The great stone race

Every year five athletes gather upon the mountain to run the great stone race.

The first athlete does not carry a stone upon his back. He runs as swift as the wind to the finish line, defeating all the others with ease. Every year it is so and most people believe he has earned his medals and accolades.

The second athlete has a large stone strapped to his back. He has grown strong with time, the weight of the stone has strengthened his muscles and hardened his endurance. He knows the rigours of life and can sympathize with others who are weighed down. Yet he cannot win.

The third athlete has two stones upon his back. The weight is harsh upon him and he is hard pressed to run. He know he can never triumph, but at times he is capable of bursts of speed. His body is strong, but his vigour is uncertain, often collapsing into a heap. He does not always finish the race.

The fourth athlete has three stones upon his back. Periodically he must halt and lie upon his side, just to feel any sort of comfort. He is broken by his burden and has never completed the race. He has become despondent and has stopped trying – the finish line is so distant it does not register as reality. He counts himself lucky if he can even move, let alone run a race.

The fifth athlete has four stones upon him. His back is broken and he cannot lift up his neck. The weight is killing him. Every muscle in his body is strained and his bones are ready to break. He can think of nothing and feel nothing. He considers the very idea of the race to be a cruel joke and cannot believe how clearly unfair it is. Somewhere deep in his heart he harbours a dream of liberation, but nothing resembling kindness or generosity has ever graced him and he waits for the mercy of death.

So much for the great stone race and its claim to reward the greatest athlete.

Who will put down their guns first?

The whole world is incensed at the atrocities of nations.

The fiery hell of warzones, though only a fraction of the globe’s surface; a small percentile of the world-population, are a searing blight that can no longer be ignored.

The scars of the suffering are now seen by all of us, their cries are heard, their plight wakens us from troubled dreams.

Who will put down their guns first? Who will stop lying to cameras and gaslighting humanity?

The whole world cries out for vulnerability, for a return to childish innocence, the healing of wounds.

In every heart – but the very coldest – there is a desire for trauma to be acknowledged and humanity restored. In every mind – but the most abusive – lies the dream to use our technology for the benefit of all of humanity, to feed and shelter the world.

The most wretched of men, who profit from war, who spin lies in the media, who justify inequality and want, who weave elaborate distractions and foster addictions, even they know their time is done.

Yet I doubt they will stop and let humanity rise out of it’s death-spiral and it is likely that power will have to be torn from their undeserving hands.

We live simultaneously in the past and the future. Aspects of past are valuable, as are aspects of future. We must choose wisely what we bring with us and what we leave behind. The revolution is already here, but it exists beside the old order.

It is a linear and foolish mind that wonders why true progress takes so long, or despairs because it is not already here. For the change is already here, it just has not reached critical mass.

Inside all of us is this contradiction, this germ waiting to flower beneath the cold concrete of a failing civilization. To deny revolution only drives us into further anger and war; a truncation of the soul and denial of our healing capacities. We must open up to it, we cannot deny it anymore.

The great change is already upon us – it is in us waiting to emerge.

Like yin and yang we cycle between the old order and revolution – when we are in the old it is all there is and change feels impossible; when we are in the new the revolution becomes inevitable and our morale is total.

Eventually the new will reach critical mass and humanity will open and trauma and vulnerability will be resolved and patriarchy will die.

People will stop looking at phone screens, stop counting their likes or followers, and will listen to jackdaws and wander in woods of ancient yew trees. Clever minds which contrive guns and inane consumer gadgets will engineer plant-like power stations, star-seeking telescopes and cures for cancer.

The mouth-pieces of war and inequality, of oppression and division, will find their words no longer work upon enlightened ears. The vain aspirations of empty, soulless celebrities will be revealed as the illusion they are. Humanity must change.

We must open our hearts whole to Gaia, to Christ Jesus, to the Buddha, to Krishna, to Muhammad (PBUH) and all of the great spiritual leaders, simultaneously.

The whole world cries out for transcendence and the dawn of a new era.

There is no ‘pragmatism’ within this death-trajectoried world – only a delaying of the inevitable.

The most pathetic philosophers and scientists – weaklings and lickspittles – are those who parrot the old order, to sustain their fallen world view. The divisive, atomic, archaic view which represents nothing but their own personal moral failure and depression, hidden behind the veil of ‘objectivity’ and ‘masculine virtue’.

How miserable our civilization when even its cleverest minds are so pathetic and underachieving? How unimaginative these minds which revere dead men with broken philosophies and ignore the truths laid forth by our ancestors?

Through our shared will we must make the impossible easily possible. Such that the contradictions of new dialectics may emerge and humanity may finally evolve.

For after the revolution new problems will emerge, unforeseen circumstances will arise and the struggle will resume anew. Utopia is the dream of fools and the currency of tyrants. Yet how exciting to be at the dawn of a new era!

We are stuck in the past, an archaic and miserable vision of human society, a blight upon nature so wretched it calls such wretchedness nature itself.

Let us cast off this shell and dare to move into a new world – one of humanity, common decency, universal love and friendship; inspired by the myths of old but looking to the future; where the sword is worn only for defence and not for imperial conquest; where even the most wretched tyrant is forgiven by his own sudden irrelevance; where minds work together, not against each other; where women, trans and non-binary people are as respected as men; where difference of religion and ethnicity are to celebrated and not used as tools of division; where Gaia is restored and glorious humanity takes its place at Her temple of cycles and seasons, reverent of the past yet ready for the future.

This bastard child of patriarchy can harm Her no longer and we all know that a great change is upon us.

Who can explain why

No endurance for crowds, events or for life
 
Don’t want to feel, not to laugh or to cry, who can explain why
 
Lost the heart for chicas, to meet friends new or old
 
Don’t want to cycle, run or to fly, who can explain why.
 
Little hope for the first world, and none for the third
 
Don’t want to fix it, but neither to die, who can explain why.

Death is…

Death is the final answer to what life was.

Death is a unique moment which cannot be reflected upon.

Death is something which cannot be known or experienced.*

Death is the final generosity, allowing the next generation to be born.

Death frees up space in the world.

Death allows new ideas to emerge.

Death is the boundary of choice and the source of meaning in life.

Death is the final courage, to face the cosmos without a human body.

Death is the end of a perspective.

Death is a return to a previous state of non-existence.

Death is coded into us, an end we reach by natural means.

Death is unavoidable and inevitable.

Death is terrifying and exciting.

Death is the food source of every plant, insect and animal.

Death is a mystery which leaves us few clues and no comforts.

Death is the release of all tension, pain and fear, an explosion into the unknown.

Death is cold and dark.

Death is infinity.

*The dead person does not know they have died, nor can they know that a moment is their last moment. Someone who is revived from a state of near-death has not experienced total death, despite coming to the edge.

The mind is not an infinite resource

The mind is not an infinite resource.

Just as a body requires food, shelter, warmth and rest, a mind has basic needs. Tasks to work on, other minds to meet and socialize with, a balance of positive and negative emotions, and so on.

The belief that the human mind is infinite, is capable of achieving anything, can get through any problem if it thinks cleverly enough, is a position both disastrous and immoral: disastrous because it can lead to psychic collapse when its needs are not met and immoral because it allows the engines of capitalism to keep on turning, blaming individuals for systemic problems.

The philosophical argument from ‘free will’, the basis of the choosing, Western individual, manifests in reality as nothing more than an illusion. The primacy of the mind – this frail thing – is the hubris of those who have never encountered severe deprivation, never wanted for psychic resources, never been alienated by society, and certainly never delved into the depths of their whole selves.

I have seen and experienced the remarkable process of a damaged mind splitting in two – hearing people talk to themselves because they were so isolated that creating another voice was simply necessary to survive.

We are incredibly complex beings: a unity of so many different parts, instincts, processes, individuals in relation to environments and the larger mind-laws-customs of society. We are beings whose motives are buried beneath layers and layers of the mind, a journey of self-discovery that concludes only when we perish. To think that some magic-choosing thing is directing all of this, particularly toward ‘rationality’, seems laughably shallow to me.

It is cruel to say that we are all choosing creatures, with minds that can reach up into the stars. Cruel because it enables the system to neglect us – offering cynical yoga and mindfulness in place of the instinctual needs for community and stimulation. It is cruel because it does not take into consideration neurodiversity (or neurodamage in my case) – as if every person who lives on this earth is some enabled John Stuart Mill figure, spouting his liberal nonsense from the arse-end of a life unexamined.

There are so many of us whose minds work differently from the categorized norm, so many of us rotting on the edges of society, potential diminished or completely wasted, all for the hubris of Western man. The insult is twofold – the first to suffer deprivation and the second to have that deprivation trivialized. Only in the last few years has ‘mental health’ reached the mainstream of society. Even then it has not penetrated the thick shell of human hubris just yet, and remains a contradiction within a capitalist system so anti-human it cannot possibly offer a solution to itself.  

The mind is not an infinite resource. Sanity is a frail thing. It is an uncomfortable and terrifying fate to imagine that any one of us could ‘lose our minds’, become something different, have our personalities taken from us or warped out of shape. It is also seen as shameful – to be subject to forces is seen as a moral weakness, hence why so many pretend they can cope when they cannot. I have been there, into that darkness, and had mind-body-soul transported to the depths of Hades, across black lakes and spat back out onto a barren plain, left starving and deprived to survive on sunlight and oxygen. In knowing those absolutes of deprivation and suffering, I can also fully know what is needed to avoid ever going back there again.

To recognize that we are just another part of a living system is a beautiful thing indeed. It tells us that we can generate a higher degree of fulfillment if certain conditions are met. It explains why so much suffering is caused by so many people – even those we might see as powerful are suffering and projecting their brokenness outwards, the Theresa Mays and the Priti Patels and the Tony Blairs. We should not spare too much sympathy for them, but rather for the millions of minds which are deprived and will never get to flower. 

Flowering is a good metaphor. Just as a plant needs good soil, regular watering, sunlight and space to flourish, so human beings need to be nurturaned to be healthy and strong of mind. Some plants need different conditions to flourish, shade, dry soil, dense cover, and so on. There is no reason why their needs cannot be met too, in an earth filled with such abundance, occupied by a species as inventive as our own.

One of the most important steps I took to healing was to leave the notion of ‘free will’ and ‘infinite thinking power’ behind. To fully accept my finitude and the shaping effect of the outside world. We do still have choices to make and it is important to be empowered with reminders of our capacity for liberty and individual power – but these are not absolutes. If anything, to have any freedom at all we must recognize the limits of that freedom – the material limits, the impact of conditions such as PTSD on mind-health, the impact of genetics, the restrictions of society, the damage caused by individual / collective neuroses, and so on.

The mind is not infinite, it never was and it never will be. The philosophers who say otherwise are wrong, overemphasizing a single part of the whole human being and failing dramatically to understand the full depth of ourselves.

The Body as a Library of Joy and Sorrow

It feels as if this body remembers every injury ever commit to it. I cannot tell if these are just phantoms, or genuine pains that are somehow suppressed. They are obviously not fully healed.

In an intense time of anxiety or transition, intense pains rise to the surface. I could sense that this was coming, now that I am so finely attuned to my senses and awakened to this body. I could not ignore the twang in the heel, or the protest of the lower back, the sharp pain behind the kneecaps, the sense of ‘not-thereness’ on the upper left side of the skull.

These are all dormant within me, distracted by living, or relegated to the status of old wounds which I am ‘on top of’. Yet they do not need much to resurface. It is fascinating how much physical pain these psychological falls and triggers can bring back. Somewhere deep down the body is keeping the score; a battle is being waged, and sometimes it is lost to external forces and all of the darkness temporarily overwhelms all sanity. We are finite beings, sensitive and frail, after all.

But we must remember that pain is not something to be feared, especially if it is unavoidable. Pain is a warning sign, an alert; to slow down, reconsider, take another path, not take things for granted. I know what happens if pain is ignored – I watched an elder generation tear itself apart and cause damage to the generations rising up beneath it. Ignorance is not bliss at all but the delaying of pain – or worse, the taking out of pain upon the innocent.

My worst pain and debilitation seems to come up on days when I have the luxury to do nothing. Or rather, days when I am held hostage by pain and anxiety, an inner sense so powerful it cannot be over-riden. ‘You will stay here now and accept this. I am suffering and I can take it no more, my defences have fallen and my resources are depleted. I have the power to cripple you today and I will use it until you fully acknowledge me. Something is not right – do not pretend that it is. See me in full and make yourself complete, incorporate me into the whole.’

Now that I have given the pains many hours, and passed through countless tunnels of intense anxiety, I can feel myself returning to the surface. But I know that all of these physical hurts are still under there. It is something that cannot be ignored or blocked out with Ibruprofen – that would be to live a false, self-denying life among the self-denying people in capitalist society. 

This pain is part of my history and I should be allowed to unfold my life in accordance with it. Just as this body is a library of pain, so it must also be a library of joy – as yang to yin. What kind of person would want one and not the other? How can we become complete and unified beings if we do not acknowledge the full spectrum of human existence, in accordance with the yin-yang essence of Nature?

Sadly, this completeness is a luxury the capitalist world seeks to deny us (and indeed, no other hierarchical system is any better). The work-ethic and desire-chaser wants us to override pain and push ourselves to breaking point; a short-termism with little concern for the needs of a human being. It does not allow for rest, recuperation, reconsideration, healing, vulnerability, fucked-upness. This is why capitalism is a political and economic system which is fundamentally anti-human, anti-wellness and therefore brutal to the soul of humans, beasts and plants.

 

Finally Choosing Celibacy (Part One)

It has been a long and stormy four and a half years since I started this blog. Throughout there has been a background struggle I haven’t til today felt like writing about.

The tricky question of celibacy. Was I choosing to be celibate, or simply unable to find anyone and using it as a mechanism to avoid this fact?

I could not voluntarily choose celibacy whilst in a state of turmoil; invisible and undesirable to women. It took a long four and a half years to finally find someone who had a romantic interest.

This thing I had desired for so long, as much as I had been repulsed by, finally became a solid possibility. The reality of romance was no longer a fantasy, a question to be turned over in the head and the heart. It was like a liberation from conflict and it left me with my answer.

As clear as daylight, I felt had chosen this celibate life. It has been a back and forth, with moments of weakness and longing, but now I could say that I had chosen to turn away from love without any nagging doubts. It is like the last four and a half years of solitude and isolation have been justified, that one true part of me has triumphed over the false. That person I was would never have gone all the way even if he had found a willing woman; it was all an exciting game; love would never have redeemed him, it would have just added to the emotional turmoil.

It was not the right thing.

I can forgive myself for having this back and forth oscillation. We live in a society which normalizes attitudes around sex to a disgusting degree. The most powerful attitude being that everyone should be having it, all of the time. It is a ubiquitous and inescapable idea plastered onto billboards, hammered into ears through music, reeled out in countless movies, normalized through appallingly acted pornography; drawn from a well of poisons.

People are pressured into sex from the moment they reach adulthood. I remember being ridiculed in secondary school numerous times for having never kissed a woman, then patronized by supposed friends who made sex seem like a necessary rite of initiation rather than something to be chosen. University was equally bad, men and women alike would ridicule virgins and the inexperienced, people would use their sexual activity to gain social status and approval (in hindsight, how insecure must they have been!) It was a toxic patriarchal culture which almost everyone around me participated in (including the ‘revolutionary feminists’) and worst of all very few people appeared to be genuinely happy with it.

We might think of heterosexual men as universally powerful and privileged, but I have experienced a lot of patriarchal oppression and coercion, seen the delight of bullies who enjoy pushing others down, found nearly no solidarity or understanding among men or women, had my mind washed with the addictive force of second-rate pornography, and of course had years of invisibility and romantic failure. The idea that heterosexual men all feel empowered, desirable, and enabled is absolutely false. Whilst there is no systemic oppression of heterosexual men, nearly no threat of sexual violence, there is coercion, ridicule and toxicity for a large cross section of them. It certainly is not a ‘liberated’ sexuality – how can anything be called free under patriarchal capitalism?

I am glad those years can finally be put behind me and I can begin learning the discipline to be sustainably, voluntarily celibate. To truly actualize as an individual and begin my full spiritual connection to Nature-God.

There was no ‘why’, only a ‘was’

When I was younger I used to question why my formative years had been filled with so much violence and trauma. Then I asked why my adult years were filled with so much alienation and isolation. I asked why I was unable to ever form a romantic relationship, unable to go into the capitalist workplace and struggled to make friendships last.

This served as the basis for most of my curiosity; the deep, dark mystery. As I got older not only did answers unfold, but I came to feel and become those answers. Pains and traumas solidified into black crystals inside my soul, I was feeling the same powerful genetic trauma that came before me. Things had repeated themselves so many times that I knew them by heart, I saw how patterns unfurled and cycled on.

But I was still asking why and this exercise revealed a fair few empirical answers. Now that I have completed a league of this great journey I look back with a greater answer that is both unsatisfying and resolving at the same time.

There was no ‘why’, only a ‘was’. What happened had no great reason, it just unfolded as the destiny of the body and psyche.

Adults repeating what was done to them, believing that how they felt was inevitable and total, wholly trapped within a system; caged by their own broken minds and traumatized bodies.

Of course, they lacked introspection and awareness. If they did look within, they did not have the humility to admit their vulnerability or what they had done to ‘protect’ themselves from it. They had committed atrocities and these were as repressed and shameful as the atrocities done to them. They were fundamentally trying to be moral people, I believe, failing because  of the backlog of trauma.

But there is no ‘why’. Repetition has no why. Why does a leaf fall in autumn? Why does a seed rise in spring? Why do tigers hunt their prey in the long grasses? Why does the earth spin around the sun?

By accepting that what happened has no reason, a major sensitivity is closed in my soul. Thinking there had to be a fundamental reason was causing so much pain; a spiked puzzle in my hands turned over and over to discover some secret within its impossible complexity, leaving me with bleeding fingers.

It would be foolish to just blindly accept things as they were, to never question, to never quest and never dare. But to keep on doing so when you have found all you can is a worse folly. That is to suffer the world and to suffer the angst of the sensitive mind, to never evolve beyond a childish philosophical state of being.

My acceptance is not an obedience or dogmatism. My acceptance is the end of a long, tiring chapter of exploration, a preparedness to move on and try not to repeat what came before.

I am ready to harden to the world and become stoic, rather than existing as an easily wounded, easily perforated jellyfish of ideas.

Bad things just happen. Nature is suffering for everything that lives. Everything that lives, dies. In the wild places of the world tigers prowl upon people, reducing their bodies to an object of flesh to be torn apart and digested without sentiment.

Is it even a bad thing to be devoured by a gargantuan feline in the wilds? For a person it is the end of a perspective, but from the supreme heights of the Tao it is one thing passing into another, which is itself destroyed, replicated, destroyed again, recycled, reborn for a few years, decaying, evolving, broken and remade, passing on and on until whatever happens at the end of time just happens.

The poison of love

The desire to be loved by another feels so powerful, irresistible and primal because it is the child-state replicated into adulthood; the first impulse ever felt.

Yet it is poison, for love opens up the door to neglect, abandonment, hurt and dependency. These are the foundations of violence.

I have written often about how rage and violence is caused by empirical factors, not a random occurrence springing out of chaos. Yet behind even this I was repressing a truth I didn’t want to confront; a logical antecedent I dared not factor into the equation. Rage and violence manifests following neglect and suffering, but those emotions are amplified by the desire to be loved.

Because one expects to be treated well, being mistreated creates extremes of emotions. Because we are taught we deserve to be loved, its absence or denial causes suffering. But what if one did not expect to be treated well? What if one did not desire to be loved, how could they be so hurt?

Love is weakness, in all of its forms, but supremely in the child-state form of romantic love, where people try to resolve their complexes for each other. Invariably it fails, creating a bond of dependence and poisoning the well of humanity further by perpetuating violence. The expectations – comparing ourselves to imaginary loved people, is another layer of violence on top of this.

To make my point crystal clear: the need to be loved is itself an endless cycle, the need to be vulnerable creates links of dependence which shatter into violence.

But of course, it is an ‘irresistible’ force. Or at least it seems so, to those who think it is inevitable, who do not dare understand and question why it is there.

I am not a child, I do not need anyone’s love to fulfill me. Even my therapist and mentor, who sits opposite me and tells me that I need to learn to love myself more, is himself dependent on another. I feel our relationship should be reversed in this respect; I am more independent than him.

Through mindful practice and self-analysis I can overcome these primal urges and false needs. Not through the toxic poison of repression, where desire is hidden and maligned, but by understanding and patience, where desire is dampened and its source revealed and demystified.

The humans of old would rut in season to produce offspring, pray to the spirits and then get on with their lives. Children were raised by the tribe. Why should we be any different.

The Ancient Evil & Human Freedom

The idea that I am a free human being with the choice to act is absolute falsehood.

The ancient evil runs through me as it did all of those who came before me.

The way of the brutal villages, superstitious, obedient to authority, self-denying, abusive, swathed in darkness, unknowing, false, blind. A way that leads back to troubled people who are now long-dead, their legacy of suffering all that remains of their time on earth.

The ancient evil worked upon us as the default state. It turned people into angry, violent, authoritarian brutalizers; a repeat of the cycle that came before them. It made them fearful of vulnerability, impossible to heal. It made them prefer the poison of their upbringing to the possibility of a void. The only choice they may have made is a choice not to change, but this is not the same as true freedom.

Without resistance the ancient evil triumphs, again and again, for generation after generation. Without resistance trauma wins, dominates the whole character, repeats until the peace of death. Trauma makes the violent emotions feel ‘right’ and irresistible, the work of all-powerful dark gods.

To escape possession of this ancient evil has required years of struggling, and still it goes on. It has been a monumental task of observation, analysis, rationality, understanding. It has been an almost-constant psychic effort to resist the ancient evil which feels more like a birthright than anything else I can imagine.

I am insulted by people who speak about human freedom, who say that we have the ability to form our own personalities. This can only come from a mind that has never had to struggle, never had to push against a tide just to survive. I have seen so many corrupted and dominated by the ancient evil that I know freedom is not something we are born with.

True freedom is a thing that is earned, not given. Earned through a courageous quest of understanding and change. Earned through a dark enlightenment that runs against the grain of familial dogma. Even then, I know freedom will never be a certain thing. Influences will always be strong; external and internal; the shadow of an ancient evil will always be there. But it will be a thing of curiosity, a reminder of where I came from, not the dictator of what little freedom I can craft from life’s cruelties.

By naming the ancient evil it loses its power, it crumbles away and shrinks. It is defeatable, our lives are not determined by what came before. But this overcoming is a thankless task and not one that should be taken lightly.