I been having these strange dreams of late about being there, being on time, being responsible for doing things ‘right’ making sure things get ‘done’ by others by being there to the bitter end to ‘see it through’. I am sure Sigmund, Gustav & Wilhelm would have a field day on me. As they would concerning the paranoia (paranoya, altho I tink paranoia is a lovely spelt word) I shall squawk about further on. I often awaken from these dreams and reflect on possible interpretations, do they have any relevance or meaning in my life. And of course life is what you make it, so to an extent my understanding of the dreams is important to a certain extent. Last night I dreamt I rescued a poodle (?! I don’t like miniature poodles, I like the bigger ones better but I prefer an Irish Wolf) which was standing at some traffic lights in that busy metropolis we find ourselves in in dreams. I was driving, as it happens a lovely Renault 5 which my wife had and lost years ago when some idiot cut across her when he was turning right and it was her right of way, so the loss value couldn’t replace it as it was a special car,(in fact it would have been even harder to replace my wife as she is rather special too and I am not saying that just to impress her cos she never reads this tripe as she calls it) but that’s not relevant to this story, only in its irrelevance is it at all relevant. And you know in dreams where you can stop and scoop a poodle who’s waiting at a traffic lights up under your left arm as you are running past? Well I did. And this elderly couple (they were probably younger than my 63 but I still think I am 16) saw it all and offered to help. There was a pet shop just over the road and I indicated they should take it there and off they set. Somehow then I had abandoned my (wife’s) car at a BUSY crossroads with quadruplequintiplet yellow and red lines. As I walked toward the pet shop (WHY? To check they had got there safely with the dog? I looked back and a traffic cop was about to book me so I pleaded on behalf of the dog’s needs and altho he didn’t understand what the hell I was going on about he pointed to the clock and said % minutes. So I set off at pace going the long way round the block (why I have no inkling) and that involved me running at hundreds of miles per hour and vaulting fences and and and then I came around to the pet shop to see the couple walking calmly in, they didn’t need my help. Oops it’s been over five minutes so I looked across the road and the car was gone. Some of my dreams are premonitory. I had better be careful if I see a poodle waiting at a crossing. So the lessons in the dream are, leave the poodle next time, it knew what it was doing, it didn’t need rescuing. Also, IF you rescue it then pass it over to an elderly couple who are in fact younger than you, leave them to get on with it. But the real lesson is, don’t get involved, just watch, we are living a life, we are here, now, on this planet taking part in an existence but we don’t have to interfere. Before you rescue the dog ask it, ask it if it needs rescuing or on second thoughts don’t even go there, move on round the corner may be a real emergency where all your first aid training can click into action. And seconly, learn to delegate, but with grace allowing them to do it themselves, you don’t have to do it for them once you’ve delegated. I did a management course (at Danbury actually DMS) under David Evans and Vernon Traffic, they were heavy so I asked them to gerroff) once, so I know all the theory. It was the practice I had trouble with.
But that has nothing to do with what I wanted to say today.
I have a new exhibition opening on February 3rd at red Lion Books in Colchester so I have been trying to alter the prose poem I did about the six mystics in my recent book G Batch. Although I was pleased with the end results I knew they were difficult for anyone not versed in the same literature as I had been steeped in to understand as they were not about everyday things and each individual ‘poem’ was a condensation of a large amount of information about one of the ‘mystics’. I thought they may come across better as songs but I have no experience as a song writer. So I thought I would take the originals and try to de-mystify them, take out as many difficult words and passages as I could and substitute them with more universally comprehensible things. If that is possible concerning the subject matter? I don’t like making my poems rhyme and I rarely write them to a beat or a rythme. So, songs are going to be difficult unless I can persuade a friend who is one of the best songwriters in the world to advise me. Bob Dylan for one uses such differing words and makes them rhyme. I put it to my song friendly friend and to my joy he didn’t dismiss the idea out of hand, so it remains to be seen if he would like to involve. He would have a big job on his hands made more difficult by my new versions. In fact, I may just write them as new ‘poems’ and read them on the day of the ‘signing’. Watch this space.
There’s a lot of activity in the lights from my computer plus’ connecting to the Internet altho’ I am not logged in. I wonder sometimes if (more likely ‘when’) the See Aye Aye spies on me. They are pretty certain to have an interest in my activity as I have criticised various presidents and their foreign policies in my blogs. But they are not alone, apart from criticising every poor quality teacher I ever witnessed I criticise the Roman Empire, British and anyone else overly despotic. Rulers and leaders almost always see a need to be Authoritarian’ to various degrees and tipping the balance is easy, witness; Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Kennedy (if you don’t believe me read Chomsky), Nixon, Two burning Bush dynastyans (funny that nasty comes out in that unsuccessful attempt to combine Dynasty & eons. Well it felt like eons, South & Central American covert wars and then the middle east and Africa. Blair, Pol Pot, Hirohito, Mao, the list seems endless and that is ONLY the 20th century. The Buddhist thing would be to forgive and have compassion for them, but I am afraid my karma and my anxiety are both deepened as I cannot help dwell on past atrocities, more in a desire that humans would one day learn from past mistakes, but it ain’t going to happen. Even the Buddhists had at least one monster in their camp, Asoka, who was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism in its early days was ‘a cruel and ruthless king who converted to Buddhism’ who created ‘edicts, inscribed on rocks and pillars, proclaim Asoka’s reforms and policies and promulgate’ in an attempt to make ‘an empire on the foundation of righteousness’. Quotes from link below http://www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/ashoka.html
So, there we have the notion of redemption of evil acts by eventual good actions? Could we place any of the above in the same situation had they converted to a set of peaceful ideas? Well we may never know. Shh…It happens throughout human history long before Rome, Britain & the USA were invented empires came and went; Phoenicians, Phrygians, Scythians, Hittites, Mayans, some of whom the Romans cleared out. And the Roman model was adopted first by Britain, (Hitler tried but his empire was short-lived, as was Mussolini’s attempt to revive Roman glories, mostly in Abyssinia (Sadly genocidal) and my own father fought the Italians in Port Said during the Second world war) the the USA in Vietnam, Laos and all. It seems to be a human condition, or should I say a male condition, would the world be any better if it wer run by women? Well Boudicca wer a good effort, but then thatcher blew that idea. Often it arises when groups of humans feel aggrieved and determined not to let it happen again, they gang together build up weaponry and go attack another group, making pre-emptive strikes against others deemed possible threats (see ‘Listen Little Man’ by Wilhelm Reich). It still happens, most recently in Central African Republic, Syria and the forgotten one in Tibet. And it goes on without being known outside like the internal one in Portugal which was ongoing in 1966 when the great Eusebio played a blinder for his adoptive country. I never knew until he died recently that Portugal was in the grip of a dictator who when the whole football world was offering Eusebio loads o money he couldn’t leave Portugal because of a ban on movement by the military dictator Salazar. Not a lot o people knew that.
Even Buddha was apparently confronted with and indeed is said to have used his ‘authority’. He changed the idea prevalent with the previous popular religion of the Brahmins as they saw no escape from the wheel of karma and there is one story where he declared his feeling for their ‘blind acceptance of Vedic tenets as immutable wisdom., “Like a chain of blind men…is the discourse of Brahmins. He who is in front sees nothing, he in the middle sees nothing, he who is behind sees nothing…”‘ There is also the story of the gang of six, young monks who ‘paid scant respect to the elders of the sanga (community) and were ever inclined to quarreling and strife and disputation. (quotes from ‘Gem in the Lotus’ by Abraham Eraly) It seems that similar to Gurdzhiev Buddha refused to set a final infinite set of rules for his sangha. Dispute and quarrels are allowed. I have seen exhibitions of the way they discuss for ‘exams’ where the teacher sits cross legged and two novices make their points one after the other each finishing his statement with a loud demonstrative handclap and bringing one foot down with a stamp. As an ex-teacher (not of buddhism) I would find it amazingly difficult to adopt and maintain such a position, where my head is below the students arms. This is very brave and shows great patience and trust, and control.
On a more personal note, the times I saw myself subject to the whim of a head of department/section/line manager/school are too numerous to mention. Some jerk gets it into their head, say that ‘you could do better/more/something instead of the perceived nothing you do (despite your results being the best in school, it’s only art and anyone can paint). That is why, I realised, I have those recurring dreams. The zen thing is to let it flow, say to myself, ‘It occurred apparent to me but they probably thought they were just doing their job’s worth, it happened (or appeared to) it has gone (for me I am re-tired) so let it go. Don’t worry, be happy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv-Fk1PwVeU
I am now in preparation for my next exhibition. I am working on the ‘songs’ idea, I love the idea of Blake and Whitman singing their poems in the street and river. I love all that.
I have to consider the arrangement of my exhibits. Glass cabinets or not? I need to inform folk it’s happening and invite some to my ‘readin & telling’. I intend to tell some (background) stories about say the day the Dalai Lama opened the Peace garden. For what it was worth. Most folk in Britain London Colchester haven’t even heard it exists. Apparently it’s wonderful now as the plants have no doubt grown highly. I may tell how I created designs for t shoits at the RA for the Beuys exhibition but his family/estate vetoed any use of his image on merchandise, and he, being the advocate that we are all artists!How I discovered the Silesius poem in a charity shop called Emmaus just down the road from the Red Lion bookshop. Also I found a reference to it in Barthes’ book ‘Neutral’! but it’s only a mention. I could say am about to add to the six mystics another 3, Blake Schopenhauer & either Swedenborg or Toshihiko Izutsu. Watch this space. Sorry am late this week, or last week.