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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk #300 ** Dec 3, 1987 ** - 1:48
[Kyroot to :10. ]
[ More on the equation I + Not-I = Everything. The Not-I is not just outside the skin; there is the not-I internally among the 'we'. `I' is always the one speaking or in power who is acceptable, right. The not-I are all the unacceptable 'me-s'. The equation might be written: A (active/powerful) + P (passive/ potential) = Everything. (Aside: 'reformed' people are loved and sought after, for they are the apparent proof that positive change is possible) All humans have a "we" and talk to themselves, otherwise it would be impossible and one would be a true candidate for the asylum. One of the 'we-s' is always more active and addresses the passive me-s. But which side speaks for habit? Where is the other half of the act --the defense of the criticized behavior (habit); it is always grasping for E, will not face the criticism. That is why nothing every can change; there is this constant power shift (hopping from one binary foot to the other), with no forward progress. A pattern is set up which is your life --not 'events' that happen to you. Being of the City is having an inborn attitude. The three possible attitudes: Resignation, Resentment and Rapport (collaborative, accommodative, opportunistic, i.e., the 'successful' players at life, the rich and famous). No one can free themselves from ordinary moods if they live only inside the three attitudes/feelings about such moods. Your feelings toward the way you feel is what binds them to your mass-of-we. Feelings about moods is what can be changed, not the moods themselves. Connected to this is the need to be freed from the freedom of early experience (childhood). It is this freeing that is what becoming an 'adult' is all about. It is the final selection of a tyrant/spokesman among the chaos of 'we'; it is the need to adhere to discipline/limitation, dictation from one among the crowd of me-s. One example is young men joining the army to 'become men'. It is the coming of age to civilized sanity, stability and predictability. Such freedom is the doom of the not-I and the doom of the `I' as well for a Real Revolutionist; each defines the other; choice is introduced/allowed, or the appearance of same: ambiguity. ]
[If Revolutionary Activity really were a 'search for truth', then it would have to be said that the Real Revolutionist embraces truth whereas all ordinary men too have seen it and don't like it; are unimpressed by and have forgotten it. ]
[Why are men driven to talk about what they 'know'? Can anyone say anything about something without saying what it is not? Everyone can only talk about what they know (or believe they know). Facts (non-emotive, 'scientific') too are talked with in conversation, but this is only a very minor role in human discussions. To talk about what you know is not the contrasting of your own previously unknown because how could this be even possible: what is unknown cannot be used as contrast. Rather, peoples' talk is a contrast to/for what others don't know. ]
[Why is there the Yellow Circuit distinction of fact/opinion in Yellow Circuit activity (objective/subjective), yet no such distinction, classification of an equivalent dichotomy in Blue Circuit activity? And what about Red Circuit? Consider: the greater the ambiguity, the greater the contrast.]
[Man the factory. Workers suspect mid-management of conspiracy to keep rivalries alive with threats of competition between different activity groups. But owners would approve of such mistrust as the height of efficiency. Consider that This is the view of Life of itself vs. Life's view of man. Also: Man's view vs. the Real Revolutionist's view of man. ]
[1:48 Epilog to end of tape re: group expansion task.
RESIGNATION, RESENTMENT, AND RAPPORT
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1987
Document: 300, December 3, 1987
Let's have an opening salvo, as per a question: why must men talk about what they know? Perhaps we'll get back to that.
But first I want to refine again my equation of I + Not-I = Everything. I want to point out to you that Not-I is not simply "out there." There is a specific way in which it is also an internal lesson. Internally, there is "I" (whichever "I" is currently talking) and there are the other parts of "We" that are not talking. Put "me" and the other "me's" together and you've got another "everything." You have another everything which, I submit to you, may be as important to the Real Revolutionist as what appears to be the so-called physical universe.
It may be interesting to read about other galaxies, but what have you got to deal with? You've got to deal with a mate, with the IRS, and above all with you. At any given time, the "I" stating the equation is apparently the more acceptable and familiar part of you, and the Not-I is the less acceptable and less familiar. But put all of that together internally, and you have every possibility for a human being. There is no more; there is no less.
What if we change the terms a little bit? What if we change it to:
A + P = Everything
Let A stand for Active. Let A stand for what seems to be the most powerful Me in your We. (A could also be Actualization.) Let P stand for the more Passive side. Let P be the potentiality of whatever you could be. Of course, the whole equation is drawing from a third, unstated part: the pool of the irrelevant.
At any particular juncture, "A" would be that which seemed the most powerful because it's thinking for you and it's talking to you. It's the one coming up with its own interpretation of my new equation. Then the "P" would be, relatively speaking, everything in you not participating. Now, you should understand: just because someone is being dominated does not mean that they wish to turn the tables. Only psychologists believe that. In the city it is believed, from the temples to the psychiatric couches, that inside the "P" of the equation is a more mentally healthy human being fighting to get out. And it is not true. If you're going to say that, then you also believe that if you unlocked the prison doors everyone there would escape. Not so.
What seems to be your spokesman at any given time would apparently be that which has the greater weight. From any linear, logical view, would that not be true? It would seem to be ergonomically, if not economically, dictated that whatever seems to be in charge in you presently, is so because "the cream rises to the top." Well, people who say that have never worked around cesspools..., but we'll press on. It is not a mistake. It is the way it should be that in all quarters it is believed there is some logistical, psychological, or spiritual reason for the contrast between your apparent strong "I" and the "I's" that are weaker.
If you are to be a Revolutionist, you have to understand that contrast is here primarily for the sake of contrast. Contrast is here so that everyone attempts to become a reformer. And if they succeed, they continue to waste energy, because they are forever hopping from one foot to the other. That is why reformed people are loved, cherished, and sought out from one corner of the world to the other. It instills one with a sense of achievement to know (and be reminded continually) that some people can actually undergo some change and quit drinking, smoking, screwing, or whatever. They will not let you forget it as they hop back and forth. And it's not a physical act using the pedal digits...in case you forgot.
The Revolutionist must see that, at any given time, there is an internal basis for contrast between the passive, unfamiliar, and unacceptable part of a person and the part which seems to have more control. If you're an ordinary person in the city, you apparently have a rather stable, predictable personality. It feels comfortable and carries a sensation of being the strongest part of you.
But now see if we can take a semi-jump in an oblique direction. Let me ask you this: when a person has perhaps a fleeting thought such as, "I need to change," which part of the equation (A + P = Everything) is talking to which? Without any doubt we are dealing with more than one electrical impulse. There has to be more than one or you are "looney tunes," right? That is, how could you talk to yourself if there was only one self?
Which one talks about change? Now, don't rush to judgement. You say to me, "Well, it's obvious that the stronger me is addressing the lazy, weaker me. So press on." (And I say, I'll press on when I'm good and ready. Anytime you're sure, be sure of this: you're one step away from being reasonable. And it makes me wonder why I've wasted so much time on you.)
Are you sure? If it were that simple, then a person attempting to change would hop to the other foot just once. They would go from overweight davenport spud to dieting and plenty of exercise, and that would be it. Am I not correct? (Sure I'm correct. I made it up so I gotta be correct -- I can affect the outcome.)
Try it from a different angle. Who in you defends habit? If some part of you condemns a habit, who defends it? The Not-I part? The P part? No way. If some part of you condemns a habit, there is no part of you which will defend it. It gets dangerously close, in the 3-D world, to those crude sorts in the midst of the populace trying to find their own "E." Because they will try to skirt the subject. That is, they will not outright defend drinking beer seven nights a week if you have attacked it. What happens internally is that it will skirt the issue. It will talk about circumstance, the difficulty of breaking habits, and it is searching for an "E" hole to distract the pressure of the contrast. So all you do is continue to hop from one foot to the other. And neither the I nor the Not-I part is called upon to exert any new pressures on the other part. The balance of energy between these two superpowers in you stays the same.
All of this ends up in the admirable result, of course, that nothing changes. I knew a lot of you would be pleased to hear that. You'd always hoped it was true and thus far you've found it to be true. It's still true.
I have pointed out that a man's describable problems are not something he owns. He is actually unknowingly silhouetting himself when he talks of his problems. Well, here is part 2.
I did use the specific example of a man saying, "Here I am again in an ill-fated love affair." (Beginning with specifics is always in order in the city.) But do understand that even very general statements regarding (for instance) how a man has been "cheated all his life" bespeaks a...What do they call it in the city?...a pattern. And the man telling you of these "outside things" which have happened to him does not see the pattern. Of course, "pattern" is 3-D terminology. I'll tell you what it is: it is life. The man is describing himself.
A man who tells you about being repeatedly betrayed over the course of his life is giving you a panoramic view of himself. He does not "get betrayed." That's him. That's his purpose. If you can Hear this, he doesn't get cheated and he is not a man who is cheated. It's not even that simple. He's a man who describes his life as being: "I was cheated." But they are not raised in the city to be conscious of that. There ain't no cultural, .pareligious, or intellectual pressures which will make you come out of the city thinking like that. It can't be done in the city.
When I speak of someone being in the city, everyone, of course, understands that I refer to an attitude. It is a certain posture toward things. In the city everybody's got an attitude. You were born with an attitude. And in the city, there are only three attitudes available: the three big "R's."
The three R's are resignation, resentment, and accommodation...I mean rapport. Rapport. (I said three R's so I'll live with it. My first choice was accommodation.) This covers every available variation. Everyone is born with an attitude which fits into one of those three.
Resigned people don't even care to talk about it. They are not necessarily overtly hostile: "What are you gonna do? That's life." Simply, resigned.
Those who are resentful resent the whole aspect of their existence. Nowadays it goes under names like "stress." The resent themselves; they resent being alive; they resent everybody else.
The third group is apparently fairly well accommodated to life. They seem observably rather successful, even very successful. They will work their young asses off to get elected to some office, or to get rich. They are not resentful; they don't have the time.
One of these attitudes is dominant in everyone to the point that they can be identified by it. It is not that they do not experience other attitudes under certain circumstances, but the focus in general would be on one of those three.
With that groundwork laid, let me point out something about moods. You will never free yourself from your ordinary moods if you permit yourself only one of those three city-bred attitudes toward what you are feeling. Please hear: I have shifted it. I'm now talking about how you feel about your feelings. I know it sounds verbally sticky, but your feelings toward the way you feel is the glue. It is the energy which binds them to your mass. In the city, that makes no sense. It would appear that the important thing is what you are feeling. No, no, no, no. It's not. It would be true if you were one entity; if there was no internal contrast. But as long as there is contrast in every person, the way you feel is not what matters. What matters is the way you feel about how you feel.
I have just now taken you into areas outside the city. In the city all they want to do is deal with the moods themselves. They want to talk about what caused the moods. They want to "talk it out." There is nothing to talk out for the Revolutionist. If the Revolutionist was on a real roll, he might even say, "Yeah, I've got moods, what the hell. So what? Who cares?" A person like that is beyond the realm of an enlistee. Still, for a while it is an apparently real concern of a would-be Revolutionist to somehow deal with moods and feelings. I know they seem real enough, but it is not the feelings which bother you. It's how you feel about them.
When an ordinary person says, "I'm depressed," we have one part of the equation. We have X or Not-X; I don't care which one you think it is. But then you've got the unasked question. Forget unanswerable. In the city they can't even ask the right question. Which is, how do you feel about being depressed? But nobody ever works at it from this angle.
Everyone born in the city has feelings. And anyone who has feelings sometimes feels "bad," as it's called. For you, it is not a matter of "having no feelings now that you're involved in this great cosmic struggle." Until you can gather around the camp fire with the rest of (I started to say "us") with the rest of me, you have to find a way to see the situation. Remember the great Look Method? Just look. It's how "I" feels about "Not-I" at any given time, or how "Not-I" feels about "I." It's not how "I" or "Not-I" is feeling, per se.
Once you can catch a shotgun glimpse of all this, you cannot stop at being resigned, resentful, or in rapport with it. There is no possible freedom if you are held by one of those three attitudes towards your feelings. The feelings themselves are going to last forever, in case you didn't know that. The revolutionary jolt is to discover that your feelings toward your feelings can be changed.
More about the political climate. Not out there, but you know where. There is a way in which you can see that even after the early experience of freedom (read: childhood) the people will ultimately refuse to govern themselves. They will absolutely seek out and demand some power to order their lives and to free them from freedom. (Read: adulthood). It is an apparent selection, from the midst of the "me's," of finally one fairly active, relatively powerful, comfortable, acceptable "I." And you now have the tyrant of tyrants.
Between the start of that last paragraph, and the wrap-up about the tyrant of tyrants, is a lot of territory. Again, it's not a flaw in man. It's not that we have fallen from the pristine, innocent grace of childhood into our despicable state of adulthood.
At the earliest of ages, children get by with murder. Of course, legally they can get by with murder until they are judged to be responsible. But otherwise, they can holler anything, fall out of trees, disobey adults at a moment's notice. And once the Yellow Circuit gets going, when they're asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" They holler, "A fireman! Nah, an astronaut! Nah, I'm going to be a dancer!" If you could remember it, each of those options seemed equally valid, even if for a split second. But please note, and all you have to do is conjure up your genetic memory: there comes a time, and it, for most of you, was a specific event, when your eyes began to open in a certain way, and you suddenly felt that you needed help. You might have been twelve, fifteen, or twenty-one. There is in all people, finally, almost an identifiable occurrence when the people in your "we" cry out, "Release me from this freedom! Set my life in order! Somebody tell me what to do!"
It could've been your mommy, your high school counselor, or a vocational advisor. It often takes the form of the military, for young people just out of high school. And if you can Hear this, what about the people who rob banks next to police precinct headquarters and use a cab as a getaway car? Psychologists in the city will look at such a case and come to the brilliant conclusion that it's almost as if the bank robber wanted to get caught. When it gets down to that level, people do whatever it takes to be freed from freedom, even if they have to go to jail, join the army, or become a monk. In the city, not only is this absolutely natural, it is predictable, unavoidable, and absolutely necessary. But to the Revolutionist, this arrangement spells destruction and doom to the ruled and the ruler.
If those terms strike you as too strong, let us say that for both I and Not-I, or for both A and P, it is a serious misstep in the march to revolutionary activity. Not only for the ruled. It spells equally bad news to the apparent ruler. And that is what cannot be seen in the city, because the whole arrangement sets up a condition of civilized, city-bred, horizontal stability. That is, if you can still pass for sane, you have a fairly stable and predictable...what? Personality. You have an I -- and this other dangerous, uncouth thing which must be controlled. To the Revolutionist, that kind of stability is destruction; you're finished; you can't move. You are then in city position as you should be: you favor one over the other.
This is related to the above: if we use the time-honored description of This Activity as a search for The Truth, I have to tell you something. It's not really a search for the truth, because everybody has seen the truth. They didn't like it and they forgot it. The difference for a Real Revolutionist is that he did like it and did not forget it. (I also like this version: everyone has seen the truth, but they were not all that impressed; and they forgot it. The Real Revolutionist was, and didn't.) There's the difference. A long time back, everyone has seen the truth but they didn't like it, and they forgot it. That's it. But in the case of the Real Revolutionist, he or she couldn't forget it. (In some cases it even seems that they tried.) All the other little birds took a nap after they saw it except you. That's why even when it's strange, it's not all that strange sometimes. You feel like that little dog in the RCA logo and I'm the big ol' speaker on that wind up phonograph...
Someone thinks I forgot about the opening salvo. Why is it that men seem driven to talk about what they know? Let me further ask you this: is it possible to say something about something new without saying what it is not? Is it possible in the 3-D city world to do that? And again, do not rush into the slimy, greasy jaws of the obvious.
Why might Life be arranged so that men are absolutely driven to always want to say something about what they know? "Are you saying that people shouldn't talk about what they know? What else are they going to talk about!" I did not say that. That is rushing into the likewise dangerous jaws of the obvious opposite. You may fear the biting end of a tiger, but from one viewpoint, I wouldn't find the other end to be all that agreeable.
To answer any voices you may have concerning alternatives, the only alternative is to convey hard factual information. How much of human conversation has to do with that? The majority of human speech is people talking about what they know. Of course, I am being magnanimous. It's what they believe they know. A conversation often starts with factual data: "Is it still raining outside? It's warm in here, isn't it?" It is like an impartial invitation to converse, but within a second or so they begin to give opinions and views. And off the conversation goes.
Now throw in contrast. Are men driven to talk about what they know in order to contrast it with what they didn't know previously? Or to contrast it with what others don't know? Or with what they themselves don't know? All human conversation, other than the dispassionate conveyance of factual information, falls into one of those three contrast possibilities. And we are not talking about whether what a person knows is true, much less correct. Let's say a man is talking about football. He first tells the other person: "I lost interest in football a few years back. But then I read that football is more than a sport, it's like a microcosm of the American way of life." He is contrasting what he now knows with what he previously did not know. He continues: "It's a reflection of the competitive spirit in man." He is now contrasting what he knows with what the other person does not know.
I'm not even going to make up an example for the third category because that is the big bad wolf that eats everybody's grandmother. If you cannot find that, you cannot find your own nose. What else would you talk about? To tell someone: "Football is a reflection of the competitive spirit of western man," is to tell them that you know one thing, and about the rest of the facts in the Library of Congress you don't know squat. Right then, you don't know anything else about anything because your mind is on what you know about football.
The other person replies, "Did you see the tits on that waitress?" No, he didn't. "One thing, my good man, at a time. I told you everything I know, and now you change the subject. First, I have to realize we've changed the subject, and then see if I know anything about it." The contrast has changed.
I'll stay in the general neighborhood, but let me ask you a few more things. Why is it that men seem to have words which distinguish between two kinds of Yellow Circuit stuff? Such as objective versus subjective, or fact versus opinion? In the city that makes sense. In the city you have to deal with that. What I want to know is why there is no such distinction for Blue Circuit activity? Why are there not what amounts to factual feelings and then opinion feelings?
You do understand that concerning the Yellow Circuit operations, objective output of facts is preferable to someone just giving you their opinion. Sometimes it can't be helped; sometimes people are like that, I guess. But for sure, one of them is preferable. Why is there no parallel in the great, wide, wonderful world of human emotion? Think about it. There's nothing even close. And, of course, if you really think about it, is there a parallel in the Red Circuit? But as they say in the city, one thing at a time. Before I leave this paragraph, let me end with just a little comment: the more the ambiguity, the greater the contrast. Now think about it.
A while back I was pointing out that what might be seen as dastardly conspiracy from one level could be seen otherwise from another. It did not strike enough of you at the time, so listen. Let us take good old man-the-factory. A factory with men working in it. Some workers could begin to strongly suspect that, at the mid-management level, their immediate supervisors are engaged in some kind of conspiracy. It could be that the workers in section A assemble machinery and those in section B do the final adjustments. Some of them begin to suspect that mid-management is conspiring to keep a threatening atmosphere between these two sections, by pitting them against each other in order to increase production.
That is, the assemblers are told that some of them will be fired if they do not produce more, because they are holding back the adjusters at the other end. Maybe some of the assemblers sneak over and hear the adjusting supervisor tell the adjusters that some of them will be fired if they don't work faster, because the assemblers are being held up.
That's one kind of conspiracy. Another kind would be if the whole shop begins to suspect that management is using the threat of unionization, or in other cases of busting the union and hiring nonunion workers, to boost productivity with the existing work force. In other words, some of the workers begin to see the constant threats as a sham. A conspiracy.
Let's say there is some basis for their suspicions. Do you understand that the owners of the factory would look upon what I have described with great satisfaction? They would view it as a splendid arrangement. They would see no nefarious, underhanded conspiracy going on. They would hand out trips to Bermuda to the management people. What would seem to be dastardly, underhanded acts at one level can be seen as absolute models of efficiency from another. And of course, you know I'm not actually talking about unions, assembly plants, and factories.
Can you see that contrast between apparent conspiracy and absolute efficiency as being, perhaps, the difference between the view that Life has of itself and the views that Life has of Man? If that is too cosmic, could you see that perhaps the contrast would be the difference between an ordinary man's view of himself and a Revolutionist's view of himself?
We're out of time. Of course, some of you have worse problems than that.