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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk # 190, Dec 31, 1985, runtime 1:22
[Everyone wants to be told what to do. The second most asked question to J. is "How should I treat people?" You cannot treat people as if they are automatons without freedom. Only the Few can treat others according to their Understanding: without the expectation of gain from others. Everyone expects/gets gain/loss--a heat exchange is always going on. You must try to keep a constant awareness that whenever you are dealing with anybody, an energy exchange must take place --you cannot be a hermit--untouched. (Hermit syndrome is rooted in the Red Circuit: can't even stand to be around people physically). Likes, dislikes --every form of human interaction, all of it is biochemical energy exchange/alteration. This can be felt by the Few --the continual shift of biochemical structure --the inescapable requirement for all things to participate in at least a minimal level of energy transfer. EVERYTHING IS ENERGY IN MOTION. Cannot fight this realization. It is not however, a matter of actively embracing all of Life's various and contradictory actions. BUT you cannot resist, criticize, argue with same: this is tantamount to objecting to Life's breathing --its pulse and blood circulation. Neuralize the difference in the stress on "you must Understand and See this for yourself" vs. J. merely making up a list of commandments a la old time religion. ]
[Questions: 1. How would it be possible for you to grow without The Partner? 2. How could Life grow without its own partner? ]
[Back to biochemistry: Posing. Posture change as biochemical alteration toward a medial state. Posing as the attempt at pleasurable alteration of the biochemical status quo. The organism feeds itself a prescription via its habitual postures.
EVERYONE WANTS TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO
Document: 190, December 31, 1985
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1985
Tonight's sermon is: everyone wants to be told what to do. When you first ran across This, you would have said that you were attempting to find a spiritual teacher, not looking to be told what to do. That is, you would have denied wanting to be told what to do, and would perhaps have said something like, "What I want is for someone to tell me The Secret." Or perhaps, "I want someone to give me the information that I need." But if you said that, you were deluding yourself again. Let's not play with words -- you wanted someone to tell you what to do.
Of all the questions I receive, the second most often asked is, "How should I treat other people?" Of course, usually the questions are verbally more specific: "How should I treat a member of the opposite sex with whom I am now involved? How should I treat my parents? How should I treat my employer, who seems to have the innate ability to rub me like a cheap comb?" (Since you have questions yourself, you may want to guess what the first most frequently asked question is.)
Consider the question, "How should I treat other people?" Ordinary people have, as always, only two possibilities. The first being an innate function of the way you and the other person are wired up: You treat them as you must, even though you or your Partner may later regret it. For example, your mother says something to you during a visit, and with sudden and unplanned sarcasm you mimic the same words back to her. Or, your sexual partner says something habitual that particularly irks you, and no matter what well-meaning plans you've made, you respond in the same old way.
The second possibility open to ordinary people is to treat others on the basis of an external standard. Given this, consider why aphorisms, proverbs, and truisms seem to have such a strong effect on people? I refer you to my old example about the graduate of a military college whose commanding officer had said, "It's better to die like a man, than to live like a cowardly dog." Later, having been captured by the enemy, the soldier endures torture rather than betray that remembered axiom. Again, take someone shipwrecked for forty-two days. They remember a line from the bible about "having faith", repeat it over and over, and later claim that it was the one thing that kept them going. You should be very curious as to why it is that when such things seem to have an external source, they have a power that is not available if someone comes up with the same idea themselves.
Remembering those words over and over created a biochemical change in the people of my examples, on a continuing and sustaining basis. The words had a real effect. Why then couldn't a person derive a similar effect by his own affirmation of faith or virtue? (As an aside I might ask you, what is available to illiterate people? But I'd have to expand that: what would an illiterate, deaf, dumb, and blind person do? Push it much further and you haven't got any molecular feedback loop. Then the question of what to do becomes moot.)
Back to the two possibilities of which I spoke: the second is that of someone attempting to apply themselves to the tenets of a religious or ethical dogma. Although you may believe, not incorrectly, that no one can truly live by such rules, they do have a physical, biochemical effect on people. Even though a man may be a drunk and beat his wife several times a week, periodically he repeats within his own Yellow Circuit, "I should try to love my fellow man. I should try to treat other people as I would like them to treat me." And for a few seconds he feels an affinity for the truth he senses behind such an expression. If at that moment he could be questioned, he would say, "I'm in favor of this. Yes, it's true I can't always live by it, but I try to subscribe to it." That is the second possibility for ordinary people -- attempting to treat others on the basis of an external standard.
The third possibility, which is neither natural or ordinarily available, is to treat people on the basis of what you Understand. There are very few people on the planet who can do this. I'm going to talk about it a little, but it can't be found in my words if you only listen literally. Nor will it seem exciting or all that unusual.
I will assume that you have some Understanding, that sometimes you have a more than momentary awareness of the fact that things are wired up in such a way that there is almost no slack in Life -- that there is, in fact, just enough slack so that The Machine doesn't freeze up. You've glimpsed that people are doing that which they have to do, and there is another force in operation; and that Life itself is alive and we are part of it's body. And Life has its own built-in contradictions. Through man, it simultaneously says yea over here and nay over there. You've tasted all of this as a reflection of what ordinarily goes on in you. If you have some understanding of these things you also see that you cannot treat other people as though they aren't free. Further you cannot treat them as though they are incapable of comprehending anything. It is not possible for anyone who understands anything to mechanically treat anyone in this manner.
I know that some of you will eventually come to theoretically assume that if you could in fact expand yourself above the Line, if you could stay away from the dichotomy of ordinary thoughts and emotions, you would become at least a bush league magician. That is to say, if people disturbed you, you'd have the ability to, "Really play games with them, just run them around in circles emotionally. I could just take their minds and twist them." Theoretically this is true, but (here's justice again) if you have any understanding, you can't do that. The reason for this is not as crude as it being some great cosmic law, although I'm not saying that's not the basis for it. You just can't do it. Or to put it in a real mystical way -- you don't ever even think about it.
The routine purpose of you being alive, regardless of what other purpose you may come to through This Thing, is to transform energy. At this minimal level we are fulfilling the same function as other forms of life: ducks, frogs, rhinos, trees. To transform energy is to move it in Life's body. Mystical, religious, or philosophical ideas that we should be completely neutral toward our fellow man are shadows cast by another reality, repeated by those who do not understand. There is always an exchange going on -- in a sense, you always want something from anyone you are connected with. At the minimal level you are supposed to. There is going to be a kind of a bare minimum heat exchange even if you're just standing on a corner and someone asks you the time of day.
The idea has always been around that we should, for some spiritual purpose, be abnegating the desire for a payoff in a relationship. It cannot be done, but this idea coming from religion and would-be mystical systems, concerns cutting off the desire for a payoff when the transaction goes beyond just the minimal level of interaction. When you go beyond this minimal level you get into the area unique to the wiring of man, the area of that which seems to be the relationships of personality, or "psychological relationships". It is primarily that which the Yellow Circuit can put into words, and describe as an exchange. (Though the description of the exchange will be interpreted by the Yellow Circuit, it's really based upon the higher areas of the Blue Circuit -- it has a basis in passion.)
The Yellow Circuit automatically assumes it is going to get the best of a bartering confrontation, with no particular thought, necessarily, about the other person. If an exchange does not seem to work in that beneficial manner, consciousness objects. It begins, to use overt examples, to plot fraud and theft. To use more subtle examples, it would get into what the religions have always referred to as greed and envy. This is the wiring of one person believing that any exchange should always make them the winner.
As to the minimal level, take the example of the person asking you the time. The person wanted to know the time and he got that from you, but what did it cost you? I could point out that you got something too. If you are aware of it, there was a real biochemical exchange there. The person smiled and said, "Thank you, I appreciate it." Something happened -- he paid you back.
At that level, of course, you would waste your time to worry about how to treat people. It would equally be a waste of time to initiate a theoretical investigation as to who got the best of the exchange.
Regarding the question of how to treat other people, you should try to keep a constant awareness of the fact that any time you interact with somebody to a degree where a fair amount of attention is required, there is going to be an exchange of energy. You would be an absolute idiot to believe that you can be a hermit. There exist would-be mystical systems whose approach is to try to diminish almost all the biochemical alterations of the person. That approach is based on the assumption, not ill-founded in reality, that if you could remove all the things that affect your biochemistry, you'd become, "A blank page on which the gods could write the latest mystical graffiti". Then you'd reach a state of mortal perfection and that will be that -- then the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and the IRS will not prevail against you. Hermits believe that their problem is being around other people who drive them insane. Some people are wired up to abandon society, but it will not ignite any higher circuits in them.
If you could keep a continuing awareness you would see that you are always exchanging energy with whomever you are dealing. You don't have a choice. Consider your sexual partner, close friends and family: if you see them for just a few moments, there is an exchange going on. That's why you were attracted to them sexually in the first place. Or that's why you and a person are friends. With family you haven't got a choice; there is a genetic biochemical attraction there, even though you may say you hate them.
Your relationships with friends are built upon an already recognized exchange of energies. It seems to vary from time to time, but when you get together, both of you seem to gain from what, by and large, seems to you a favorable biochemical alteration. You may not understand it right now, and you may have never thought about it before, but if you could hold a continuing awareness, you would see there is a two-way energy exchange with your friends that both of you find pleasurable, profitable, and useful. Pick any words you want. Both of you seem to benefit from being friends, sexual or otherwise. You can take it from there and see this exchange extant in everything else; it just gets harder to see.
How about people for whom you seem to have an innate dislike, and it seems to be mutual? You and your partner may have tried to explain it, but you can't, anymore than you can explain why you are sexually attracted to somebody. Words may never be exchanged but you and this other person know that you just don't like each other. That is an energy exchange, and something very real caused it. It's not that he reminds you of your old dumb uncle that used to beat you up. It's nothing like that. It's nothing that ordinary consciousness can describe. If your ordinary consciousness could be unordinary, which it can't, it would understand that there's no explaining this: It would be like your partner coming to a real confession -- you would see that everything you ever told yourself about why you disliked somebody, why you are afraid of women, why you are afraid of men -- everything was a lie.
That's if ordinary consciousness could be extraordinary, which it can't (which is why you are reading this). But if you could hold a continuing awareness, you would see that in any interaction, whether with friend or foe, whether by willful doing or chance -- something is afoot, biochemically. Something within the Body of Life brought you together. It was not a matter of "personality". It is not anything that can be discerned by ordinary Yellow Circuit analysis. As you should know by now, such analysis tells you nothing. What's going on is a continual exchange of energy, which you can feel. It is a continual thing between what is apparently one's self and what is apparently other people, one's self and what is apparently not one's self in general, one's self and the body of Life. It is a continuing alteration in you, in what you call your "I", your consciousness. It is a shifting of biochemical energy.
When you treat people in some particular way it is an exchange of biochemical prescriptions or recipes. At the minimal level there isn't any real control, nor should there be. When you are aware of this level and see that it is not a problem, you don't feel beset upon by people, "trying to take advantage of you or drain your energy". You understand that there is an inescapable minimal exchange of energy that you're here for, and it is not something to suffer over. Of course humanity is here for much more or we would not have a Yellow Circuit. Beyond that, a few people are here for even more; that's why This Thing exists.
Beyond the minimal level of exchange, you begin to see that which is unique in man: the areas referred to as the problems of humanity. I'm referring to those areas about which people would say, "It would be heaven on earth if only men would treat each other right." As I pointed out earlier, Life is operating simultaneously in contradictory manners at every moment. It is having men dump chemicals into a river over here, and it is having others protest it one mile away. So it is not a matter of actively embracing all of Life's various and seemingly paradoxical manifestations. Neither is it a matter of you offering some kind of blanket resistance to them. It becomes a matter of whether you can become a knowledgeable and judicious associate to Life.
Alternately, to go back to one of my earlier allegorical pictures -- being here, as we all are in this River, does not mean you have to go out and swim with any particular crowd. It is not required that you get out and play in the debris, but if it is your intention to pursue This Thing, you cannot allow any of your talking circuits to theoretically resist the general flow of the river. If you do you are back in the hands of your own partner, back in the hands of Line-level consciousness. The general flow is not open to criticisms by the Few. If you don't ever see that, then you are not assisting Life; you are not a knowledgeable associate, and you cannot be judicious in the manner in which you treat people. Those in the river were born there and have nowhere else to live. If you have any extraordinary eyesight, you realize that you don't either.
Life has always been putting out the message, in whatever form, that people would be more in it's favor if they did not judge their fellow man. Life has never reached a satisfactory solution to this equation, for necessary reasons. But if you could maintain a continuing feel for the minimal exchange of energy going on and then get above that to the area that seems specifically personal to you, you would see that your interactions with others is based upon a needed biochemical exchange of energies. Life brought you together, and ordinary people have no control over what they're getting out of any particular interaction (much less an understanding of it). Thus, any question about why other people treat you in such an unthinking manner is simply an admission of your own idiocy. It is the same as questioning Life's breathing or the flow of blood from one part of its body to another. To realize this is to see how much of a non-problem your question about how to treat other people really is.
Wouldn't there, however, be something comforting about it if I would just hand out a list of rules governing your personal relations? That is your forefather's religions, and you have need for such built into your very genes. You want somebody to tell you what to do. In relation to what I just said, I ask you, how would it be possible for you to ever grow if you did not have the partner? I've temporarily renamed it the partner, but Life has always had humanity refer to it by one name or another: satan, evil spirits, incorrect attitudes, the unconscious mind. The feeling that something's amiss is already built into everybody's biochemistry. You are too civilized to think that the gods and demons are fighting over your soul, so maybe you think you were brought up in an "inadequate manner" -- whatever. The fact is that there seems to be something in everybody that they perceive to be a problem. They believe that if it weren't for this "problem of problems" everything would be beauty and bliss. Of course you don't believe that it's you. You would say, "I didn't willfully create this situation, it's something else." -- the poor old partner. Yet how could you change, were it not for the partner? Here's an even better question. How could LIfe grow if it didn't have a partner?
Now back to biochemistry, and its relation to posture. I am not just referring to the posture of the total body, but even to more specific forms, as for instance, a particular facial posture. There is a continuing attempt on the part of the organism to alter its biochemical make-up in such a manner as to reach what seems to it to be a medial point. Under most ordinary conditions, most people (that is, most organisms in this Body of Life) are attempting a pleasurable alteration of their own biochemistry thru posture. Even those, for instance, who are apparently wired up to maintain a facial attitude of cynicism of mild disgust.
Consciousness is simply not wired up to see or remember that all the various parameters of posture in your organism are already programmed. Forget about psychological causes and past traumas which you now say are responsible for habitual expressions of hostility or fear. The reasons for your responses during energy exchanges with other people are not "psychological": it is your organism administering a biochemical prescription to itself.
Do you remember the task I gave you, to smile continuously from the moment you awake to the time you fall asleep, for a day? Why do you think that so many of you found the results of this so astounding? Don't any of you get a glimpse by now, that whatever you're doing, you're doing because your organism has found it's prescription. A pleasurable biochemical alteration was created, even if it is habitual and you are unaware of it.
Take even the most simple action. Perhaps a person who seems to habitually rub his face during certain social interactions. This is not simply a person rubbing his face. (A psychologically-inclined ordinary person might say, "When that person covers his face during a discussion, it is a symbolic act that expresses a fear of having his mind influenced." Remember: given the choices between the physiological and the psychological -- there is no psychological.) Do you understand that he is changing his biochemistry by such a gesture? Or how about somebody who always pauses before they respond to someone during conversation. They say, "Well..." and then they respond. It is an adjustment of posture to alter their biochemistry, right then, in a pleasurable and, from their viewpoint, profitable manner. This alteration takes place primarily in the Yellow Circuit, at least in public.
What about music? The libraries are full of treatises that attempt to analyze the spiritual and emotional aspects of music. The truth is so simple that nobody ever sees it. If you like a specific type of music, it creates a pleasurable biochemical alteration in you. You could, of course, corner a music critic and point out to him that music is simply sound waves causing molecular activity in the organism, which finds it either pleasurable or otherwise. Then of course he will say, "Yeah that's true -- but." It's not his fault -- Life needs music critics. He is not wired up to see it, and you, at Line level, are not wired up to see it either. I can just barely hold your attention to it while pointing out that everything that happens to you comes in through the senses. You don't know that, "god is love", you don't know to respect your elders, you don't know to put on your galoshes when it's raining until whatever is "out there" gets into your organism through the senses and alters the molecular activity in your brain.
"Sure, that's obvious, now that you point it out. But listen, I've got real problems. I have real esoteric questions." It's not obvious. You don't See it, or you wouldn't have any questions. Try to see what other things in Life are simply a matter of biochemical change. Then try to see if anything is not.