DREAM: I am at a big party, where my politics are ill-received. Jane More is mocking my badly cooked Shepherd's pie. It is truly awful. Lucas draws my attention to an open skate clothing shop on what seems to be Holloway Road. I steal a few items (Hooch, Two Legs, Nike) and run away. I pass a man throwing a molotov cocktail into a kebab shop. I begin to fly to escape and, unable to follow, he lets fly with a prodigious stream of piss, which soaks me. I return to the party, which neither welcomes me nor offers me sympathy.
As I walked intensely and determinedly home, I saw a group of children – ten year old boys – stopping briefly for a man passing them. As I wondered what the interaction entailed and the man, thirtysomething, greying, walked towards me, he raised his hand as if, perhaps, to admonish me for thinking ill of him. Then, smoothly, the movement seemed to change to the quotidian sight of the wave that accompanies a nutjob’s quiet dialogue with a mute world. Just as I passed, with the brief, strange challenge that neurotic moments bring, I saw that he was bouncing the back of his hand against a suburban wall, as I had when a child. I would sometimes even run two fingers along the walls and hedges, extending out for jumps, sprinting a tiny man along privet. In this moment I saw an innocence, a freshness, a hidden place inside everyone. Hairbrush singers, biro drummers, the bizarre semi-inflation of the cheeks that accompanies absent-minded tuba impressions by impatient middle-aged men.
It is uncommonly silent in this city. The lights like ward lights, stillness like before rounds. Adrenaline and two sugars, bush-baby eyed, I sit with no-one whose heart beats as hard and short as mine. Shallow breaths inflate a tight chest; then deep, inspiring London's slow hot-box garage suicide: panting morse code, goodbye. The strip lights and opaque black windows cancel the familiar must-see sights of dated packaging and wasted space - now we are the view.
Some thoughts on the Celestine Prophecy's first insight:
The First Insight concerns becoming “conscious of the coincidences in our lives” and the fact that “these coincidences are happening more and more frequently”. We are instructed to take notice and act accordingly. Every individual has experienced some sort of highly improbable event that, most likely, has seemed meaningful to them and Redfield uses this ubiquity to begin the manuscript, to stimulate interest. As Poe observes as he introduces The Mystery of Marie Roget: “There are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.”
It is indeed fascinating. The First Insight is an explanation and simplification of what Carl Jung called synchronicity. Through his experience in analysis, he found “‘coincidences’, which were connected so meaningfully that their ‘chance’ concurrence would represent a degree of improbability that would have to be expressed by an astronomical figure." The most famous example he gives is that of the golden scarab. As a patient detailed her dream of an unusual image, a golden scarab, there was a tapping at the window. Jung opened the window and a rose chafer, or Cetonia aureate, flew in, the beetle which could be said to be the closest to the golden scarab, Egyptian symbol of rebirth. The patient, needless to say, made great progress with her problem of excessive rationality.
Jung dubbed synchronicity “the acausal connecting principle”, dispensing quite radically with the causality paradigm, stretching reason as palpably as Redfield. In his introduction to the I Ching, referring to the moment of throwing the coins, he writes: “The matter of interest seems to be the configuration formed by chance events in the moment of observation, and not at all the hypothetical reasons that seemingly account for the coincidence. While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment.”
“This assumption involves a certain curious principle that I have termed synchronicity, a concept that formulates a point of view diametrically opposed to that of causality. Since the latter is a merely statistical truth and not absolute, it is a sort of working hypothesis of how events evolve one out of another, whereas synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance. Namely, it is a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers.”
Koestler dealt with this in his “Roots of Coincidence”, speaking of the mind’s ability as a kind of “cosmic resonator” as did Castaneda, albeit in a Shamanistic setting, when Don Juan speaks of the world “agreeing” with him. Ken Wilber (in Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality, 1995) uses the term "network logic" and suggests that it is the first necessary stage in the next phase of the evolution of our species. John Lilly uses the metaphor of the Earth Coincidence Control Office, an extra-terrestrial bureau of synchronicity who have engineered much of his life, as detailed in his autobiography.
In Jung’s studies, the experience of meaningful coincidence comes at a psychological impasse and is a jolt to the psyche. As such, the numinous experiences of many, interpreting them as signs from god, visions of the sympathy of all things, are understandable. Synchronicities are part of a self-correcting mechanism, much like dreams, part of the psyche’s eternal search for equilibrium. These compensatory measures are enacted unconsciously to act as a counter balance to the dominant actions of the self. Rationality often overrides these experiences’ beneficial effects by neutering them as chance. “Since we cannot conceive how this could be possible without recourse to positively magical categories, we generally let it go at the bare impression, leading to acausal connection - acausal order and archetypes: contingencies?” (The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche) Jung found that, by studying dreams, fantasies, synchronicities over a period of time that there existed, often, a meaningful pattern of unconscious compensations resulting in a path, a trajectory, specific to that individual.
The First Insight steers the willing reader towards an acceptance of these realisations and of the trajectory, an acceptance that is natural and empowering. Robert Graves, in “The White Goddess” writes of “more-than-coincidences” occurring “so often in my life that, if I am forbidden to call them supernatural hauntings, let me call them a habit. Not that I like the word 'supernatural'; I find these happenings natural enough, though superlatively unscientific.” As an understanding of something which goes beyond the laws of causality, the Celestine Prophecy’s First Insight has come as a great revelation and inspiration to many of the book’s avid fans. The presentation is arbitrary, the purpose admirable. As Dr John Lilly said in a recent interview on the subject: of course the coincidences are in your own construction, your own language construction of the events. So that's all a fake too. As I say at the beginning of my workshops, "Everything I say here is a lie -- bullshit, in other words -- because anything that you put in words is not experience, is not the experiment. It's a representation -- a misrepresentation."
Do you have the patience to wait
Till the mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Till the right action arises by itself?
Tao Te Ching
I'm reading the Celestine Prophecy and, having recently read The Illuminati Papers, am getting slightly annoyed at the unimaginitive styles of the "enlightened". Their poetry is shit, and their command of the language is pretty dodgy. It all reads like Year 12 Creative Writing. Still, some very competent philosophical manouvering.
Mayday "protest" went without what turned out to be plastic bullets. Found out what it would be like to be forced to stand in a major crossroads, with not very much space, surrounded by police, for a few hours. There was a diaphonous band of photographers, kids looking for a ruck or something to do, socialists and non-committal anti-something unreactionaries who responded best to the chant "we want out". Quite.
Ted Rogers is dead - before the ink on the obituaries had dried, my hand was seizing up in a strange empathetic gesture. No more manual dexterity, for me nor Ted.
Carlos Castaneda and the teachings of Don Juan bring a little perspective into one's life, though the path of the sorcerer seems to be a little committed. If you're getting old, time to start flexing those styles. Probably worth studying first. Check them here.
In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is time only for decisions. Don Juan
The new Guardian Weekend is shit. The glossy paper reflects the light. I saw Julie Burchill on the television last night. She winced as she looked at me directly then spat her high-pitched comments on Wham! through the unforgiving and familiar 16-year-old tube. Perhaps I will get a little smashy on Tuesday. If I can find the London Tonight crew filming, ain't nobody going home.
It makes you wonder - what's it like, being tear gassed?
Mayday in London is on Tuesday. People seem to have it marked down as some sort of looting extravaganza. A smashing carnival. Expressions of dissent are so important, they need to increase in frequency. Life should be molded by expressive behaviour.
I shall be there. With bells on. Work on Wednesday. Working in the city.
Like the Samurai, identify with the enemy.
http://www.center-of-the-world.com/ has been set to mental.