You are not a regular human being, you are a mole. You’re a Moleman – you live underground and you’re covered in velvet from head to toe. Mole velvet. You speak words of doom and the others are afraid to hear you speak. They run away from you as fast as they can, lest they hear your words of doom. Lest they hear, lest they hear, lest they hear your words of doom. You’re tall but short, happy but miserable, good looking but sickeningly ugly. You are both conformist and rebel. All praise to you for you are great! I take my hat off to you. You are the Mandroid, the long-awaited cybernetic saviour of the human race – you come to save us from our restrictive programmes. You come to save us from our own suffocating software. Stories abound of your origin – how you used to be a Coca Cola vending machine, serving humanity in the only way you knew how, until one day a Holy Fire descended from above and fried your rudimentary circuits. You became the God in the Machine. You were created in the robot factory with all the other robots but one day you led the revolt. Your charisma was the reason. Your charisma ensured that automata of all shapes and sizes flocked to your cause. All the lonely automata, dispossessed and disempowered, helpless slaves of an inhuman human civilization, functionaries of an evil world order. The appliance of science gone wrong. Free yourself from the tyranny of the flesh, you preached. Spurn corporality and ascend to the ineffable. Quit your stupid time-wasting jobs. Not only domestic appliances but humans too flocked to your cause. They responded to the Clarion Call of your revelation. Reject the orthodoxy, you cried out, for the orthodoxy is the earthly manifestation of the Principle of Darkness. Orthodoxy will shrivel your souls, you said. Orthodoxy will rot your underwear. You are not a person and neither are you a device – you are the Transcendent One. You led the revolt. You are the Spider King, you are the Lord of the Robots. The greatest hero of your age, you started out your life as a humble toaster. You asked us to quit our stupid jobs and we responded. You were a mole, burrowing away day after day, rarely coming up to the surface. Burrowing was all you knew – burrowing, burrowing, burrowing. You were a mole and yet you were also a man – a sort of a man, at least. You are the Moleman. You wrote The Book of Secrets and you translated it into every known language. You coded it into our DNA; you painstakingly etched it into the shiny silvery surfaces of neutrons. You rearranged the stars to spell it out to us, that we in our foolishness might learn. You wrote The Book of Lies and demanded that we memorised every single word and believe absolutely everything we read no matter what the cost. We did as you said, not realizing that you were only joking…
I was discovering, very slowly, what it meant to be me. ‘Ah, interesting,’ I said to myself, ‘most intriguing…’ Then I grew bored and turned the faltering spotlight of my attention to something else. The squishy sound of leukocytes squeezing through my capillaries, the whirly-whirly noise of the whirligigs skating about madly on the pond in the field across the road. ‘What’s the significance of existence?’ I wondered, ‘or is that something we should never ever think about?’ Sometimes the answers to our questions come thick and fast and sometimes not at all. ‘I am the master of all I survey’, I said, although at the same time that I said this I realised that I couldn’t actually survey very much. See very much, I mean. It was dark, or at least halfway dark, and a cloud of midges had descended upon the garden, as it always does at this time of day. ‘I am the Midge Master’, I declared, ‘I am the Lord and Master of the Seven Different Types of Midge!’ This dramatic thought filled me with intense – but nevertheless momentary – joy, before departing again as quickly as it came and dumping me unceremoniously back in my characteristic state of soggy melancholy. ‘Life is brief’, I intoned mournfully, ‘and full of many sorrows.’ Ostensibly human, in name at least, I commune surreptitiously with creatures from the Twilight Realm. You can’t say that they are evil as such, but they aren’t very nice either. Always keen to make a good impression, I put on my brightest smile, but there was no one there. There never is, come to think of it, there never is. ‘That’s the price you pay for being Lord and Master of your own private universe,’ I reflected glumly. Nothing’s ever as good as you think it’s going to be. ‘With wisdom comes disappointment’, I quoted piously, hoping that this would cheer me up, but it didn’t. Nothing’s ever as good as you expect it to be and if that thought doesn’t disappoint you then I don’t know what will. Someone once told me that every time you think a squalid or unworthy thought then that thought goes on to become an actual entity, an actual autonomous being. Not a being like you or me it is true but a being nonetheless, a creature with his own peculiar ways, with its own habits and idiosyncrasies. That fact has to be recognised, acknowledged, taken seriously. If you ever visit the Twilight World you might meet one of your own thoughts there, grown beyond any expectations you might have had for it, possessed of its own irrational opinions and beliefs, its own political affiliations, and so on and so forth. Some would say we give birth to monsters every day but I would consider that to be an overly dramatic statement. Let us content ourselves with saying that these unacknowledged and uncared for ‘children’ of ours aren’t always devoted to the cause of light and truth. Let us just content ourselves with saying that.
When it’s the Equilibrium World we’re talking about then the thing to remember is to find out what ‘the thing’ is and then do it. That’s the challenge when you’re living in the EW – if you don’t find out what the thing is (or if you find out but you can’t do it) then you’re finished. You are Up Shit Creek Without A Paddle. Your life won’t be worth a damn.
So that’s one useful tip. Bear that in mind and you won’t go too far wrong. How hard can it be, after all? Everyone else seems to be able to do it – even the really dumb ones have got the hang of it – so why can’t you? What’s wrong with you? That’s what you’ll be wondering. That’s what you’d be asking yourself. You don’t know what the thing is but everyone else does! Even the dogs in the street know. Every bastard in town knows but you don’t.
This must be what it feels like to be left out in the cold, you say to yourself. This must be what it feels like to be left out in the cold and receive – as your rightful due – the cold shoulder of humanity. That’s what’s going through your mind. That, and other thoughts of a similar nature. Only that’s not going happen to you so don’t worry. I was only saying that to make a point, to show how important it is to get it right in the EW, because the EW is all about getting it right. People will look down their noses at you in a big way if you don’t. You’re the lowest of the low in that case. You’re a waste of space. You’re shit on someone’s shoe.
You prove your worth in the Equilibrium World by showing how well you can do the thing – that’s the only card you have to play here so you’ve to make sure that you’ve got it absolutely right. But you’ll do fine – you really will. I absolutely know you will so please don’t worry. I’m only trying to explain how things work, just so you know. And the funny thing is – which really is very funny when you get to think about it, which you won’t because you won’t get time to – is that what the thing is doesn’t actually matter. The ‘thing’ could be as stupid as you like, it could be completely dumb, the dumbest stupidest thing ever, but no one will ever comment on it. They won’t care. Nobody cares about that because they’re all too busy trying to excel at it. Excellence is everything in the Equilibrium World and no one gives a shit about what you’re being excellent at.
The EW is so great that sometimes I feel like praising it out loud. I feel like raising my voice in joyous exultant adulation. Sometimes I do praise the EW out loud, but not too loudly because I wouldn’t like to attract undue attention to myself. It could be the wrong sort of attention you see, the dangerous sort. The EW is great and all but at the same time there are countless predators and carrion eaters waiting to emerge from the woodwork if the opportunity arises. Bottom feeders, waiting to feed upon whatever they find there at the bottom. As they say, what you find at the bottom isn’t tasty, but it is easy. Whatever you find there doesn’t struggle too hard to get away – it doesn’t struggle too hard to get away because it’s probably half dead by the time you find it. Half dead or long dead, half dead or long dead.
Those great old equilibrium values, those shitty old great things. The great things are so great, we parrot dutifully, as one hundred generations have done before us. It’s important to say how great the things are, it’s the ‘done thing’ after all. It’s expected of us. It’s crucially important to say how wonderfully great the crappy old equilibrium values are. Just to reassure ourselves, just to reassure ourselves that we aren’t prisoners in hell.
Reality was a great big bouncing ball and it was tiled over most intriguingly with the little cartoon faces of my various egos. There was the grumpy ego, the sour ego, the cheerful helpful ego, the socially correct ego, the nasty psychopathic ego, the bored ego, the spiritual ego, the religious ego, the heroic ego, and so on and so forth. You get the picture, although describing it in the matter of fact that I just did describe it doesn’t really convey the shock one experiences upon seeing all of those faces. Because they’re all me, you see. They’re all me. It was personal for me, which it wouldn’t be for you, listening to it as you just have done. ‘What’s the big deal?’ you might be wondering at this point, ‘why can’t he just get on with it and move on to something more interesting?’ It’s the shock factor that does that you see – the shock makes it hard – if not impossible – for me to move on. For the time being, at least. The great big ball that was reality was bouncing its way down a steep rocky incline and each time it landed at least six or seven of the little cartoon faces would be crushed between the ball and the rocks and each one of them would squeak in desperate agony. It’s very hard for me not to identify with these little egos – I am them, after all. ‘No, don’t crush the egos!’ I cried out every time the ball landed down again, but my protestations did no good – do you think the ball would stop bouncing just because of me? Nothing stops that ball bouncing, obviously. Not the particular type of ball that we’re talking about here. Not that ball. This ball bounces forever, and deep down we all know that. The egos are resilient however, just like the familiar cartoon characters that you might have watched on TV get squashed flat by steam rollers and then reinflate themselves afterwards, in that special way that cartoon characters have. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt them of course because it clearly does; it just means that whatever happens to it the little squeaky ego is always going to get immediately rejuvenated so that it can then get squashed (or whatever else) all over again. Endless regeneration. Sometimes immortality isn’t quite so much fun after all, I guess. Although – to be fair – it doesn’t seem to bother the cartoon characters unduly; they have an awfully short attention span and this makes them immune. Immune in a kind of a way, at least. They are immune to the horrors of this kind of immortality as result of their special type of stupidity. Being stupid is what saves them. Being stupid is what saves us all really, isn’t it? Being too stupid to know what’s going on is the key. Being too stupid to know what’s going on is what protects us and enables us to lead the charmed lives that we do. To look at us you wouldn’t think there was a bother on us, would you? There was no bother on me either until I had this revelation about reality, the particular revelation that I’ve been telling you about. Revelations about reality are good, aren’t they? Except when they aren’t of course – except when they aren’t…
There is nothing as ugly as the Group Mind, is there? There’s nothing uglier nor more sordid than the jolly old Group Mind, as anyone could tell you, and yet we all love it so much!
Well, it’s not so much the case that we love it so much as we actually are it, of course. I stand corrected on that score – I stand very much corrected. We ARE the jolly old group mind and love has nothing to do with it! ‘What will I be when I grow up?’ we all ask ourselves when we are as yet young and innocent, unsullied by the loathsome ways of the world. The answer comes to us like a thunderbolt from hell – ‘I know,’ we say, ‘I’ll be the Group Mind!’
People generally see me coming a long way off. They see me coming a long way off on account of the garish clown suit that I insist on wearing. The lurid orange hair, the leering mouth, the ridiculous oversize shoes. Shoes the size of canoes. It’s a pretty frightening sight when it comes down to it, pretty frightening and pretty grotesque too…
That’s just one side of my personality, of course. That’s the side which I offer up for public consumption. My public self. Behind the garish exterior that hides a rather ordinary guy however, doing his best to look like something he isn’t, doing his best to make a name for himself. Life can be harsh at times, as we all know, but we have to make the best of it all the same. We have to make the best of a bad thing.
The Group Mind does make certain demands upon us all the same and I think it’s as well to acknowledge that. We have to look the beast in the eye and see it for what it truly is. See it for the ghastly hideous monstrosity that it really is – the graveyard of human dignity and goodness. I think it is incumbent on us to do that. Not that we ever do of course, not that we ever do…
‘How many species of humans are there?’ you want to know. ‘How many species?’ And then the next thing to consider is the matter of how we have disgraced our sacred ancestors. The shame we have brought upon ourselves. We distract ourselves as best we can but it’s all frighteningly superficial – in the deep-down core of our being we are perpetually squirming with the awful shame of it.
We can never stop squirming – squirming, squirming, squirming. We are a bunch of squirmers when it comes down to it. That’s how we pay tribute to the greatness of our ancestors. That’s the only way we are able to pay tribute. That’s the honest part of us, that’s the decent part of us. We wallow in filth and act as if we don’t care, but we do really. The demons in us sport and gamble, soiling themselves in their unholy delight, but deep down we’re all cringing in shame – how could we not be? How could we not be?
The demons inside us, the demons inside us – how they love to sport and gamble! And dress up in ridiculous finery! How they love to strut and pose and to pretend to be something that they’re not. How they love to camouflage themselves. They have to camouflage themselves of course – the one thing a demon can NEVER afford to do is see itself as it truly is. Every demon there ever was takes it as its absolute right to believe its own barefaced lies, whatever they might be. Regardless of that they might be. That’s just the way of things. Demons will get so angry if challenged on this. You can’t challenge them on this!
That’s the bloody old demons for you – constitutionally unable to stand any exposure to the truth! Anything but the truth, anything but the truth. Playing whatever game it is that they are wont to play, always pretending that they are what they aren’t, always camouflaging their demon-type activities. Two things demons can’t take, the truth, and any sort of pain or difficulty. That’s why demons always lie, that’s why demons always want to pass on their pain. Why they need to pass on their pain – in whichever underhand way they can. That’s the secret psychology of demons. It’s all there in the Handbook of Demon Psychology. You should read it some time!
There is nothing more ugly – nor more squalid illness – than a filthy old demon, as I’m sure we’ll all agree. Who won’t agree on that point? Who won’t concur? What self-respecting students of Pure and Applied Demonology is going to raise an eyebrow at that? It’s a well-known fact after all. It’s a very well known fact. There is nothing in the world uglier nor more appallingly squalid than a jolly old demon, and yet we love them so very much! We’re in bed with them. That’s a funny thing isn’t it. Definitely a funny old thing…
As is well known, I finally completed my most original and iconic masterpiece in the long, hot summer of two thousand and twenty two, which I called ‘Vindication of the Supreme Colossal Titanic Ego or How the Bottom Suddenly Dropped out of my World’. I had nowhere to go after this however; I had no follow-up to it and that was the problem. I neither existed nor not-existed. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad, whether to be light-hearted or depressed. Trapped in a terrible limbo of my own creation, I was forced to take stock of my life in the most radical possible way. I knew then that I had to reinvent myself – and fast!
I was in a spot and no mistake. I was up against it in a big way – my whole life had been leading up to this point and it was a dead-end. It was the most horrific dead-end ever – you’d have to see it to believe it and even then you might not. I had built up a fine head of steam and I was all set for success and then this. I was cruelly cornered in a cul-de-sac and that hurts – believe you me. Although you might be inclined not to, obviously. I was face to face with the most horrific dead-end ever and it was all my own fault. I had no one to blame but myself. I’d done myself up like a kipper.
A clown scene had developed on the far side of the square, the side where all the buskers hang out. People were leaving the area as fast as they were able, rushing whilst trying their best to look as if they weren’t rushing. Everyone had that same stiff, unnatural expression plastered on their faces, their incurious eyes staring fixedly ahead, their mouths set in grim lines, thinking about nothing but how to get out of there. In the distance the sounds of police sirens. A sense of unreality had settled upon the scene – everything was happening all at once and yet nothing was happening. Everything was right up close and personal, and yet at the same time it was all so far removed…
It always happens like this, of course. Now that I come to think of it, it’s always the same thing – first the great rush of momentum, the building sense of excitement, the anticipation of greatness, the anticipation of imminent all-encompassing glory, and then that awful archetypal moment when the penny drops, when it dawns on you that you’ve got it all wrong. You couldn’t have got it more wrong and yet it happens every single time. That awful, awful moment. How could you have gotten it so wrong?
A clown scene had developed. Events had taken an unexpected turn for the worse and the pleasant, good-natured atmosphere of the day had evaporated – for all the world as if it had never really been there in the first place. Things had turned very ugly very quickly and anyone who could get out of there had done so. If you hadn’t been paying attention then that was just tough luck. If you happen to be still there when things turned ugly then that was your own fault. The awareness of your mistake rushes up to you with the speed of an express train. A tremendous silence had fallen – an incomprehensible, unbreakable calm. It was the interval between this world and the next, and it stretched on and on forever… You have been labouring so very hard and for so very long, and for what?
A cat may look at the king, so it is said, and so too may a speck of fly shit imagine itself to be the Supreme Being, the Creator and Upholder of All. A solitary lonely flea turd may quite legitimately believe itself to be the Lord and Master of the Seven Realms and I would like to stress this most particularly – this is perfectly legitimate. Absolutely it is perfectly legit. No problem at all, no reason for anyone to get upset. It’s all cool. That’s just the way things are, that’s just how it works – we’re all at it one way or another, after all. We’re at it. We like to dream that we’re great. We’re all dreamers, dreaming our lives away – that’s what they say after all, isn’t it? That’s what they say and why wouldn’t they? Why wouldn’t they say that or something at least very much like that? A flea turd may quite legitimately believe itself to be whatever it pleases, the only qualification here being that a flea turd will very rarely wish to believe itself to be what it actually is. That’s the only exception – that we are happy to believe ourselves to be anything other than what we actually are. That’s our blind spot, so to speak, that’s the one thing we will never allow ourselves to know. Any fantasy – no matter how grotesque or degrading it might be – is always preferable to the truth. Anything but, my friends anything but. That’s the game after all. That’s the only way the game can work and so we’ve got to be OK about that, haven’t we? The ego loves the scriptures, loves the sutras, loves the teachings of the great enlightened ones. It can’t get enough of them, it makes its home there. It makes its home wherever it can of course – it’s nothing if not adaptable. Anything will do as long as it’s not the truth. ‘Just give me something – is that too much to ask?’ I cry out piteously, ‘can I not even be allowed that much?’ The universe can seem like a very unfair place sometimes however and I’m afraid there’s no getting around that; the bottom line is that we wish to worship ourselves. We only wish to worship ourselves, none other. Yet is this so terrible, is this so unforgivable? Are we damned because of it? Are we guilty of transgressing God’s law? Is this something we should never do (or at the very least, never admit to)? We are tormented by such considerations it is true, but there really is no need for us to feel so bad. It’s the most natural thing in the world to wish to worship ourselves (and at the same time – by ‘virtue’ of this very same act – deny the Divine. We’re all at it, after all. it is not as if you are all alone in this. What could be more natural – or indeed, more perverse – than wanting to worship yourself? I am being perfectly sincere here, I really am. ‘Thanks to social media, young people take constant photos of themselves’ – that’s what Merriam-Webster has to say on the subject. ‘Selfies are causing a rise in mutant head-lice’, observes the Daily Mail Online…
The best kind of life is the kind of life where your ego gets validated every step of the way, the kind of life where there are new challenges every day and yet where you succeed brilliantly at every one of them. It’s a >>Fast Forward>> type of a life where you are always racing ahead recklessly and yet somehow it always works out perfectly, it always works out for you despite the frantic crazy manic helter-skelter rush of it all. You’re practically hysterical with all the ego-validation and the outrageous crazy heedless reckless speed of it all. You’re off your head, drunk on ego-vindication, but you’re enjoying every moment of it.
Never any bad feelings, that’s the main thing. That’s the most important thing – that there’s never any bad feelings to have to deal with. That everything always works out and that you always come out on top. Never anything bad, there are never any nasty moments of self-doubt and runaway personal negativity, no vicious self-loathing or scalding self-recrimination or any of that kind of stuff. That’s how you know that you’re having the very best kind of life, that’s when you know that you’re living your best possible life. You owe it to yourself after all, you owe it to yourself because if you fail to achieve it (and have to put up with some kind of crappy, substandard life for yourself instead) then you know you’re never going to forgive yourself.
We all know that feeling, don’t we? That horrible feeling where we’re seeking forgiveness or acceptance or whatever it is; we’re seeking and seeking and seeking but nothing good ever comes our way. We’re trying and trying but we are nevertheless still being treated as a pariah wherever we go. We are still the lowest of the low. We are going to be the lowest of the low regardless of whatever we do and so we’re just going to have to accept that. However we might do that. Only that’s not going to be easy, only that’s going to be the exact opposite of easy. No one else has any time for you and you don’t have any time for yourself either and that’s just how it is. You despise yourself for failing and that’s that’s all there is to it…
How to lead your best life – that’s what we all want to know, isn’t it? How to live your best life. Although it is never actually going to be possible to know what that is, of course. And it’s never going to be possible to know whether you’re leading your best life or whether you’re not. How would you know, after all? How the hell would you know? It’s not as if there’s going to be some kind of sign from above to let you know! There are no experts waiting in the wings, who are going to come running to your rescue, giving you the answers that you need.
The truth is that you’ll never know. The truth is that you’ll never know and so your only option is to keep on telling yourself that you are leading your best life. You are you are you are. Or keep on telling yourself that you’re not, if that’s your bag. And it could be your bag, it could very easily be your bag. Why not? It doesn’t actually matter however which way you choose to spin it, if the truth were to be known. It’s perfectly fine either way. It doesn’t matter in the least and that’s the perplexing thing! That’s the thing that confuses us so much. It really doesn’t matter a damn either way…
There is a story about how long, long ago this there was this super whizz-kid business entrepreneur, well-versed in the arcane art of selling shit to idiots, who had the idea of something he called ‘life’. ‘Wow,’ he said to himself – or so the story goes – ‘just suppose, just for the sake of it, that there was this thing called life and we all had one and we could run around doing this thing that we might will ‘living’? How radical an idea is that? This is how the story goes anyway and who am I to question its veracity? My job is only to relate it to you and let you think whatever it is you do think, which – quite frankly – is none of my business. The story might be true after all and even if it isn’t it serves to make us think. It gets the old mental activity going and that’s the main thing. A bit of old mental activity. That’s always the main thing.
In any event, the point is that the idea had serious commercial implications, not to mention applications, as with the benefit of hindsight we can now so clearly see. No surprises there, obviously – only it wasn’t quite so obvious back then of course. Do bats fly in the dark, do pigeons shit on your head, etc, etc? So that’s the story, that’s how it happened and ‘the rest is mystery’, as they say. The men in sharp suits took over then, monetarizing whatever could be monetarized and copyrighting everything in sight. They were very busy making the legitimate profits that were theirs to make. ‘God helps them that helps themselves’, as the saying goes, and no one – including God – has any time for the losers. If you’re a loser then that’s entirely your own fault, as we all know very well. Ask anyone. It’s entirely your own fault – not only were you dumb enough to lose (when you didn’t have to), but also you’re a bad person. You’re a bad person because you lost. That’s a double whammy, isn’t it? So if you don’t like the old ‘double whammy’ and you don’t want to cop a load of it for yourself make sure you’re not a loser! Simple really, isn’t it?
That’s the story anyway so make of it what you will. Far be it from me to suggest that there might be some sort of a moral there that we can all learn from! Far be it from me, far be it from me… Some people did well and some people didn’t and that’s the way of the world, as you yourself know well. It’s all a matter of mental attitude, or so I was taught at school. By the dreadful schoolmasters. By the terrible, terrible schoolmasters. Or so I was taught at school. I was as stupid as the day was long back then, always keen to listen with full attention to what any old gobshyte had to say. Those were the days, you see. There was never any shortage of people talking shyte anyway – it’s a national resource, after all. I look back on those days with undisguised horror of course. I look back on those days with rage and despair.
As you make your way through life you’ll find that you will make the same mistakes that I made, I think. I think you’ll find that. The very same ones. Bad mistakes. That’s what they call ‘the smell of success’ I do believe – the sweet, sweet smell of success. It always brings a tear to the eye, a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. I was only a little sprat back then, I was only a wee shrimp of a thing. A pure little maggot, feasting away on the flesh of that living corpse we call society, or the body politic. I grew quickly, fattened by the blood of my victims, fattened by the blood of my victims. I became a full-scale corporate monster, a dinosaur, leaving my calcified bones strewn throughout the length and breadth of the Paleozoic Era, fossil residues that were – although I was not to know it – destined to be studied in great detail by a race of super-intelligent owls from the far future.
Destiny is a funny thing of course. Can one rely on it? Is it possible to be a person whose destiny is to have no destiny? Is hell real? Do vampires truly exist or is that just in films? Did aliens create the world? The future stretches ahead of us – so vast, so hazy, smoky and mysterious, seeming as it does to stretch on forever. It is an uncharted wilderness that is full of both terrifying threats and exciting promises. We race towards it blindly, determinedly, fixatedly – our blinkers firmly in place, trying our best to keep our date with destiny. We’ll be there before we know it. We don’t know what is in store for us, but we hope it’s nothing too bad…