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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk 111, May 31, 1984, runtime 1:45
Knowledge and Understanding. Former is two-sided (as coin); latter a multifaceted monad (as a gem). Knowledge must contain conflict--opposition; two sided, must contrast to be knowledge (stand out from) must contrast to already stored neural information. Understanding contains no conflict--transcends knowledge.]
[Transfer of energy in human speech--what people do is more important than what they say. What people talk about (including written words) bears almost no relationship to what they do (behave). There is a "subculture" of words, they have a life of their own (subfield in the grid) which cannot be normally seen. Words are "Life plotting its next move" = microcosm reflection parallel: your ordinary daydreams. Talk is to Yellow Circuit as action is to the Red Circuit.]
[ "T—C—R" = talk-change-ratio: more talk about change than change.]
[The extrinsic power of "pearls of wisdom" (moral axioms galvanizing behavior; philosophical tenets and aphorisms) are distilled thru the grid juncture points (people) over time. But in This Thing you can create your own distillations (they come as jolts or flashes of insight--"ah ha!") such distillation is a re-mixing of energy non-mechanically.]
[The growing pains of life manifest as humanity's cries of impending doom over the continual breaking and upheaval of stability (old patterns, habits) How is it that "D's" voice is so apparently pervasive? So prevailing? (Consider the "noise of growth") When the cries of doom stop, doom is really upon us. Consciousness can only see 4 of the broken old patterns are the formation stuff of the new pattern. Thus, cries of doom.]
[Series of examples re: "what appears to be real vs. what is real" snake-handling revivalist meeting analogy.]
[When there is no possibility of real growth--inner growth--in a group of people, e.g. a religion tied to the old maps, what can happen? A new building program, or other activity begins, i.e. illusion of growth externally.]
["Below the line, sex is the ultimate energy exchange."
APPEARANCES AND REALITY: SNAKES DON'T BITE AT CHURCH
Document: 111, May 31, 1984
Copyright(c) Jan M. Cox, 1984
Somebody handed me a little painting that a four year old made. It's a triangle and some other structures. When the child was asked, "What is this?" He replied, "This is a cowboy's horse and this is the Indian, and this triangle is God. You see the cowboys and Indians are fighting and they complain to God." And so the child was asked, "What does God do about it?" And the kid said, "Aw, he just listens." I just thought you might like to see that, though it may not be understood, an awareness of the "E" flow does exist out in Life.
I want to again mention the idea of there being a difference between knowledge and Understanding. Knowledge could be seen as a dual sided mode, and Understanding a tri-faceted monad. The Greek philosophers defined a monad as one small atom or one little individual piece of reality which contains and reflects the universe. An awareness of all Three Forces is necessary before a person transcends ordinary knowledge and gains Understanding. And once you Understand, you See that what's ordinarily called knowledge is of no consequence, because it is always incomplete. Ordinary knowledge always carries it's own immediate resistance. Indeed, it is based on resistance. Something can't be true from the ordinary viewpoint, without it also being false, whether it's being discussed, written about, pondered or read. You can't judge something to be true without a neural awareness of the existence of conflicting opinions.
You may be confronted by two conflicting accounts or theories regarding a certain situation. The only way to reach any real awareness is to realize that anything which appears correct to you carries within it, its own opposite.
Let us say that you're reading an article, or watching the news on television, and somebody makes a statement about a field of knowledge in which you have some experience, say economics. "I am Dr. Smith telling you that economics is no longer based upon supply side theories, because of the interest structure of the debts owed through overseas banks." You wouldn't listen to that statement unless you had an existing neural file of information concerning economics. If you had no neural basis on file already extant, the good doctor might as well be selling soap. Without a neural file in existence you would offer no resistance to the statement. You wouldn't even hear it. Knowledge exists only when something is there for it to react against. What passes for knowledge is conflict. It has to be: knowledge is two-sided information. "If this is true then that which isn't contained in this idea is untrue."
The jolts of Understanding created by involvement in This Thing aren't based upon the proving of a theory. I don't come in and state something like, "Here is my theory for the night," and "Boom," all else is wiped out or disproven. I don't make a very ornate and obtuse argument as to why my statements are true and all those that oppose them are incorrect. The jolts that you have, the new "C" enriched blood that strikes you and makes This Thing live in you, has nothing to do with knowledge. It transcends knowledge. It's like an instant explosion; and nothing conflicts with it. Everything is unconnected to it. You don't feel like telling anyone else about it. You don't try to convert people, and you understand that conversion to This isn't possible. There's nothing to convert to.
The very nature of conversion, either religiously or into some pseudo-mystical group, is a participation in direct conflict. From a binary view, ordinary conversion does seem to take place on very small levels. But you can't convert somebody to This Thing because the closest thing you could say is, "We're trying to convert you, but here's all it is: everything you believe is wrong. It doesn't matter what it is, or if someone disagrees with you. Both of you are wrong." And an ordinary person thinks, "Well, that's a nice play on words, but what are you getting at? It makes no sense. We can't both be wrong." "Alright, you're both right; same thing." Simply being converted from one view to its opposite is not Understanding, it's just a new dance. Understand is "Hmmmmmmm".
You should Neuralize the transfer of energy through information and human speech. You can See that what people say is their Yellow Circuit activity, is ordinarily of no personal importance. The importance lies in what people do. It's as if we all live in Parrot Jungle. We're all in the Tower of Babel --no matter where you turn, you're surrounded by people talking. If you're down in the grid, if you're one of the parrots, you never notice the great variance between what people say and what people do. I'm not just talking about isolated circumstances or examples, such as a smart alec newspaper columnist saying, "Ah ha, congressmen talk about cutting the budget, yet they take useless plane trips at taxpayers' expense." At the ordinary level, what one says has little or nothing to do with what he does.
A magnetic sub-field arises when people talk and the words take on a life of their own. But the topics people talk about bear almost no relationship to what they do. Try and listen quick, this is right before you, yet it's hard to See.
Let us take an example. You're watching a talk show on TV and they bring on a person, somebody that they think is worthwhile to interview, such as a movie star. The host will ask this person, "What do you think about the change in the sexual mores of this society?" And she answers, "Well, I've considered this a long time. I was brought up to believe in marriage, but I no longer do. I know that my mother and grandmother disagree with me, but the time has come for a change. I sincerely believe this though I did go through a period of wrestling with it. I do want children, and no longer see any great significance in getting married and signing a piece of paper. And so, if I find the right man, there's no doubt that I will move in with him and maybe go ahead and get pregnant. It may hurt my people a little bit, but I wouldn't be ashamed." She has made a statement of "what I believe", and people accept it as such and nod. But you are aware that what was said may bear no relationship whatsoever to what that woman does, what she had done or will ever do? What she said can be completely removed from the way she lives her life.
We aren't simply talking about movie stars on camera. You could be standing around at work during lunch time talking about the political situation somewhere and a person says, "Well, I'll tell you this: I don't necessarily approve of the President's policies in South America, but if they called me right now; I would enlist tomorrow. You have to stand up for something. You have to believe in something." In general that's accepted as being a statement of reality or fact, but it may bear no significance to this person's actions. If the President suddenly said, "Alright, everybody has to be drafted again," this guy would go out and shoot his foot or leave the country. He isn't about to get drafted. He isn't wired up for that kind of thing. And yet he'll talk about something that's almost the opposite of what he's capable of doing. His statement has a life of its own.
In a sense, two parallel worlds are running simultaneously. It is most obvious in the western world where you find the greatest expansion of the Yellow Circuit. Here, people live more in the world of words. On the individual level, the Yellow Circuit is becoming more and more powerful. You can See that almost no connection exists between what people say and what they do. A person may write a 20,000 word article for "Harper's" or the "Atlantic Monthly"; you read it, and really get caught up in it. The article discusses the power that the novel has always had over humanity, a distilled and reinvented form of reality. You don't just read a novel; you investigate and dissect reality at the same time. And you, reading this article, think, "I should read more novels; they mean something. This guy has his finger on something." But what he's writing about, or talking about on paper, may have almost no connection or significance to his life. It may mean something to him, but if you could separate what he's talking about from his life, his life would go on in just about the same way. If you were watching his life as a silent movie, you'd notice nothing missing. And if you added the sound track later, you'd likely find that it didn't fit the action of the film. But you read his article, and it makes you want to rush out and buy the first novel you see. Then you find out that he has only read one novel in the last two years.
Part of the purpose of talk is that through it Life is plotting its next move. Life orients itself through man's mouth. People talk about things that have almost no connection to their behavior. But I'm not saying that talk and its written equivalent are foolish or useless activities. It all serves a very distinct purpose or it wouldn't exist. If you're limited to the ordinary level, it is useless. You can't see the purpose by looking at the life of an individual man. At that level, it seems very foolish and laughable indeed. You can see in yourself those constant rhetorical dreams and voices that continually come back to you. You think about how you're going to tell off that woman you used to live with, or that guy that you work with. You state it as fact, and say it over and over. Yet, there's no chance that you'll ever do it; none. Can you See this as a minor reflection of the Life of Life sitting around dreaming about different possibilities? Life expresses these possibilities through the speech of Man.
You could say that talk is to the Yellow Circuit as action is to the Red Circuit. A connection does exist between talk and action and you can use this seemingly contrary information to create a significant shock. It will be a partial shock to all of you, an insight beyond the ordinary level of consciousness, to See that people don't tell the truth when they talk. People say things to defend themselves; they're forced to claim abilities and talents that they don't have. But it's more than that; there is a gap between what people say they are, what they believe they are, and what they do. You can See the silent movie of their life and how they behave, and simultaneously read the script -- all the words that come out of their mouths -- and find no connection between the two. You can never guess what a person will say by the way he lives.
If you want to experience the full impact of this reality look at yourself in that way. Divorce yourself from your everyday daydreams. Separate your actions from the Yellow Circuit's babble about, "What I will do, what I've done, who I am, and how I've impressed people." Then look at yourself day by day as a silent movie, while you read that Yellow Circuit script.
There is much to be Seen in this. But if you're part of the Line level magnetic field -- if you're running on auto pilot -- it's almost impossible to ever note this discrepancy between thinking and acting. Things are said and you're either attracted or repelled. You accept all at face value as being, "a meaningful, individual expression of the way I live my life. I don't know about the rest of humanity, but here's what I believe in, and this is the way I try to conduct my affairs." You read it or hear somebody say it, and you think, "Right on, right on, right on brother." No one Sees the discrepancy between what they say and the way they live their life. And it is a proper arrangement: people must believe in what they say. They must believe that it is them saying it, and that it is a true reflection of what they are. If this belief were stripped from people at the ordinary level, we would indeed be plunged into the Tower of Babel.
I could put the idea into another form: the TCR, or Talk to Change Ratio. A direct ratio exists between the amount of talk about change and the amount of change which actually occurs. Just as Line-level consciousness is drawn to magnetically accept people's talk as a direct reflection of how they live their lives, it also accepts the talk emerging from groups of people -- political parties, governments, social action groups -- as being a meaningful reflection of that group's actions. And specifically, when such groups issue statements of intended impending change, notice how readily you accept that change as being already accomplished. Just because it was said. And simultaneously notice how little change is actually affected.
I refer you back to Life in general. Life continually, through Man, plots its next move. It doesn't plot and move at the same time; it talks, it looks around and orients itself from its last step. It makes sure it's got a good firm foothold, all while considering the next alternative. And so talk about change is accepted, not analyzed, but just accepted as being change itself. It's another gap, another discrepancy, that is invisible to magnetically held consciousness. There is a ratio, a great division between the talk about change and the amount of real change which takes place. Should I make it more obvious? The more talk there is, the less actual change there will be.
I've brought to your attention the question of why extrinsically based information, ideas and proverbs have power. Remember my old example of the prisoner of war who survived years of unbelievable hardship. He comes back with his head held high, and they ask him, "How did you survive?" He says, "I never forgot what our commanding officer told us the day I was commissioned. He said, 'If you ever get captured, men, remember this one thing. It's better to die as a real man than to live as a cowardly dog.' And that stayed with me. It's the one thing that kept me alive all those years." It's very common. But my question to you is, why couldn't one come up with those same words on his own? And why specifically, would it not have the same power? What is the basis, in the nervous system, for the power information from an external source?
I'm going to give you a partial answer, though it's more partial than answer. In other words, this isn't all there is to it. The reason extrinsically based information is so powerful is that it is the only power available to ordinary consciousness. That is where ordinary consciousness gets its energy; from sources extrinsic to itself, or power from apparently extrinsic information. That's it. Look within your own system and See it.
Now lets take it somewhere else. Extrinsically based information, or statements of fact, have been distilled since the beginning of Yellow Circuit existence. The information has gone through many juncture points in the grid, it has passed from one person to another. By the time it reaches you, it's been distilled through countless transfers and transformations within the Grid of Life. It's a transformation, a distillation that occurs not only on the individual level, but between cultures. So by the time it reaches you, the energy has been mixed and remixed, distilled and refined, all by its procession through the body of Life.
Line-level consciousness does not produce its own energy. At Line level, everyone is a transformer. Everyone receives it; processes, and passes on energy. And everything that you receive has already been distilled; it's already been processed when it mechanically passes through you. It's already time tested and refined for your Line level use. It is prepackaged energy; it comes ready-mixed, ready for you to react to it in the way that your system has been constructed to react. All you have to do is add a positive charge, a negative charge, or a neutral charge. The energy runs through your circuitry, and unless your particular charge -- your reaction -- was neutral, you've added to the distillation of it. You've contributed something, even if you disagreed with it.
Neuralize this process in light of your efforts in This. What you're attempting here is to refrain from your mechanical nervous system distillation. By not engaging in the natural process, you remix and distill energy within yourself. It's as if you supplant the usual process and turn it to your own purpose. And that effort is what causes the jolt, the shock which occurs when you first realize the living Reality of This Thing. You can call it Seeing, or being more conscious, it can last for hours, moments, a whole day. But something hits you. You still have control of your senses; but your awareness, your consciousness of you, and what was you, undergoes a transformation that can't be described. That kind of jolt is only possible through people attempting to do This. What has happened is an extraordinary thing: you've remixed and distilled energy within yourself. And it can't happen mechanically.
Compared to the ordinary process of mechanical distillation, you're almost producing new energy. That isn't literally true, but right now it's unimportant. You've remixed the energy, you've distilled it with a personal effort. The energy, the food that's available to you now, is no longer limited to your mechanical, natural diet; and what you get isn't what you should have ordinarily gotten. Say you eat a cream puff. This cream puff has been tested and weighed, and is supposed to have 250 calories. Normally you eat it and that's all the energy you're going to get out of it. But instead, it's as though you eat that 250 calorie cream puff and get a thousand calories out of it. That's what this jolt amounts to, except you're doing it through the nonphysical consumption of energy food -- information food.
This should be the focus of your efforts now, to constantly remix and refine your own energy, for your own unnatural use. You can't absorb everything, but that which is of some significance to you must be remixed. If all you get is the prescribed 250 calories you should consider it a wasted day. Any time you react in your mechanical, prescribed, habitual manner, you're wasting food for growth. Any time you get only the prescribed kind of energy from a transaction -- i.e., the amount and kind it takes to be you at Line level -- you're killing yourself. You should be practicing real internal alchemy at every moment. It's either that or be ordinary. It's either that or be you.
The primary cry of humanity has always been one of impending doom. But Remember my TCR, and Remember that it isn't people talking. It's the voice of Life. And what it's expressing, in this case, is simply growing pains. People talk now about destroying the environment, the breakdown of sexual morality, or nuclear disaster looming on the horizon. But people have always talked about how everything's falling apart. I've described to you several ways to Neuralize it, the primary one being Man's incomplete condition. But you can also See it as growing pains. The cry of impending doom is so constant because Life is continually growing and changing. Growth is a constant breaking up of old patterns and habits; it's a continual tearing down and rebuilding. That's simply the nature of change: something must be altered. The formalized pictures of the new structures are never finished: they begin to be torn down as soon as they approach being finished. And humanity is left with a continuing sense of impending doom at the worst, and of constant upheaval at the very least. And you may well feel that Life is a continuing soap opera, even when you're not captured by it. You turn on the radio, or pick up a newspaper, and it's inevitable. Somebody's preaching doom.
Have any of you come to suspect, or Neuralized, that the predominant voice of Life as expressed though humanity seems to be the voice of "D"? Almost everyone seems to be working for "D" at least -- at the very least -- part time. It isn't only that almost everybody's script is written by "D". You don't turn on the news and hear, "Here's the good news. The experts say that things are going to get better. The whole world is going to be rich someday; everyone will live to be 95 and have plenty to eat." You never hear that. You can See the finger of "D" stuck in everything. You can See D's influence in everything people say: "Today the Dow Jones Average rose the most that it has in the last two weeks." And even if you aren't in the stock market, that sounds like good news. Then they say, "Of course, this doesn't mean much when you realize that in the last six months it has dropped to it's lowest level since the depression." Even when reporting good news it's always, "Here's the good news...but." It should strike some of you to ask, "Why is this true?" "Why does the prevailing voice of Life-in-humanity shout out "DOOM"? I'm glad you asked, because there's a very good reason. "D" is not in charge; what is in charge is growth. But no one can see it for all the rubble of progress. What is in charge is a continual process of old patterns, old structures, old habits, and old beliefs being broken down. And this progress is moving faster and faster. Muscle cells must be broken down to produce muscle growth. It's simply a fact. If you suddenly realize someday that it's been hours since you heard any bad news, you'd better watch it, because doom is on the way. Life, at the very least, is in intensive care somewhere; and they're about to unplug the support systems.
Things are not only up, they're speeding up faster than ever; the rate of acceleration is increasing. Life's structures are changing faster and faster into dust, everything is cracking; all the way from fads, tastes in music and art, to political and religious truths. In the past, social changes remained established within the cultural limitations of the society. Groups of people held to that change as dogma, and were satisfied with it. The change represented a port of safety; a standard by which they lived for a period of years or decades. Now such standards rise and fall in a year. And ordinary consciousness is left with the feeling that it's in the midst of a prolonged earthquake: "Look around, things are falling apart right before our very eyes." And it's true, what ordinary consciousness can't see is the growth for the rubble. The picture of tomorrow is never finished. Ordinary consciousness is never presented with a formalized, satisfactory representation of what the new structure will be. Life is always in the process of reforming the structures which are breaking up right now. Consciousness can only see that which is breaking up and is left with, "Hey, things are falling apart." And they are falling apart. Falling apart in the process of being reformed.
You can See for yourselves, you can Neuralize the reality of Life's use of humanity for growth and experimentation. Through examples such as war, religious strife, apparent mass insanity; you can see Life experimenting. "Maybe I'll try this, maybe I'll try that. Naaa! What if I did that?" It may appear that Life consists of isolated, identifiable sub-pockets of insanity all culminating in a greater overall insanity. But that isn't insanity: it's Life saying, "Hmmmm, what if I did so and so."
It's easy to See insanity in religious warfare, for instance, but what about your own daydreams? They're isolated on the screen of your individual consciousness. And on such a minute scale, they seem harmless. Picture your dreams projected in a different time spectrum, onto a larger scale; the scale of Life, for instance. Would that not be a picture of humanity gone mad? But of course, what happens in Life is completely different from what happens in you. Isn't it?
I'm going to sketch out a movie scenario for you as another example of Life speaking through Man. Our hero, or antihero, is turned down for a scholarship at Yale. The general gist of it is that he takes it quite personally. His parents had always been poor and he'd been ashamed of his background. The poor kid already has all kinds of psychological bruises, and then this final blow comes. The school checked on his family and found out his father had been a pacifist during World War I, or had joined the Communist Party; and the scholarship was thrown away. In the end, this kid shouts, and kills the person in charge of approving the scholarships. Later on, somebody tries to defend the kid, or make some sense out of what he'd done. His psychologist talks to one of the detectives about the psychological ramifications of an otherwise decent young man committing such a heinous act. The detective listens to this and says, "Yeah, but let me tell you this, doctor, every kid that misses out on a scholarship doesn't go out and commit murder." The camera pans to the psychologist and she gives a look like, "You've got me there."
Even though I sort of made up that story up, it's the kind of thing you could well see in a movie. And statements such as, "Well, that may be well and good, but every kid that grew up in a poor neighborhood doesn't go out and rob banks and kill people," will magnetically grab your attention because it sounds like a meaningful, all encompassing statement. It sounds like and it feels like the roundup, the straight-line phenomenon. It's a period. But Neuralize both the psychologist's and the detective's statements as two possibilities of Life talking to itself through Man. The detective is saying, "Everybody should be working for 'C'." And under the right conditions, with the right words, it's a statement of fact, a period. That's one of LIfe's viewpoints. "All that may be well and good, but none the less, everybody should be working for 'C'. If everyone were working for 'C', nobody would shoot anyone else, no matter the circumstance or pressures that "D" brought home. I understand, Madam psychologist, that 'D' gets on us all. But we should all be working for 'C'."
You have to listen real fast, because Life is also saying something else. It's also pointing out the grave danger in everybody acting alike. You have to jump in through a side door to hear it, but it's there. It's Life sort of musing to itself, "Ooooo, what if I died. What if everything did become stable. What if everything in me became stable? It would be all over." And at the same time, it's issuing the message that we should all be working for "C". Of course, everyone does eventually work for "C", because everyone serves as a building block in Life. To put it another way, everyone becomes fertilizer sooner or later.
I read an article in which a scientist, reporting a series of experiments in subatomic physics, concluded by saying, "We don't know if these effects are real or whether they just seem real." Should I repeat it for you? This scientist said, "Listen, this has all been interesting, and we may be on the right track; we may be making some progress. Thus far the results are promising if not a little surprising. But let me be careful to point out to you, we don't yet know if the effects are real or whether they simply appear to be real."
At the ordinary level of consciousness there is a quite real distinction between appearance and reality. Ordinary consciousness takes that which appears to be real and that which is real as being two different things. And I ask you, if it isn't real, where did it come from? If it isn't real, how can it be here? Where could nonreality possibly come from? How does a nonreality insert itself into reality? If we decided that it, (whatever "it" is) only appeared to be real, what are we going to do with it? Are we supposed to throw them away, these appearances of reality? If so, where? Where's the back door of reality? And they're worried about where to dump toxic wastes. That's child's play compared to the nonreality waste build-up.
That example has no pertinence to your personal life, does it? "Those things that I brought up were true, and I believed in them. I thought they had some significance, such as the way my girlfriend was treating me...you know, it could be my imagination, it only seemed real at the time." The last ditch line of defense for Line-level consciousness is always imagination. Imagination is the back door to reality, where things slip in that don't really exist. But if imagination is real, and it is to ordinary consciousness, then how can something be not-real? Where did it come from, how could you ever see it, and where could it possibly go? I'm stepping up sideways to something. Let's try another example. Many of you might be familiar with some of these so-called fundamentalist religions in the United States that handle deadly snakes as a part of their ceremony. In effect, it's supposed to be a test of one's faith to be able to handle deadly snakes without being bitten. They bring big boxes of copperheads, rattlers, and other poisonous snakes into the church. Snakes known to bite, snakes known to be poisonous. The way the ritual goes is that they get a good service going. They get themselves worked up and then handle the snakes. They open the boxes and pick them up with bare hands.
This kind of thing has been going on throughout the history of Man, and it's recently been fairly well documented by outside observers. These people are actually picking up poisonous snakes. And you'd think that the snakes should be eating them up like a piece of chopped liver. Ordinarily you mess around with a copperhead and you're asking for trouble. But in these services, nothing happens. People handle the snakes without getting bit. Ordinary consciousness has no choice but to look to external sources for an explanation. It has nowhere to look but outside the system: "It's a miracle, it's the power of the gods."
I'm going to give you one possible direction that ordinary consciousness can't even conceive of. It's simply this, the energy involved in the situation (not just the guy picking up the snake, but the whole milieu of people involved with the ritual) is unusual to begin with. The energy isn't ordinary: that is, it isn't the kind of energy with which a snake is confronted under ordinary conditions. So, of course, the snake will act differently. Once you've changed the energy inside a smaller system, the reactions of other parts drawn into that system (to wit, snakes) will also be different. A copperhead will bite anybody, as a rule. If you touch it, even by accident, or get within a foot of it; it's going to strike. You'll see no record of anybody going up to this snake and patting it on the head without getting bitten. No matter where the snake is, he'll bite. Take him out of the woods, put him in a lab, and he bites you. Stick your hand in his hole and he bites you. You find him in June, he bites you. You wake him up in January, he bites you. You're a man, he bites you; you're a woman, he bites you; you're a Christian, he bites you; you're a Jew, he bites you. But the energy being transformed and transmitted in this church is not the energy the snake is accustomed to. Snakes, as a rule, don't end up in the Power House Church of God in Green Valley, Kentucky, with fifty people stomping their feet and playing a bass drum and hollering, "The lord loves me, the lord loves me." Once you've changed part of the energy field, everything is affected. Once that's Understood, nothing is extraordinary. What would be extraordinary would be for the snake to act otherwise, to react in his normal snakelike manner.
Take it a step further. Let's put a journalist in the church. His job was to write an "objective" article on the ritual, but this is what he comes up with, "Perhaps I got caught up in this, at any rate, I can give a good report. It was so extraordinary. They were picking up snakes. And they turned to a woman who hadn't walked in twenty years, and they all said, "Praise the Lord," and they touched her, and she got up and ran out the door. I don't know whether I was in a hypnotic trance, but there was some kind of unusual power. I was brought up an atheist. I'm as skeptical as any New Yorker. But I just can't explain it. I'm just recording what happened." He doesn't see, of course, that what happened was the same thing that happened to the snake.
When the energy is out of the ordinary, the Neural structure defining their idea of the greater reality is transformed. A miracle would occur if something out of the ordinary didn't happen. You can't change one thing without changing something else, and the energies being passed around among those people have an effect on the snake. The snake can't operate as it normally does. If it did, that would be a miracle; that would be unusual.
And a final tidbit. A morsel of dessert. Under optimum conditions below the Line, sex is the ultimate energy exchange. All of you have experienced the feeling that sex could be the grandest of all possible pleasures in this life. And of course, at the ordinary level, nobody ponders why. But under optimum conditions, sex is the ultimate transfer and exchange of energy. You should also try to Neuralize further the continual exchanges of energy going on in Life. But at the very least, this might give some of you something to look forward to. Maybe you can start an expedition looking for optimum conditions.