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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.
WHAT IS HUMAN THOUGHT?
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1989
Document: 454, GSIBM, February 6, 1989
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
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
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.
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
"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,
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
The answer is, Life, genes, and accidents. Now what's your