I get sick, wasting and perishing last nights dinner. A massive relief is shortly compounded by my head becoming a block of clay. My body temperature is doing weird things.
It is fever time.
There are many insights that come about through fever, that I had forgotten about as my last fever was quite some time ago. Delirium leads me closer to liberation, or death, or out-of-body-experiences, or something. I’m cursing, with all the bloody might in this body, the curses of ‘modern’ living, of the artificial lights and sounds that make me want to punch and spit and pull every tooth out of my mouth and throw them each individually at every pollutant, wherever they are. I guess it’s the Kali in me or something, but I am fuming crazy at this time.
I come across the Fens on Saturday, exhibiting about ten different energy crashes in the short two-hour hitch. Whilst travelling across, I fall into the age-old trap of noticing the artificial world that is all around me. I feel the tears of the rabbits that I have seen dead by the dozen over the last week, all Fallen Heroes of the great Myxomatosis. I saw one rabbit weeping when I was walking to King’s Lynn last week – it startled me, appearing right in front of me, crying. I said hello Mr Rabbit, and it just couldn’t hold back the tears. I knew that this rabbit was not carrying an inner-bound sadness, but was crying the tears of a fallen and unloved world, overcome by something robotic and non-living.
Tears for the sufferings of the world that we stand in
I arrive, on the other side of the Fens, at the home-town of King’s Lynn. I’m due at a political demonstration there – just a small one – about the absolutely massive and yet absolutely secretive TTIP Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. I’m due to join a group of other local 38 Degrees activists in giving out flyers and speaking with people walking by. It’s to be the first time of me demonstrating anything politically in King’s Lynn.
The group is small, just six or seven of us, but we have the whole street covered. A guy named Ed drivels about some kind of architectural course he did many years ago, how he had to mark many students dissertations and how he was up until late at night every night for a month and……..something I feel disconnected from a sense of urgency. I go out on my own, walking alongside people walking, telling them in the closest words I can find to their own about TTIP, trying my best to not make it sound like another bloody conspiracy (because it’s so major that it may as well be a conspiracy). I tell them that the country is about to be bloody fracked, especially when this comes in, and their NHS will become owned by a big American pharmaceutical company (probably alike the one that’s massively profiting from every person who pours icy water over themselves, sadly, really really sadly…..). Some people are enlightened, switch on, raise their awareness to the fact that, yes, this is actually something quite big if it is how I say it is. I don’t actually know too much about it, but have very recently read Paul Kingsworth’s writings on the North American Free Trade Agreement, the exact equivalent. I know that it isn’t just another bill that could privatise your NHS. It’s a bill that will restructure and monopolise the entirety of Europe’s economic structure.
In between energy crashes, I notice that one of my fellow campaigners is a New Labour representative. I’d only missed out on that one because my vision is blurred in this time, and I’m not noticing much of anything. She wears a ‘Vote New Labour’ campaign rosette, and has two big placards under the table with large VOTE NEW LABOUR posters pasted to them. Here’s what she looked like on the day:
Joanna Rust campaigning for New Labour’s policies on TTIP
I had wondered why I’d had a few people reject me giving them leaflets on the basis that they were ‘already voting Labour’. I was reminded very quickly of the Bedroom Tax demos of a year and a half ago, when New Labour representatives essentially infiltrated the preparatory organisation of the Britain-wide demos, controlling all of the Facebook discussion pages, and deciding exactly what was going to be happening on each demonstration. They were projecting a mainline, corrupt, political party as the organiser of activism towards a mass swoop of non-affiliated activists. In Bath, I got banned both from the discussion page for encouraging people to make the demonstration vibrant and worthwhile, and by the Bath Anarchists group, who were upset at the G. Rilla manifestation at a previous demo so were, effectively, giving me disciplinary action.
This situation was no different. Joanna Rust was definitely campaigning for her own cause, or, well, not really her own cause but whatever she’s being paid to read the lines of, and the demonstration generally had a strong, pungently fishy aroma of New Labour infiltration, with people potentially getting very much the wrong messages. At the end, after we’d packed up, Joanna had a small group that she had found herself talking the party line at. I didn’t hold the energy inside me to question what was going on, or make a move to put things into perspective, and instead walked off to be with my own ill health.
I left Skanda Vale on Tuesday 12th August, about three weeks ago. My time there had been of intenseness, of life-making emotional and spiritual connections, of finding a real concrete purpose (if only for a few weeks). It might not sound like much – but being in a community that is completely, completely based around its spiritual devotion and practice, is a pretty massive thing. I left, dropping back into the Bath bubble for a few days, to a feeling of shell-shock. I was shocked at the lack of worth and meaning in the world around me. Sure, people are doing things in their lives. Maybe some people are happy, or sad, or they might be really busy and feel like they have a purpose and duties and stuff. But underneath it is the fucking sunrise. It is the bloody forgotten roots, the disconnection from deeper things, the inability to stay still for more than a few minutes without having to do something. I may sound like I’m having judgements of the outer world that are, perhaps, quite unfair….that are perhaps more inner-built, that I’m projecting my own stuff on an external world around me. And, well, maybe that’s true. You can make up your own mind about what I’m saying. But the energy here is often very artificial…we need stimulants for anything. To make anything even remotely bearable, we need to take in so much external stuff. And, I think this leads to us living in a very, very sad world.
I have recently been taking in parts of the media, in different forms. My dad listens to Radio 4 for about 10 hours a day at the moment, and watches Channel 4 news, and BBC News at 6pm and 10pm and then maybe later as well, and Newsnight, and whatever other news programmes there are. It is really sad, because there isn’t a disclaimer at the start of the programme saying about the amount of people that you’re about to see being blown up, having their limbs torn off, being shot (even if they stop the images just before the person physically receives the bullets in the head, it’s perhaps more shocking to leave the images that way…). These news programmes are more shocking than any film I’ve ever watched – which may have ’18’ ratings because of the violence that will be shown. The images in the news programmes are not theatrical. The deaths and violence, though, is portrayed almost like a form of entertainment. And yet, I remember when, ten years ago, the country was up in arms about how an ‘MTV generation’ was being desensitised to violence by what they saw on TV. This stuff that I’ve seen over the last week….it makes me feel like I have been out to a war-zone, and have just watched the killings taking place. I am upset that my dad is presenting this to my eight year old sister, as the essential viewing material. Of course, me being ill, I felt incapable of saying anything. Any argument raised against this stuff just exasperates things, makes an issue out of their way of living, a critique of their form of status quo. I can easily be categorised as merely a disgruntled youth, or a wayward activist, a lone fighter that is disorganised and unshaven and scatty-brained etcetera etcetera. And so I become.
The small print says ‘The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes exposure to violence in media, including television, commercial or self-recorded video, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computer, and the Internet, as a significant risk to the health of children and adolescents. American children between 2 and 18 years of age spend an average of 6 hours and 32 minutes each day using this media. Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.’
I’ve rarely met anyone who has allowed me to properly explain myself to them, and for them to seemingly understand where I am coming from. At the moment I am applying for jobs, most of which will be very low-paid considering my experience and qualifications. It is all a total act, in this process. And, in my view, it is extremely conducive to a closed-minded and suffering world. We all have to prove ourselves to one-another, without letting things just flow into place.
When I arrived at Chateau Anand, central France, last Autumn, I was looked at quite awkwardly by the competitive community. I was told, near to when I left, by the director of the community that he thought that I was going to be useless, because I looked like I would be on first glance. He was the sort of person to make such judgements. He was very harsh, ruthless almost. But I became his most useful volunteer, commandeering the tractor and taking charge of a number of projects, and never, ever being found to slack in my long days despite not having enough cheese and bread to keep me comfortably going for most of the time. The director let things flow into place because it didn’t cost him anything. I was a volunteer, and he’d agreed to take me on for two months. I almost left in the first couple of weeks, but decided that the 4-day journey back to England just wouldn’t be worth it. I had to work through a lot of stuff to be there, and gained a lot of respect from others in the community for my commitment and resilience. And thus I stayed, and learnt a lot, and the community received a lot from me. I did meet a few people that I could relate a lot of stuff to, whilst there. I’m sad not to be with some of these people now. Many of them were Russians, fabulous people. Dispelling all of the media’s critiques of Russian people, that are around at the moment. And we were holding a revolution in the community, that was based on unconditional love. We left with the love firmly put in place, and now the community will remain a hub of that vibration.
Sometimes, the world seems like it’s getting shorter and shorter for me. I’ve sat with this feeling something coming to an end for well over a year now, it lingers wherever I go. It’s like as if I’m being watched over by the beautiful spirits of the forest, and they’ll take me over to their worlds when it is time to go. But they’re with me in most of my moments. I’m not doing anything particularly risky to put me on the edge-of-life, but I certainly have felt like I’ve been near to the edge of this body for quite some time.
Kodama forest spirits, pulling me to-and-fro into worlds of reality and non-reality.
Something really very beautiful I heard the other day, about the big sleep…..when the time comes, it’s just like as if you’re going to sleep. There’s nothing more to it. You don’t know where you’re going into when you put your head down on the pillow at night, and likewise when you take that last breath. You go into a relaxed state of being. These are words from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, spoken to a youth delegation in Berlin in June.
I can’t say what is going to happen to me in life, now. I am feeling highly-sensitive in many ways to the world around me. I feel like I am rejecting most of it, now, as being polluting, and harmful. In this time, I focus on finding a job in which, hopefully, I can put energy in good areas. I will be living in Bath again very soon, perhaps for the last time, as my life may well take a very different direction after the time has been done. I cannot imagine myself being with this world for much longer, as I am losing hope in it more and more, and am becoming increasingly disillusioned by the offers that are laid out before me. I am utterly disgusted with some of the things that I’ve seen recently, and am seeing that I am fighting more and more for things that are far shallower than what I really believe in. Soon enough, I am sure, I will begin the fight for what I actually believe in, and will go it on my own, and people will join when the time becomes right. We will lead a new world, and not like how people have moved to other parts of the world to escape the rat-race. We will engage the race, and fight it to the ground, maul the life out of it, and burst its grips on the sanctity of every being. We will release all beings to become ultimately guided by forces that are misunderstood by all domesticated beings, and move back into the wilderness to thrive again.
To thrive again.