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Summary by DC
Jan Cox Talk 2535 - June 7, 2000
Suggested title: Simpler Than You Can Imagine
00:06 To begin with, I'm going to say, "How you all feeling?" And you're supposed to holler back, "No more than is called for."
00:41 There was another example today...[since] thinking has but one mother and one father, and that's feeling --- another example of how far removed humanity is from ever perceiving that fact....[scientific findings that said] "A positive mental attitude can certainly speed recovery from illness."
03:45 And idiot and moron that I am, I sit by my radio and I turn my little head and I cut my ear and I wait. "Yes?" There is no yes..no one makes note of the fact that the state of your health determines your mental attitude.
05:13 I will read what I wrote before I talk about it. If there is such a condition as being totally, perfectly and permanently awake and enlightened, and you are not presently therein,
then from my view you should be relentlessly engaged in a running struggle to stay somewhere just out of reach of your everyday condition. You should be forever seeking your own increasingly simplified model of what's going on, until you reach the stage of directly seeing same for yourself.
05:43 And in light of this, here is my new model for your consideration: Life is as it is; the human mind attempts to describe how Life is. Then the mind tries to analyze its own descriptions of how Life is. And men call this, 'being intelligent,' while I call it being disconnected from Life as it is. Note however that this disconnection is mental. It can only be physical as an indirect consequence of the mental disconnection. Thus is man a part of two separate realities: physical reality and a mental reality wherein he attempts to describe and analyze the physical one...and yet that mental reality is not really there, not in the same sense as is the physical environment in which we all subsist all of the time.
06:59 The undeniably obvious simply stated is: at any moment when your consciousness of reality is based primarily on your sense of mental reality then mental reality IS your primary sense of reality and not the actual physical reality in which you actually live. A simple salient fact but one of which few men can take consistent note.
07:24 Look again at consciousness. What is consciousness but another facility by which the human organism processes information about its physical environment. And what is the sleeping, distracted, confused and deluded consciousness complained of by the few other than this naturally helpful facility operating at less than optimum capacity?
07:45 consciousness is intended to be consciousness of surroundings, operating almost as a sixth sense, or, if you prefer, as a central processing center for the other five senses. But when nothing of consequence is going on in your surroundings, this central processor lapses into talking to itself, reviewing files of previously collected information, just a general state of chaotic daydreaming.
08:20 Consider: all of the conditions that frighten, annoy and bewilder you exist only through thoughts. Such conditions are not composed of actual conditions and thus they cannot actually harm you, only sour your life needlessly as you confuse them for real reality.
08:41 The few have described the states of consciousness with which they find fault as being 'deluded' but exactly what does that signify? It means that your instant sense of reality is being primarily dictated by your thoughts and mental descriptions of life, whereas being enlightened is having your sense of reality composed of whatever is happening around you.
09:06 Physical reality is an enlightened man's reality; thought based, a deluded man's.
09:14 From this model, then, the whole wanting-to-awaken thing comes down to a simple choice: you either let reality affect you, or else your thoughts about it do so. Those who believe enlightenment to be about anything other than this still have no workable idea as to what it really is about.
09:36 While I make use of such terms as 'the thoughts that run through you,' it could be profitable now to picture it in terms of 'the thoughts you stir up in you,' so that you do not seem to be trapped in a scenario in which you are a passive or helpless victim. From such a perspective you would then abandon the struggle to stop or supress the thoughts that automatically arise within you, and would be charged instead with the responsibility of you not stirring up thought. Even a robot, totally programmed, who seeks enlightenment could benefit from this approach.
10:12 Don't think of yourself as a kind of hapless, passive victim upon whom mechanical thought can simply have its way. Think of yourself, rather, as one with the obvious ability to not excite your mind, and not stir up thoughts in the first place.
10:31 Don't excite the mind; don't stir up thoughts. What else is there?
10:40 Consider: if you were a robot who had been programmed to believe otherwise, and the reality of the situation was described to you, what would you, what could you do, in regards thereto?
11:23 Even if nobody actually has the power to be responsible for their life, you certainly can never achieve our goal without some sort of meaningful attempt otherwise.
11:36 Although it is necessary for each person to realize clearly for themself the truth of and distinction between real, physical reality and unreal, thought-based reality, you must eventually swallow and digest the matter and move on.
11:52 And a monk asked a sage, "Does enlightenment bring happiness?" And the sage replied, "I do not know." And the monk asked, "Does enlightenment bring wisdom?" And the sage replied, "I do not know." And the monk asked, "Does enlightenment fulfill all of your dreams?" And the sage replied, "I do not know." And after a moment of reflection, the monk asked, "Then does enlightenment bring relief?" And the sage broke into a broad grin and with a dramatic gesture wiped imaginary sweat from his brow and exclaimed, "Well finally! A question with an answer!"
12:31 The universe, reality, is wide open and right out there in plain sight for everyone to see. Where is there that anything can be hidden from us? How can there be something unknown in the midst of all that is obvious? Where is there for something unreal to exist? And how can the truth about things be hidden and kept from us? Everything that a man says that he wants to know and which he cannot locate is sitting right behind his descriptions of the things that he says he wants to know.
13:11 Ask yourself, what is the purpose in allowing unreal, thought-based reality to overrun your consciousness and cause the mystic 'state of sleep and confusion' when you can stop it by choice and live consciously in the real reality of your physical surroundings? Which you do anyway, just not consciously.
13:35 Being of ordinary, unsatisfying consciousness is to be forever trying to figure out the reason that things happen like they do, always wondering about the 'purpose of life', which are the bases of all distraction, confusion, uncertainty, frustration and ignorance. Only those who give over their minds to the false reality of thought are blind to the reason that life is as it is, and only they, foolishly, are perplexed as to its purpose.
14:10 The reality of the universe cannot hide from itself. Nor can it hide anything within it from itself. Thus, neither can you. Everything is right out there in the open, right out in plain sight. It's only your thinking about it that keeps it hidden. Wipe the imaginary sweat dramatically from your brow, grin broadly and realize to yourself, "Phew! Finally, something that I can do something about."
14:43 And a concluding fact: Not only is what's going on simpler than you may now presently imagine; it is simpler than you can imagine. Phew.
15:11 Everything about finding yourself, trying to realize what's going on...to glance through books, to glance back over my memory of books, and the world-wide historical view, and the continuing view amongst 99% of the mystics who make up less than 1% of the people on the planet,
people who are interested in this kind of stuff, that their view is that they're seeking for something hidden.
17:19 To look out at this thing -- now, that's what I mean when I say "reality" -- but to look out at the universe...you just look out there and ask yourself -- not arguing about what is reality and what is not reality -- look out at the universe and tell me, where can anything be hidden? Does anybody get it?...There could be some kind of great truth hiding behind Pluto.
19:02 [To imagine that something could be hidden] you've got to be in an ordinary state of mind. Your sense of reality has to be thought based. And therefore, you do feel that there is a difference between you and the environment...then you can believe that something could be hidden. But if you can get past that, the idea is -- truly, it's ludicrous on a level that the most intelligent of ordinary minds can't see.
20:03 If you can get loose from the mind, if you've had enough of even small-time satori experiences to rely on...you look out at the universe...it's ridiculous that something could be hidden, some truth, or that there's a mystery. I want to know where the mystery is. Now, scientists -- men believe there are mysteries, but what are the mysteries? It's not the mystery's out there, it's the mysteries of them trying to calculate what's going on. That's mental reality; that's the descriptions of reality.
20:41 I opened tonight by a group of four statements, I believe it was, separated, the first three, by semicolons for those of you taking notes. I notice no one's taking notes. It says, "Life is as it is; the human mind attempts to describe how Life is; then the mind attempts to analyze its descriptions of how Life is. Now, when you reach that stage, that is what passes for intelligence amongst ordinary men. It truly does. But they don't realize what they're doing. They're analyzing descriptions.
22:12 I repeat: Life is as it is, that is, you look out at the universe and if your head was cleared out, if you were just in a small condition -- if you were in just one of those small states of satori...and it will hit you, this reality, that life is as it is...The human mind then attempts to describe it...where it becomes unprofitable...is the descriptions that men have of other men's activity. And then they attempt to analyze that, and after that you've got all sorts of useless hobbies, mental hobbies such as religion, philosophy and most everything that anybody's ever thought about. It only produces confusion, from the view, if you ever wake up a little. If you ever see what's going on, then you realize such analysis of descriptions of what life is only result in uncertainty, confusion, annoyance, sometimes belligerence between people. It simply does not come to any good end. It does not produce understanding in people. It should be obvious. It never has.
24:17 The few such as us who get involved with this and do not choke on the critical attitude toward life but seem somehow to undertake to change their own view of it, to believe "There must be something that I don't understand that makes me believe that things are so amuck"...if you approach anything resembling my definition of a real mystic, you get past worrying about other people not understanding something correctly...but you believe there is something hidden from you, that for things to be this confused...then there must be something that humans do not know...now back to my question.
How can you look out at life...the universe and say that there's something hidden?
27:42 The idea that man's deluded is perhaps the oldest...description...of being asleep...I ask you again: How can you look out at the universe and believe that you could be deluded? How is it possible to be deluded?
29:26 Deluded about what?
30:01 It always comes back to who am I? What is self? What is this that's thinking that I'm getting a whiff of something and I know what it is? What is it that's making me think that?...What was it that made me get up and get a cup of coffee *then*, right then. My di-version of it is this -- I finally came up with a way to put it to you -- that not only is what's going on simpler than you may think it is; it's simpler than you CAN think it is. It's simpler than it's possible to think it is. Because if you get to the point of realizing how simple what's going on is, you're not thinking about what's going on anyway; you are what's known as big-time...awake.
31:30 ...go out...in your mind and look up at the universe...you know...it's endless...and then be aware that under everyday ordinary conditions even Buddha...when he is dealing with thought-based reality, the world is nothing but a ball of confusion. It's just one thing after another, things going at cross purposes, people acting in ways that are just inexplicable...it seems as though the whole thing is about to come apart...if I just knew the secret!
32:54 The problem, where you get stuck, is believing you DO understand something.
34:51 ...believing there's only one or two little things you don't understand: you need to get away from that. That'll kill you, because you'll stay right there.
36:27 You don't understand a lot...and there's not just a little bit that you don't understand. You don't understand anything. Nobody does. You analyze descriptions that other people that don't understand anything have made....walk out Picadilly Circus. There it is....until you go, "I always wanted to come to London"...you're no longer in London...you're asleep in London; you're in thoughts of London.
37:57 Everyone still physically is living an awakened life...but you're disconnected from life as it is; that's all being asleep is. That's every mystic's complaint is that they have, through thoughts...been disconnected from life as it is. But for reasons, that over the long haul, are beneficial.
38:48 Everything taken into consideration, the mind is a great benefit....we can call on abstract memory as we're processing what's coming in and make more profitable judgements as to what to do with the information coming in.
39:57 But if it's not doing that, what does it do? It hums the first two bars to "Stairway To Heaven" until it almost drives me out of my fucking mind. And then I get so mad I trip and fall down and hurt myself. Then I'm maddeer than ever. And then I realize, "What the hell! I'm supposed to be awake!" Now I'm mad triple.
40:21 And yet, life is as it is.
40:32 Life is so simple that it's not possible to imagine how simple.
41:12 There's a multitude of anecdotes...wherein the sages...responded in ways that apparently the attempt was to at least verbally slap into the reality of how simple things are and you're just mucking it up needlessly by your questions.
44:40 ...the interference...is having thought, other peoples' descriptions and now your analyses of their descriptions stand between you mentally and life as it is.
45:03 ...ordinary people and mystics have nothing standing between them physically and reality, that is, what's going on...nothing substantially stands between you and physically what's going on. Being asleep is simply a few people realizing what's true with everybody. And that is mentally there's a LOT standing between you and how life is. That's the whole point.
46:10 Once [the mind] has done its job of being able to abstractly describe life to itself, to others, be able to put it into equations, when it's not doing that then the side effect is that it simply separates you, it disconnects you from your direct, physical connection to what's going on. That's daydreaming; that's imagination. It's only by doing that that Goethe could write whatever the hell he wrote.
46:59 Were it not for the mind being disconnected to physical reality we would have none of the so-called soft sciences; we would have none of the arts, no religion. And plus people like us wouldn't be asleep.
47:25 You know how you know you're asleep?...anytime you're working on a problem and it's not a problem that has to do with physical reality...Do you realize that if you've got a problem you're asleep?
48:56 First off, life is as it is. That should be the opening words of all holy books...anything beyond that is superfluous....then -- and this is inescapable --the human mind, yours and everyone else's...attempts to describe life. Remember it does it for very valid reasons, for helpful reasons...then minds try to analyze the descriptions of life. You realize we're two stages removed from life as it is.
52:21 You have chosen to stir up your mind into such meaningless activity rather than not stirring up the mind, not exciting the mind and simply dealing with life as it is which you're dealing with that way any damn way.
53:40 [The mind's original purpose was] to monitor your senses as they monitor your surroundings. That reality, physical reality. The mind was not meant to monitor itself.
55:28 The purpose of consciousness, the purpose of the mind is to be conscious of your surroundings...what we call being asleep...is when consciousness is being employed otherwise.
56:43 [Someone coming up to him after a speech]...one of the things I always imagined and it never happened -- which all my good-est things never happen, as I told you, you know, like it never comes out that there's no such thing as terminal illness.
56:03 Living in thought-based reality is the only cause, the only source of people's uncertainty and their frustration and their ignorance.
59:17 You cannot imagine how simple it is. If you could, you'd be awake and you wouldn't be imagining.
59:29 Remember, the most important thing is a positive mental attitude...OK?
01:00:46 Physically what life calls upon us to do is quite simple, darn near boring. In fact to many people downright boring, which explains much of the secondary -- if not all of the secondary -- reality.
01:01:19 Only a few of us think about it. Then you're in worse shape than the other 6 billion. Until you realize it.
01:04:00 This universe would have to be placed in some setting for it to hide anything. If it's just it, which it is...where can something hide?
01:04:36 You believe there are mysteries, human mysteries...everything the mind thinks about, the mysteries, the mind made it all up!
01:06:00 [Two theologians] One says, "Even though we have deep, very deep and historic differences in our methods of worship...even though we're both Protestant...I know it seems perhaps that it's unbridgeable...now it's finally time....[to build bridges, etc.] Here's the whole world that the mind invented and now they treat it like "Well, I'm not sure that we can ever bridge these differences."