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Transcript by DC
Jan Cox Talk 2553 : July 19, 2000
Copyright Jan Cox, Jan's Legacy 2014
These notes prepared by DC on 07/0308 from audio file.
Suggested Title : Regrets
Begin: First off, I just want to say a few things, just inside information to us, not out for the public tapes. I have, on several occasions of late, wondered whether I move too fast, whether I gloss over what I have to talk about ...I wonder if I talk too easily and pass over ...to me, my ideas about all of This ...are without equal...
03:13 We can start the regular tape now. I'm going into a subject that I don't know whether I'll be spending tonight on, or six months, because it segues into something else. It's a vast, swampy conspiracy...
03:51 I'm still going to expand ...on that current model, of me talking about man as though he literally had two brains ...the old, reptilian brain ...and the discretionary mind...
05:19 [In the discretionary mind] I include the ability to be selective ...in the reptilian brain, everything is simply an automatic reaction. There is no choice ...we have this mind, once it grows out of the brainstem into the cortex ...compared to instincts we apparently ...[have] discretion.
07:00 Alright, here's what I wrote to start with.
During one of their special conversations, a father said to his son, "Much of man's routine mental life is taken up with regrets, remembrances of past words and deeds which the thinker now regrets. From simple observation it seems that only a creature who thinks can suffer from regrets. And as always, we might assume that the purpose of holding memories of past regrettable actions is to use them for future decision making. But ask yourself, my boy, just how many of these various jumbled memories do you actually use in making decisions? The truth is, you don't know. It's easy to complain of their constant swirling in your head and condemn it as a part of "being asleep," but in fact you do not really know whether this constant, automatic mental activity is constantly proving valuable to you. So, how do you know that the mystic, so-called "state of distraction" is truly useless, much less detrimental? The old man stopped speaking, leaving this rhetorical challenge hanging in the air between them until the boy finally said, "I just know. I just know! Don't you?" A new mental challenge to which the elder could not negatively respond.
08:42 Amongst a certain ancient warrior class was held a dictum that lives both literally and metaphorically: "Don't complain; don't explain" which are two sides to the same coin, two partners in a common dance. And 'tis, I say, related to the matter of regrets. If you want to get to the bottom of the life of a creature with thoughts, this points up the need not to uselessly complain about the actions of others that your mind finds regrettable nor to explain -- which herein means excuse --actions of your own that you find regrettable. This much even some non-metaphysical warriors can grasp. But there is more. The man who now has the ability to carry his thinking beyond the normal boundaries should study this matter entirely as related to him. Thus, he obviously should not try to explain and excuse to himself past actions which his mind now regrets. No, it's much more subtle than that. What he needs is to see for himself the absolute misleading folly in him complaining to himself ABOUT the regrettable acts in the first place. In other words, he should not acknowledge in his mind that he has any regrets. If you accept the picture that a mind that knows the truth about everything would be basically an empty place in which nothing is known, then you must further realize that in such a mind there would be no knowledge of regrets. There is no doubt that at the essential, survival-related level if an animal makes a physical misstep it may remember the act in a future similar situation and avoid a repetition but this does not equal 'regret'. Regret is limited to the one animal who thinks. And while it can be seen as being a mentally-based elaboration of mere bodily recollections of some past costly action when the memory in question does not concern matters essential and the man in question sincerely wants to understand what's actually going on, a close examination of this affair will clearly reveal to him that regrets regarding anything he has ever done that was not physically life threatening serve only to close his mind by flooding it with memories that carry a particularly insidious faux passion, 'regret'. The advanced understanding of this reveals to a man seeking enlightenment the fact that it is meaningless then obstructive, for him to even regret that he is not enlightened.
12:03 There are no regrets in the land of what's really going on for over there, same as over here, all that's going on is what is going on. But over there, there is no one to think about it. Harboring regrets will blind you as sure as acid to the eyes.
12:27 Now let's get the bad news out of the way. A man who continues to entertain thoughts about himself that do not concern physical matters will, I fear, never wake up to what's going on. Of course, the news isn't really bad inasmuch as if he never wakes up to this, he'll never have the necessary understanding to feel bad about it.
12:49 In regard to man having two minds, the instinctive and the discretionary, and that one expresses itself verbally and in human terms and the other does not, then the proper interpretation of such stories as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" does not represent two different persons in the same body but rather the existence of one person in one man's body along with a person that is not a person. Only those who successfully pursue the question, "Who exactly am I?" will ever understand this interpretation.
13:30 (I gave it a shot.)
13:33 The more civilized and mentally oriented you are the more regrets you have. In fact, from the view of such people, a sure sign that another is lacking in civility and human development is if they suffer from an insufficient amount of regrets. And I add to this that a sure sign that you lack understanding is in your harboring regrets.
13:57 Someone defined man as "the only animal that shows shame". To which I add, "The only source of shame for a man seeking the truth is in playing host to any shame."
14:14 You got that one; right? That the only thing to be ashamed about is if you ever feel ashamed.
14:19 It may be tolerable to be embarrassed about tripping over your own feet but beyond that what shame is there in being a human and being alive?
14:31 On what rational basis can a man have regrets about his life, when a rational inquiry reveals that he does not even lead his life? Certainly not as his mind proclaims.
14:45 In the land where the light always shines the word "regret" is a synonym for "blank space in intelligence".
14:58 From one verbally notable view, the key to living the life of the enlightened is in living in accord with the prevailing conditions: living by instinct, not by discretionary mental concepts. Attempts at self analysis always puts one at least partially out of step with conditions. And this is the real state behind the term, "being deluded" -- a fact, the steady awareness of which proves most valuable to the few. The natural, essential world is to be taken seriously; never the human, artificial one.
15:48 In a beauty contest between Ms. Instinct and Ms. Discretionary, there is no contest.
16:00 Regrets are a large part of a uniquely human mental continuity that is the binding agent holding together many mortal relationships. In other words, many a dance team is kept together by the music of "Regret".
16:21 From a more profitable, non-local view a man who continually thinks about his own best interest doesn't have his own best interest in play.
P.S. This has nothing at all to do with anything men refer to as morality.
16:41 After some consideration of the whole subject of "regret," one man voices this view: "It seems to me man should be both sensitive and hard as an engine block -- sensitive to the feelings of others, yet indifferent to his own (referring, of course, to mental feelings, that is, human emotion)."
17:06 Being alive is both a delicate matter and a non-delicate matter, and the more thought oriented is a man the more he thinks that the mental reality is where the greatest delicacy is needed. But I say to the contrary. I say that if you can actually see what Life is all about right before your very own eyes, then you will see that it is not in the inner world of thought where delicacy is required. No. Not hardly. Yet I do like the part of what the man said about the engine block...not a running motor -- just an engine block: just sitting there, hard as steel and going nowhere.
18:02 I just thought of a question. How is the enlightened mind like pig iron? And the answer is, how is it not unlike it?
18:14 Back to the reading: One guy says, "As regards my complaints with my consciousness, whenever I stop and think about it I realize that what my mind normally thinks about is meaningless to me. So, the question is, who is it in me to whom it does seem meaningful?"
18:44 Words being abstract and theoretical instead of real and immediate, they can conjure up in the mind apparent real possibilities which are, in fact, unreal. For instance, since the mind is the field on which the word game is played, there is no way to convince the mind that it is not free as it so thinks it is. A mind that relies on words has in truth nothing substantial on which to rely. But do note men commonly identified as being intellectual can continually raise such questions as "Is technology moving too fast?" "Are the super rich becoming more disproportionally richer?" The tacit message being that a man of words and of the mind can not only rationally respond thereto but can actually stop the mechanisms in question. To an awakened mind it is always a matter of facta non verba, deeds not words. And may I remind you of the technique of constantly asking yourself, "What does instinct say?"
20:11 In the zoological division of animals into the offensive and defensive, man is listed in the latter. And in fact, it has been said that "Man is at his best when on the defense"...from one view it could be said that on the basis of man being pusillanimous that all of technology, all of civilization is based on his being...a creature of flight, his being a [defensive] creature. And yet from one quite valid view...all of technology could be seen as an attempt to create defenses...for a fairly [defenseless] creature...every thing that's arisen from man's discretionary mind can be traced to fear...
23:33 The strongest instinct, in one sense, is fear. And I bring it up on the basis of us being a fearful animal rather than an aggressive animal, and that everything that we do is an attempt to protect ourselves, to put up defenses: religion, sporting events, shopping, bird watching...every pack animal gets together for one reason...because instinctively...they have a better chance for the group, for the species to survive...operating cooperatively enhances the chances of that particular pack, or the whole species, of surviving...
25:39 It has been said that man is at his best when on the defense, the most inventive in other words.
25:45 If a man seeks to become clear headed, if a man has our kind of aim, he is at his worst when on the defense as regards being entangled in "regret" which is a defensive maneuver. Specifically for our purposes, a man is at his worst when defending himself from his own mental attacks ON himself, e.g. "God! Am I a stupid, sleeping bastard!" Such sentiments initially strike the mind as well deserved, accurate and useful. But as the mind begins to open up to non-standard possibilities, this verbal view of oneself is seen as counterproductive to say the least.
26:32 The strictly human emotions of pity, hope, anxiety and sadness can be seen as the discriminatory mind's acceptable interpretations of instinctive fear. And to this list I add regret. What is regret but fear in disguise? And outside the world of instinct what has an awakened man to fear?
27:39 What do men fear the most nowadays? They fear the most things in the discretionary world, things in the cultural world. Men have much greater fear of public disapproval...than they do [of] any instinctive fear...
29:09 I find interesting to ponder, "Would instinct make you jump out of the way of a truck?"...From one view I can see that instinct still has no knowledge of the world of artifacts...
32:28 What this is going to get around to, by the way, is a whole 'nother view of what it is to be asleep having to do with fear, regret and not being able to tell the truth about yourself.
32:42 Back to the reading: A man in the natural progression from infancy to maturity goes from being a "biological creature to being a psychological one." But a man who wakes up to plain reality experiences a third stage wherein he returns to being a special type of biological creature once again. A "primitive wrapped up in conscious sophistication;" you might say. And here is my related suggestion: Find out how to work on yourself without assaulting yourself which your awakened mind will realize was ultimately self defeating all along.
33:32 Ask yourself: In a struggle to resist both or either your instinctive mind or your discretionary mind and to treat whatever you discover therein as being foreign to you, is for the purpose of accomplishing exactly what?
33:59 You can't escape going through this; most people never get past it. But what is it to be accomplished? Ask yourself --literally.
34:40 The general view...that we're not supposed to be asleep...I am not supposed to be so easily dazed and distracted and stumbling around half blind. It's foreign to me. Ask yourself quite simply what's to be accomplished, precisely...what is it that I believe I have in mind specifically that I want to accomplish...?
35:45 There's always the side question about what in the hell is this? How can there be something foreign in me? Where is the hole in the universe? Does the universe in itself ever look around and go, "What the hell is that? Where the hell did that come from?"
37:59 If it [something deemed 'foreign'] upsets you so much, why don't you call it something else? Why don't you call it "dinner rolls"...? Nobody wonders where did hot croissants come from in the morning...
38:38 In the struggle...when you believe you're working on yourself, when you start trying to struggle against the state of being asleep...then you're struggling with something that has been identified and which you accept as being foreign to you, the state of sleep...
41:05 You can take all human emotions, which I still say are simply instincts that have been disguised -- they're instincts that the discretionary mind...has labeled, given different names and made more acceptable to the discretionary mind...every human emotion...can be seen as either being the cortex's elaboration and version of either sex or fear...
43:44 All anxiety obviously is fear...Anxiety is not instinctive fear. Anxiety is now the discretionary mind's elaboration, its version of instinctive fear carried into the discretionary world, the secondary world, the world of culture. A painter has anxiety when he hangs up his latest...show...he's afraid he will fail. But it's not an instinctive fear. If his show's a bomb, a lion's not going to jump out and eat him. The fear is an artificial fear because it's a fear that arises from the discretionary mind...
45:22 Back to the paper: ...you are attempting to resist that which comes out of consciousness or out of instinct...and you treat it...as being foreign to you...and attempt...to struggle against it....to what specific end? It's an extremely trick question...
47:02 FACT -- back to the reading -- The refusal to face and admit the truth about whatever is in your instinctive and discretionary minds is the cause of all regrets.
47:19 One man's present motto is "I may be dazed, distracted and in mental disorder, but I feel okay physically." Which leads me to suggest that you ask yourself even more bluntly another question: "Why be upset, when you can be clear headed?"
47:48 There is no activity of greater threat to a man's total health than that of unnecessary resistance. Even if you are a mystic, all you get for your efforts are frustration, regrets and blinding headaches. Why be blind, when you can just as easily see?
48:20 Does anyone realize why I say I don't know whether I'll be spending just a night on this or six months?
48:30 I want to reread one...this one: Page Eleven. One guy says..."In regards to my complaints with consciousness" -- he's our kind of guy -- "whenever I stop and think about it...I realize that what my mind is normally thinking about is meaningless to me but then that leaves the question, 'So why does it seem meaningful to me?'"
Didn't do any better; did it?
49:59 If you were like me, if you were out there working for the Lord 24/7...me, a lifetime of struggling to awaken and here I am, asleep...[Fred Schwartz, Peugeot dealer story]...all this garbage, what goes on when I am "asleep," when my dog's out of the yard, what's going on is meaningless to me...BUT then I'm stuck with the question, "Then who is it...that it IS so meaningful to when I don't stop and think about it?"
That's the third time. Is it any better?
Well, it's too late to go any further.
53:30 When I say regret I mean something very specific. It's based upon unnecessary resistance; it's based upon absolutely unnecessary fear. But it's based upon regretting that about which a man should have no regrets. Which is, "I regret being asleep". And at first -- I say "at first;" it could go on for a lifetime. I still don't see many people escaping it...
55:00 The day comes...to where regretting being asleep is, shall we say -- ahem -- a regrettable misstep. It's self defeating. You're regretting on the basis that there's something in me that's foreign...
55:52 The only thing foreign to a man's mind is the belief that there's something foreign to it.
56:05 I'll suggest it to you once more to ask yourself...when you accept the fact that there are things about me...that are foreign..."What is it that I think...what is it that I expect I'm going to gain by struggling against these things that I believe are foreign in me?"
57:52 "What is it that I'm expecting from the process itself, from the process of taking, believing that certain things in me are foreign?"
58:12 Taking that approach...In what way is it going to help, or is it helping, that you accept those things as being foreign to you?...It's insanity, a special brand just for us mystics.
As long as you're doing something, though, you're not wasting your time.