The Black Tide

Remember, I told myself – you are in the machine and you are the machine. Just remember that. I repeated this to myself this number of times so that I’d get it straight. This formula pretty much exempted me from any responsibility: the machine does what the machine does after all and it acts through us to make us extensions of its will. So if anyone is to be blamed it is surely got to be the machine! And yet – taking this analysis another step forward – the machine in its turn can hardly be blamed for acting as a machine. It can’t be blamed for doing what it can’t help doing, after all! What else would it do, for God’s sake? How very stupid it would be to expect that the machine should not work, true to form, as the machine it is! You’re in the machine and you are the machine. How very stupid it would be for you to expect that you wouldn’t be the machine. ‘Oh look,’ you exclaim, ‘I’m not the machine – I’m me!’ Only you’re not. Only that’s your mistake right there. The machine makes all the ‘me’s’; that’s its job, its job is to manufacture ‘me’s’ by the lorry load and ship them all out. ‘Oh look I’m me, Oh look I’m me, oh look I’m me,’ say all the me’s. Only you’re not. Only that’s your mistake right there. It’s easy to suffer from depersonalisation when you are not really a person in the first place, isn’t it? It’s easy to suffer from depersonalisation when you’re only the half-baked idea of yourself! I’m only speaking of my own situation here you understand – I’m not talking about anyone else. I wouldn’t like to be misunderstood on this point. In talking entirely about my own experiences, such as they are, only the whole problem is that they’re not really ‘my’ experiences! They’re nobody’s experiences. That’s the whole problem right there. ‘Who is it a problem for though?’ you might ask, playing the smart-ass. ‘Who is it that’s been defrauded, who is it that’s been short-changed?’ Only I’m not going to go down that road. I am going to decide not to do that, whilst at the same time I realise with perfect clarity that there is no such thing as a ‘free choice’. No such thing as. The machine tells us that there is such a thing of course – it gives us a so-called ‘choice’ and then tells us that we are making it! You’ve made the choice, it tell us. The machine tells us what we want to do, and then we go and do it! Only we don’t do it because it isn’t really us at all, it’s only ‘who the machine tells us we are’. Do you know that thing when you feel that you are under a cloud and you can’t step out from it? You can’t walk away from it because it’s personal to you; it’s stuck to you like your very own personal doom. I woke up with a start last night and sat bolt upright in bed with cold beads of sweat standing out all over my forehead – I had seen the thick sea mists rolling in over the desolate fields from both sides of the peninsula as clear as if it were day, even though it was the dead of night. I’d seen the impenetrable wall of sea mist rushing towards me with uncanny speed and I’d woken up shouting in terror. I knew that what I had seen so very clearly was the fast-approaching black tide of unconsciousness, and I also knew that no force on earth could stop it….






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