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Summary by TK
Jan Cox Talk 0442 - Jan 9, 1989 - 1:55
[Kyroot to :05.]
[Warning: J. is not a physician; This Thing is not a psychiatric cure or a substitute for pursuing mental health.]
[Understanding, in the City, comes not thru events themselves but thru the past which logically, reasonably, visibly produced the present state of affairs; i.e., the past makes the present make sense. This is the operational reliance/limitation of old intelligence. For the Real Revolutionist, all info is contained in the present events themselves with no context in an analysis of the past. Talk and Thinking of Action (TOA) are both specific active energy conversions. The Real Revolutionist must properly see the unavoidable spectrum, gradation of simplicity thru complexity (from "No!" to "blah-blah-blah, well maybe..." etc.) existing in these two, then use them appropriately, efficiently (the Real Revolutionist must not talk more than necessary) and not get caught in using them for what they are not, i.e., action; i.e., not substitute TOA for action. The People will actually do harm to an impotent ruler; when the ratio of TOA to Action gets out of balance (the People) it becomes a kind of stagnating poison (harming the ruler). ]
[Questions @ 1:06.
/ Age -never mention it. When asked, reverse the question ("why do you ask?") or change the subject with a complimentary interest/comment/question that gets your questioner talking about himself. /
/ A question about uncertainty in sexuality is itself the answer, not the question; it is a condition of ordinary City existence. Sexual imagination; men have very specific (pornographic) fantasies; women's are more unspecific and extended/involved (romantic). Don't entertain fantasies; move your attention to the immediacies of the sexual act. /
/ What to do about wired-up shyness: change behavior, lead the dance. See to the smallest detail constantly, immediately. /
/ Men have a parallel to women's menstrual cycle. It is a hormonal cycle of aggression; it must be used by a Real Revolutionist to his own advantage.
Transcript of Talk 0442
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS, "LOOK TO THE PAST," LIFE SAYS, "WHEW!"
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1989
Document: 442, GSIBM, January 9, 1989
1/09/89 - (#)
WHEN SOMEONE SAYS, "LOOK TO THE PAST," LIFE SAYS, "WHEW!"
Let's start off with a note from history. There is a common scenario that goes like this: Life has an observer of current events state, "If we are ever going to understand our present situation, we're going to have to look not just at the events themselves, but we're going to have to look to the past, which logically produced the state of affairs we now see." And everyone goes, "Yeah." History books are replete with this idea. Philosophers, social observers and critics are continually voicing such opinions.
When the King requests advice about what to do with the present state of affairs, his prime minister or chief advisor says, "We must turn our attention to the past which logically produced the current situation." That statement wraps up a good part of intellectual history, regarding how to understand things. In answer to the question, "How did our state (or our nation or my family) get in this position?" Life always has someone stand up and say, "If we're going to understand anything about this, we have to look to the past."
The tacit part of this statement is, "An intelligent person knows you can't understand the present state of affairs by looking at what's going on right now." Do you begin to see that as long as Life can keep you so involved in the past, you will be forever involved with old intelligence?
All of you, by and large, operate on the basis I'm describing. And as long as Life can keep you doing this, you're stuck in old intelligence. Look at how you operate, especially when you're required to make some insightful judgment about "what's going on." You look at what's going on and it's as though you had your own internal prime minister saying, "You can't simply look at what's going on! These events don't immediately explain themselves, do they? This needs further work!" And what is the further work? "You've got to look to the past."
So everyone looks back. Everyone intellectually turns toward the left-hand side of the Xross. They're stuck looking down the line of the past for answers.
Even if you don't verbally agree with the type of historical ideas I've described, Life continues to drive your intelligence that way. Your own old intelligence operates on the basis of continually taking into account whatever came before: "How can he treat me this way?" "Well, I did borrow $20 from him last year." "How can she act this way?" "Come to think of it, she's .paalways been unreasonable." That is the historical attempt to find the logical progression that led to the current situation.
You wonder, "How could this happen?" From your observation of events as they now are, no understanding comes. So you think, I'll look a little further back, to what logically produced this. You're looking now and cannot understand what's going on. So what's your alternative? You can't look into the future. And you've eliminated the present -- it seems to make no sense. Through the process of elimination you're apparently left with the past.
Also notice that the statement itself, "You can't understand what's going on just by looking at what's going on, you have to look to the past," appeals to ordinary intelligence. Your old intelligence hears the idea (expressed in whatever form) and just goes, "Yes!" So it's not only because of the process of elimination that you continually operate that way.
To bring this historical example up to date, today's version goes like this: "Everything that happens to individuals (or groups of people) is on the basis of past events either recognized (in consciousness) or unrecognized (in the subconscious or unconscious)." That's the modern explanation for personality quirks, problems, phobias, and so on. The explanation is that they are based on the past, on what has happened to a person during their lifetime. So you can't look at the person right now and expect to understand them; you've got to know what happened to them. You've got to look to the past.
Now Life's response to that explanation would be, "Whew!" Because as long as you stay involved in that you'll never understand anyone or anything.
As long as you DO operate on that basis, Life's got you. As long as you continue to assume that is the way to do it, you will be the proud owner of old intelligence. Nothing new will reveal itself. Every inquiry will be a matter of, "I'm attempting to understand in the only way possible -- I must look to the past." And nothing new will be revealed.
This Activity would not be taking place if everyone was operating solely on that basis. If that was the only method of operation, everything I've ever said would be incorrect. Because the way in which everyone else thinks would be correct, and nothing new would be possible.
"Why are you such a shy person." "Well, I've always been shy, my father was very overbearing."
"Why are you so sad?" "My mother was a sad, depressed woman."
There's nothing more to say. That's a wrap. Close the book, go home. If the past, as ordinary intelligence perceives it, is the logical progenitor of everything going on -- if there is a progression that ordinary intelligence thinks it can see -- then what else is there to say? The progression is clear: "My father was overbearing," and the way he treated me caused my shyness. That makes all the sense in the world -- perfect sense -- to old intelligence. So if what you've got is old, ordinary intelligence, that's the answer, you look no further.
Even if such answers don't seem satisfying, that is the accepted, logical way to think. What is the alternative? Of course, no one ever notices that while one person says, "My father was overbearing and that caused me to be shy," another person is saying, "My father was overbearing and that caused me to be irritable and hard to get along with." The point, as far as ordinary people are concerned, is that there seems to be a logical progression. From where? The past, of course. There is the answer, as far as it goes. How else can you explain why somebody's so shy they won't speak or somebody else is testy as hell?
The present events do not explain anything, on the individual level or on the historical level, so you examine the past. What would make more sense than that? "When it comes down to trying to understand present affairs, you have to look to the past. We're got thousands of years of evolution, of individuals and of this nation. You can't understand some person or some race or some nation simply by looking at this. You've got to understand the years and years of human life, the complexity that led up to this..." If you say that and then die, you'll be thought wise.
As long as Life can keep that going, it's doing what it wants to. But as long you stay in that position, you won't find out what This is about.
Consider this: If it were actually true that the only way to understand what's going on is through the detailed study of past events, you're not going to be around long enough to understand anything. If it's indeed true that you personally have to understand the past with all its complexity, you're not going to live long enough to make any difference anyway.
The method of looking to the past won't work because you don't have enough time. The other ordinary alternative (the way you now look at what's going on) is not the answer either. So what are you going to do? If there's not information right in front of you -- right now -- that you're not presently perceiving, then all of This is just a silly illusion.
Let's apparently change the subject. There is no way a person can reach any extraordinary level of intelligence without Seeing that talk and thinking-of-action are two aspects of the same thing, and that they are both specific energy conversions. Further, you have to be able to perceive the gradations, from simplistic to complex, within such energy conversions. Then you have to See talk -- planning and thinking about action -- for what it is and for what it is not, and USE it for what it is and is not.
To be anything resembling an intelligent person, you have to comfortably accept and see that talk is in no way, per se, good or bad. Talk and thinking-of-action (that is, talking not aloud but to yourself) are specific, active conversions of energy, no matter what the content (as they say in the City) of the talk seems to be. It's all a conversion of energy. And humanity is not really intelligent until man understands that.
Within talk, there are graduations, represented in this diagram as ranging from "extremely simple" to "extremely complex." If you ask, "Can I do that?" you may receive an extremely simple reply: "NO!" That's not a complex transfer of energy. Within the framework I'm describing, not just the verbal "content" but the human intent of that message is NOT complex.
There are graduated levels in which the energy being transferred from one to another via talk can be everything from very simplistic -- such as "NO!" -- to very complex: "I understand what you are asking and I can see several possibilities that might arise. I would say that two of the situations would be agreeable to me, but on one point I have to tell you that I'd have serious difficulty if you were to do that." Do you understand that in this second reply, no matter what the speaker is "talking about," the energy conversion is more complex. There are more possibilities pointed out, the time involved is longer, and so on. You have to see these differences and use them to protect yourself and to expedite some of what you do.
One way to use this is to talk less. From a Revolutionary point of view (that is, for those attempting to utilize energy for their own purposes) most people talk far too much. Most of the time when you say, "Blah, blah, blah," you could have just said, "Possibly," or, "No." The energy that needed to be converted and transferred would have been transferred in the more simplistic exchange; engaging in a complex transfer was of no benefit to you. Another way to put this is that there are times when you talk more and understand less. All of you have experienced this: times when you talked so much you felt tired; times when after a conversation you felt, "Instead of lending that person a dollar, I gave them $l,000 and depleted my bank account." The term "simplistic," when used to describe an energy exchange, is not pejorative. In the case of talk, often the simplistic exchange will suffice.
As I said before, you have to be able to See and accept and then use talk and thinking-of-action for what it is. AND you have to stop wasting your life getting entangled with what it is not. What thinking-of-action is NOT is action. In the City there's no clear distinction between action and thinking about action, but for a Revolutionist there must be a distinction.
What is the eternal cry in the City when confronted with lack of action? "But I said I'd do it!" That sounds like a conclusion. In answer to the question, "Why hasn't this been done?" you reply, "I told you I would do it, now lay off of me." I won't ask for a show of hands of who has done that a l,000 times in your life? When you do that you are replacing action with thinking-of-action.
This blurring of the distinction between the two goes on continually: You think, "I'll quit smoking," so you find a club to work on quitting smoking, preferably one that will allow you to smoke while you're thinking about quitting. In the City, that's the way things work; there is a continual overlapping of action and thinking-of-action in City life.
No other creature but man has the possibility of both: while everything else either acts or doesn't act, humans have another alternative. They can think about what to do without doing anything. That, from one view, is an excellent operational definition of human intelligence.
Thinking-of-action is a function of human intelligence and has a kind of civilizing effect on the animal passions in Man. Man is the only creature who, instead of fighting to the death, can sit back and think, "Well, that sucker's got a good 200 pounds on me, maybe I'll just skip this."
Can you imagine two moose confronting each other out on the tundra and one moose thinking, "Gosh, he's a lot bigger than me, maybe I'll just cough and walk off like I didn't see him... But I sure hate to look foolish in front of that National Geographic photographer." No other creature can do anything but act when it's time to act.
Thinking about acting has a civilizing influence. A man can think about killing another man for something he did. But he can also think about the fact he might go to prison: "If I kill that guy, they'll track me down and arrest me and what profit, really, will come out of this for me?"
Everything you do is a conversion of energy. To do things out of the ordinary, you have to operate on the basis that there is a distinct time to act and a time to think about action. You have to See and then use this. Action and thinking-of-action are two clearly distinct things to the Revolutionist. When one is in order, it's in order. When the other's in order, it is in order. And when one was in order and you did the other, you'll have no doubt about it.
Thinking-of-action when the appropriate thing was to act will leave a bad taste in your mouth; it will literally make you sick. Consciousness will fall back into rationalization, explaining why you did not act. But a Real Revolutionist can't escape the fact that when he should act, he should act. To not act when you should has a specific, morbific effect on your being. So a revolutionist has to know how and when to use planning and talk, but MUST act when action is the only thing that will suffice.
Even with ordinary people, if thinking-of-action exceeds action too much it becomes a kind of poison to the system. You experience this during times when you feel, "I know what I should do, but I just can't seem to do anything." "Why can't I get started on what I need to do?"
Let's look back at my political paradigm of the state. The people will ridicule or even actually harm an impotent ruler. If Good King Blabbermouth the First continues to make promises, announcements and threats that never come about, the people no longer treat him with any respect whatsoever. Does that sound familiar? Authority -- power -- has to do with maintaining a proper ratio of thinking-of-action to action. In the City the normal state of affairs is for that ratio to be out of balance. A revolutionist must learn to notice when the balance is tipped too far toward thinking-of-action, because that is a form of stagnating poison. And once you begin to stagnate, you continue to stagnate.
Now I am going to give direct answers to some of the everyday, practical questions some of you have asked. I am answering these on the basis that a would-be revolutionist will be able to benefit from the answers. If you are not involved in This, or newly involved, the results are by no means guaranteed.
Question: How does a 30 plus female stop noticing signs of aging and being bugged by them? What can she say when asked about her age?
If I were going to establish some absolute rules of things not to do, one would be don't EVER, EVER mention your age. Any of you who ever think about your age, you should never mention age at all. Don't even say anything generally, such as, "Well, when you get my age you don't feel the same."
In answer to the other part of the question, anytime you're dealing with people and they ask you something you don't want to answer, THE most efficient way to handle that is to turn the questions back on the other person. For example, ask them, "Why do you ask?" That's the beginning of the end of a certain kind of energy exchange between you and them. Another, perhaps easier way is to turn the question to another subject. As long as you ask them something about themselves, this will work. Don't respond, just ask another question. Ask any human in the City about themselves and, especially if you throw in something complimentary, that will be the end of the subject of you.
They ask you, "Have you been feeling well lately?" and you say, "You know, what amazes me, as long as I've know you, is that you don't ever seem to get sick! You just have this kind of healthy glow about you, what's the secret?" Forget this person being nosy about your health, they just suddenly realized what a wonderful and insightful person you are.
Once you understand that talk is energy conversion, and that the content is not IT, you'll realize that you DON'T have to respond to a question in a certain way. If someone says, "Let's tango," you can nonverbally go, "I'd love to tango," and then whisper in their ear, "Don't you just love a good waltz?" Before you know it, the two of you will be waltzing. "Let's tango," was not the point. The point was, let's dance, let's have an energy exchange.
So when your boss says, "Let's dance," and you feel you can't decline, once you understand what talk is really about, you know how to answer. It's not a matter of you being able to completely avoid the dance or the conversation, but of you being able to call the dance, to direct the conversation. Remember, direct the questions to the other person and they'll drop you like a bad habit.
Question: How can I go beyond a tendency to flirt and to seek infatuation?
Why would you want to? Unless you're seeing that as a kind of energy. Also remember this -- This is not cultural, not sexual. It's hormonal. It's life running down, and is quite real. I've seen people in the City that are quite intelligent that go slightly nutso with this. Don't listen to anyone who says let's look to the past and see what brought this here. Life brought it here, hormones brought it here. There is it. It jumps on you some morning. Are you gonna die because of that? No.
Question: How does one stop wanting to impress City folks?
See them for what they are and for what they are not.
Question: I'm can't get clear about my own sexuality.
I know this is true about several people currently involved in This. Such apparent bewilderment, uncertainty, is the answer to the question -- the being able to perceive the uncertainty at some level IS the answer. But can you Hear such a surprising response? You may not like it, but you're finding it. The uncertainty is what makes people feel frightened. Anytime you have uncertainty, there is the answer. Except at City level -- there you have TWO possible responses: because in the City, the answer to, "Am I or Aren't I?" is either I am or I'm not.
City consciousness makes WAY too big a deal over verbal questions regarding sex. Sex is sex; intellectual cross talk is intellectual cross talk. Sex is sex; thinking-of-sex is thinking of sex, not action. Thinking about sex is not sex.
Question: Every day in life, cars get into little accidents. I find it hard to deal with being involved in these little accidents, having to lick my wounds, slow down, etc. Is it possible I'll ever get in the position where I won't have these little accidents in life?
That sort of thing -- feeling as though you too often have minor accidents and they seem to have a greater effect on you than is warranted -- is very common. It is quite possible that literally or physically any one of you may not ever totally become free from such little accidents, but you CAN refuse to slow down and look at them. I'm not giving you permission to go around having accidents. You all know it's not good to turn your ankle once a week. But if you quit looking at it, it will change. You may think it makes a difference, what sort of wreck happened, or who was in the wreck. I'm telling you: just in case, don't look, period. Also note that for a revolutionist, any question that talks about "never" is too inconclusive.
Question: Every time I've been going with someone, after I've started taking up with a new guy sexually, I continually build up these fantasies about the relationship that, of course, are left unfulfilled.
Let me tell you women, as far as sexual imagination there are general distinctions between men and women: Women seem to engage in imagination about the relationship. Men fantasize about the act itself. Men write pornography, not gothic love stories. In a man's story, the man said, "Hey let's go fuck," and they did. With women that kind of sexual fantasy will go on for hundreds of pages. They spread the sexual imagination over a broader range, over the entire relationship. With men the fantasy's very specific.
Another response to this question is: Stop. Refuse to look at the fantasy, quit entertaining sexual imagination until further notice (or, for two weeks). Turn your attention, absolutely, to something else. If you're actually in bed, just turn your attention physically down to your own sexual activity, .pathe tactile feelings of whatever is going on, to your own sexual organs. Try for this for two weeks.
Question: People tend to stay away from me in Life. They seem to keep their distance. This has kept me from being able to keep up any permanent love relationship.
At the ordinary level, back in the City, Life has wired people up in such a way that they properly, just by and large, to perceive and acceptably recognize the various possible ways others are wired up. They can recognize -- energy-wise -- people who want to be left at a distance. My answer is: That's what you want. Don't look to the past. There's not some unconscious, subconscious reason; there's no logical progression that brought you to this point. Instead of looking to the past, Look at you.
If the person who asked the question is giving me a fair description, if ordinary people keep their distance, they're doing what they're told to do, for example, you WANT distance kept between you and others. As far as what to do about this, you can, in any manner, change your behavior with a given person or group of people. Then you have changed the energy exchange going on. That's the way a revolutionist can see something new: change the way you behave in a certain situation. Then the other person has no choice -- a new energy exchange is going on. Of course, if you try this, don't complain or send me your discarded friends and lovers. Because any time you change your behavior, the entire dance may change.
Question: If someone is acting unreasonably, such as being hostile, and someone else has an interest with that person, how would that person avoid entanglement?
There is no way to completely avoid entanglement inasmuch as anytime you do a shared dance with someone else, you're entangled. At the ordinary level, to complain about somebody you're in a relationship with is to complain about warts on your hog when hogs are your hobby. Do you understand the question: I have a hobby and parts of that hobby I don't like.
Specifically, you can change the dance, and your relationship will change. You don't have to do anything weird, just the kind of thing YOU don't do. The very thing you complained about, I can put an end to: all you have to do is change your position, slightly, and the other person has no choice -- the dance has changed. Of course, you should be prepared. After doing this, you may just decide to drop the hog, or stop dancing with hogs and start dancing with pigeons. Because you'll see the whole hobby differently. You back off, slightly, from your hobby and you suddenly see that all hogs have warts, or that there's no way to build model airplanes without getting glue on your fingers.
The idea of avoiding any entanglement with somebody in a specific way ignores the fact that the very entanglement is part of the hobby. The very thing you're complaining about is part of why you like the person, part of that specific energy conversion. That's not logical, in the City. But those of you involved in This are wasting your energy to complain, "There's one thing that's driving me nuts about this person, about this relationship." There isn't one thing driving you nuts, there's a .papart of the relationship. Once you see that, all you can say is, "Oh."
Question: At work I'm too intense it seems. Everything is a big deal. People at work even say, "We like your work, but don't get so caught up in it and wound up, it doesn't have to be perfect."
There is no reason that people should see that about you, but if you are involved with This, what does it matter what other people say? You should not abandon your own level of quality, your own code, your own standard for your work. But you're not doing it right if it strikes other people enough that they say something. There should not be anything outstanding about you, you should not be operating in such a way that there is anything noticeably unusual about you. To be revolutionary is to be almost invisible. You are, of course, visible, but there should not be anything outstanding about you.
Another part of the question: Along with the above is a tendency for me to go along with letting people think all is well and then suddenly I'll pitch a fit about feeling overwhelmed.
I will answer that: The answer is to continually see to the smallest details. Continually, constantly. Every time you drop something, pick it up. Every time you know you should close that drawer or straighten your desk or turn off the light before you leave the room or take the key to the washroom back to the person that keeps the key -- do those things. See to the SMALLEST detail, continually. Not later, not in a minute -- NOW. Unless you enjoy pitching periodic fits.
Question: Will you say something about the hormonal cycle in women? The cycle seems to bring down, control, confine women's level of consciousness.
I am not a woman. Although I've never felt that, I can tell you there is a male counterpart to the female hormonal cycle -- aggression. In men this runs in cycles and has the same kind of limiting effect on consciousness. I'm not discounting the problems women seem to have, I'm saying men have the equivalent. The cycle of aggression does not come from man's past in the historical sense, it's hormonal. Men and women have hormonal cycles, and to do This you cannot let the hormonal cycles run you. I assure you women that you wouldn't want to swap your cycle for the kind of aggression that sweeps over men.
Also the person asks, "Is there some way I can use this kind of cyclical discomfort?"
Everyone, male or female, should learn from and can grow stronger by struggling with your own hormones. It's just that men and women have different demons. Obviously, you can benefit from struggling with your own demons, but also Consider: What's your alternative. To attempt to use the things that are natural annoyances, inconveniences to you is certainly beneficial. Either use it or be used by it. (Which is what happens to everybody else in the City.) If you're alive you've got hormones, and they're carrying on affairs that, though necessary to Life, individually have little benefit to a would-be revolutionist. Aggression is a good example. One of the first things I tell all of you who show up here is that you can't be hostile, you can't be critical of Life past a certain point any get anywhere in This Activity. Yet, aggression won't stop in men until you're dead. I didn't tell you the feelings of aggression would stop -- I just told you you can't look at that, you can't let that be you. The fact that you're alive is a given. The things that seem to be the most upsetting in you are a given. The answer to the question, "Should I try use such and such?" is: You've got your choice. Use it or be used by it. After you realize that, what are you going to debate? "Is the attempt worthwhile?" Who the hell knows? "As upset as this makes me each month, I just don't know." "I feel so aggressive sometimes, I just can't control my temper." "I wonder if I'd have any success if I tried to do something about this?" "I wonder if it would benefit me to try to stop this?" I don't know, what do you think? If you've never tried yet, why start now? Look at how far you've come by not doing anything with it, right? Why interfere with a good thing.
Whatever your problem is -- covering the range of everything that upsets humans -- Consider the problem this way: Are you going to use it or are you going to be used by it? And what kind of choice do you have? As always, don't put a period on this answer, I'm not saying this is the end of the possibilities. But the way things stand when you have this kind of question -- "This happens to me..." -- whether you believe the problem is due to your sex, or the kind of person you are -- you can benefit from this view.
If, right now, you cannot seem to just Stop the problem -- completely abandon it -- what is your choice if you are actually a would-be revolutionist? If you are involved in This, you have some immediate potential beyond old consciousness. So what's there to think about? Are you going to study the problem, think about how it came from your past, make an outline, or listen to me talk about problems some more? The only choice you have is to Do what seems most profitable.
Question: I continue to be afraid of loneliness and unable to attract a sexual partner that I wish to be with for the long haul and during the holidays, the loneliness seems to get worse.
With no cynicism, I want to point out that for the ordinary, everything ALWAYS seems worse. I understand the basis for the question and this is no attack on the person who wrote that. But do you see that the feeling, "Gee, everything is even worse around the holidays," is city shit? City people say, "It's bad enough to feel lonely, but at certain times it's worse." At certain times in the City, it's always worse. When's that? All the time. You're making it worse, when you try and draw distinctions: "Yes, it's always worse this time of year." Ok, you win. If it seems worse to you, it is worse.
Question: Well, it's not as though all of my personal problems have vanished, it's just that I don't seem to have any questions about them any more. I know them, they know me, and I know how they need to be dealt with. So maybe the real question is: What the hell am I waiting for?
When somebody writes you a good finish, why waste one of your own?