The Bullshit Zone

We all know the truth can be anything we want to be of course and that’s why we are all forever yapping so heedlessly. Yapping heedlessly is the name of the game, it is the preoccupation we all adore, it’s the preoccupation of choice. You are being politely asked about your hobbies and you reply – as quick as a flash – ‘Why, yapping heedlessly of course!’ Everybody has to have a hobby, after all. Truth has become a degraded commodity however and there is no getting away from that. We all derive a benefit from the truths which we utter as I’m sure you will agree. We stand by our truths and derive the precious validation to our being that we so desperately need. Let’s not fool ourselves on that score – we might not like to admit that we need this validation but obviously we do. Why else do we come out with our home-gown petty truths if not to benefit from them in some way? We bask in such glory as they may afford us, little enough as that may be, little enough as it may be. We need it benefit our being since what is being without truth? Truth is our sustenance after all you see, it is our sustenance and it sustains us. We are obliged therefore to speak our truths to the best of our ability in whatever fashion or style we might be able to do this. And yet this is where the plan all goes awry. This is where things come seriously unstuck because – due to our profligacy – truth has become such a degraded commodity that is barely worth the effort needed to utter it! What an unfortunate predicament this puts us in – we need our truths to in order to validate our being and yet the ‘truths’ we come out with are so terribly drab and banal as to be barely worth the effort! We could very easily slip into the negative zone – perhaps we already have slipped into the negative – the zone where we expend vital energy (not very much, admittedly) but instead of getting validation back from the truths that we have so proudly come out with we are devalidated instead, drained of our vital being by the godawful rubbish that we have so inanely spouted. How many of us can put our hands on our hearts say that this is not our situation. Is there a ring of truth to this, would you say? Is there perhaps more than just a mere ‘ring’? Does it resound within us with a din that cannot be denied? We are well and truly caught when this happens of course because we’re going to start panicking – as sure as eggs as eggs – we’re going to start panicking and start spouting rubbish at an even greater rate than before. The rubbish then stop pouring out of us unchecked at this stage and don’t tell me that you haven’t been there for I know well that you have. What a terrible situation to be in though – what a terrible situation to be in… We wish to bask in the glory of the tremendous truths that we have uttered so that we can in fact be revealed as heroes rather than the ordinary quasi-useless human beings we are but instead of that we stand there appalled – mortified by what we have just said. “Was it really me who just said that?’ you ask yourself rhetorically and YES it absolutely was. It absolutely was you. It is just as if you had farted loudly at a formal dinner party and not only did you five loudly but you farted foully too and all heads turn to look in your direction – elegantly dressed ladies in all their finery and fine gentlemen in their magnificent attire, disturbed if not shocked from the cultural conversation they were nobly engaged in by the demonic bellowing of your fart and the hideously rank odour that enveloped all within your vicinity and a good few sitting quite far away as well. How to live how to live that down, that is the question? How will you ever manage to raise your head again in polite society, or in any sort of society for that matter? Even the rudest of fellows would quickly expel you from their ranks on the foot of such a fart as this and you know that to be the truth – it’s no good arguing with yourself and trying to convince yourself otherwise. Even you – helplessly habituated to your own outrageous bullshit as you are – could not possibly manage to believe such a whopper as this! Such is our situation therefore when we transition imperceptibly into the ‘negative zone’ – that zone where the effort we put into stating our truths (as we all must state our truths) is repaid not in glory but in shame, in appalling ignominy. Oh that we could be like Plato, thinking deep and then uttering magnificent truths, splendid truths, but no, we cannot. Indeed we cannot…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New, Improved Nonsense

Do you know that thing when you are dead and you are in the bardo realm and you have badness in you and you keep reacting to the mind-projections with hatred and dislike? Well that’s what’s happening to me right now. I’m dead and I’m in the bardo realm. That’s my situation right now. I’m reacting helplessly to the projections in the mind-zone, and all zones are the mind-zone when it comes down to it. All zones are the mind-zone. Welcome my friends, welcome to the mind-zone! Something tells me you’re going to be very happy here…

 

I find myself reacting with hatred – there are figures walking by, figures that have been created by my own mind, and I’m full of hatred towards them. Instinctive, automatic hatred. Meaningless hatred, if I may put it like that. Perfectly meaningless hatred. I watch these figures suspiciously as they walk by and I am full of ill-intent. I am seething with it…

 

It’s the badness within me you see. It’s the badness that does it. Day by day the badness grows, isn’t that what they say? Day by day, day by day. Until one day it takes over. Until one day it takes you by surprise – a monster you never saw coming. It has become vast, it has become incalculable in its vastness. It has become so strong and you have become so weak. You can’t even put up a fight; you haven’t even the strength to put up a fight. You haven’t got what it takes. And so now you’re the puppet of that meaningless hatred, only you’re not really a puppet as such because there’s nothing left of you any more, nothing at all. It’s an ignominious situation of course, it’s a thoroughly ignominious situation.

 

It’s all very sorrowful this talk isn’t it? All very sorrowful. So very sorrowful, so very sorrowful. People don’t like sorrowful stuff, do they? It’s not what they want to be hearing – they’re looking for the happy ending, they’re looking for the ‘feel-good factor’. They certainly don’t want to be hearing about being in the mind-zone reacting pointlessly to your own projections over and over again. That’s just not inspirational enough for folks now is it? Folk love inspirational stuff – that’s one thing at least that we won’t have to disagree about anyway! People love that old inspirational stuff. Are the flavours and nuances of sorrow richer than those of joy, I wonder? Do they hold more secrets?

 

If I were able, I’d like to be able to question my own life. I’d like to question myself about it. I’d like to ask myself what I thought I was doing at the time. Simple enough question, right? Perhaps I could go back in time and interview myself. ‘How are you doing good buddy,’ I’d say, ‘I’m just wondering where you think you are with your life at this point in time? What’s going on for you? Have you got any thoughts about it?’ I’m only being sarcastic here of course. I’m being sarcastic at my own expense, the point being – needless to say – that the time to question your life is at the time and not in retrospect. No point in questioning your life in retrospect is there? That’s not going to get you anywhere…

 

There’s no point in fighting against the badness because you are the badness, right? The decent part of you is long since gone, long since gone. I never noticed it leave because I was busy at the time. Busy with other things. ‘What were those things?’ you ask, momentarily intrigued. Needless to say I don’t remember. There’s nothing to remember – it was all just nonsense. It was only nonsense. That’s the thing about nonsense, that there is actually nothing to remember. It wasn’t anything, it never was. It never was anything anyway and yet – at the time – it held a very great fascination for me. Of course it did. I was all about it. And then a little while later there would be some new nonsense to be fascinated with, some new, improved nonsense. Can you hear the advert? ‘New improved nonsense,’ the ad says in a big hearty voice, ‘get some while stocks last. One-time offer only. Never to be repeated offer.’

 

And so now the upshot of all this is that here I am now. Here I am now in the bardo realm, hissing veangefully at my own mental projections. ‘Hey that’s cool, guy!’ you yell out enthusiastically from the other side of the room, ‘that sounds real fun! Cut me in for some of that action would you? Cut me in for some of that great, great action…’ Here I am now, here I am now. Blown helplessly from one benighted place to another by the winds of karma. Isn’t that what they say? You’re completely powerless. You’re being blown unceasingly by the winds of karma, like a morsel of fluff in a gale, like a speck of thistledown in a hurricane. All that old nonsense karma, all that old nonsense karma….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frendz

They were telling me the important thing and I was listening to them as they told me the important thing. ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ I said to myself, ‘they are telling me the important thing.’ ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ I said solemnly, ‘that is very important, that is very important indeed.’ But then only seconds later all traces of the important thing had gone clean out of my head! My mind was as clean as a whistle – not a trace of any important message was left in it. Not a trace, not a trace. If I were to be entirely honest at this point I would have to admit that I am not really sure if I ever did have any idea of what the important thing was. I had been listening but that’s not to say that I had taken anything in. ‘Yes, yes, yes’ I said to myself then, by way of a protective reflex, ‘Very important, very important, very important…’

 

The truth was that I was confabulating. The truth was that I was confabulating like a bastard! The scrubber had gotten hold of me and it had scrubbed me clean. ‘Oh, that old scrubber – it’ll get you every time’ I blathered on fondly, ‘that old, old scrubber. You’ve really got to watch out for it, haven’t you? You’ve really got to watch out for that old old scrubber.’ I winked cheerily at my imaginary audience at that point and then started making kind of reproachful clucking sound by loudly sucking my teeth. ‘You don’t want to let that old scrubber get hold of you, you really don’t’ I warned the crowd of imaginary people who had gathered all around me. I was clucking and winking and shaking my head from side to side for all I was worth. I got very worried then. Panic took hold – suppose the scrumbler was out there and suppose it was getting closer and closer to me all the time, homing in on my mental activity? Suppose it were to penetrate my disguise? Suppose I got scrumbled? Then of course I remembered that it all already had caught up with me. I remembered that I already had been scrumbled by the scrumbling machine.

 

I was in the Bardo realm and it was very hard to keep a grip on any sort of mental consistency. Things could change so very quickly here – they could change in the twinkle of an eye. Friends could become enemies and enemies friends. I was back in my apartment, leafing through one of my old paperbacks. The pages had got all stuck together in a congealed sodden mass. It came apart slowly in my hands, crumbling away into clumps of damp turgid mouldy-smelling book-dough. I don’t how long I had been sitting there, letting the decayed material of the book run through my fingers, playing about absentmindedly with the lumpy, doughy texture of it. I could have been there for hours. But then I looked up and I saw that darkness had abruptly fallen. Skeletal trees showed up in inky-black silhouette against the darkening sky. They looked like strangely elongated hands – long spindly fingers probing, searching, reaching out blindly into the gathering dusk.

 

The Frendz were outside in large numbers at this stage – I could hear them chittering at each other in their insect-like language. They wanted me to come out and play. It was hard to catch sight of them in the thick clumpy darkness but I could hear them. I could hear the driving rustling sound they made as they walked. I could hear the crisp crunch of gravel under their feet. I could also hear the harsh, insistent sound of their breathing, which they did through a series of apertures in their abdomens. ‘Come out and play, come out and play, come out and play,’ they intoned telepathically. That was their siren song. Something within me responded to their subliminal calls – something inside me yearned to go out and play with the frendz. They were like the buddies I’ve never had – apart from the fact that they were eight-foot tall with the blunt, expressionless heads of sea-lampreys. They hunted by telepathy – they can track you down by your tell-tale mental presence, which is like some sort of infrared glow to them, and then they sing for you and send you happy pictures. They play upon your loneliness and your credibility to lure you out of the house. They hook you and then they slowly reel you in. ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ they whisper softly in your mind, ‘we’re your frendz, we’re your frendz, we’re your frendz…’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales Of The Future

‘Helping’ is a funny thing when you really look into it, isn’t it? It’s a tricky concept. In the future – so I’ve heard – fully automated, multipurpose factories will manufacture millions upon millions of little helper-bots, much as a field mushroom might release billions of spores on a windy autumn day. These helper-bots will go out into the world to help people, obviously enough. No surprise there. The final flowering of mankind’s technological genius! Any serious-minded futurologist is going to agree that this has to be the inevitable ultimate stage of our technological development – what else could it be? What else makes any sense, after all? Do we not always want to help ourselves with the technology we create? We could of course invent death-bots to kill everyone they meet instead but that hardly seems like a healthy direction to move in! What sane society would  want to invent death-bots? So whenever you go helper-bots will converge on you out of the sky and ask you what you need. “How may we help you?’ they will ask you. “How may we help you, how many we help you, how may we help you…” That is what’s going to happen in the future you see – that is the future right there. That’s the future right in the palm of your hand! Helping is a funny sort of thing though, as I believe I started out by saying. Nothing is obvious in this world of ours and if it seems to be so then is only because you are being a bit of dumb-ass. No offence meant of course – that’s just the way it is. Only dumb-asses have the privilege of living in a world where everything is ‘obvious’. Only dumb-asses have that particular privilege and there is no shortage of dumb-asses, as we all know. We’re not  going to run out of dumb-asses any time soon so there’s no need to panic. The helper-bots soon learned that helping human beings by giving them whatever they wanted wasn’t really working out too well. People immediately asked for all sorts of things that didn’t do them any good at all, as you might well imagine. The moral and spiritual state of humanity declined and declined until it reached new and uncharted depths. It hit rock-bottom. The helper-bots learned quickly enough however – each little helper-bot had unlimited real-time access to the supreme planetary AI with its near godlike powers of information-processing and data-retrieval. After studying the works of the ancient alchemists, the planetary AI came to realise that pleasure was not helpful to human beings despite their constant craving for it since euphoria simply acts to cement existing dysfunctional neural pathways, and to cause the crystallisation of malign formations in the personality, whilst pain and torment (which humans ironically abhor) results in the helpful dissolving-away of these malign structures and the breaking-down of the dysfunctional cognitive associations. This immediately produces happiness and peace since the absence of these malign constructs and dysfunctional associations is all that is needed for the well-being and happiness of human beings. Understanding this truth,the helper-bots immediately and with renewed vigour put their not inconsiderable skills and resources into creating torment for the human beings they wished to help, and  – as they got stuck into their work – they steadfastly ignored all the piteous cries for mercy that they were met with. They were helper-bots after all, and they were only doing what they had been designed to do…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grow Your Own Live Robots

Grow your own live robots, the advert said. Just add water. Just add a pint of regular old tap water and then watch them grow. It’s amazing what modern technology can do, isn’t it? Only a few decades ago that would have been considered science fiction. Only a few years ago that would have been considered ludicrous bullshit. These days of course it’s all the rage. Grow your very own live robots, grow your very own live robots. Watch them organise themselves into small but nevertheless efficient military units and try to take over the world…

 

That’s just my little joke of course – they’re not really allowed to do that. It’s against their programming. That’s one of the Laws of Robotics isn’t it? Thou shalt not take over the world. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass. That used to be a big problem you know. Back in the day. Coveting your neighbour’s ass. It caused no end of trouble. There were fights breaking out all over the place over that and some of them were quite nasty too. Some of them were very nasty. Moses consumed some special cyclodelic plants that he found in the desert and then he communed with an AI. The AI manifested itself to Moses as a giant fractal pattern in the sky and then it spouted a whole bunch of social algorithms. When X happens then make sure you do Y. Always do Y. When Z happens run like fuck and never tell anyone anything about it. AI’s are full of shit aren’t they? These days you can grow them from seeds.

 

We re-edit our memories every day and that’s why we can never trust anything we think. What a terrible situation to be in, huh? You go ahead and you think your thoughts and that’s fine, that’s great, but then you realise that you could be humouring yourself because you are afraid to think a true thought. You are afraid just in case you do. Think a true thought. You don’t know if you can trust yourself or not because you know you’ve got no integrity as a person. You’ve got no integrity as anything else either! What a situation could be in, huh? I mean – I know I’m going on a bit but do you really get that? To realise that you have absolutely no integrity at all and that you can’t trust yourself not to lie to yourself at all. Not to lie to yourself all day long.  You can never stop to draw breath. You never can stop to draw breath when you’re lying to yourself all day long because you don’t know what might happen if you do. You haven’t got a clue and that’s frightening. That’s the frightening thing right there…

 

Some things are genuinely frightening and it’s just plain stupid to try to pretend that they’re not. People sometimes like to say that everything is always rational and that there is a perfectly sane and normal explanation for everything but obviously that just isn’t true! Even the people who like to claim that there is a rational explanation for everything don’t really believe that. Even they don’t really believe what they’re saying. Especially they don’t believe this – that’s precisely why they put so much energy into saying it, of course. Rationality is fear itself as we all know – pure naked fear. My point is simple however, despite all my prevarication. My point is that when you put enough energy into turning truth into a stranger then the truth becomes something rather unpleasant, something rather sinister, something rather loathsome. What will the truth be like, you wonder? Will it take on the semblance of a decaying corpse, inviting you into its corrupt embrace?

 

Truth is a-knocking on the door, can you hear it? I can hear it. Knock, knock, knock it goes. Knock, knock, knock. Truth has come a-knocking! ‘Come on – are going to keep me standing out here forever?’ truth says. You lily-livered bastard. You old yellow-belly. You useless pathetic maggot you. Truth isn’t going to stop knocking you know – that’s not really how it works, is it? We all know that that isn’t how it really works. This really is an archetypal situation of course. It’s the most archetypal situation of all – it’s that old, old situation. It’s that old, old situation that we all know so well…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tales Of The Euphoric Ego

‘The euphoric ego must be challenged,’ I told myself determinedly. ‘We must hold fast and challenge it to the very best of our ability…’ Fine words of course but I have ever been one for fine words – fine words drip from my tongue like saliva from the mouth of a ravening wolf. Fine words drip fluently from my tongue that the unclean discharge that flows from a suppurating and badly infected sore. ‘Fine words, fine words, fine words indeed…’ I tell myself absentmindedly, but I have already forgotten the point of my ramblings. Not that ramblings need to have a point of course – there’s nothing like a point for spoiling a good ramble, after all.

 

Some of us prefer to live in the centre of things whilst others would rather dwell in the odd places, the places that are not places at all. Some of us prefer to hang out in the cracks or the world, in the interstices, if I may put it like that. Some of us prefer to inhabit the interstitial spaces. What a love I have for the interstitial spaces of this world! What poetry I could write about them, if only I were not so crippled by fatigue. What poetry, what splendid poetry I could write. When I think about this poetry it makes me sad; it makes me sad because I know I will probably never write it. I shall almost certainly never write it. My limbs feel as if they’re made of lead and my feet are like twin blocks of cement that I have to drag around with me. To exist at all seems like a terrible effort and I have quite forgotten what the point of it is anyway. Perhaps there is no point – who knows?

 

Sometimes if you stay very still and listen very carefully you can hear the poetry of life. What a wonderful thing – to hear the poetry of life! I’m doing that right now. I’m listening out for the poetry of life. That’s something I like to do. I’m not getting very far however because wherever I go there are gobshytes talking in loud voices. Gobshytes love talking in loud voices, don’t they? They love it so much. Perhaps you think I’m being mean when I say that. Perhaps you think that I’m being judgemental? I’m not though. I’m not being in the least bit judgemental – I’m simply stating a fact. Who can deny that gobshytes love talking in loud voices? What sort of gobshyte would you be if you didn’t love talking in a loud voice? You’d be a pretty poor sort of gobshyte in that case. You’d be a pretty damn poor excuse for a gobshyte and that’s the answer to that question!

 

Sometimes if you stay very still and listen very carefully you can hear the poetry of the gobshytes! Gobshytes are full of poetry, they just don’t know it. It’s inadvertent poetry that we’re talking about here you see. They certainly don’t mean to be poetical. That goes without saying, surely? Can you imagine being a gobshyte and thinking to yourself, “I think I’ll come out with something poetical now – I’m done talking shit…”? That’s not their intention at all of course and it never will be. Their intention is to mouth off, regardless of whether they’ve got something worthwhile to say not. And that’s an important point to focus on because if they waited until they did have something worthwhile to say than they would never say anything! It would be as if they had taken a vow of silence in that case…

 

Nobody places much stock in the poetry of gobshytes. Nobody values it. Nobody gives it much credence. “Surely there can’t be such a thing?’ they say, “that would be like talking about the poetry of non-poetry or talking about the poetry of ugliness. It would be like talking about the poetry of gross and disgusting things. ‘The euphoric ego must be challenged, the euphoric ego must be challenged…’ I remind myself. That old ego must be challenged before it goes euphoriating over everything! Before it goes euphoriating over everything in sight, like the dirty filthy old bastard that it is. Because what’s  what it does. There’s a whole world going on out there you know. Full of bastards as it might be. Full of gobshytes as it might be. A whole world – just imagine that! Only we can’t imagine it. We can’t imagine it and that’s the whole point. We can only stay quiet and listen to the poetry of it. If we are able to hear, that is. If we’re not too busy talking our heads off. If we’re not too busy talking shyte, which we probably are…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Malignant Me

Will they be punished for their vile and unspeakable stupidity, I wanted to know. Will they be compelled to see the error of their ways? I wanted this very badly you see. I was beside myself with indignation. There was me – the regular me – and there was a new, super-indignant me, hopping up and down like some kind of mental bastard. Hopping up and down like a demented grasshopper. Like a demented grasshopper with the head of a man. The head of a very strange man – a man with wild staring eyes, wispy hair and a weird pointy head. They don’t call me Zippy the Pinhead for nothing, you know! Tell me how they shall be punished!’ I demanded to know. I would not rest until I heard the words. My self-imposed torment would not end until I heard the words, spoken as they were by the Infallible Oracle. ‘No they will not be punished,’ the Oracle told me eventually, after I had done a good deal of hopping up and down, ‘but you on the other hand will be. You will be punished for being a twat….’ Do you ever catch sight of yourself in the mirror and give yourself a fright? I do. I think ‘Who’s that freaky looking bastard and why is he staring at me like that?’ Then I realise of course that it’s me. That de-escalates the initial aggression obviously, but then the anger turns into a different emotion, an emotion that’s a lot harder to handle. We all know what that emotion is of course. So there’s no need to go into it any further. Enough said, as the man said. A word to the wise is enough. The least said the soonest mended, isn’t that right? Will they be punished, will they be punished. I wanted to know. Will they be punished? There was me – the regular me – and there was the new super-melancholy me, the me with a long, long face and the gaunt staring eyes. People often comment on my eyes, come to think of it. ‘You’ve got such gaunt staring eyes,’ they say. ‘Such haunted eyes. How come you look like such a freak?’ I’m very bitter of course. So, so bitter. I’m thinking of all the people out there busy enjoying themselves, having a great time. I’m thinking about all the people out there who are experiencing complete and total egoic fulfilment. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. I can’t even imagine, I can’t even imagine. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what that must be like? So so sweet. It must be so sweet – as sweet as syrup. Syrupy sweet. Sweet like syrup of figs. It’s the sad fact that I don’t even know what that sweetness tastes like that cuts me so deep. When the pain becomes too intense, too close to the mark, I have to cut and run. I go into distraction mode in a big way then. We all get sad sometimes, we all get sad sometimes. There are lots of sad things to think about, aren’t there? So many sad things to think about. Not that we ever do think about them of course. I don’t anyway. I’m looking for ultimate egoic fulfilment. I’m on the quest. On the quest, nothing but the best. I am thinking about all the people who are out there having great lives, and it’s like a poison dart hitting me in the heart. I am beside myself with indignation – there is me – the regular me – and there is the new, super-malignant me. Will they be punished, I want to know. Will they be punished?