Life’s a funny old thing. I mean, what’s it all about – right? What’s it all about, huh? Suppose for example you happen to identify with a morose, self-pitying ego and you go around the place whining and whinging and being miserable and life very quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for you. That can happen you know! It can happen very easily. So you go around the place being all morose and bitter and self-pitying and then the next thing is that you die. So what’s that at all about? Just what the hell was all that about? I mean, wouldn’t you think that just before you croak? Wouldn’t you think, “Well, what the hell was all that about?’ Of course you would. Damn right you would, and I wouldn’t blame you one bit…
So that’s the story. You have to think about these things, you see. You have to. Otherwise you’d go around the place like a total gobshyte mouthing off like a fool the whole time and making a complete knob-end of yourself. Talking shyte all the time. But wait – isn’t that exactly what we do do? Now that I come to think about it… Oh dear oh dear yes. That a pretty accurate picture of what us all, isn’t it? Startlingly accurate I would say. Very accurate indeed. That’s the human race right there – what need is there to say more? What need indeed my friends. What need indeed. We might as well say it like it is, don’t you think? Call a spade a spade, and all that type of crap.
The thing that gets me though is that we all take ourselves so bloody seriously! That’s the sickener for me and I don’t mind admitting it! That’s what sticks in my throat. I mean, just take a good look around you, for God’s sake! Have you noticed how stupidly pompous everyone is? What a stupid bunch of pricks, huh? For God’s sake. The dumb pretentious fuckers! Are we supposed to be taken in by that shit? Are we supposed to fall for that? Is it supposed to impress us?
I’m not just talking about so-called ‘important’ people, you understand. We all know that so-called ‘important people’ are pricks! No surprise there, no surprise there. I think we all have that one figured out! No, I’m talking about Joe Soap here, I’m talking about the man in the street. It doesn’t matter what your social rank, it doesn’t matter what your societal status might be. We’re all taking ourselves too seriously.
Just by way of example, the other day I was sitting waiting for a haircut and there was this young guy having a haircut and he was so damn particular about it. He was saying “No, no, no – I want this bit like that, and I want that bit like this…’ Like it really mattered. You can imagine it for yourselves. You know the story. Anyway I wanted to go up to him and say “Look mate – you’re a world-class twat and no matter whatway you have your hair done it’s not going make any difference! You’re still going to be a world-class twat when you walk out of here! Do you actually get that? Do you actually get what I’m saying here?”
Okay, maybe it sounds like I’m being a bit harsh on the guy but I’m only using him to make a point. We’re all like that – he only learned to be the way he is by copying the rest of us so we can’t really blame him, can we? Poor guy – what chance did he have? What chance did he have being born into a fucked-up society like ours! What chance did he ever have about turning into a total twat? Take our obsession with clothes for example. Did you ever see the like of it? People are so serious about their clothes; it’s as if the right choice in attire can somehow redeem the poor benighted idiot that’s wearing it! That’s our ‘working hypothesis,’ so to speak. That’s our working hypothesis and we’re running with it….
Here’s a funny thing that I only just realised – people don’t care about what’s true at all, they only care about what everyone one else thinks is true. What do you think about that then? I mean, what is there to think about that? Where would you go with that? If you were to care about what is really true then that would be hugely socially awkward; it would cause great embarrassment, to say the very least! It would be like, ‘how do we tell this person that they haven’t got any trousers on?’ It would be like ‘how do we tell this person there that they’ve got a great big bogey hanging out of their nose?’ I mean, like a really huge one. About the size of the size of a fair-sized continent. Gondwanaland, perhaps. Oh dear, how do we broach this. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Only you wouldn’t, would you? You wouldn’t want to broach it, you’d just walk away. You’d beat a hasty exit. ‘Oh yeah, I’ll see you later buddy,’ you’d say – ‘I’ll catch you later, right?’ What does this say about us anyway – the fact that we don’t have the least bit of interest in what happens to be true but only in whatever everyone else thinks is true? That has got to say something pretty remarkable about us, hasn’t it? The fact that we never actually give the slightest thought to the question of what might be really true. Not a flicker of thought, not a flicker, not even the slightest flicker. Not ever. Not ever. And that’s considered to be normal! What am I saying here – that IS normal. It’s absolutely normal. It absolutely is normal, without any question. That’s what normal is, that’s what normal means. It means that it becomes hugely socially embarrassing (and what other type of ’embarrassing’ is there?) to be interested in the type of truth that is true because it actually is true, and not because there is general agreement on the point! Oh dear that’s awkward. That’s so awkward. Goddamn it, that’s awkward! Oh dear, oh dear. You’ve got a great big bloody old bogey hanging out of your nose. Swinging wildly around the place like some kind of pendulum on a big old grandfather clock! Only of course no one is actually going to say that it is socially awkward because this guy is saying something that (very embarrassingly) happens to be what is actually true and that this is therefore a tremendous faux pas. A social gaffe of truly astonishing proportions. That’s not how we see it, needless to say! We just feel uncomfortable and we don’t know why. We feel uncomfortable and we don’t want to know why. That’s the very last thing we want to know – we’re looking the other way. ‘Quick, quick everyone – look the other way!’ People love looking the other way, don’t they? It’s a wonder we don’t all get a royal pain in the neck! Maybe we all do go around with a pain in the neck, metaphorically speaking. Maybe we are all going around with a metaphorical crick in the neck the whole time. Look the other way, look the other way. It’s all so awkward isn’t it? So very awkward, so very awkward. Let’s just pretend that it never happened, shall we? That would be best. We’re good at that, after all. We’re good at pretending…
There is a small brown snake that lives in my heart and from time to time it comes out and it bites people. This is something I always regret very much. I wanted to make up a story about this SBS. ‘The small brown snake…’ I began, but I could go no further. I had nothing more to say. My head was as empty as an empty conch cell that has been washed up on the shore. There is nothing in it. If you hold it to your ear you will hear sad ghosts whispering.
‘Whisper away, oh you ghosts!’ I declared histrionically, ‘but don’t bother me with your shit because I don’t care about it.’ I felt straightaway better after I’d said this – I took the shell away from my ear and threw it back into the sea. Sand hoppers hopped all around me, they hopped onto my bare feet and I immediately became afraid that they would swarm on me and bite me. Perhaps the ghosts had gotten into the sand hoppers, I worried. Perhaps they were now going to attack and bite me until my feet bleed. Perhaps they would swarm right up my legs. I knew then that I could not get rid of the whispering ghosts as easily as that.
In my mind’s eye I could see a grey tide of sand hoppers swarming all over me – tiny drops of blood appearing wherever they bit. In the distance I could hear the continuous roar of the surf – the mighty ocean of the unconscious mind was breaking on the reefs of my rational-conceptual mind, it occurred to me. The result of that clash was sand – lots of it! Sand hoppers played happily in that sand, and fiddler crabs fiddled.
I always tried to do my best to be friendly to the people that I meet but despite my very best intentions the small brown snake would still sometimes crawl out of my heart and bite them. Its fangs are highly venomous and the bite causes great pain. I have no control over that small snake – it acts according to its own law. I am not responsible for its actions.
I wanted to make up a story about the SBS and put it in my little book of stories with all the rest but I couldn’t think of anything to say. I am empty – completely and utterly empty. I don’t have any thoughts in my head at all; I don’t even know who I am. I’m like a bit of driftwood washed up on the shore after a great storm – all distinguishing features have been washed away by the pitiless waves. Washed away by Edgar Allen Poe’s pitiless waves! I’ve been washed clean, bleached out – I have no more identity. I have been washed clean. You wouldn’t know me if you walked by me and neither would I. I’d walk right by myself without a second look.
I’ve been washed clean of all distinguishing features and I am completely empty like a seashell washed up on the beach after a storm. If you put me to your ear you might hear the whisper of distant ghosts. Ghosts won’t find me now however. I’m not anywhere to be found. How can you find someone who isn’t there? ‘Search, you ghosts – search!’ I cry out loudly, ‘search as hard as you like but you never find me!’
I am searching for solutions on a distant seashore. All around me the muted crash of the surf. ‘Where are the solutions, where are the solutions?’ I ask myself. Where are they to be found? How will I recognise them if I do find them them? Will they look like bits of bleached white driftwood washed up after some nameless storm? Or will they look like empty crab shells, their blind eyes on stalks staring sightlessly into the limitless blue sky above?
Farting uncontrollably with fear, I tried to squeeze my body into a fissure in the rock-face but the fissure in question was manifestly too small for my body to fit into it. It just wasn’t working for me, but I was giving it my best shot all the same. Always the optimist, I was looking for a solution to the terrors that were assailing me.
In the sky above vultures circled whilst invisible Predator-Ghosts tore and bit at my skin. They were the ghosts of unwanted experiences that I had spent my life hiding from. I had denied them at every turn – I had denied them to the end. I had said that they were not there, that they did not exist, and now they had come back to haunt me.
And not just hauntme neither, it occurred to me – they had come to eat me alive. They had come to strip the flesh from my bones. I couldn’t see these ghosts because they were invisible but I could hear them. I could hear them flitting around the air like bats. The air was full of them. I struggled to squeeze my body into the crack in the rocks but the crack was far too narrow. I was hideously exposed on the rock-face and the predators were massing above.
I was to be judged for my sins. The flesh was to be picked from my bones by the angry Sky-Ghosts. The sky was vast and angry and I was small and fearful and beset with nameless terrors. My brain was desperately searching for solutions, searching for solutions. Always searching for solutions. I was exposed beneath that terrible open sky on the pitiless rock face. The rock was volcanic in nature and it cut like a knife, drawing blood instantaneously when I touched it. I tried to jam myself further into the narrow crack in the rock but I could not. Eagles circled majestically overhead.
I remember someone telling me once that the consensual reality is made up of solutions for which there were no problems. This was the reverse of the situation that I now found myself in – I was exposed like a snail without a shell in a terrible volcanic environment that was made up of problems for which there were no solutions. The jagged rocks cut into my flesh and small biting creatures swarmed in the air, attacking me mercilessly. I had to make a break for it. I had to find somewhere to hide; I had to find somewhere to hide in a hurry but I was too scared to move.
The Sky-Ghosts buzzed as if they had electricity in them. I could hear them searching for me. They tore through the sky like comets of wrath. They had not found me yet but when they did they would attack me with terrifying anger. They were so, so angry! So very angry. I was to be punished for my sins.
Everyone and his uncle are on some kind of spiritual enlightenment trip these days, isn’t that the truth? God help us, huh? God give us patience. I’m inclined to say that people were annoying enough before all this kind of spiritual crap, but if they were annoying before then they are unbearable now. I mean, listen to these guys waffling on about consciousness and oneness and compassion and ‘not judging anything’. For fuck’s sake, right? You know what I’m saying? I think I’m suffering from spirituality fatigue. Everybody and his uncle, everybody and his uncle. The stupid shower of bastards. I just look at them thinking ‘What the fuckare you at? What the fuck’s your bloody game, mate? Are you kidding me or what?’ Of course you couldn’t actually say that. You couldn’t actually say that because it’s like everyone would straightaway be thinking ‘That’s not very spiritual of you! You’re not spiritual like we are to be talking like that…’ You stupid condescending fuck-witted twats! There’s no one as judgemental and narrow-minded as these so-called ‘spiritual types’, d’you know that? You’ll never meet anyone half as insincere and uptight and judgemental and just plain ‘up themselves’ as these so-called ‘spiritual types’. No sir you won’t. The biggest gobshyte you could ever meet in the street would be more spiritual than they would be, I’m telling you. Can you believe that? What a bloody joke, huh? And we all know it to be true, of course. No one’s really going to disagree with this statement. I know very well that everyone else knows this too, it’s just that we don’t like to come out with it because we’re afraid that it would be unspiritual to come out with such harsh words. Unspiritual my hole! Don’t make me laugh. My pet hate is this non-violent communication bullshit that we keep hearing people go on about. Can you believe that shit? For God’s sake. ‘Oh you’re being violent in your communication!’ ‘You stupid dumb passive-aggressive little shytes!’ That’s what I’d like to say to them! You fuck-witted bunch of sad wankers. Just who the fuck d’you think you’re fucking kidding? Here’s a suggestion for you – why don’t you try being a bit more fucking honest about how you feel? There’s a suggestion for you. ‘Oh you can’t do that – that would be so violent’, you reply. You bet your hole it would be, buddy! You’re fucking RIGHT it would be…
Suppose you saw someone and you saw that they had the Great Great Thing. Suppose you clearly saw that they had the Great Great Thing and that you did not. You are reminded of the fact that you don’t have any kind of thing, great or otherwise. Any kind of thing, any kind of thing, great or otherwise. Just imagine how envious this will make you feel. Just imagine how bad that feels. You are sick with envy – sick almost to the point of death.
Your body is small and wizened, you have no standing in the Hall of the Mighty. The terrible envy has eaten you up from the inside and your life force has departed from you. You are full of rage but your rage is that of a gnat. You buzz around incessantly in the unclean places of the world but no one pays you any heed. You are angry because you cannot be a God.
Imagine going around the place knowing not knowing that you are Osiris? You don’t know that you are the Resplendent One, the Undaunted One, the Resurrected One, the Lord of the Living. Imagine that you don’t know this! Imagine living your life and not knowing that you are the Resplendent One? Ask yourself – what is it that you imagine you are in the absence of this knowledge? What is it that you think your life is all about? Think very hard on this one – just what did you think your life was all about when you didn’t know that you were the Master of Eternity?
Maybe you are full of trepidation? Maybe you are timid, perpetually frightened of powers greater than yourself? Maybe you are polite and accommodating to people in authority and make very sure never to upset them? Maybe you don’t like to make a fuss – you, Osiris? Maybe you just want to be told what to do by people in positions of authority. You – Osiris, the Victorious One – that’s what you want, you want to be told what to do by those in positions of authority.
Ten thousand worlds are constructed and deconstructed all around you every second, but it is as nothing to you – you are imperturbable! You are the Arisen One, the Resplendent One. Your two eyes are the Moon and the Sun. You are the Lord of Silence, the Resurrected One. You are the Victorious One, the Arisen One, the King of Those Who Are Not. (You are the Dead King – the Opener of Beauty, the Opener of all Good Things).
Maybe you have chronic low self-esteem, maybe you are a social network addict. You – the Master of Eternity – are hoping to get likes for your crappy little posts! Your crappy little posts, your abysmally crappy little posts…
Don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t a very strange business. You might see Osiris in the Betting Shop, down on his luck. He’s down on his luck. He’s down at the mouth, down at heel, down in the dumps. He’s been down on his luck for a long, long time – nothing is working out with him. His luck’s no good, his luck’s no good, and that’s not going to change. He’s on the road to nowhere. Don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t a very strange thing because that’s just what they will tell you. They will tell you that every time…
Don’t let anyone tell you anything, come to think of it! What would they know, what would they know? They talk because they can’t help it – they are lost in their own folly, they talk because they don’t know what else to do. Their own mediocre language has mastered them, their own excruciatingly dull thoughts have mastered them. They are as full of advice as the day is long, and all of it is bad.
My mind was working overtime – it was coming up with all sorts of interesting stuff! It was excelling itself. ‘Atomic tubfish,’ it said, then – after a long and thoughtful gap – it followed this up with ‘finite diadem’. My mind said nothing for a very long time after this and I thought that it had probably run out of steam. I had just about given up on it. Then, just as I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t hear any more out of it for the rest of the day, it shouted out ‘numeration system ripping fiefdom gymslip self-balancing pummel rabbit bumble-badger safe house gooney-hanger batty-rider planetary fuel-pod morphology forbidden city…’ Well that was a mouthful, I had to admit. There was a lot there to be thinking about and no mistake. A lot to mull over, a lot to take away and carefully analyse at some future point in time. Perhaps over a nice cup of tea. Morphology was a great word it occurred to me – a very meaty word, one that you could chew over at leisure and get lots of rich savoury juices out of. Fabulous stuff altogether. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous… It was well worth the wait. That old mind of mine had certainly come up with the goods this time, I told myself. It certainly had! It had done the business and no mistake. I must say I was delighted. I walked off briskly down the road and made my way to the ‘Kettle of Fish’ fish and chip shop in Gort High Street and I ordered myself a large portion of battered Oarfish with apricots, mangoes and a basket of pickled sprats with a side helping of oeil de boeuf. Brain-food of the very best kind! I could hardly wait to get stuck in. Boy was this going to be good!