Jan Cox Talk 0183
The Two Funniest Things In Life: Grown People Seriously Posing and Complaining
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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk 183, Nov 14, 1985, runtime 1:30
[Life's struggle is not dissimilar to an individual man's. Yet Life speaks thru each and every individual man with definite purposes. This Thing will not bring about "followerism" --like minded people. None will become like J. --he cannot tell all he knows. ]
[ A Potpourri of items: A test for your "progress": Can you see that the funniest things in the world are: 1. people posing, and 2. grown people seriously complaining.|
| That "most haunting cry" of "we must make things better"--part of Life's masterstroke.|
| Yellow Circuit wiring as counterweight to lower circuit wiring. It is impossible for mankind to produce an "unnatural act". Yet Yellow Circuit denounces lower/older circuit urges as unnatural, degenerate --another glimpse of "the masterstroke".|
| New rule/tattoo: Eschew all "Special Head Theorems", i.e., the assumption that the head enjoys special, separate rules of functioning from the body.|
| New example of Neuralizing: knowing something before the fact, rather than after.|
| The act of "self-confession" as the most subtle form of suicide for the Few.|
| More on the two "bridge-points" at base and top of spine: sex and laughter relieve a particular tension, and thus have a commonality to them. Both are activities which open/traverse the bridge-points, but they are similar also as relief of tension.|
| The energy transfer of entertainer and audience: audience reaction is essential because the exchange cannot be one-way flow or it will not survive. This Thing needs a payback as well. Ordinary religion creates "praise to god" which is then collected by god's representative (guru or priest) --this prevents an inherent one-way energy flow in religions. ]
THE TWO FUNNIEST THINGS IN LIFE: GROWN PEOPLE SERIOUSLY POSING
Document: 183, November 14, 1985
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Life is struggling in three different directions at the very least. I say the very least, because three is as many as Man can see visually under the best of circumstances. Life is struggling in a way that is not dissimilar from the way you struggle. My concept of the Life of Life is not the same as what religions have referred to as a god or gods. They believe that these gods would be absolutely certain in everything they did and that everything would normally progress in a straight line from square one to square two, from position A to position B. The process that is the Life of Life, however, is not dissimilar from the process that is you. The Life of Life does not make straight line, unresisted progress in one direction anymore than you do. Remember, the only person who can do that is a dead person. He will not move or change or struggle. He is undeniably stable.
Life is speaking through everyone. Life is saying something through each and every person on this planet, and that is not a prelude to singing the praises of the common man. Life appears to speak through This Thing in a different way than it speaks through ordinary mankind. The past commentators of This seem to have had an unusual effect, whereas what Life has said through ordinary men seems to have been erratic and ineffectual. Information comes and goes. Something is said and never heard of again, or it pops back up a thousand years later, only to sink again. That is not far removed from how you operate. You think, "When I was fifteen, I dreamed I would be a famous cartoonist. Now I think about it only every ten years for thirty or forty seconds, and then it's gone again," or, "I always imagined that I'd be rich, but I keep forgetting to remember that."
One would think that This Thing, the process of Life speaking through this kind of activity, would be a singular situation. From there it is a very short, unanalyzed jump to believing that Life's purpose for This Thing is to produce a uniform army of followers of some kind. The goal of the major religions does appear to be teaching the tenets of that particular religion so the followers would all become a certain kind of people. They would be a fairly uniform band, since you can narrow down the theories of any religion to a few great tenets. That is not true, though, of This Thing. If you did progress in This, if you did make sufficient effort to ignite the upper end of your circuitry as far as was humanly possible for this day and time, be assured that you would not be me. That is part of the apparently vague, strange, and contradictory nature of This Thing. Even if you set off on the right track and then understood all I could tell you, you would not turn out to be me in any shape, way, or form. I don't just mean that you wouldn't look like me, but that internally you would not be me.
Notice the human organism is not ordinarily wired up to understand that. At Line level people think, "If I could indeed become as enlightened as my dear guru, I would be like him," or, "If, in fact, I could live by all the rules of this church I belong to, I would be godlike." Such an attitude carries over into people's idea of an afterlife, a paradise, or a heaven. They think, "All of the good people would be there, and there would be no conflict. We would all be of a general like mind." In other words, they would all be C-Flow people. But they are dreaming. They see only two camps -- namely, themselves and everybody else. They have ordinary, binary sight of a world that is actually three dimensional. There are always three camps, not one or two.
There is no way I can tell you exactly what I know. When Life does This Thing at a certain time, it seems to speak with a kind of unquestioned authority to those who can hear it. It is not just me talking and pleasing and trying to rationalize. A part of the fly in this particular ointment is that I do not tell you the gods sent me here. Throughout hoary, horizontal history, when various religions and cults did have an impact on Life, the authority of the leader of the group is always attributed to a source outside the system. That is, those in charge apparently reveal what the gods told them to tell the people. A leader might have said, "This is it. The gods gave it to me, and it's not that complicated. Here it is, and don't argue with me." There was a kind of authority to it. The leader did not have to give an introduction about his qualifications to those who could hear what he was saying. He didn't have to tell them where he went to school or how he was an alcoholic until he saw the light. No one has to give credentials when This Thing pops up through him. There is an authority to it, and yet what I know and what I see I cannot tell you exactly.
I repeat -- if there is any feeling in you that the goal of This Thing is to produce a band of like-minded people, then you are operating under a misconception. Certainly there is a kind of common understanding among those who are involved, but it's not as though you feel, "We're all blood brothers and sisters." It's not that in some sham, superficial way you have to tell each other, "I love you," or, "You're my best friend." After a certain point, there is a kind of subliminal understanding, a kind of supernatural, shared sense of humor, but it's not that all of you would develop identical wiring in your circuits and become of a like mind. You will never be of a like mind. You will never be exactly like me. You will never be exactly like anybody else. That would be the greatest waste that life could produce. If Life realized that it had produced a band of people with like minds, I assure you that it would slap itself on the forehead. If I wanted people to be alike, I wouldn't go through all of this. I would have simply invented a new mixed drink or a new drug or some kind of new, sexual perversion.
I could offer you a kind of test to determine whether you are making progress in your great, historic, cosmic struggle. One of the test items could be called, "Test your state." The question would be, can you see that the two funniest things in life are people seriously posing and grown people seriously complaining?
In a very real way, the most haunting cry that Life has ever put into humanity's mouth is this, "We can and we must make things right." Simultaneously, Life's own growth-oriented basis is operating in the most efficient manner possible in a three dimensional process. Listen to some so-called "new music" that's currently played on college radio stations. It's full of teenage cries against prejudice, war, hunger. It's full of laments about the human condition. They are singing that they are the new generation and that they can make things right. As a teenager, you had the same attitude, and you can see it by looking back down your nervous system. These urgings to improve the world are going on simultaneously with Life's own growth-oriented activity in which nothing is not right. Whether you hear these urgings coming from external sources or from your own partner internally, it is a most haunting cry.
This belief that things are not right and that we must make them right also serves as a kind of balancing mechanism. At least one-third of the population on this plant at any given time under any given conditions would hear a cry and agree with it. "Imagine no war, no injustice. We must get together and make things right." People's own magnetic fields are such that it immediately strikes them, "I must join in." Notice that as soon as people pass through their teenage years into so-called adulthood, they then become one of the two funniest things going: grown people seriously complaining.
Last night's television news contained an interview with a man who gave his name and said he was sixty nine years old and had lived in this particular neighborhood for years. The subject of the news segment was the neighborhood's growing problem of unrestricted zoning regulations. Sex shops, sex shows, and sex clubs had been allowed to open even in the city's residential neighborhoods. One of the sex shops happened to open next door to this man's house. The man appeared literate and healthy. The camera panned to his house and then next door to the sex shop with the a large sign advertising a live sex show and pornographic books available twenty four hours a day. The camera then panned back to the man, who said, "What kind of sickos need a place like that?" But note that when he was sixteen, the same man would have gotten down on his hands and knees and crawled through broken glass to find such a place.
Line-level consciousness thinks, "Are people telling the truth? Are they being sincere when they talk to me?" It looks at people -- your mother, your father, the person you're living with -- and it sees them as talking, literate, thinking human beings. It wonders, "What's going on in their subconscious minds?" or, "What are they holding back?" People are not holding back anything. There's so little to them to start with that it's not a problem of them holding back anything. The man on television is absolutely sincere when he says, "Only sickos would need a place like that." Now, you could take him and torture him, beat him, tickle him to death, and as far as he is concerned, he is telling you the truth. He would in fact still seem to be sharp enough intellectually to expound on how pornography leads to other problems. From Line level, it seems as though he has great depth and insight into the matter, but what he's saying is just another variation of "Everything is falling apart."
In the organism of man, the Yellow Circuit is wired up to act as a kind of counterbalance to the hard-wired, older, lower circuits. In a quite real way, humanity is incapable of doing an unnatural act, but everybody is wired up at Line-level consciousness to disagree with that. The good old internal partner would sincerely and heartily disagree. Everyone on this planet has opinions about what they would consider to be an unnatural act, whether it's murder, going steady with your aunt, or sending flowers to a telephone repairman. They might say that in some way mankind has perverted the natural world. You should strongly suspect, though, that that cannot be true. You cannot call anything that happens in Life an unnatural act, and I am not simply playing with words. Try to ignore your hard-wired partner for a moment, and just go off and frolic with me. Let's again use the example of sex (since it will hold your interest). Everyone has sexual urges on the one hand, and internal voices on the other hand that say, "Tut, tut, no, no, heaven forbid." Binary consciousness asks, "If the desire to do something cannot be considered unnatural," then what is the voice that says, "No, no, shame, shame?" Can you see that compared to every other creature you can perceive of, man is opened-ended? He is the only one who has any doubt about what he's doing. Polar bears do not sit around and wonder, "Should I do such and such underwater with that other polar bear?"
The older, lower circuits are not as open to immediate revision as the higher ones. The lower circuits have evolved over a longer period of time, even if it was just a year longer or an hour longer in you. The lower circuits are older than the Yellow Circuit in you and in everyone. So all of the up to date, sophisticated, educated, well to do people all over the planet are having urges that are wired into the lower circuits. The lower circuits produce an urge, and the partner speaking up in the younger, higher circuits disapproves of it. The higher circuit says that such a thing is perverted and unnatural. Can you see Life's masterstroke at work again? Man is in conflict with himself. While religion has taught that man is fighting evil spirits, and while psychology has taught that man is fighting his subconscious mind, what man has actually been fighting against is himself. Psychology has merely changed the name from demons to the subconscious.
What Line-level consciousness thinks of as religious or psychological is actually biochemical. Man thinks, "I have these perverted sexual urges because I grew up in such and such religion, which disapproves of premarital sex," or, "I have psychological, sexual hang-ups because my father died when I was five." Being a member of a religion is a biochemical condition. Having your father die when you were five is a biochemical condition. You have the urge to do something that one part of you says is unnatural, but the part that says it's unnatural is not the part that had the urge. Line-level consciousness says one of the two is wrong -- either the urge or the condemnation of it. One of them is at fault. One of them is imaginary. It says man should not have urges to do something and at the same time be engaged in self-condemnation regarding that urge.
That, my friend, is piffle (which, as you know, is a quite legitimate term here). Nothing is wrong. Everybody has lower circuits saying one thing while higher circuits are saying something contradictory. Nobody can escape it. But it is not that one is acquired and the other is real, or that one is conscious and the other is subconscious, or that one is heredity caused and the other is environmentally caused. Given any of those binary choices, it is literally all biochemical; it is all heredity. But what is overlooked and cannot be seen with binary consciousness is that you have wired into the older circuits certain urges. You did not learn those. You did not develop an urge to date an elephant because you were frightened by a Tarzan movie when you were two. You were in a theatre and somebody hollered, "Fire! Fire! Run for your life!" and somebody pulled your knickers down and spilled his soft drink on you, and everybody trampled over you, and you got traumatized. And ever since then, whenever you see a woman, you think about burning jungles and elephants. Even if that incident had actually happened, you did not "acquire" that urge. It is biochemical. The theatre was full of other people, and they weren't traumatized. Some of them may now be trying to court palm trees instead of camels. Some of them can't even remember that the incident happened.
Any urge you have, no matter how perverted, is natural. Whether you should ever take action to satisfy the urge is another matter, but the urge is natural, and it comes from the lower, older circuits. To those circuits, that urge you feel is as natural as being ignited. Within a split second, however, a higher circuit says, "No, no," and even, "That is terrible. It's unnatural to even think such a thing." Then later the urge says, "Do it!" and your higher circuit says, "Don't think that!" It's a beautifully constructed crack within the masterstroke in the sense that ordinary consciousness cannot see it. It can only think, "Some things are natural, and some things are unnatural. There are things that I can take credit for, and in this case, I take credit for condemning this in me." It seems to speak from a solid foundation, but there are cracks everywhere. The cracks run into a fourth dimension that Line-level consciousness cannot see.
I heard a good fundamentalist preacher on the radio a few nights ago. He was rambling on about death and heaven and our loved ones; he talked about the fact that his daughter died at an early age and that he expected to see her in paradise when he dies. He said, "I hope when I get there she'll be at the age she was when she was taken from me, and she will go ahead and grow through her normal years so that I'll have the benefit of being around and seeing her grow up, an experience I have been deprived of." He added, "I don't have any kind of religious basis from which to tell you that. It's just kind of a notion I have. If in fact whoever is in charge up there hasn't thought about it, I'm going to mention it to him."
The man believed he was having a thought that the gods never had. All of you have done that, too. You've done it when you believed you had a thought that was unnatural. When you think you've had a thought, any thought, that Life has never had -- a rotten thought, a stupid thought, a new thought, a brilliant thought -- are you serious? Could a human being, an individual, have a thought, a feeling, an urge, that would in some way be foreign to Life? Also, I ask you how can a man, if he had any insight, believe that it would be possible to sin against the gods in some way? To sin against the gods, you would have to do something they don't expect. You would have to come up with something they never thought of. How could you have guilt? If man's consciousness was not divided up in such a way that parts of his wiring system can have urges other parts condemn, there would be no guilt. There would be no shame. There would be no big business, no banking, no computer industry, no tire companies, no politics.
I want you give you a new rule. Abandon and ignore all "special head theorems." You are surrounded by them. No matter what religion you belong to, no matter how you describe yourself, you subscribe to your own particular brand of special head theorems. You believe in some way the mind has special rules that apply to it. Without a doubt, as long as man has been talking and writing, he has been a subscriber, producer, and author of unending streams of special head theorems. You have what you think of as regular theorems regarding health, sanitation, dietary laws, modes of dress, and modes of sexual conduct, but there's another part of your mind that you see as another universe entirely, a part that demands special head theorems. You think, "It's fine if you want to mix different kinds of milk, but let's not mix milk with motor oil. Motor oil is a special exception."
If I found it beneficial to do so, I would just simply wipe away everyone's personally-held, subscribed to, unrecognized special head theorems. They have no validity. A large part of what I do with all this mapping and attempted trickery is push past your special head theorems. In some areas of the circuitry, it's possible to get a lot of cooperation. You can make people eat particular foods. You can make people stand at attention. You can make people sit and meditate. You can make people get up and do religious dances. You can make people shave their heads or let their hair grow. You can make them move from one part of the world to another. You can make them give up sex. However, getting them to give up their special head theorems is another matter entirely. If you did not allow the mind to apply special head theorems to itself, everything that would seem to be your own understanding would change immediately and drastically. Everything that ordinary man believes and feels would change. Everything would be affected. Nothing would be exempt.
Now, if I just left you to your own devices, what would you make of this concept of special head theorems? The mind would think, "Well, what kind of special head theorems? It sounded sort of lilting the way he said it: "special head theorems." "Hey, I'll write that down." The mind apparently judges itself. It apparently studies itself. It seems to be involved in some kind of introspection, some kind of reflection upon one's life, but it is all done on the basis that there are special considerations which apply only to the mind.
That is connected to the practical use of my concept of Neuralizing. Neuralizing would be in knowing something beforehand and not afterwards. When I described Neuralizing as being able to remember something without thinking about it, or being able to think about something in a way you are not normally wired up to think about it, you may have interpreted it as some kind of after the fact, reflective undertaking. But it is not. Suppose you say something to somebody, and they react negatively to it. Almost immediately you would realize the person had taken offense to it. You'd think, "I didn't mean that, and I shouldn't have said it. The words just came out of my mouth, and almost in a mystical way, I knew the person took offense, even though I didn't intend it. I didn't even think about the possibility that anybody could take offense at it." In contrast to that, Neuralizing would be to know beforehand. For you to be able to understand that, the circuits in you have to be already wired up and ready to fire in such a way that you know what you and your partner are about to say before you say it. It is a process that is much faster than seconds or even moments.
Let us say you are involved in a fairly mechanical conversation, a conversation of no particular significance to you. You are wired up to say, "Da da-da, da-da da," to the other person, and you know beforehand the person will take offense. You know he will react in a negative manner to what you are about to say. That is one quite real description of a practical aspect of Neuralizing. To be able to learn from your mistakes in an ordinary way or to realize your error after the fact is meaningless. To believe, "I am becoming more astute at reading my fellow man. It's good that I'm involved with this in a psychological way because I can pick up little insights about people," is nothing. If you think, "He misunderstood what I said when I meant no offense. He's being irrational," there is no excusing it. You are back at Line-level consciousness. You are playing out a quite necessary role. Energy is getting transferred, but you are not growing. You are not saving any energy. You do not have any energy left with which to ignite the higher areas of your nervous system. You are slowly bleeding to death.
The most subtle form of suicide is self-confession. Self-confession seems to be the epitome of naturalness, especially in this day and age of almost instant communication in the print and electronic media. Self-confession is almost like background noise. It's like the sound of an air conditioner running in the background. Everybody from presidents to ministers to cultural heroes are talking about themselves. It's as though they're on stage, as though there is apparently a performer and an audience, and what the audience is listening to and contributing to is a suicidal condition. Of course it's not suicidal or detrimental to ordinary people because Life is being fed in a certain way, but for the Few involved in This Thing, self-confession is a most subtle form of suicide. That includes any form of, "Hey, let me tell you what kind of guy I am," or, "Hey, I'm late, but I didn't mean to be. You don't know the troubles I've had lately." Such talk is everywhere. Listen to music. Listen to interviews. Read newspapers, books, magazines. Listen to what people on the street say to each other, what families say among themselves. I'm not exaggerating. But note that you forget. You are so accustomed to talking about yourself that it seems like a natural part of life. It is a natural part of life for ordinary people, but not for those doing This Thing.
Don't misunderstand. Things are not falling apart. At least a third of humanity at any given time is involved in self-confession, and at least another third is listening to the first third. Those in the public arena -- writers, musicians, historians -- are constantly involved in self-confession. It may appear they are going to speak on something else. "I am here to talk to you people tonight on a very important subject that I think you are going to find interesting -- the fall of the Roman Empire. Actually, I did not start out as a historian. I also have a degree in anthropology, and personally, I've always been interested in the Dark Ages. I got in this afternoon, so I didn't see the actual campus news ad for my talk here tonight. I didn't have time to meet with the head of the history department to tell him what I've prepared, but I'm sure most of you will find what I have to say interesting." You don't notice his form. The man is not talking about history. He is not talking about the Roman Empire. He is talking about himself. He is self-confessing. He is trying to tell you what kind of a person he is.
No matter if you seem to be the strong, silent type, no matter if you are so shy you will not speak in front of a crowd unless you've known everyone there for seventeen years, you are still wired up to want to talk about yourself both internally and externally. Even if you do go for weeks without saying a word, what's going on inside of you? Ordinary Line-level consciousness is on a continuous suicidal mission of self-confession. You should be absolutely convinced of the importance for you to stop talking about yourself. You may describe it as mechanical talk, but it is worse than that.
You should be aware that you are wired up from the bottom of your circuitry all the way up to Line-level consciousness to be continually engaged in talking about yourself. It seems like such a natural, human thing to do. It seems to reflect a unique bond between human beings. You think, "We are sharing some space. We're sharing our feelings, our hardships, our tender moments." What you're actually sharing you could fit in a thimble.
At that level, it doesn't feel like you're engaged in a detrimental act. But scrutinize and triaxially observe what is going on. You have no new experience or feeling to confess. You are confessing the same thing you have been confessing ever since you got to be a grown person and began to complain seriously. Once you were grown, you thought, "Things are headed downhill." As soon as that complaining began, your new experiences ended. All you have to do is look back down your own nervous system to see that you do not have a pool of unlimited experiences. I don't care whether you have travelled to two states or fifty different countries.
What I am trying to point out to you is that this thin veneer that seems to be oneself is not an unlimited wealth of experience. It does not have unlimited resources of feeling or infinite storehouses of thought. At the ordinary level, all of that was wrapped up by the time you became grown. Self-confession is simply playing the same record over and over.
You can see it in everyone. Look at your mother when you go home. She's making the same confession, the same complaints, over and over. When you visit your estranged sister once every five years, it's the same story over and over. You see it everywhere, and you want to say, "You're complaining about the same crap over and over. Now stop it!" But nobody sees it in themselves. You're not wired up to do that. I ask you, what is Life up to? Can you get any glimpse of the way Life uses that?
The continual act of self-confession is not some kind of psychological flaw in humanity. It's serving a very distinct purpose. It's serving a specific need. Insofar as you are self-confessing, you are not pursuing This Thing. Insofar as you engage in any form of self-description or self-exemption, you're just as low down in your circuitry as you can be, and you're engaged in a suicidal act.
In my drawing of man's nervous system, I pointed out there are two particular points of interest. They can be seen as bridge points, places that in a sense had to be traversed in man's development. I pointed out that they are not just historical developments of your forefathers, but part of an individual man's development. There are two methods that can be used as a way to temporarily traverse these two bridge points, and they are sex and laughter. Sex relieves a kind of tension. To say the very least, you get sexually stimulated through sight and internal memory, and a certain kind of tension builds up. Then more tension builds during the sex act itself. When you do it correctly, the climax is an astoundingly pleasant release. But what about humor? What about jokes? What is a punch line other than the release of the tension of the setup? The setup before the punch line produces a kind of tension. Do you see the parallel to sex?
There is always an energy transfer going on between a performer or entertainer and the audience. Why else would the audience be there? They may think of it as a way of obtaining new information or as a way to get a pleasurable kind of feeling or as an opportunity to be exposed to something new, but it is an energy transfer. What is transferred is not merely words or music, and what occurs is not a one way flow of energy. Sinatra, Horowitz, or Stevie Wonder would not show up and perform if people just sat there and did not react internally. Let's say a performer has a full house. The audience is seated, the performer sings his little heart out, but the audience does not react. The performer announces that his performance is over, and the audience simply gets up and leaves. You do understand that no amount of money could induce someone to perform under those circumstances. I am pushing reality, but if he did continue to perform, he would be drained of enough energy that he would become physically debilitated. He could literally faint or die on stage. That would not happen in reality because the performer would have abandoned the audience before then. What I just described is a one way draining of energy, and note that it does not occur. The audience furnishes energy back to the performer. Now Consider how does the audience give energy back to the performer? Understand that even This Thing is not exempt from this law of energy. Also remember that everything is show biz.
Connected to that concept of energy exchange is the fact that leaders of religions or cults or would-be mystical groups always have their people worship a deity of some kind. Of course the deity can be a dead founder of the religion rather than a specific god, but it is always someone who cannot be reached -- a third unavailable party. What is not recognized, though, is that the living leader collects the energy for the gods or dead guru. He receives the energy. He says to them, "I am merely a humble servant of greater forces. I am nothing, my children, but one who joins you in praise to the supreme power. And the audience yells, "Amen," applauds, throws kisses, and gives money. An energy flow occurs. What keeps the situation stable, what keeps the minister or guru from being drained to the point that he dies within several weeks, is the fact that he received the energy in the name of the gods or the dead leader.
People are wired up to believe they should be praising someone. The need is real. It's not an illusion. It's not a psychological flaw. It's not stupidity. Everyone feels the need to worship something. So the leader is on the stage, sitting on a throne, leading his group in some activities that are pushing Life's evolution in a very minuscule way, and he says, "Listen, I am simply here as a messenger of the gods, but don't worry about me because I'm just as unworthy as you are. We're here to praise and glorify the gods." He then accepts the energy on behalf of the gods. But no one notices what's really going on. The followers think their applause is actually going to the gods. Thus the situation keeps an acceptable equilibrium. The proper energy is exchanged between the live leader and his audience. No one notices that the gods or the dead leader never come back to the live leader and say, "Look, you've been collecting all this energy on my behalf, and now I want it." You are missing something here if you think I am talking about what I am talking about. You think I'm talking about gurus and religions, and I'm not.
I'll conclude by repeating that the two funniest things are to see people seriously posing and to hear grown people seriously complaining. To See the real truth of that causes a kind of laughter that is better than good champagne. It cleans the palate. It's a kind of laughter I hesitate to really describe because it's not a laughter at the expense of those posing or seriously complaining. In your one little area, in a sense you understand it more than Life does. Of course, that's not true, because people have been posing and seriously complaining now for hundreds of years. They are doing the same thing now, except now you get color photographs of them posing and complaining. Now there is electronic media on which to record the complaints. Pick up a magazine or a newspaper, or look at people on the street. They're seriously posing. They're seriously complaining. You'll know your kind of laughter is appropriate when it is without any tension, any hostility. It's simply a good laugh. Plus the laughter will keep you from posing or seriously complaining. Of course, it could also keep you from being invited to some of the better parties.