There were rare occasions when I took a trip and did not bring my good binoculars. Reliably there would be paragliders coming off a distant mountain or a colorful bird in the field across the way; something of interest whose details I couldn’t, with the naked eye, make out.
But whenever I brought them — which was virtually all the time, out of fear I’d miss them if I didn’t — reliably, I never needed them.
Well, hey, what gives?! Can’t this ever be done right? — that you actually bring and use what you need, that you’re not off-kilter, out-in-the-park, under the truck, somewhere in space? Hey, wake up buddy! Get in touch.
Easily said, brother. I’m doing my best. “Eat this,” “Buy that,” “Don’t miss such-and-such experience that we’re promoting,” what’s a body to do? It takes all your judgment and experience and all your resourcefulness to keep your balance, to maintain your independence, to stick to ‘who you (supposedly) are,’ — or at least to stay out of the rut that’s been so carefully prepared for you.
And their (yes, Their) very favorite rut that they’re confident of sucking you into — I can hear the glee, the chortling — is the one where you are convinced — like maybe your mother or your priest hammered into you in childhood — that there is only a single right path, all others but liars, and to stay on this one right path you must get every single thing right which is (Impeccable Warrior that you may be) impossible.
Ha, you thought this was some playful, petty nonsense about “binoculars”? Ah, but petty leads to deep, to fundamental, to all-is-connected… This is what we call, not logical, but narrative movement…
To be sure, priest and mother are mere intermediaries. When this training was originally designed, “once upon a time in 84,000 B.C.E.,” true, the purpose was to crush your spirit, to disempower, emasculate you and thus to insure that the Powers That Were could survive until they became today’s Powers That Be…
But as the training evolved down the centuries and millenia, the purpose was long ago lost sight of. Today’s intermediaries like to believe they’re doing good work (but didn’t Hitler believe he was doing good work? — not that I’m comparing your mother to Hitler — who would dare, or want to?) — imagining, in their self-deception, that they’re protecting you from whatever horror, whatever ugliness may lurk behind the toys and festive Christmas dinner and the oh-so-shallow backyard pond…
‘One Right Path’ is alive today and still a falsehood and a mystification, and one that makes me so angry that I feel it is almost a mutilation-crime punishable by hanging. The truth is that there is no one right path, there are 500.
What Actions Can You Take?
Fight like a dog (and while you’re at it, sweat like a pig) when they try to slide the noose around your neck. What you see doesn’t have to make sense for their crap to be dead wrong. Sense may come later — the oppressor always makes you feel as though you’re losing the argument — or what may come is a consciousness that sense isn’t everything, that these poorly-fitting models — wave, particle, schmatte — are created only by our craven minds.
Our debauched culture, despite all evidence to the contrary, fights to make us believe, and keep believing, impossibilities — things precisely analogous to ‘the sun revolves around the earth.’ Regardless of all the complication and ‘epicycles,’ they claim that this is absolutely the case and the truth. The models — Their models — fail to grasp the true nature of the universe, such as it is — something beyond what the human mind was designed to grasp.
The poor teenage girl — or adult woman! — stares at an impossibly thin 14-year-old in the women’s magazine: she is being trained to believe that if she herself fails to measure up to this model, she is a failed woman.
Models like these, trainings like this one make you suffer — make you unhappy with your own experienced truth! The trainings were designed — even if it was without clear consciousness — to make the system of hierarchies more secure. Made secure by curtailing, or outright crushing, the capabilities of human beings. But in the process of reducing freedom of action, the trainings limited the capabilities of perception even more. (But let’s talk about that another time…)
Why insist on, why make yourself and everyone measure up to a model that was out of date decades, centuries ago? Come on, let it go man! Can you do something for yourself? Who’s crazy, fellas & gals, you or Them? Yes, we’ve all been part-way crushed. Now put that thing down (i.e., your cell phone). Put the hoodie on, get off the sidewalk and out in that rain.
And what? And tell the damn truth.
You have been set up to fail, programmed to fail, and for that failure to blame yourself. “Why didn’t you tell her about the boat you built?” “Why did you tell her?” It’s a set-up. If it were just two individuals meeting in a coffeeshop or bookstore — minus the 30 years of brainwashing — you’d be content, you’d feel whole, if the conversation happened, however it happened, and if it didn’t. Whatever you said or didn’t say, whatever the outcome — fine. Is that Buddhist equanimity? And/or being old before your time? Well, it’s all part of some kind of “flow.”
It can be beautiful, or you can be sick.
Better to wake up now.
Let’s put it another way. You’re still human, with preferences and passions. But you could have 1,000 fewer layers of “description of the world” between you and what’s-out-there. Subtracting 1,000 layers increases the odds of unencumbered experience, unencumbered by history, by training, by received ideas, by nonsense. You can be freer.
See also “Against the Tilt of the Tables,” coming May 2015; “Against the System, the Set-up,” due Jan. 2336. (So the wind sits in that corner…)
© Jerry Kurtz