Feeding The Egos

I was full of bad energy but I didn’t know it. I was running here and running there and as I ran I sang a little song to myself, a little song that I had made up on the spur of the moment. ‘Feed the egos and make them fat,’ I sang. ‘Make them big and make them strong / make sure you always keep on singing this little song…’ It was a stupid song but I liked it. It was a stupid song but I couldn’t stop singing it! ‘Feed the egos and make them fat,’ I sang, just as you might sing if you were doing some kind of hard, repetitive manual work and you needed something to take your mind off the ordeal of it. I was doing some harden repetitive work, after a fashion – I was feeding the egos! Sometimes I like to imagine that those old egos were like big fat alligators in a swimming pool and I was there with my rusty bucket full of chopped up pieces of meat and I’d be throwing handfuls of the stuff into the pool. Boy did the alligators love it – sometimes they’d lunge up right out of the pool and grab the meat in midair! The pool would be positively boiling with their feverish feeding behaviour. Well, that’s how I imagine the old egos to be when they get fed. Just like that – in a feeding frenzy. They’re big and lazy-looking just like the alligators but boy can they move fast when they want to! It doesn’t do to think that they’re slow just because they’re so big – it doesn’t do to think that at all! Don’t ever let yourself be fooled my friends, don’t ever let yourselves be fooled like that… Those old egos love to feed, no matter what else you might say about them! Probably you won’t think of anything actually good to say about them, but you have to give them credit for one thing – they love to feed! Boy do they ever, boy do they ever. That’s why I love singing the little song that I made up – because of my admiration for the pure virulence of their feeding behaviour. Although I suppose ‘admiration’ isn’t quite the right word here – it’s more like ‘admiration tinged with fear’. Even that isn’t quite accurate, I suspect; maybe it’s just pure fear and nothing else. Maybe that’s closer to the mark. It’s my ‘fear song’, it’s the song I sing out of fear! It’s a dirty, low-down, unclean gut-wrenching type of fear, the type of fear that can very easily make you soil yourself. It’s not that feeding the egos does me any good after all – it’s not as if the egos respect me for feeding them as diligently as I do! Does a psychopathic bully respect you when you capitulate to them for the thousandth time? I think not my friend, I think not… Those dirty old egos don’t respect me at all and I can tell you that for nothing! ‘The feasters,’ I call them. I call them feasters because of the way that they feast. You should hear the unholy racket that they make when they feast, too! It’s unspeakable, words cannot convey it. The appalling din of it. And yet somehow – now that I come to think of it – I do harbour some kind of perverse admiration for these rotten old egos. Perhaps it is their remarkable single-mindedness, their flawless dedication to their purpose? I mean – after all – you’ve got to hand it to them – those old egos certainly love to feed….

 

 

 

 

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The Temptation To Exist

Just about anything can bring on the temptation to exist, can’t it? It doesn’t take very much at all. This is something that occurs to me ever so often and whenever it does occur to me then this always makes me sit up and think! This particular insight always sets me pondering. We are surrounded on all sides by the garish lures of existence. ‘The garish lures of existence’ – I love that phrase. I could say it over and over again, but that won’t get me anywhere. I know it won’t get me anywhere. ‘Exist,’ say the lures on all sides of us – ‘go on, you know you want to…’

 

Existence looks pretty damn great when you’re looking at it from the outside, it’s true. When you’re window-shopping. Nothing ever looked greater, I’m sure! Nothing ever looked greater. ‘Why, I’ll have me some of that!’ you say to yourself. You’re salivating straightaway – you can feel the wet drool running down your chin. ‘I’ll have some of that,’ you say – ‘give me a big fat slice of it…’ You are looking at the fabulous opulence of existence and the longer you stare at it the better it looks! You never saw anything half as good. You never saw anything full stop. It’s not as if there is someone there whispering in your ear, ‘You’ll regret that later on, buddy…’ It’s not as if you’d listen even if there was! Damn right you wouldn’t listen, not when existence looks so great. Not when it looks so good…

 

‘Exist!’ say the lures. ‘Exist!’ They’re crying out at you like sirens. The siren song of existence! Another fine phrase there, I say to myself. A fine, fine phrase. A very fine phrase. An opulent phrase, rich in nuance. The siren song of existence. The siren song of existence. Go on you know you want to. Just have a little nibble, just have a little taste. We are all nibblers here, aren’t we? Show me someone who doesn’t like nibbling! Show me someone who doesn’t like to have a little nibble every now and again, a little nibble on the quiet. I’ve got a pain in my jaw from nibbling too much, to be honest. I almost dislocated my jaw a while back trying to fit too much in my mouth in the one go. I suppose it’s gone beyond nibbling when that happens to you! You know that you’ve gone beyond the nibbling stage when you dislocate your entire jaw from trying to take too big a bite! ‘You’ve gone way beyond nibbling now, son,’ I say to myself reproachfully – ‘you’ve gone way beyond nibbling now’.

 

I can’t actually remember the last time I felt so embarrassed – you’re standing there with your mouth open in full gape – beyond full gape in fact, substantially beyond full gape – and your jaw is locked open and you can’t shut it any more. The pain alone is unbearable, never mind the embarrassment! What will people think? What will people say? And you’re standing there like one of those deep sea gulper fish whose gape is bigger than their entire body, and you’re punching yourself repeatedly in the jaw like a maniac trying to get it to go back in again, try to get it to click back in place. Vast mouth, ridiculous little body… Vast mouth, ridiculous little body… And there’s rivers of sticky drool coming out of your mouth, which has got so absurdly big that you don’t even look human anymore…

 

‘It’s far from human you look’, I told myself soberly. It’s far from human you look. More like one of those deep sea gulper fish that live at the bottom of the ocean trenches five miles below the surface. When you try to pull these fish up to the surface they get all busted up from the change in pressure. All I can do is put it down to an error in judgement, a simple error in judgement – no more and no less. Okay, so it was awkward enough at the time but it’s all just a learning curve. Isn’t that what they say? It’s all just a learning curve…

 

I don’t even know what a learning curve is, now they come to think about it. I don’t know how a learning curve differs from any other type of curve. Why does it have to be a curve anyway? What’s that all about? When I look in the mirror I see a man who has made mistakes – more than his fair share perhaps. I see a man who has made a lot of mistakes and who will go on to make many more. That’s what you are dealing with, right? That’s what I’m dealing with anyway! I am a machine for making mistakes. The other way of looking at this of course is to say that when a ‘machine for making mistakes’ makes a mistake then it’s doing what it’s supposed to. It still safely within its operating parameters, safely within its tolerances. Which are pretty wide. Pretty damn wide – as wide as the whole world, in fact. As wide as my grotesquely distended mouth when I tried to gulp down the whole of existence in one go. ‘That was a mistake buddy,’ says the voice in my ear, but I already know it! You bet I know it – I know it better than anyone could ever know anything!

 

 

Art – Siren Song, by LIK, from daz3d.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coping Strategy

‘We all like to associate ourselves with products of distinction,’ I said brightly, to no one in particular. We all like to associate ourselves, we all like to associate ourselves. It is important for a man of my calibre to associate himself with products of distinction. Otherwise how would anyone know that I was a person of calibre? They certainly wouldn’t know by looking at me, I said to myself glumly. They certainly wouldn’t know by the cut of me. My higher self was fed up with the abysmal stupidity of my life and it had walked out on me. It given up on me in disgust. It was disappointed in me for being so weak. This was the thought that kept coming to me! That’s if there was such a thing as a higher self, of course. Maybe there wasn’t. Quite possibly there wasn’t. How was I to know anyway? We all like to associate ourselves with products of distinction, I reassured myself after a moment of reflection. I wasn’t a freak or anything like that. It’s not as if I am abnormal, I reassured myself, remembering the importance of self affirmation at moments of self-doubt. ‘I’m not a freak,’ I told myself, remembering the importance of coping skills. ‘Remember to use your coping skills’, my therapist told me in our final session. We have provided you with the tools and now it’s up to you to put them into practice, said my inner therapist, an evil smile spreading like a stain on his face. It’s important to remember, it’s important to remember. My evil inner therapist, my evil inner therapist. ‘It’s important to cope, it’s important to cope,’ I told myself. I was all at sea. I was like a drowning man. I couldn’t remember what the coping strategies were but I remembered that it was important to use them. I remembered that all right! I remembered that it was important to cope. That was all that was left to me. It’s important to cope, it’s important to cope, I told myself. That was all that was left to me, that was all I could come up with. It was my last-ditch affirmation – the one I would never forget. It’s important to cope, it’s important to cope, it’s important to cope I blabbered helplessly. I was a tool of vast impersonal forces. It’s important to cope, I tell myself, after a long period of silence. I could see the face of my evil inner therapist, his smile spreading like a stain, spreading like an oil slick. Slick Harry they call him – he’s got a face for every occasion! He’s in me, and I’m in him – I couldn’t survive without him.  It’s important to, it’s important to, I mumbled indistinctly. My last-ditch affirmation – the affirmation that I needed an affirmation. That was all that I had left to me! I was the helpless tool of my own dysfunctional coping strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gateway Drugs

I remember one time going to see my dealer and asking him if he had any gateway drugs that he could sell me. He laughed long and loud at my request and asked me what the fuck I thought I was on about. I told him that I’d heard a lot about gateway drugs and thought that they sounded cool. Something about the name that spoke to me, I guess. I had some kind of fantasy idea about what they were and that fantasy didn’t happen to match up with anything in reality, which is just the way things go sometimes I guess! Anyway I just thought I’d relate that story because it’s quite funny. We can all laugh about it now of course but at the time it was embarrassing enough. That’s the story of my life really – rather embarrassing at the time but something we can all laugh about it later on! Well, other people can laugh about it perhaps but I can’t. I’m still pretty hung up on all that stuff.

 

It’s funny the little mistakes we can make in life, isn’t it? The little misunderstandings that can occur. I was full of little misunderstandings about life now that I come to think about it – misunderstandings about the nature of reality, misunderstandings about the nature of identity and the self. Misunderstandings about what life was or was not supposed to be all about. What I was supposed to be doing or not doing, and so on. It’s fascinating to realise just how wrong we can be, isn’t it? Or rather it would be fascinating if it wasn’t all so embarrassing. It would be fascinating if I wasn’t still so hung up about it all. ‘If only I could just come right out and say what it is that I’m hung up about,’ I think miserably to myself, but I know I never will. I know I will never find the courage to do that.

 

I know I’ll never, say miserably to myself, I know I’ll never. I remember when I was still just a kid living in a housing estate in Gillingham in East Kent. I was into comics and superheroes – my favourite superhero was Moose Boy and I used to fantasise that one day I might develop some kind of obscure superpower just like Moose Boy did. My hold on reality had never been that firm and reading comic books all day long didn’t exactly help matters! Then after a few years of this I graduated to reading science fiction  – I graduated onto ‘the hard stuff’, you might say, and my attachment or affiliation with the banalities of everyday life in the UK of the 1980s got weakened even further. Then I got into street drugs and the West End pill-head scene and any chance that I might have had a normal life for myself disappeared entirely. That’s a joke of course – I know that ‘normal life’ is bullshit as well as you do. That’s just my sense of irony coming out. I have to make a point of saying that otherwise no one would know.

 

I’m talking in circles really. I’m doing that because I’m trying to find the courage to explain about the embarrassing thing that I find so hard to talk about. You see the thing is that I was forced out of ignorance to identify with a sense of self that was quite frankly out of place in any conceivable situation, under any conceivable circumstances. This sense of self wasn’t me – I hasten to add – I just thought it was. I was convinced that it was and I felt compelled to go to extreme lengths to cover it up so that people wouldn’t be repelled by me. Not just repelled but rendered frankly incredulous and condemnatory. I suppose you could say that I was ‘a misfit’ but the point I’m making is that I was a misfit to myself as much as I was to others. I made myself as uncomfortable as I made everyone else and this was a significant burden for me to carry around. Life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses for me, as you can probably gather…

 

People always seem to fit in so effortlessly don’t they? They always seem to say exactly the right thing, not the freakish embarrassing type of things that make people look at you and then slowly edge away so they don’t have to talk to you any more. They never say the abnormal type of weird thing that makes other people so uncomfortable. So you see it was because I was involuntarily identified with this freakishly abnormal and extremely dysfunctional ego-construct (the type of ego-construct that didn’t belong in reality at all really) that I never knew what anything really was and that’s why I always had to make guesses about what the right thing to say was. I spent my whole life guessing and getting it wrong. Guessing what other people thought life should be about and guessing what  I thought life should be about. How was I to know, you see? How was I to know?

 

 

 

 

 

I Was Obsessed By The Ego-Mind

For some unaccountable reason I began my next treatise by repeating the nonsensical phrase ‘fantasies of the ego-mind upon which all things are based’. This was a phrase that I had in my head – it was something that had been going around and around in my head for a number of days now. I was obsessed with the ego-mind and all its activities and was tying myself into knots trying to think about them, trying to work out what they meant. The activities I mean. Fantasies of the ego-mind, fantasies of the ego-mind, I said to myself. There was a strange satisfaction to be had out of uttering these words. I was the ego-mind and everything I ever thought was a fantasy. That was a long and the short of it. At the heart of all these tainted fantasies lay the ego-mind which I envisaged as a squat, purple coloured spider about the size of a grapefruit with the face of an old man smoking a pipe. Out of the pipe comes white, white smoke which organises itself into a giant spider’s web. The web is like a hammock and we are all bouncing around in that hammock – we’re trying to get comfortable but there’s no comfort there. You can be sure that there’s no comfort there. When I say ‘we’ there’s only me of course, and when I say that ‘the spider has the head of an old man smoking a pipe’ I mean that it has my head! It’s always my head. I’m the spider and I always have been and this is the obsessive thought that I can’t rid myself of. Is there an actual condition where you can get morbidly obsessed with a picture of yourself as a grotesque ego-entity sitting there in its spider’s web spinning out its perverse fantasies nine to the dozen? Churning them out at breakneck speed? It’s like the evil empire, isn’t it – only it’s a very small empire and there’s only me in it. No one else only me. And even I’m not really in it, I just think I am. I think that I am, I think that I am, I think that I am. I had been sniffing the stuff again of course – the stuff that puts you spinning, the stuff that puts you whistling. ‘It’ll put you whistling’, my friend told me, warning me to watch my step. He had warned me to try to keep my act together this time, but I couldn’t help myself from sniffing the stuff and sure enough it put me spinning. It put me whistling. In one of the fantasies I was a small dog running through the streets. I was a dog with a human face – the face was not my own however but that of a wizened old man with gunky eyes. It was a face afflicted with unutterable sadness. I saw this face looking up at me from the puddles on the pavement and I barked and I barked at the image I saw in those puddles. I barked and I barked and I barked. Seagulls wheeled overhead, evil in their eyes. I knew nothing I saw was true – I’d been caught out in a lie.

 

 

 

 

No One Ever Escapes From The Ego-Mind

My mind was babbling non-stop. My mind was full of fear and it would not stop babbling. ‘You’d better hope and pray, you’d better hope and pray’, said the words in my head. My mind had picked them up from the song that it had heard on the radio. It had latched onto them. It latched on to a lot of things. The words were like an audio loop that had got stuck in my head – they had become ‘the soundtrack to my life,’ as people say. ‘You better hope and pray, you’d better hope and pray’, said the soundtrack in my head. I was in the ego-mind and there was no help for me. I was in the ego-mind and I was never going to get out! No one ever escapes from the ego-mind, do you realise that? No one ever escaped and no one ever will. What fuels the ego-mind is our attempt to escape from it and we never can. How can we escape the ego-mind when it is our attempt to escape that fuels it and keeps it going? How can anyone ever escape from a thing like this? How can anyone ever escape from their own escaping? ‘I escaped from my own escaping, ‘you might tell me, in all seriousness, ‘I did it – I’m free!’ ‘Of course you did, ‘I will reply, ‘of course you did. Now fuck off and leave me alone.’ It’s the fantasy realm isn’t it? It’s all the fantasy realm. It’s the fantasy realm of what we will do when we escape from the ego-mind that no one ever escapes from. What fun we will have! What a great time we’ll have! Can’t you just taste it?’ We can’t wait to be there, we can’t wait to be reaping the fruits of our endeavours. Reaping the fruit, reaping the fruit. It’s all about reaping the old fruit isn’t it? Reaping the fruit of our endeavours. Reaping the fruits of our rich and oh-so-poignant fantasies. We can’t wait for it. We are hoping and praying that we get there soon. The sooner the better, right? The sooner the better. Don’t worry, it’ll happen soon. Keep telling yourself that. And then the next thing is that the fear kicks in – the fear that you won’t ever make it. You don’t need to tell me about that fear because it’s the constant backdrop to everything I do. Everything is played out against that constant backdrop. ‘You better hope and pray’, says the fear in my head. The fear in my head. It’s the only radio station I can find these days; I don’t seem to be able to tune into anything else. ‘Radio Fear,’ I call it. The Fear Station. The Fear Show. ‘Tune in for more fear the same time tomorrow!’ says the fear in my head. Says the fear in my head. Tune in for another dose of what you least want to hear! It’s the ultimate unwanted message, isn’t it? The Fear Message. Ignore it if you can! Pretend it’s not there! Pretend you can’t hear it. Pretend you haven’t tuned into the fear channel. You tuned in and you can’t tune out. You tuned in and you can’t tune out. My mind was babbling. My mind was full of fear. My mind was babbling non-stop. No one ever escapes from the ego-mind, do you realise that? No one has ever escaped and no one ever will. No one ever will…

 

 

 

 

 

When You’re In A Bit Of A Hurry

We are always going somewhere good, isn’t that the thing? We’re constantly on the way to a better place. Isn’t that the way? That’s why we’re always impatient, that’s why we are always in such a damn hurry. We’re always in a hurry because we just can’t wait to get to the good place, because we just can’t wait to catch up with the good thing that’s just about to happen. Look at the man in the queue in the supermarket checkout who is so impatient to get on his way – he knows he’s on his way to somewhere better and that’s why he’s in a rush. That’s why he’s so damn impatient. You might say that it’s just because he hates queues and that might be true but it’s still also true that he can’t wait to get to the good place, which is where the queue isn’t. If we are in a shit place than anywhere else is the good place, isn’t that right? Isn’t that the way? It’s always the improvement we’re looking for. So is that it then, you ask? And your point was what exactly? That’s if you’ve even bothered reading this far, which I doubt. Hop on board lads, we’re going somewhere good. Isn’t that what they always say? And if we ever get excited about something then isn’t that because we’ve just thought of some new ‘good place’ that we are going to, or because we’ve thought of some new improvement that we can make to our situation? The point is of course that this is a clever lie we tell ourselves so that we don’t freak out completely! Imagine if there was no good place to be going to, no improvement that can be made, how bad would that be? Can you imagine if there was no point in rushing because there was no place worth rushing to? Imagine if there was no point in being impatient, in that stupid bloody way people have of being impatient, because where you are about to go to is just as fucked up as the place where you are right now? So there’s no point rushing. Imagine the expression on the guy’s face when he realises that there’s nothing in store for him in life that’s any better than the queue he’s in right now? Can you imagine the look on his face if he were to suddenly realise this? That would be priceless, in my book. It would totally fucking priceless, I can tell you. I’d love that. I often wish that there could be a drug that could do that, a psychoactive type of a drug that would knock out that little part of the brain that conveniently lies to us all the time and tells us that there is somewhere better that you can be, that there is a better place just around the corner that you are going to get to. Like all those dumb preachers always say when they tell us about the good place that’s to come. Then when someone spikes you with the drug it would be like, ‘No, there isn’t any better place for you to go to, buddy; that’s just a comforting hallucination’. What kind of drug would that be, I wonder? What would you call it? Would you be able to make any money selling it? Could you synthesize it in the garden shed or in your kitchen out of commonly available materials?