To the infant, touch is everything (Touch 3)

Friday, 22. March 2013

To the infant, touch is everything until other forms of consciousness distract it. To the young person, life is so exciting, such a game, such a fantasy, that touch is soon taken for granted. It is a sad paradox, one of many we all face, that while we are blessed with and overwhelming capacity for richness of feeling, then we tend to barely notice it.

Our early erotic experiences are largely non-conscious. Our teen and twenties erotica journeys are rushed and not savoured, generally speaking. By the time we are losing the sparkle, only then do we begin to become gourmets of sensation.

Then, as old age withers everything and buries it under aches, pains, disease and the growing terror of dying, then there is enough going on to simply drown out the gifts of touch. With drugs that kill the pain, preferably, the physical and emotional pain of our accumulated and unfulfilled lives.

Some people, however, are born blighted by illness and their early lives are all too physically rich in the wrong way: in terms of limitation, discomfort, pain and despair (one of the mental states with immediate physical repercussions). Many people are progressively assaulted by mental anguish strong enough to cause physical symptoms or actual illness that tears apart their bubble of complacency. Result in either case: pain, leading to painkillers, leading to welcome loss of sensation, leading to the richness of touch fading from now into memory. That’s how strong it is, the impact of our diseased civilisation; it takes away from us, one way or another, the explosive, magical richness of sensation that could be present in every moment were we to allow it to impact us that much.

It’s not just that the story of our life creates the wrong attitudes at the wrong time, as when the young are too preoccupied to savour touch, too unrefined to taste the difference between junk experience and living; it is also that the leaders of our mad societies and idiotic cultural heritages and religions have had time to notice that if you suppress pleasure you control the masses. They’ve had plenty of time to refine the techniques of control through several iteration from violent tribalism, through fantastical salvationism to rampant consumerism… if they can scare you and then allow a small amount of pleasure to dribble into your life, like a dog wanting treats and learning new tricks for those treats, then they achieve the most perfect infantilisation of your behaviour so that you obey and conform without even noticing that you are doing it.

The whole thing usually starts with toilet training and follows directly into obedience, enforced by a degree of longing for love, trust and decency, which in fact your parents can never satisfy because they’re too busy living their own nightmares and pretending that everything’s OK. Their angst destabilises the world of their children and the easiest way to stick a bandage over the wounds is by having a culture to conform to, a religion and some behaviours and tribal affiliations. That compound, properly managed, can allow people to believe they are happy as can be, which is why its hold has been so strong since the earliest civilisations.

Freedom and stuff, that just creates misery. We’d be happier if we could turn back the clock to about 1700 when God ruled and everything was His will, when the Lord was in his castle and the peasants knew their place.

Now the virus is out of the bottle and has infected everyone, the disease of individualism that is too half-baked to succeed. We can managed a little scientific and social progress; we can cope with being apparently sophisticated. But there is no one, anywhere, ever, who can go the whole journey with the truth, the whole truth, the painful, destabilising pilgrim’s journey that tears down complacency and replaces it with chaos. That is where we need to go to recover our touch on the world, to evolve into decency, to give up the Me world in favour of the Us world.

Do not be deceived by winners who appear to master the world… They can all too easily commit suicide in their fancy apartments, take cocaine on their yachts that are no longer quite special enough, fear for the loss of one of their billions or revolutions that will dispossess them of some of their power or wealth. The movie star lives in dread of a time when they are no longer needed or recognised. The beautiful woman knows that she will age and lose her powers. The man who does not scramble his way right to the top will feel inadequate, even he does actually make it; he will live in fear of being deposed or bested or beaten in bed by his wife’s lover the tennis coach… Read your Shakespeare: Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…. Enter a Messenger

No one gets to just enjoy life. No one gets to touch it healthily and be touched by its marvellous gifts, in gratitude, in awe, in the bliss which could be… And that means no one at all, not ever… no guru, no method, no teacher, really. You can find a refuge in belief of some kind, as most people do, in some complex collection of memes, affiliations, explanations and ideologies; you can believe you have life by the tail or by the throat, but you never can. Reality always hits back, at every one of us. There is no escape from this destiny. Not yet.

The tiny shoots that contain real hope, perhaps…

Thursday, 20. October 2011

OK, it’s a wasteland of broken dreams in the darkness on the edge of the money markets and we’re all doomed to go Greek before long with health-care and food rationed to the rich and only shiny plastic communication devices to express our insanity to the other furious, impotent trillions….

But anyone who has someone to love, even if that someone is just a dog, knows that we haven’t even begun to explore the real possibilities for empathy, telepathy, love, harmony, certainty and genuinely constructive action that are open to us when we stop following this stale culture of inequality, competition, theft and buyer beware… when we admit that we got it wrong and we were wrong to worship it.

The big tree looks dead at this moment, and it seems to be nuclear winter right now, but you can see evidence of tiny shoots that may grow back in time and open new life possibilities. You can find them in the minute detail of your own relationship to whoever you really love. Look there and you see a template through which the whole of the human race should be receiving your best contribution.

I hope you do realise, however, that your personal discovery of “the magic of networking” and the opportunity created by WordPress to blog your little heart stupid is not part of a new future; it is the last gasp of an old past.

To be new and different according to any worthwhile vision of a better future requires something altogether more radical and ethical than we collectively have ever dreamed of so far. It will not be an enterprise; it won’t have an MD, CEO, Field Marshall or President. It won’t be some passive dreamy stuff with flowers, supposed to be supported by the words of Ghandi or the Dalai Sheep. It needs to be here, now and real for each person, which is a vast requirement, for those of you who like listing the objections to anything before you give them a ghost of a chance in your imagination. Yes, thanks, it’s obviously naive and impossible as seen from here. How clever of you to notice; how stupid of you not to notice how wonderful they feel, the available benefits of love, trust, community, certainty, progress, sufficiency, sharing and rightness.

What comes next needs to be really really new, and I don’t mean the baiting of harmless policemen in the city streets by aggressive youths who haven’t the slightest notion of sharing the world or anything in it but are simply furious that they weren’t given everything that seemed promised by things like the the University of Bournemouth Media Studies course…

We are special – but not in a way that has yet been understood and demonstrated without contradiction. There is a very very long way to go and the first step is about seven billion challenging first steps, so there’s no chance, is there? Might as well just pump out some more shiny plastic simulated life devices….


Lies over lives

Monday, 19. July 2010

People have an overwhelming need to be right in a way that justifies the actions they have already taken and the opinions they already hold. They will see, do and believe whatever allows them to maintain the fiction of their own entitlement to triumph over their environment. This is primarily emotional and bears almost no relation to reality, evidence, truth, what is, the vision of others, scientific method or any other “objective” measure. We are meme machines, and who we are is what we see.

Anyone who does not know this can never be anything more than a mechanical implement, reacting to life by clockwork, yet it is interesting that the clockwork people develop hugely sophisticated mechanisms that help to maintain the illusion that they are thinking and have freedom. I always use the writings of Martin Amis as an example of supremely developed clockwork that is so lifelike that it seems like life. It isn’t. It’s a complex code being fed out by a robot.

Only severe shock and tragedy ever wakes people up from this dream. There is no other remedy. And I mean severe. If you have room to doubt then you’re still a machine.

The main problem is that for most people there are several major life issues about which they cannot face the truth. These start young, fester through the teens and consolidate into hidden bitterness overwritten by fake confidence as they “mature”. Usually these are quite straightforward unmentionables about how clever, attractive, well-endowed, intelligent, popular, creative, healthy, fertile, lucky and successful they are. The yearnings that are installed as they grow out of innocence cannot possibly all be met to their full extent. We are all flawed. We go into ultra denial about this and make up “convincing” ideas, behaviours, attitudes, beliefs that will allow us to cope with being imperfect, not special enough, flawed even, a little crazy maybe, infertile or sick if we’re really unlucky.

Once you lie to yourself about the big stuff and install the lie as truth, overriding reality, it is relatively easy to continue on to the space where your entire life is a pretence.

This is where most people live for most of there lives. And I can prove it within one hour with anyone who is willing to agree to stay in the room and enter the debate.

In this context, what people think they perceive is neither here nor there and the difference between a human being and a machine is marginal because the level of self awareness that makes that difference is insufficient.

The Pleasant American: Touch 17

Saturday, 26. September 2009

Rupert is by all accounts a nice guy. The people at the office get along with him and his work is respected because it is solid and delivers the goods. He’s fairly senior for someone aged 35, but not such a ruthless high-flier that he breeds too much resentment. There are one or two who don’t get on with him but you would expect that. Rather, he is generally regarded as a team player who understands the commercial drivers and applies himself with precision to a complex area that demands scientific background combined with writing skills. It is expected that some day he will head the department, maybe.

At home he is a good father with a tidy lawn and a European car. He spends a lot of time with his children, Debbie and Rueben, and his wife Jennifer is a lovely person who contributes a great deal to the local community. Once in a while they do have a stand-up row where the sound spills out of their house but next time you see them it all looks fine and they’ll be taking the kids out on a trip, maybe, nothing wrong except that little Debbie wants to take their dog, who howls all the time they’re gone.

Rupert works long hours but Jennifer often turns up as a volunteer at the school or some local event and she has tried her hand in the town drama group, where everyone says she showed some promise. People who’ve been to their house say the kids aren’t allowed candy and cola and that Jennifer has a thing about eating responsibly sourced food, which you’d assume they can afford and they never seem extravagant except at Thanksgiving, when they always throw a party for the neighbourhood.

If you were scripting a horror movie you might give the characters such a normal façade but in real life these do seem pretty tight, healthy, happy and well-adjusted. This year they rented a camper for a driving vacation covering an ambitious itinerary of places of interest and natural wonder, including a trip to an animal sanctuary where chimpanzees rescued from medical research are housed. It happens to be run by some friends of Jennifer, who said they could stay and organised special visits for them, hoping of course for a large donation to help with the costs. Rupert gave them a hundred dollars, letting Jennifer think it was more. When she finally found out, some weeks later, she was ashamed.

Anyway, that night there was a vegetarian barbecue at the home of the director of the animal sanctuary, a friend of certain celebrities and herself no stranger to television. For once in his life Rupert was feeling slightly outclassed by the smooth talkers but as people stopped drifting and applied themselves to the food he managed to steer his family to a large table around which sat no-one so special they might eclipse him. Here they all were, eating prawn flavoured vegetable protein shaped to look like prawns by a Thai chef, feeling good about themselves and mixing with other people who feel good about themselves, the conversation ebbing and flowing over ecological and animal welfare and sustainable food issues in a complacent kind of way, some of the guys having beards and wearing sandals, some of the woman wearing light, ethnic, organic garments on a warm summer night with cicadas calling and only mosquitoes to ruin the world.

One guest, however, was a secret troublemaker, a writer, a journalist and a teller of blunt truth. When he’d finished raking through the celebs he noticed a table full of nobodies with this perfect family at its head: the handsome dad, the pretty wife, the cute children, the healthy tans and upright postures. He joined them and he listened at first, acting the ingénue and a little shy, which was easy for him because he really is.

He noticed how everything that Jennifer said went nowhere unless someone down the table picked it up. She would speak, her husband would nod, her children perhaps, and then it would drift off into nowhere with maybe half a comment in response but never something that opened the topic up. Her husband, by contrast, launched many interludes of some length by the pleasant tactic of asking people around him about themselves and sitting back like a good listener in the warm glow of their gratitude. Time and time again he accomplished this, gradually adding more and more footnotes of his own so that he too was being revealed and in every case slightly outpunching them. Someone had been to Paris, but he spend six months there, studying in French and he knew the best restaurants and could pronounce them properly, though they probably were not vegetarian. Somebody else started talking about his interest in astronomy, which Rupert let pass for a while until pointing to the starlit sky and asking an innocent question that made the guy look stupid so Rupert could answer for him. A nervy woman wondered in hesitating tones about this depression that she just couldn’t shake and she was talking straight at Rupert with slightly suggestive lip language, because he was now the table’s resident, expert know-all. Quick as a flash he was back to her with a rundown of humanistic and pharmacological responses to depression, which he defined in different ways, trying to pinpoint her problem to deliver a final diagnosis, by which time she was confused and apparently close to tears.

Most fascinating of all to the observer, however, was how Rupert dealt with his potentially fractious kids while all this was going on, which was masterful. Right from the start their eyes had been wandering over to more exciting parts of the party, to animals and a bonfire and a children’s play area with other kids. And since the food held no allure for them whatsoever, they were restless, especially Debbie, because she was not as tame as her brother. What Rupert did to control them was simply beautiful to observe: like a liberal and democratic and loving father he involved them in the conversation, asking them questions: sometimes easy ones that he knew they could answer and sometimes difficult matters of opinion that would stump the average adult and were attended by the terror in their eyes showing how much they dreaded his follow-up questions, asking them to justify their opinions.

Reuben was generally tight-lipped, embarrassed, in recoil and reluctant to say anything the slightest part debatable. Debbie, at this point less wary, was prone to getting into trouble with her second answer and kicking her feet together under the table. Their mother never intervened, though it did not seem to the observer that she was enjoying the demonstrations of progressive home schooling and when Debbie almost lost it you could see she was ready to gather up the tears. Rupert continued, prince of all he surveyed, perfect in every particular, unchallenged in any way. Dynamic, solutions-driven, benevolent and cunning, like the USA herself, he effortlessly subdued an entire table of educated people who are probably themselves the centre of attraction in different social circles. Each phrase he placed was perfectly nuanced and very subtle, sometimes slapping someone down in the nicest possible way, at other times encouraging them to speak up to give him a further opening for his wisdom. And like America in the greater world, spoilt and perfect in image not substance, he had no idea whatever that he was doing all this… He was simply acting out his idea of being a great guy.

Unfortunately that night a sinister force was seated at the table, and almost unknown presence in America, someone who can step back enough to actually notice the minute eddies in the tides of conversation and has a degree of intuition about what they mean. When the moment was right the observer struck, first by deflecting a couple of undermining questions from Rupert as if it had never been spoken and second by asking Rupert about his work. Whereupon, delighted to have the opportunity, Rupert began to describe the joys of being in marketing, in particular his world-famous copywriting skills, in particular the niche he had between science and art, requiring a subtle mix of psychology and blunt speaking, just like he is in real life. He’s been lucky, he admits that, though he doesn’t mean it. What he thinks is that he’s been talented and that he is big-time entitled.

The observer realised without being told that Rupert works in big pharma and that they market their products by deceiving and bribing medical practitioners, one of the most entitled groups of assholes in our society. With a couple of questions he got Rupert to admit this, though the specificity and confidence was now drained from his voice and he looked ready for a counter-attack.

“So it’s an irony for you, I imagine, to be invited here by an animal shelter that houses apes who’ve been tortured in useless tests on drugs that are probably being developed by your company?”

Rupert turned white with fury and stood up in a threatening body-language way that alarmed his wife and scattered his children. It took him several very deep breaths to refrain from an all out nuclear attack and return, gradually, with a false smile, to more cunning forms of domination and aggression. Because he never backs off.

That, more or less exactly, describes the American mind. The one that dominates our earth and shapes everything we will become. No American, as far as I am aware, has ever noticed that they all do it, spontaneously and without pause, endlessly competing with each other to be the best in whatever slot they occupy. Even would-be rappers in ghettoes do it. Even lonely truckers at desolate diners do it. Even hippies do it. Even Bob Dylan does it. They perform. They have utterly lost contact with any archaic notion of sharing the human space, even though they so often retain as vestigial manipulative tools the good humour, friendliness and nice manners that were once a sign of decent societies in other lands.

previous parts of Touch are here

to discuss this please go here

You call it entitlement, do you? Touch 16

Saturday, 26. September 2009

Picture a small tribe of primitive humans living at the mercy of the weather and in constant fear of starvation. Their main goal is survival and their most prized possession is fire, which allows them to eat, to stay tolerably warm and to survive the terrors of the night. Compared with us they seem to have almost no idea what causes anything and their moment to moment experience is all filled up with vulnerability. Whenever they do manage the slightest triumph over their environment they probably feel like gods. Among them loyalty must be a matter of life and death and existence always hangs in the balance. Even the slightest advance in any of the sparse technologies they posses would have miraculous consequences and their basic expressions of art must be profoundly felt in a deeply spiritual way, carrying the same hope as invention: that it will better control an uncertain world.

Now jump to any suburb of any large city in any settled country with enough economic activity to provide employment, leisure, diversion, internet, fashion, news, supermarkets, highways, transport, electricity, sewerage, coffee shops and holidays… The terrors of existence have atrophied down to vague unease, nagging angst, minor annoyances, irritating belittlements, occasional minor crises, a slight fear of disaster kept at bay by having more fun. Diluted beyond recognition, they can almost be ignored, unless they have actually become more potent for being less explicit, more challenging for being less obvious, much like The Princess feels the pea under her soft cushion of mattress and cannot sleep. Do you think that a nervous system that evolved over millions of years to keep the organism permanently en guard could somehow switch itself off in a few thousand, even with the aid of alcohol, pop music, diet coke, mobile telephones, twenty-four hour news, Sunday Review sections, The Ballet Rimbaud and plenty of “issues” to keep the mind occupied…

Well, yes, it does rather seem that way, sitting at a fashionable eatery in a leafy suburb, watching parents indulgently allowing small children to select and then discard plates of exotic food costing more than a family of Africans have to get through each week. It does look like we’re all cushioned from life when you take into account the millions of people who seem to spend all day celebrating themselves on networking websites. It must feel that way eating caviar in the VIP lounge on your way to vacation in The Maldives. And it better be that way for the Masters of the Universe in Wall Street and The City of London who earn more in bonus every single year than a hardworking teacher will grub in a whole lifetime. We do seem, some of us at least, to have escaped up the pyramid of needs to the point where perfecting ourselves through investment, good taste, creative leisure, fine food and amateur psychology contain the only challenges left (unless we choose to become environmentalists in order to have a cause).

Of all the things that are known, no one can know but a tiny fraction, so not knowing is actually a cornerstone of our way of life, just as it was for our ancient ancestors. But whereas their ignorance was close to fatal, ours has been miraculously transformed into a divine power, as we switch on our super-efficient machines, taking all their gifts for granted. Yes, there will be line caught tuna, fresh from some far ocean, and all the ingredients essential to turn it into an instant masterpiece and if you don’t feel like being creative because you made a lot of money today then yes, there will be instant Thai food for the microwave, whenever you happen to be hungry. And you will eat it in warmth, behind safe doors, with savings in the bank and friends out there somewhere, watching an interesting film before taking a power shower and relaxing in a gorgeous bed with pink plastic things that vibrate for the woman who no longer feels like it and acceptable porn for her mate.

We have it all and we were entitled, weren’t we? We have so much of it that we now want what anyone has or ever hand. We want all the gifts that wise men gave their courageous lives for, all the ecstasy that obsessive artists wrecked their lives for, all the celebrity we can possibly eat up, always demanding more. Write a blog: let the world read how clever you are. It’s so easy, so instant, so wonderful, creative. You are a somebody, a child of the universe, a great genius who understands things. People should be listening to what you have to say and every time they didn’t take any notice in real life can be wiped away online. You are entitled. You can have it all. Whatever you dream of can be yours. You visions guides your marvellous destiny…

Where will it end?

It could end in several places. We already suspect that it may end in an overpopulated world, denuded of key living species, empty of carbon fuels, polluted by our processes, flooded by melting ice and torn by violent weather, possibly radioactive, forced back into primitive violence, menaced by threatening epidemics, secretly ruled by evolved rats, divided into a small class of super-rich and a huge class that is struggling, once again, even to stay alive. The veneer of civilisation is extremely thin when you recall that a driver froze to death one night at a gas station because his credit card was rejected in the most advanced country on earth. It’s that easy to fall between the cracks and with half the population on the edge of insane, many do… Lose a couple of key pillars such as your job, your home, your family, your health and then make one wrong move and suddenly it can be you, with no direction home, no chance to take, nothing left, no prayers answered.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, as I have said before, the average human being is primarily engaged in one secret, unrecognised and never discussed activity: the search for certainty at any price. As I have already described, this is impossible to achieve beyond any shadow of a risk but yet people will fake it to themselves and their friends, mutually supporting each other’s illusions, wallowing in a playground of unreal optimism about what they have and will become in life, who they are and what they deserve in terms of respect and stuff: entitlement.

There is a subtle word, clever enough that it is now being used even in the USA to distinguish the excesses of our culture as some people slowly begin to rethink what they have and how sound it really is. At last. Yet it is also being wielded with a self-righteous spin, as if it were the final frontier to the promised land of absolute correctness, the place where you are slightly aware of the need to share the earth with other humans and animals and icecaps and stuff, the place where your lavish lifestyle can be justified because with friends you talk about “entitlement”. We have been here before and it won’t work.

Nothing so simple will remove from the soul of a single US citizen what their entire school system and culture pumps in from the cradle so completely that they do not even know it is there: the aggression, the absolute assumption of rightness, the effortless sense of entitlement, the overwhelming need to give positive advice, the ruthless lust to success, the limitless greed for comfort and entertainment, the longing for meaning so profound that each of them spends most of their time mythologizing their own lives in an orgy of self-centredness that would simply have been regarded as insane during earlier phases of humanity. In the USA, this disease has been at epidemic proportions for some years, affecting all levels of society and barely even noticed. It has spread through their cultural viruses to most other countries and cultures, displacing their own conventions of modesty and right behaviour, Disneyfying the entire world, even the places where people are far too poor to ever live the dream, so much so that only Islamic maniacs can still fight back with their ancient obedience to deity.

The images have been seductive and the language too and I doubt that anyone will be giving up their iPods or iPhones any time soon in order to be less entitled.

previous parts of Touch are here

to discuss this please go here

The Brave New World, maybe (Touch 14)

Wednesday, 19. August 2009


For a change of mood, then, in case things are getting too heavy, let’s try conjuring up a little dream. It won’t be easy because we aren’t trying to recycle other people’s stale images and narratives within the restrictive meme and we’ve got an overbearing parental figure chiding us, demanding: “if you don’t like this system, then what would you put in it’s place?” and adding: “I never realised that you felt so little respect for me and how ungrateful you are…” As all parents do, and everyone acting like parents to control us: teachers, politicians, people at parties, friends whose internal structures you are challenging, their friends who invited you to dinner so they could see you perform and in whose company you are now trapped for three hours…

To which I respond thus: in my dream the purpose of conversation is pure, untainted by persuasive definitions, argumentation, challenges, spurious and covertly aggressive questions, patronising, ironical put-downs or the hard, cold, mortar fire of supposed facts and logics, all of which are nothing of the sort, by the way. Formal logic renders only the tautology meaningful and factoids are always superseded by better facticity next year, according to fashion and the evolution of their enclosing meme. All meaningful language is symbolic, in flux, experimental, a touch poetic and licensed. As in off the leash, almost certain to contain ambiguity and absolutely certain to include some paradox if it comes anywhere near speaking a truth, which will in itself change very soon and is not to be pinned down by the machine conversationalists of the intellectual meme group who can only ape academic method, which is all about destruction by challenge.

No, in my dream the purpose of conversation might, for example, only be to exchange useful information with no emotive content, for example. Sounds easy enough, yet it rarely happens if you listen to the voice tones. Admittedly, even in the Climate of Lie, something approaching this sometimes happens when nice people meet for the purpose of teaching and learning. So we can leave that one aside because it is common to both Step 1 and Step 2 worlds, that simple, clean, passing of information with no added manipulation, rare but possible.

Much more of a challenge to the average Mind is the truer, purer function that expresses the deepest wish of the human soul, which is to acknowledge, appreciate and rather than posses to pull alongside and make fellowship with those wonders and gifts that life notices about itself through us and for which we and maybe dolphins are the only conscious channels and celebrants… Within this experience nestle the companions of pure observation such as curiosity, exploration, appreciation, wonderment, happiness, playfulness, sensuality in all its forms, a kind of certainty that comes from feeling OK, the wonderful gifts of giving and receiving, the even more wonderful gift of having distance from your creaking Mind so that the soul may be experienced and the most wonderful gifts of all, namely love, sometimes ecstasy and even that warm, mystical, mysterious energy rising and spreading like the love of god would be if there were a god, the only existing word for which is kundalini. If you haven’t felt it, you can’t get it by trying; if you have felt it you’ll know that it’s a place you never expected to be, even for the short while it lasts and the following hours of wonderment.

Pure communication is, I believe, one possible doorway to the land where these feelings can exist in untainted form, received as a gift as you give yourself into the light with no thought of status or reward, no being wrong or being right, no attempt to influence or resist, no nagging sociological backdrop or grating emotional babble attached. It’s tough to get there but you don’t achieve it by being tough. It’s a real challenged to The Mind that’s running you, but you can’t do it by being grim and correct or chanting mantras devoid of humour. This new place is good fun, sometimes amusing in a harmless way that is not laughing at anyone else, potentially joyful, even abandoned, and the energy flow is going to be shocking when you first get there because the stress and strain and dis-ease that dog you normally are simply not going to be felt.

Oh, and since there are no lies in this garden because at that level of involvement of soul only truth telling is possible, you are finally going to know the absolute certainty that you never achieve with all your Climate of Lie attempts to manipulate life, only you won’t know it in triumph, as a success, you will only know it as a congenial twin to yourself, alongside you, where you is in a fascinating, oscillating, moment to moment migration, as by osmosis, between your conscious intellectual appreciation and your profound, poetic, bottomless and restful twin: your soul.

The Buddha famously discovered enlightenment by trying to stifle his own breath. Some people touch their soul in times of extreme pain, shock and loss. I have touched it in a time of deep grief and paralysing depression with an exhausted body, following the death of my wife from a long and painful illness. It was taking me an hour to mount the stairs and I was struggling for oxygen, not realising that my heart was under breaking strain, forced to pause and sit after every two steps and unable to remember what I did five minutes ago or even why I was stuck on the stairs. As I sat there, just about ready to die, I asked myself what was left of me with everything I used to be destroyed. No money left because I spent it all on caring for her. Hardly any friends left because they all ran away from the horror. No energy whatsoever, no appetite, no strength. No hope, no stratagems, no solutions, no methods even. And not that much sanity either, nor enough memory to complete even simply tasks. So what was left of me?

The image was of a toy gyroscope, like the one that fascinated me as a child, the one I used to spin on a small Eiffel Tower until it leaned at a crazy angle, the one that seemed to take on a life of its own once you set it spinning. That’s something like what I had left, a dynamo inside me, spinning at a dangerous tilt but still on the tower. That’s me, I realised; that is my soul and it is still alive and it can recover and it can lift me along with it, back to life.

The breakthrough we each need to make in order to recover our purity is something like that. Each person’s will be different. It may have an image like mine did or many images or it may just be a ball of bright light. We are talking about touching the unknowable and there are no rules but once you have this sense of self you will no longer be your status, your money, your work, your relationships, your faults, your perfections, your good taste, your clever jokes or what other people think of you. You will be you and it will be wonderful. And others like you or moving that way will recognise you and be drawn to your side and the differences will not matter. You will live in truth and love but there will be no religion perverting it. And you can retain your earthly foibles and tolerate yourself as you drink too much coffee, eat too much cheese, slightly overdo the wine, make slightly stupid jokes, spout daft opinions ‘cos you just can’t stop, think too much about sex and sometimes act on that in ways you don’t want to be ashamed of but have been. You’ll still be that asshole you’ve always been, in fact, but this time your soul is standing next to you and you know for certain that you are also something more than the idiot who lives at your house and walks in your shoes.

Roughly speaking, in answer to the sarcastic challenge of the sold out, this is where I would start to “put something in the place” of your lousy, meme-ridden world of lies and brutality.

previous parts of Touch are here

to discuss this please go here

The Anxious Mind (Touch 13)

Tuesday, 18. August 2009


Uncertainty and anxiety are deeply connected and almost universally co-present in human interactions. Picture a feisty teen schoolroom: the teacher maintains order by keeping the students on their toes; the students vie with each other and test the limits of the teacher. Sometimes they use tricky questions; sometimes they make ambiguous remarks; sometimes they snatch moments of humour at the expense of another. No one ever gets to relax; no one can trust what’s happening; no one really knows where they stand; everyone is watching their back all day long. It’s in such an environment that we learn to be adults and for many people it carries on for the rest of their lives in ever more refined forms: the cocktail party; all day at work; the drama club; the social networking group, whatever.

But it starts much earlier than that. Even very young children soon learn that they can manipulate their parents by asking loaded questions and that parents start cooing at your early signs of intelligence and then wrapping themselves in knots to please your every whim if you dress it up in a cute question and whine slightly. Parents fight back by asking overbearing and embarrassing questions to impose discipline and morality. Pretty soon the word “why” is a cosh and every interchange is loaded with behavioural uncertainty as the kids test adult authority and parents try to establish civilisation. You don’t notice it when you’re locked into it but I’ve never seen a young family who weren’t playing many complex, interlocking variants of this game in which everyone is damaged, some terribly so and the usual results brought about: loss of trust, peace, certainty, even love. This also never ends and usually drives our adult close relationships, not to mention our own families in due course. Similar patterns, more grotesquely played out, can be observed in relationships with domestic pets.

By the time we reach independent adulthood it’s pretty much impossible not to be living in repetition compulsions relating to games you are still hoping to win and it’s extremely rare to find anyone whose behaviour is not tantamount to a set of strategies to establish their own primacy or at least protect themselves against domination by others. Entitlement culture is born and we become suspended in the climate of lie where nothing has a genuinely innocent purpose any more and except in the early stages of endless love no-one ever lets anyone relax into knowing where they are and that who they are is totally appreciated. This only lasts in the best of times until the sex runs out and you have to design a modus operandi about household routine and how to hold conversations in order to go any further. Welcome to the negotiated relationship, that everlasting, all pervasive purgatory for our souls – now cut off from any chance of heaven.

And don’t forget that in such a world your home life is supposed to be a refuge from even worse threats to emotional stability posed by the “rat race” in the “concrete jungle”… A land where your dress code, your smartarse talk, your clever politics, your blood curdling submission in the face of bullying and favouritism, your deliberate lying to make the sale and your acquiescence to the incredibly low moral standards of the marketplace – all of these things are a poison to the soul, all day, every day, until you no longer notice and may even become a champion for the whole disgusting “system”, especially if it brings you personally a measure of success as you claw your way over the hopes of others.

In such a world love is very rare, friendship is simply a joke and the chance of anyone feeling genuinely good about themselves is almost nil. The best you can get is fake bonhomie, uneasy political truce, confused ideals, negotiated relationships, a desperate need for distraction and a pile of consumer goods to reward you for selling yourself. Thank God you’re so stylish and you never make an aesthetic, ethical, ecological or political faux pas!

The special people who run things actually want all this anomie, of course; it’s an ideal divide-and-conquer strategy and they didn’t even have to think it up because it arose naturally from the ping pong game of truth and power fought in advanced societies between old moralities and social controls and the new, liberal, correct ideologues that infest our media. The soft government regulates to give kids more rights so that teachers can no longer bully them into submission; the kids take more freedom than was meant and threaten the stability of the system; so the incoming hard government imposes ridiculous new standards on the teachers forcing all the good ones to go mad or leave, bringing in mediocre people with no standards themselves who can’t even organise education, let alone make it inspiring. Result: billions spent each year to deliberately produce social chaos and letting in threats to the whole culture through violence, drugs, unwanted pregnancy and teen megalomania generally. Result two: the next generation is even crazier and huge ghettos of untouchable subhumans eating only junk food develop in all major cities, where no one else dare get out of their car.

Groovy film makers sometimes stir the pot by making the downtrodden masses look like victims who are really very nice people but they aren’t. Nor are the global billions living in filthy slums. Some of them are sometimes OK but the culture they produce from within themselves is generally cruel, brutal, selfish and even more devastating to the soul than the dead culture of Stepford suburbia. Anyone with any sense has already left town, no matter what the price, because nothing good can ever grow there. Even the people in Hollywood know this, so obvious it is, Obi Wan, yet the media liberals, hiding in their groovy inner city wholefood trattoria, somehow feel the need to deny it. This is hard to understand, but I assume it is form of denial that makes a nice clashing paradox with their apparently non-judgemental memes, such as the one where only fascists are bad and capitalism can be cool, you know…

Anyway, I don’t really care to discuss “society” because it’s an infinite debate, going nowhere forever, so many vested interests generating endless memaganda (propaganda for their memes), everyone in denial but guarding their own little privileges, even among the poorest of the low, obviously among the would-be specials, desperately among the suburban slaves and dishonestly among the city slickers. They’re all right, all the time, and you simply can’t argue with that. They right even ten years later when their views have changed. They’re so right they can smell that you’re a troublemaker from the very first sentence you speak…

No, what interests me is the ontology of all this and just for now my attention falls upon the challenging interrogative as a basic unit of inter human commerce. People could ask genuine questions, seeking information, understanding and knowledge, yet they hardly ever do. I am not opposed to all statements that could be transcribed with a question mark. Instead, my target is the false question that is intrinsically a challenge and may also express itself merely in voice tone or body language, and may hide itself in affable humour. The Mind (not the intellect, the heart or the spirit or even the brain or a collection of electrons but The Mind, the guardian of the entitled ego)… The Mind never, ever hears a pure statement of question and never reposts in purity either. It does not know how and was never designed to do so. Its purpose is to weigh all incoming and outgoing traffic for status and like a bad email filter it sometimes deletes the good stuff and sometimes lets in attacks. In fact it lives in training mode for the whole of your life, constantly trying to figure out what kind of conversation, representing what kind of status relationship, will finally make you the supreme being it wants you to be.

Someone like me can rattle virtually any Mind within a couple of minutes because I transmit strange messages on unusual frequencies, which drives The Mind immediately to escalate to red alert status. I can see it in their eyes, the questions: where is this guy coming from; what is his status; is he taking me seriously; am I being respected for all my knowledge and achievement; does he admire my beautiful personality and fabulous taste in clothes; is he making fun of me… and on it goes.

Luckily The Mind doesn’t get to meet someone like me very often so it normally has a much firmer grip on its environment and can blank unwanted intrusions without straining its ironical-putdown and raised-eyebrows-in-scorn modules. And if that’s not enough it can walk away, though it prefers to give intruders a good kicking first so they’ll never forget the day they dissed the Mighty Mind.

But all minds will meet people bigger than themselves who make them feel like small-time outsiders and all minds will begin to perish when life hits them with divorce, failed ambitions, job loss, treachery, debt, sickness, cancer, heart attack, ageing, not to mention in poor countries political upheaval, war and natural disasters. And traffic accidents, the mechanism of tragic change that is so obvious even to Hollywood scriptwriters. All minds will reach for the bottle, the pill or the meditative trance one day, either that or they blow a fuse into depression, Aspergers or Alzheimers to take themselves out. Everyone will know devastating loss and shock and depression to add to the rejection and resignation they already know and have been trying to forget.

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Am I getting the respect I deserve? (Touch 12)

Monday, 17. August 2009


One of the most interesting but largely unremarked and certainty not analysed everyday human behaviours is acting with a Sense of Entitlement. Sometimes it is a very obvious behaviour, like pushing to the front of a queue or trying to beat you on the highway when the road is about to narrow; sometimes it is embedded in the culture as a privilege for the would be special, such as private clubs, VIP lounges, access to superior education; you often see it in groups of fashionable people and it is ubiquitous in teen culture; but in many people, in the downtrodden, it often comes across as stifled anger when they say things like “I have a right to my opinion”, “we are as good as they are”, whatever… On a mass scale it breeds redneck racism, religious persecution, jihad, alternative politics and correctness, consumerism, artistic taste and fandom, imposed sexual and other strict moralities and the power of propaganda, among other variants of dis-ease in the Climate of Lie we live in.

It doesn’t matter that the themes, motifs, banners, costumes, artifacts, ideas and issues that are used to build this complex emotional meme are all nonsense. What matters is the emotional release, the effortless capacity to self-deliver a moment of smug satisfactionthat this behaviour achieves, even when only in a thought, even in a minute gesture like a raised eyebrow of superiority and scorn.

I once observed at a dull party two plump north London princesses who obviously thought they were really somebodies but in reality were not attractive enough to have males slavering over them: they arrived, looked very obviously around and discovered no one important, then left. On their way out they used stabbing fingertips to push people they were walking straight through out of the way. Had they stayed, like countless snobs in every sphere, they would have been looking over your should while talking to you, desperate to find somebody more important. If you set these two girls down at a lousy party with their favourite pop star present they would be down on their knees worshipping his manhood but if the guy was a schoolmate with a Saturday job in Starbucks they would probably treat him like dirt. And somewhere between those extremes of subservient adoration and utter contempt lies all human behaviour whatsoever, alas, because we don’t understand what equality means.

I find it entertaining sometimes to listen to perfectly healthy young black guys with good looks, girlfriends and a wasted free education behind them, moaning about how white society robs them of opportunity. Or middle class women with unlimited budgets and domestic help from their truly downtrodden sisters, moaning about “the glass ceiling” at work. There is no glass ceiling for the filthy manual drudgery that most of the world’s males perform to survive, including white males in advanced countries. But then the moaners don’t want the fate of everyone else: they want to be special, which is entitlement speaking in its purest tone, as the twisted voice of grandiosity. Think of the once pretty TV newscaster who had years of celebrity and wealth out of looking good, now complaining that she’s been replaced by a younger model; think of the six million dollar a year black sportsman, still harping on about his childhood in the slums; think of the PR consultant who lives in a ten million house in the trendiest part of the city, moaning about how hard it is to get back where she belongs after taking time out to raise her own children. It’s a joke, frankly, entitlement, but it’s there in all of us when you look. Hell there’s even people reading this now who are furious that my tone seems to be “talking down” to them and that I’m not giving them any obvious opportunity to cloud everything over by arguing and asking clever questions…

The Mind (your mind, our minds, everyone’s mind), the mind adds something to everything it comes across. It isn’t the intellect in all its purity that does that; it isn’t our native curiosity; it’s The Mind, which is the sentinel, mouthpiece, PR spokesperson, stand-up comic and narrator for the tender parts of the ego, the megalomaniac, grandiose, thirsty, lusting, cruel, outward acting part, the one who’s always on patrol at the helm. Whatever it encounters it is thinking out loud: Am I getting my share? Am I high in the hierarchy? Am I being respected? Do they know who they’re talking to? I shouldn’t have to wait in line. Do I have enough (of the best) and with some to spare? How can I avoid any loss?

Notice the excessive use of the interrogative that The Mind makes. In fact it’s constantly asking aggressive questions. It can’t hear anything without adding a thumbnail to the file about it’s own status. In fact it never just hears anything pure and clear and it thinks everyone else is doing the same so when you ask them the time they fire back with “why?” instead of just telling you the time. Most people’s entire conversation, including the most elevated parts about poetry and metaphysics, is nothing more than an endless rolling cannon fire of vaguely aggressive interrogative burst where the only true purpose is to establish their importance or complain that you’re not respecting them enough. Unless you’re a hero to them, in which case they get down on their knees and start praising you, much like the two young princesses at the second party. Even the greatest rebels bow to the Queen and show subservience to the great Captains of the economy or the Stars of screen and stage…

So, you talk to people because you’re a gregarious ape who needs their tainted company and is vaguely hoping that one day you’ll see a gleam on insight in their eyes and hear the first faltering splutter of an original observation coming from their own true and creative and buried soul… What you should be listening to is not the shit they speak: language isn’t referential; the content barely mattersin a Climate of Lie. Listen instead to the true message contained in the voice tone: is it commanding and imperious with a gleaming hint of the charming ringmaster; is it commanding, aggressive and butch like a tough guy who isn’t sure of himself; is it thin and precisely cutting and very very factually correct, a style used by would-be dominant women and middle strength men who don’t have the pure charm of the powerful or the gorgeous; is it apparently good natured but actually monotonous, repetitive and self-obsessed; is the speaker trying to smother you in a homely, condescending way; can you hear the many whining notes of protest, woven with Mozartian genius by the huge number of middle-ranking, middle-brow, middle income, ineffectual nobodies who are the backbone of our society? I know you can hear some voice tones, such as the corrupt obsequiousness of the swindling workman, the crushing overdrive of the charming salesman trapping you into yes at every turn, the nasty stench of threatening, jeering youth. Even you can hear the really obvious ones, so why not extend your range and start noticing the others? Why not stop answering like a frightened deer caught in the headlights of someone else’s interrogative? Why not stop playing the game of relationship negotiation and start responding to what the fucker is actually saying which is never anything more than “I am more important than you”, “I am more right than you are”, “I am complaining that you don’t give me the respect I deserve” or any one of a zillion variants of these themes.

Then remember that it’s not their fault because they too have spent their entire lives impaled on the interrogatives of parents, teachers, bosses, friends, lovers, and even strangers met at parties, all of them trying to impose their own sense of entitlement over the top of yours. That’s human life as it is lived, folks. Very little else is going on. The rich tapestry of infinite entertainments is just a side effect of the fact that no plain truth ever comes from our souls, spoken with real love and genuine respect for the being of the other. It just can’t happen the way the world is now. Everything is doomed to be a muted, second hand conflict of allergic reacting egos, no matter how large or small the stage on which it is played out from the US presidential election to the murmur of a lover who isn’t in the mood for sex right now. You are simply not allowed to be straight with anyone about anything and you can absolutely guarantee, whatever they claim, that they don’t know how to be straight with you.

previous parts of Touch are here

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Desperate for certainty (Touch 11)

Sunday, 16. August 2009


One of the great drivers of the human soul is a hunger for certainty. This might be a lost-to-consciousness longing for the womb or is that a pre-conscious onto-physical yearning somehow copied into every repeating division of the body cells from before the time of emotion, before the time of pain… Whatever it is it is a) very much stronger than we normally notice and b) an addiction that will never go away.

Nothing feels better than a moment of perfect certainty, that you are loved or you love, that you won the bet, that you got the job, that the music lifts you, that your hunger is satisfied, that you’re about to orgasm, that your child is healthy, that you passed your exam, that you didn’t die in the car smash, that the mole on your arm is not cancer…

Few things feel worse than the tangled mass of uncertainties that we actually live with to the point of barely noticing yet another nagging doubt that causes who knows what emotional turmoil and stress to the physical systems: am I sick, why doesn’t my boss seem to like me, does he love me or her, am I still a celebrity, will I ever get the life I want, is the plane going to leave without me, is this finally the year that the economy collapses, does my ass look fat in these trousers, will the guests enjoy my soufflé, are my jokes not funny any more, why is the dog limping, what’s the matter with my guts that I feel so weak today… Uncertainty is simply endless, stressful, dis-easing and it eats at the soul, causing all kinds of urgent reasons not to love and care for other people because life is such a trial as it is. It also degrades the body because, as even scientists now realise, incomplete episodes of primitive fight-or-flight reaction create untold long-term stress damage to hearts, tissues, digestive tracts, nervous systems, probably spleens, autonomic breathing, skin health free of allergic reactions and ultimately the very sanity that enables a person to take care of themself.

The price of uncertainty is almost infinite and almost all of it bad. Eastern sages would have us embrace change and accept a world without fixtures but they have merely superimposed the artificial certainty of their meme and you need a sleight of mind and a lot of discipline to come anywhere close, though some pretend they have made it and will get nasty when challenged. For the rest of the population uncertainty is a huge elephant in the room, being ignored all of the time, in waking and in sleeping, like a low murmur of traffic when life is OK but turning into a scream of anxiety at times of obvious stress.

We demand certainty for ourselves to counter this and we demand certainty from others to prevent any chance of their fear infecting us. People who have cancer get the hardest time from well-meaning relatives who want a good solution packaged and then a second opinion and more as if it were that easy when dealing with a mysterious disease which inevitably sets the spinning top of total uncertainty by asking the lonely question: why me? Why does nobody understand what I’m going through? Why can nobody help me? Why am I having to reassure them when I’m the one who might be dying?What did I do to deserve this?

You could say that life is a competition for certainty, just as it is a competition for status, which is related because it is intended to secure the area of your environment, taking away need, doubt, obscurity, impotence, isolation, rejection and insignificance and rendering you a “somebody”. Certainty is definitely what the smug hope will become real and true when they triumph and dissemble about how they got there and exactly how much they have. In a Climate of Lie, where the good things are scarce, it is essential for society to maintain believable fictions about freedom and opportunity while actually channelling all the real benefits towards the special people who already have enough that would sustain countless others. Certainty for the many is deliberately destabilised, who are obliged to live in fantasies about what is and what is possible while the special people simply gambol like children in their playground, all needs met yet still looking for more. When animals do this it is called hierarchical and is assumed to be a competition for sex, food and dominance.

Into this mess come thinkers, creating revolutionary memes for the masses, political religions and fantasies about human rights and justice, welfare systems that rob the poor of responsibility and conniving means of taxation which the rich can easily avoid but which shackle the ambitions of those who have risen out of servitude to the greatest fantasy of all: the bourgeois life of the suburbs, lived everywhere in a pipedream so obvious that even Hollywood movie makers have managed to notice and mock it. Welcome to Stepford.

Meanwhile, back in the interior life, the moment to moment awareness of every single human being, the quest for certainty goes on insatiably, a counterpoint of truth to the illusion of wellbeing as the individual claws for whatever safe hold (s)he can get on life.

To the mind this might manifest as knowing for intellectuals, feeling untouchable for the ambitious, wholesome for mothers, attractive for teens, tough for men and clever for just about everyone – the variants are so infinite that some masochists even get their safety from knowing that they suffer more than anyone else and some Samaritans just can’t help chasing victims to rescue. We bond with people who match our sickest unspoken needs and vaguely resemble the families we grew up in; we reach for ambitions implanted by the culture; we adopt behaviours designed to keep the bastion of our personalities fireproof, experimenting until we reach the safe haven of feeling mature. It’s all bullshit. There is no safe place in the Step 1 reality we have now. You do not cure an itch by scratching. It does not help to ask the main question that everyone lives by: what will make me safe and happy…

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The Price of the Lie (Touch 9)

Friday, 14. August 2009


The Climate of Lie is all pervasive, tantamount to a plague that pollutes everything that is possible for human beings. It’s like a form of deadly radiation that imprisons the spirit, dis-eases the body, perverts the emotions, addles the brain and directly causes the mood of resignation that is the unmentionable presence among us – as we nevertheless try to make the best of life: to pretend, to be cheerful, to find excitement, to plan for something better that never comes.

There is nobody alive who is not hoping to be happier and there never has been. Contentment is a myth created by eastern religious memes and available only as an illusion through rigid discipline and thought control, let only body control. For most of us, moments of bliss and peak experiences are just passing accidents that we cannot repeat, even with drugs, dangerous sports, ridiculous sex, unbelievable wealth, total control, a semipro handicap, an immaculate home and our perfect children, designed for an even happier future life. It all goes nowhere and we still suffer shock, loss, disappointment, fear and eventually cancer.

Yet most people, believing already that they are sufficient unto the day with their hard-won, hard-baked imitation “personality” locked around them as armour, most people will attack you viciously if you suggest that they may not be OK as they are and that things could be otherwise. Their happiness, which they parade to themselves during the good days, is so very shallow and brittle that they will murder the messenger who brings them any different news. Most of the time it is all they talk about: their plans, their achievements, their cleverness, their wonderful things and children, the brilliant decisions they have made. Or, if life is not so good, they embroil you in their issues and problems and creative solutions. And then they start giving you advice you never asked for. That adequately describes most of the conversation I have ever had, except when I’ve been with a joker who laughs at life, a vampire who murders everyone around them or a person who really does have cancer and needs to hear the sound of their own denial in order to find it more convincing.

In the Climate of Lie people are locked inside themselves. They don’t share the space with your soul, our space, the common space. They find ways to control and dominate, sometimes by being kind and motherly with good advice, sometimes by obviously dominating “male” behaviours and frequently just by talking on automatic about themselves. Anyone who can do more than this is a rare gem; someone who can consistently stay in the shared space and actually share it is a miracle; a being who can inhabit shared outer, perceptive space and even wax inventive with the discovery that is perhaps the greatest gift of all that mankind is refusing, well that person is, for the time being, blessed. If you aren’t there, for at least a part of every single day, then you are missing out on feeling truly human.

Why does everyone know this but hardly ever act on it? Why does serious shock and loss bring people closer to the great truths about their own nature, only to subsequently cover them over as soon as they begin to feel OK? The obvious answer that even Freud could have given was repetition compulsion by conditioning, a state of being where you have unconsciously learned behaviours that revolve around the traumas of your childhood so that they secretly haunt you ever more, causing inexplicable, self destructive, repetitious responses, which, like a gambler on a losing streak, you think will finally rescue you this time.

Wilhelm Reich would say, “Oi, Sigmund, hold on there guy. It’s a bit worse than that because the dis-eased responses pattern themselves in to the body structures and congeal, harden, tighten, tense and cause to malfunction vital pathways and organs so that free flowing life energy is blocked…” Jung and his countless admirers might say that it’s all a trip through our own mythical stories where everything is both good and bad at the same time and life is life a narrow path where you fight your way through a dangerous jungle being an archetypal hero.

In fact lots of gurus have said lots off stuff around these issues of happiness and Werner Erhard himself, not realising what he was doing, finally admitted, over and over again in monotonous drawl at an unscripted “Special Guest Seminar” for the faithful that he didn’t really believe in the hope he’d been peddling as he salted the cash away in Switzerland but had now almost realised that, erm well, he didn’t quite know, but he implied as usual that if you didn’t get it there was something wrong with you. As I said, ontology is a treacherous game, handled best obliquely by great literature, not pseudo scientists.

So, are you starting to accept that there really is a climate of lie to be dealt with before any progress can be made? Because I have seen the promised land, oh yes, and I think I can show you the door to a state of being that fully engages your innate curiosity in such a marvellous way that you will actually be able to feel like the creator you sometimes dream of being. But it won’t be easy. Stick with Guru Tolle if you want to treat it as a game.

previous parts of Touch are here

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