Notes on Jan Cox Talk # 2686 by CFish

Audio of Jan Cox 21 May 2001
Copyright Jan Cox.  Jan’s Legacy 2014
Notes by Cfish August 2014

Suggested Title:   "When, concerning his internal life, a man says: 
”I feel imprisoned,”    
the thing calling itself “I” in the statement --   is the prison: 
the one and only, 
and the only one from which a man can walk away.”  Jan’s Daily News 18 May 2001

Begin:  Something continually interesting, entertaining, and useful to ask yourself (The thing in your head) is “What the hell do you want?”  You may have pictures or verbal descriptions of what you want. (ex. relief from what annoys you, being awake, enlightenment, etc.)  

Everyone from the President of the United States to an ordinary person just trying to make his rent payment feel they are being held back.  People may have a captive feeling of being on a treadmill.  Even the ‘Attila the Huns’ live among the collective and no one lives among the collective on the basis of "one man rule. “

05:00  Religious people who believe in good and evil may have the feeling they are being held back by their physical passions.  (ex. sloth, sex, adultery, etc.)  So people of all types believe they are being held back. The reasons can be the mundane (paying rent), religious (good and evil simplifies the reason), and folks like us who want to “wake up."

10:00  Some mystical schools have a metaphysical story such as Plato’s “shadows on the wall.”  The shadows on the wall represent a shadow life (asleep) and to live a valid life (being awake-having understanding) we need to find the fire that produces the shadows.

So what is holding us back.  No one really asks.  But its not evil forces.  When you ask “that thing” “what do you want?”  "What can I do to make  (That thing-the running commentary) happy?”  “That thing" will hardly answer the questions.

And there is a reason for it.  Because it turns the question into a question.  “That thing” in us that does the running commentary (should of beens, what might have beens) - try and catch “that thing” (running commentary) and ask “What do you want?" 

And of course it will tell you.  On the individual level it may say it wants to wake up.  Stop all this useless noise.  So then it asks “What is stopping you?”  And its then, if you keeping looking around, you understand you do not have the least idea.

15:00  If you discount pretending it is laziness or some other variation, it is simple. Whatever thoughts you have, about the reasons (stupidity, laziness) you have, that are holding you back, its just a variation of my original question “What do ‘you’ ( useless noise ) want?” 

Do you realize that “ordinary mind and thought” is the only form of captivity - wherein the only way the captivity stays alive is due to the continual and generous contributions of the captors. (And captivity would like to thank you.)

When “the mind” is continually asked “what do you want?” and “whats holding you back?”  and the only answers it may have are variations of it being stupid or lazy it ceases to argue the point.  And when the mind will not argue a point - there is nothing more extraordinary than that.

20:00  The obvious physical exceptions (wanting to fly by flapping your arms, etc.) apply of course.  But if the desire is non-physical (awakening, enlightenment, etc.) and you are being held back then the only thing holding you back is “I'm asleep, I want to wake up, I am a prisoner.”

What is holding you back is the kind and generous support of the prisoner.  Captivity is held in place by thoughts of being held back.  No prisoner - no prison metaphorically speaking.   How can anything hold you back in such a place?

Sometimes when trying to describe to you guys and everyone is serious, I act serious to keep from laughing.  I understand the "serious" and if I was in the audience and I did not understand it I would be crawling through glass to listen to me talk.

If I put myself back a few years it would be serious but I am saying there is nothing serious.  The only thing holding you back is “that thing” that wants to be free.  “That thing” that says “I could do better but there are things holding me back.  

"That thing” that said its being held back is “that thing” holding you back.  Metaphorically the prison exists only because the prisoners identify themselves as prisoners.  I am not saying you are asleep and I am not saying I am asleep.

What I am saying is do this to yourself.  Laying in bed tonight or in the morning ask yourself “what is holding me back?”  Here I am and I will be getting up soon, I will be frustrated, not being awake, and not being satisfied.  So “what is holding me back?”

25:00  What is it specifically keeping me from my goal?  It is in me.  Its not in my boss and not in my mother.  Its just me laying in bed asking “what is holding me back?”  You cannot come up with an answer for that and not be awake.  Its not possible.

You will not come up with an answer for that and say “OK, what is next?”