Suppose you’re too greedy for the sleepy stuff, the special stuff that makes you sleep? What then? Supposing you are hungry for it all of the time. Suppose you can’t get enough of it? What then? You’re burning the bottom out of the pan and you know that’s not good news. You going to have to get a new one but there aren’t any more left in the store. There are no saucepans left, saucepans don’t actually exist anymore.
We were all guilty of the very same crime but that didn’t stop us despising each other on that account. Boy did we ever despise each other! Despising each other was how we blind ourselves to our own gross culpability and there’s nothing worse than having an awareness of one’s own gross culpability now is there?
Reality is an awful funny thing isn’t it? Suppose you had to say something pertinent about reality, what would you say? There’s a party game for you. Say something about reality. It’s a Zen Game and you’re going to get smacked if you get it wrong… ‘Well’, you’d say, ‘reality’s like this, or like that or like the other…’ Of course it is, I read it in a book! We all know ‘the other’ – the other is famous. Didn’t I see it on TV the last night? The other is trending on Google search right now. Everyone wants to know about it. ‘Tell us about the other’, they say.
Suppose you were famous but no one had ever heard of you, what then? Would you be angry or would you be sad? Would you have a rage attack? Nobody likes to talk about reality anymore – is not fashionable. It’s not something that the in-crowd likes to talk about. The more degenerative and dishonest we become more vicious we are in unprovoked attacks on each other and that’s so obvious that there’s no need to have to try to prove the point! The more we sink into the mire of our own gross personal culpability the more we indulge in vilifying our neighbours, and such is the path that is mapped out for humanity.
‘I don’t take the licks boy, I dish them out!’ I roar ferociously, trying to turn the tables on my terrifying adversary, but it wasn’t making any difference. I was only living in my own fantasy and my own fantasy had run out of steam. It was a poor, beaten-up kind of thing, like an empty baked beans can that has been run over by a truck. ‘What’s wrong with my fantasy?’ I asked myself, ‘it used to be better than that…’ This becomes my new song and I sing it all day long. It becomes my special, special song… ‘What’s wrong with my fantasy’ I ask myself, ‘it used to be a Rolls-Royce and now it’s a crushed tin can!’ This becomes my new thought and I think it every hour, I think it every minute. It’s as if asking the question itself can save me. It’s as if stating and restating my shocked incredulity at the total failure of my fantasy to hold water can somehow solve the problem! It’s the only tool I have left in my toolbox and so I go on using it over and over again.
‘I’m the only tool I’ve got left in my toolbox,’ I realise glumly, ‘and the only thing I’m good at is making a complete fool of myself…’ I’m the instrument of my own destruction, I realise, at the same time as realizing that I also realize that this is the one thing that I can never accept. I need to find a good CBT therapist, it suddenly occurs to me, I need to turn my thinking around. ‘You need to turn that thinking around boy,’ I tell myself in a sanctimonious tone, ‘you need to turn the negative into a positive!’ This becomes my new song and I sing it all day long. I sing it in the morning and I sing it at night. ‘You’ve got to turn that negative thinking around boy,’ I say to myself, full of newfound enthusiasm.
It’s no good though, not really. I’ve burnt the bottom out of the saucepan and I know I can’t buy another one. I’ve burnt the bottom out of the saucepan and I can’t get any more mileage out of it any more. It’s like trying to ride a bicycle when it’s got no wheels. It’s like trying to ride a bicycle that’s got no wheels and now – to cap it all – the bloody chain has just come off…