Jan Cox Talk 3176 - 21 July 2004
Copyright Jan Cox, Jan’s Legacy 2017
Notes by cfish September 2017
Suggested Title: The Empty Box
Begin: What are folks listening with and reading with when they listen and read? (me and my thoughts) The thing that makes us human is simply “what’s going on” in consciousness. It’s a non ending stream of words and pictures.
05:00 And if you sit and listen, this non ending stream of words and pictures, the talking part of the brain, consciousness is fully automatic. It’s tricky to see and understand.
Consciousness has two running positions. The automatic mechanical mode and the other one. I’ve been looking at this for a lifetime and have named the other position/mode other things but that is pretty much it.
You can produce a third one I will get to in a minute, but in the beginning there are only two modes. When in the automatic mode of consciousness (ex. being asleep, distracted) for ordinary people, there is no way to realize it.
10:00 Think back to when you were fifteen years old, and the hormones and neurons were percolating. That was consciousness not having awareness of its state. That is the ordinary state of consciousness.
If you hear that ordinary consciousness runs automatically and make an effort to investigate it - you meet with a hundred percent failure. Ordinary consciousness/your consciousness cannot see its automatic for one reason.
15:00 When your consciousness asks “am I in automatic mode?,” you go out of automatic mode. And with nothing going on in the other mode you are back in the normal, ordinary consciousness of automatic mode within seconds.
It could be months, years, before memory feeds consciousness the idea it is automatic again. Consciousness can’t see it is running automatically in the other mode/empty box mode because it is no longer running automatically.
Even you folks, when in the other mode can feel like the pacific ocean is at your back. When you try to look at consciousness, it goes into the other mode. That’s what I call it personally, and what most of the mystics call “waking up.”
20:00 And something I can’t explain, the other position “almost locks in.” That’s the paradigm for every mystical experience. But consciousness never “locks in” to the other position. You would be unconscious.
Since I am making up the third position I can tell you how it comes about. It comes about from bringing on “the other position.” When I try to look/investigate the words and pictures of the inner world, consciousness goes into the other position.
And for an instant nothing is going on. And for an instant you are suddenly more conscious than you have ever been. Your hearing and sight improve. In the beginning it looks useless, maybe like wasting time.
25:00 But that is probably just the amazon river of ordinary automatic consciousness taking back over. Consciousness has to be talking about why it is doing the looking at itself. Ordinary consciousness needs a verbal description.
Ordinary consciousness has to hear itself. (ex the religious praying for improving health) As far as we can tell, off the subject, there is nothing in the universe that can compare with the power and know how of consciousness.
Does consciousness run unconditionally in an automatic mode? Consciousness understands that sentence and consciousness looks and by looking it switches itself from automatic mode to that other mode. (ex. being awake)
30:00 Let me give you a simple description of “the other mode.” The other mode is mostly an empty box. And when you are in the “empty box mode” you are more alert than normal, but you are left with nothing.
And without supernatural effort, within a few seconds, you are back in the normal, ordinary, automatic mode and you are not aware of it because you are back in the automatic running mode of ordinary consciousness.
Once you start switching modes from the ordinary/automatic mode to the other/empty box mode, and you do it for a while you start developing the third mode/position. Which is a combination of the two modes.
The third mode is delightful and irritating. You can feel the amazon river of ordinary/automatic consciousness coming and when you look, the first thought is about being out of automatic/ordinary mode.
It could take years to develop the third mode. But maybe you can get good at it and you can take yourself out of the automatic/ordinary mode just by looking. Just remember “my consciousness is not watching consciousness.”
So you immediately look and you never look in automatic/ordinary mode. That’s why ordinary people wonder what the hell are you talking about. Consciousness in automatic mode can’t look.
35:00 Is remembering to look completely mechanical? Figuratively, its a devilish affair. Because you don’t gradually return to the automatic mode. (ex. running a mile you start out slowly and then pick up the pace.)
Consciousness switches from the automatic mode to the other/empty box mode in an instant. Even if you can’t remember the exact thoughts when it switched, you can probably remember they were thoughts about nothing to think about.
40:00 It is probably from this last observation (thoughts about nothing to think about) that civilians came up with the rinky dink notion of irony. Nothing puts you back into automatic consciousness. Except being human.
Until it hits you “that everything that goes on in ordinary consciousness, unless you are willfully standing there at every moment, everything else is totally automatic”, you can’t see what to do, with the other position.
45:00 Ordinary consciousness can’t stop and look even for a second. (thinking that’s not literally true but it’s operationally true.) Keep looking until it hits you that consciousness has two positions. (totally automatic and the other position)
If you are not in the other position/the empty box position (there is no doubt when you are) the rest of the time your inner life (beliefs, aspirations, plans, etc.) is absolutely mechanical. There is nothing more fun than tracking that down.
50:00 I will get around to the third position next time. The third position makes remembering that there is another position easier. Automatic consciousness is so normal I don’t see how we get out of it. But just trying to is the most fun in the world.
Automatic consciousness is like an endless train and when you look at the endless train of thoughts and pictures, it’s not there. It’s the other mode/the empty box mode. But the third position smooches the two modes together.