So then, let’s inquire carefully into the origin of all this, because before we explore the future of communication, through symbols, through words, we’ve got to look a little bit at its past. At some point in the development of mankind, and nobody historically knows how long ago this is, we invented we developed two things. One of them was the ability to scan. To pay attention. To use our consciousness in a focused way. In other words, to notice what’s going on. Ordinarily, we depend to an enormous extent on a kind of consciousness that doesn’t notice. That is to say, you’re functioning all the time. Breathing, beating your heart. Even driving a car while you are absorbed in conversation with your friendly passenger. You’re doing an enormous number of things very well indeed without noticing what you’re doing. Your entire physical existence as a matter of fact goes on and maintains itself without your noticing anything about it. So your faculty of noticing is, has the same relationship to your total organism as say, on a ship, the radar is scanning,scanning, scanning the environment looking for trouble. That’s all it looks for for another ship that it might collide with for a rock for the proper entrance to San Francisco in the middle of the fog. That’s what the radar is looking for. But besides the radar there are all kinds of things going on on a ship. That are much more fundamental and essential to it.
So in the same way, in the human organism, we have a radar, we call it conscious attention. And we are constantly scanning our environment and noticing this and that as to whether it is advantageous to us or disadvantageous. But that’s only a little frippery on the top of us. Useful, yes. But it’s not you. The real you is the you that is beating the heart, shaping the bones. All that. And we have learned you see, by a curious social process to identify ourselves, our very selves or what I say is the real me we’ve identified that with the scanning process. The little radar job, instead of identifying it with the whole total organism. And therefore we are estranged from our own bodies. And by virtue of being estranged from the body, we are in turn as estranged from the physical environment of nature if you understood if you really clearly realize that you are your own organism. You would at the same moment feel because your organism knows it that you will one with your environment. This organism is related to the world outside it, in exactly the same way that say a whirlpool in a river is related to the river. Everything outside you, is sort of creating you, by flowing through you and human-ing you, bodying you, just as when the river moves it whirlpool. And then goes on.
So the entire physical universe is people and all around here. But conscious attention doesn’t deliver that to us as an experience. Why? Because conscious attention or noticing, is a function of consciousness which is separative instead of unitive. It analyzes, instead of synthesizing. I don’t want to by saying the sort of thing to put it down and say it’s a mistake and something that shouldn’t have happened. It’s a very beautiful function. Provided, provided, provided, it doesn’t and I have date and distract us from seeing the world synthetically, as well as analytically. In a mirror you can see many images all different clear and distinct but underneath the difference of images there lies the pure silver of the mirror.
So in exactly the same way, seeing all the details clearly analyzed, we need to remain aware of consciousness itself, of awareness itself. Just as for example, all galaxies, all physical bodies exist in space. What do you think space is? Most people think space is nothing space however is you. Space is consciousness, space is the mind. Space is what you call self, me, that’s space. and it includes everything. But you can so easily forget it because conscious attention ignores every stimulus every input message that is constant. It rules it out, is says that doesn’t make any difference. I’m looking for differences because I’m on God for what might threaten my existence that from looking for a change in the environment I’m a troubleshooter.
So if you identify yourself with consciousness you are constantly anxious. What’s going to happen? Is it going to work? And I on the spot you see everybody is like that. But the real you is relaxed. It really doesn’t care about that it’s got this little function up there that tells it you know on the whole Whether that it trouble going to happen. Really inside you deep down your harmonious with your environment. And it really doesn’t matter whether you live or die. Because the whole system goes on anyway. And that’s what you are. So whether you, as a specific example of the system, go on a little while one year to year three years, fifty years, hundred years, it doesn’t really make any difference. If you want to play it, in other words if you want to put a gamble on how long will you live. You want to gamble on fifty years more or how many years from all. You say by gambling on it you put importance on it you say that’s what I wagered on that’s what I want to do. OK. But that’s, that’s your game. It doesn’t have to be that way.
So what we have then is a situation in which, by the ability, to use our radar to scan ourselves and the world around us. And to notice features of this universe. We notice these features by being able to put symbols on them. You notice the face as something distinct from the knees by being able to call it face. And call needs knees you do not have the capacity to notice these different features of the human body without being able to assign some symbol to the part that you notice. This is absolutely crucial. Noticing and language go together. Noticing is the same thing as what we call notation. Notation as in music symbols little signs to identify sounds on the scale. Words to identify bits of the world. Numbers to identify how many bits. All this goes together, so to attend, to concentrate, to watch, to be aware in the way that a spotlight focuses on the surroundings. This goes hand in hand with symbols. One uses the world of symbols the world of special noises. Not like ordinary noises, not like the sound of the wind, not like the washing of the waves but the noises made by speech. To create a separate almost separate world of noise forms, which of course we can think silently in our heads sub-vocally, as thought forms, they’re all the same it’s forms of noise forms of vibration used to stand over against the world of ordinary direct physical experience. And represent it. In a clumsy way. Clumsy yes clumsy because conscious attention, as a scanning thing as a spotlight roving over. Would do or however fast it goes to get addicted if you to get it to get it all around the I watch you if somebody measures where my eyes look, it can be done.They will see them dancing over you picking out significant points. But that way of looking at life can only comprehend what’s going on in a very clumsy way. Because the actual physical world is an operation where we would say, uncountable, innumerable things are going on all together, everywhere at once. And so we say what a complicated world we live in.
Now actually, this world is not complicated at all. It is perfectly simple, it’s only complicated when you try to think it out. That’s what it means complicated the word complicated expresses a relationship between the physical world on the one hand and on the other a scanning system which is trying to understand and represent in symbols the physical world bit by bit as for example if we would talk about it.
So when you try to talk about the world it’s a complicated world, but only because you’re trying to talk about it. In itself is not a bit complicated. The human body is a from the point of view of surgery and physiology. Infinitely complicated. It’s networks of veins and nerves and so on is absolutely extraordinary but we say these words extraordinary and complicated because we are confronted with the task of trying to translate this body into language. And language is a very clumsy, it’s like if we would say we would move the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean with a beer mug. It would be a very complicated thing to do, because we’d have to take it mug by mug across fly them across by a jet plane and dump them in the Atlantic. Very complicated. But that’s what you do when you think about the world you take thing by thing, fact by fact idea, idea and it’s light beer mug up to be a mug of water going from the Pacific to the Atlantic. And then we say it’s complicated it isn’t it’s only if you approach it with a certain method then it’s complicated, because you insist on that method. And you say well that method is me. I am the method of taking in the world bit by bit but that’s a hallucination, you’re not. Each one of you includes far more capacity than that narrow method of taking in the world bit by bit. Because every nerve end in your body is alive and aware, every organ is functioning without your thinking about it, and that’s you. So because we are,have a narrow down idea and conception of ourselves as purely the conscious scanner, we’ve invested so much emotion in that we’ve invested so much of the feeling that that is what we are, that we are completely miserable and tormented.
Our communication system therefore, is constantly exaggerating or to use the word in its very correct way, aggravating. To aggravate means to to make it worse. It is aggravating all the time , the delusion, that we are separate from the world. In other words, communication as we are using it is a form of non-communication, it’s a way of cutting ourselves off instead of actually communicating. The more we talk, the more we think, the more we ideate, the more we separate ourselves from each other. Identify you as you as you, and you’re a Republican you’re a Democrat you’re a beatnik you’re a hippie or a this that and the other thing you’re a square or whatever the more identify you you see in these. The more I don’t feel that you are me you really physically are many all of you each one to everybody else is like a dewdrop on a spider’s web in the early morning which contains in itself all the reflections of all the other dewdrops. And we really relate to each other like that. But in language, in communication, we all put ourselves apart as separate entities, and believe that. So the more we go on with this, the more we have divided up the more we quarrel, the more we don’t understand how to cooperate. So here we start with this paradox. Communication which is related to the word communion common what we have together. Communication is separation. And the more we talk, the less we understand each other.