Summary by Cfish
Jan Cox Talk 2571 August 30, 2000
Copyright Jan’s Legacy 2015, Jan Cox
Notes by Cfish December 2015
Suggested Title: Just Looking
Reads: It can be an expediently useful tactic to look upon and investigate your thinking not as something “active” that you do but rather something “passive” that happens to you. A man who can see an advantage to this stance can then soon see an advantageous view of yet another matter in a similar fashion.
Reads: To wit: to look upon being asleep not as a condition you bring on yourself by your own unawakened actions but instead as a condition to which you are a passive victim. To look for sleep is to be forced to believe (when you find it) that you caused it. How else could you be enticed to try and change the situation?
A man genetically wired to be attracted to the "struggle to awaken” once he hears man described as being asleep, he adopts the idea as his own. He did not create the idea and his mind is stuck with having to take the idea just as he found it. It is a mental world where the laws of permissible thoughts are made by thoughts already present.
Once the mind decides it is asleep and deluded there is no way out of the then perceived condition other than by getting un-asleep/un-deluded. Surely the desire to awaken requires active participation. But is this so? What if being asleep is man’s active mental condition and waking up is passive?
Reads: A man who pays any serious attention to what his mind says is un-awakenable. A man who listens sincerely to anything his mind talks about cannot be enlightened. A man who has any relationship with his mind other than that of just looking at it will never realize whats been going on all this time.
05:00 Consider: Looking at the mind as having infinite room available, which is never used. (the actual cause of frustration with the mind) Not too many ideas, but not enough ideas. Simply you have to see the need to twist everything backward in how your mind says it should be.
Note: It is always “should be”, not “could be”, because it is difficult to attract attention on the basis of what could be. The mind does not come forth with alleged reports from the gods like you folks “could do better - it is always you folks “ should” do better.
10:00 Once one has adopted the idea one could internally, mentally, and consciously be in a different state, then the effort (struggle to awaken) appears to be an active challenge.
Past teachings (ex. self remembering, being mindful, buddha mind,) present themselves as an active challenge. And that being asleep/metaphorically appears to be a passive state. (Literally being asleep/bedtime sleeping is a passive state)
15:00 Getting out of bed in the morning requires an active act. So using the metaphor of “wanting to awaken” well, that requires effort. But I say there is another way to look at the “effort to awaken” that I find useful. It requires unused muscles of the mind to see what I am pointing to.
No one that I know of thinks the teaching/struggle to awaken could be backwards. But if you folks have stuck around this long you can probably follow along. What if the “ struggle to awaken” is a passive undertaking?
20:00 Note: I am not saying the “struggle to awaken” is the opposite of the teachings. (ex. the effort, the work) but it is a twisted version. What if the reality of “being awake” is not the imagined reality of “being awake”?
What if behind the words, the “struggle to awaken” is a passive act? What if the effort to awaken could be profitably seen as a passive undertaking? Would not that answer one big question: Why do I not accomplish more thru my effort? Why do the rewards seem elusive?
What if a sincere effort to awaken, to stopping thought, to separate consciousness from the mechanical flow of thinking, (It’s not disingenuous to say after a lifetime of doing it) the true payoff does not come thru the active doing of something, but in assuming a passive position to the undesirable/sleeping state/mechanical flow.
25:00 I can see the effort to awaken as one of passivity, and as a proper view. My first thought of this was almost immediately followed with peripheral matters that could be useful. Meditation is a time honored method in attempts to awaken. (still mind - still body)
I am not saying that the people who use and promote it understand it but consider for a moment that meditation is a passive undertaking. One old zen master did ask the question after looking around the monastery “how do passive vessels lead to awakening?”
30:00 Changing the view but not the subject, the mind under mechanical conditions is an endless medium/passageway for redundant useless commentary. Classic meditation is calming the mind so it is not subjected to redundant useless commentary.
What is irritating to folks like us is the mind seems to be full of useless crap, when left to its own devices. Attempts to awaken (self remembering, etc.) attempt to push all this crap out of the way and replace it with good stuff. (The thought of Awakening)
What if the mind is not full of crap. (ex. last week I mentioned the mind is boundless/unstable) What if the mind is infinite? Ordinary people do not notice that their mind is full of crap anymore than they notice that they are alive. Telling ordinary people they are asleep - it’s not noticeable to them.
35:00 In man’s normal state the mind is only partially used. The mind - when being useful - can be life saving, but the rest of the time, being charitable, it is useless. Normal people are not surprised they are alive. That is their conscious state.
40:00 The mind only bothers people who hear that it should bother them and as soon as they hear it they say, “I’m bothered”. (example - people who hear ‘man is asleep’ and say,”That’s it! I’m asleep”) So what if the problem is not that consciousness is taking up day and night with meaningless bullshit (sleeping thoughts), but what if there is not enough going on in your mind?
What if the mind cannot be filled? All of you can snap out of the sleeping state. And you realize the mind of man is boundless. If it were not, there would be no conflicting views. If the mind of man could be filled, it would only take a few generations before progress would stop. (ex. the wheel would still be made of stone)
45:00 Consider the mind full of sleeping thoughts - would you be big time asleep, would you even know? To know you would have to wake back up a little. And do you see what just happened? You say “What just happened?” But by then it is too late.
It is always too late. That is the only reason anyone’s asleep. You heard that man is asleep. You say that is it. And in saying that you are too late because now you know it. I give the mythical creation stories, and forbidden knowledge stories credit for having interests similar to our own.
To ordinary people it’s not forbidden knowledge, it’s whatever the holy book/society tells them. For people wired up like us when we hear that man is asleep and can awaken we adopt it. It is like toilet paper you can’t shake loose from your foot. What if the continual shaking is not the way to go about it?