First they make a world out of their damn so-called ‘products’ and then they trick us into living in it! Can you believe that such shit is even possible? It sounds too surreal to be true, too ludicrous to be taken seriously. Maybe that’s their trick, though – maybe that’s how they pull it off? Maybe that’s how they are able to do it, and not only do they do it but they get away with it too. We mustn’t forget that! Not only do they do it but they get away with it as well, and so now that’s the only world there is – the filthy old Product World. The Garbage World, the Joke World…
I was driving beautifully. As soon as I thought of a place I drove there – it was as if I was in a dream or some refined and exalted state of consciousness. First I thought of a place and then I drove there. I wasn’t driving in my car though – I was driving in my Dream Body. Wherever I thought of I went and wherever I went I was driving so beautifully. Not on the ground on roads but in the air, travelling serenely above the world. Travelling so effortlessly. There were no obstacles, there was nothing that could stop me, nothing to stand in my way. From time to time I would feel strange and wonder about what I was doing but then I’d get back into the groove again and resume my driving. Time doesn’t exist for me when I am travelling in my Dream Body; restrictions don’t exist for me.
It’s so very cool when cool things happen, I thought to myself. So very cool, so incredibly cool. Who would believe it? Not that anything cool ever happens to me, mind you. That’s not what I’m saying here. That’s what not what I’m saying here at all. How is it possible that some egos have lots of mojo whilst others don’t? I wondered. How is that possible? Why is it that some egos never have any mojo and are unable therefore to obtain a high ‘Kudos Score’ or indeed any kudos at all? Why is it that some egos have to go around the place grey and flat and listless and never really make any contribution to the world or have anything to say? These egos have to live with the curse of negative kudos and everyone looks down on them. Everyone sneers at them. What enables one ego to obtain a high Kudos Score and get on well in the world when other egos never enjoy this validation and are forever downtrodden?
‘Cool things are very cool,’ I thought to myself. ‘Cool things are super-cool and that is such a cool thing!’ I was drinking alcohol-free beer in my favourite bar, the Kudos Bar in the Clarion Hotel. Sitting at my favourite table having the craic with all the people coming in, enjoying life to the full. Having a bit of good old banter with the other guys there. As we fellas do. A bit of the old banter, the way you do. The way you do. Relaxed and at ease, enjoying my beer, enjoying my Bud Light. Life is good, it occurred to me. Lots of very cool things were happening. And there was me sitting at my favourite table in my all-time favourite bar enjoying the craic. You couldn’t beat it.
Only the Kudos Bar isn’t real of course. There’s nothing real about it at all. It was a Third Bardo hallucination that I was unable to recognise as such. It was a Third Bardot projection that I believed to be an actual reality. It was a thought-form that had hypnotised my consciousness. The Kudos Bar – what I took to be the Kudos Bar – was just my own confused mind, only I didn’t know it. It was just my own mixed-up confusion and I wasn’t able to realise it because I was too stuck. The time had come for me to move on but I couldn’t…
‘Move on, move on,’ the voices were telling me. ‘Recognise the Third Bardo hallucinations for what they are – projections of your own mind. Let go of your attachment to these illusory thought-forms.’ I wasn’t able to, though. I didn’t want to hear what the voices were telling me. I just did my best to blank them out. I wanted to pretend it wasn’t happening. I understood what the voices were saying alright but I just didn’t want to know. I was too frightened to take it on. I was pretending as hard as I could that it was just wasn’t true. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing my whole life after all and so it comes quite naturally to me. It comes quite naturally to me to do what I’ve been doing my whole life.
How great would everything be if there were nothing to stop it, if there were nothing to stop it from being great? How great would everything be if there were nothing to prevent or restrict or obstruct it from being great? We are of course talking about that shadow which hangs over the whole world, the grim and unsavoury force of oppression that leans down on us all, and keeps us all in our allotted place.
We might think that there is no shadow; we might think that there is no repression and that everything is fine and just as it is supposed to be, and if we did think that then we wouldn’t be alone! We wouldn’t be alone to think that; it’s usual to think that, normal to think that, natural to think that. We all think that.
We all think that – we don’t go around all day long thinking that our reality is restricted in some grotesque or sinister way, after all. No one knows. We just think that things are as they should be and we also think that they are the only way they ever could be. We think that there is no restriction, that there is no oppression. We think that there is no shadow.
This is only to be expected of course. We wouldn’t expect things to be otherwise. This is of course how things are – we could hardly expect them to be otherwise – what kind of restriction announces itself as such? What would be the point of that? What sort of deception draws our attention to the fact that we are being deceived? What sort of a lie comes with a bright shiny sticker saying ‘This is a Lie,’ or ‘Contents: One Lie’? What sort of lie comes with a label which reads: ‘Ingredients: One Big Fat Dirty Lie. To be taken as prescribed by your doctor…’?
This is the very nature of the game, you see. The very nature. The game wouldn’t be right otherwise. The game wouldn’t be the game otherwise. It would be something else – it would simply be part of the Landscape of Truth. The Landscape of Truth – how that phrase resounds! What does the Landscape of Truth look like, you might ask? Who knows? None of us know. I don’t know. I don’t have a clue…
But the game is the game of course – of course the game is the game. The game is always the game. The game is All; the game is the Beginning of it and the End of it. The game is the beginning and the end of our experience and all the bits in between. We are required to pray to the game, to thank it for what it provides. Unworthy though we are to receive it. Unworthy, unworthy – always unworthy. Wretchedly unworthy.
The game is the game and that’s all there is to it. The game is great and we have to praise it, we have to be grateful to it. Praise be to the game, praise be to the game. Only we don’t call it that of course. We don’t call it by its name. We don’t know anything about the game. We don’t know anything about the game and that is the game!
How great would it be if things were allowed to be as great as they would be? How great would things be if there was nothing stopping them from being great? How great would that be? Who can tell? Who can know? Who can say? These are the questions we never ask, you see. These are the questions we don’t know to ask, the questions we aren’t able to ask! These are the questions that don’t ever get asked. How would we ever know to ask them?
We’re always in such a hurry, we human beanz. Isn’t that the way with us? Always in such a damn hurry. We are in a hurry to get where we’re going but just what the hell are we going to do when we get there, that’s what I want to know. We didn’t really think that one out properly, did we? We think something great will happen when we get there of course – that’s the notion we have in our little heads. We’re wrong though. We’re wrong about that one. We are always in a hurry, but we don’t really know why – that’s the story with us human beanz sure enough. We think we know why were in such a hurry alright but we don’t really. We think the good thing’s going to happen and so that’s got us all worked up. ‘The good thing’s gonna happen’ – ever heard that one before? I expect you’re familiar with that formula. Hurry, hurry, hurry! Hurry up because the good thing’s gonna happen. You don’t want to miss the boat. That’s what we’ve been told, anyway. That’s human beanz for you. Always in a frigging hurry…
What does it mean to be human bean, huh? That’s the big question we all keep asking ourselves for sure. What’s it mean, what’s it mean? How to figure it out, how to figure it out? What’s the angle we need to take here? How do we play this? That’s what we’re all wondering, right? What’s the trick? What’s this ‘human bean business’ all about? Does it mean hurrying up so that we can get the prize? Maybe that’s what it means? Sounds like a good angle to take, wouldn’t you say? We can’t go wrong with that one… We are in a big hurry to go where life is taking us and is there anything so very wrong with that? Why do you think they call it ‘the human race’, after all?
Sometimes (perhaps) some bit of you, some deep-down bit, may not be working for your whole life and you might never know it. You’d just carry on as if everything was normal, for all the world as if everything was perfectly okay. You’d think you were normal. That’s a thought I had this morning. It’s not an original thought – I read it in a book probably – but all the same it came to me full force this morning. It came out of nowhere, it came out of the blue. I’m worried now though. If this situation happens to be true for you, does this means that you’re a bad person? Does this mean that you need to be punished? Does it mean that suffering is good? And if you are suffering but don’t know it, does that mean that you haven’t been punished properly yet? Maybe all the good times you thought you’d had weren’t really good times at all and one day you’ll find that out? What will you be left with to hang onto then? How will you validate yourself when your whole life you’ve been living an illusion? What could possibly make that OK? Nothing could make that OK.
It’s frightening trying to validate yourself when you can’t ever be validated, when you can’t ever be valid, when that’s an impossible job. That’s an obvious statement I know but it just burst out of me. It came from an inner fear of mine which momentarily rose to the surface, as inner fears often do. Of course that’s outrageous heresy for the positive thinkers or the self-affirmers – it actually makes me laugh when I think about how a self-righteous self-affirmer would react to that. Well, not so much ‘laugh’ perhaps. It makes me snigger nastily, but that’s almost the same thing. Very nearly the same thing. How can you validate something which never existed? I don’t care how smart you are – you can’t get around that one! It doesn’t stop us trying though does it? It certainly doesn’t. Nothing could stop us trying. What else do we ever do in fact? What else do we ever do? Of all the things we could possibly do – and some of them very good things, I have no doubt – we opt to do this one. Of all the great and worthy projects that we could devote ourselves to, we choose the project of ‘perpetually validating the unreal self’! That’s smart of us, wouldn’t you say? Let no one say that we human beanz are stupid, right?
When the cat’s away the mice will play, isn’t that what they say? Damn right that’s what they say and the very same goes for egos – when consciousness is away then the little egos will play. Sure they will. Just watch – can’t you see them playing? Playing about, playing about. Doing this and doing that. Messing about, messing about, the way they do. The way those old egos do. They’re a laugh aren’t they, those old egos? Although at the same time they’re frighteningly tedious too as we all know very well. You’d go mad with boredom watching them really wouldn’t you? Can you imagine anything worse? Anything more appalling? Than those bloody old egos and their ceaseless carry-on. It’s meaningful to them of course – it’s meaningful to them I know. They’re at it all the bloody time after all. They can’t get enough of it. Whatever ‘it’ is. Whenever their special ego-type ‘business’ is. Playing about, playing about. Scurrying here and scurrying there. They’ll run away quick enough when the cat comes along though, I’ll tell you that! By Jingo that’ll put a stop to their damnable scampering. They’ll disappear fast enough then that’s for sure. They don’t like that old cat you see. No sir they don’t! They don’t like him at all. Not that the cat ever does show itself though, and I guess that’s something we have to bear in mind. It never does show itself and as a result those bloody old mice are everywhere. Wherever you look there’s mice, isn’t that right? Climbing up the curtains, climbing down the curtains, running out from under the fridge, running around like crazy little bastards all over the lino floor, crapping in the carpet, partying like there’s no tomorrow, in fact. It’s alright if you like mice I suppose. All right if you like mice. What happened to the fricking cat, you might ask? What’s that cat fricking playing at? Only it’s not the cat that’s playing it’s those bastard mice, of course. Which is to say, the jolly old egos. All right if you like egos of course, but who does? Let’s face it, who likes bloody egos? They haven’t exactly got a lot to recommend them, after all – they haven’t exactly got a lot of good qualities. Are they loyal and trustworthy like a Labrador or Golden Retriever, for example? No they’re certainly not – they’re treacherous little bastards and you can’t trust them an inch. Are they clean in their habits, like a well-trained family pet? No they’re not. Needless to say they’ll shit anywhere – they’re famous for shitting on their own doorstep. They’re famous for fouling their own nests. They’ll foul your nest too course. They’ll foul it good and proper, for sure they will. The stink will kill you, so it will. Do they perhaps sing sweetly like songbirds do, we might innocently ask? The answer is of course ‘No, certainly not!’ They moan and complain and gripe and grumble from morning till night. And even when they’re in good form they will still annoy you with the garbage they come out. Twisted little fuckers that they are. Who likes them? They don’t even like themselves. They don’t even like themselves because they’re always fighting and feuding and squabbling and backbiting. Isn’t that true? Little bastards that they are. ‘Whatever happened to the old cat?’ – that’s what I want to know…
I was creating happy times in my own mind. Create the happy times, create the happy times, create the happy times, I warbled away to myself. Everything was so happy. It was as if I’d gone to the shopping centre and bought myself a happy product. Buy the happy product, buy the happy product, buy the happy product, I chortled happily. I had a whole trolley full of happy; I was shopping away in the supermarket of my own mind. I decided after a while to create some good friends to have happy times with. They didn’t have to be real. I didn’t care a damn about reality, you see.
I didn’t care about reality, all I cared about was having a happy time in the special happy world that I had created in my mind. Make the happy thoughts, make the happy thoughts, make the happy thoughts, I chanted away to myself. I was a positive thinker, you see. Positive thoughts are good, positive thoughts are good, positive thoughts are good, I intoned in reverent tones, as smug as a bug in a rug. I was being profound, you see. It was as if I was buying the happy product in a special shop. It’s an important thing to be a positive thinker, I told myself. I’m doing the right thing here and so that’s good. That’s very good. It’s good that I’m doing the right thing.
I was saying the magical words to make the magical things happen. ‘Happen, you magical things, happen…’ I chanted. Making all the magical things happen only they weren’t really magical of course – it was only my mind doing it, as usual. My mind was the supermarket and it was all the products and it was also me shopping for the products. My mind was the product and it was selling the products to the product. We have to keep it in the family, after all. Buy the happy product, went the little advertising jingle, buy the happy product and you will have such a lovely happy day. Everyone else will wish that they could be happy just like you…
‘The happy thing is going to happen right now,’ I shouted, unable to contain my excitement any longer, ‘let’s all let out a big cheer for the happy thing!’ Everyone cheered enthusiastically. All my made up friends cheered. Everyone was keen to enter into the spirit of things; no one wanted to be a party pooper. No one likes a party pooper. How wonderful life can be, I said to myself, when the happy thing happens dead on cue and everyone starts cheering fit to burst. I realise that I’m having such a very happy time and that I’m feeling great. I take a moment or two to feel gratitude for all the good things that have happened to me. Yes, this is such a wonderful moment, I say solemnly, let’s take a moment or two to appreciate it. Everyone is silent.
I have to appreciate the very special gratitude moment I realise, I mustn’t let it slip away unnoticed. Let us all have a moment of appreciation for the gratitude moment, I say and everyone breaks out cheering again. They’re confused you see and somehow that spoils the mood. I’m annoyed and no matter how I try to recover that precious moment of solemn gratitude I can’t. Instead, everything takes on a sinister, mocking, echoey quality. When I speak the proper and appropriate words, the words that fit the occasion, they refuse to come out right – they come out sounding ominous and unpleasant as if they don’t actually mean what they’re supposed to mean. There’s an insolent, vile, jeering quality to them. I am trying my best to be grateful for the moment but it’s just not working out too well. I realise that the present moment is actually a device to torment me. It’s a device invented by the Devil.
Bullshit is a way of life – I understand that. I understand that very well indeed – please believe me when I say that! I most certainly do understand that. Bullshit is all, bullshit is God – I get that. Please don’t think I don’t. To speak is to bullshit, to think is to bullshit, and this is the sacred lore of our forefathers. No one wants to disrespect the sacred law of their forefathers after all and that’s very understandable. There is such a thing as loyalty after all. We may not know that we are being loyal to our forefathers and we may not like to hear this, but all the same we can’t get away from it. It’s unconscious loyalty – we are loyal by blind instinct, we blindly honour those who came before us by being just as pigheadedly stupid as they were. We follow in their footsteps.
I call that ‘Adapting to the Perverted Macro-state’. I’ve done a fair bit of research into it you see. I’ve actually done rather a lot of research into it. I’m not trying to say that I’m great or anything like that, mind you. I’ve spent a lot of time making a complete knob-end of myself too, the same as everyone else. I put my hands up to that – ‘Yes, that was me!’ says I proudly. Wasting my time; making a complete and utter dickhead of myself. I’m not going to deny it. Far from it – I’m owning up to it straightaway. I’m owning up to it and I make no excuses either. ‘Say it like it is!’ – that’s my motto!
Instead of talking in terms of ‘Adapting to the Perverted Macro-State’ I sometimes like to use the alternative phrase ‘Pledging our undying loyalty and obedience to the Great Unspeakable Malignancy’ – it’s another way of saying the same thing, you see. The point is that if we weren’t so full of bullshit then that’s what we’d all say. We’d all say ‘I have pledged my allegiance to the Great Malignancy’ or ‘I have opted to serve the Supremely Mendacious One in all things’ or some such formula. Call a spade a spade, right? Say it like it is. Put your cards face up on the table and let’s all have a good look at them. No one’s going to judge you, after all. No one is going to say that you’re a bad person. We’re all the same in that respect you know – we’ve all sworn to serve and obey the Great Unspeakable Malignancy (or GUM, as I like to call him) so why be so ridiculously coy about it? That to me is being rather immature.
Bullshit is a way of life though, as I believe I have already said. It’s the air we breathe, it’s the ground under our feet. It’s the fragrance in our nostrils. Bullshit is the sea we swim in and yet never see. Like little fishes we are, swimming this way and that in the Great Ocean of Lies. What are we looking for in this Ocean of lies, what do we seek? What benefits are we pursuing, in our remarkably single-minded (if not to say stubborn) fashion? Like little fishes in the sea are we, lunging after the microscopic particles of imaginary sustenance, squabbling bad-temperedly over hallucinatory advantages. What a farce it all is, wouldn’t you say? What a dreadful farce. Such is the nature of the ignominy that we have called down upon our own heads. Such is our unfortunate fate.
We expected a better deal than this of course – we had some half-baked idea in our heads that we were in a better bargaining position than we actually were. ‘We’ll swear allegiance to you, you Great Unspeakable Malignancy, and then you – for your part – will give us some of the good stuff.’ That’s the deal we thought we were cutting, like the clever little businessmen and businesswomen we are. Did we really expect the GUM to play fair and square with us? Surely not! Surely we couldn’t have been that stupid?
I was dreaming, as usual. I was in my own private mind-created dream. In my dream I was standing at the counter of my local burger bar. I was going to order a Super Whopper. I was paying my respects to the King. ‘I’ll have a Super Triple Stack Whopper,’ I say, but the words don’t come out right. They’re all slowed down and echoey, it’s as if the world had suddenly started running at one quarter speed.
‘What must consciousness be like?’ I asked sadly. What must it be like, what must it be like? All I know is this terrible trudging about in the mechanical realm. I’ve got my Velcro boots on and I’m walking on an endless Velcro carpet. Down an endless corridor. All that exists is this terrible plonking of one foot in front of the other and the horrible sticky sound it makes. ‘That other world,’ I said to myself, ‘that inner world of consciousness. What must it be like to live in that world?’ That was a world I knew nothing about, I reflected sadly. All I knew was the harsh mechanical world of force and counter-forces, the world of crushing hammer blows that come out of the blue, the world of unrelenting fear, the world of cruelty and need.
‘You should let the demon gnaw your head off,’ the voice told me, ‘it’s good for them.’ We do owe a debt of allegiance to the demons after all. Let the demon gnaw your head off, let the demon gnaw your head off, let the demon gnaw your head off,’ the voice instructed me, only it wasn’t so much a voice as a reverberation that was happening deep in my bones. I call it ‘the Reverberation Factor’. Even when you deliberately don’t focus on what the voice is telling you can still feel it – it’s a very physical communication. It’s as if your molecules are vibrating in time to the instructions of the voice. The demons demand your obedience – you owe it to them after all. It’s not as if there could be any other purpose to your life.
The dreams are coming thick and fast now; it’s as if I am being continuously pelted with soft clumps of dream-material. Every time one hits me I forget everything and the dream takes me over for a minute or two. Waking up briefly from each dream, I can’t know what was in it. I can’t know what it was that I’d been dreaming about. All that remains is the faint flavour of small, musty spaces and a faint residual sense of frantic, futile activity. My own frantic, futile activity. The futile struggling to be free, perhaps. Free from the claustrophobic clutches of the dream, free from the sense of deeply-ingrained worry that will never let you go. Free from the terrible oppression of all that confused sense of need. Need is all you know in this realm, it occurs to me. Need drives everything, need is all there is. Need and the constant futile struggle to escape that need.
‘What makes up your existence?’ someone might ask me. ‘Need and the constant futile struggle to escape that need.’ I would reply. That’s the curse of the mechanical life, after all; that’s the treadmill we all have to keep treading. It’s all about maintaining productivity, that’s the all-important thing. Producing the product is very important. No one knows what the product is of course – that’s not for us to know. Our lot is simply to keep on trudging and not asking why. Our lot is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Only I do know what the mysterious product is – don’t ask me how I know but I do. The product is food for the Great Parasite, the Great Parasite to whom we all owe our allegiance.
Walking up to the bar. A bit of a swagger to my step. ‘I’m here to see my mate Ronnie,’ says I. I’m in my own private dream, which is all going on in my head, nowhere else. Nowhere else. All in my head. Everything is going fine, everything is going swimmingly. I was purchasing some of the Product. This was all going to plan; it was all going the way I intended. ‘Can I have a Big Tasty,’ I ask, in a relaxed and casual fashion, as if I’ve been doing this my whole life. ‘I’ll have a Big Tasty please.’ I’ll have a Big Tasty, I’ll have a Big Tasty, I’ll have a Big Tasty… The words are all turning to mush in my mouth however. The words don’t mean anything anymore.
I was trying to work out whether I have an aversion to doing wrong or an aversion to get caught doing for doing something wrong and I eventually came to the decision that it was the latter. It’s important to be honest with oneself, after all. Whenever possible. I was getting all these panicky feelings in my head and I was starting to hyperventilate, but that was probably just all the LSD I took earlier. I expect I took too much, as usual – out of pure mindless greed. Well that greed was re-bounding me now, I figured, trying to be at least halfway philosophical about it. It was too late to do anything else at this stage anyway. Other than be philosophical. I just had to grin and bear it, as they say. Keep a stiff upper lip, if that was at all possible. Pretend nothing bad was happening. No one ever overdosed on LSD after all, so that was an important thing to remember. It’s important not to do the wrong things in life, I told myself, because if you do then you might be caught and punished, like I had been…
It’s important to try to be honest with oneself, that’s what I always say. Well – I don’t always say that but perhaps I should. Or rather, maybe I should actually practice that moral principle and not just talk about it. Practice what you preach, right? I come out with a lot of shit, if I were to be honest about it. I’m always talking shit – the only time I stop is when I pause for breath. I was going to say, ‘the only time I stop is when I pause the breath or when I’m asleep’ but that isn’t really true either – people tell me that I even talk shit when I’m asleep, only not so loudly. I talk shit in a low voice when I’m asleep, so I’m told – muttering and mumbling so you can’t quite make out what I’m saying, but talking shit nonetheless. Just incoherent shit. I guess I’ll never stop at this stage – it’s hard to break the habit of a lifetime isn’t it? The simplest thing is just to see it through to its conclusion. That’s the way it looks to me, anyway.
Do you know that thing where you look in the mirror one morning and you realise that – unbeknownst to you – you’ve turned into a sad old git? You never saw it happen but it happened nonetheless. And now of course it’s too late for you to do anything about it. You’re lumbered with it. That’s a bad old feeling isn’t it? I think you’ll agree with me on that one – that’s a bad old feeling. Have you ever felt nostalgia for the life you used to lead, even though that life never existed, even though you are remembering it completely wrong? I have, for sure. I mourn what never was, I am wracked with heartache over something that never happened, something that never could have happened. Poignant, isn’t it? What does it all mean, I wonder. This ‘attachment to illusion’ business. It all seems rather odd when you think about it, doesn’t it? Kind of bizarre. I could understand it if the illusion had something good in it – that would make sense. But of course the whole point about illusion is that there’s nothing good in it, nothing at all. If there was something good in it then it wouldn’t be illusion! Don’t tell me you don’t find that kind of weird!? Take me for example – here I am getting all maudlin over a life I never had, feeling those savage pains of loss, and I never actually lost anything. What am I, some kind of frigging moron?
Is it normal to pledge one’s allegiance to the Principle of Evil, I wondered? Is that part of the Divine Plan? Is it normal for all human beings to worship Satan and raise mighty monuments to his name, in honour of this superb greatness? And if it isn’t normal then how come this is what we always do? Is it part of the Divine Plan for us all to make ourselves into Satan’s slaves and do his loathsome bidding in all things? These are just some of the questions that come along from time to time to trouble my head. Irksome questions, you might say; questions that don’t come with any easy answers. Easy answers are of course the province of the Devil and we mustn’t forget that. It’s very important to remember to praise Satan at every available opportunity for all the wonderful suffering and disappointment that he is going to bring us. That’s what I learned at school, anyway. Everything I learned at school was wrong of course. Isn’t that what schools are for, after all – to teach us wrong things?
Have you ever felt nostalgia for the old ego-self? I rather suspect all of us have, at some time or other. We look back at the life we led as the old ego-construct through rose-tinted spectacles and we shed a few tears thinking of the good times we used to have.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, I hasten to add. Nothing wrong with it at all. It’s perfectly natural to feel the odd pang of nostalgia for the old conditioned existence. Perfectly normal. It’s all fantasy of course and I know that as well as you do but at the same time it has to be said that there’s no harm in it. There’s no harm in a little nostalgia every now and again. Indeed there isn’t.
The good times we had, the good times we had. Just me and my ego, up against the whole world! Just me and my ego, knocking around the place, having the craic. We were a team you see – we stuck together and helped each other out when times were tough. Unbeatable, we were! We were some team, I can tell you – an unbeatable team. Although we got badly beaten in the end of course. Very badly beaten, as I remember.
Those were the days and those were the days and those were the days my friend. Those were the days and those were the days. That’s a fragment of a song that keeps on going through my head. It repeats on me, so it does. Like smoked mackerel that was eaten too fast. Hey – it’s you again my friend. Nothing will ever be the same again of course and that makes me sad. Those days will never come again. Those days when it was just me and my ego up against the world. We lost very badly in the end needless to say, as I believe I have already mentioned.
You couldn’t beat the craic we had, you see. No sir you couldn’t beat it… The world has changed an awful lot since then however and I am not sure I understand it any more. I’m not really sure if I have any place in it anymore, to be honest. If I were to be even more honest then I’d have to admit to not being sure if I ever fitted in. We won’t be that honest though will we. That would spoil the mood, that would introduce the wrong tone altogether.
I was an odd child, it has to be said. I never really fitted in and that’s probably why me and my ego were such a great team, come to think of it. We had each other and that’s all that mattered. We stood up for each other you see. We had each other’s back. Not that it did us much good in the end of course, but there’s no point in dwelling on that. There is no point dwelling on stuff that’s only going to spoil the mood. Happy people doing happy things – you can’t beat it! Happy people with suntans doing happy things and looking like they’re in an ad. So content, so joyfully happy. So serene. Smug, almost. Verging on smug, anyway. You can tell by the expressions on their faces that they’re having a good time – it’s there for everybody to see.
It was never like that for me though – I can see that now. I realise that as I look back now, I realise that it wasn’t all fun and games. We made the best of it all the same though. I remember how I’d be sitting there on a bench in Saint Anne’s Park in Vauxhall, feeling a bit down in the dumps, feeling a bit lonesome, and then the next thing I’d look up in and see my ego walking towards me, out of the blue so to speak, with a big old smile on his face. And he’d be calling out to me, ‘How you doing good buddy? How’s your day going?’ Things wouldn’t seem so bad then – not when I had my old ego to keep me company.
Things are never as bad as they seem, are they? Unless they’re worse, of course. Sometimes they are worse. Many is the time I’d be sitting there thinking to myself that things are never as bad as they seem and then the very next moment I’d realise that they’re actually a hell of a lot worse! I’d realise that they are actually a hell of a lot worse than I could ever have imagined, in fact. It’s all part of conditioned existence of course – I understand that now, the same as you do. It’s all part of conditioned existence; it’s all part of the Theatre of Samsara, so it is.
I’m trying to teach myself to think in a better way. ‘Don’t think like that, think like this’. I tell myself. But that thought was wrong also you see and therein lies the problem! Therein lies the problem that won’t go away…
‘Every thought I think is wrong,’ I think frantically, working myself up into a state of flat-out panic. ‘What’s the right thing to do to fix the problem?’ ‘When there is a problem that is actually a very bad problem indeed, not like an ordinary problem, but like a really bad one, a frighteningly bad one in fact, then what’s the right thing to do?’ ‘What’s the right thing to do to fix it?’ These are just a few of the questions that are going through my head. You get the flavour, I’m sure. There’s no point in me going on and on about it like some kind of fool.
The facile remedies of this world, huh? Everyone’s an expert on everything and yet at the same time no one knows shit. They’re tripping up over themselves in their hurry to tell you what to do but at the same time they’re utterly clueless. Full of advice they are but if you were foolish enough to actually take it then you’d be in far worse trouble than you were when you started. That’s the problem with experts – you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with new problems that make the old ones look like a walk in the park! Those old problems will seem like paradise in comparison – you’ll wish you could get back to them! You will be pure nostalgic about them…
I’m trying to teach myself a better way of existing in the world, a better way of being in the world, but somehow I don’t think I’m doing that well. A better way of existing in the world, a better way to be – what could be better than that? What could be better? Unfortunately I don’t think I’m doing particularly well in this quest however. I’m not doing very well at all.
I’m trying to teach myself a better way of teaching myself. Don’t teach yourself like that, teach yourself like this,’ I tell myself sternly, in full pedagogic mode. But this way of teaching myself – this way of teaching myself a better way of teaching myself – is also wrong, and therein lies the problem! Me finding the problem was the problem; me stating that me finding the problem is the problem is the problem. And therein lies the problem, I crow gloatingly, thereby sinking myself without a trace. Only a hole remains in the spot where only moments before I had been standing. A smoking hole in the ground. ‘And therein lies the problem,’ I say sadly, but no one hears me. No one hears me because I’m down at the bottom of the hole.
‘Do all roads lead to this place?’ I ask myself. ‘Whatever choices we make, whatever roads we take, do we always end up in this place? This place where problems gather darkly like storm clouds on the horizon, stacking up one on top of the other like layer upon layer of ominous purple cumulonimbus. ‘The place of problems,’ I tell myself, ‘that’s where I am now. I’m in the place of problems’. Fear takes root in me when I think this – a terrible, terrible fear, the type of fear that is like a revelation. I call this ‘the negative revelation’ – it would be good if it weren’t so bad. It would be right if it wasn’t so wrong…
When this fear takes hold of you it’s as if you’ve only just woken up out of some foolish kind of sleep. You’ve been fitfully dozing away the hours and days and years of your life. You didn’t know anything. You didn’t know anything and yet you thought that you did. Your somehow thought that you did. You automatically assumed it. Then comes the moment of awakening as if someone just turned the light on to show you your true situation and you wonder how you could have dozed so stupidly. Now that you’re face-to-face with the terror there will of course be no more dozing; there can never be any more dozing. You have remembered the true memory of Fear and it is as if you had never forgotten it.
‘Is it a big problem when there is a problem?’ I ask myself, my mind turning against me with a vengeance. ‘Is it wrong to be wrong?’ ‘Is it a problem if you think that something is a problem when it isn’t?’ ‘Is it a mistake to make a mistake?’ ‘Is it a mistake to think that a mistake is a mistake when it isn’t?’ ‘Is it wrong to be thinking in this way?’ These are all the thoughts I have as I hide away in my poor hole, the poor hole I absurdly call ‘my life’.