Straighten Out Your Life,
|copyright 1989 -2000 Jan Cox|
|Reminder: The following is a rough transcript of one of Jan's extemporaneous talks, and people do not speak, ad lib, in the same way they write. Thus some sentence fragments, and other linguistic anaomolies can pop up which may have slipped past the transcriber. But the overall tone and intent of his comments still comes through for those wanting to hear something new.|
A thought for the night: Which person could more properly appreciate art -- the person who is more sophisticated, or the person who is more primitive?
Tonight I have stories. Of course, they're noticeably unrelated to anything I might say, especially tonight.
Suppose you have something like a great neurological convention. And one guy, who is not a member, talks his way into the convention by telling them he has something important to say that will interest the neurological community. And for some reason, they let him speak.
On the last night of the convention,
the guy gets up and says he wants to address one of the many pressing
questions about the operation of the brain that nobody's been able to
answer. He then begins to describe to them the way the brain might
be operating that might clear up this troublesome area. And then
he sits down. And then the head moderator stands up and says:
"Well, thank you Mr. So and So. I must say, that's interesting,
but -- what you obviously don't know and we DO know -- and I think I speak
for most of us here -- is that physically, the brain cannot operate that
Second story: A Kid is watching television. And on the news a talking head comes up. It's a political leader of a country currently involved in a religious war who is being interviewed. And this leader says, "I am pleased to announce today that in our public talks with our neighboring country, Such and Such, we have at last come to new understanding. We have reached a verbal agreement, and I would like to say I believe for the first time in a thousand years, we are going to have peace." And the Kid turns to his father and says, "I know that man, that leader. He's well-respected and you and I both know he knows as much about history as we do. So how can he sit there and say he has every expectation that this thousand year old problem will finally be resolved when he knows it can't?" And the father, who is a little out of the ordinary, answers, "Son, just assume he's being insincere."
Think about all of those people throughout history who seem to be world leaders (and this crosses many verbal categories -- I mean all kinds of leaders) who SHOULD know better, who have made public statements and assurances similar to the one in the story I just told. Forget City cynicism -- leaders all over the world CONTINUE to say such things, even though there's no logical or historical basis for what they say. I'm not being sarcastic -- there's literally no basis for such statements. Yet, people say such things with absolutely NO cynicism. And other people sitting around in front of televisions don't take such things cynically, either. They accept it. They report it. They say such things as, "God, wouldn't that be a great for humanity, if this problem could be solved! If this is really true, maybe peace is just around the corner!"
Look at history. This has being going on FOREVER. The point is, Life seems to continue to produce leaders the public has faith in. Your leader always seems to be well-educated, thoroughly in contact with the situation, with the "enemy." You may not like the size of his nose, but your country is in conflict and you may even have to die in the war. Your leader says, "We're on the brink of real peace. This war's been bloody, but we've at the point where we're about to come to some agreement and some final peace." And you want to believe him.
What is Life up to in order to have the leaders of all the different states throughout history say things like that when there's absolutely no basis for it? Could there be some basis to my story? The father says to his son, "Just assume he's being insincere." I'm not here to tell you that all these people in power have ever been accused of insincerity, but I'm pointing in the direction of City level.
Back at that level, there are always two possibilities: (l) All these leaders throughout history were dumb, because there's just no basis at all for them to say such things. So they're dumber than all of us. Or, (2) They're lying. (Or mistaken, maybe. But add up all the "mistakes" and you have to call it something else.) Again, I'm not telling you that all these leaders have been insincere. BUT, wouldn't that explain a lot?
Am I going to have to explain that? Since not many of you seem to see where this is headed, I'll press on. Could you not see this as being another grand example of efficiency? Life continually produces these leaders of state -- these "head wolves" (I mean, this whole situation is not that different from the animal world) who dominate the rest of the pack as a necessary part of the cellular structure of the world. Life has its own purposes, which have nothing to do with Italians, Hungarians, Americans, or What Have Yous. Whenever Life makes such a group, it will always produce a head wolf that everyone looks up to. And ALL these leaders tell the people things that CANNOT BE TRUE.
Here you have this great man,
and what does he do? He immediately begins to tell the people things
that obviously are false. But nobody says that. Nobody even
SEES that. They see it as inspiration. When he says, "Here
is where we are going to go as a new nation, this is our destiny!" the
people applaud. Yet, all you have to do is look and you'd say that
the man is charismatic, but he is also dumber than your kid brother, or
else he's being insincere and doesn't mean a word he says, because he
has to know better. Right? As the Kid would say, "How can
he say that? Even I can see what he's saying can't be true."
Think about this for a second. This is not sarcasm and has nothing
to do with politics. I have not caught Life with its pants down.
Things are just right.
Maybe you think you see what's I'm pointing to generally. Religion might be the best example. The religious leader tells his flock, "God sent me here to guide you, and if you follow what the god taught, you'd won't die." And the Kid looks at his dad and his jaw drops. "Hey, dad, how can he say a thing like that?" If you look at such a message from the viewpoint of the Kid, it's just very simply unbelievable.
Life makes life go a certain way. Then it makes the leaders say, "Good things are coming up folks, a new day is right around the corner." And you have to agree with the Kid, there's absolutely no basis for what the leaders are saying. Yet, do you also see what a tasty morsel of efficiency this is? It serves a definite purpose.
The viewpoint of the Kid is not
sarcastic. It takes somebody with a different kind of intelligence
to See that things are not as Life says they are and to also know:
there's something going on, but it's not what seems to be going on. There's
no sarcasm in that point of view, just wonder. The Kid turns to
somebody he thinks can give him an answer, and his main question is:
"To what end?" "What in the world is going on?" People are
applauding and crying and laughing in the streets, and the Kid can see
there's absolutely no basis for it.
Can you see how this might relate to your internal relationship with you? All your life, you've been talking to yourself. "Well, keep your nose to the grindstone. Go ahead and get your degree, it'll pay off in the long run." And all of you know that nowadays a degree gets you almost nothing. But it all sounds right, just like when the prime minister says, "Look, from here on out, we're going to have lasting peace. Things are going to get better."
Maybe the voice is a prime minister or a president; maybe the voice is inside you or on television. Who cares where the voice comes from? The point is, you never question that voice. Wherever you identify that it came from -- right BEHIND it is where it came from. No matter whether you say it came from your brain or your father or your president or Zeus. Remember: Behind every idea is another idea.
"My father did this to me." "My community did this to me." No, no, no. What is you could begin to look at everything like the Kid? What is you could begin to see that you are wrestling with these voices, inside and outside, that have no basis at all? What is you could begin to ask, "How can you tell me this?" and "How can I believe me when I tell me this?"
The Kid asks, "Dad, how can he say those things?" and the father replies, "Son, just assume he's being insincere." Do you see any possible use for this?
I would like to tell you a little more about the "second language." Everyone, unbeknownst to themselves, has a second language. And I don't mean you speak English and Spanish. I'm going to expand this -- not to the limit, but in one direction.
There is your public language (English or Spanish or whatever). Then there is your private language, which is you (the "Fred Dumpling Language"). At first you might think that the public language is something all people in a certain area hold in common. Old intelligence can grasp this and would agree there is a "public" language. And it might also agree that "metaphorically" there is a sort of "private language."
Let me take your "metaphorically" and punch it in the nose. There are not two sort of languages: the public and the private. There ARE two languages: the public language and the YOU language. There is a real "Fred Dumpling Language." (I like that name). There's only one "You" language, and it's yours.
If you're born in the U.S.A., you're going to speak English (probably) as your public language. And you also speak "You" -- a second language based on your genetic makeup. You acquire this private "Fred Dumpling" language when you are born and no matter what happens from that day forward, you're going to speak the Fred Dumpling language that is you. This results in an interesting situation. For example, the further your own unique private language is from the public language, the further you are from the middle of the bell curve. If you get too far removed, you'll be locked up or put away in an institution.
Those who become world leaders have a particular ratio between the public and private languages that nobody knows about, including them. There is a chemical/electrical/biological basis for leadership. And within that, there's a particular ratio that must exist between the leader's public language and his private one. (Remember, when I say "private" I really mean private: no other person speaks a person's private language.)
Could you venture a guess as to what this ratio is? What if I told you that for these particular people there is such a gap between the private and public language that nobody can even see how wide the gap is? What if I said the private language of a leader is further removed from the middle of the bell curve than the private languages of insane people in asylums. Does that not give a whole new meaning to the word "insincerity"? And would this not fit my story of the father saying to his son, "Just assume he's being insincere."
What if these leaders either
have such a great differentiation -- or such a small differentiation --
between their public and private languages that they are right there on
the surface? Their public language IS their private language.
They speak and other people just feel they HAVE to believe them.
Because they SEEM so sincere, all logic aside.
The basis for my sketching all this out is that this offers possibilities. Consider that the middle class -- the worker ants, the hoi polloi, the sane, the decent citizens -- among themselves, mistakenly think that the public, common language is really common to all of them. They assume that when miscommunication occurs, it's a mistake. It's just assumed that something went wrong with the language, because "we're all Floridian and we all speak Floridian."
If you asked a City person about this, they'd say, "I guess we all have our own sort of private ways of looking at things, but when it comes to public things, we all talk the same language. That's what public language is all about."
Now, I started out saying people MISTAKENLY assume the public language is a common one. And when it "doesn't work," they assume there must be some mistake. Can you see where I'm pointing? There's a sign right here, and it says: "Slow down, humanity at work and growth in action." Right around the corner is mass confusion.
Somebody told me about an experience
they had one time. Seems a co-worker was trying to more or less
"come on" to this person sexually. And they tried to do everything
to avoid the advances, including outright saying, "I don't like to talk
like this at work." Nothing worked. Dear doctor: "What
do I do?"
If you find that you just cannot imitate the other person, try this: at least act differently. Let's go back to the example of the co-worker irritating you by coming onto you sexually. If I were going to describe this psychologically -- if I had to go back and be that childish, which you almost have to be when you're stuck with language -- I would describe the situation thusly: A person has a certain energy about him/her. And you ordinarily react in a particular way, trying to draw away from them (assuming you're not interested). When you draw away, they get more specific. And you get more nervous.
Don't you find it interesting that on your own you wouldn't even see that the very things you're doing to draw away are increasing the other person's aggressive behavior? All you're doing by drawing away is helping the other person define his dance. The more you resist, the more interested he gets. And he's as helpless in the dance as you are.
Ordinary intelligence can't see that your part of the dance is your part of the dance. You just react, "Hey, I'm not interested, leave me alone," and then your dancing partner gets more interested. You say, "Hey, I'm REALLY not interested," and by then he's about to tear his clothes off right there in the office. Still, ordinary intelligence doesn't see how your behavior is connected with his.
All you have to do to change the dance is stop doing what you are doing. That's all. Just stop it; do something else. And suddenly, your dancing partner will think, "Maybe she's not that good looking after all."
I brought this up to show you specifically that here is another example of how no matter what language you speak publicly, there's nothing in that public language to tell you this. You could be a psychologist; you could be president of the Freud Foundation, but the information is simply not there. If the information was in the public language -- if you knew this -- such things wouldn't continue to happen to you, would they? The information is not in the public-language realm and it's not in the private-language realm. People cannot figure this out. This kind of information is not where humans live -- yet. But I can point it out to certain people and they KNOW, they just know it's correct.
In the past I've made some of you experience what I'm describing. You imitated some other person and suddenly, that guy you were so scared of looked like he'd been bitten by the planet Jupiter. And he never had occasion to socialize with you again. After you do something like this, the other person won't say anything bad about you -- they just won't want to talk about you at all. There's no danger they are ever going to dance with you again.
City intelligence may even think it understands this, but it doesn't. If City intelligence was at the convention in my first story tonight, it would not go, "That guy just explained how the brain works and I never saw it before!" You don't hear what I'm saying, or you'd use it. This would straighten out your life and eliminate so-called problems. Your City intelligence is like the audience at the convention, saying, "You don't really know what you're talking about, the brain doesn't operate that way. Besides, nothing works all the time." Yes it does. "No, it doesn't. That's why we've got degrees and you don't, we understand what's possible."
Whether you realize it or not,
we're in one of those fertile areas where I could talk a lot more, but
I won't. Until next time.