A Moment’s Truth
The way I like to write is fairly straight forward from my perspective: I often wait to the last minute and then just jump right in; usually the result is a kind of alchemy: a distilled expression of the many elements from all the various sources in which my awareness has been immersed throughout the week, month, years really. Presto-bango it all bubbles up in a froth of language that passes through this filter called experience. Inspiration fills my sail, the discipline of clarity keeps me on course, always leaving room for a stroke or three of fun, colourful prose, something I liken to filling my sight with the exotic plumage of distant imagined lands. Often I start without a clear idea of where I am heading, but an implicit trust in my process unerringly serves my progress, as does a genuine joy of language, the energy of it’s expressive focus, and the honest pleasure of a fulfilling task. For me writing is a journey of surprise and discovery.
This month The Agora has decided to use education as it’s launching point. Traditionally I’d offer a quick definition of the term using it to find some truth hidden from first glance or cursory examination, certainly digging around at the very root of the word, eventually counterpoising whatever treasure found with the long held beliefs, personal and societal, of the world at large of which I am a card carrying member. Following that I see myself offering an intensely honest and hopefully rousing example of my own emergence out of the septic morass of popular consciousness and into a glorious flight through an abstract realm I name Freedom.
Sounds great. Inspiring to another it might be, fun to write no doubt. That this would take me to the end of my appointed tract I have absolute certainty. Has showing my method disarmed me from being able to perform said act? Will I even continue along this now revealed path, risking the readers’ patience and goodwill? Is this some trick of awareness, or just another example of what happens when you wait to the last minute to do your homework?
To educate: to lead out. That’s my preferred meaning of the word. How I hated the experience at the time. I hated homework, school, the teachers, the subjects, the very buildings themselves, the submissions, the rote, the standardization, and the grey prison walls of mediocrity encasing the whole shebang. The children, my brothers and sisters, my fellow inmates, I loved. Not always, nor at all times, and not for long, mind you. For me the process of education was a nightmarish scenario more akin to a brainwashing and reprogramming than an experience having anything to do with the joy of learning I actually embodied as I first entered. Soul stripping, life destroying, passion quenching, that was my experience of being put through the modern school system. To top it all of I actually went to a ‘good’ school, a private one, paid for through a kind of scholarship for which I was eligible. The children of the so-called elite surrounded me. I was privy to the fast track of success by not only an education geared towards entry into the finest of universities, but also through the cultivation of future lucrative contacts engendered by growing up alongside of the very people soon to inhabit the higher strata of society. This was even spelled out to me in exact terms by a kind and genuine teacher whilst trying to shake me out of my own self-destructive rebellion. He also came from humble beginnings. He also was aware of the very great socio-economic distance between myself and those around me. He saw with clearer eyes then mine the very real opportunity present for my ‘advancement’ in this predatorial reality. His attempt to reach me succeeded although not in the way he perhaps intended. Nevertheless, I believe I do his kindness honour, and am forever grateful to him for having schooled me on the truth behind the facade. Even one moment’s truth can illuminate a lifetime of education.
Now I don’t want to leave you with the impression that after that one moment all was well and good, no way. It took me years and years of effort to rid myself of the self-loathing, death wishing, hate ridden, creature I had been educated into becoming. In short I was for the most part an evil zombie until my twenty first year, the traditional age of the full embodiment of the soul I hear. Sparing the details we’re all no doubt familiar with having shared the experience of being processed through the same machine, suffice it to say I survived. The journey that followed of claiming my selfhood, my personal sovereignty, has taken me to where I am now, to who I am now choosing to be, rather than remaining some product of reactive agents, or another tooled version of another cog for the same Machine we call society or the economy, or another human resource or cell mate of the global prison farm that exists on one level of this multidimensional experience in which we are barely aware of participating.
The day I was presented with the predatorial reality behind modern day human civilization I was also presented with a choice. It seemed at first that there were only two: to join it and get right in there tooth and claw, or not to at my own peril. My inability to go back to pretending that this wasn’t so was the real gift, though I did try for years and more to do just that unsuccessfully. However once a trick is shown to be a trick the suspension of disbelief is no longer part of a magical act: it becomes something else entirely. What I eventually realized after much digestion and assumption of personal responsibility is that a third option, or choice, is present, a third point if you will, beyond yes or no, white or black, right or wrong, duality, polarity and so on. I could choose to suspend my judgment and see through the boundaries set before me and thereby become free of the limitations and definitions themselves. By allowing the opposition of either point, to be or not to be, to cancel one another out I might discover whatever truth remained. In this example: being and not being cancel one another in their opposition. What remains is the immortal truth of the Soul. In other words: I was presented with a preditorial description of life here on earth, one that I had neither the desire nor the heart to believe or participate in. The alternative choice was to hide from or in some way deny this now fairly obvious fact, however this tact only makes one more vulnerable to said predation, an easy mark for predators that just won’t go away no matter how long we keep our eyes shut. On one side fight, on the other flight. No stomach to fight, no heart to hide. I didn’t have the heart to become a predator of my fellows; I didn’t have the stomach to live a lie. What’s the third point here? What’s the truth remaining beyond these impossible choices? Don’t fight. Don’t run…play your own game. Does this work with real world problems facing each and everyone of us? Of course. Don’t obey. Don’t comply. Breathe deeply. See clearly. Choose wisely. I was taught that the proper use of energy is often determined by what one doesn’t do. Why support a system that is so obviously determined to keep you in chains and eat you alive? Is there really no alternative to this system of scarcity and lack? How can that be? One look at the heavens demonstrates the endless abundance of where we actually live. Why not stop believing that reality is limited by us, by our conceptions or our ideologies? Start finding out for yourself where your real limits begin, and do they really end as they appear?
I can even say that my education was a success, specifically whereas my evolution is concerned. I didn’t land here from some far away place with the answers from the stars. I’m not anyone’s leader or messiah chosen of virgin birth to point out the Promised Land. I’m not channeling any disembodied busybodies. I’m not some revolutionary activist, nihilist or anarchist. I’ve simply decided not to accept any limiting labels or foisted identities, easy semiotic signifiers, nationalism, communism any ism at all (cliques or groups in general give me the willies). That is not to say that I’m not aware of them. I’ve paid my dues, so to speak. I’ve studied the world, and not just the one created by men either, though it’s good to keep a sharp eye on those rascals. I’ve also played and experimented with other worlds of possibilities beyond the lexicon of human language and tradition. I’ve verified certain awesome and at times terrible Truths lurking beyond the periphery of sanctioned human consciousness. I’ve even done it sober and in full awareness. I’ve seen marvels, natural and otherwise, and witnessed horrors beyond the heart’s imaginings. I’ve literally stepped out of this fabricated reality never to fully return. And if I can do it so can you. After all it’s not only endless mystery out there, but in here as well.
As I see it we’re all being left with a very clear and potent truth, one that even if only perceived for a moment can illuminate a lifetime of education.