Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Covid-19, the end, and what I'd say.



Our stories of what's happening are what we believe . I've taken some moments to consider what might be said about what's happening in the world at this time. Most of what's going around is stupefying rather than clarifying, and there are some things that we could learn. The first that comes to mind is that what's gripped human imagination is the fact and fear of mortality.


The stats that produce fear are what they are, and there are plenty of other stats, too. In Peter Porter's poem "Your Attention Please" the somber words "Some of us may die. Remember, statistically it is not likely to be you" come to mind. But I think that what's driven the realisation of this pandemic is that you and I could well be dead quite soon. Politicians want a nice, quiet, obedient crowd of voters, and if they don't do something to allay fears, they won't be seen to be leaders. So act they must.


But in my view, what we call leadership produces nothing but followers. And in following we become nothing.



Doing what we are enforced to do, believing the stories that we're supplied, accepting rhetoric that's designed to make us accepting, we walk into the nothing of ourselves, and thus, when I regard the end of what we've accepted util now, the end of capitalism as it's been driven by forces no longer sustainable, the end of shallow communication, the end, I hope, of hollow values disguised as democracy and practised as political will, all I can really do is regard the end my this, my own organism, and ask as dispassionately as I can what it's aliveness has been for.

Let's assume I'm going to die in six weeks. Reaching as far as I can into soul-speak, what would I say?

I'd say:


Choose your stories as consciously as possible. Go back to the oceans that allowed you to build, launch, navigate and berth your boat. No one has to be trapped by the trappings of leadership. Learn to hear what your voice says by engaging in clarifying conversations rather than vehement creeds. Learn to hear hearts as well as words, and don't assume for one moment that the heart is full of love and light. It's more holographic than moral, and encompasses the entire spectrum of turbulence and connections made possible by the table of elements. So I'd say get to grips with your own heart, allow it to express what it desires most to utter. That way you make your self vulnerable to your mind, and can act more wisely and decisively in respect of your more informed choices. At worst, we're a bundle of competing instincts, at best a conscious narrator of aspiration. And beware of premature statements of triumph as the journey unfolds.



I'd encourage the conversations, those stories that release the living energy that's specific to you. These are what create the newness that's upon us. What feels like the end is obviously never the end. Somehow there's always a narrator who observes, and turns the chaos into a craft. 

Monday, 6 April 2020

Love is a verb



Many problems are linguistic rather than real. The idea of love is a good example. In English "love" is an abstract noun: "I am looking for love" as well as a verb: "I love pasta".

Let's get rid of the noun. If you're looking for love, you'll never find it. It doesn't exist as a thing, or as a state of mind, or emotionality, or spirituality, or anything like that. Or even an understanding, or a contract of affection. If you're looking to analyse, seek, define or otherwise nail love down, I say it's not going to work.

You do it.

We talk of making love as in sexual or erotic communication, and that's fair enough. Good physical feelings shared are good to do. But to achieve that you have to do something. Staring into your lover's eyes tend to go to the next level of action.

Love isn't something you tap into. It's more like something you intend, create, achieve, activate, enact, inspire, work, design.

You do it.

The motivation is relevant. Whether indifferent, compassionate, caring or efficient, if it fulfils the need that's there, it's what has driven the action. When my plastic surgeon is paying careful attention to the BCC on my forehead, having removed, replaced and sews the skin, and I notice his totally focused eyes as he darts those really fine stitches, is he thinking ching-ching, his supper, his cycling or does he simply love what he's doing? And is he really thinking about me at all?

I don't know, but the need is fulfilled.

So I sense that if you pay careful attention to what's needed, required and relevant to solve an emotional, spiritual and otherwise real problem, you're doing love. So long as you do it. I have killed a few animals on purpose, to cancel unnecessary suffering. So you understand what I mean.

To do love is not easy. This requires discernment, discipline, courage, conviction, honesty, truthfulness, clarity, conviction, and at the end of the list, action.

So if someone can tell me what that feels like, for them, that would be a story worth attention.




Friday, 29 November 2019

10 reasons why the sense of story is important.



1. There is no such thing as reality. Human neurology posits n amount of stories in a second, and settles on an aggregate which is a shared hypnosis, useful for the time that it remains useful.

2. That which communicates most strongly and persuasively uses the sense of story to do so.

3. One's own sense of purpose and power arises from engagement with one's sense of one's own story. That's why conscious engagement with being alive is story-based, and largely unconscious until you start checking your story for real.

4. It's unlikely that there's any ultimate story. What happens after you die isn't necessarily factual. Any kind of stories may arise, and we can't be decisive from our current limited knowledge of what the cosmos is.

5. The stories that you tell yourself have a way of cascading into more of themselves. So a decision to follow a particular sense will take you in that direction. No decision means the likelihood of random default.

6. The stories that politicians and preachers tend to purport are suspect. Any authority figure should be testable for credibility. Doctors, too.

7. Facts in themselves are not always evidence. We are able to create stories about facts.

8. Most theories are unproven stories.

9. Conscious awareness is an evolving story.

10. The sense of connection is a neurologically- based shared story, seriously enmeshed with shared sensitivities and emotions, sometimes worded embarrassingly ineptly.

11. If you read the story sensitively, intelligently and alertly, there will always be more to it that you think.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Intuitive communication: the cosmic connection.






Humans tend to believe that language is communicative, whereas words actually obscure more than they reveal. I read the other day that language arose as a result of the need to hide feelings, and this made some sense to me. Language is a later development, a highly manipulative system of signals to both conscious and unconscious aspects of awareness in connection with self and sociality.

With and without sound, animals communicate with greater immediacy and intuition. Studies that show how dogs know when their owners decide to return home, how shrimp know when another one dies, how plants read intention may be found for all to read and know, and the implications of these are huge.

How humans communicate beyond words is what interests me.

The bafflement with which we are born and the instinctive fear of death is an instrument of power for those who seize it.

I should emphasise that a few times.

Our natural ability to communicate with ourselves has been hijacked since it could ever be hijacked: the thing to be said about power is that power is taken.

I have a particular issue with Christian narratives and its leaders: those who would pretend to know God better than others: back off, back down, and learn love.

That said, the cosmic connection is overwhelming, once grasped.

Have you ever grasped that your feelings are God-based? However humans have come into being, the sense of aloneness, aliveness, alertness, joy, jadedness, melancholy, mediocrity, even madness and the spectrum of what humans can feel is based on the lightning speed of your body's neural system responding to an ecology that's emotional as well as everything else.

Ecology is not only green, it's the entire spectrum. Butterfly wings creating hurricanes is in ratio to a thought putting out VX2A21, which is a star some million light years away.

Consciousness is indivisible.

For humans, the big issue is do I get to be aware after I die? And is it a good awareness or am I gonna burn?

I could give a trite answer to this, but I'm going to go the long way round.

Learn to communicate in a cosmically connected way.

Do you see the trees, plants and patterns on your garden? If you have one? Do you notice how stars navigate the wide sky? I should also ask have you ever seen the colours of the wind, but Pocohantas would laugh at me.

Simply, stop withholding natural communication, and allow wildness to bewilder you.

That's who you are once the normalising narratives are stripped away.

It goes the entire way: this little bit of communication we think we have now, it's a highway to everything that has ever and will ever exist. The table of elements is a trustworthy witness. How does it feel to communicate cosmically?

For me, it takes two to three seconds to switch to that awareness. The it takes a sense of acceptance and peace because the ensuing chaos is total.

And then the stories pour, and poetry gets so impatient with language, that so slow expression of human spirit.

To be in contact with not only everything that's in this beautiful natural world, and sad, sad, human world, but also reaching to visions of impossibly distant yet real galaxies, and nano-atomic infra-galaxies of intrinsic imperatives of which our neurons are made: how would this feel?

It feels that same way you know, in your conscience, your helpless desires, your needs, your reachings, your self-imposed wretchedness, your self-chaos, your attempts to garden to wildness that which you've been given, to husband the house of your unthinking choosing.

And feelings?

We tend to go with the obvious ones like irritation, anger, passivity, patience, purposefulness, and there are so many, but they actually come in layers. They are currents upon currents, and honesty is a very vague grasp of what's really going on when it comes to emotional intelligence.

The cosmic connection is there. From feelings of abject fear to courage in the core. We should wonder less about a God and consider more about an infinite connection that has nothing to do with language.

Intuitively, humans are more than capable. That's how to let the dogs out....




Monday, 26 August 2019

Seven obvious (meta)truths to deal with.





One.

We are cosmologically connected: an ecology of atomic structures, at the end of the planetary day. Yes, organically we die, but there's something that impinges on what we call consciousness, or perhaps in our consciousness we impinge on that field of which consciousness is.

Two.

Language seldom helps. It's a later development and mostly obfuscates rather than assists communication. Humans lie a lot. Instinctively. Clarity of intent helps, and especially in respect of kindness.

Three.

Fear rules unless it's dealt with. Bullies know this. Thugs have this as a way of life. In the western world, fear of hell, death and God has been used for power purposes, and now that the general psyche knows that hell isn't a serious threat, meaningless has taken over.

Four.

No-one exists. Which means to say that your sense of self is a construct, and certainly, as fragile as the next leaf to fall. What you do with this fact, in respect of choosing a basic attitude to being alive, is crucial. In fact, cosmologically important and urgent.

Five.

Money has come to mean security. Sure, money and especially more money means we can live comfortably, even supremely, but it's a totally artificial security. Can't buy you one hour of natural life, can't grant you one iota of genuine like-ability or respect, or love.

Six.

Your self-knowledge will always be incomplete. Your own story, the most important one, goes largely undetected. This is weird. Get to grips with yourself.

Seven.

Good feelings are better than bad feelings, and turn the human world the way it goes. It's just that we don't agree about whose good feelings are better than whose bad feelings. Start communicating for real.




Happy journeys and happy landings......






Wednesday, 7 August 2019

South Africa's terminal illness.



Sometimes you have to recognise what the numbers say. Sometimes you have to measure what your soul desires against what the tide of reality pours against the skin of your desiring.

Last night I stood holding the hand of a terminal patient. His eyes looked back into mine, but without the sense of any outcome. The last time I saw that look was in the eyes of a dog I had to put down.

I see the same look now in the eyes of the country in which I grew up.

I hate being told what to think, feel, act, decide, love. Especially love. Because love means connection, and if you love your country, you feel connected to it, at an important level and in an important way.

These obtuse so-called leaders of South Africa, vying for power and position as they are, really do escape that sense of love for the land that we intuited as we grew up. And I use that word "we" advisedly. We were free to love. The landscapes, the skyscapes, the city-smells, the tastes and tests of home, the loneliness of truthful language, the erotic expectation that life would always be good and fruitful, the touches of hope that held out important expectations that have now come to nothing: when you love a country, you honour something that is felt , known and grounds itself irreversibly. African sunrises and sunsets.

This is all valuable and romantic.

But the soul of the city has overcome the country's soul. The politicians have fulfilled their promise of emptiness and disappointment, and worse, destabilisation, death and eventually, the total destruction of what once was a powerhouse of discipline, desire, purpose and punishment for failing.

Failure has become the purpose now, in this weird, dry and spiritually bankrupt country. Maybe JM Coetzee could write more novels: I don't have the time.

He lectured me and I walked out, really bored. Another kind of lesson.

Sometimes you have to recognise, not suggest.

What do you do when a country's pulse fails, when breath becomes too expensive, when heartbeat accepts a flattening landscape, when skin shudders away from a purposefully dark cruelty?

Well, what I do is count years, watch what youthfulness does, and reckon that human yearning is for something, but nobody knows what.

Let me tell you that youthfulness is a wrecking-ball in South Africa. The education system promotes bullies. That's the truth. I've been in the classroom. My leadership was destroyed exactly so that thuggery could be freed. I'm against thuggery, myself. No chance. The thugs are designed to beat all.

This is the actual curriculum for education. So you can see what's coming.

I'd like to smack the well-paid faces of educationally employed hypothetical humans. They're educated enough. They know what I mean.

With others, they've killed the country.

The terminal illness boils down to incoherent, deliberately truncated consciousness, diminishingly focused on rhetoric that breaks artificial ideas. Rail against colonialism, but destroy paintings, #everythingthat isn'tmemust fall, while trains burn, buses burn, trucks are hijacked, farmers murdered, mob justice dispensed, brazen robberies race on, and best of all a rogue ex-president resurrects ?

South Africa's corpuscles can't cope with dreams against this kind of counter-reality revolution. I was taught to fight, taught to kill. It's just that now I have the freedom to choose my target whereas in the apartheid years I found I had to choose against the target they gave me. Which I did. Whereas the enemy they described was something I couldn't find, now I can.

n the one hand I could attempt an aggressive path, hector the perpetrators of corruption and incompetence and kill them one by one: it's tempting, but needs an effective stealth which eludes general affirmation. Bit like chemo, you take out more than required. Stray bullets and bullies  speak the same language.

You mustn't become part of the terminal language.

So for now, I simply point it out. I do the Story Clinic. The real story is important to know. The situation in South Africa has turned a corner, and become terminal. There's no return to a previous health. Sorry about that.

So do we kill or heal? Is it chemo or counselling talk?

Tough call. Depends on who's listening, or purposefully not listening.

I'm for holding the patient's pulse and listening, intuiting the tide that the body uses to move on.

I hate being told how to love. I do not love what this country's so-called leaders use as rhetoric to call anyone to offer their sacrifices. I sacrifice nothing to Zuma and Silent Cyril. They offer no love, you can sense that. And as for the spoilers, Malema Inc, with them trade love for lucre.

The usual.

Most unfortunately, the diagnosis is there. Terminal.

Nothing left.

Sorry for all.


Sunday, 7 July 2019

Biofocusing, smudging the self, and health.



Please don't leave out the comma. I don't want to smudge health, just the self.

I've worked for some time on biofocusing,  a healing modality, and the time seems to have arrived. As I sit in my garden, listening to birds apprehending spring, even though it hasn't arrived according to dates, they certainly sense what's in the air.

The living body is part of a fierce yet delicate ecology, and I've been grappling with Martha Beck's sense of "oneness". I get all her four steps, and I wish I could have articulated them myself: wordlessness, oneness, imagination, formation. I knew them before I read her book, and I'm stuck on the "oneness". So I'm writing this to help myself either into or out of "oneness".

Authentic writing always comes with a dose or tinge of vulnerability, and I suddenly recognise that my entire academic career has been motivated by the need to get away from vulnerability. I don't want to spend my life weeping in a corner, and I haven't. I've spend my subterranean life watching the tides come and go, hiding from floods and fear, using my energy to move between swimming, suffering and sinking, and now I've come to the realisation that these human skins are more like live cell-phones than semi-conscious containers of the self.

There is no "self". Gilbert Ryle hit the button when he referred to "the ghost in the machine". I've had the experience of being selfless, and it wasn't like a Mother Theresa moment. It was just a swirl of images that came from everywhere and moved everywhere, and the madness of that very small momentary me, experienced itself gone, and the waters of watchfulness were complete, and entirely unmanaged.

The point of biofocusing is to grant attention, as fully as possible to another being, and to hold the intention of healing and wholeness. To know more check Lynne McTaggart. I've followed her class for six months. Much works. It's like asking is it just me or is there more? The more is the answer.

In fact, the "me" has to accept that smudge that I don't know how to do because I've had to fight so hard to be a "me". Obedience was a prerequisite, politeness a necessity, niceness a passport to acceptability and acquiescence a way of turning me into a parting-with-money candidate.

Biofocusing means to turn attention to the simplicity of being alive and what this imparts. My interest in this respect is about health and healing. I'm not sure that illness is necessary, and to the extent that it isn't, I'd like to remove it. Medical science has its own way of approaching this, but is often hijacked and distracted by corporate interests. Doctors are educated and trained in certain ways but not others. Biofocusing uses as much human attention as possible to achieve as many healthy solutions as possible. The ecology of who we are and how we work as organisms is relevant here.

And these two notions smudge. Here's to saying "I'm an ecology" rather than "I'm a person". Or "my name is Walter".

My organism is identifiable, especially for tax purposes, but its delimitation is non-existent, if that's not too ironic to contemplate. We could think that the elements of our living are simply placed on an orderly table of rows and columns that know all about our mass, molecular number and availability to bond, and that's true enough, but the subjective suddenness of the whole thing isn't neat at all. The smudge between living and more living has never yet been put into words without making us startled and scared.

The story of humanity is ours to create, not something to follow as a slave would accept shackles. Instead of rambling on, I'd say that the self isn't a priority, it's a smudge between all possible worlds and the reason and purpose why we're alive is to create whatever makes sense. And a necessary part of that purpose is our wholeness, our health. Much has worked, if not conspired, to allow us to arrive here in all our linguistic splendour, talking both clarity and crap in equal measures most of the time.

Biofocuisng wants wordlessness, and then oneness. I begin to recognise that some aspects of oneness require honesty that has been shut up by early influences. It's up to each one of us to identify and explicate those to ourselves. I have Martha Beck's book "Leaving the Saints" waiting to be read next. Perhaps that will help me even more. My own journey was to leave the Christian Brethren. I look at that wavering path with disbelief, now, wondering how words could possibly interfere with wisdom to the extent that they do.

So I'd recommend biofocusing, especially to those whose bodies are demonstrating stories that aren't readily decipherable. Maybe we can deal with sickness, illness and pain on levels that include but aren't limited to medical science. That's my purpose.