Document 426N
Copyright (c) Jan M. Cox, 1988
Let's explore the drollness of the "in here"/"out there" apparent phenomenon dynamic. Everything and every process unconditionally exists in our atmosphere. So every noun and verb on the planet is subject to the weather: wind, moisture, cloudiness, temperature changes. Weather is everywhere. But, there is a difference "indoors."

 Try and fathom this: There is no difference between "in here" and "out there" in the sense that everything is part of the atmosphere and subject to the weather. Weather (and the verbal manifestation of weather) is impossible to escape. Yet, there IS a difference between weather "out there," and being indoors.

 Man's intellectual life could be seen as the ultimate indoors; the supreme shelter, the foremost homestead. The upper end of man's nervous system, which communicates and processes energy in ways that are invisible, is the ultimate indoors. The greatest shelter (house or home) is not a skyscraper or a bomb shelter but that which is going on inside your skull.

 Man's intellect can be described as a bravado attempt to arrange a refuge of safety, power and order in the midst of chaos. It can be raining cats and lizards, burning hot or freezing cold outside, and where does a man stay? When it's raining fear and depression and bad luck, a civilized person will withdraw into his own private shelter. The intellect -- the upper reaches of the nervous system -- will withstand the ravages of the worst external weather. A man can watch as the funnel of a tornado swirls above his head. His factory, house, friends, and government buildings can be blown to pieces around him, but he is safe inside of his head.

 The ultimate indoors on this side of the world is -- you. When you hear that ten percent of the employees at your company are scheduled to be laid off next month, you can retreat into your intellect. This retreat is called thinking, daydreaming, and other names. But the basis of it is what I am describing. This is not just a verbal allegory and not as parabolical as it may seem at first; this is literally the best description I now have of the "in here"/"out there" dynamic. In a sense there's no distinction between "in here" and "out there," yet there is an OPERATIONAL distinction. You could not function if this was not the case.

 Nature is not el stupido. Bears have fur, birds have feathers, and people build shelters to keep out the weather. Man is reputed to have had more hair in the past. But there's something else involved here besides man trying to keep out of the elements by building physical shelters. Life has developed the operational nervous system in man to the level where that nervous system now talks and transmits specialized energy in a manner City folks would call "abstract." So Life can transmit energy, which no one can see, through human conversation and memory. And by developing man's nervous system to that level, Life has created a stable inner refuge for safety. The intellect is a refuge (not against physical danger but against being terminally frightened, terminally depressed, etc.) against another kind of elements.

 Man is the only creature with this power that derives from having an internal form of home. Other creatures have physical power, but that's completely unlike the refuge of power and order which occurs internally in man. The weather can be awful -- your hair is blowing in every direction and there are portents of tornadoes -- and you can go indoors to escape. You may still become fearful and be affected by the weather to some extent. But there is a difference in being indoors; having an intellect makes a great difference.

 Look at this on another scale, from another direction: All forms of regionalism and nationalism are a magnified version of man's need for and love of the indoors. If you and some group of people feel you can stick together -- fly together -- you feel safer. You are experiencing another form of the love of the indoors. The Romans all get together for protection from the Huns. If you're a Roman and you see a bunch of Huns headed toward the village, you run around the corner to where your compatriots are standing and you feel some degree of safety. What you're seeking is the indoors.

 Consider another aspect of this: Man is the only creature (with a few intermediate exceptions) driven to establish a permanent home. This is called the "American Dream," but it's dreamt around the world. If you're halfway intelligent, you want a permanent home. A man saves up some money and the first thing he thinks about is having his own place: "I want a house with real brick and mortar to hide in when my in-laws come to town." "I need to be able to come home and relax and escape from the ravages of the outside world." You can feel this in you. Can you also see a molecular basis inside you for the feeling?

 The desire for a permanent home is a reflection of people wanting to establish a stable sense of individuality, what is referred to in the City as "personality." Everyone feels, "I may be dull, bland and innocuous, but there is permanent home within me, that belongs to me, that is unshakable." Of course, even among sophisticated people, the desire is never analyzed the way I am describing.

 Take this further. What are the most common health problems? Forget sexual diseases -- the most popular problems are so-called mental health problems. Why does everyone want to be mentally healthy? To be otherwise won't kill you or run up your insurance rates. Yet being mentally healthy seems important to everyone. People join support groups, go to therapists, visit gurus on the other side of the planet, all to improve their mental health. So what's the down side of being mentally unhealthy? It threatens your refuge, your indoors. Everyone feels they need to build a stable refuge, a good, healthy indoors (which means a good, healthy self-image or outlook) because the nervous system needs this stable home.

 Look at how the intellect is protected, physiologically. The human skull is the last thing to break if you take a fall. You can kiss your shoulders, ribs, knees and elbows goodbye if you fall off a mountain, but the hard mother -- the dura mater -- is the last to go. Or, you might say, "The skull seems to be the sturdiest bone structure in the body, which would lead you to believe it is in charge of protecting that of supreme value -- although with some in the City the worthiness of this attempt is debatable."

 Let me twist this a bit to bring up still another aspect. You can see that everyone loves himself. To argue with this fact is to argue with the blatant parade of history. If you didn't love yourself, you'd kill yourself. Pigs, dogs and trees love themselves, too, but only man KNOWS he loves himself. Man loves himself for one particular reason: he loves the indoors. If you're functionally intelligent, you love yourself and you love the indoors. You don't just love the indoors -- you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. (As an aside, if you didn't love the indoors, you couldn't sit here and listen to me talk. It would be insanity -- like trying to listen to a tornado whooshing all around you several nights a week -- and it would make no sense whatsoever.)

 The love of the indoors is the basis for men cherishing their individuality. The more civilized people are, the more they have mottos, slogans and laws reflecting a concern for other people. There is a sanctity and love and cherishing -- a respect for individuality -- among the civilized. Consider what your peers at City level would regard as the supreme mistreatment? Not physical punishment: the most inhumane form of treatment is considered to be humiliation. Put someone in a gray uniform without a number and throw him into a cell with others in the same condition; ignore a person's individuality completely and that amounts to torture. You don't have to be tortured physically -- being treated as if you are nothing is the greatest torture. You expect your captors to ask you about your secrets but instead they treat you as if you don't have a stick of furniture in your internal home.

 All humans -- you and all people in the City -- love their indoors. And they love themselves because they love the indoors, because there is a difference between the weather conditions outdoors and indoors. You can never completely escape the effects of the weather: a storm can stop food from being delivered to your house or cause your electricity to be disconnected. There is no clear distinction between "in here" and "out there," but still, there is a difference. Your indoors is a kind of indescribable refuge.

 Even though I stamp my foot and holler, "There Is No Out There!" and plenty of you have had your own insights so that you realize, to some degree, the veracity of that, it still escapes the general awareness of everyday City consciousness. It's supposed to. Because no matter what's going on "out there," you can go indoors and get away from it. No matter how many times your boss screams at you, you can still run back into your office and daydream about how you're going to get another job.

 Ponder this without slipping into a terminal pondering coma. Man has the ability to do two things in response to the conditions "out there": he can either act or think of acting. Man can act and think of acting, but the latter comes into place when the former either is or seems to be impossible or unprofitable. Thinking of action may seem like a whole lot of nothing just so man can do something when he has nothing else to do. But think about that. In a sense, sometimes the weather becomes so inhospitable that a person will be more inclined to stay indoors, or, to think of action.

 Picture the time-honored scenario of two foes or potential foes sitting down to the conference table to discuss their differences. They aren't fighting, though the talk may not be getting anywhere and the conference appears to be accomplishing nothing. The view of that, throughout history, has been, "Well, at least they're not fighting. If we can keep them talking, they won't kill each other over boundaries or issues." As long as they're only thinking of action, they won't act. That's just an accepted fact, and there's no response except, "Well, I guess you're right!"

 Could it be that thinking of action ONLY occurs when action is impossible, or appears to be impossible? I ask this as a question you can consider, inside your own refuge. You don't have to act on it. And consider that most of the time, what you are doing is "thinking about it," no matter what it is. Can you see how "thinking about it" will never get you anywhere?

 Could it be that thinking of action only occurs when action is impossible, or appears to be so? Remember I'm asking this as a question, so play the City's part for me now. Everybody's indoors; I'm not asking you to get up and dance if you agree with me or stand on your head if you disagree. I asked a question which requires what? That you THINK about the question, indoors, while just sitting there. Here comes the punch line, quick: Can any of you see how thinking about it won't ever get you anywhere? Getting somewhere would be being able to ACT! If you have to think about my question -- if you have to think about anything -- then you can't act on it. That is, you think, "If the question is true, I don't understand it, at least it seems impossible to understand right now, so I'll...think about it. I'll think about the question a lot, write it down and discuss it with a bunch of other people..." Go back to the original question: What if that only arises when action is impossible or appears to be so?

 I'm not going to just leave the question there lest you think there is some kind of negative payoff. Thinking of action is not some wimpy substitute for action: thinking of action occurs when action is impossible or appears to be. Consider both of those possibilities at once.

 One of the singularities of man as compared to other animals is that man has times when he can refrain from acting -- times when he should not act. There is no time when a beaver should not be being a beaver. A rhino can't take time out and hippo it up. Man is the only creature with an indoors; if the others had one, they'd have said so by now. If your dog had an indoors, he'd say, "When are you coming home from work? Oh, no, Alpo again? Let me in! Let me out!" No other creature has any need to do anything but act. Beavers and rhinos sleep and rest, but they don't ever cease being beavers and rhinos.

 If you define man according to what he does -- by his behavior -- that model of "man" will begin to crack when you look at the other possibility of thinking of action. Man can go indoors and cease "Man-ing it up." That's WHY we go indoors. What's the purpose of having curtains on your windows if you're not going inside to do naughty things? "I'm going indoors and take time off from being human, from being me the individual. I'm going to lay on the floor and scream, guzzle enough gin to pass out. I'll take a picture of my boss and I'll piss on it, if I want to." In reality, the boss is yelling at you again; he's blowing cigar smoke in your face, threatening to fire you. Action is impossible; you want to tweak his big nose, but that's impossible so you say, "Sorry, sir, this won't happen again." Then you run indoors and think of acting.

 There's a form of refuge inside you. If this weren't true, you could do nothing but act -- you'd be like all other animals. A person involved in This Activity must become aware of the existence of this refuge, aware of the difference between the weather "out there" and "in here." Then you must obliterate the 3-Dimensional walls which apparently separate your indoors from everything else. At times, you have to use your indoors to be able to operate in the City. But to be a revolutionist, you must have the ability to take the walls between your indoors and the weather and diminish them to the point of being molecular swiss cheese, to say the least. The weather will then be able to permeate you, and you can flow outside into the weather.

 You've all had 20 or 30 or 50 years indoors. I don't come in and laugh at your furniture, and those cheap throw rugs you've been saving, even though I know you're still eating off orange crates. You've had years indoors -- did you learn anything of importance? Did staying indoors help you in some way? Your indoors is safe and predictable; it's a foundation which supports order and power. But for someone involved in This, the molecular structure must be expanded so that when it's necessary and proper for you, the great outdoors can become the great indoors.

 As you can see, This Activity might mean the end of the great American housing boom for a few people.