke screen?  What 

if words quite adequately cover it and always do?

     What  if "The Answer" could be put in words,  but what if it 

is real,  real blood-and-gutsy?   Human thinking,  individuality, 

personality and all that goes with it -- doubts,  fears,  and the 

interest  in  things  such  as  This  -- all  the  human   things 

apparently  far  beyond  food and sex,  what if they all  can  be 

explained in one sentence?  Who would want to hear that sentence?

     But  it can't be put in a blood-and-guts sentence,  can  it?  

All  of  my scenarios are even more complex than  things  in  the 

City,  for  those who can Hear.   They apparently begin to reveal 

the complexity of things in the City -- the unanswerables.  Let's 

just  say this.   What if there is only one human  thought?   The 

first thought ever thought,  whatever it was, is The Thought.  It 

contains everything that humans need to know:   arts, literature, 

science.  And after that first thought, everything since then has 

simply been built upon that first thought;  either attacking  the 

thought or some part of it, or supporting it.  The second thought 

was an attack on the first thought,  let us say.   So what is the 

third  thought?   Probably  a support of the first thought and  a 

backhand attack on the second thought.

     And now we are down to the "nth generation" of thoughts, and 

everybody  is a critic,  not just of the first  thought.   That's 

probably  long forgotten.   Now it's all criticism of  criticism.  

Can  you  see the process as a beautiful cartoon  which  blossoms 

out?   Everybody is standing on the shoulders of everybody  else, 

and  everybody  else  is standing on the shoulders  of  everybody 

else.   It's all real enough.   But what if that has something to 

do  with my earlier questions to you regarding thought?   I  talk 

about the Partnership,  and everybody says, "Yes, I know what you 

mean.   I'm pulled, disoriented, discombobulated and disquieted."  

Everybody  wants to change,  but there is something in  you  that 

resists.  We can call it this; we can call it that.  I can say it 

takes  a  new  kind of Revolutionary Intelligence  to  understand 

what's going on.   Could be true,  could be true.   We could talk 

about it forever.

     What  if,  way back in the tenth grade as you were  snoozing 

off  in  biology  class,   the  teacher  inadvertently  explained 

everything to you?   The teacher didn't know it,  of course, even 

though  the  information is based on "what" takes  place  in  the 

human  organism.   That is an area fairly well understood in  the 

City; I am not disputing it.  What if that's where the answer is?  

"Yeah,  but  what about the artistic human endeavors -- the human 

will to do better?"  You mean,  to do something else?  "Yeah, but 

do  better."  You mean,  to scratch.   "Yeah,  but to go  to  the 

stars, establish a lunar colony..."

     When there were other descriptions available, why did I ever 

make  up  the idea of the E/C Gate?   What did that  mean  -- the 

Exciting/Calming  Gate?   It sounded like that map was describing 

"what's going on."  Right?   What if it was describing WHY?   No, 

couldn't be...

     I  could  ask one question further:   Is  it  possible  that 

intelligence could be a part of some symbiotic relationship?

     At times I know you feel like you are close to being able to 

skate off the edge and be rid of all the conflicts,  regrets, and 

fears.   Are you sure?   I'm not saying you can't.   Are you sure 

that  you can just skate off the edge and not know what happened?  

Are  you going to do that through me as your  agent?   Would  you 

rather  look  inside  and  see  what  you  are?    That  is,  not 

philosophically, spiritually, or theoretically.  You're just like 

everybody else.

     What if everything humanity does -- music,  art, philosophy, 

warfare -- is just coat upon coat of paint on a wall?   Since the 

first  thought,  everybody's been painting the same wall over and 

over  and over.   I don't mean this is right or wrong.   What  if 

"The Answer" is one sentence,  and it's real,  real,  real blood-

and-gutsy?

     That makes you want to...what?   Think about it.  Why have I 

repeatedly  said that you would be better off if you  don't  tell 

yourself what you're doing?  How can that be?  What are you going 

to hide from yourself?  And yet it does seem important.  You know 

what  you're going to do anyway;  yet I told you,  just don't say 

the words.  Partners are partners, right?  Why on earth would you 

be better off not telling yourself what you were doing?

     I guess that's enough.


AKS/News 0454  -  02/03/89   -     Copyright 1989 J. M. Cox

...and Kyroot said:                               
     There is an unrecognized tyranny to uncertainty.

                               ***

     When the combination between the knower and the knowledge is 
just right, revolutionist data can work not unlike a psychedelic 
drug, forging new neural connections, except these are not 
transitory.

                               ***

     All deals are big deals to little dealers.

                               ***

     Are there really any nouns?  For instance, in a 
sentence/idea such as, "Men (noun) run (verb)," does run actually 
exist outside of a noun doing it?  Does "run" exist when no one 
is there to do it?  Are all verbs just nouns alive?  And nouns 
just verbs in potential?  To a revolutionist, these areas would 
be of interest in regards to his mind's mutual captivity to its 
perceptions, and not merely on a linguistic basis.

                               ***

     Said one sad case in the city, "I survive by apologies 
alone."

                               ***

     Part of the benefit, and unrecognized intrigue of civilized 
sports is not simply in the physical movements, but also in that 
it causes one to look around more.

                               ***

     Jealousy can be seen as a mis-diagnosed city awareness that 
man doesn't really ever own ANYTHING.

                               ***

     One guy said, "I saw it coming," and all around him nodded 
and agreed.

                               ***

     In a more complex sense, a revolutionist knows that what 
took place was true yesterday, and that what must take place will  
be valid tomorrow; it's what people call "now" that will forever, 
to them, remain vague, uncontrollable, and generally useless...  
almost as though there were no such time.

                               ***

     I've got one more personal submission for the ole Safe 
Statement Award:  "May I then rely on receiving any suggestions 
or corrections you may have?"

                               ***

     While numbers are a necessary tool, they can also furnish 
the basis for pleasant hobbies; but nothing matches the hearty 
laughter in a revolutionist as when city folks turn them into 
serious statistics.

                               ***

     One ole sorehead declared, "If god hadda wanted us all to be 
Christians he wouldn't 'ave given Jesus such a funny last name."

                               ***

     Overheard a chap in that new little bar over near that old 
little bar say that in regards to his overall environment, he's 
finally come to the conclusion that his brain's wired up to a 
different area code.

                               ***

     Here's one you can inscribe on a coin to flip during the 
next triaxial solar wind storm:  If you only do what you've always 
done, you'll always be who you've always been, but-and-
furthermore, if you're only who you've always been, you'll only 
do what you've always done.  (Tidy, eh what?)

                               ***

     It is the rulers and leaders of governments and institutions 
who most eloquently sing the joys of necessity for fidelity and 
patriotism, yet they feel it the least.  What'dya make of 
that?...internally, where it counts?

                               ***

     I heard one man in the city recently proclaim that he was 
surely suffering from "cerebral cellulite."

                               ***

     In the city, some methods of distinguishing the ruling, 
upper classes is by their interests and hobbies which are totally 
useless, and that their time seems continually ill spent, if not 
wasted, and that much of what they consume is questionable for 
its price.  Sounds not totally unlike some revolutionists, what.

                               ***

     Don't look for enlightening transport in systems that 
require "exact change."

                               ***

     A revolutionist should -- no, make that MUST be a moving 
target.

                               ***

     The answer is, Life, genes, and accidents. Now what's your 
question?

                               ***