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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk 174, Sept 12, 1985, runtime 1:30
[The apparent brain has 2 stages of functioning: "pre-fire self priming" and the actual firing (thought); you can stop the thought-fire--must stop it. Analogy of "echo-over" on record or tape play = pre-fire self priming of mind which can be preempted before it actually plays, i.e., becomes the inner voices registering on the screen of consciousness. Nobody but the Few know this.]
[Why is it that Life causes the majority to condemn and disavow the concept that criminal behavior (or any behavior) is genetically determined? Hint: another aspect of "the masterstroke"--i.e., the belief by man that every human failing can be remedied, modified, rehabilitated; that environmental influences are the determining factor of behavior. BUT NOTHING IS WRONG!! NOTHING CAN BE, NEEDS TO BE, FIXED! THERE IS NO ENVIRONMENT--EVERYTHING IS GENETICS!! ]
[You must continue to put shocks into your system. Always. You should know this by now. Consider the "fake church" shock value for the Group. Consider the suggested task of not being yourself for 2 hrs. every saturday morning. ]
[TASK: re: the feeling of "I'm losing my mind"--go to a public place and try to lose the feeling of individuality; lose the feeling of separation. Can only do it for a few seconds at a time. Merge into the total flow of what's going on.]
[At ~ 0:52 Reading of Kyroot papers.]
[1:05 reading of numbered aphorism-like observations/notes of J's on This Thing and mathematics. ]
[1:10 reading of Group papers.
THE TWO STAGES OF THINKING
Document: 174, September 12, 1985
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1985
Those of you who are all relatively new to This may be waiting for me to finally admit that I am simply the reincarnation of some famous old religious figure. Well, I've got news for you. I won't do it. In a very real sense, there is no "history" to This Thing, and once you see it, all of you to varying degrees, will then be forced to confront This Thing as being something that you actually DO. It does not consist of meetings that you come and listen to, and write cryptic notes to yourself about, as if it were simply a strange, intellectual endeavor. It is a physical process that takes place within your nervous system, and it affects the entire system. It has to; there is no way out. It is not a matter of simply giving you strange ideas to mull over or weird thoughts to think. Notice that Life has always had (and will continue to have) people spouting off about mystical states, cosmic concepts, etc.
It is not the purpose of This Thing to give you the mystical intellectual ability to wander around with your mouth open, talking in such a way that no one can understand you. Anybody can do that. You must get to the point where you realize that This is a physical process, and it affects the entire being from the apparently intellectual functions down to the crudest physical levels, such as digestion, etc. As always, there are reflections of This out in life, such as in the old ideas of, "That holy man can drink poison...he put ten rabid rattlesnakes down his pants and it didn't even faze him..." Now, I'm not about to try and drink poison here, and I won't tell you to, but you should know by now that everything is a reflection of something, and such stories are a reflection of something real. You should simply see that This Thing is not limited to the Yellow Circuit. It is not just a mind game.
As an apparently parenthetical curiosity, I would like to point out something that all of you, to some degree, should already be aware of on some level. It is this: what seems to be the brain (what I call the Yellow Circuit) has two stages when it "thinks". Nobody on this planet notices this. (Remember, this is just a parenthetical curiosity.) People who have more degrees in neurology than I have pairs of socks don't notice this, no religion makes mention of it, and yet, it is at the pragmatic heart of all the great teachings about how to be a good person, etc.
It appears quite simple. At the ordinary level, the Yellow Circuit goes through two stages during the "thinking process". It gets primed to fire off something, and then it fires it off, whereupon, you have the experience of apparently having "the thought" in pictures or in words. It seems simple and perhaps obvious, but nobody notices that between these two stages there is a slight gap wherein lies the possibility for a certain kind of willful action. For example, you are walking down the street; somebody goes by and yells at you, and your brain primes itself to make a comment, verbal or otherwise. The unnoticeable fact is that you can catch it before it fires itself. You can "not think" what it was primed to think. This is not just a mind trick. If you let the Yellow Circuit fire, then no matter how long you have been exposed to This Thing, you will believe that "you" are "thinking".
But by now, all of you have had several occasions in which you're just simply aware of the fact that there is a kind of gap in there which you can take advantage of. I've used the description before of a projector that's about to show something on the screen of consciousness; even though it is theoretically projecting at the speed of light. It's as though you can grab a scene coming out of the projection room before it hits the screen of your consciousness. You are aware of what it was about to think and say, and yet, you have stopped it before it was thought or said. This is not a metaphysical dream; it is a physical reality, and nobody ever notices it. The importance of this is to find out that what I keep referring to as your "hard wired self" by and large defines "you", physically. Again, there you are; a car flies by and somebody make a face at you as they go by, and you, being the fine erudite critic you are, primes to make some comment. But before that thing fires, before you actually think it, you can stop it. It's not any kind of meditation, and until you really see it, you cannot help but think that this is some kind of church and that I am in some way preaching. If you do not jump into the gap between the priming and the firing, then it will hit the screen of consciousness and you will take what it said, what is projected, as being you. That's how it works, and I won't even go into how fast it happens. Isn't it curious that nobody on this planet notices this? To do This Thing, you have to notice it; you can not let it fire. You cannot speak (again, internally or otherwise) what you were wired up to say. You've been saying that same kind of garbage as long as you've been alive, and until you find out that you can stop it, you will forever take that as being you. You will forever believe that, "I have negative thoughts...I am possessed by evil spirits...I have psychological problems...why do I behave this way?"
There is nothing to figure out. It is part of the growth process of Life, and at the ordinary level, you are part of that growth. If you had not been wired up to make hostile comments about some particular group of people, you'd have been wired up to make comments about some other group. There is nothing to go back and figure out. There's nothing to be forgiven for and there's nothing to suffer over, but until you see it, the Yellow Circuit will merrily prime and fire such thoughts for as long as you're alive. When you find out that you can actually stop that thing from firing, then it becomes, in a sense, irrelevant. There is no longer anything to figure out or discuss about it. Again, This is not theoretical; it is not a mental trick. It's all right there in your brain, and you should see that it goes on continually. You can hear it going on right now: it is your inner voices which everyone takes as being themselves. You can't help but take it personally -- everyone suffers and feels guilty over what is said or thought internally; a constant feeling that "something is wrong". Most religions teach that "something's wrong". If something weren't wrong, then the heads of the churches wouldn't make a living. Everything that any religion called wrong can be stopped right where I'm telling you -- in the privacy of your own skull. Your brain is firing constantly, it makes noise when you're asleep, it's going to make noise until the day you die. But you can find out that every shortcoming that's ever been picked out by any book, any prophet, and would-be holy man, could have been dealt with right in their own head. You can do it yourself. It's not some kind of trick.
Once you see it, you can do it continually, not letting it jump the gap from priming to firing. You will see that the brain's thoughts are not particularly complicated. Its repertoire could just about be put down on an index card. Once you see it, you realize that those limited number of thoughts have pretty much run your whole life, made you feel guilty, hostile, etc. You should also then see that anybody who feels guilty (under any guise), anybody that is suffering, anybody who bemoans the fact that humanity can never know itself -- I don't care if the man has on funny hats and robes, with millions of followers -- if he's suffering, forget it. Once you get the least glimpse of that, you are going to be astounded that you spent any time following a priest, a rabbi, or a holy man. And yet, you should also see that the whole world feels guilty. The whole world suffers. The whole world feels that, "I am eons away from being a decent person." It is all serving a purpose. It is all part of Life's growth structure. Remember, things do not progress in a straight line. There are places in Life's body which appear to be engaged in conflict, yet, it all serves an overall growth.
I mentioned the "inner voices" within everyone that speak of guilt and suffering, that seem to be individual to you. Those voices are coming from such a place. They come from a place that has nothing to do with any real sense of individuality; and yet, these same inner voices, thoughts, dreams, etc., are the very things that, to ordinary consciousness, seem to make you "human" as opposed to a 2x4, a piece of paper, or a dog. Once you learn how to separate yourself from it, even for small flashes, you will be faced with the bare fact that what you take to be "you" is an automatic, mechanical process. You will simply see it, you cannot avoid it. It's like somebody turned on an air conditioner when you were born and put your name on it, and you're just now discovering that all that annoying background noise was just the air conditioning. It is not something to fight against. It becomes simply irrelevant. It's not a matter of turning the air conditioning off. You can't turn it off, but you will not be disappointed. Once you see it, you will realize that all the wars you have suffered over, real and imagined, all your dreams of recognition and approval, have been dependent on a bunch of air conditioners, not "people". Nobody even hurt you and caused you to suffer. There is nowhere you can go to be famous because there is nobody to applaud. An air conditioner can't tell you, "We really approve of what you're doing. Our panel is going to grant you a medal and give you the award of the year." Now, there's nothing wrong with external fame, but it consists of looking for the approval of other air conditioners. You understand that they could just as well say, "I'll have salami -- no, roast beef," as, "You'll be the toast of the town for a good six weeks."
Here's another question for you. Why is it that Life will have some group of people who VEHEMENTLY rail against the idea that there is a genetic basis to so-called human flaws (that is -- behavioral flaws)? You should know that this apparent conflict between "environment and heredity" has been going on for some time; it's nothing new. But nowadays, they have new maps and descriptions of it -- new data, new information -- and it seems to have spawned a new controversy. For example, in a magazine article, one view went something like this, "There's just too much hard data (checking with twins that have been separated, checking all sorts of up-to-date scientifically valid ideas) that link criminal behavior to genetic factors. Despite all we know about the influence of the environment, poverty, prejudice, etc., it seems now that there is some undeniable genetic link, as if some people were almost born criminals." The article went on to give background material to support this view. Life has continually raised the idea that in some way things that would be considered human flaws by all civilized people, such as criminal behavior, should be condemned.
This notion cuts a wide swath through Life's body; that we would all be better off if certain flawed behavior did not occur. I just picked out criminal behavior as an example. It could be any kind of behavior. Some of you may remember from your undergraduate psychology, that phrenologists measured thousands of skulls of criminals, and told people that their beady-eyed brother-in-law really was a crook, based on "physical" data. Again, this is just an example, but you should see that as soon as this or any belief get widespread enough to have any following, Life then raises up another part of its body to speak out and say, "That view is insanity of the first level. That is the least scientific notion I have ever heard. There is no proof that in some way there are criminal genes. That is foolishness." And they, in turn, seem to hold sway. It comes and it goes. Why is that? Rather than just leave it, I'll point out that this is another aspect of Life's beautiful master stroke, that a large segment of humanity -- of Life's body -- had an absolute, hard wired belief in one of the two views. (Remember, at the ordinary level of consciousness, there are always only two views.) They've got no choice. The people who poo-poo the "genetic link" view may have scientific credentials a mile long, and yet, they believe that anything and everything in the life of man can be altered, repaired, or rerouted, and that it's got nothing to do with genetics. Can you see what a piece of a master stroke that is? Even those who seem to be on the cutting edge of ordinary intellectual wherewithal in the body of Life to continually say: "All right, I see the data, but look at us. We came from good middle class families; we went to Princeton, Harvard, or Yale. These other people, the ones that become criminals, they're not my classmates from Yale. It's the environment, I tell you!"
Why does Life make such a large segment so vehemently denounce the idea that behavior, bad behavior or criminal behavior, might have a genetic basis? Can you consider that such a process allows room for the continuing idea that what is "wrong" can be "fixed"? Remember that there is a structure to Life's growth. One group says, "Well, here's the problem. This group over here engages in flawed behavior that goes against our cultural norms. What we've got to do is, let's see, build more schools and help them! Eventually, this will fix the problem, even if it's too late for this generation." (Which it is, of course.) And it all fits, by gum. It all fits except for a particularly glaring bit of shortsightedness. For five thousand years every generation has been saying, "Ah, we got it solved now. We know how to fix it." I just hate for you to think that Life does not know what it's doing -- that Life makes mistakes. It doesn't.
Back to an apparently more pragmatic level. You should know by now that you, individually, must continually put some kind of jolt into your system. Of course, you expect me to do it, as if I'm going to look at you and go ZZZT -- that something magical is going to happen. It is magical enough to even get you to discover This. I could say, "All right, I want you to stop smoking. I want you to give up all soft drinks. I want you to give up sex until further notice. I want you to shave off your moustache. I want you to get a part-time job at night." I can do that. And I can pick out one that would have the most possible pertinence to you. But not withstanding me doing such things continually, you have to learn how to shake yourself up. All of you have got some suspicion that you cannot continue to come here and write notes, read books, think weird thoughts, saying and feeling the same things over and over. You cannot keep waiting, as if, "Any day now, god's going to jump out of the bushes. He's going to jump out and say, 'You little rascal, you. I told you if you held on long enough, I'd come and give it to you -- here it is', and that would be that. Magic." Well, I don't want to disillusion you, and tell you there's no possibility of that happening, but it's more than just unlikely. You need to supply your own jolts, continually.
Here's something you can always use for a jolt. Once a week on a day off, for a couple hours, go out to a public place like a shopping mall. Do something that you were not wired up to be. Do it willfully for no other reason than that I suggested it. And other than the fact that you should have some feeling that you should have of the profit of this, you have got to put jolts into the system. I assure you, no one's immune to it. Because once you reach a certain level, there is an undeniable tendency to operate at that level and simply stay there. You have got to do something about it, you've got to generate your own shocks to the system, because god is not going to jump out of a bush. If he does jump out, you'll be disappointed, because you'll find out he doesn't understand any more than you do. Think about it -- what kind of god is it that's going to waste his time tracking you? You must continually pressure your system to move -- and you've got to learn to do it yourself. There is no free lunch.