New World Dreaming

by Nowick Gray

Good News, Bad News

Hopes and dreams on hold, cases and deaths rerun. Mainstream news, independent research, public safety, propaganda, legal challenges, pleas for freedom and human rights, censorship of scientific debate… where is it all heading? Each day the headlines roll: bad news, wherever you turn, nowhere to run or hide. Two years and counting, is there no other narrative but endless covid, rumours of war, supply chain breakdown, hyperinflation and unsustainable debt, the ruin of the world?

We turn for solace to the bright sunshine, the healing rain. We savour the inbreath, outbreath, silence of stars. We sway in the dance of the elements, the pushes and pulls of contending parties, of commerce and coercion. Persuasion shows us what to choose. We retreat, mulling our options. Who decides? Have we thought of everything? We have been taught from birth: what to think, how to act, what is true, whom to trust.

Sixteenth-century French scholar Étienne de la Boétie, in The Politics of Obedience, eloquently describes the nature of our “voluntary servitude,” true then as now, and proven through centuries of previous tyranny. If we are born and raised in a condition of compromised liberty, most will never taste the nectar of true freedom nature intended. Instead we will curry favor with our masters, and carry out their injustices on others, in diminishing hopes of our own reward.

In Atlanta, Georgia, where I lived in the early 1960s, restaurant owner Lester Maddox resisted racial integration by handing out axe handles on the street. He later became governor. Today our Canadian prime minister, a bad actor in blackface reading from corporate script by gaslight, mandates intolerance, and in the same breath brands his victims, our fellow citizens, as racist.

So we come back to the present day, lulled by distractions and petty perks, bamboozled by a ceaseless machinery of statistical authority, made to fear the Virus or the Russians or the Climate in order to do whatever bidding is required to forfeit our lives to the program of our purported safety and salvation, which never in fact is guaranteed or delivered, but always deferred to the next sacrifice.

Good news, bad news, you know we’ve had more than our share of the latter. Nature is hard, we know, but also kind. It can be harsh but then beautiful. Humans are bad to each other too but also loving, forgiving, and wise. Why throw the good news out with the bad? We once were born free. Without that heritage, we are lost to a treadmill of slavery, following orders without end, serving an agenda we never signed up for.

The good news is, we’re still here. Nature is still alive, somehow, despite our predations. Our freedom and love of life still beats in our human hearts, our animal nature, our good grace. May we celebrate our power to exist, and resist the perverse force of the few who seek to bind us to bad news and cancel the good. The good news is left up to us to make, and remake again.

See: Bonus good news roundup, 10 January, from attorney Jeff Childers.

Catching Up

When Doctor Faucist was challenged on a critical point of science, he invoked the standard disclaimer: “I don’t have time for conspiracy theories. Write a book about it.” His quip echoes Bush, Jr.’s PR man Karl Rove, chiding a pesky reporter (Ron Susskind):

‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’

Twenty years post-Rove, and the pace of imperial realities gushing forth from the global control wurlitzer makes it impossible to ever keep up, or catch up, either to the events themselves or the information following behind in an ever-expanding cloud. Is it Rove’s fault, Fauci’s, our own, or whose? What to do?



‘The real reason for confusion and guilt is not logical but physiological. Literally, physiological. Our bodies are folding under the pressure of being overloaded. And in order to stop feeling guilty about our species, one needs to slow down and breathe.’ —Tessa Lena, Why Bother Speaking the Truth?

Overwhelm is the order of the day. Stresses of family and work, health issues and social restrictions, economic and environmental devastation. On top if it all is information overload. Everything is trending vertical, hyperbolic.

As my news feed grows, reading blurs to scanning; I hit the speed button on the videos to 1.5, then 1.75, even 2 times normal speed. They sound like cokeheads, but it’s my intake going up.

As it becomes more impossible to keep up the pace of absorbing the facts and impacts of everything coming our way, we have also expanded our sense of breadth, when the local news and global reach is connected in real time, across all barriers of self, family, village, tribe, nation, race, species.

We are poised in that moment of absorbing so much reality, so fast, that our only refuge is to reach the still point of rest, in the space that opens between, behind and through the breath.

‘Thou shalt know that this Universe is, what it professes to be, an infinite one. Attempt not to swallow it, for thy logical digestion; be thankful, if skillfully planting down this and the other fixed pillar in the chaos, thou prevent its swallowing thee.’ —Thomas Carlyle (The French Revolution) in Thomas Mann, Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, p. 9)

A fixed pillar abiding in stillness: the individual self can cope, if we choose that stance of immobility. The stance itself rigidifies in a religious tribe; so we prefer the motion of trees, or beings of light touch on the earth… alert, not heavy-footed marching to nowhere fast.

There’s universal energy at play in each of us, enough to find and make new paths. At home, we sweep away the dust; at sea, we clear the decks. In our dreams, we teach ourselves to get out of the way.


Toltec Sex Magic

What is the wisdom
of the serpent—sinewy,
lithe and flexible—

To teach us manners
in the daytrading new world
of its own making?

If we take its bite,
survive, we ride forever
on that beast’s long back.

If we don’t—that’s us—
they run us out of NewTown
never to return.

Like the Savages
of Brave New World, Dune’s Fremen,

we know what’s human
we know our Kundalini
is not YourHealthCode



Now available in one volume, Nowick Gray’s collected essays from The New Agora, 2019-21.

Talking Spirit: Essays and Inspirations, by Nowick Gray

Essays spanning three decades—reflective yet contemporary, philosophical and practical—address human nature and environmental ethics; personal and metapolitical intention; radical insight and live freedom in thought, emotion and action.

Order now from Amazon.

Nowick Gray’s fiction and creative nonfiction crosses genre boundaries and bends categories, with unconventional characters on the margins of society, exploring the heart of nature and authentic human being (see Nowick is a regular contributor to The New Agora and also offers perspectives and resources for alternative culture and African drumming. He helps other writers as a freelance copyeditor at

image credits:

(feature) Dystopian: David Morgan
Justin Hitler: reddit
Mass formation: Matt Agorist
Story: Vaccine Choice Canada





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