Friday, 31 December 2010

The system is redundant: welcome to the New World

Hello again. It's been a long time since I last blogged, and maybe I'll explain why in due course. But I haven't been wholly idle; I've been thinking, absorbing and processing a great deal of information, so that I can understand and hopefully pass on to you the reasons why the whole concept of a 'state' is out of date.

I grew up being told that the 'system', if we can use that generic term to describe a modern-day state and all that entails (social systems, state education, taxation, 'government' etc.), was all there was. I wasn't told this explicitly, it was implicit. It was implicit in my education, it was implicit in the way people acted and thought, it was implicit in the dominant medium of communication: television.

Even though, at a very young age (I was conscious of this at 5), I knew that the 'system' sucked, I had literally nothing to support me in this knowledge. As far as I could tell, everyone bought into the belief that the system was all there was. And yet I found myself surrounded by hypocrisy: at school they preached a garbled gospel of so-called Christianity, yet it was blindingly easy to see that not only didn't they believe what they were preaching, none of the preachers (teachers) acted out the teachings either.

It was also blindingly obvious to me that adults and parents were a) totally fucked up, b) liars, c) deeply unhappy, and d) apparently oblivious to a, b and c (or at least, they didn't believe they could do anything about it).

I was astounded. I found myself living in a world of lies, deception, hypocrisy and unhappiness. All around me, disgusting things were being perpetrated in the name of business or the state; and yet people believed they were powerless to act. It was insane; I was living in a lunatic asylum. Above my infant school, Hammersmith flyover conveyed an endless stream of lead-spewing death machines into and out of the vibrant, crazy city of London. In the playground, us junior human beings breathed this poisonous cocktail as we played, before running back to our classrooms to be indoctrinated with such bogus ideologies that they were laughable. Except no one else was laughing, and I felt like crying.

In that crazy playground, on that knee-grazing, head-bashing tarmac, we acted out our fantastic games. They were all apparently based on mimicking adult themes of 'goodies' and 'baddies' and I don't know how the tradition started, but I joined in, because I loved being part of a gang, and I loved playing. Cowboys and Indians seemed kind of meaningless (but fun), when it came to simply running around sticking a finger out and going bang, or firing an imaginary bow and arrow. But within this structure, I found there was a deeper meaning for me, because I could feel the essential values of Native American culture within me. Don't ask me how, I just did. Whether it was a past-life memory, or an intrinsic connection with truth, I knew there was something essentially right in these values. And without questioning it, I took on the role of a wolf in these games. I was a peace-making wolf. I would run on all fours between the warring cowboys and Indians and get them to put down their weapons and make peace. Yeah, that's right, aged 5, that's what I did. And as far as I can remember, the kids happily went along with it. It made sense to them. Even though running around whooping and shooting was fun, this gave the whole thing an added dimension, which was meaning. Now don't think I was some kind of precious little twat, far from it. I was sensitive. But what I was doing was weaving into the pattern and fabric of the game something deeper, unconsciously.

What I'm trying to show you here is that from a very early age, I wasn't duped by the bullshit. The illusion just didn't work for me. And although I spent nearly all of the rest of my younger life trying to fit into this system, because I was told that this was all there was, it was a desperately painful and traumatic process of feeling like a square peg being forced into a round hole. And all around me there were unhappy, lying adults who patronised us kids, and acted like they were superior, when they were patently not. They were just fucked up. All they had going for them was superior strength, size and a cabal that insisted that whatever they did to you, they were right. And all around them, was a world riven by war, strife, poverty, pollution, inequality and injustice.

But there was apparently, no alternative.

Okay, let's cut to the chase. After 49 long years of being in this particular incarnation, I have finally, fully, got that the idea that the state governs, and we obey, is bull. It's an illusion. A hideous, insidious, invidious illusion that has been perpetrated upon us all... an illusion so pervading, so clever and so intricately woven, that the best analogy I am aware of, is to call it the matrix.

But folks! Lovely folks! Friends out there, old and new, met and not yet met; it IS an illusion! We are all free, and in the coming weeks, I shall offer you my further insights and hope to show you why it's OKAY TO BE YOU.

God bless you, and, in the terminology of Western tradition: Happy New Year. x

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Dostoyevsky agrees!

My favourite character in Dostoyevsky's classic novel Crime and Punishment is the passionately intelligent, unrestrained bear of a man, Razumikhin. Of all the characters in this incredible novel, he is the one with the least artifice, who speaks the most intelligently and vividly, from the heart. It is also no coincidence that Dostoyevsky almost certainly derived Razumikhin's name from the Russian word 'razum', meaning 'reason'.

In this wonderful passage, a drunk (on vodka, on life, on Avdotya Raskolnikov's beauty) Razumikhin,
escorting Raskolnikov's sister and mother back to their lodgings, rails against the vile use of cliche, and how its use pervades all our lives, obscuring truth:

'What do you suppose?' Razumikhin shouted, raising his voice even louder. 'Do you suppose I'm going on like this because they talk nonsense? Rubbish! I like it when they talk nonsense! Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human. Not one single truth has ever been arrived at without people first having talked a dozen reams of nonsense, even ten dozen reams of it, and that's an honourable thing in its own way; well, but we can't even talk nonsense with our own brains! Talk nonsense to me, by all means, but do it with your own brain, and I shall kiss you for it.
To talk nonsense in one's own way is almost better than to talk a truth that's someone else's; in the first instance, you behave like a human being, while in the second, you are merely being a parrot!
The truth won't go away, but life can be knocked on the head and done in. I can think of some examples... we're all of us, every one of us without exception, when it comes to the fields of learning, development, thought, invention, ideals, ambition, liberalism, reason, experience, and every, every, every other field you can think of, in the very lowest preparatory form of school! We've got accustomed to making do with other people's intelligence - we're soaked in it! It's true, isn't it? Isn't what I'm saying true?' cried Razumikhin, trembling all over and squeezing the hands of both ladies. 'Isn't it?'

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The sea is not blue

The sea is not blue.

Some time ago I sat on an old stone jetty a few metres above the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The sea is blue, said my mind. I looked at the sea. And then I realised, with a eureka-like shock, that the sea is not blue. That in fact the very idea that 'the sea is blue' was preventing me from experiencing the sea as it actually was, in that moment; a heaving mass of incredible matter that was absorbing and reflecting and refracting the sunlight in amazing ways..
And beyond that, I saw that there is no colour.

Colour is an idea.

I realised that we have built our entire idea of what reality is by using a battery of concept thinking, based on a set of linguistic cliches. We think in cliches. We experience life through these cliches. We talk in cliches.

These cliches are preventing us from actually experiencing life as it is.

If you live your life through cliches, your life will in fact be a cliche. You will have lived and died with almost no direct experience of the world you are living in. And what is profound, shocking and fundamental, is that reality, beneath, beyond, before the cliche, is more amazing, more vibrant, richer and deeper, than anything you can possibly imagine from a cliche-based perspective.

I believe it is our duty, as thinking beings, to wake up to this reality, and go beyond the cliche. Think about it. No, go on, don't just dismiss this idea, think about it. Think about how you define your life by stories, by sets of cliches; and I don't just mean now and again, I mean all the time.

Think about it.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The future is not formed

A couple of weeks ago I had a revelation: the future is not formed. I realised, with a deep shock, that up to this point, I had believed that the future was already formed; predestined, if you like.

I realised that I was carrying around the idea that my 'destiny' was determined, that my life was on rails
, and that certain outcomes were inevitable. I had no idea I was a fatalist, but that's what I was.

The palpable sense of relief and levity that this realisation brought me was huge. The future is not formed. The future is not formed. The future is NOT inevitable! Outcomes are not certain.

My fatalism, I realised, ran deep in me; it was a result, I believe, of a childhood where it seemed the worst that could happen would always happen, and that nothing good would last, and that suffering was my inevitable (and deserved) lot. In a sense, I must have come to believe that I was being punished.

Unpacking this unconscious set of hard-wired beliefs led me to realise that my whole unconscious oeuvre mimicked a religious ideology. Indeed, I can see clearly how an unawareness of such unconscious beliefs could lead anyone to believe, unquestioningly, religious ideology. If ever there was a case for 'knowing thyself' this is it.

Without exploration of our inner drives and motivations, we are like victims in a sea of drama.. believing we are unable to change that which is most profound in us, we feel helpless against what appears to be an inevitable fate.

To discover that 'fate' is NOT inevitable, is profound. Amazingly profound. It is liberating. I accept that of course, deep-set tendencies in us lead us to see things in a certain way, and to perceive events in a certain way, and thus to react to those events in a certain way, leading us to feel that things are inevitable. But this is how one acts when one is unconscious. To wake up to the 'truth' of an unformed future is possibly akin to enlightenment. I don't know if it's enlightenment, because I don't know how many more layers of unconsciousness I have yet to reveal to myself.

If you believe life is inevitable, and that what will happen to you is predestined, then think again. Examine what inner beliefs have led you to this grim conclusion, and then allow yourself the glorious liberation of knowing this is not so.

Your life can change in many ways, at any time. Of course the generalities of your life will form an apparently semi-rigid context for your experience, at least for the time being. But the more you embrace the realisation that the future is unformed, and the deeper you delve into your unconscious to liberate your darkest and most secretive thoughts, the freer you will become. And as you free yourself, you realise your potential to change and for life to change may be almost boundless, defined only, perhaps, be the 'laws' of nature, of physics. But then again, we know that even these are mutable.

Watching Christopher Nolan's film 'Inception' last week, I accepted the allegory, the metaphor, whether intentioned or not, that 'life is but a dream'. As long as we remain unconscious of what drives us, life will indeed remain but a dream.

Throughout our history, we have used various naturally occurring substances to help us achieve this kind of liberation. We must embrace these opportunities without fear, but with a humble acceptance that these 'guides' are to be respected as teachers, and not to be abused 'recreationally'.. (although I've got admit, recreational use can be a lot of fun..).

The history of human enlightenment is long and fascinating, and there have always been forces, that through fear, have attempted to squash and contain and suppress human liberation. You have to go past the fear, to embrace freedom. It's the only way.

Many years ago, during an intense trip, I came up with the mantra: you've got to go through hell to get to heaven. Suffering seems something we all have to experience, and most of us spend our lives avoiding it like the plague. Yet as many spiritual thinkers have realised, suffering and pain may be the key to spiritual enlightenment; for without them, where is the spur to explore, to discover, to rise above our conditioning and break free of our shackles?

Freedom from fear, from fear of life and living; I cannot think of anything more liberating than this. Dare you take the first step?