This is a short(ish) and straightforward guide to life, love, sex, death and the world for extraordinary young people, between 16 and 21, although of course anyone can read it. A longer version — in printable pdf and e-reader formats — with extra guidance on worry, friends, being present, being offended, going to new places, science and art, health, the law and madness, along with further reading, can be downloaded here.
ADVICE AND TRUTH
Advice is useless. You might have noticed this? You’ve already been given an enormous amount of useless advice. ‘Do this, don’t do that, follow your dreams, use the internet less, study hard, get a good job…’ on and on and on it goes. Adults just can’t help themselves — particularly parents and teachers, who spout rules like kettles spout steam. You should be able to forgive them though because you’re just as bad if not worse: you’re continually giving yourself an even greater amount of useless advice. Telling yourself you’re going to be a better person, from now on you’re going to be more like this, less like that… that goes on and on too doesn’t it?
One reason that advice never works is because it always leads to struggle. What happens when you give yourself advice, or when you try to change, is that one part of yourself sees another part of yourself that it doesn’t like or thinks is not okay, then it invents a third ‘okay’ self in the future that it does like and tries to become that. Can you see how mad this is? Everyone does it though. Self one realises it doesn’t like self two getting in a state or losing its temper and it says ‘okay, I’m going to be more like self three from now on.’ It’s completely nuts.
The only thing that works, the only way to really change, is to see the truth. When you see the truth you change naturally — sometimes instantly. For example when you see that you are talking too much, you instantly shut up. You don’t need to try. You don’t need to give yourself advice. You just shut up. Other times it takes longer, like when you see yourself lying to make yourself look good; habits like this take a while to die, so you have to keep seeing yourself. But they will go too.
It’s similar with giving advice to other people, trying to change them. Occasionally you must be straight with your friends and family and very, very rarely you must even force them, but you can only ever really change other people the same way that you can only ever really change yourself, by seeing the truth of them. When you really pay attention to someone, try to understand them, recognise and acknowledge them, they magically change; or at least they can magically change. It doesn’t happen very often, but that’s the only way it can be done.
The problem is that nobody likes the truth. The truth is painful, to everyone, because everyone is living a lie. When the truth appears it is received with astonishment or horror. Ordinary people will do everything they can to not have to hear it. They will avoid anything or anyone who reminds them of it. Or they will completely freak out if even a hint of a suggestion of the truth reaches their ears.
Academics, teachers, journalists and priests — the people who control the ideas of the world — will also go to astonishing lengths to conceal the truth, to pretend that everything is okay, when it isn’t, or that we’re in terrible danger, when we aren’t, or that we’re all guilty, when we’re not, or that nobody is responsible, when we all are. Or they will pretend that the truth doesn’t exist, that anyone who mentions the word is some kind of arrogant cult-leader or pretentious narcissist.
All this doesn’t mean that you must tell the truth at all times. Sometimes telling the truth can be a kind of lie — a way to get attention, for example, or to hurt someone. And of course sometimes lies can help the truth — when you tell your friend her new haircut looks great, or when you get out of pointless punishment at work or at school. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. Everyone — but everyone — lies in this way, and of course it’s fine.
I’m talking about more important things here. The truth of your life, of your emotions, of your mind, of the world. I’m going explain why you have the problems you do, why you worry the way you do, what’s really happening in the world and how to discover who you really are; but I’m not going to tell you these things. I might use the word ‘should’ here and there, or give some suggestions, but on the whole, there is no advice here. It’s the truth.
Because it’s the truth the lie in you is not going to like it. The not-true part of you will get agitated and either give up reading in a huff, or produce opinions to defend itself. In order to not have to listen it will disagree (usually by looking for an example which ‘proves’ the whole thing wrong) or it will agree (‘yes, yes, yes, I’ve heard that before’). All such opinions — wrong one and right ones — are produced by the mind so that it doesn’t have to really pay attention.
Better just to read, to get an idea of the whole thing, than to produce your opinions. If your mind can’t pay attention, if it gets restless, bored or annoyed, then come back when it can. When you’ve suffered enough from the normal false way of living, you’ll be able to hear the truth. In the end, only life can teach you, not anything like this. The purpose of this isn’t to teach you, but to show you what you already know and give you some confidence — real confidence that is, not the fake kind they try to teach you at school — to live it.
Before we begin let me give you an example of the truth. You are insane. Anxiety and stress are your constant companions, you don’t really know what to do, your life feels aimless, you are addicted to drugs or to computer games or to shopping or to attention or to porn or to worry (which are actually all the same thing), you have very little self-control, sex doesn’t seem to be the wonderful thing it’s made out to be — or if it is, the wonder doesn’t last very long, you sometimes have outrageous explosions of enthusiasm, but more often than not you feel unhappy, or bored. Things go well for a while, but somehow you always end up feeling discontent, dissatisfied, frustrated. The good life always seems to be somewhere else. You may have diagnosed yourself with a mental illness, or had a diagnosis given to you, or maybe you have been prescribed drugs; but actually these are a distraction from your insanity, not the problem itself.
I’m going to explain the problem.
When you were around seven you realised that death exists, that people die, and you probably asked an adult about this, about death. You might also have wondered, around this time, why people exist, or why anything exists. You might have asked questions about the nature of the universe, or God, or wondered about right and wrong, or about the point of the world, or the difference between men and women. If you had dared to ask any of these questions you would have made the adult you asked very confused or worried — because very few adults know the truth of these things.
Most adults — not all but most — know just enough for their opinions. Scratch below the opinion and you’ll find nothing at all, which embarrasses them and makes them angry. When adults hear difficult questions from children they try to shut them up or pacify them with an easy, but false, answer. They say things like ‘just because’ or ‘you’ll understand when you’re older,’ or they’ll present a story that someone told them, like ‘because of God’ or ‘because of the big bang’, or they’ll laugh and say ‘ooh, that’s deep for a Thursday morning’ and try and get rid of the question by being silly or distracting you. Basically, adults treat children like children.
You have been treated like a child your whole life. This is the reason you are still childish. You were old enough to be told the truth when you were five, but nobody did. You were old enough to be asked about meaningful things when you were seven, but nobody did. And you were fully an adult at fourteen, but the world didn’t consider you to be. All this retards you, makes you immature.
People who are treated like children when they are children never stop being children. They treat everyone who is less powerful than them like children. They become controlling and condescending, particularly to their own children. They also become fawning and submissive to people who are more powerful; to famous people, powerful people and bosses — or they become resentful and refuse to listen to the intelligence and experience of older people. Basically they remain, under the mask of adulthood, unhappy children.
How does this happen? When you were a baby and a very young child you were more sensitive than you may ever be again. You were miraculously sensitive to tones, vibes and subtle feelings. If, like most people, you grew up in a house of people who weren’t this sensitive your heart will have been repeatedly stamped on. Sometimes accidentally, sometimes deliberately, but it will make you insensitive; and you’ll still be carrying the pain around with you.
The world has no idea how to deal with the pain that you carry around with you. Nothing — but nothing — that the world tells you about this fundamental pain is intelligent. All the therapies of the world, which try to suppress your pain (with drugs and mindless activity) or indulge it (by allowing you to harp on your sad, sad story), end up feeding it.
The only way to deal with the pain of life is to understand it, to be conscious of it (feel it? It’s usually hovering around the base of your neck) and to do something about it. We’ll look at some of this below, but there is a problem, an extraordinary one that nobody really understands or talks about. It is this: the pain itself is intelligent. It is clever and cunning — sometimes quite brilliant. It knows how to hide and how to get what it wants — which is more pain.
Even more amazingly, the pain calls itself you. It has its own opinions, its own desires and its own fears, all of which you take to be yours. When the pain hears or reads about the truth, and about consciousness and effective action — anything deeper than its opinions — it panics, it gets emotional and it rejects what it is hearing without paying attention. Not you — it… But you think it’s you!
There is another word for the pain you are carrying around; personality. Personality is not character. Your character is completely unique. It is always creative, present, passionate, generous and loving, but in your unique style and flavour. Character emerges naturally from within, by itself, and slowly, over the course of your life, comes to be known, or discovered. Sometimes you’re quite surprised by what you discover.
Personality is not unique. It’s basically just like every other personality. Personality doesn’t like to admit this, so it constructs a special surface identity out of likes and dislikes, wants and not-wants, hopes, fears, memories and so on. Underneath the surface though is the same pain as everyone else; the same neediness, violence, tension, anxiety, depression, over-excitement, addiction and boredom as everyone else. Personalities seem different, but they’re all based on pain, and because of this they all basically live the same kind of painful life.
Have you ever noticed the vast difference between what some people say with their mouths and what they say with their tone of voice, their posture and their eyes? People can say the kindest things in words, offer the most ‘loving’ advice, be innocent and peaceful and friendly — verbally — while their voice is harsh and accusing, their posture hunched over or their eyes flashing with hatred or desperation. People can say ‘I love you’ with words, while everything else they are doing says ‘I hate you’ or ‘I want to possess you’. That’s personality in action, selfish, cruel, needy, fearful and violent — covered over with a stiff smile, a stiff hug and nice-sounding words.
Personality calls itself ‘I’, but it is not really who you are. It is a picture or image of character. It seems like you, but it’s not you. It’s a kind of caricature or mask (in fact ‘persona’ actually once meant ‘mask’). Have you noticed the horrific mask-like look on the faces of some adults, particularly older ones? That’s personality in its most extreme and developed form. It’s what will happen to your face if you don’t deal with your personality.
Personality is the cause of just about all of your problems. It takes you out of your full attention and makes you miss important things, it makes you sneaky and calculating, or it makes you forget things, lose things, break things and say things you later regret, it makes you build up expectation and then get angry when the expectation is frustrated, it makes you dwell on your various illnesses, it makes you freeze up and garble in new situations (which includes most conversations), it makes you wallow in self-pity and martyrdom, go over old hurts, get lost in revenge fantasies, fixate on people and things you think you need to be happy (which, if you ever get them, never do), get bored during subtly fascinating experiences (because personality cannot feel subtlety) and masturbate over how great you are (which everyone who is perceptive is laughing at when you turn your back). Personality makes you very unhappy.
Personality causes a lot of great calamities in your life, perhaps most of them, but some catastrophes it is obviously not responsible for — but it is still responsible for how you deal with them. When disaster strikes — and it strikes everyone at some point — personality loses its shit, does the wrong thing, refuses to face the fact of what is happening and blames anything or anyone else it can; other people or itself — it doesn’t matter because even blaming yourself and feeling guilty actually feeds personality and allows it to hide.
On the one hand, everyone learns to overcome their personalities to some extent. If you are 16 — 21 you have probably noticed that, generally, you get on better with people than you did when you were 14. This is because the personality, just like the body, receives a massive spurt of power around the age of 14, with puberty. Unless you were very conscious (we’ll talk about that in a minute) you will have found yourself locked inside yourself or selfish. You would have found it very difficult to share your sweet nature with people, to show them you care and to come out of your self; and your relations with them would have been very difficult. This slowly passes as you get older and learn to master your self; to some extent.
But only to some extent. Although you learn to deal with the most ridiculous parts of your personality (for example you stop telling those really stupid lies), it certainly doesn’t die. It just gets deeper and more clever; in some ways much more powerful. For many people the personality has, by the age of about twenty, nearly completely taken over their character. The aliveness and strangeness and passion and sensitivity of childhood, all that reckless enthusiasm, is deeply buried. Sooner or later their faces will show this, their shoulders will be weighed down, and they will die inside. Or something or someone will come along to activate all the hidden pain and they’ll feel again exactly like they did when they were fourteen. Awkward, lost and angry.
Why doesn’t anyone do anything about this? Because they live inside their masks. The mask doesn’t know anything that is real, so it doesn’t know that anything is wrong. When it reads or hears about what is really wrong, it gets confused. It thinks ‘but there’s nothing here’. Or it laughs or it gets angry. It all sounds ridiculous, insane or boring.
But while the written or spoken truth is easily rejected, the actual truth is, in the end, impossible to ignore. It gets more and more obvious because you get what you are. The circumstances of your outer life reflect your inner life. If you live as your personality — basically angry, bored, jealous, tense, frustrated and lonely — then something or someone is coming to make you more angry, bored, jealous, tense, frustrated and lonely. If, however, you live as your character, your life slowly gets better.
Character is extremely complex. There’s the character of your mind, the character of your body, your inner world of feeling, your surface character — which you present to the world — and different forms of character that come out in different situation. Each of these ‘worlds’ are truly colossal — you won’t believe how much you can feel, until you feel it — but they remain hidden until the right circumstances appear to ‘activate’ them. This is how you learn or know who you really are.
But of course you don’t need to learn or know yourself to be yourself. Very young children have no experience of themselves in the world, yet cheerfully and directly feel and express their unique and happy characters. Character, first of all, is your simple and spontaneous natural state. Only as you get older, and as your consciousness develops and responds to the world, do you come to know yourself.
So character comes first. Then, as it grows, and as you grow, you discover what that means in the world. Because your character could, basically, be anything, you need to experiment, particularly when you are young. You won’t ever really learn or know who you really are if you don’t throw yourself into many different — truly different — circumstances. If you hold back, and enter a new situation half-heartedly, or if you organise your life so that ‘new situations’ aren’t really new, you won’t grow up, which is to say become who you are. You’ll stay what you have learnt to just kinda be.
You don’t have to try everything of course. You do have an instinct for what you love which is there from the very start, but living in the normal world, with its pathetically limited options, makes it very very difficult to feel that instinct. You might have an instinct, for example, to be a master of Kung-Fu, a horse-whisperer, one of the world’s greatest carpenters and an epic poet (a genius in three or four disciplines) but because the world doesn’t honour these things your life-instinct to master them will be the vaguest weirdest whisper and extremely difficult to hear.
Personality doesn’t want character to develop, which is why it clings to circumstances that it is comfortable with. These circumstances might seem very adventurous, or very sensible — it doesn’t matter. The important thing for personality is that they are familiar. It doesn’t matter how painful or stupid the situation, personality will always choose the old over the genuinely new, and the world will help. The world, which was built by personality, makes it very difficult to experiment, to escape from personality.
Genuinely new experiences are those in which you are called to do and be something really new. Just travelling, or meeting new people, or getting new jobs, or picking up new information, is not really new if you don’t really call on new resources inside of you, if you don’t have to be sensitive to new realities, or give up old fears. You don’t need to go far. Volunteering at a local garage or an old-people’s home, or even just talking to a stranger on the bus or going a week without your phone, can reveal more of your character than a year travelling around South East Asia.
Personality feeds from likes and dislikes. Character instinctively moves towards what is good and away from what is bad, but personality gets off on exalting and complaining. Character can exalt and complain of course; you’ll have to see the difference for yourself. See how personality feeds on what it loves and hates. See how it goes mad with over-excited liking — and then soon after gets depressed or bored. See how it secretly loves a good reason to moan.
The ‘instinctive moving’ of character towards what is good goes by another name, conscience. This is the ‘voice of character‘. Personality hates conscience and either ignores it, or tries to turn it into a load of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’. This is why the world, which is full of personalities, is full of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’.
Conscience is your character quietly telling you what you need. It might tell you that you need more exercise, or that you need to tell your mum that you love her, or that you need to let go of your resentment towards someone who wronged you, or that you need to give up smoking, or that you need to give more money away, or that you need to turn off your damned computer, or that you need to break up with your boyfriend… It could be telling you something now, but character whispers and personality shouts. While personality lives what it says will drown out your trustworthy instincts.
But only for a time. Eventually conscience turns into pain. Pain is a message from your character that you have to change direction. Because pain is instructive, personality will go to absolutely unbelievable lengths not to listen to it. Personality will drown out pain — discomfort, embarrassment, boredom, hangover and cold-turkey — any way it can. It will invent all kinds of excuses, run into stupid ‘fun’, tranquilise itself with narcotics or lose itself in ambitious work — until it goes mad.
What is your pain telling you to do? It might be that you can’t do anything, that you just have to feel the pain (feel it?); then it can’t move into your brain and make you unhappy. Or it might be telling you to act, to do something, to unemotionally speak to someone who is hurting you, or to leave a situation that isn’t right, or to give your old dad a hug and tell him you love him, or to take responsibility for your problems instead blaming other people or relying on drugs and other crutches. Who knows — only you do. The question is, are you man or woman enough to do what your conscience is telling you to do?
Beware of what the world calls ‘conscience’ though. This is either fear of being different — from your group of friends, or from society, or from your family, which will all rebrand the fear as ‘conscience’ and tell you that you have to be just like them. Or it’s the personality’s fear of getting caught, of being shown up to be vain or stupid or cruel or selfish. Or it’s personalities desire to get something, doing good things for others because they are powerful, beautiful or rich, or because ‘you’ want to be liked. Following this kind of conscience; fitting into the subculture of your friends and showing them you care more about them than stupid outsiders (such as adults), doing what society tells you makes ‘a good person’ (good education, good job, success, money and consumption), being ‘a nice person’ because, actually, you’re afraid of not being liked; all this makes you and everyone else miserable.
True conscience wants to help, or feels ashamed at having done something bad, not out of a need to belong to a group, or out of a secret calculation, but out of deep feeling — a feeling that I am the person I see in need, or have wronged. This isn’t a logical feeling, but nothing that is really good is really logical.
The world is a madhouse. It’s far more insane than you think. None of what has been said so far can be heard in the world, nor anything which follows. Try expressing some of these ideas at school or at work. You’ll be an outcast in a matter of minutes.
The world — civilisation — was originally built to protect and expand the personality. Ten thousand years ago personality took over character and has been spreading ever since, rejecting, controlling or exterminating everything which it cannot grasp, control or understand. Wild nature, real women, innocent children, primal folk, great art, real adventure and truth — for ten thousand years personality has been hell bent on domesticating or destroying them all.
The world will give you nothing. Everything it offers is an illusion. The only worthwhile things in life — hanging out with friends, being in love, being free to do what you want, enjoying nature, creating beautiful things and taking care of each other — are not given by the world. They have nothing to do with worldly success or any of the toys the world can give you.
The world says that expensive holidays relax you, expensive medicine heals you, expensive education makes you intelligent, expensive clothes make you look better, expensive toys entertain you and expensive houses make you feel secure. Do you believe the world? If so, you’ll have to find out the hard way that it’s all an illusion.
By the time you have sacrificed your life to achieve whatever success you want in the world, it’s too late. Your life has gone. You can see this in the bitterness and unhappiness of so many successful people. Read a truthful biography of any really successful person: the constant theme, after the initial rush has passed, is misery and misery and misery.
The reason for all this unhappiness that the world only rewards conformity and personality. This means you have to live the same way as everyone else, and look like you’re happy with it. If you live the same way as everyone else and don’t look happy, they’ll get annoyed, because you’re reminding them that they are unhappy. If you live a different way to everyone else and are actually happy, they’ll want to kill you.
People love character, and love to see it, but it’s only really personality that ever gets rewarded. The reward is status. You get status by copying other people, obeying other people and cutting yourself off from your own nature, which is why the most successful people in the world are nearly always the most obedient, the least original and the most unnatural.
Character is too generous, too unpredictable, too strange, too subtle and too new to find much success in the world. A few marvellous characters do reach positions of influence, but their brilliance soon fades, and that of their children is practically non-existent.
The most successful people in the world we call rich. Rich people are very good at putting on a show of being nice. They are usually the most inoffensive and pleasant people in the world — because they can afford to be. This means that they can get other people to do their dirty work, or they can pay their way out of trouble. Poor people have to deal with their problems themselves.
Rich people being ‘nice’ is very often a display of character. Really the rich are all personality. Your personality won’t be able to tell the difference, which is why you’ll find yourself being star-struck, impressed, even fawning over great wealth or power… until you actually spend time with the people you were in awe of, then you usually find they are stupid, mean and insensitive.
Rich people go on expensive holidays, use expensive medicine, go to expensive schools, drive expensive cars, wear expensive clothes, buy expensive toys and live in expensive houses… and yet they are the most uptight, sick, stupid, ugly, bored (boring) and insecure people on earth. Half of the reason they hate poor people (and they do, although they try to hide it) is that poor people can, without money, still be more relaxed, healthy, intelligent, beautiful, interesting, secure and generous.
Can, but not very often. Poor, unknown, low-status people are often just as corrupt, selfish and thick as wealthy folk — but monstrously, obviously and loudly so. Also, very occasionally you’ll find a genuinely sweet, generous, open-hearted and practical rich person (although even then it’s usually one that was once poor). Nevertheless, on the whole, even though you might get a better night’s sleep if your neighbours are wealthy, if you really need good sense, generous help, or humanity at its best, go to poor people. They’re the only ones who have it.
Have you seen how mad the world is yet? You will. Nobody is really happy, billions are starving, the natural earth is dying… it’s horrific. And yet; it’s basically accepted by everyone! Nobody revolts, and when they do it’s just to make the world more comfortable. Why? Why do so many people basically conform to the world? You don’t have to look far for an answer to that one. Just look around at what everyone is doing. Concentrating on flashing lights in darkened rooms, consuming vast quantities of narcotics, forcing themselves to be happy, chasing after things that make them feel special, exposing their lives to invisible authorities, absorbing messages everywhere that tell them that they are under threat, that they are worthless, that they are sick and obeying the most stupid people on the planet — managers and owners. What do we normally call this kind of activity? We call it brainwashing. That is why nobody revolts.
Actually though it goes deeper than that. Before the world brainwashes you, it domesticates you, turns you into a helpless, dependent puppyperson, unable to feed yourself, heal yourself, entertain yourself or take care of yourself without its products, machines and professionals. It dims your senses, makes your behaviours crude and predictable and sucks the wildness and love of freedom out of you. And then the world brainwashes you into thinking you’re free and happy — or if you’re not free and happy that it has nothing to do with the world (it’s your fault) and there is nothing you can do about it (you’re not responsible).
Does all this sound pessimistic to you? Depressing? That’s because I am talking about the world — and so the personality, which is the world in you, finds it dark, bleak and negative. Your extraordinary character, which is the earth in you, actually finds this kind of criticism inspiring, liberating. Suddenly it can see a way forward for itself, out of the brainwashing, out of the horror and out of the world; and into something actually good.
This even applies to…
There are three purposes of civilisation: 1) to satisfy the endless thirst for power of the personalities in charge of it 2) to satisfy the endless demands of the debt-economies that powerful people base their power on and 3) to pacify the endless fear of the ordinary personalities that powerful personalities rule over. What all this means is that civilisations are committed to never-ending exponential growth. They exploit and deplete the natural world around them until the civilisation collapses. Civilisations also destroy natural character — the sensitivity, love, generosity, courage and fellow feeling of ordinary people, all of which threaten civilised power-structures. When character dies nobody can see or care about what is really happening, and so their power to resist vanishes too.
This is the first global civilisation. It — the human world — now completely covers the earth which it depends on, suffocating and exhausting it. We are now, as you might have noticed, on the point of collapse. There is only a very, very short time left, and nothing, but nothing, can be done to stop it. To stop the collapse we would have to stop using nuclear power, stop using all petrochemical products (all plastics, all fertilisers, all cars), stop importing all our food from other countries, stop digging up rare earth metals, meaningfully reintroduce the wild and ‘scale back’ the economy to roughly medieval levels — all over the world, and not just immediately, but twenty or thirty years ago.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. It is pure fantasy. Look (past the news) at what is actually happening in Greenland at the moment, to the world’s permafrost, to the oceans, to the rainforests. The total and utter devastation is hidden from the ordinary news media (and from the ordinary city-dweller), but it’s there if you want to find it. We are headed for a massive wipe-out, very, very soon. In your lifetime. Civilisation is about to collapse and just about everyone and everything will die.
This is appalling, I know, but it is the truth, and if you face the truth completely you can free yourself from the fear of it. Personality, as we have seen, refuses to face the truth and, as we will see, refuses to face death. Personality always thinks there is ‘hope’, always thinks there is ‘time’.
There is no hope and time’s up.
I don’t know if you have ever known someone you love to slowly die, but what often happens is that, for a time, all is optimism; which is to say, denial. ‘You’ll get better!’ we say and put our hope in the hope of the doctors and the treatments of medicine and the encouraging words of friends. Or we know that death is surely coming, but we pretend it isn’t. We don’t look at it, or talk about it; that would be ‘depressing’ or ‘too much to take’. In the end though, if we are lucky, we cannot avoid reality any longer and we face death. ‘Yes,’ we realise ‘they are dying’ — and we say it to them, and we face it together. Then something extraordinary happens. A new understanding of our love appears, a new kind of consciousness and communication. We realise amazing things; simple but incredible — and incredibly tender. We get the sense that death is natural and that the natural is supernatural. Or if not, we feel a strange kind of heartbreaking confidence in its rightness, or in the future; that despite the awful sorrow and loss that — amazingly, unbelievably — everything really is going to be okay; meaning — amazingly, unbelievably — nothing is actually being lost here. This is how it is and must be, now, as the world dies.
That doesn’t mean the right thing to do is to roll over and let the world win though. You are nature, and as nature rebels against the world, so does the natural in you. The quietest fatalism that some middle-class ‘doomers’ recommend is actually a denial of inner nature, down to its radical roots, and therefore also inner death.
Personality wants a future, wants a career, wants security, wants fun, wants a world. Well, that’s all over now. Face it and allow your life and your values to change through facing it. It’s only because you can’t face it, because you insist on seeing the problem of a collapsing world through your personality, that you are frozen in denial, dread, grief and despair. Character certainly feels sorrow, and immense disquiet, but it has also been waiting for this collapse for millennia. In the middle of the chaos to come, there is something good.
But first there’s…
By the time you reach school, a great deal of the hard work has been done to crush your original nature, but there’s still a fair way to go. School is designed to suppress all your natural instincts — to come and go as you please, to do as you please, to play freely (particularly in the wild), to share and to give. You can’t stand up when you want in school, you can’t go to the toilet when you want, you are constantly watched, assessed, rated. Have you ever thought about how crazy all this is?
The point of school is not to educate you, it is to make you stupid. The point of school to separate children from adults for twenty years and prevent them from learning anything until they start work. The point of school is for you to run up massive debts, so that you will have to go to work. The point of school is to convince you that you can’t be trusted; that you need a teacher, a syllabus and a school in order to live and learn. It’s not long before you are convinced, before you ‘like school’.
One sane reason that some people like school is that it is better than their home lives. This is like saying you like a comfortable, orderly prison because it shelters you from a battle ground.
Another reason that some people like school is that they make friends there. The world takes advantage of this, of your love for your friends, and identifies this ‘us’ with the ‘us’ of the school. Work does this as well, so do armies. In the army men and women go off abroad to murder other men and women. It’s insane and horrific — but they love their friends, and this love is hijacked by the army as justification. Soldiers don’t say, ‘I’m killing people because my government wants the oil under their feet,’ they say ‘I’m killing people to protect my buddies.’
Another reason some people like school is that they like learning. They don’t understand how little learning happens in school, how much they could learn if they were doing things, rather than just putting ideas into their heads, or how much they could learn if they could choose their own teachers, or if they really adored what they were doing. The most intelligent students do realise this, or at least feel the frustration of it.
But what would we do without schools!? Of course we would need a different society, one in which, if there were no schools, you could learn everywhere, as people used to. In an educational society you would help build houses, and help fix tools, and help in hospitals, and help in theatres, and help in orchestras and libraries and laboratories. Yes, you would — why not? There is no good reason why not.
Another reason you work hard at school is competition, although most people don’t enjoy this very much — as most people, quite logically, are not ‘winners’. Relentless aggressive competition for a tiny number of prestigious university or college places, and an even tinier number of well-paid or fulfilling job-tasks, keeps students in line, keeps them struggling up the mountain of stupid effort that school demands.
Remember that school and university are separated from society. For all your youth you do nothing useful for the world. You don’t help grow food or repair bikes or look after lizards (or whatever you would love to do), you don’t teach anyone else (which you are perfectly able to do — older children are very good at teaching younger children), you don’t spend time in interesting places, where important things are happening, and — worst of all (although you might not see it that way) — you don’t spend time in nature, learning to live in nature, making fires, diving in lakes, climbing trees, setting fire to things. What all this means is that by the time you graduate you don’t actually know how to do anything, which adds to your immaturity.
But that’s okay. Nobody in the world wants you to do anything. All the world wants is obedient robots, who can do one or two sub-moron tasks without complaining. This is why school destroys your character, your intelligence and your ability to function in life, and forces you into a state of domesticated dependency. Any student who is really unique, intelligent and capable will be filtered out long before he or she gets anywhere in life.
School destroys character and filters out intelligence by making you do stupid things. The number of stupid things you have to do at school, or listen to from teachers, is beyond belief. The world wants people who can operate and manage other people and machines (it calls these people ‘educated’), but most of all it wants obedient people, who will do stupid things, which means they have to be told to do and accept stupid things. The ones who refuse to do them are rejected by the system. You are allowed to complain, but you cannot refuse. Eventually you won’t notice you are doing stupid things. ‘That’s life’ you’ll say.
Domesticating you and destroying your character is the most important part of schooling, after that school is there to fill your head with lies — about work, gender, love, sex and death. The same applies to the ‘mass media’ — to popular magazines, movies and television programmes — from which most ordinary people build their opinions. Educated professional people build their opinions from a few clever books and the opinions of their teachers. But they are all the lies of the world, designed to protect the world from the truth.
Let’s look at the truth some more. Notice that just about everything you are about to read is the opposite of what you heard in school or will see on the television.
If you liked doing a lot of stupid things at school, and lying a lot, and bitching or back-stabbing or arse-kissing your way to the top of whatever group or class you were in, or sacrificing the best of yourself and your life to get a completely abstract token or piece of paper or score… OMG you’re going to love work! You’ll certainly be well-trained for it. None of the things you learnt in your classes will be of the slightest use, but everything you learnt — and had to become — in order to succeed at school will enable you to succeed at work.
To recap: In order to succeed at school you have to suppress your natural instincts, you have to let your initiative be crushed, you have to fight to the top of the pile, you have to obey the unspoken rules of the school, you have to focus superintently on a handful of abstract tasks that have nothing to do with life and you have to do lots and lots of stupid things. This is also how you succeed at work.
Work is the misery of the world. Everyone, but for a very few, are intensely unhappy at work. Look around you now at the things in your room. Who built them? Who chopped down the trees for the wood? Who mined the iron and the zinc and the copper for the computers and speakers and cables? Who poured the plastic moulds, or assembled the components, for the toys and bins and containers? Who harvested the cotton or sewed the fabrics for the clothes and sheets and carpets? The answer is most of the working people on earth. Do you think they were happy doing their jobs?
What about all the people around you who serve you or who are paid to take care of the world; the shop assistants, the teachers, the taxi-drivers, the people in the call-centres, the cleaners, the waste-disposal people, the nurses. What about them? Are they really happy at work? Really joyous? Or are they stressed and deeply unsatisfied — all pasted over with a ‘happy to help you’ smile? At best most people are kind of bored. ‘Oh. It’s okay’ they say. ‘Can’t complain!’
They fucking well can, and do. One of the main consolations of work, indeed the world entire, is complaint. Everyone does it all the time, everywhere. It’s a kind of universal drug. Talk to pretty much anyone about pretty much anything and within fifteen minutes they’ll be complaining.
The only people who are happy at work (particularly in the wild) are those at the very top of the pyramid; the wildlife cameramen, the prestigious journalists, the costume designers and antique dealers, the politicians, the consultants, the celebrated novelists and the movie stars. How many of these jobs are available do you think, compared to how many are hoping to get them? If you aren’t wealthy, you have more chance of being hit by a golden asteroid than getting one of these jobs — and even then, you’ll find, they aren’t all that. You’ll find the same pettiness, bitchiness and compromise as everywhere else in the world.
Does this strike you as right? Does it sound right that almost nobody is allowed to enjoy what they do? There’s nothing that’s actually painful about making chairs, or driving cars, or growing vegetables, or fixing radios — in fact these things can be incredibly enjoyable — even sweeping the streets can be quite nice — and yet all these activities are hateful for all the millions upon millions who do them. Why? Why do so many people hate their jobs or feel oppressed by them?
The answer of course is money, or rather profit. Work is not there to help us live, but to help those who control work to make money. Because of this everything that is enjoyable about work is removed from it — because its not profitable. It’s not profitable to take your time, to be really generous, to do as you please, to work at a small-scale, to take care of the wild, to fix things yourself or to just love each other. There’s no money in any of that.
The people who control work are now unimaginably wealthy (and the professionals who serve them very wealthy). One of the purposes of the world — what we call the system — is to keep all these people wealthy and powerful. All its laws and most of its ideas are there to make the horrible world of work seem normal and right.
Try telling people not that you don’t want to work — which is, of course, plain laziness — but that you don’t want to work in the world. They will laugh at you, call you insane, or start to worry. If enough people start to think like this the people who control the world will severely punish them, even kill them. This is because continual, mindless activity in the service of the world is essentially a religion, and all religious people react this way to heresy.
Your parents would be very worried if you told them that you don’t want to work in the world; and yet what you are actually saying is that you don’t want to drive yourself out of your mind, doing a pointless task in order to make someone else very wealthy, in the hope that one day you might be able to give more orders than you receive, in a world that is on the point of complete catastrophic collapse.
But then, what to do? It’s not easy to trot off without qualifications and take care of llamas, or make your own trousers, or grow miraculous carrots, or whatever it is that your heart desires (after you’ve found out through the experimentation I mentioned above). Many things that are worth doing — things that honour your character — don’t pay very well, or even at all. The world is not interested in what your heart desires and is unlikely to reward it.
This is particularly true for the arts. If you want to be a great pastry chef or weaver, or something practical like that, it’s still very tough, but you can make some money out of it reasonably soon. If you want to be a great writer, actor, artist, dancer, comedian, philosopher or musician — a great one mind you — you’re in for many years of financial struggle while you learn your craft. This is why only rich people succeed at these things today. They walk into nice arty jobs, without much ability or character, and produce awful art. Or, a little lower down the ladder, they spend their lives acquiring creative credentials in institutions, rising through the mediocrity-rewarding hierarchies of the creative industries and then looking down on those who have lived lives of uncertainty mastering their craft, as amusing children.
But in any case, what to do? How are you to live and learn to do what you love — practical or creative? Break the law, scrounge, take part time or temporary jobs, cheat your way into jobs or degrees, fiddle the system, or even play honestly for a while… I can’t give you any specific advice there, but the essence is this. Do whatever it takes to allow your belly to experiment and allow your belly to find what it really loves and do that, do everything you can to do that. You must bite the bullet and do grim worldly jobs sometimes, you have to get your hands dirty and take your share of the shite, but if you give in to the world of work, your finer self will die.
Let’s talk a little about that finer self…
Love is not an emotion. Love can be a sensation, or a feeling, but it is not an emotion. You can call it an emotion if you like, but it is completely different to anxiety, depression, excitement, boredom, anger, fear, dread and neediness — the pain of the personality, which huddles in the belly, sits on the chest, or in the heart, tightens the neck and grips the back of the head. Here (despite what the dictionary might say) we shall call that emotion, so we can tell the difference.
Emotion is a parasite, or part of the parasitic personality, which feeds on your presence and energy and sweetness. Emotions call themselves ‘I’ and then, madly, ‘you’ (the fake you) defend them. ‘You’ excuse your emotions, ‘you’ blame other people and things for them, and ‘you’ secretly enjoy them. All the time some deeper sense is in pain, whispering, ‘it’s not me.’
Emotion, the fuel of personality, has only three basic modes: over-excited (up), bored (cold) and unhappy (down; depressed, anxious, fearful, miserable, etc., etc.). When emotion is bored it will go looking for excitement, and go up. Then it will come down and go looking for problems. Eventually, when the up-down process is exhausted, it will be cold and tight and bored again.
Personality will refuse to see this process as is it. It will refuse to see that an up (excitement at a video game perhaps, or at winning, or at masturbating) was followed, a few hours or days later, with a down. Personality will defend up and down as ‘natural’ and say that living any other way would be boring (when boredom is its own default setting). Up and down are normal, but they are not natural. Your natural state is not boring, it is very alive.
The mind is almost completely powerless against emotion. When you feel anxious or depressed nothing that anyone can tell you, or that you can tell yourself, has any real impact. All laws, all advice, all ‘shoulds’, all self-help, all of it is completely useless. Emotion will twist it into something it can ignore or reject. The only things that work with emotion are acceptance (feeling it) and action (doing something about it).
Emotions are inexcusable. Yes, your parents and the world have put them into you, conditioned you to be stupid and fearful and insensitive and selfish — yes, the world is to blame to some extent, and its important to see how – but the parasite is your parasite, and only you can get rid of it; and you can only get rid of it by taking responsibility for it.
Taking responsibility for your emotions is hard. I’ll show you how hard: You have no right to be unhappy. Ever. See how hard that is to accept? The parasitic emotional personality cannot bear to hear this. It cannot survive with this truth, because it needs justification for its unhappiness, and it needs a place to hide. ‘Okay’ it says, ‘I won’t be moody then, but I have a right to be moody now’.
Do you like moody people? Do you like being around them? No? And yet when you’re moody you expect others to take it and to accept your excuses.
Love is a sensation or feeling. What is a sensation or feeling? If you go to a wild place, an old-growth woodland for example, or patch of wild coastline, and take a deep breath and let yourself become aware of the mood of the moment, its particular quality, tone, atmosphere, you’ll see it is completely unique, completely special, but not really an emotion. A forest at dawn in a light November rain is utterly and totally different from a forest on a windy spring day — although the restless personality can’t see it (the personality hates nature). The sense of the uniqueness of the day is an intense and sweet sensation or subtle yet powerful feeling. This is what love feels like. Intense, subtle and sweet.
But the extraordinary thing about love is that it is not just a sensation or feeling. There is something underneath that which is also love. What is that ‘underneath’? Actually it is too amazing for words. Any word used to describe it is immediately seized by the personality and made known. This makes it sound cheesy or weird or just plain wrong.
So if I can’t describe this ‘underneath’ what can I say about it? Nothing — it is literally indescribable. That doesn’t mean it cannot be put into words somehow, just not literally. You can say, for example, what love isn’t. We’ve seen that love is not an emotion. We’ve also seen that it’s not likes and dislikes. And we’ve also seen that it’s not a thought or thinking. All these things come and go. If you ever hear someone say that love is painful this is why — they have mistaken something which comes and goes for something which never comes and goes. Eventually when what isn’t love has been seen, and discarded, love remains.
Another thing that can be said about love is to use words to ‘gesture’ to the experience of where it is, which means to the here and now. Do you feel love now in your belly? (not your heart, that’s not where love starts). Do you see love vibrating all around, in the supervivid things in the room and in the space between them? Probably not. You probably feel what people call ‘normal’, which means slightly anxious, slightly bored, slightly stiff, slightly excited and slightly dead.
When people say ‘that is the sun’ or ‘that is a tree’ or ‘that is my friend’, they are using words, which we all understand — but what is the sun actually? What is the tree really? Who is your friend underneath what you know of him or her? The amazing truth is that nobody really knows what anything is. All they know are names and measurements. The reality of the sun, and a tree, and your friend, and everything else is a mystery. That doesn’t mean these things are beyond you, that you can never experience them. It means the mind and the emotions cannot know them and you must learn to see through your mind and emotions to see the mind-blowing nature of things as they are.
If this sounds confusing or mystifying don’t worry. It will eventually become clearer; just bear in mind the idea that it is the personality which is confused, the personality which does not feel love right now, the personality which runs from love into doubt, worry, fun, business and all the other substitutes it has invented for love.
The main substitute for love is;
Sex is the personality getting off on itself, on a reflection of itself. It is completely mental and emotional; usually more mental for men, who get off on the fake idea of what it happening, and usually more emotional for women, who get off on the fake feeling of what is happening.
Sex rules the world. It was man’s restless sexual mania, his desire to fill every womb in the world, to fuck and fuck and fuck, which initially organised society, and which formed it into the horrifically violent place we see around us. It was so some men could get the power to fuck more women.
The organisation of the world into a collection of warring harems is often called ‘patriarchy’. This word is very misleading and is best avoided, because it ignores the wisdom of old men, and it ignores the complicity of women. In fact insane sex-obsessed man-like woman can control society too, for similar reasons to insane sex-obsessed man, which is what is starting to happen now.
Making love is completely different to sex. As usual personality doesn’t understand the difference. Personality thinks ‘making love’ is a soppy, needy, unexciting kind of sex, because that’s what certain soppy, needy, unexciting people have called it. But it isn’t. Making love is radically different to sex.
Making love means man physically loving woman. To do this he has to, first of all, get out of his excitable mind, which is getting off on the idea of what is happening. He has to see past the surface woman — although of course he loves that too — and feel the mysterious quality of woman underneath that. This mysterious quality is really what he loves, what never stops fascinating him in all women he meets, from the very young to the very old.
If man cannot recognise the quality of woman, and completely surrender himself to it, completely give up his mad-mind to it, and his restless, needy and aggressively wanting personality, then he will never, ever be happy in a partnership (and neither will she). He will always get bored and will always start hating her; sometimes just after the first time he orgasms in her, sometimes a few months or years later.
The personality in man says ‘Ooh I like that, I don’t like that, I like it when she looks like that, I don’t like her thighs though, or her face from a certain angle, and I wish she was more like…’ The personality in man tries to control woman, subjugate her or trick her into bed. The personality in man puts woman down, makes her doubt herself, makes her feel insecure. The personality in man runs from woman. This is all completely disgraceful; devilish, really.
Women pick up these tricks too of course, but her personality is weaker than his because she is more sensitive. This means that she can end up being more insane, cruel or blind.
It is also the personality in young men which causes them to ejaculate prematurely, because their sex-mania is permanently pumped up to exploding point and they cannot slow down and re-enter their senses. And it is the personality in older men which makes them impotent, because it has drained the life out of them, the loving vitality and without the insane fuck-desire of youth, they’re cock-dead.
If you, woman, sleep with a man whose personality is running his life, you’re headed for pain and heartbreak and misery. Guaranteed. Have you discovered this yet? You will. There are two basic male personalities — the bastard and the coward. If you, woman, don’t understand the difference between personality and character you will spend your life swinging between the two, never really loved and filling the hole where love should be with substitutes.
Usually men and women have sex because the woman submits to the pressure of the man’s urge to have sex. Sometimes — and increasingly in the modern world — it is the other way around, or it is out of sheer boredom. The result is always pain. Sex makes pain; although by the time you are an adult you are often too insensitive to really feel the scalding horror of it.
Sometimes a man and woman will really connect, have sublime or extremely good sex, maybe move in together or even get married. Then, after a time, the man will get bored, they will have less sex, and they will slowly die inside. Woman will feel the pain acutely, but by this time their personalities are so deeply dependent on each other, that they cannot leave each other. You’ve met couples like this. Friendly, ordinary, nice people — who are dying inside.
You can only be in love if you are committed to making love, to breaking down together the hold that personality has on your life, to letting go of likes and dislikes and to loving despite what your emotions tell you that you ‘feel’.
Making love means, first of all, after you’ve met someone you are attracted to, not making love for a few months. Then the woman knows that the man really loves being with her, and is not just after sex. She can’t believe what he says, because he’ll say anything to get inside her. He’s brilliant at this.
Making love means making love without excitement, being present and simple. The man, so used to porn and to excitement, may find it difficult to get an erection when he first goes to make love. The woman may find it unromantic, unexciting, and not get aroused. This difficulty is the ‘guardian at the gate’. Past this is paradise.
He enjoys the quality of her femininity. Of course he enjoys her particular character as well, but he has to see past that, to the strange quality of ‘womanness’ underneath. This is a sensation, which means he has to be sensate — in his body, and not in his mind — to perceive it. He loves the feel of her under his fingers, he loves her scent, he just loves it all! She keeps him present, brings him out of the fucky-mind when she sees him getting lost.
Initially they are both very, very still. This will break down the personality, which is always moving, always thinking, always needing more. When they are present enough together, they can do anything — any kind of silliness or animal passion is fine — but always coming back to stillness. This will produce a pleasure that will amaze you in its intensity, orgasms so mind-blowingly powerful, and long, and numerous, and sweet, that you will never, ever want to go back to the old way of fucking (or cheesy ‘love-making‘) ever again.
Homosexual men and women cannot make love like this. They can be in love together, they can be happy together, up to a point, they can pleasure each other a great deal and of course they can be wonderful people. But they cannot make love in the way I am talking about, which requires opposite polarities. This is the miracle of making love, two different types of consciousness experiencing the same physical love.
Today this idea is completely outrageous. The world denies that such polarities exist — the religion of the world says that there is no such thing as male and female, not really. Young people have absorbed this and believe it is the truth, and it is not the truth. This is making them very unhappy.
Let’s look closer — but be careful that the opinions you have picked up don’t start making a racket.
Women are born mature, men achieve maturity. Fourteen year old girls lack experience and can be very silly, but in matters of importance they are far wiser — which is to say more present — than boys of the same age. You’ve probably noticed how incredibly immature teenage boys are compared to teenage girls? Boys have to achieve maturity, or wisdom, or presence, a mission which takes at least another decade and a half.
Men, all men, are sex obsessed. Women are not — but they learn to be. The world teaches women to be anxious and wanty, to restlessly focus on sex, to seek it out and to masturbate, to sleep around and to try and please the ridiculous desires of ordinary men. None of these things are natural for women. Women are naturally mature and loving and sensuous and playful and erotically passionate — but they are not, naturally, given to sex-madness the same way that men are.
Sex obsession, fantasy, porn-addiction, masturbation and so on aren’t natural for men either, but men are born with an unnatural component — a ‘something to do’ or aspiration — which women are not. This makes men far more susceptible to insane sexuality; makes them more wanty and more interested in pornographic images. It’s also why they play more video games. Again women are changing in these ways now too. They use computers so much that they think they love video games. They don’t, or nowhere near as much as men do. It’s still more common for a wife or girlfriend to be secretly disappointed that their infantile partner is addicted to video games than the other way around.
The world teaches woman to aspire, but it is not natural to her. She can have worldly ambitions, and achieve things, but the drive to do so is not innate in her — it is conditioned into her by the insane male world of ambition. Woman’s ‘ambition’ — if you can call it that — is to know the awesome secrets of love, to be happy in nature, to be utterly free and spontaneous and strange and creative. She must do this in the world of course, because we all have to live in the world — but really she knows there is something more important that she wants, and loves.
I’m not talking about babies, and families, and being wifey, and so on (although nothing wrong with any of those things — a free world of the home is a fine thing indeed). I‘m talking about something far more mysterious, which nobody talks about, and very few women live. Hopefully you know an absolutely wonderful, mysterious, woman who does live it, then you’ll see what I mean.
Hyper-abstraction, or constant thinking, is also conditioned into women. Naturally she is not a geek, not mental, in the same way that men are, which is why STEM subjects are mostly populated by men. Woman is present, embodied — and cheerful in that — although, again, the world warps her, tries to turn her into a male computer, which takes her out of her body and makes her very emotional and unhappy.
This is why women usually make terrible bosses — because to succeed in the insane male world, a woman has to become an insane male, denying her physical instincts, her amazing generosity, spontaneity and loving kindness. Man, more insensitive, is better at handling the horrible pressures of his horrible world.
The abstract split of man, which appears in his life as ‘something to do,’ or aspiration, distances him from life. He thinks his mission in life is to become famous, or get rich, or get a good job. In fact his mission in life is to heal, or bridge, the split in his mind and learn what women — at least sane women — all already ‘know’.
Man heals himself, and grows up as a man, by loving woman. The abstract part of his self is terrified of this, because it means a kind of death, which is why man is terrified of woman — what she really is. Man runs from woman into hyper-ambition (overwork), hyper-abstraction (geekiness, masturbation, porn), other women (promiscuity) or other men (laddishness, homosexuality). Man also deals with his fear of woman by objectifying and controlling her, which can reach obscene levels of violence. In all of this woman is complicit. She goes along with it, or justifies it, in him, or in herself.
(Man also heals himself by mastering his craft. This turns out to be weirdly similar to loving woman).
What do women, real women, want from a man? By now it should be obvious. Women want a man of character and of presence, which is the source of character, along with the easiness, courage and self-mastery that are needed to bring character to the surface. What a real woman wants is a real man, of love, although because she has learnt that ‘love’ means sappy dependence and neediness and other cheesy nonsense, and because she has become a restless sexual man herself, she no longer realises that love is what she wants, so she settles for less; much, much less. She becomes unreal, and defends her acquired masculinity as intelligence or strength or dignity. This, the exaltation of male styles of thought and action, is actually a form of sexism. It’s the default state for many men and women because truly female consciousness is so extraodinarily rare.
Everything breaks or wears out, all situations change and everybody dies, including you. You can deny this as much as you like, you can hide from it in all kinds of ways, but the truth of death will find you out. The purpose of life is to find it out first.
You find death by dying. Not all at once — that would be literal suicide — but by letting your personality die. We’ve seen how conscience prompts you to obey your character; what this means is that conscience is continually recommending that you destroy your personality. Your beliefs, your possessions, your ambitions, your prestige, your beauty, your routines, your financial power. The more you intelligently die in this way, the more you let go of who you think and feel you are, the more you glimpse a wider and deeper truth than your personality.
What is it that dies when people die? Is it their character? Before you say yes, ask yourself this. How do you know this character? It’s not in your mind — that just gives you facts — and it’s not in your emotions — that just tells you what you want or don’t want, like or don’t like — and it’s not even in your senses — they just show you colours and sounds. You experience character in your character, which is to say, in your love.
When you love someone in this way, just feeling the love for them, in the belly, in the space in your body, underneath the emotion, and without thought, then you are connected to them, miraculously. The scientific mind objects, and the religious mind tries to make a sentimental idea out of it, but the reality is that in this subtle feeling of love, there is no death.
Sometimes it takes death for you to perceive this. After someone you have loved dies you get a unshakable, extraordinary, sense that they are in your love, or your love is in them; that they are here. Sometimes. Or you might just feel, in the quiet feeling of love you have for them, in your belly, that the unbearable sadness is turning into a bearable sorrow.
You might see that death brings out the best in you.
But whatever you think or feel about death the reality is that this is a world of death. We are all hiding from this. Everything you are attached to — even the subtlest ideas — will be taken from you. Far better to release your grip now, while it isn’t so painful, than to have what you are attached to ripped from your grasp. Releasing, or letting go; we also call that love.
Are you holding on to anything? Some horrible pain that you are nursing? A grudge against someone you hate or blame? A mad ambition? Are you addicted to computer games, to drugs, to attention or to eating. Are you attached to your peers? Are you holding on to your sad, sad story or your perfectly good excuse? What about your personality — all your likes and dislikes — pretty firm grip you’ve got on those no doubt? Or you might even be holding on to your body, trying to live?
How about letting go instead? Try freeing these things, letting them out of your chest. That’s a kind of dying, and the amazing result is; love remains.
The more you love, the happier you are. This sounds obvious, but what isn’t obvious, at least to personality, is how much there is to love around you, how much to be grateful for, how much to softly attend to. The more you look and listen and feel for love, the more appears.
Eventually your whole life becomes lovely.
Well done if you read all the way to the end. Not many people can. Their personalities reject this kind of thing as boring, stupid, pretentious, preachy and so on. If you did get to the end, you should have one or two truths that you can go off and live — or at least look at. After a while come back and find some new ones.
As I said at the start, if you want to read more, a longer version of this essay — in pdf and e-reader formats — with extra guidance on worry, friends and peers, being present, being offended, going to new places, science and art, health, the law and madness, along with further reading, it can be downloaded here.
JUST TO REMIND YOU
- Advice is useless.
- You are insane.
- People who are treated like children when they are children never stop being children.
- The world has no idea how to deal with the pain that you carry around with you.
- Personality is not character.
- Personality is not unique.
- You get what you are.
- Character comes first.
- Personality doesn’t want character to develop.
- You don’t need to go far.
- Personality feeds from likes and dislikes.
- Conscience is your character quietly telling you what you need.
- Pain is a message from your character that you have to change direction.
- Nothing that is really good is really logical.
- The world is a madhouse.
- The world will give you nothing.
- The world only rewards personality.
- If you really need help go to poor people.
- Civilisation is about to collapse and just about everyone and everything will die.
- School destroys your character, your intelligence and your ability to function in life.
- Work is the misery of the world.
- Work is not there to help us live, but to help those who control work to make money.
- The world is not interested in what your heart desires.
- Women are born mature, men achieve maturity.
- All men are sex obsessed.
- Man heals himself, and grows up as a man, by loving woman.
- Women want a man of character and presence.
- Love is not an emotion.
- You have no right to be unhappy.
- Sex is the personality getting off on itself.
- Making love is completely different to sex.
- Sex makes pain.
- You find death by dying.
- Death brings out the best in you.