Jan Cox Talk 2538

Robbed of Nothing

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Jan Cox Talk # 2538  June 14, 2000  
Suggested Title = Robbed of Nothing

00:01  [Reads] The head of a monastery one morning so addressed the monks:
       "I am leaving.  For in my attempts to tell you what I do in the effort to achieve the goal, I distract myself from what I should be doing to achieve the goal."
And one of the monks says, 
       "Please, before you go, Dear Master, tell us this.  Are we actually monks in a monastery listening to you, or is this all taking place inside of one man's mind as he talks to himself about what he should be doing as opposed to his talking to himself about what he should be doing?"

00:49  [Reads] In the beginning, it's all questions, questions, questions.  Then in the middle, answers begin to appear.  But on their deathbed most men are still overwhelmed with questions.  I say, "Look out the windows.  Move your attention from inside yourself.  Simply look out the windows.  Everything you believe you wanted to know about the insides of your house is out there.  Right outside your window."

01:30  [Reads]  Want to know a secret?  Want to know where the unknown laughs and good times really are?  They're not inside your house.  And they're not outside your house.  The really great chuckles come from seeing through the illusion that normally leads the mind into thinking that something separates the two.

01:52  [Reads]  One man pushed -- no he didn't -- one man pursued...the liberation of awakening the same as everyone else, through introspection.    But for six months of every year he would privately switch over to extrospection...Says he,  "I long believed that what I wanted was to always be aware of what I was thinking.  But now I wonder if the reverse might not be proper:  that I be aware of what is going on OUTSIDE my thinking -- sort of like being a scientific observer but without a specific project in mind."

03:37  [Reads]  Wasting attention on weighing unnecessary choice is the cause of all dreams and confusion.  And words are the cause of all unnecessary choices.

03:51  [Reads]  As soon as you decide to talk about a matter. you must immediately choose which words you will use...

04:05  [Reads]  Needless choices, the mother of sleep.   Words, the mother of needless choices.

04:13  [Reads]  It's actually rather simple.  The liver, for instance, doesn't talk about itself and is thus, never confused.

04:26  [Reads]  If introspection is the way in, then how are you going to get out?

04:39  [Reads]  The real reason that someone announces, for instance, that they have become a Sufi or Zennist is that they believe other people think about Zen and Sufism the same way they do.

04:55  [Reads]  Whatever system outside of yourself that you adopt to awaken from dreaming becomes part of your dreaming.

05:08  [Reads]  A man who pursues the X method  to achieve enlightenment does not picture himself as being ultimatel enlightened but rather pictures himself as soon becoming a recognized and envied practitioner of the X method.

05:26  [Reads]  The only reason that a man makes it known that he has become a Sufi or Zennist is that he thinks other people think about Zen and Sufism the same way he does.  How do you think about your involvement in all of This?

05:41  [Reads]  Hint:  Having thoughts about it is like piling up a mound of dirt while intending to dig a hole.

05:55  [Reads]  Attention to the world outside can be beneficial.  But attention to the world inside is even more beneficial.  At least that's what the inside world says.

06:24  The outside world sure can kick you around and walk all over you, but notice:  it never says anything.

06:49  [Reads]  When the sun comes up, the sun appears.  And when the moon comes up, the moon appears.  The sun and moon shine down on everyone, but not everyone thinks, "When the sun comes up, the sun appears."

07:19  [Reads]  In the right ears, at the right moment, words can explain anything.   Yet no one is satisfied.  Doesn't that give you a HINT?

09:03  [Reads]  Physical choices are necessary for continued survival, mental ones for continued confusion.

09:18  [Reads]  Selecting one food over another can be healthy;  selecting one idea over another can put your eye/I out.

09:27  [Reads]  When your mind is operating at its lowest possible level, you are continually muttering to yourself.  And in so doing you engage in a ceaseless and meaningless choosing of one thought over another to momentarily occupy your mind.

09:45  [Reads]  To physically survive, choices must be constantly made;  to mentally thrive, choices need be seen for the meaningless distraction that they are, and then, relinquished.

10:00  [Reads]  When a real St. George arrives, what difference is it to him whether he is presented with a paper tiger or a paper dragon to fight?  (Still talking about choices, if you lost your place.)  It's all the same.  It's always been the same.  And with the mind, it will always be the same.  And to realize this is to realize all that there is to realize.

10:28  "Yes," said someone, "I think I see what you mean, but I always understood it in a slightly different way."  Well, there you are.  What the hell did I just say?  "Yes, but my understanding of the matter is slightly different than yours 'cause I would not have expressed it exactly like that."  Well, buy me an omlette;  I'll be damned...

11:37  [Reads]  One man was recently so struck:  "What if all forms of introspection and attempted self examination are but unrecognized forms of sleep and delusion?  What if all of the revered metaphysical approaches to enlightenment such as self remembering, being mindful, and all attempts at self awareness are literally and truly nothing but self delusion?  That all attempts to wake up are forms of sleep, perhaps even the cause of sleep?

12:24  [Reads]  If we say that, counting the mind, man has six senses, then I say this:  "He has five that are by nature enlightened and one that can never be."

12:40  [Reads]  The world outside is strong, but the world inside that comments on that world is stronger.  At least that's what the inner world says.

12:59  [Reads]  Headline:  Regarding travel and All of This.  If you realize what's actually going on you can come and go as you please.

13:11  [Reads]  A bird can fly but cannot think.  A thinker can think but is trapped indoors.

13:22  [Reads]  Headline:  Regarding Knowing and All of This.  You can know Zen, but if you do not know what it is that knows Zen, you know nothing.

13:34   [Reads]  A rock knows but does not speak.  A speaker speaks but does not rock.

13:46  [Reads]  From one view, those seeking enlightenment are simply people who expect more of c'ness than it is naturally constructed to offer.   (We'll all pretend that we didn't hear that -- No.  We'll pretend that was a metaphor.)

14:06  [Reads]  Headline:  New Edition of One of My Previous Constructs For The Up-To-Date Crowd.  When you're metaphysically hip you're both hip and not hip.  BUT, when you're not metaphysically hip you're just -- ffft -- not hip.

14:26  [Reads]  From one view the following is true.  Inside, everything is a shambles.  Outside, it's all a glorious game.  It's not the same for a dog that's lived outside all its life as it is for a house-bound invalid who's just emerged.  And one man whispers, "After a lifetime of having my being asleep..." -- and one man whispers, "Get it out, sir!"  Alright. "After a lifetime of hating my being asleep it now doesn't bother me as much.  Now that I'm here, outdoors."

15:23  [Reads]  Living inside a closed, noisy room can certainly be distracting.  But if you're no longer there, it doesn't matter what goes on in there.

15:40  [Reads]  The big choice:  either straighten up things in there to your liking or -- leave.  (It didn't sound very metapysical to me.)

16:05  [Reads]  If you are questioned or insulted and hesitate before responding, you have responded.

16:16  [Reads]  Some circumstances call for an immediate, spontaneous and instinctive response  while others might call for a measured and mentally deliberate one.  With an insightful man occurrences of the latter are the exception.  (So rare as to hardly be worth mentioning, as a matter of fact.)

16:44  [Reads]  A sage said to a monk, "If you could pretend unconditionally to be enlightened for ninety-six hours straight you would BE enlightened.  And the monk said, "I do not understand that."  And the sage replied, "Neither do I."

17:08  [Reads]  In a confidential tone one man tells us, "The most gratifying realization I have experienced in the last twenty years came when I was recently hit with the fact that no matter what I might do...I will never become more awake someday.  It either happens right now, this every, very instant or it never happens at all."

17:42  [Reads]  People who want to predict the future are speculating about things as they are not before ever seeing things as they are now.

17:53  [Reads]  When you're engaged with things as they are, you're engaged with things as they are now and thus are saved from the clutches of myriad bandits -- the myriad bandits known as yesterday and tomorrow.

18:23  You feel like you've been robbed, but nothing's been taken...I propose that that is why it is so wearisome.  Because you have been robbed, but you've been robbed of nothing.  And I further propose that, to the most average of persons, pisses them greatly.  Again, that's just my opinion.  I don't mean to get it all confused with the facts here that I'm reading.  I assume that you have the wherewithal to distinguish between the two;  am I correct? You can?  You haven't learned anything?  It's all the same.

19:43  [Reads]  If the goal is to find your true self and it is not inside of you and it is not outside of you, then where to look?  Better yet, are you sure that you're even looking for the right thing?

20:06  [Reads]  When you sail with a real Columbus, you don't discover new land to the west...you discover the SANTA MARIA!

20:29  If my real self is not inside and it's not outside, where should I look?  Does anybody get it?...the secret is not to get what you're searching for.  It's to realize the secret of what the searcher is, what the medium is.  That doesn't sound like much of a secret to me...

21:36  [Reads]   When one man first heard -- I should just tell this...there was a guy...who heard the whole thing like we did, about man's asleep and ecetera...and he went, "That's it!"...then he, first off, heard about the method of being eternally mindful..."That's it;  that's the trick."  And then for many years he worked on that.  And then one day he heard about the method of self remembering..."Ah!  That's the trick."  And he worked on that for awhile.  Then finally...he heard about...clear the mind..."Ah!  Now!  THAT'S the trick!"  And it suddenly hit him:  "EVERYthing's the trick!"  Take a bow, sir.

23:21  [Reads]  If things did not constantly change, awakening would not be possible.  BUT if things did not constantly change, no one would fall asleep.  So!  (For you people on tape, I am doing my best gesture of an ellipsis.)...but consider it...from one view...what people [seeking enlightenment] are after is some sort of stability.  The very childish want Life to become stable...in a manner that is behoovant, if there is such a word, to them -- I don't have time to worry about it;  I just make 'em up as I go.  And then those who are a little sharper...[with meditation, etc.] is to impose...some sort of stability...something anchored against the vicissitudes of life, the pounding waves of ill fortune and carnal desire and too many parking spaces reserved for the handicapped...[really funny riff on his non-eventful life, oranges on sale at Safeway, burglars/burghers]

28:46  It would appear to be that everybody on the planet...would like for...change not to occur so rapidly, or change not cut such a wide swath through their life...but one thing that mystics are looking for...is for things to stabilize, for things not to be so chaotic.  I say that's a dream.

30:01  [It's like] being pecked to death by a thousand little hummingbirds...

30:28  I say that you can see something useful:  that were it not for constant change...the whole idea of being enlightened, of changing your state of c'ness would be an absolute impossibility.  But were it not for constant change no one would be in such a condition that they would want to change their state of c'ness.  Now, here comes the attempted -- I thought in good faith -- dramatic gesture.  SO...and the ellipsis runs from me, from that question, into your heart...without any doubt, everybody starts off engaged in introspection to do this...

33:26  I say that if you get anywhere you start mulling over the nature of the mind.  You start mulling over the nature of you mulling.  You start mulling over the question of "What is mulling?"

33:50  The guy that I wrote about on the first page...he said that after a lifetime of doing that...and being fairly well satisfied...that he was now considering an entirely different approach.  It's to engage in extrospection.

35:02  But the kind of extrospection I was speaking of is you can't be studying a specific object...the other 6B...their attention is primarily on the world outside themselves...That may be the most fitting, the most naturally proper use of c'ness;  is for your attention to be on the world outside of you...it would certainly appear to the 6B people on this planet that almost all civilized conditions...that what is called for, at a bare minimum, is some sort of measured, momentary reflection;  that you internally reflect on and think about what is occurring externally...before you say anything or before you do anything in response thereto.

39:17  Attempting to do this sort of thing, attempting to be eternally mindful...requires what?  An extreme amount of introspection, to whatever degree your hunger dictates you devote such time...

42:16  Does anybody realize from a quite solid view...all of the revered, ancient, established...disciplines to achieve the Great Liberation...all of the methods...can be described...[as] introspection?  The word covers it all nicely.  But my question to you people was, "Do you notice there has never been a mystical system -- there aren't even any Zen stories.  I guess I'll make up one right now..."Okay.  Here's all it [method of awakening] is:  Do you have stuff that you think about that you don't want to think about;  you know, just thoughts?"  And you go, "Yeah."   They go, "Don't do it."

46:36  Back to where we were.  The guy said -- of course, I'm saying it too -- that there's a way, it's a quite valid method...just turn your attention...totally on the outside world.  Engage in nothing but intense extrospection.   But remember, you are not a scientist in the sense that you are in a specific field...you're just turning it out.

47:44  Now the trick.  You know what the purpose is;  don't you?  It's to keep you from engaging in introspection!

47:55  Now I've got to play the other part for you.  Then somebody says to me, "Well, wait a minute!...Then I can engage in intense introspection, and it would keep me from..."  He almost had it.

48:32  I encourage you, really...you ought to look into this:  that the whole idea...that you're engaged in introspection...what you're looking for is in here.  That certainly leads no one astray, and there is no other way to go about it...but if you can see what I've been trying to point out, which I can't point out, since it's not there...If you don't really have a self, which, by now, I don't know how you can uphold that illusion...if you're engaged in introspection, what is it intro-ing that you're spector-ing?

52:41  A large chunk of my life, my attention's been turned right inside of here examining, as you know from listening to me talk...trying to even look at my brain on a physiological basis...considering how the passions of the body, how the information of the senses...that there is the fountainhead of what we call thought...a self awareness, a self study.  BUT if, as I keep hinting...you don't have a self?  Then what -- may I put, if you don't mind, in Flemish -- what's the fucking point?  But see, you've got to be to the place to know the fucking point or that doesn't make any sense.  All you can do is sit and look at me, or cut your eyes off and think about it.  Because, see?  You've still got a self.  It's the only way you can think about it.

53:50  If you contemplate your self, you've got a self.   It's like asking yourself, "Am I asleep?"

55:10  You're taking a quick check of your c'ness, your inner life, and you ask yourself..."How asleep am I.  Am I asleep?"  Well, hell yeah!  What do you mean, "Am I asleep?"  As soon as you said the word, "Am."

55:38  If we're struggling to get away from our false self and get to our true self and you ask yourself...don't put undue mileage on your gums..."Was that my true self...?"  Don't sweat it, Champ.  Yes, it was your false self.

56:55  I say, "Look out your window.  Look outdoors."

57:07  And somebody could say,  "Wait a minute.  Are you saying don't engage in any, any introspection?"  Try it.   Maybe I didn't acutally say that, but now that you ask, try that and see what happens.   What the hell?  Try it.

57:35  I do hope that some of you understood that was a quite, to me, serious ending.