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.
It is impossible to escape the news, as much as I find it necessary in my current condition. It feeds anxiety, sensationalistic violence and ‘unprecedented’ tragedy, every day.
The news is a narrative, and a sorrowful one. The mind, wishing to predict the future, looks to the past, and projects it outwards. We watch the news, then, to be safe, to gather memories from society’s great ocean.
As with most anxious thoughts and dispositions, there is exaggeration and skewed perception. The news, like an anxious mind, focusses on danger, terror and harm.
But the news only tells of ‘cinematic’ harm, massive harm, sellable harm. The news about the millions of people, elderly, with disabilities, poverty-stricken, living in absolute psychic squalor is few and far between. These drawn out sufferings, if added together in some utilitarian calculus, would far outweigh the pain of war and terror.
This is in the billions: the exploited and the starved. The objectified and the enslaved. Billions, everywhere. Not only overseas, in distant lands and different narratives, but here. Your own elected officials will harm people in your own life time in your own country. This is real and it is happening.
Slaves all to ‘progress’, more aptly described as fear of stillness and re-evaluation. The juggernaught carries on, humanity is swept away. Chugging oil in its engine, it breathes out thick clouds of noxious smoke.
Fortunately, it will slow and eventually grind to a halt. There is much cause for optimism as humanity evolves, and I have no doubt we can grow from our pain, if we finally learn from it.
The antidote to anxiety does not lie in the cause of anxiety. One that takes cannot give, one that silences cannot implore, one that demeans cannot exalt. We must look beyond the societies around us for answers. We must plumb the depths of our histories, reaching back to stone circles and we must dream to the future where things improve and technology is used for the common good. We must dare to imagine something beyond capitalism, or amoral systems which can never provide for the most important thing of all. Human, plant and animal wellbeing, safety, encouragement and happiness.
They harm people every day, but you never hear about it in the news. Well, you can hear about it here. Now that we have these shared nodes of consciousness, let us expand until we reach critical mass. Let us undo these shackles of thought and throw off the heavy weights of despondency. Evolution is unstoppable, be part of it, and make sure you are evolving mankind in the right way.
It is possible. It is only the part of the mind that builds predictions based on anxiety that says it is not. That is a worm of the mind, planted by those who harm people.
I often go on an upward spiral when I remember you. Of late, my handwriting has become so bad my notes are like hieroglyphics! Nonetheless, plentiful wisdoms await, yearning for their chance to the see light.
Writing in this notepad is like finding seeds in a meadow, and expressing them the digging, tilling and planting. Looking back, what I have written is often good advice on the right track; glimmers of what is to come all but presaged. But to embody truth takes something else I cannot quite put my finger on. The words say what would be best for me to do, but this awareness alone has to become practiced and truly embedded someplace deep within. That ‘someplace’ is a mystery beyond us all. As unknowable as the forces behind the cosmos.
And even if we know the right path, day to day bad habits pulls us away. Into tunnel-vision, into bad routines, into negative thinking patterns. I am prone to a lot of this, and the isolation and sadness and frustration that follows.
Of course, even that last paragraph is quite unnecessarily gloomy! Things are not bad now, just wobbly and (occasionally) boring. I have made great steps toward recovery, and crossed a threshold of understanding today.
It is about giving the body the time it needs to process things and heal. I will trust myself and those around me. I will trust the flux of all-things we are contained within.
Life has humbled me; my being turned out to be more than just a mind and its expectations. I must learn to live at a new rhythm, away from impossible expectations and unhealthy obsessions.
Reading has helped enormously. Although anxious and vulnerable, the power of words has a much bigger impact on me. Music too. I experience it now with the vivacity of a child. The world is scary and wonderful again at the same time.
But writing, like a mirror, reflects and expresses. I have created a narrative and history here, through Nyteshade, and I am happy that you are travelling along with me.
At one time, this was the only solace in a harsh and demeaning Winter time. Now the spore has landed and grown into a mushroom, I promise to be more active and restore this good habit!
I want to feel good. I want to be well.
That is self-love, writing is self-love. Please express yourself too. Say how you are, say how you will meet Nyteshade in the dark, colourful glade. Say something whimsical and silly, or just be.
Just bring a quill and parchment!
Imagine sitting in a chair that is hard and uncomfortable. No matter how you wriggle, you always end up with an ache somewhere. The top of the chair digs in to your back, so you hunch further down into it, but that only makes things worse in the long run. So you go back to how you were at first, having forgotten the feeling of a wooden bar against the top of your spine. You turn sideways, but now your neck is cranked at an awkward angle and in futility you begin to massage your shoulders. So you hunch down.
This is what my consciousness feels like inside my head. Disjointed, disorientated, confused. Uncomfortable with itself, it struggles between uncomfortable places.
I believe this is for two reasons, both metaphysical and intellectual: the first is that I have not accepted that there is no centre, that consciousness is intrinsically afloat on a stormy sea, and the second is that change and loss is the nature of all things.
I will focus on the second. Everything comes from something and dissolves back into that something. Change is a blessing when you are in pain, for it won’t be forever. But it is not a nice though to think that what is familiar to you, people and places, will someday cease to exist. This is especially true when we have a strong sense of memory and the places that made us happy.
Good days are the ones we want to hold on to, but inevitably they come and go. And when we really think about it, we were never truly in control of the millions of factors which fed into those good days. Indeed, that is what made them good!
So longing to recreate them is futile. What has been has been. Things are gained and lost. People in our lives also; found and lost.
Trying to predict every factor that feeds into this impossibly complex ‘equation’ that is life / lyfe – such a thing cannot be done. And is not desirable – imagine how terribly contrived it would be if everything fit your dreams to perfection and was entirely of your creation; there would be no other autonomous people, just you directing everything.
Yet insecurity and instability are frightening, so it is understandable that we want a foundation of control. We could talk about balance here, but I feel that will be naive. What balance? What sense of control?
None of us will ever be given one for long. Consciousness, echoing the nature of all-things as transient and permeable and centre-less, cannot sustain itself forever. It evolves by virtue of what it is.
Even this article has no coherent central theme, just fragmented paragraphs loosely linked together. That is more profound then you may think, if you can work your head around it.
Holding on is anxiety, letting go is anxiety!
Perhaps this universe was made as some kind of joke, one that we human beings, limited in power and perception, can never truly see the funny side of. The joke is really cruel because we have the infinite abilities of thought and imagination, without the inner-strength to truly make sense of this great something (which doesn’t have much of a meaning anyway), we are beholden to. Sometimes it is funny, at least when people take it a bit too seriously and fight to hold on to their illusion. But largely it is tragic, and it is only in being together that we can survive in such a universe for long.
God has been taken away from us and there is nothing to take His place. Well, except for the microorganisms which feed on the bloated corpses of the fallen perhaps.
At first I was afraid of the pain. It makes sense. Caution is wise when something new is upon you. And patience too. To be unsure, to wait it out, to dip a toe in the black pool and have a safe space to recoil. All of these are wise decisions.
Yet the day will come when the passage of time has done all of the healing it can. Time alone does not heal all wounds, and anyone who tells you it does is a fool. Once you have something of a stable foundation again, the days and days waiting for inner-pain to go away become wasted opportunities to get back onto your feet. You cannot know when you are ready to go back out (though your body will give you indicators, or guesses). So you will just have to try it for yourself, to trust your defences and trust that you can take what comes and have the self-love and inner-strength to make it. Do not go it if you are not ready, but do not stagnate it you are.
Wait and you will wait forever.
The world is full of suffering. There is no denying it, and anyone sensitive to it will feel it. Pain is unavoidable and inevitable. Thus, one way or another, the time will come when you will fall into a spiral of pain which dominates your consciousness. It is not a ‘mental’ thing – it will permeate all aspects of your body and mind. It will come when it comes, and you will not be able to just will it away.
I would rather face those days of reckoning as one who is trained to face my fears, then one who hides behind shields of repression, or naive hope in the passing of days. And so I did.
When the pain came and took over my body I could not turn it away, and why should it leave on my account? Does it not have an equal right to express itself through the human corpus? Is it not also a part of me? When the pain came and took over my body I stopped resisting it and accepted its presence. I went deeper into it, explored it, and this hurried its course toward resolution.
The black pool is there, waiting for you. Ignore it and you will see it in dark dreams. Dive into it and you will come to know it wholly.
It will return again, the pain is recurring. There is no end point of healing and no end point of anything. But when the inevitable returns again, you can become more and more adept at dealing with it. I have no ultimate choice in what I feel and when I feel – I do not think anyone has that much freedom. But when the storm comes I will ride through to its eye, through to the other side.
Face things, do not let them linger. Confront and challenge things; at your own pace, but swiftly enough to not lose your social life, hope and ambition to them. Human beings evolved on the plains to hunt in packs. They did not evolve in arm chairs and in front of laptop screens to wait and rot.
You were born to hunt, to be an element in nature, so go and hunt. Only, this hunt is not for some animal, it is a quest into yourself for truth, for what truly happened, and the path to changing yourself. I have changed so much since the pain came and I learnt to hunt so much for the better.
When something inside screams, listen. The longer you leave it, the worse your demons will grow…
An old vinyl full of sublime sound, never put on
An oil painting from the renaissance, gathering dust in the cellar
A cerulean, sun-soaked sky behind heavy, drawn curtains
A beautiful wandering cat, seeking love from strangers
The words of power that unmake spells of hate, never uttered
A drawer full of field beans, never planted in the garden
A book of depth and colour, you refuse to read
You do not need to say the sun is gold and resplendent
For the sun to be gold and resplendent
And if you say the sun is bleak, squat, grey and ugly
That does not make the sun bleak, squat, grey and ugly
This is why your words have no power; they speak untruth.
The magick of words is their ability to say what is
For magick is power, and magick is just truth, thus truth is power
A proud otter swimming through a running river, whose strength you cannot comprehend
i) The closer you get to the dragon’s lair, the easier your quest becomes? Oh no, no, no, no. The nearer you get, the harder each step.
And the more you understand of the world, the more sensitiely you grasp the magic linking all things together, the stronger you get? Oh no, no, no, no. The more sensitive you are, the more risk you stand of being hurt.
ii) There is a consolation. Things act in fractal systems; psyches, families, societies. Change one element and the others have to change, forced to evolve. You do not need to critique everything, overcome everything, fight everything, re-build everything.
Start within, work your way without. Watch the house of cards fall, and get ready for ruin and rebirth.
iii) The hour draws near. You do not know what you will do when you get there, only that you will do something. And you have the strength to triumph (you know this somewhere deep inside, beyond self-knowledge). You are not some lacklustre rebel. You are a truthseeker, with the mandate of a fairer world and superior future (the imperfect heavens).
Game-ender, change-bringer, king-slayer.
Your castles are made of air, your sword and shield are thoughts, your people are phantoms, all you have is your
and your mind. These things , they can overturn the order of a psyche, of a family, of a society, of a world, with a whisper.
With no-where to retreat, you must push on.
iv) Contained within one flake of snow are tiny versions of the same flake, repeated over and over and over as the perceiver is drawn deeper and deeper into its infinity.
What leads people to moral depravity? For everywhere, in every age of mankind’s history, depraved people have hurt those in their care.
Seed ————————————-> Entitlement —————————————> Action
A seed is planted A dictator rises to power, establishing the right to depravity
To perceive depravity is possible from without. But is it easy for the depraved to see the export of their actions?
Group ———> Not-group
Perceiving one as unlike oneself is a core root of depravity. Anything goes with the ‘non-people’.The best of mankind is in the tribe, but so is the worst. Collective depravity is ghastly. Is it the result of a depraved few leading others to war for their own warped sense of power?
It is tempting to turn this on its head, and de-humanize the de-humanizer. Who cares if Trump loses everything and becomes homeless? Who weeps at a Hitler’s grave?
Seed —-> Plant —-> Form —-> Addiction
Moral depravity as gradual process. First the dictator locks up a dissident. Then he locks up ten. No backlash and little protest. So then he kills a dissident. Then ten more. By now he has no qualms. He will destroy more and more lives to maintain power, so long as he is not resisted.
‘The shattering of the greatest temple starts with the breaking of the tiniest taboo.’
Moral depravity as addiction. The above dictator might not even realize how he is sliding into moral depravity. The norms of acceptibility and morality as gradually shifting, until they reach obscene levels.
Depraved acts —-> Gradually more depraved acts —-> Normality
Normality is the heart of depravity. The normal people are the enablers of life’s worst ills. Their collective moral cowardice is tangible in the prisons and the estates. Their collective moral cowardice is war, death, famine and depraved atrocities against women and children.
The status quo, therefore, is innately depraved and requires annihilation. The most shit-spreading people on this world have the cleanest teeth and the nicest appearance. Be not fooled by such vanity. Evil and depravity wears a suit and tie.
Depraved order —-> Annihilation —-> Rebirth
I will end on a happy note. Hidden depravity always surfaces, for truth will always tunnel for the surface. The lie is always exposed, the old order always collapses. The only question is – how much damage can it do before its inevitable demise? Hasten the victory of humanity by daring to see, daring to say, and daring to challenge.
Depravity cannot triumph, it is being pushed back and back by the legions of humanity. We will not stand for it anymore. We will not stand for cover ups and authoritarianism and the status quo and the crimes behind closed doors. We know the truth now, we are forming together, we are gaining in strength. The eyes of the just shine upon ever darker quarters. We keep on seeking out injustice, for our gaze alone can turn it. Mankind is learning not to tolerate depravity, the hiding places of the dictators grow ever fewer.
Soon they will shrink to nothing…