There are narratives within narratives, there are narratives within narratives within narratives, and all of them designed to deceive. We all know this of course – every one of us knows this. We are not fools after all, we are not idiots. We all know the score and there’s no question about that, no question at all. Elements of the personality itself are part of the conspiracy, needless to say. We can’t even trust our own personalities; naturally we can’t trust our own personalities – they are part of the false narrative too. They are at the very heart of it. We’re used to that, needless to say. We’re all wise to that one. Paranoia is rife of course; paranoia was always rife but now it’s rifer than ever. It’s the rifest it’s ever been. People are getting paranoid about the paranoia. Some say that undisclosed government agencies have released swarms of secret nanobots to induce rampant paranoid ideation – the idea is that the false government-sponsored paranoia distracts us from the paranoia of what’s really going on. The truth becomes just another conspiracy myth in a world that is now full of them. It’s a well-known gambit of course; it’s a tried-and-trusted strategy. Our own personalities betray us on a daily basis – it’s a tried and trusted strategy. We are constantly being fed conflicting narratives from all directions – specialist government-sponsored websites have been set up to propagate innumerable false flag conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories designed to point us in the wrong direction. Conspiracy theories that are too far-reaching to believe. Nanobots have been put into the water supply. The nanobots create paranoid beliefs regarding the government’s involvement in the manufacturing and illegal distribution of paranoia-generating nanobots. It’s a closed loop of paranoia, it’s a well-known gambit. The truth becomes just another tired old conspiracy theory. There are narratives within narratives of course and that’s just one of them. That’s one small strand. That’s just a single thread – a single fine filament of fiction. Naturally we can’t trust our own thought processes – that’s just another level of disinformation. That’s disinformation about the disinformation. Narratives are then put in place to expose the false narratives and in this way we are put off the scent. Humans – what are they but machines for agreeing with each other? What are they but machines for colluding with other machines? What are they – also – but machines for lying to each other? The two go together, wouldn’t you agree? I lie and you agree to believe me. You agree to lie and I agree to lie about the fact that I know you’re lying. The cause of paranoia has now been scientifically proven; recent research has ‘laid the facts bare,’ we might almost say. The age-old enigma of paranoid psychosis is no longer an enigma. The scientifically-proven cause of both clinical and subclinical paranoia is the knowledge that nothing is true. Nothing is true and yet we keep on saying that it is! We always say that it is. Some things are true and other things are not true – we all know that. We’re not fools, after all… We’re not complete idiots. Some things are true whilst other things are not true, but maybe even that’s a lie…
What would you say if you were suddenly to see the Sterile World? What comments might you possibly be able to make? What cogent reflections might pass through your mind? What inferences might you possibly be able to make?
That’s just me trying to be funny, of course. Trying and failing, trying and falling flat. Humour is a funny thing, isn’t it? That’s only just occurred to me, by the way. The thought of how humour is a kind of a funny thing. It’s funny until it isn’t, I suppose. It’s funny until one day it falls flat.
I wanted to have a life too you see; I wanted to have a life just like everyone else. I wanted so much to have a life. It seemed so unfair, it seemed so wrong. That’s why I got so angry you see – that’s why I did all the bad things that I did. That’s why I went over to the dark side. I never meant to you see, I never meant to become evil. What a sad thing to have to say! I realise what a terribly sad thing it is to have to say that – I know how that must come across. How many people are going to think kindly of you because of because of a plea like that, after all? Not many, right? How many people are going to soften their attitude on hearing that you never actually meant to become evil, that it just sort of ‘happened’ to you?
The rusty old creative writing teaching machine had given us an exercise – we were to start a story with the sentence “I didn’t realise it but I was about to become a statistic…” We all went off back home then, promising faithfully to do our homework. The teaching machine emitted a cloud of airborne nanobots to keep an eye on us and to make sure we did what we were told. Education is an important thing after all. It is important because education is how we get our brains formatted so that we can play a useful role in society. Education is the golden rule, after all. In the future learning will take place as a result of having lots and lots of educational nanobots injected into your brain so that they can rewrite all your neural pathways. When this happens the pupil will know lots and lots of things, as easily as that – no studying needed, no exams, none of that stuff. All that happens is that you wake up after the class and discover that you know lots and lots of things. None of them are actually true however – none of them are actually true.
No one will be taught about the Sterile World anyway, that’s for sure. We’re not supposed to know about the Sterile World after all – we wouldn’t be able to play a useful role in society if we did know about it. We wouldn’t be able to play any sort of role. That’s true now just as it was will be true in the far distant future when you can get a new brain printed for you just as easily as you and I can make a cup of tea for ourselves. Nothing could be easier, in fact. If you find that you’re thinking bad thoughts you don’t need to worry about it – you simply print yourself a new brain from the template that is kept in the Data Hive. Just as long as the Data Hive is safe you can print yourself a new brain, and the Data Hive will always be safe.
If you find one day that you disagree with what the authorities are telling you then you can go and print yourself a new brain for that too. In fact that’s a legal requirement – when this happens you have to go and see a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist will give you a new brain on the spot. The old one will be taken away and studied to try to find out what went wrong with it. One day – the psychiatrists tell us – a special brain will be developed that will never think bad thoughts, or question authority. More and more citizens turn up at the mental health clinics needing to get their brains replaced and this has become something of a national emergency. One day – we are told – the perfect incorruptible brain will be developed by the clever scientists in their laboratories and then the national emergency will be solved. Until that day however there will be hell to pay…
The Sterile World, the Sterile World. How strange that none of us know about the Sterile World! You’d think that we’d catch sight of it at some point or other wouldn’t you? Of course, if we ever did catch sight of the Sterile World then we would need to get a new brain printed straight away – that would be a medical crisis. It would be very serious, it would be a very serious medical crisis and you would have to have immediate urgent psychiatric intervention by the rusty old psychiatrist machine, which will emit clouds of friendly nanobots to help replace your faulty brain. This is no ordinary fault however – this is the ‘lethal error’ that we have all been warned about. The super-lethal error that you can’t come back from. You just want hope it doesn’t happen to you…
Dishonest Joe they call me. Dishonest on account the fact that I have never said a true thing in my entire life; dishonest on the account of how I can’t say a single word without it being a lie. Dishonest on account of how I have lied to myself about every single facet of my existence and yet despite all this lying there is something refreshingly honest about me and that is because I’m so consistent with my dishonesty. I am very consistent indeed – I am a miracle of consistency. You might think that sometimes I might sneakily tell the truth just to confuse people but I don’t. That would be bad form. That wouldn’t be cricket and I do have certain standards in life. In my own perverse way, I am a man of integrity.
If you had a boring life and always had boring, predictable thoughts would there be a method in the internet to make you to be able to be less boring, I wondered? Is this perhaps why everyone goes on the internet all the time? This was of course one of my typical ‘boring thoughts’. I have this thought – or one very much like it – tens of thousands of times per day. I’m a machine for thinking boring thoughts, I thought to myself. I am forever treading the same narrow and well-worn path only it isn’t a path because it doesn’t lead anywhere. It’s a garden path that I have created for myself and as soon as I wake up every morning I start walking it. That’s what I do instead of living – I have my own little thing that I do, I have my own little garden in my mind and that garden has a little old path in it. I call it the ‘Magic Roundabout’.
‘Why would you do this to yourself?’ you ask but you already know the answer. I go around and around in a loop every day because I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t! I’m afraid of the bad thing happening and that’s why I have this little thing that I do instead. It drives me mad with boredom but at the end of the day it’s infinitely better than what I call ‘the feared alternative’. There is a payoff for every behaviour however, as we all know. I’m condemned by my own hand to bore myself senseless every day with my own pestilential bullshit but the payoff is that I never that I get to be safe in my own private universe. They will never find me here you see, and that thought gives me the confidence to carry on. They’ll never find me here you see, and that thought gives me the confidence to carry on. The confidence to carry on running, that is. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that paranoia isn’t a bad thing. Don’t ever let them tell you that.
Some people think that confidence comes from having white teeth but I know otherwise, I know that confidence comes from having an unassailable bulwark to protect us against all the unspecified enemies that we may or may not have. ‘Thine enemies will seek to harm thee with their weapons’ – isn’t that what it says in the Scriptures? ‘Thine enemies will pursue thee down the street, shouting angrily and loudly and waving above their heads the dread weapons with which they intend to harm thee.’ So it says in the Scriptures and it’s an actual truth too – that’s what I have come to realise. It’s an actual truth. ‘What a terrible thing it is to have enemies who are trying to seek you out so that they can then harm you,’ I said to myself, ‘what a terribly comfortless thing this is’.
Your own mind will rise up against you as an enemy in the Bardo realm,’ it also says in the Scriptures. I think it does, anyway. ‘Instead of recognising the horrifying apparitions as being the projections of your own mind you will be overcome by terror and flee for all you’re worth’. You will flee unceasingly, you will flee forever. You will flee forever but your pursuers will find you out wherever you go. They will hunt you down unerringly. They will find you wherever you go and this knowledge terrifies you even more – if that were possible, and it is possible because there are no limits to fear! You think things are bad now, I warned myself – but you haven’t seen the half of it. You haven’t seen anything yet.
I live in utter and complete terror of the feared event. You can see the terror in my eyes. You can see the naked fear there – fear as a revelation, fear as an all-consuming reality. Fear as a final reality. The jaws of fear never stop chomping and the belly of fear never ceases to be hungry. The belly of fear never stops rumbling – rumbling like thunder. I am trying as best as I can to outrun the feared event (which is the feared event where my enemies finally catch up with me, the feared event where the wrathful deities finally pin me down and confront me with the horror of my own wickedness) but this event is of course utterly inevitable. The terrifying unerring enemies which pursue me so very relentlessly are the projections of my own mind, after all…
I was attempting to be a little bit more philosophical in my life. Not too much, just a little. Just an exploratory little movement in that general direction, you could say. Nice and gentle – nothing too drastic. ‘Who am I and what am I doing here?’ I ask myself. ‘Who am I and what am I doing here?’ Good questions of course, very good questions. And no easy answers there, that’s for sure. No indeed. These are very good questions and there’s no doubt about that, but my mind very easily gets bored with the type of questions that can’t be answered straightaway and so it starts wandering off down various byroads, looking for more trivial matters to brood upon, looking for easy diversion. That’s the way with most us, I’d say! This is the process that takes place; we might even go so far as to say that this is that process that inevitably takes place. Inevitable is not too strong a word to use here. What basically happens is that we start thinking about other things, about stupid enough things, not really the philosophical type of things at all. We engage in dumb old thoughts of the kind with which we are all deeply familiar. We just kind of slip into it; we slip into it with the ease that is born of long practice. Before you even know what’s happening you’re obsessing over bullshit, ruminating over meaningless trivia, and all that kind of thing. It’s the stuff of everyday life basically – it’s no more and no less than that. No more and no less. Thoughts about this and thoughts about that. Worrying about things without even knowing what it is that we’re worrying about. It’s a worry all the same though, it’s a worry all the same. It could even be a very bad worry. It could be a demon of the first water. ‘Concern yourselves not with the dead routines of this unhappy world,’ the prophet said, ‘concern yourselves not with the dead routines of this unhappy world lest these dead and heinously stultifying routines devour you alive and make jackasses of you.’ Thus the prophet spoke, thus he admonished us. That was a long time ago now of course. That was another age, another age. We don’t really know much about other ages though do we? We only know about this age, this age of dead routines, this sorrowful age of dying and decaying souls. Thus spoke the prophet, thus spoke the prophet. ‘And what prophet was that exactly?’ you ask, showing yourself up as being a bit of a smart-ass, ‘do you happen to know his name, by any chance?’ You’re mocking me of course. You’re trying to get a cheap laugh. Playing it for laughs, playing it for laughs. You’re looking for that delicious moment of transient ego-glory when you get to feel that you’re smart. But that’s just fine by me, my friend. Go for it – knock yourself out, knock yourself out.
‘Do you do the best work? Are you an A1 facilitator? Do you have the right personality for us? Do you have a unique skill set that we are looking for?’ the man in the expensive suit asked me. He had a no-nonsense approach that appealed to me. ‘I have many names,’ I replied, ‘my names are numberless and yet men know me not. My secret name is unknown even to me and I always travel incognito.’ I could tell that my interviewer liked what he was hearing. He nodded almost imperceptibly, silently encouraging me to continue. ‘Einstein Bananas was my given name’, I resumed, ‘I was found abandoned in a field and reared in a circus. I never went to school and instead I taught myself everything I know. I taught myself from within. I was the Inner Teacher. I taught myself from within and soon I had attained the required standards set by the ringmaster. I taught myself telepathy and got a job working for the CIA. At very early age everyone I met realised that I was unusual.’ ‘I like the cut of your jib,’ the man in the expensive suit told me, ‘tell me more about your younger days…’ ‘I was young for my age,’ I replied immediately, warming to my subject, ‘and unfortunately some of the older children fell into the habit of bullying me. I was forced to develop Seiko-kinetic skills to defend myself. My body was weak and scrawny but my mind became lethal. My life was finally going somewhere, although neither I nor anyone else had any independent verification of this. I have many identities and am known many different names. I am known as the Wayfarer, the Man of Shadows, the Forgotten Messenger, the Eternal Warrior – the Great Ally of Mankind’. My interviewer nodded almost imperceptibly, silently encouraging me to continue. I could tell from his manner that he liked the cut of my jib. I quickly warmed to my subject: ‘I became weary with the life that I created for myself,’ I told him, ‘and before very long I was spotted by a passing talent scout. Things were to change very dramatically for me in the months to come. I taught myself new skills that no one had ever heard of before – I was interfering with the subatomic structure of the Nanosphere and robots were sent to destroy me. The Cosmic Balance had been disturbed. I knew many things but possibly it still would not be enough. Robot assassins had been dispatched from another universe to destroy me. They were looking for one of my more obscure identities known by the code name Einstein Bananas. I was a counterculture celebrity. Time passed at a very different rate in the parallel universe however and this created problems. I invented many scenarios in which the robot assassins’ attacks were unsuccessful and eventually their whole universe imploded.’ ‘I like the cut of your jib,’ the man in the expensive suit told me, ‘tell me more about your younger days…’
The pest is yet to come. Did you ever hear that phrase before my friends? The pest is yet to come, the pest is yet to come..
So don’t you worry none on that score, don’t you worry at all. Sit back and relax; sit back and relax because the pest is yet to come.
Happy thoughts are happening in my head. Happy, happy thoughts. Happy thoughts about the happy things. Has that ever happened to you, my friend – did you ever think happy thoughts about the happy things?
That’s just a didactic device, of course. I know very well that you have had happy thoughts about the happy things. We all have, we all have. Aah the happy, happy things! Why would anyone ever want to think about anything else, that’s what I want to know? Why would they, why would they?
Why would anyone ever want to think about the not-happy things, the sad things, the rotten old things? That doesn’t seem very smart to me. No sir it doesn’t. No sir that doesn’t seem very smart at all.
Why would you ever, why would you ever. Why would you ever think about the sad old things, the nasty old frightening things, the bad things. What are you – stupid? It’s kind of like we need our heads examining, isn’t it my friends? Kind of like that. What’s wrong with that old head of yours? What’s wrong with it? Bring it over here so I can have a look at it.
Dear me yes, dear me yes. There’s a problem there for sure. A nasty old problem that is making you think about the bad things and not the good things. A bad problem that’s making you think the bad thoughts. Who would want to think about the bad old things after all? As I have just said about a million times. Definitely a bad problem, definitely a bad problem. You’ve come to the right man and no mistake. Just bend over a little bit more and let me have a closer look.
‘What a troublesome head, what a troublesome head’, I murmur to myself as I make my examination. You’d almost be tempted to chop it right off, wouldn’t you? Lop the damn thing clean off. Lop, lop, lop and that’s the end of that! Only we can’t really do that can we? No of course we can’t. Of course we can’t – that’s just my little joke.
What I’ll do instead is to sell you my book and then you can go away and read it. After paying me my fee of course. You can go away and read it and who knows – you might even learn something! Who knows, who knows. I most certainly don’t…
My book is all about not thinking the bad thoughts, of course. It’s telling people about why they should neverthink the bad thoughts, the not-so-happy thoughts. The science behind it. The science behind why you should never think the bad thoughts. It’s evidence-based you see. That’s the whole point that I’m trying to make here. It’s based on lots and lots of evidence about how bad it is to think bad thoughts. We’ve got the evidence coming out of our ears at this stage. Turn over a stone and there it is!
Not only is it evidence-based (in the best possible way) it’s best practice too. Best practice, best practice. Evidence-based, evidence-based. Never think the bad thoughts. Never think the bad thoughts. Never, never, never think the bad thoughts. Dear me no. Evidence-based, evidence-based. Yes, yes, yes. Never think the bad thoughts because it’s bad to think the bad thoughts.
You’d imagine people would know that wouldn’t you? You’d imagine people would see that. You imagine they would, you’d imagine they would. You’d wonder what was wrong with them that they don’t see it, wouldn’t you? You’d be scratching your head over that one, that’s for sure!
‘Eyes on the prize now, eyes on the prize,’ says the leering game show host as the magic wheel begins to turn again. You don’t need to be told though – the eyes are bugging right out of your head. They’re about to pop right out. You’re forgetting to breathe you’re so excited.
You’re in the game show of your own mind, you’re in the game show of your own life. The wheel is turning and your eyes are out on stalks so they are. They are popping out like you wouldn’t believe. You’re totally agog – you can’t wait to see what happens next.
I created the self again only this time it was by accident. I never meant to do it. I felt my heart sink and grow heavy within me. Heavy, so heavy. As heavy as lead. Ahead of me lay nothing but misery and I knew that well. Grey misery, leaden misery. Endless oppressive misery. The misery of the self.
The game show host was hitting his stride. Lurid jacket and lurid tie. Lurid shirts. Lurid personality. Lurid everything. Coming out with all the cheesy comments. Cheesy as you please. Great big old fake smile and non-stop bullshit. The game was on!
As for me, I was totally elated! I was wildly elated – whatever little bit of sense I might have possessed before, it was gone now. Gone without a trace, gone without leaving any sort of residue. It’s no good looking for a residue because you won’t find one. I was bouncing off the walls; I was beside myself with pointless excitement.
I was talking nine-to-the-dozen. Talking to anyone who would listen to me. Talking to people wouldn’t listen to me. Talking to myself. Talking to the wall. Talking to everyone about all the bullshit that was going through my head. Spluttering and spitting. Spraying my audience with saliva. Yapping my dumb head right off. My dumb, dumb head…
‘Hey Dude’, I called out to a complete stranger, accosting him on the street, John to hear about all the bull said that is going through my head?’ Hey dude, hey Dude. Listen to this right. Listen to the hideous bullshit that pouring never-ending torrents of my pure exhausting brain. That terrible, terrible bullshit. That god-awful bullshit…
The rich are getting richer on our poverty, whilst we – the poor – grow ever more impoverished as result of their pathological wealth. And this is always the way isn’t it? The voracious bloated rich, feeding upon the emaciated bodies of the poor.
And do you know what? The whole time they are praising themselves and exalting themselves on account of their vast wealth, whilst the poor are roundly castigated for the lack of industry and initiative, and their general indolent attitude. Such is the way of the world, such is the way of the world. Injustice rises up strong all around us and true virtue is all but extinguished.
Words leave their mouths in great profusion, endless rivers of worthless words. Self-serving words, self-validating words. An endless river of self-validation. How can anyone possibly argue with that? How can anyone ever break into that closed circuit of toxic self-deception? Injustice is glorified whilst virtue is scorned on all sides and derided as a sign of weakness, derided as a sign of deplorable moral slackness.