The initial effects of meditation are incredible. Mental poise immediately becomes more acute, problem solving becomes a pleasure. Day to day living seemed much simpler. I was eventually to learn how to control the rate at which my heart was beating, I metabolised food more carefully, enjoyed simple eating more, and consumed less. The first time I achieved Samadhi, or ’union with the divine’ I was sitting in a small break of woodland. I felt an electric tingle at the base of my spine which rapidly passed up my spine and it felt as if around my skull lightening played- I possessed the universe between my lightly pressed fingertips. I became as light as air. To reach this sort of ’transcendence’, going beyond the boundaries of the physical has been practised by sages and shamen for millennia, but is within the grasp of nearly everyone. However, it was a long uphill struggle to reach this peak, and neither were the sacrifices I made small. The feeling can counter alienation, for one really feels a part of the whole movement of the cosmos, is good for emotional upsets, for one is placid and calm and it seems to last forever, and for feelings of impotence, as it feels as if the answers to all the world’s problems are a hair’s-breadth away. It is infinitely preferable to toasting the brain slowly with drugs, although some of my friends at the time did think that I had been taking them and had overdone it. They didn’t really understand that experiences on drugs and experiences whilst meditating, though externally comparable, are in fact incommensurable in many ways. Compare the experience of going up a mountain in a car to that of hiking or cycle up it. There is a qualitative difference. However, meditation is not without its risks, as I later learnt after using some of the techniques too extensively in stressful situations and burning myself out.
At the time of my enlightenment, however, I was in an excellent position. At 1030 feet up we had a little foothold in the side of the great hills. A small burn trickled away merrily, and rain poured, snow slushed, and the wind beat on our heads. There is something random yet musical of the sonic musings of nature, a sound with no-sound. Water rushed down past our cottage over rocks and under branches of fair trees, spilling out onto a wide plain eventually to meet the sea.
In the Aeneid it said that “Time is the life of the mind’. Once you can understand your own thought processes no understanding of the tiniest or remotest part of the universe is witheld from you. By slowing down thinking and observing the changing states of consciousness that usually go unnoticed, events which seem independent of or far away come into the immediate understanding, becoming you. Feelings of being tied to the cosmic core from which all events in time have sprung results from seeking realisation or ‘activation’ as you could call it. Materialism and its obsessions merely throw one out with centrifugal force into spinning unknowingness.
That which is constant and unchanging within you is lost, covered up by the illusiory nature of temporalised perceptions. It may be that it is man’s destiny, his heartfelt wish, to know all things at all times, so that he might be no longer as a ship on heavy seas, thrown now this way, now that. More than knowing, however, man wishes to love that which he knows. For in loving, the object of love becomes him, and he or she becomes it. Union with the gestalt mind brings all that we call knowledge to the forefront of the mind, whereas in normal living it is far in the distant background.
For the reason that the (Western) human mind is so programmed into thinking in linear succession, it is one of the first tasks of meditation to overcome this “running-of-events-together” or the experience of the world as a series of ‘bits’, and re-experience it in the sensation of each passing moment as unique, a self-fulfilling entity with no boundary in time or space, yet is discreet and separate from all that surrounds it (known technically in Indian philosophy as ‘the Void’). This movement into a different awareness of time-in-itself, by-itself, and for-itself, brings a true consciousness, a waking awareness of pure quality. How then can there be such a thing as a ’waste’ of ‘time’? Time is not a commodity to be spent, but the result of a dynamic interaction with the whole of reality, including the reality of mind.
The Greek way of looking at time is that of facing “backwards”, looking out over things that have passed, whereas in the modern perspective we are ‘forward’ facing, looking into the future at what will be. The modem techniques of sublimation are entirely different from meditative techniques, although again, as with drugs, there is a parallel. In a ’sideways’ shift of awareness we are trained to see contiguity in passing moments when there is in fact no congruity. Speeding up of thoughts, images or sounds gives the illusion of temporal flow where there is none, merely a succession of processed units of experience, all resulting in state-of- affairs where there is a passive ’consumer’ of pseudo-reality who is ‘fed’ ’sense-data’, and who then ‘processes’ it. Thinking in temporal terms is very complicated and unnatural. Time is not the moving staircase that people for centuries have thought it since the Greeks. This process encourages the intensive amplification of the egotistical nature, whereas the contingent and reflexive satisfaction and satiation principle is itself sublimated to the knowledge and awareness of the participant in meditation, yet the conscious awareness is still bound to sense and feeling. There is no imposing of one will upon another’s, or of man’s upon nature’s.
What we have described here is not a mere regression into a child-like state, as seems often to be the result of the so-called ‘psycho-therapy’ (nowadays replaced with ‘drugs therapy’ – see above). This may seem to be the case as the participant will emerge from meditation having renewed his sense of wonder and marvel at the world. There is a definite need to be grounded by an experienced practitioner afterwards.
Our day-to-day experience of the passage and nature of time is so limited. Our universe contains planetary time, micro-time and cosmic time to name but a few. Just because we are on the macroscopic scale doesn’t mean we cannot experience ‘foreign’ temporal orders. Our awareness is daily permeated by them, though we don’t usually notice this because we are so embroiled in what-we-are-going-to-do- next. We are yet alive as individuals, but also as collections of gene-types or micro-organisms, or as bounded ethereally by our breath.
Geographically and cosmically also we are subject to the inexorable laws of the universe, which will admit of no imbalance and no slackening whatsoever in the minutest part. This was known to people living long before the axioms of what we call our modern-day science were ‘discovered’. Even as passive observers we are participants in the great cosmic dance of matter and energy, and are always bound to seek our true resting place within its enmeshing enfolding substance. We are the movement of the earth’s crust and the formation of the mountains, we are a grain of sand rolled across the beach, we are the dolphin diving deeper and longer than ever before. This is our inheritance. As the breathing deepens and the heart slows we become these relationships and million-myriad others. The Celts venerated the number five, and thus as we turn inwards we venerate our senses as minute implosions of reality and release ourselves into the space of pure awareness, released from the artificially imposed I-Worlds impregnated by doubts, fears etc.
Even this external/internal paternal/maternal yin/yang phallic/vaginal science/nature distinction-oriented world seems now to be grasping things which have been known for centuries by mystics and the like, and the mutual exclusiveness of such states is falling apart. Time is no longer chopped into manageable portions, metered then sewn together, so its value again begins to approach infinity. The division of the world into ‘time-zones’, a convenience manufactured by modern travel-techniques, disrupts the natural perception of the relative orbits of the planets and stars, and imposes an artificial constraint over our perception of events. The casual observer is twice lost: firstly, because his inbuilt ’animus’, external nature or innate time-sense is over-ridden, and secondly because once in this weakened state, events which occur seemingly ’at random’ are lost as to their true significance in a synchronous universe.
Hence the dissatisfaction of modern man with staying in one place for very long. One starts to become aware of the infinitesimal shifting of the lines defined by the programmed consciousness, that go to form a grid-work of perception, delimiting reality. There is a globally determined limit to our time- we are drip-fed. Since our earliest awareness of this individuals have been trying to escape, damaging in the process their minds and bodies with deleterious effects. Where nature is untouched by man, we revert to a primeval consciousness, seeing and feeling the earth. Time is expressed by the various growth rates of the plants and animals, and there is objectivity on the importance of human pursuits, and the possibility of equality. By contrast in the largely azoic city-scape one is merely left with the stale emanations of one’s own consciousness and the pathetic realisation of how little humans can achieve on their own. Here only dreams can reveal the underlying nature of the cosmos, here the senses are distorted by the arrested entrophy, a prototypical illusion of permanence. If it was this literal translation of the elements of the human psyche into ‘living-space’ then we are viewing their specific pre-occupations, perceptions and movements of thought in frozen form. Then a certain socio-political caste made it their duty to perpetuate the idiosyncratic elements of consciousness, in concrete observations of a formula of rigid dogma of which pursuit over time does nothing to enhance this spurious validity as a universal statement with which any (validated) person may cathect with.
The free exchange of land with people is broken up into a series of specialities, each emphasising their spurious virtues. On the other hand, observation proves that some ‘life-stuff’ does have a peculiar linearity. Where the programming of the grid overlaps, communication takes place. In the third stage, multiplicity of meaning establishes a free space once again. Vortex and flows of crystalline, laminar, cone, overlapping, intersecting, mixing and jamming. A determinable succession, just as the so-called ‘time-particles’ are expressible on three levels: as matter
(growth/entrophy), sound (wave reflection and dispersion,) and light (wave-particle/refraction). A medium such as water can express all three of these métamorphosés from crystàlline (frozen,) liquid (free mingling,) and gas (penetrates ethereal shield of living organisms).
Molecular patterns, crystalline structures are reflecting the state of non-being, or the philosophically possible end-state of all entrophic processes. However, by paradox the death-state or stasis implies renewal, re-birth or catalytic synthesis, where a multitude of patterns describe the potentialities for re-arrangement (to the contrary) without effacing their heterogeneity. Space, in this respect, is open-ended, in an infinite array of possibilities. By giving form to the abstract notion of time in a name, we are summoning to the imagination by the creative power of the imagination. An event in a time travellers life may hold more than one location in his personal time. New knowledge ripples out from a proverbial centre in a fluid wave. In the following stage stratification occurs, crystallising in laminar layers. Linearity is broken up by the stratification, as when one approaches a mountain or ascends an elevator in building. This concretely historically determined effect can be demonstrated by extrapolating into past ages before the domination of the spoken word by the written formula. Before the advent of a centralised totalising hegemony, dialects gently merged, as they were formed by the naming the objects of nature and those objects after their immediate transformation by man and animal, of real things in the real world. To ‘travel’ had a different meaning, as it was a passage through the temporal and spatial organisation of the earth, and discoveries of compatibility of world-myth and language-truth-percept models between vastly displaced and varied cultures comes as no surprise and is no coincidence. In this world highly invested with meaning the ‘word’ was alive in its full socio-historical context, and but for the proviso “If It Moves, Kill It”, would still be alive today. The shifting sensorium of social signs circulated, projected, protected and redirected the individual consciousness; just as traffic signs, advertising, and newspapers affects our minds today. This seed-words is like a crystalline mnemonic for the whole earth, a mantric matrix with infinite escape vectors. Formerly crystals were used for their healing properties and were venerated. Today they are usually worn for decoration or used to control and power watches and electronic devices.
War between nations is in this schema an extension of the paranoic war to suppress their own people, to protect their ownership of one lot of ‘cattle’ from the owners of another lot of ‘cattle’ on the ‘global ranch’. Labour, left-wingers and socialists wish to curb the real prospect for change into a harmless quantitative one, which would leave the exploitative infrastructure (of meaningless “change-for-change’s-sake”) and pointless over-production in place. This may be why any debate is allowed at all, to siphon-off the concern of those who çare into harmless, even counter-productive effort. It disarms meaningful exchange whilst giving the impression of progressive views of alternative (to) government. Those caught-up in the pseudo-conflict only serve the divisions established by the fluid class system; (i.e. management, white-collar, blue-collar, shop floor.) One may move upwards or downwards in the hierarchy, however, he or she has only one active neighbour: his or her superior. Gains in power are offset by increasing collusion with an exploitative regime; conscience is rapidly slain. Juxtaposed to this artificial struggle, all criticism of which is carefully stifled, distorted and fitted neatly into a pseudo-ideology, is the barely mentionable, merely alluded to state of anarchy or open rebellion against slavery. It is conceived of in the minds of the majority, (if it is allowed to gestate into a thought at all,) as a mere self-indulgence in a destructive way. Whimsical, child-like perverseness, or as something primitive allied again to violent imaginings, as a kind of madness which is kept in check by the chains of rigid dogma, formalism and hierarchy. The unjust and unfair distribution of primary goods and of autonomy results in an imbalanced situation where some people have barely any control over their own minds and their own lives, whereas other have control of thousands or even millions of lives. The self-indulgence stapled on to anarchy in a negative, destructive and egotistical sense conjures an image of a beast long time imprisoned, which, if released, would tear out the throat of the nearest passer-by.
The future survival of mankind and of some recognisable form of society probably depends upon a new spirit of reconciliation and on some radical change of consciousness. Before people can be free they must first recognise the possibility for that freedom. Perhaps they will not know it until they have achieved it, and all complex theorising on the subject is pointless. However, a democratisation of the means of expression, and freedom from media control and manipulation would seem to be a prime requisite for this change. The vested interest fear the potential for human growth and the possibility of freedom and so “manufacture consent” (in the words of Noam Chomsky). The infancy of the days of manipulative radio, television and papers is now passed. It is generally accepted that they can and do have the power to condition people from a very early age. They continually uphold self-violence and self-mutilation as virtuous, encourage suppression and repression and ridicule all non-ideological thought. In a social sub-set where all ‘foreign’ ideas are excluded or mocked, where is it assumed e.g. that all people are inherently violent and selfish, is there no room even for the idea of alternative (to) rule?
The pseudos, metaphysical function or teleology is a ’promethean’ science which holds all the answers to all our problems. It carries with it, like a virus, the whole mode of hierartechtic exploitation. Earth-rape is inherent in its very structure, in the way it analyses problems and investigates nature, and in the way that until comparatively recently women were totally excluded.
However, on the hopeful side the very existence of this elitist science implies its opposite, an inclusive, holistic approach based on organic interactionism, fusion and melatrophy, synthesis of different time scales through chaos and ‘haccicity’ (c.f. Deleuze and Guattari). Present scientific methods not only exclude by controlled design the majority of the population (except as dis-informed guinea-pigs), but is the greatest tool in the hands of the minority to oppress the majority, who in turn…etc. Even against tremendous inertia and resistance the established realm of the social institutions forces on men and women its own pattern of internal power structures, contracts, laws, deals, bargains etc. and the social dehumanisation of the technological mediation, replacing or substituting for real human contact. The so-called ‘humanities’ in fact form a justificatory apologetical role supporting and extending the realm of sciences. They praise, gratify and justify the ways and means of ‘hard’ science and the vested interests (complete lack of) intellectual, psychological and sociological reasons as to why things should continue on their present course of growth and overpopulation and the hidden extra of environmental degradation. How ironic that science should then claim to know reality ’as it really is’!
The aimless yet much praised paradigm of techno-sophistry and growth does not really serve the best interests of mankind as a whole and privileges the sections of humanity who were given power in order to serve better. At one time I would have classified these people as mostly white male westerners living in industrialised countries, but now it is endemic and ubiquitous. Those who could provide solutions are stifled by untold hardship and suffering. The ’under-developed’ (read ‘under-exploited’) so-called ‘Third-World’ countries have given far more in terms of human suffering to our dubious cause in the west than could ever be measured. The other victims of this global abuse are those instituted with the reversal of western material wealth in the so-called ’developed’ nations, suffering similar privations yet confronted with such blatant concentrations of wealth (presented, remember, by the media as the ‘norm’) in the near vicinity to make them not unable to fulfil their human potential, but bitter and without pride. The parallel to the results and symptoms of post-imperialism and post-colonialism are just being felt in this country as the much-reduced Kingdom fails to deceive increasingly large numbers of would-be empire-builders so they are forced to see, like an un house-trained puppy, the results of their despoliation. Sneering demagogic attitudes to foreign cultures are no longer tolerated, even as humour. Neither are the working classes free from this blight. The palliatives thrown at them in terms of luxuries readily available can now clearly be seen as a result of increasingly intensive methods of exploitation overseas, which would (hopefully) not be permitted in this country due to laws on minimum wages, maximum hours etc. This was merely an ‘exportation’ of poverty, or its mis-appropriation or expropriation. This system has also made it hard for innovators and inventors, who, if they are lucky enough not to have their inventions suppressed, have to find labour overseas or be unable to afford to go into production, for before the advent of L.E.T.S. (Local Exchange Trading Systems) they had no choice but to compete (and therefor to manufacture and seek to reduce overheads) on a global market. This sort of out-sourcing is, I feel, justified if it brings about innovation or process revolution which may save lives or reduce misery.
Modern transport, technology and communications have provided the so-called western civilisation with the best possible opportunities to make use of their connections in less materially advantaged (in terms of possession of ‘labour-slaves’ or machines and devices that substitute for human expenditure of effort) countries. Still more insidious is the forced adoption of a western time scale, culture and historical perspective. This can be superimposed on traditional culture and can uproot people from the land. Expression, art and local politics all suffer as the people are ‘dragged’ (for want of a better word) into ‘our’ century and force-fed change. For the empire did not give up its consumer/exploiter pusher/addict (lies, cover-ups, orders from above)/(land, materials, animals, people) relationships without leaving economic hooks and drip-feed behind (e.g. ‘debt’ and repayment of interest). In reality the west owes the 3rd World more than it can ever repay. However, from the mainstream economic perspective (a sham which distorts and covers-up the grotesqueness of dehumanisation, mechanisation and alienation,) these countries are, and continue to be, crippled by these debts, despite calls from humanitarian organisations for their reduction or removal.
The huge internal damage caused by these past policies and their rhetorical reinforcement in countries which could otherwise run self-sufficiently. Do not mistake the situation I have described, for it requires immediate and radical action on our part. Many people manage the first stage, which frequently takes the form of donating to worthy charities for the immediate relief of suffering. Yet few more reach the next stage which is to identify in the imagination with the oppressed (both at home and overseas- for our misfortunate are a microcosmic representation of the global situation,) as our brothers and sisters in a commonly shared humanity and to direct further funds wisely in helping to provide them with the means to ensure their own survival and to prosper. Yet still few more reach the third phase in realising that it is our over-consumption which enforces their degradation (not to mention the resultant drowning of our society in an effluvium of detritus). We in the west have accelerated our material development at the expense of creating an inner spiritual desert.
The physical pressure of natural forces in terms of which we understand the word ‘Evolution’ has been transformed in the west and re-located on the ‘pressure-point’ of the mind, soul or psyche.
Human beings whose language changed so that they were no longer answerable to higher powers would become, a new sort of human being.
The masses do not passively submit to power, nor do they want to be enslaved. They are fooled by an ideological lure.
I find it all too easy to relate to people in that sometimes their worries, troubles and pre-occupations seem to be my own. My life is full of meaning because of this, of purposeful objects and people, of design, intelligence and usefulness. However, the wilderness still calls me.
In moments of great need, I, like most people, project my inmost desires onto other people and the external world which surrounds. I usually know when I am doing this, although frustratingly 1 sometimes still find myself unable to stop it. I don’t take myself too seriously and see most of my ends and aspirations as contingent. When I really want something, I save up for it. During my late adolescence and early adulthood my best friends were women of my own age. At one time I seemed to prefer male company. I see existentialism is a great intellectual challenge. In none of the relationships I had with women in my younger days did I feel I was being exploited.
Even should they wish it so, the majority have not yet learned to feel the power of governments as their own. Neither do most people’s opinions coincide with their representatives’ ones. Every law the people has not ratified in person is null and void. In fact, it is not a law at all. The people of this and other lands may think themselves free but are grossly mistaken They are free only when electing representatives in government systems. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes them, and democracy is negated and ignored.
Perhaps this is fortunate for liberty. Individual freedom is already subject to much invasion from ideologies. State power should be limited by the civilising effect of local, regional, assemblies.
The project of national liberal power failed. The nation proved to be too vast an area over which to cultivate that shared self-understanding necessary to a community in the formative or constitutional sense. The only cohesion granted was during all-out wartime.
Civilisation, though praised, ceases to exert a beneficial influence once it has gone beyond the bounds of moderation. It may prove to as prolific a source of evil as it was formerly for good. The system of checks and balances embodied in the juridical system may prove to become redundant once we have learned to love each other enough, or at the very least when we have obtained sufficient knowledge of each other for that love to serve alone, save only when excessive concern for others in the form of interfering and acting on their behalf. To prevent polarisation, the only laws in such a society would then involve the limiting of Love’s application.
Concerning the occupation of statecraft, when the egotistical self-centred energies are simplified, then embodied in select, individuals, then channelled into abstract decision-making machinery in the discursive process where they are processed, refined, smoothed-over and glossed on. This functions as arbitration or making of agreements, the cement of societies. Before the Information Revolution, progress in a liberal state depended on the ability to read books at least a little faster than they were written, and also to understand what was read. Increasingly in modem times the democratic process is cut short as the main topic of discussion becomes how best to pursue the latest technology.
Why and how did the state arise in the first place? Did the process of its very formation violate fundamental human rights? According to a judge one must have a fixed place in life, a station, a place to live, a location; liberty is seen as a disorder by society. Nazi propagandists claimed that the Jew, gypsy and those with wandering in their blood could find no place in a stable Reich. Psychiatrists, politicians and tyrants assure us that the wandering life is an aberrant form of behaviour, a sickness which, in the interests of society, ought to be suppressed in the name of civilisation. Men were supposed to sacrifice their intuitive, passionate, emotional side and women were once denied full cultural integration (with notable exceptions!) in all the spheres of life. There was an absolute division between public and private. Feminism as situationism means that elaborate analyses are made redundant because change would otherwise be rooted in the situations from which the problems emerged, safely reduced to the distance of an explanation. In doing so we are already in denial about a problem and excused from the necessity to act in the here-and-now. Consider tragedy, joy, human affairs, life and death with the so-called ‘objectivity’ of the intellectual: emotional self-mutilation. Engender respect in every human for every living thing and you have the solution to the crime of violent rape; for as we disrespect the planet, abuse it and exploit it, so we abuse and alienate our fellows. The language of the ideal consumer is when he/she can amass the greatest amount of material possessions with the smallest possible vocabulary.
Conversely, language can be allowed to blossom like a tree in the dense heart of mankind.
Once you understand your own rationality you are in a position to change society. However, a large proportion of today’s intellectuals feel it necessary to keep their opinions to themselves, and when they speak to try to adjust their utterances to the median of public opinion, fitting many of their own conclusions to premises which they find repellent. From a certain point of view to pursue a person’s subjective goals as moral ones is to be failing the test of public opinion. Any appeal to public moral opinion involves a weakening of the absurd but true assertion that the individual can have access in a direct and subjective way to an absolute court of moral appeal, establishing a realm in which the public morality is reduced to merely relative. Where have the fearlessly logical and consistent characters gone?
Those who use or would use violence always try to justify both it and
themselves. Stepping aside from the game of pyramid building, refusing to play, or playing a partial game where there are no winners and no losers, or to play in an arbitrary manner are far from ‘soft options’. If the first men had been brutish murderers, then any State, by providing an umbrella of force, must inevitably be considered beneficial. Any action on the part of individuals to disrupt, weaken or threaten the state would thence be a step in the direction of primordial chaos. If, on the other hand, the first men and women were themselves harried, besieged, their communities few and fragmented, might not all the specific attributes we call human, and all the voluntary airs and graces that bring equipoise and balance to society, which suppress the use of force amongst its members, and which can only function if equipoise is the rule, have evolved as stratagems for survival, hammered out against tremendous odds to avert the threat of extinction? The final stages of biological development occurred simultaneously with the origins and initial stages of cultural history.
Society is not a fortuitous addition to individual psychology, but a necessary constituent of its very possibility. During the reconstruction of the social ‘body’ during the Napoleonic period, while the jurists, philosophers and politicians were seeking in the primal ‘pact’ or equitable agreement the basis for a more fair and just society, the soldiers and with them the ‘technicians of discipline’ were elaborating procedures for the individual and collective coercion of docile bodies. In the course of maintaining a monopoly on the use of violence the State violated individuals’ rights and could therefore be considered immoral.
The mind set which can accept the reasonless despoliation of the land is the same as that which can accept a daily regime of exploitation of women as sex-objects to charm, titillate and to be (mentally) raped. The final conclusion of the disillusioned is materialism. Placid in the face of disembodied violence. The realm of the sensate is distorted and twisted, the images received by the brain sap the strength and remove the ability to resist oppression and instead of invigorating and renewing they encourage torpor and paralysis of the faculties. To seek to escape from this negative situation is seen as illness.
There are two aspects of a person alienated in their own time: firstly, they are protesting against arbitrary and inhuman relationships in the name of humanity; secondly, the poet and the revolutionary are protesting in the name of society against those aspects of its own self-image which are unfaithful.
No-one should have make excuses for that which they think. There is no reason why every utterance should be penetrable by reason, instead we may outline a mobile meaning, shiftless and intent, allying that to a footloose representation in the movement of substratum in the foundation of knowledge, with levels of interlinked mid-brain montage of the elementary architechtronics, tentologically fashionable truisms, beating with a white-hot heart in a netweb of fluid symbolism and anti-stat(e)ic signification, a multilectual dance of artime, mephistic aparadigm, up-tempo and down-beat, rhythm, rhyme and metatonically diamorphologistic dissonant cognitive and emphatically logistically contingent. It is the aim of all art, I would suggest, not to reproduce the visible, but to make visible, and perhaps the same can be said for that representation semiologically. At the very least, no more trench warfare, where paid torturers fought it out over the soggy turf, or the entrenched dogma of fixed ideology, culture and language, forever mistaking the map for the territory. Let the imagination free. In the shaking-off of the deterministic shackles of an empirically defined existence, each unique human soul undergoes metamorphosis. It seems right at this time to render it so.
War itself can be considered irrational, as we always have control over the means of our actions, but never over their ends. The disruptiveness of any social conflict is controlled by a steady awareness of the limited importance of the issues which gave rise to it. There is a basic tension standing true to that which one believes whilst at the same lime continuing to act in such a way so as to preserve and reflect the realisation that one’s moral assessment of the situation may be mistaken. It is our relationships with other people which chiefly define the boundaries to our realisation of the great and general ends to human existence. SATYAGRAHA is a moral equivalent to war. It embodies an equitable settlement and a just one. Its proponents do not merely abstain, but take active steps to measure the degree of sincerity in their own counter-claims. Failure to oppose that which is unjust does not befit the dignity of the human being and must undermine his or her self- respect and also that of his or her opponent. Our methods of seeking often have a more far-reaching effect on our interpersonal relationships than the identity of the more limited aims which we set ourselves. ‘SATYA-’ meaning ‘Truth’ and ‘-GRAHA‘ meaning Firm-Grasping-Of. ‘Thou’ not ‘I’ should be the watchword of all being. Forget the self, and seek the dissolution of the ego. Go out into the world, which is full of suffering, and try to lessen that suffering, or die on the attempt. The existential function of being is to care.
Pity is an emotion prior to all rationalisation. Doubt is like a clumsy veil on the radiance of the heart, reduces our self-understanding and should be cast aside. Love is action, devotion is practice, and surrender is experience. Devotion is the intensity in love and surrender is its fulfilment.
It may seem that theologians and metaphysicians are seeking an escape from time and chance, determining the point of human existence and establishing a hierarchy of responsibilities. However, we may cast our net further and speculate as to future possibilities for mankind. If you were to ask conventionally-minded people why they are negative about the possibility of the existence of the human soul, numinous experience and spiritual realms they may reply that the past experience of the human race denies them. They would not say this about flying machines, or carriages that go without horses. They say these are ’scientific’ discoveries. However, when it comes to the existence of their own souls, they immediately set a limit. As the mad-man believes himself God, so one believe oneself mortal.
Our knowledge of the world is mediated to us by the patterns of thought first established (globally) in Greek times, riding on the Roman war-chariot. Then the keys were removed to the other side of the world and the locks smashed in, so as to make them inoperable. The flaccid gunge taught in even the best schools has little to do with reality, or learning, and the degree of “education” is largely determined by the amount and degree of the child’s passivity. Those who passively consume education are the ones who do well. To take a multiplicity of elements, arranging them synchronistically without effacing their heterogeneity or the possibility for their future re-arrangement (to the contrary) is to go beyond the realm of linear thinking. A new form of play would invent a whole new “archaeology of knowledge” with different outcomes. A haecceity of thought-memes may not “possess”, “clarify”, “classify” nor “analyse” truth, as if it were some invention of the post-consumer era, a “mobile army of metonym and metaphor”. Active understanding does not rest on dogma but is part of the motivating force for life, politics and science. The ‘merely instinctual’ is dismissed, and the purpose of learning abrogated by a science whose main aim is to facilitate the multiplicity of mechanically mediated “I”s with the Ideological State Apparatus.
The primacy of transcendence is that is goes beyond the teleology of false “privilege” and its narcissistic insights. Meaning, form and function have always been the mirror of writing, with which experience is earthed and prismatically refracted. This process is materially a different one from the Promethean which abrogates all for a chosen, specific destiny; turning truth into a succession of discontinuous increments, a hypostatised repetitive temporality.
Take a telephone company. They have the ’means’ of their ‘production’, their ‘tools’:- a network of computers, relays, switches, marketing, advertising, research, personnel. This includes the skills of the employees, from engineers and fault-finders to directory enquiries (sic.)
Their raw-material, so to speak, is the people’s need to communicate at near instantaneous speed with people who are some distance away. The profit from tariffs, line-rental etc. pays in part for the upkeep of the cables, upgrades to cope with new technology, and research into new methods such as satellite communication. This assumes the company owns its equipment, lines etc. and does not rent them. They are in effect translating a social need into a means for making money. Otherwise people would have to write letters, travel more often, be less-well informed etc. They do this by marketing a set of skills, useful hardware and software in conjunction with the potentiality of society to fulfil their use. Their intereactions with their customers on a social level are based largely upon a state of ‘inbetweenness’ to which people find themselves when there is a fault, when they can’t find a number, or when their bill is overdue. This often-awkward social situation exists in more-or-less a vacuum. The employees are sharing their lives with ‘slices’ of other people’s, in a way a sort of ‘sample’, which, combined with the physically inert passivity of operating a telephone personifies the sort of disembodied violence we have inured ourselves to in the 21st Century. This gives them the pseudo-power of the non-objective masquerading as the objective, as the company is more-or-less in all places, at all times, to all people. The fact is that the cross-section of those using the service is built up of those rich and privileged enough to own or use a phone, or those employed by other people to use one on their behalf. Also, the ‘means-to-an-end’ factor means that the average punter is not concentrating very hard on what he is saying. It is a prime zone for the growth of false- consciousness, as the respective lifelines coincide only for a short time, while they travel along an electronically metered parallel course. This may go some way to explaining why business cannot be moral in the present economic environment.
The University, once known as the House of Reason, has since been forced by lack of government funding to associate itself with the generous benevolence of certain national and multi-national corporations. If in its previously tenuous arrangement with the state there was too much interference from outside, what now will the case be?
The genesis for this essay lies with a series of ‘withdrawals’ into my soul, abstracting from the universal sea of the thoughts, images and archetypes of the gestalt mind, and the streams and font of internal wisdom. I have tried to express them in their true likeness, and in a language which is understandable, whilst leasing them in their natural context with their pulse of life intact. I have also tried to make a bond with the reader, in the way that people who share a long and arduous journey share together and forsake the manifold for the One. I concretised and simplified in order to save space and be as concise as possible, to resonate with a generation which does not thrive on lengthy, verbose explanations. Where necessary I have returned to roots.
To do profitable, intrinsically significant work, to achieve independence from bosses, to help men and women, become your own employee or a member of a self-governing co-operative group working for subsistence and a local market is to be alive to the positive potentials of our age. This qualitatively differently orientated process, the decentralisation of population, accessibility to land, (communal) ownership of the means of production, political and economic power will result in a redefinition of the rights of mankind. Compare this course of action to the present one of operational dysfunction, generation of incompetancies in order to fuel an economy of ever-increasing specialisation and personal irrelevancy.
By coming into awareness in the imaginary in his/her creations mankind and womankind harnesses the conscious will in the embodiment of the unconscious urge to create. This therefor contributes to self-understanding, understanding of environment and society, and the collective values stamped therein, those values which provide for a unity of meaning but are logically unprovable. There are three main areas to be satisfied for production to be coherent and convivial 1) The methods and equipment should be cheap enough so as to be available to practically everyone, 2) Suitable for small-scale production; 3) Compatible with man’s need to be creative: 4) Environmentally sustainable, non-polluting and without the use of bio-technology (e.g. gene manipulation). Moreover, work should be of such a nature so as to involve the pure potentiality of being in whole participation and pleasurable experience. Production in no circumstances should be alienated from consumption, sales, marketing etc., nor should it solely be fuelled by greed. In all planless and incoherent production economic laws present themselves as laws of nature over which folk have no control. What is at variance, is in agreement with itself. This is demonstrated by the fact that for decades the ideology of ‘having’ found its most efficacious support in communism. Local Exchange Trading Systems (L.E.T.S.) and the like around the world overcome these problems of global economics by creating a ringfenced local economic system and closely matching ‘requirements’ to ‘offers’ in the market for labour and goods by means of a very low-cost information service. Systems were ’boot-strapped’ into being by the organisers paying themselves in the local currency. The increased social mobility and conviviality meant that production need not subordinate nature, nor the individual become an economic factor of production in a dialectical relationship. The transformative powers of the psyche are only released as a matter of conscious decision. These became the all-important factors in the combat against isolation, dehumanisation and alienation, for the final stages of biological evolution occurred side-by- side with the origin and initial stages of cultural history. Therefore, society is not a fortuitous addition to individual psychology but a necessary constituent to its very possibility. When the need to produce goods for profit disappears, scarcity and famine will disappear.
In the dehumanised mode of production scarcity fuels need, which fuels greed etc., and all scientific searching is then directed towards ’growth’, employing the so-called ‘trickle-down’ theory that when the economy is turning over sufficiently large quantities of money, everyone will have enough. Surely science could be better employed in the direction of balance, whilst at the same time satisfying man’s need for creativity. Increasing the intensity of experiences available during leisure time (also increasing the intensity of any perceived ‘boredom’) will not solve our social and environmental problems. The quality of experience is all the time diminishing, whilst healthy, natural instincts are classed as deviancy. As society hurtles on at ever-increasing speed, there are more and more people becoming casualties, and who won’t, can’t and/or don’t want to work with ever expanding expectations of productivity. At present their numbers are small yet what if they became the majority? How would society function, and what draconian measures to enforce social control would this be an excuse for the authorities to introduce should this happen? Further sterilisation of the senses? Further encouragement of the growth of incompetency?
Nature is man’s and woman’s inorganic body, nature that is in so far as it is not human flesh. That man and woman lives on nature, means that nature is man’s and woman’s body, with which he/she must remain in constant interaction, or die. That man’s and woman’s spiritual life is linked to nature means simply that nature is linked to itself, for man and woman are part of nature. Mankind imposes his distorted mode or living upon many other species. This entire society seems to be a dismissal of nature, and the only cohesion required of individuals, is intended to protect not a natural existence, but the free excursion of mankind over and against nature. Those who would tamper with the fundamental processes of nature with such things as nuclear power and genetic engineering would do well to consider the knottiness of string, the tendency of suspenders to twist, the elusiveness of soap, and what has been summed up playfully as “the total inane depravity of inanimate objects”. If nature has been damaged to an admittedly hard-to-determine point, and that damage is irreversible, then the idea of a free society begins to lose meaning. For instance, the nuclear power controversy has so far been limited to practical considerations, without taking into account that a consequence of the nuclear industry is to further ruling- class interests. Finally, basic ecology suggests that an environmental setting developed over millions of years must be considered to have some intrinsic merit. Anything so complicated as a planet inhabited by more than a million and a half species of plant, animal and tree, all of them living together in more-or-less balanced equilibrium in which they are continually using and reusing the same molecules of soil, water, and air cannot be ‘improved’ by aimless and uninformed tampering. All changes should be made on a small-scale first, so as to provide a test before they are widely applied. Where information is incomplete, changes should stay as close as possible to natural processes, which have to their advantage the indisputable evidence of having supported life for a very long time.
What is, or could possibly be, the conclusion of all this? Is it merely a meritrocious melatrophy, or is there something more? Is it ‘festschrift’, critique or essay? We have passed through many fields, and much beautiful scenery too. We now stand on the brink of something completely different. What propels these realisations forwards is no doubt the inner momentum of learning, and yet more than this. How would we put into practice what would change our lives to such a degree so as to make them unrecognisable? To have journeyed is not the same as to have returned to the same place, what was different that time, what has really changed?
Micheal Foucault – Discipline and Punish
– Madness and Civilisation
William Shakespeare – Hamlet
William Blake – Songs of Experience
Aleister Crowley – Aha!
Max Gilbert – The Fairies Stones
Karl Marx – Capital
E.F. Schumacher – Small is Beautiful
Jean Baudrillard – The Revenge of the Crystal
– The Mirror of Production
Aldous Huxley – Science, Liberty, Peace
R & M Buchsbaum – Basic Ecology
Dale Aukerman – The Darkening Vale
Thomas Troward – The Word and the Law
V Solanus – S.C.U.M. Manifesto
De Montaigne – Essais
Herbert Marcuse – One Dimensional Man
J.S. Mill – On Liberty
Richard Rorty – Irony, Contingency and Solidarity
Plotinus – Letter to Flaccus
Nabakov – Invitation to a Beheading
Nennius – The Seven Ages
Noam Chomsky – Manufacturing Consent
Alan Watts – The Way of Zen
James Hewitt – Yoga
Robert Nozick – Anarchy, State, and Utopia
The word “Ecology” was invented in 1873 by the German botanist Ernst Haeckel.
The word “Ecosystem” was used for the first time in 1935 by Arthur Tansley in his book “The British Islands and Their Vegetation”