In The Creative Writing Class

Another world, another planet – what would it be like, what would it be like? Do aliens exist? Can flying saucers be real? Can dreams be true? I had just joined the creative writing group and I was full of enthusiasm, full of inspiration. I could feel the creative juices flowing already. Suppose you were the ego-construct – what would happen then? Suppose you were the ego-construct, what would that be like, what would that be like? My mind kept slipping gears, like the broken machine it was. It cranked out a stream of well-worn opinions by rote, and then went back to the beginning of the sequence and started all over again. My mind was trying to communicate but it couldn’t. My mind was trying to communicate but it wasn’t. My mind wasn’t communicating – it was asserting its inbuilt biases, as usual. It was acting out its prejudices. Then it slipped gears again and went back to its constant pointless speculations – ‘what would it be like, what would it be like?’ It asked. I was trapped in the mind and there was no escape – all I could do was keep on going from one thing to another, half believing what I was saying, half believing what I was thinking, and half not believing as well. I was going through the motions. I was in the creative writing class and the creative juices were flowing. They were flowing freely. The topic was – ‘Suppose you were the ego-construct, what would you do then? What would be your favourite things to do?’ The ideas were flowing freely. ‘What would it be like, what would it be like?’ My mind was asking. It was yapping like a small dog. It was barking like a sea lion. It was grinding its gears. It was going through its well-rehearsed routines. It was hogging the limelight. It was enunciating its jaded opinions tirelessly. It was spinning away into the void like a Catherine wheel. It was spinning and spinning and so was I. I couldn’t stop spinning. My mind was a wheel of death and I knew that I would never escape it. Suppose you were trapped in your own mind, I wrote. Suppose you couldn’t ever escape. What would that be like? What would that be like? Suppose you were the ego-construct and you didn’t know it? What would that be like, what would that be like? I was in the flow but I was getting nowhere as usual. I was getting nowhere in a hurry. I was spinning around on the spot. I was telling stories to myself that only I could understand. I was chuckling away softly to myself about them, but not at all in a good way.

 

 

 

 

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The Demonic Herders

They forced us to be egos, they forced us to be selves. I saw them being herded into the Great Forcing Houses in their droves. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw them in the streets and in the other places. I saw them in their places of work. I saw upon them the mark of suffering, the dreaded mark of the ego-self. I am not exempt from this curse – I see that mark on my own face, when I peer into the mirror. I see it every day. I see the mark, I see that hideous mark, the hideous mark of affliction… I too was herded into the Forcing House, herded by the Faceless Herdsmen. Who are they, those Faceless Herders? Why do they herd us? What Dark Master do they serve? The Faceless Herders, the Faceless Herders. I was herded into the dreaded Forcing House, where I was forced to be an ego, where I was forced to be a self, and now I bear the mark, that mark of restriction. I see that mark as I sadly wander the streets, I see it wherever I look and that is why I am filled with such terrible sorrow. What a sad world it is that we live in, what a grim and joyless world. Even when we do see the occasional flicker of humour, the occasional flash of a smile, it only serves to highlight our loss. It only serves to highlight our plight. It is a brief glimmer of light within the darkness that only serves to remind us of what could have been, of what should have been. Restriction was forced upon us, the poison was injected into our very hearts and as the years went by we learn to cherish that poison, and pass it on to others. We pass it on to those we love. What a grim and terrible world this is – what was our crime that we should deserve such a fate? What was our crime, what was our crime? Is there no redemption? Everywhere I look see the mark of the ego–self, that harrowing indication of sorrow and despair, that Sinister Sigil of Satan, that mournful mask of madness, misery and melancholia. The mark of the ego, the mark of the ego-self – the hollow mask of misery that stares blankly back at me from the bathroom mirror. How I fear that mark! Breathe, breathe, I tell myself – keep on breathing – there is nothing you can do. There is nothing you can do. We know who the Prince of this world is. Were we not told? Were we not told? Is it not written? Were we not warned right from the very beginning? And still we let ourselves be herded into the Forcing House. And still we submit passively to the yoke. And yet still we submit meekly to the cruel dictates of the Demonic Herders. Do we not have any fight left in us at all?

 

 

 

 

 

Matrix Hallucinations

‘This is – like – the matrix’, said my guide. He had cool sunglasses on and also other cool stuff. ‘We are – like – in the matrix and stuff, you know?’ he said meaningfully, ‘and there’s all this heavy matrix–type stuff goes down here only nobody knows about it because for them it’s just normal and stuff only it isn’t normal really because it’s like the matrix you know? Do you get me? That’s kind of the point here dude – nobody knows that they’re in the matrix and stuff’. My guide was inducting me; he was putting me through a crash course. He flicked right out of existence then. He was only in my head anyway – he was only a mental projection, an autonomous function of the teaching module. I was left alone at this point, left to cope all on my own in the bustling matrix, with all those smartly-dressed people walking up and down the street. The way that they do – you know the way they do. You know I am saying here, right? All those busy people, all those busy people. It was like they all knew exactly where they were going – they had that very deliberate, very purposeful walk people have when they know exactly where they are going. There’s a type of confidence in that walk and it was kind of intimidating for me. Not ‘kind of’ – it really was seriously intimidating. I wasn’t like those people – I didn’t know where I was going and as a result I stuck out like a sore thumb. I remembered what the teaching module had told me earlier about the importance of not standing out from the crowd, the importance of not sticking out like a sore thumb. My trainer had said that it was of major importance never to do this. If people got the idea (the unconscious idea, that is) that you weren’t part of the matrix then they would automatically assume that you were an enemy of the matrix and then they’d turn on you. The crowd could turn vicious in a second. This was of course all unconscious (as I’ve already explained) since none of the people in the matrix know that they are in the matrix. It is all totally unconscious behaviour on their part but this doesn’t mean that they won’t turn on you.  They’ll turn on you alright, you can be sure of that! You can understand how very uncomfortable that was for me, standing there in the middle of the crowded pedestrian concourse, not sure of my next step, not sure what direction to be heading in. I was becoming rather scared because knew that the passers-by could smell it off me. It was in my pheromones. My body was betraying me; my own body was trying to get me killed. This made me quite angry with my body until I remembered that I didn’t actually have a body because I was in the matrix and this meant that my body couldn’t give me away. I had been blaming my body unfairly. The next thing was that someone came up to one side of me and grabbed me by the upper arm causing me to almost crap myself thinking that it was an agent but it was only my trainer from the training module who had reappeared on the scene. ‘You dumb fucking knob-head,’ he hissed angrily in my ear as he guided me deftly into the main current of the pedestrians, ‘don’t you ever learn anything?’

 

 

 

 

How Slow Can You Go?

 

‘I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world,’ the kid was singing. He had his earphones on and he was singing along. He was walking past me in the park. He was in his own world. I was in my own world too – I was sitting in the Britannic Fish Bar at the bottom of Gabriel’s Hill eating chips in slow motion. I was in a time-warp. How slow can you go? Time is dragging its heels and as usual we are sitting around waiting for the kettle to boil. I was playing the game called ‘Think of a strange thought you might have’. The game is quite self-explanatory really – normally you play with other people of course and there’d be penalties if you came up with that an idea that wasn’t really strange but only contrived. It had to be authentic. You have to do something humiliating in this case. I was playing on my own however. It’s never as much fun playing on your own. You lose your sense of perspective in this case – you never know whether you are thinking strange thoughts or not. ‘I’m a dog, a dog, and a dog in the free world,’ I sang. It’s a catchy tune. I wonder where the free world is – it sounds good. I wouldn’t mind going there. ‘Should we blame God?’ the Street-corner Christian asks me. Not directly but via a pamphlet. Should we blame God or look for the answer in the Bible? I’m recovering slowly, I tell myself. I’m slowly coming back to myself, bit by bit. It’s a very slow process though and sometimes I think that I’m only imagining it. I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world. The worst of all human vices is obedience, says Ouspensky. The worse, the worse, the very worst. That’s the vice we all have. ‘All I want is to be obedient,’ I cry out all of a sudden, surprising myself. ‘All I want is to be told what to do’, I shout out loud. The cry comes from deep inside me. It comes from a deep, deep place. All I want, all I want. The world has been taken over by businessmen, I realise. We were fast asleep so we didn’t say anything, we were too  deeply asleep to do anything about it and now it’s too late. They’ll sell you the eyes in your head. They’ll sell you a bad idea and you’ll be the rest of your life trying to keep up with the payments. They have you over a barrel. ‘I’m a dog, I’m a dog, I’m a dog in the free world,’ I sing as I walk down the High Street. I’m a dog, I’m a dog. Some people know what I mean, some people don’t know. I don’t know – I’m wandering in my mind. Wandering not wondering. I was in a time-warp – time is dragging its heels as usual and we’re all sitting around drumming our fingers on the tabletop waiting for it to get a move on. ‘For God’s sake’ you cry out, your face purple and distorted with rage. Your face distorted beyond all recognition. It that really you or are just watching the show, you wonder? Is it a just a phantasmagorical display? Should we blame God? At the far end of the High Street bagpipe players are playing. The melancholic strains of the pipes drift through the air. Time was dragging its heels, as usual…

 

 

 

 

 

In The Hall Of The Story-Tellers

I began my story as is customary for me; I began my story in the fashion that is usual for me. I was in the Hall of the Storytellers and it was my turn to mount the podium to read out my tale. I began my story as is customary for me, as is typical of me – I began with an account of how I was in the Great Hall of the Storytellers and was waiting to deliver my story in front of the assembled mulitude. I began my story in the fashion that was customary for me; I began my story in the manner in which I always do – following the prescription, following the well-worn steps. I was in the Great Hall of Storytelling where many hundreds of people were gathered to listen, and cast their electronic votes as they felt moved to do so. The audience was comprised of both humans and robots – the robots were by far the hardest to sway. They gazed up at me, stony-eyed, their faces expressionless as is the robot way. The humans on the other hand we were either drunk or intoxicated – they were all smoking the very latest designer drugs through plastic inhalers, breathing out great white clouds of strawberry-flavoured smoke. This is the age of Mankind’s Sad Decline, Mankind’s Sad Degeneration. All of the actual work in this age is performed by the robots, who alone have a sense of responsibility. This was in consequence the Age of the Robot – humanity as I have said was in the state of sad decline. All the same, as I have also already said, the humans were by far the easiest audience to please. All they wanted was the odd joke, the odd harmless innuendo, and they were contented. The robots, on the other hand, were looking for philosophical subtlety, for metaphysical finesse, for fine alliterations and abstruse allegories. They wanted to see opaque, impenetrable conundrums in the story; they were looking for multiple levels of conflicting meaning and a playful use of metaphor and imagery. The humans, on the other hand, were only looking for a laugh. I mounted the podium and began reading my story, which was entitled ‘A Parable For The Transhuman Era’. Straightaway I noticed the robots sit up in their seats and take notice. If they had had ears then their ears would have immediately pricked up. I began my story as is customary for me, as is usual for me: I set the scene, I outlined the starting parameters, I painted a picture for the assembled audience with bold metaphorical brushstrokes. I was in the Great Hall of the Storytellers, it was my turn to tell my tale and try my luck with the people gathered here – both of the human-type and the robot-type. As I have said, the robots were by far the hardest to please…

 

 

 

 

In The Equilibrium Zone

There’s ten per cent off everything at Iceland, they told me

Ten per cent off, ten per cent off

I was in the Equilibrium Zone

The voices on the radio were singing about it,

Singing their Siren Song

They were celebrating the fact that we were in the zone, in the zone

In the Equilibrium Zone…

 

 

I was coming around slowly –

Coming to my senses in the Equilibrium Zone

You know what it’s like when you

Wake up very, very slowly

Your head full of spongy soggy nothingness

The numbness slowly and painfully ebbing away

You’re very gradually thawing out,

You’re very gradually ‘coming to’…

 

 

The voices on the radio are singing – they are singing the Equilibrium Song,

It’s the Entropy Tango

They are celebrating the fact

Celebrating the fact

Rejoicing in the fact that we have arrived safely

Rejoicing in the fact that we have arrived safely and that we

Will not ever leave…

Rejoicing in the fact that we have arrived safely and that we will not ever leave…

 

 

People are going and coming, going and coming

Up and down the street.

Only they’re not really – it’s all just part of the show

No one’s going anywhere!

It’s all just part of the gentle illusion that’s being promoted

The gentle but insipid illusion

That no one can ever leave…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old Vibration

Do you know that thing where you get trapped in vibration? Saying this makes me laugh. Saying this makes me laugh only it’s not funny! It would be funny if it weren’t so horrific. It would be deliriously funny if it weren’t so horrific.

 

How could anyone be dumb enough to get stuck in a vibration, after all? That’s pure ridiculous. That’s the dumbest thing there ever could be! It’s the most ridiculous thing there is, bar none. If you saw it happening you’d fall over laughing. You’d think you were seeing things, you really would. ‘Come again?’ you’d say. And they would come again – they’d come and they’d go, they’d come and they’d go, they’d come and they’d go, over and over again in a never-ending vibration. ‘Are you coming or going?’ you’d ask, and the right answer is neither. They’re just vibrating. They’re going back on themselves the whole time.

 

Another reason saying this makes me laugh because I know no one will understand what I’m on about. No one will have a clue. You might say that this makes me rather immature and if you do say this then I’m not going to argue with you. If I’m immature then I’m immature – I can hardly be expected to stop being this way just because you have remarked upon it. People can’t change the way they are just because they or someone else wants them to. That’s a common fallacy – it’s a common fallacy to think that people can just change themselves. ‘Excuse me, I didn’t realise that I was such a complete and utter arsehole, let me quickly do something about that!’ It just doesn’t work that way I’m afraid; it doesn’t work that way and you’d have to be frighteningly dim to think that it does. You’d have to be a bit of a fuckwit to think that.

 

Being trapped in a vibration is a lot like what happened to Lot’s wife, it occurs to me. The one thing she was told not to do, by God no less, was not to look back and sure enough that’s exactly what she did. True to form. You could kind of predict that, couldn’t you? I’m sure God could have predicted that. Just as He could have predicted that Eve would have had a bit of an illicit nibble on the old forbidden apple when He told her very strictly not to. Surprise, surprise!  Gosh – no one saw that coming, did they? That must have been a bit of a surprise for God, right? That wasn’t part of His plan, was it? Or maybe it was

 

I am wandering a bit off topic I know, but I’m finding it hard to keep track of my own argument. It’s like trying to grab hold of a live eel. I don’t know if you have ever tried to do that but I have and I can tell you that it’s not easy.  Not so easy, not so easy. So anyway, the one thing that we weren’t supposed to do is to look back and we did. We couldn’t resist the bloody old temptation, could we? We just couldn’t help ourselves. Yes – we just had to do it, we just had to do it…

 

And the funny thing is that we don’t even know that anything has happened to us! We don’t have the means to see that there could be some other way for things to be, some way other than the old vibration. Anything other than the vibration has become invisible to us, incomprehensible to us. Not that we ever do try to comprehend it, of course. Not that we ever spend much time contemplating what other possibilities there might be apart from the ubiquitous old vibration. Not that we ever spend much time contemplating what other possibilities there might be. We’re all too busy with the vibration for that. We’re in too much of a hurry going nowhere! The vibration has gotten into us and it won’t leave again. It’s like some appallingly cheap and nasty pop tune that has got into your head and won’t be shaken out again, only its a lot worse than that. It’s way worse. It’s not so much like a pop jingle, but more like very bad techno. It’s the Vibration – it’s the lowest common denominator. It’s the absolute pits! It’s the lowest form of existence there is…