Imagine you were offered a pill…

Imagine you were offered a pill. Upon swallowing that small, white, round thing, you would cease to feel any of the symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders.

No more insomnia, no more panic, no more suicidal thoughts, no more angst, no more awkwardness, no more feeling isolated, no more feeling like an alien, no more despair.

All of these things would vanish in a matter of minutes, and they would never return. The rate of relapse would be 0%, the pill was that perfect.

Would you take it?

If you have, then you may have just destroyed a large part of yourself in one fell swoop. Seeking a purely medical solution to a spiritual problem, you would have abnegated responsibility to discover yourself, betrayed your soul in a Faustian pact.

Imagine the power it would give the manufacturers of such pills, to dominate others in such a way. Surrendering to them, you would be free from one terrible affliction but, as the saying goes, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Depression and anxiety can get in the way of ‘life’, but then, what is this life and why should we live it in this way? Insomnia can ruin a work routine, but why would the deepest part of yourself commit such self sabotage? Could it be that the routine itself is the problem, more so than the insomnia?

I see my mental health problems as a quest, an immense riddle, one that cannot be easily sidestepped or shut down. It is useful to sometimes be free from it, distracted or medicated in extreme situations, but only as a break from it, not a total transcendence. As much as I have been on my knees and begged Mephistopheles to take away the anxiety, the vulnerability, the despair, I don’t really mean it.

These dark feelings and deep shadows are there for a reason. If they were not, they would not be there. If you have any degree of sensitivity, you will look upon the world and feel as much of its despair as you do its joy. We are in a troubled time, politically, ecologically, economically, spiritually, you name it. Our systems are failing, and many of us are clinging on to them to the bitter end, for, to use another cliché, better the devil you know.

But there are those of us who, at the very core of our souls, feel absolute revulsion for these broken systems and the price they are exacting on humanity and the world of beasts and plants. This albatross around our necks (there he goes again!) is a necessary one, and is in fact the only real hope of change.

Imagine you were reading a novel, a fantastical one where a hero must overcome herself, confront her deepest demons and strive to discover what is truly inside herself. She may never fully triumph, never fully reach some ‘enlightenment’ or god of healing, but the journey she makes, the heroism of her character,  the artfulness of her life, all of these things are inseparable from her. If the hero of the tale simply popped a pill and lost all motivation or drive to self-discovery, then what a terrible tale that would make. It would be trumpeting complacency as the highest virtue.

Complacency is the curse of civilization, for all complacent civilizations are swift to collapse into decadence. The shadow that stalks us, forcing us to evolve, to get better – this is what drives change.

The pill of all-healing would return us to complacency, and thus to the destruction of our true selves. Such ‘light’ cannot exist in our grey world without doing immense harm to the chaotic, beautiful balance we live in. Already people hide from their emotions by wearing the masks of capitalism and individualism. The price the world is paying for this is immense.

I live in my own shadow, a much taller and more powerful version of myself, and I would not magick that looming power away for anything, or anyone.

There is no pill that can take away all of our problems. But there is a change of perception and paradigm we can all make – to see depression and darkness as a sign that something is wrong out there, and thus drive us, when our energy returns to us, to change it.




I have been experimenting recently with staying away from the nest.

It was the built-up feelings of frustration that propelled me out. I remember a day of boldness and surety, really striving to carve out a place for me in the world.

The next day the momentum started to wear off. I was somewhere without my own personal, safe space. Back to the nest, and then away again.

But this time away meant feeling a strong sense of abandonment and desolation. I had a feeling that the spirit inside would not let me sleep, so I left, cleaving through the night to return to the dark nest.

On that night journey back I felt little of the usual fear. It was like the subconscious was projecting out onto everything, it did not really seem real; things did not seem as they were but only a figment of myself. Symbols representing something beyond my knowledge.

I listened to the spirit and it felt a lot more comfortable on its return. Waking up in the small hours of night I felt a strong sense of abandonment and desolation, and at the fringes of that a fear of self-harm or destruction. An underlining depression and dread.

I cannot quite explain it, only to say it is right at the front of the chest. I am glad I was in a familiar place when dealing with such emotions, because I was able to get through them without much alarm. In an unfamiliar place, it could have been much harder.

Life is not going to be as easy as moving away from abusives to somewhere safe. On my own is not exactly safe, and unfamiliar is not exactly safe. There has to be a careful back and forth until somewhere good is found. If indeed somewhere good is possible.

Maybe, at the risk of the depression talking, this is life now. Maybe we are thrust into tragedy and the best we can do is survive it until we die. Looking at the appalling lot of the people I was forced to grow up with, I can only compare it to something like a developing nation which must suffer enormous tragedy in order to industrialize. The legacy of abusiveness and repressed pain means there is immense suffering by default. The spiritual and emotional retardation means that members of this stunted family start far behind others, who are nonabusive and encouraged a lot more. Instead of a deranged unit which destroys its own interest, most people have a more functional organ which can achieve synergy and unity. As such, none of us can achieve the impossible standards of society, and a demi-success is all we can sustain. I can achieve only an orc-like existence, at the fringes, barely alive, unblessed by the light that shines, and comfortable only with warped creatures of shadow. Without my wretched god of snarling darkness and self-loathing, I am naked and anxious, left to trembling and the cruel punishments of the soul.

All the sentimentalism of souls and eternities and objective meaning are just there so that we never have to see and understand the ultimate futility of Nature. Its beauty and good feeling only fleeting, its ultimate end the stillness and demise of everything. If this is the case, striving for the ultimate state of society will only aid us materially; existentially nothing would have changed. People will suffer anxiety disorders and depressions under socialism. Not because of oppression and injustice, but because this is the legacy of evolution. Humanity will always find something to make itself miserable, as much as it strives to change and struggle for better. All human effort, a vigourous struggle to swim to the surface, but never does a foot step upon the shores of elysium.

Well, that was a depressing tangent! It feels true to express it, painful though it is. For some reason I also find it utterly hilarious. Do I believe such nihilism? Some part of me must do.

The other reveres Elder trees and sings of optimism through bleakness, always seeing light on the other end of the cavern.

Gates of the Psyche

Most people spend most of their lives believing in most of the lies

Fed to them before they had the ability to challenge them.


When Pandora’s box first sprung open, around December last year, the feelings were horrifying. It felt like death (or worse, debilitation) was just around the corner. I had no way of understanding what the emotions flowing to the surface meant. I had no means to deal with sleepless nights of feelings of panic.

Slowly I learnt these things, until I was able to restore some kind of dignity and ‘normality’: a rhythm that made existing bearable, troubled though it was.

Now when the Gates of the Psyche open, I listen. I know what it is, and I know what to do. The screaming inside, the anguish, the flailing desperation, it is familiar to me. I can more or less estimate the effect of insomnia on the next day. I do not want to close the Gates as fast I can anymore.

There is such a thing as dealing with the symptom and not the disease. This is valid, to a degree. To constantly experience symptoms is horrible. Insomnia is the best example of this for me. I do everything I can to prevent a sleepless night (a symptom of anxiety and unresolved emotion).

But it is so easy to forget the disease, and obsess around the rituals to cure the symptom!

On balance, the extreme emotions and suffering have done more good for me than harm. Though it is extremely discomforting and disturbing, with a great risk of harming my relationships with others, without the great motivator of extreme emotion I would still be lying to myself, in exile and on the run.

It took until the age of 28 to find somewhere I was happy, useful, and accepted for myself. Yet even there, everything that was inside remained inside. The Gates of the Psyche opened, and I had to face what was within. Even to the death of my time in an anarchist utopia, the emotions inside forced themselves into priority.

But I was lying to myself, even in a place so true, I was in exile from my own emotions. I know what to do now, to shift into adult consciousness and break the chains of dependency holding me back. It is no longer the case that I believe depression to be arcane and beyond explanation, I know the causes and I know it to be psycho-logical. It is just a question of finding the right time and the safest way to step free.

A shadow will loom over most people for most of their lives. Without knowing it, this shadow will bring them ruin. They might never realize how life has short-changed them, or how they have worked against their own interests, because of this shadow. The shadow will be hidden behind morality and social pressure, two extreme sentinels hard for the best of us to overcome.

Some un/fortunates will be so overwhelmed by it that they will either turn to drink and drugs to keep it down until their self-annihilation, or somehow vindicate themselves against the seemingly impossible.

By not dealing with it, you are not freeing yourself from it. Only by facing it do you overcome it. But who wants to face it, when it is so hard and such a lonely path to walk?

To Anarchist Utopia, shadows followed

I shall not redeem you

I am not on this earth to redeem people. There may be a commandment which says I should honour and respect certain people, and forgive them their trespasses, and that my fate is closely entwined with theirs.

But something deep inside is not happy with this moral command.

Why should I invest energy in hopeless, ignorant people?

Why should I try to redeem entitled people who think little or nothing of me?

How do I have a responsibility to these people?

I shouldn’t, I won’t, and I don’t are the answers.

They ought to mean nothing, by any intelligent measure.

So long as I believe I can change them, or that I am dependent on them, I will be left with a legacy of dependence, leading to hatred, and a creaking, forever tired and maligned body.

In fact, it could kill me.

I am not on this earth to redeem people. It simply is not my role. Nor is it even within my power. One who thinks they can transform others through forgiveness and care are greatly misled at best, and utterly foolish at worst. People who want to change will do so whether you are there or not.

It is understandable that we might feel like we need to redeem the irredeemable who morality teaches us we should care about. Forgive their trespasses and try and find to the good in them. It is in the air that we breathe, this morality. And many explosive mines of guilt are planted in our heads from an early age by people repeating the same abusive patterns they themselves suffered. Much poison runs through our veins before we have a chance to learn of its toxicity.

Sadly it is a futile morality, if not extremely dangerous.

The damage done to our bodies by mistreatment is deeper than conscious awareness. The feelings of helplessness and humiliation forced upon us in early years will find some outlet, and a cursory look at history will show that such unresolved pain is an infinite well of cruelty. 

No excuses and no remorse can heal this.

If you want to be free from anxiety and your physical symptoms, it is time to turn within. Find and root out the deceptions planted in you to keep you in illusion and suffering. Destroy the obligations which keep you in dependence and a state of helpless childhood. And know that there is nothing to be gained by a lifelong quest to redeem the irredeemable. It is an unfortunate arrangement which even the greatest and most creative minds have sacrificed their bodies and lives to.

I am not on this earth to redeem so-called “loved ones”. Nor to carry their secrets and repressed shame. Nor am I here to suffer their violent and cowardly refusal to listen to their own inner pulse.

Free your self. Say ‘no more’! You have responsibility only to yourself and to those whose respect for you is mutual.

Anyone else is not worth your time.

The weight of soul and system

In a recent therapy session, my subconscious brought to light the crushing weight of soul and system.

The weight upon the soul: being a guardian for others, battling and grappling my demons and theirs (they are one and the same). There will never be any thanks, this is an invisible battle. One I am not willing to continue fighting. They know they can continue as is, whilst I am in the dark place. Perhaps if I pull away into the light they will have to take on the burden themselves. Or continue repressing their shit – fucked if I care.

After all of these years, fighting this soul-battle has left me a husk. If I continue like this, I fear it will destroy me. Already I have avoided addiction to drink and prescribed drugs through the bearing of immense psychological suffering and an anxious discipline. The price has been immense, and it doesn’t get much easier to bear with experience.

How much longer I can go on for, I do not know. Either things will eventually resolve themselves and I will escape annihilation, or I will surrender any hope of trying to understand whys or righting wrongs and somehow go on in a new direction.

This latter option sounds like repression and ignorance would be involved, but the weight of the soul is heavy and crushing. I have been sensitive and open for all of my adult life. It is painful and unstable, the last few days have been extremely hard and signify what is promised. This is no way to continue living, it is fruitless and enervating. Listening to the pain of the subconscious is important, but if that pain is caused by a hopeless quest then the pain itself has nothing to teach but let the fuck go.

It is hard to put this into words, it is as fragmented and centreless as I am.

There is a saying ‘you can take the mule to the river but you can’t force it to drink’ and it is very apt. This simple wisdom is the reason why some people are hopeless. Trying to change them is not my prerogative.

Trying to change myself is.

Seeking justice or retribution is the path littered with rages and extreme emotions. If this is valid to some I understand the sentiment, but I want to move on and not have this narrative continue to dominate my life. Fruitless as it is.

Hopeless people. Why should I care for their souls? I care for myself, in the deepest and truest sense. I need find a more hopeful narrative and pursue this, one creative and beautiful, not mired in an ugly past filled with emotionally, intellectually and spiritually retarded individuals.

The Weight of System

Any activist will be able to tell you what it feels like to have the weight of system upon their back. Even fighting for the good of all is an uphill struggle, and an exercise is misunderstanding and alienation. After the fact, when the matter is won, everyone goes ‘oh yeah, its so obvious now.’ or ‘I was on side all along’. But in truth it starts with a small and intelligent minority before reaching the mass-herd.

The two systems that put their weight upon me, one was vast, the other small and familial. That latter one is a system I could change, as my changing could necessitate it changing. Or not, I do not think they would notice or give a shit. I have again lost hope in the hopeless, which is strangely liberating.

Their strife is not mine, and their system is not mine. By giving up on them, I am opening myself to something new that I actually want. Releasing the burden from my back, that familiar weight, is liberation!

The void is frightening, but so is a slow, grinding death.

The capitalist system cannot be so easily ‘given up’, because it dominates so much of life and controls the means of survival. But the smaller system is actually not so dominating – it is a matter of emotion and familiarity alone, not material supremacy. It can be done.

If I have courage and trust I will found a new system or help an existing one evolve. I have done it before, I can do it again. I must do this or eventually collapse and break down, perhaps into alcoholism or Valium addiction, watched over by mocking shadows. This is really being made clear to me now, the imperative is frightening but at least strong. I should not pressure myself to change instantly, but certainly to take the steps now and plant the seeds to flower in Spring. Else, annihilation looms.

Greatness is thrust upon, and terrible is the drum-beat of nature! But this is the only way, as proved time and time again by my own complacency and that of Empires risen and fallen.

I am not afraid anymore, and I take this task with grim resolve. All my sensitivity will be to love myself and those others who deserve it. Whilst I wish to become more stoic and mindful, to lose the whisker-like sensitivity which gave me so much good and created so much beautiful song would be too high a price.

Out of isolation, into total communion

What is isolation but to feel that your suffering is unique to you, and that no one else could possibly understand what is occurring inside you?

The fragmented society of individuals, where people walk by without knowing you, means you can be surrounded by any amount of quantity, but no quality. A million, million people can see you but not one make you feel like a person sentient.

Who cares about you, or can afford to, as orders from above dictate a false economy of scrambling for life-boats and tight purse strings (known in political rhetoric as ‘austerity’)?

The troubles and anxieties of moderns were unknowns to ancients who had fates and gods. The suffering of isolation must weigh heavily on any utilitarian’s scales, marking the failure of our times to bring happiness, even with all of our technologies and advantages of knowledge.

The prescribed panacea to the isolation feeds into it, for it is no panacea at all but false promise. Facebooks and Instagrams and such non-communities distance us from sentience, that of ourselves and others. Addictive, fleeting and empty mediums.

Like filling a void with dust.

I do not want to be made of dust, to be insubstantial and misunderstood but who has the time?

A final cure for isolation there is not, for any of us can grow old, see their friends and family fade, and be trapped in a non-life on the sixth floor in some grey tower of dying. But for the now we could have far more recognition and true being than is afforded us by soulless digital mediums, if only there were some way to wean people away from the heroin of Facebook.

A true and genuine faith in the transformative power of community is needed, and this high-morale state is the only way we can achieve our goals of egality and ecological health. The cruelty of the system makes it harder and harder for this true resistance to form, but no one ever said a life alienated was ever going to be easy.

Through therapy I am at least able to find someone who can go into me, and in reflection have his own sentience confirmed. After enough sessions so strong a bond is formed that we reach a point of mutuality, even if it is largely me sharing my angst and mental health troubles.

This is an extreme example of healing through being known. If one other person could for one moment understand and feel what it felt like, how much a sorrow would be lifted! Then real healing could rapidly work upon the wounds and I could walk alone some of the way. Imagine if ten people made that time and effort.

If the inflicter will not ever listen, will not those others who have been inflicted?

Isolation is terrible for a person. It can be conceived of as torture, in the long term worse than any physical death. That some particular souls have endured isolation for years because of belief in God, or the stars, or what-have-you, gives little solace. How pathetic for humanity to need higher powers just to fulfil some basic need. Faith is only beautiful to me when it is a thing of aesthetic magnanimity – not desperation and feeble clawing at the skirts of god. I want to surrender my ego for the beauty of the cosmos, not for the vulnerabilities and feelings of alienation threatening within.

I believe in communities and fellowships and kinships upon earth, here and now. To serve each other as the ultimate unity and escape from the icy loneliness threatened by individualist non-society.

There is such a thing as serving yourself before you serve others, but how much easier it is to serve yourself when the others you can serve appreciate you! One does not need to come before the other, and it is foolish to believe one ever will.

If I could be satisfied in myself I would never strive to do anything for the better. If like a monk I could meditate still as a stone I would fathom no art, no songs and no stories, and these creative gifts would wither away, or shrink like a muscle unused. I need you, I hope you need me too.

Total communion is the breaking of boundaries between people and a temporary wholeness. I do not wish to sound too utopian or longing as it happens often already, in the dance hall as much as the bed-chamber as the temple ritual or therapy room. But I would not still feel great bouts of isolation and hellish loneliness if there was not this shield of ice around my soul still – so at least I can say this total communion is not yet regular enough for me!

Look now – we need each other, says the science and says the spirituality, so isn’t it time to put money where mouths are act upon this however we can?

In Exile

How many millions have been in exile throughout the course of history?

An exile self-imposed, to get away from a tyrant who lacks patience for a tongue which speaks the truth.

An inconvenience to power, a chaotic element. In the Palace he is a thorn, outside of it he is a reminder that something is wrong. But at least outside he cannot harm the pretense of good the tyrant can engineer. At least outside he is seen only in dreams and memories of conscience.


An exile’s rage is a force powerful, yet boundless. That rage quickly loses its trail, meandering from  the honest heart into labyrinths of thought, trapping him in himself, magnifying it, forgetting its source.

Exile leads to feelings of constant neglect and alienation, itself fuelling a new anger and downcast shame.

And always in his heart the guilt which tears him apart. Was it better to remain silent, to return to ignorance and allow evil to triumph?

But of course not, but the hard road of one going the long way to justice is seldom comfortable, and what reward can ease the tempest of a lifetime?

A doomed quest, until death and beyond it the Tyrant will deny his misdeeds. Maybe he will even believe in it, so narcissistic is he.

Still it is better to try, to wander and suffer in exile than to live in comfort in a nest of snakes, forced to swallow down poisons and become what one despises.

There is no one else in the entire world…

There is no one else in the entire world. Only myself.

This is what happens when you go down into the tunnel (as some may call it).

Isolation. Purgatory.

You can test the statement rationally: ‘Is there anyone else in the world?’ quite simply by looking and listening. Go to the grocers and you will see people and hear them. They will be quite real, with textures, souls, bodies, and all of it.

But they will not interact with you. They will notice you.

Perhaps then, when I feel like there is no one else in the entire world, what I really mean is there is no me in the world, because there is no one who truly recognises and knows me at this point in time.

The disturbing thing is that there seems little way to consciously understand or plan for this. I have had days of great social and artistic triumph followed by a harsh night and then deep sadness and misery. Downward spirals are hard to predict, vicious cycles tricky to break out of.

Sometimes you just need help.

The speed at which we can become isolated and vulnerable…it is only balanced by the speed at which we can turn back, rise out of it, be able to sleep again.

The most unnatural thing we can be is alone, and yet so many of us are alone. I am alone even when not really alone!

It is not so much of a paradox when you think about it, and move one premise behind: ‘I am alone’ is positing an ‘I’ which does not really exist in the way the ego thinks it does. Taking a step back from our identities we can see them for the façade they are. And as said many times, the more these identities try to secure themselves against the chaos of the world, the more they isolate, and thus the more they need to fortify in an endless spiral of impossibility.

My entering a state of high anxiety, isolation and depression can mean one, two or both things from here. Firstly that there is an element of post traumatic stress, which will keep on coming back until it is somehow dealt with. Or secondly, and I think more likely, the work that needs to be done has not been done. I need to relinquish this ‘western ego’ I do not even really believe in, and then I can be freed from depression and anxiety. To let go of all the pain and even the wish for personal justice, for healing and tranquillity.

Lets not beat ourselves about it internet people! This is the culture we are born into and all we knew for a large part of our lives. There is no way to truly transcend these indoctrinations – I honestly believe we will be poisoned until the day nature takes it’s course and we find true release in death. All we can do is heal and heal and heal, as much as the pain hurts and hurts and hurts. If the good days outweigh the bad (and they tend to), then life is worth living as much as it can be done so.


Once there was a crofter who rode a cart to the nearby village. Every morning he would pass a sage – a lazy, unworldly man the like of which he thought little. Morning after morning the creaking cart and its load would go pass, and nary a word they would exchange.

Then one day the crofter started to struggle to sleep every night. The tiniest of irritations would keep him awake; the light of the moon, a creaking barn door, the bleak howls of fox, footsteps outside. No matter how long he lay in bed he slept little, and in a few months, his entire body started to feel the strain. Some days were so tiring he could hardly rise out of bed, but lay drenched in sweat and frustration.

The sage was surprised to see the crofter again, after a week in his absence. Feeling like he had nothing to lose, the crofter spoke asking: ‘Sage, I am troubled. Nights I cannot sleep, and days I am barely awake. I do not understand.’

The Sage rubbed his chin and gestured to a pouch at his belt. ‘There are herbs and powders for that. Have you tried them?’

‘Yes, all of them.’ replied the Crofter. ‘They help, a little, but I have seen what happens to the yeoman when they start living on the stuff. It is a recipe for disaster. And those who turn to wizardry are even more hopeless. Their life-span rapidly declines, and they trade a few years on top for bleak years without souls.’

‘Ah, then you do have some understanding.’

‘Perhaps. But that will not help me sleep at night.’

‘Then tell me’ said the Sage, getting into his element. ‘Why can you not sleep?’

‘I am anxious and miserable.’ replied the Crofter. ‘There, I admit it!’

‘And why are you anxious?’

‘My life has been a hard one, and my soul much tormented. It is how I have come out.’

‘And the misery?’

‘I cannot say. I just, am.’

‘Oh come now’ laughed the sage. ‘No one is miserable without good reason! Have a think.’

‘I suppose I am miserable because…it feels like we are losing.’

‘Who is losing what?’

‘The good people of the world are losing, to the bad people.’

‘Ah that! Yes, it does seem to be the way of things at this time. But why does that make you miserable?’

‘I believe that this does not have to be the case, and all around me are miserable people who say otherwise. So I ride this cart everyday, to silence the voice the miserable people have placed there.’

‘You believe it does not have to be the case. Then your misery springs from the very core of your heart, that what you believe in and desire is not being achieved.’

‘I guess it seems a lot clearer now.’

‘Would you rather you did not feel sadness? Would you rather your soul was silent and let the world slide by as it does, deeper and deeper into degeneracy?’

‘Come to think of it, no I would not.’

‘So your misery which leads to agitation and thus tiredness, is it something you can get rid of without fundamentally changing the core of your being?’


‘Well, yes. A little, try some of these herbs and powders.’


‘The world will not change overnight, and you still have to live in it. But remember ye this – the more it is in your head that your misery, and all its concurrent malaises, are caused by your very own inner-dreams for betterment; the more you realize that your desires for better are being compared to the world and perpetually let down, the less that misery is your enemy, and the more it is a reason to strive to change things and avoid complacency. And rather than wallow in it, as I have never seen you do, you will just have to find a way to express what you truly desire to see in the world, and make it so, as much as it can be so.’

‘Truly sage, I thought you lazy as an old ox! But you speak much wisdom.’

‘I am lazy as many old oxen, stout yeoman. But I do not begrudge myself for it – I would sooner be so than serve stagnant, degenerate lords.’

‘And yet you have no misery to you?’

‘Not now, no. But often. Even when I do, I do not let it destroy my health. I am a sage after all!’

And the crofter went along his way, drained and tired still, but a little bit more hopeful that world could be turned from evil. But it was a long way uphill, and this was little solace in the midst of Winter.