In the stockbroking business there is a term called "churning an account." Churning an account is when a broker keeps buying and selling stock continually, just so he can collect the commission. The client may make money too, but the broker is more interested in his own profit. He may say he's looking out for you, keeping his eye on every possibility and doing all this trading for your benefit, but, in fact, he is churning your account primarily for his own profit.
Life is everyone's stockbroker and Life continually churns your account. Every human is Life's client and Life tells people, through myths, through religions, through everyone's gut feeling and common sense, that it has your best interest at heart. Life has you convinced that thinking and worrying, all the turmoil of ordinary existence, is for your own benefit. But that is just like a stockbroker telling you he's buying and selling for your benefit while mercilessly churning your account.
In a sense the broker does have your interests at heart because if we froze all his accounts, some portion, maybe half of them would not be making money. In the same way at least half of Life's accounts are pleased at any given moment -- the half that just sold stock to the others for a profit. You think, "Nah, Life's not churning my account, Life wouldn't do that to me. My broker wouldn't do that to me. I don't make money every month, every year, but right now I'm doing okay." Nevertheless, in the long run, the benefit will be to the broker, as was his intention from the beginning in churning your account.
You could look at the disruptions in your life -- all your concerns, daydreams, the kinds of stuff that goes on mostly at the upper end of the nervous system -- as being the churning of your account. You continually think, "I should be doing this or that." There is a constant recycling of memory, daydreams, thoughts of the future -- no one is pacified. Life is the ultimate, actually, the only, broker. If you are alive, you have an account and Life is your broker. There is nowhere else to go. Life continually churns everyone's account.
You might say that Life is a questionable affair if it goes around churning accounts all the time. But, this is a most expeditious use of Life's potential. Most expeditious. It is a splendid division of labor, an admirable conservation of potential and realized resources. Life has everyone's account churning, and as long as everyone's account is churning Life has a myriad of choices. At any given time half of the personal accounts are in better shape than the others, but Life is always in good shape because it is churning up every possibility. Life controls it all.
Everyone owns stock and Life churns all the accounts. It doesn't matter that you have one stock and someone has another. It doesn't matter that one person makes money and another person loses money. Life always makes a profit. Everything on the stock exchange of Life -- all possible realities -- are constantly being moved about. All stocks are active. Stocks may come and go, but as long as they are on the exchange, they stay active. So, as soon as Life needs energy transferred over in a certain area, it knows there is activity, there are transactions going on in that area. How could you ask for a more expeditious use of the potential energy of humanity?
Life keeps everyone upset and dancing. It's as if Life is standing around in a saloon and says, "Would you like to dance?" And you say, "Not particularly." So Life takes a shot at you at an early age and just like in the movies you say, "Well, I believe I will take a few steps." The rest of your life you're dancing. Even if Life is not looking at you it knows, once it gets you going, that you are dancing. You are active. You are representing a stock and if Life loses interest in that stock, then you represent another stock. You are exchanging energy even if at some level you are of no great consequence right then. This creates a huge field of possibility that Life can peruse and/or pursue.
Even though Life the Stockbroker does not pursue everything, he peruses the market, the cornucopia of possibilities. He can watch a stock, look away for a while and then look back. Note too: every time Life looks over in a certain area, something happens. Might that not explain why you feel the way you do? Life just glances over and the churning picks up -- a quantum investigation. Everyone on the floor of the stock exchange feels (they don't know why) like a massive force hits one area and that area of the economy goes into a buying or selling frenzy.
Ordinary intelligence looks upon Life as a disorganized and ill-directed mass of babble and bedlam. Ordinary intelligence says, "There's only a few people who think right. After thousands of years things are still a mess, people are not civilized." All you have to do is have a headache or get your new car dinged and you feel, "Life is just coming apart." It is as though humanity were an orchestra where everyone has their own score. But Life is making quite expeditious and efficient use of the human mechanism by churning everyone, and Life keeps the possibility of every energy exchange close at hand, via Man. All Life has to do is look around and somewhere there are two poor suckers, out on the main floor, maybe even in the bathroom, exchanging stock. The stock may have only one share and get moved just once. Than one guy might throw it in the toilet without knowing why -- Life just lost interest.
At any time, anything humans can do -- somebody is doing. Yet people in the City say, "Life, I don't know, it'll be great when the gods come back and steady this out of control ship." Can you see the expeditious use of potential, of labor resources? Life can grow, Life can expand as far as you can see 3-D wise, at an optimum level of efficiency, by having every possibility extant at any given time. Anyone suffering from old and real cheap intelligence might try to say, "There must be a more efficient way." With two eyes, the only other efficient way is for Life to know exactly what it's doing, for Life to focus all the activity on one thing. You go tell Life that. Tell yourself that. Life is using the most efficient method because even Life sees that by its very nature, the future, growth -- that which is around the corner from wherever anything is, including Life -- is to some degree uncertain.
Since each given second has some uncertainty right around the corner, do you see on that basis, the most efficient use of all labor is to have access to every possible combination of energy exchanges, every job description that Life could come up with, every job that could possibly be done -- and to have someone doing it right this second? All the way from cleaning out the toilets on the stock exchange where that one guy threw in that worn out piece of stock, to the job of someone saying, "I hate this stock exchange!" One woman, sitting in a subdivision, looks up at the daily stock report on TV and thinks, "I hate the stock exchange," then goes right back to reading. At one time, right when Life needed it, there was one person who right that second was doing that job.
Your intelligence thinks it's doing one little job for your benefit but it's for the broker's benefit. To top this off, people continually look around and say that Life should be more cohesive and unified. Part of Life condemns all the wars and skirmishes over the borders between nations -- the divisions between this and that -- the membranes holding apart "in here" and "out there" -- holding together ordinary consciousness. City intelligence does not see the efficiency of the churning.
Consider, how could you use this continual activity in you? What if you were not limited to that eternal, great enterprise on the planet earth that says, "You can have any flavor you want as long as it is chocolate or vanilla"? What if YOU could churn up every account you've got? Picture your account as every possible intersection of your neurons. What if you could arrange your intelligence, the operation of your nervous system right up in the "three pound area," to run every possibility extant in you at any given time? Forget about anything new (that's a trick statement), just every possibility in you now. You could turn to look at a tiny little particle and, praise be to the nuclear physicists, by golly, it would be there!
At any given time you could check around, and instead of thinking the same old thing, you could turn real quick and sure enough, "Can you believe there are two guys in the bathroom up here, right off the main floor, and that stock (that is, that idea, that thought) meant so little to me, that I only issued one share and it just changed hands!" You may never think that thought again; in other words, it may apparently have no long range possible profit for you. But at any given time you would have every possibility available in you, including that thought. Doesn't that sound interesting?
Churning your own account couldn't possibly result in any more bedlam than there is in you now, although if it is self-induced, it is not bedlam. Inducing your own churning makes the ordinary churning of accounts look calm. You are above the exchange, behind a great plate glass window, and you can see everything going on. You can still get to the floor if you want. You can mash the button on the intercom and hear all the activity on the exchange, but you don't have to. You would never churn your own account in any way that upsets or frightens you. You would never feel, "I shouldn't have sold that stock, I'm ruined."
When you churn your own account, you don't ever lose money because you don't start out with any. You are not gambling. It is like you are churning a play account, like you're a bunch of five year old kids with play money. You can speculate, but if you lose, you don't really lose. It's a strange game because if you win, you really win, but if you lose, you don't lose.
Connect the churning of accounts with the fact that all power is ad hoc. To forget that is at your absolute Revolutionary peril. Power is for the sake of being exercised, for a particular reason, at what would appear to be a particular time. Power is not something laying out there. It is a kind of domination, a dance between what seems to be two parties, "in here," "out there," and out there on a large scale. Power is not something that someone or some institution has.
Ordinary intelligence looks at a king or a president and says they have power, and they do not. No one has power. Power is Life growing vis a vis you and any other "you" in the world. It just appears that some individual has the potential and ability to dominate the dance. But it's all Life. Power has never been able to undergo any decent post-mortem, even vivus-mortem (if there was such a thing).
Power cannot be described. People discuss and argue about it, and apparently engage in revolutions out there in the street to take power away from other misusing it. But no one has any power. Power is always ad hoc and the ad hoc can be momentary, it can be just a split second. You can say to the king, "Hey, king baby," and at that moment, chances are the king will exercise power. But most of the time you don't think about his power because it is not being exercised. Cheap in-town intelligence would say, "Yeah, but the king's power is still there." So what? It's always snowing somewhere and lightning is hitting the ground somewhere on the planet. But so what if it's not hitting you? Power is always ad hoc.
No one has their foot on your throat. You are only a captive of old intelligence -- not of a conquering army or some tyrant. There is no such thing. There is the power necessary for Life to grow and it's all a form of ad hoc domination. There is not anyone smarter or richer than you who is not also subject to someone cutting in on their dance. One moment you see a macho king with spurs on his boots and plumes in his hair, and the next second someone cuts in and the guy's in drag dancing backwards.
There's always someone richer, stronger or taller. All power is ad hoc. Real power does not rest in people or things, it rests in growth. (Let me remind you we're not talking "out there" -- this is all going on in you.)
Now let's circumlocate and go into something really obtuse. Most people know that the Bible, both old and new testaments, is continually undergoing revision. By now there have been a number of versions and translations. Biblical translation has been a big political issue at times. A new king might set up a whole committee to come up with a new version he likes, and he might take certain parts and declare them apocryphal.
Do you realize that every time a new version comes out, a sizable part of Life's body cries out, "Boy, they have really messed up the Bible now. They've meddled with the word of god and god will get them some day!" This has been going on for thousands of years. As soon as a new version of the Bible comes out there is immediate criticism from all sorts of people -- theologians, writers, poets.
The criticism is not so much on the basis of "I don't like what they did," but is more on the basis of, "How could the king set up a committee of human beings to update the word of god? How can they decide what to include and what to leave out? At one time god spoke directly to humans, and this committee's going to improve upon it? I know these guys are intelligent and sophisticated, but a committee? A committee mind you!" The punch line is that after being driven to heartily criticize the work of a committee, no one has ever been driven to step forward and say, "I'll take on the job myself, single-handedly. I'll rewrite the whole Bible, and this time I'll do it right by god!"
Of course, this has nothing to do with the Bible. This happens all the time in all areas of Life. I just picked the Bible because people take it seriously. Other things -- setting up committees to study poverty or education -- are just as applicable. Organizations and committees never fulfill their stated purpose. People criticize the work of committees, but no one volunteers to take on the job themselves.
There are plenty of critics to attack the work of committees. Life is arranged so that no one seems to want to, or can, or does, work solo. But at the same time, parts of Life's body continually run alongside the committees and throw rocks and spit at them, pointing out that a committee is not the proper approach. And so, the churning of all possible accounts goes on.
This is not some psychological commentary on the nature of Life. Life is chemically, electrically, biophysically arranged for its own benefit so that no one stands up and offers to do the job themselves. At our 3-D observable level it is more efficient to have committees operating even though Life has part of its own neural system running by, yelling and poking at them and condemning their work.
Nobody works solo. Also, nobody thinks solo. What if Life made you the operational useful genius you thought you were before you met me? What if you were a fount, a reservoir, a cache of real insight and intelligence? Then, what if, while Life was looking off wondering about IBM stock, you got run over by a truck? It would all be gone. That is not efficient, nor is it a good division of labor, nor is it a good conservation of possible resources. So, instead of one person knowing a lot of stuff that Life might need, Life, like a great gourmet chef, chops up all the knowledge into teeny weeny pieces and runs it through everyone's nervous system so at any given time everybody is churned up.
It is on that basis that you do not find one person standing up in Life operating independently. In history, there have been people apparently operating by themselves, but notice, the further back you go in history, the more independently these leaders seem to have run and the more it appears that they made decisions without asking anybody. As long as you're looking at a piece of fiction to start with -- the past, history -- it seems as though people operated on their own.
Ordinarily, no one operates on their own, including you, inside. All you have to do is be able to look into your own nervous system and you can see a better history -- not written history, not what you picked up from graffiti and tales in college and out in the City. Just look in your own nervous system and realize that individuals do not stand up in Life and say, "This can be done better, so I'll go ahead and do it." Old intelligence never sees individual, apparently independent, thought. Such action never crosses your mind as being an alternative, in the same way that no one volunteers to redo the work of a committee by themselves.
The human nervous system says "I" and people believe they are individual, that "there is an end to me. My skin stops, my opinions stop somewhere and right there it becomes you, especially when you disagree with me." Yet, no one works solo, and ordinary people think there's some mistake there. They don't understand that all accounts are being churned. The nervous system itself is not wired up for any individual to see an ad hoc exercise of power. There is no independent, solo act in you that says, "Alright, I'll give it a shot." Not only doesn't it arise, but Life doesn't even churn it up. Your populace never says to your critics, "You are right, we are splintered and scattered and you seem to see so clearly. Would you take charge here? Would you take on the job of redoing the Bible and getting it right this time?"
Going back to history, they talk of a general, Fabias Maximus, who defeated his enemies by avoiding confrontation, through stalling and evasion. Instead of directly confronting his enemies, he would wear them out, make them think he'd attack and then not attack; make them think he was there when he was not. So the enemy would get tired and go home, or they'd just die out waiting there for the battle. He was a victor, but that kind of victory is referred to now as a "fabian victory."
Can you see the application of that internally? You wake up one morning and swear you are going to quit drinking. You holler, "Where's the number of that club where you quit drinking, but they still let you drink during the meetings?" That's a fabian tactic. "I'll wear out my taste for drinking," or, "I'll wear out my temper. I'll make my temper think I'm going to do something about it and then I won't and maybe that will make this demon temper go away."
Does that ever work? In the City they insist that the only success is total success but the only success they ever have is some success. The occasion never arises where there might be some way for you to exercise real power. It's a mathematical equation into at least the 5th dimension. People insist they must clean up their act: "I'm getting too old for this. I have to change my lifestyle." What they are doing is leaving it to a committee. "I'm going to join that health club, or at least go down to a couple of meetings and see what they do. I'll start out by cutting down on fat, then after a month I'll start exercising." You've set up a committee to change your life. You immediately make a lifetime prospect out of the thing you are trying to change. Is that not a committee? Can't you just hear them discussing, arguing and fighting over what goes in the Bible?
Out of that internal committee, no one ever comes forward to take charge and actually single-handedly take responsibility. And no one asks for or expects anyone to take on the job, let alone guarantee success. The exercise of power is ad hoc and is beyond the pale of ordinary intelligence's comprehension. People believe, "If I had any power it would be all-encompassing, it would be omni-present." That is, "If I could change it would be all changed."
But the real beauty is in that things do not get radically moved about. Everyone keeps churning -- your account doesn't go from one bank to another, because we've only got one bank here. You stay in the same place and Life keeps the activity going. You can't get off the floor or out of the stock exchange. You can't leave the room or get out of the game, and Life keeps you churned up all the time.
Within all that, the possibility of exercising power never arises. (Remember, any power would be ad hoc.) Suppose you decide that "Right now I should be doing so and so: Okay, done!" That would be ad hoc power; there would be no committee involved. Such an exercise of ad hoc power is not ordinarily possible because the neural system of the human brain is not wired up that way. For one part to have that ability would be less than efficient as things now stand, because that one neural connection could get shot, or could be shorted out or hit by a baseball. You could fall down the stairs and injure that one part, then where would the rest of you be? So your account churns the same little exchanges over and over and the possible exercise of ad hoc power for some specific, independent reason for the sake of your own account never even arises. The people talk about power, but it never arises and is never actually executed.
If you begin to get a taste for all of that, you might even realize that This Activity is more fun than you have ever had in your life. The possibility of churning your own account is not necessarily educational, enlightening or spiritual -- it's just plain fun. Until that hits you, you're not really involved with This.