The slumbering elves

The forest elves are sleeping now, we must not wake them!

Ssshh – tread lightly.

Say some that every winter they lay deep in their caverns, gradually releasing all moisture from their bodies.

In a dreamless slumber they wait, their breath slowing to one rise-and-fall a month, their skin becoming as tough as bark.

When spring comes, moisture and light begins to permeate through the soil – the elves stir!

But it takes many weeks to fully awaken and they appear tree-like and terrible in such a state.

This is why so many adventurers mistake them for dryads or more pernicious creatures!

Yet in good time they will again be elves; fair and songful but quick to anger!

It is a fool indeed who contrives to summon them in Winter. They will be weakened for the whole of the year to come without the replenishment of their manas. If they survive at all.

Dreaming – the creative source

Every night a dream can generate a world in tremendous detail.

The dream-mind can populate these worlds with characters. Some known to us, some strangers, some hybridized. It can imbue these characters with souls so that they seem to be sentient and as real as us. Even when these characters are familiar and act completely differently in the non-dreaming world, it is easy to be convinced that they have always been like this. Sometimes characters seemingly interchange – two nights ago my voyage with Rich turned into a voyage with Jack, with no obvious reason why and no clear ‘cut off’ point. He just changed at one point and I accepted this as perfectly reasonable. In fact, it wasn’t until I woke up that I realized it.

Things that happen in dreams seem real and meaningful. It as if they would have consequences for us in the future. The people in dreams have similar moral value as those without. Our dreaming selves make moral choices.

What I find most fascinating is when the dream-mind hybridizes places. It can take the quality of a place and fuse it with another, creating something entirely unique. It can take me to an eco-camp in West London and a mere road away back to the horrors of my primary school in North London. Sometimes a sense of both places can exist at once and they can be fused together. Stranger still you can visit a place familiar to you, but things are different, and it is still familiar.

A dream can be so intense that you can wake up with the feelings you felt at the end of the dream still strong in your mind. I woke at 5am this morning after dreaming of being alone in bed with a storm outside and a suspicious noise, like an intruder in the roof. For about thirty seconds I continued to feel the dream, then realized that thankfully I was in the roof and had two friends in the next rooms. So I wouldn’t have to confront the man in the roof on my own if  he did intrude or attack me. Although outside there was an actual storm.

Being asleep is clearly not just an essential time for rest. It is an intense time of creativity and processing. The dream-mind is full of symbolism which cannot be easily translated into a logical world-view. The symbology must be given great patience and explored in the language of dreams. As this requires immense patience and detail, and as my vivid dreams are so overwhelmingly common, I have done little to truly delve into what is being expressed by my Self.

And there are questions about the ‘validity’ of any discoveries. Is the subconscious some kind of oracle which knows better than us? Or even able to tap into a ‘spiritual’ place of guidance, warning and wisdom? Dreams have been prophetic – I have felt revulsion for a childhood place in my waking life but always dreamed of going there again; living there, finding safety. It hasn’t made sense why I keep going back. But now my conscious mind has shifted its attitude and I want to go back to that place. The dreams were almost like preparation for that return. Now they make perfect sense.

Mysterious or not, every night is an aesthetic journey. Sometimes filled with horror, sometimes heroism. Occasionally, though rarely, with love. The interpretation that dreams are meaningless or sheer chaos is a great silencing to this part of ourselves which can express itself in pure form with such clarity. And the interpretation that it is just wish fulfillment or repressed desire is a simplification of an incredible creative process. Dreams may involve repression and wish fulfillment, this does not reduce them down to this.

Anyone who has ever written a poem, created a new piece of music, come up with an innovative engineering solution, or used any creative faculty will know that it just happens. It will often need editing, polishing, the craftsman’s discipline. But the creation just happens. The place where the ideas emerge from, where they are fused and worked and forged, is certainly not conscious. The miracle of awakened consciousness does not reach into the miracle of subconsciousness, the swirling, bubbling forces which we do not truly have control over and yet enable us to wield such creative power.

When I write a new song, which is very often, it is not the work of a conscious mind. I theorize that it is the same faculty which generates the dream world which enables creativity in the non-dream world. Things are generated, rather than created. Processes are constantly operating beneath the surface of consciousness and when allowed the breathing space to emerge can generate wonders from the very depths of us. I find myself asking: Where did these ideas come from? I did not realize I was capable of this.

It is then a great affront to us if we consider sleeping and dreaming to be a waste of time, or just a means to re-charge our batteries. For the most hardcore citizen of capitalism, who measures worth in their ‘productivity’ and dodges sleep like the devil, caught in their Faustian-pact with caffeine, I see a life half-lived. Not only destructive for themselves but to all of us. Fortunately people are realizing the futility of living to work and ‘waking up’ to the importance of sleeping. The next stop is the importance of dreaming.

Every night, with a good routine, you are likely to be strapped into the original ‘virtual reality machine’. But not one programmed by someone else to immerse you in their vision or story. One that is generated by you, exclusively for you, with the purpose of revealing something deep before you. Nothing could be more self-fulfilling or daring than to go onto that journey.

Part of my goal is to proselytize idleness, lying fallow and sleeping more. This isn’t just because I am lazy (though admittedly I am a bit!) This is to encourage people to access the portal into their deepest Selves and experience what is there – if not to understand. To take it seriously and if they have time, to even learn from it. I want the people around me to be fully people, not exhausted sleep-deprived zombies.

What better way to begin reconnecting to our nature than to take seriously the expressions of this deepest part of us.

Listen to that deepest impulse

I don’t know how long this will go on for. I don’t know if it will ever be healed or go away, if it will let me live as other people do. I cannot give any guarantees to myself, or to anyone.

No amount of ‘sleep hygiene’ can guarantee a dreamful night. Positive thinking and mindfulness is not going to achieve much more than temporarily helping to cope – at worst it divorces you from your own being. All the new found things, breakthroughs in ‘gut health’, yoga and all that, is not the ticket.

All you can do for sure is listen to that deep impulse, let it manifest in you. It is you, you are not separate from it. Being aware of it will not fulfil it, there is no ‘pure consciousness’ which can perceive back upon itself. When a child cries do you tell them to be ‘aware’ of the reason why they are crying and expect them to be ok with that? I should hope not! You would listen to why they are crying and try to deal with the cause, to soothe their fears if they are unfounded and provide their needs if they are unfulfilled.

Likewise we cannot turn off or turn away from the manifestation of our deep impulses, our deepest pain. For me it manifests as insomnia and discomforting states. They can wipe me out, destroying a routine, disabling me.

But I have stopped using Valium to guarantee me a dreamless night’s rest. If I cannot make it to something the next day, unless it is extremely important, I have to accept I cannot make it. I will listen to the body-wisdom, even in its most debilitating states. This is the only long-term way to move forward.

Actually listening, playing out subconscious movements in the dark, holding the deep wounds and acknowledging them tends to work for me. It lets me rest, it fades into the background. It might never go away, but the more I can deal with it and accept it, the more confident I become that I will never again fall into a total abyss.

Adapting to cope or thrive in this society is not a way to be healthy and true – I have seen how brutalizing it is to those around me. It is an illusion and a sad one. We must fight to transform the world we live in, allow people to live out their pain and be dormant whenever they need to be. Wounded adults will never bring about a peaceful, enlightened society. Ignorant, power-hungry fools know not even themselves – how can they know anything of the world around them.

What would it mean to transcend your own self and be able to function despite the screams of your soul? It would be to live inauthentically, something capitalism demands of us. The destructiveness of our society results from such detachment. It is all around us, and it is all because we are afraid of nature in its truest and nearest manifestation: in ourselves.

When you next lay awake at 3am, unable to sleep, tossing and turning, rather than try to wipe yourself out with pills ask: what is this deepest impulse trying to tell me? Why is my body on strike, what is trying to come to the surface…

 

I am, I exist, the world is, the world exists

Aged around three I gazed at my hand and thought ‘I can’t believe I am actually here! I can’t believe this is real and I exist!’

I remember it distinctly. I recognized myself, and the stupendous odds of my ever having incarnated.

It took twenty seven years, but just this week it truly hit me that the world actually is, and the world actually fucking exists. It actually is, it really is, it moves through time, it is. I can’t believe it is actually there, its incredible! The stupendous odds of it.

Strange things happen in this universe.

 

 

The inevitable beautiful, the ocean’s will

All of the beautiful things I will make

Cannot be destroyed

Only delayed.

You cannot stop one who knows

That to move forward is their choice

For the will of mortals is like that

Of the ocean

Forever beating against the shores of eternity

Driven on, on, wailing at mother moon.

I am a copse of brambles

Cut at me, I return

Thorned, clutching, birds nest in my bosom

I am ivy upon the oak

I am the course of the river

Slowly I wend through the world

Always I triumph

For there is no going back

To go back now is to die, to die

And I want to live

And I can always choose to live

Until Nature takes me back…

Narcissism

Narcissism is to make a complex labyrinth of yourself and cardboard cut outs of everybody else.

My pain, my desires, my needs, my justifications, my fears, my words.

This disease of the mind, in the politician means mass-terror, in the parent means domestic tyranny, in the artist means indulgent meaninglessness.

How insane our race must have become to manifest so many narcissists. How far down the rabbit hole our language and metaphysics has dragged us to spawn an entire culture of self-obsessives.

And it is a hopeless obsession. For the self, as much as anything else, cannot ever be wholly grasped. Turn within and you will find nothing there. That is why narcissism is a doomed quest to no-where, it has no object and no end point.

The void is the void is the void is the void is the void…

What I fear as psychosis, the snapping of emotional stability and the incapacity of thought, reveals what is a terror to my narcissistic, security-seeking ego.

Emptiness for all eternity.

The deeper you try to go into yourself the deeper yet you have to go, and deeper yet, until you find you roam in a long, futile circle (small insects navigating a large round table never realize the futility of  their energy-expenditure. Short-sighted human beings are no different). What is ‘depth’ truly, when all is wash on the surface of the storm in the cosmos that is generated life?

Futile or no, the obsession with the self is imprinted into us. Who would truly choose to evolve into something so decadent and selfish, when there is a world of constant flux to reach into and become into? I do not think people choose to become narcissists, only to maintain their sorry fate.

And it is hard to undo.

To self-destroy this lie of the ego is a painful process, a gap we must try to leap and deliberately fail, plummeting to face the cold truth of death and fleetingness, our only solace that this is the ultimate annihilator of human hubris, the equalizer that gives every tyrant, narcissist and abuser their due. Hard is it to believe that we can fully overcome the wretchedness of our inheritance. Human beings need something beyond themselves to be free, but this is not god.

The opposite of narcissism is annihilation…

Enchantment

Without enchantment, we are lost in the world. Without myth, guideless. Without spirit, we are dead inside. Without art, we are silent.

The world-as-it-is: not suitable for our primed imaginations. Stillness is just a reprieve, sleep a chance to dream. The vigour of endless Western minds; ceaseless, like the snout of an anteater. The world is layered with our mark.

Then let us do the best that we can do with our candor and sheer energy. Let us enchant nature and live there, among the wood sprites and the sacred trees. Let us catch that mana, let us fly these concrete prisons.

Profit is a road leading nowhere. But the deep wood and the bramble grove is an infinite, winding adventure…

Bestial

Bestial, something lurks inside. It wants to crawl along the ground, strength in its arms and legs. It wants its flesh to touch the earth, to source whatever power lurks there.

Bestial, it is the thing that is insulted when your toes are trodden on, your status diminished, your territory invaded. It pulses inside, waiting just beneath the surface of consciousness.

Bestial, it once charged at prey or fled predators. Now men are its predators, and the hate-filled abusive words are their javelins, and the pitiful look is the death-blow.

Bestial, it is an infinite well of courage. It is fearless; for fear exists only within one who wants an unnatural, painless time-span, but the bestial is at one with its suffering.

Bestial, it turns male heads to follow her walking. It longs to escape itself in the clutches of another, it is the fiery fuel for the raw deeds of carnal animals.

Bestial, it is far beyond notions of civility, good and evil. It is the vengeful pulse that wants to tear its enemies apart with fang and claw, a dark-furred savage of unmatched might.

Bestial, it is our primal dignity, and our undeniable nature. Human beings are animals, fooled into thinking themselves something more than the world around them; fooled into thinking they are worthy regents of the earth.

The bestial knows that is must work with the earth, not against it. The bestial knows that fellow animals and plants have as much a soul as any man. The bestial already knows the connectedness of all things and the true sanctity of life – to take it only in the direst circumstances.

I am bestial, a proud beast who walks, crawls, thrums, stares up at the moon, howls and sighs.

The Dreamland

We all ran away to the verdant dreamland

To put the grey juggernaut to our backs

And pitched up our yurts in the pleasant spring wind

Away from the sick sea of cars and people.

We gathered in unity around the may-pole

To forget the days trapped in comfortable boxes

And spoke of the future we would forge

Away from the dreamless, cynical, money machine
 

Something followed us along the path of our quest

Walking with slow, deliberate strides

Many months, weeks and days behind

Faceless and without beauty it came.

One night, as we slept, it slipped beside us

Like a terrible incubus, and when we woke

It was rattling there again, inside.
 

We all ran away to the verdant dreamland

But the concrete blocks followed us there

And the howls of abuse followed us there

And the scars in our souls followed us there.

Orphic Beast

An injection of self, a reflection of self

Orphic explosion, in this brain of mine

I touch the sky, my shaman-self lifted

To realize some kind, of undefined divine

My soul wants to soar, although some parts to plod

Among the grey citizens of order

Dull thumpers of the one, dull god

 

(And as I come to fear, the night, boredom

And my internal extremes, the hyper-brain

Says ‘enjoy this, though it ends in a crash

You were dead before, so live and fear not death’)

 

Somehow free of the hate that claims others

Oh those self-defined, self-refined prisons they create

Only to lament their loss and deny their place

In the ranks of bile, and spite and hate

Maybe to cloak themselves from the leviathan-machines

Which provides their plenty, as the global south screams

Their shit-eating hypocrisies, judgemental non-philosophies.

And I have landed among their pretention, problems hidden

Beneath the rug, the armoured iron carpet

That supports the weight of their bloated heads

And blood-drenched souls.