Paranoia and Parapraxis.

Once upon a time there lived a poor couple whose greatest wish was to have a child….

From a small upstairs window in their little cottage, where they could see over a high wall and into a wonderful garden owned by an Enchantress in which there were all manner of exotic and magical plants, the woman spied a great clump of Rampion growing. Rampion is famed for it’s fertile properties and  she set her heart upon having some. So she persuaded her husband to clamber over the wall in dead of night and fetch her a bit.

..which he did.

and the next night too… and the night after that..

..getting quite blase now about his habitual stroll through this strange garden by moonlight to collect Rampion.

Until one evening, in a twinkling, the Enchantress has planted herself in his path, way bigger than he imagined with purple tendrils of electricity snaking about her fingertips.

‘What are you doing’? she asks, in a voice silky with impending malice..

”Er, sorry your Enchantress-ship. I was collecting Rampion for my wife who wishes to conceive a child. Please don’t turn me into anything nasty.”

The Enchantress pondered for a moment, ‘very well, but when the child is born it will be mine,” and then she vanished in a thunder clap leaving the poor man clutching his Rampion and quaking in his boots. On the day the child was born the Enchantress appeared as if by magic and scooped the babe up, ‘I will call her Rapunzel after the Rampion,’ she said and then they were gone..

To say that the Enchantress was an over-protective mother doesn’t quite do justice to her determination that Rapunzel be sequestered from the world. She built a tower in the forest without doors and Locked Rapunzel Up. Occasionally the Enchantress would arrive with supplies and command Rupunzel to lower her lengthy tresses for her to climb up..

‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your golden hair..’

One day the local Prince is riding by and sees all this happening. He’s a tad curious and go’s over to the tower once the Enchantress is gone…

‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your golden hair..’

So, he climbs up and they fall in love… as you might expect. But what happens next is not so expected…

One day the Enchantress visits and as she’s climbing over the balcony Rapunzel inadvertantly blurts, ‘ oh, you are so much more heavy than the Prince,’ and before she realizes it the truth is out. The enraged Enchantress cuts off Rapunzel’s tresses and banishes her to a filthy hovel in some farflung desert place. Then she lies in wait for the Prince.

Slips of the tongue, or ‘paraparaxis’, meaning ‘beyond what is acceptable’, in Greek, can get you into a world of trouble.  The problem with slips of the tongue is that they have a nasty habit of outing unacceptable truths. Its as if the Truth is just busting to find expression. The more unacceptable that Truth is the harder it will push for the light.

which is all very well. But to the person who’s just outed themselves its like having an inner traitor.

My most cringe-worthy slip of the tongue was in the library,  wanting to borrow a reference copy of the ‘Writers and Artists Year Book. The librarian was very attractive and scantily clad in summer heat. I tried my best to ignore the fact, not least of all because a gaggle of old ladies in the doorway were looking me up and down as if to say, ‘we know what you’re thinking you filthy little man..’

So I was on my best behaviour, and doing my utmost to be polite..

‘Good afternoon, do you have a copy of the Writer’s and Arse Tits Year Book?

which brings us to the next order of business, Paranoia. Something Unknown is Doing I Don’t Know What… and it doesn’t seem to have the interests of polite society on its agenda…

The Prince climbs up Rapunzel’s severed locks only to find the Enchantress at the top who wants very much to scrag him. Only by throwing himself from the tower is he saved, though he loses his eyes to the thorny thicket surrounding the tower on his way down.

Paranoia is when you think something is going on but its not. We overlay reality with our own inner pallette to the point that what gets painted is really rather different from what is actually there. The Prince thinks he’s getting Rapunzel but has to deal with the Enchantress instead…

a common male complaint.

He’s bound to feel that some wicked will is working against him. We’re all conditioned by experience to expect the world to respond to us in a particular way. Survival depends on learning who we are from our environment and living up to its expectations even if they are not good for us.

”Instictive forces do not reason. They assume, from the immense weight of their experience,.. that it will serve the individual well to be stabilized according to  initial experience.’. Jean Liedloff.

What this means is that..

‘the design of each individual is a reflection of the experience it expects to encounter… defined by the circumstances to which its antecedents had adapted.” ibid

So the boy who was humiliated by his mother, says to himself que sera sera, this is how it is. He adapts and expects to be humiliated by Life. He will even engineer it if he can, because survival means integrating Expectations, even if that expectation is that you are stupid and will fail.

‘Not so easily do we forget what we learned with our Mother’s milk’. Dostoevsky

The prejudices and assumptions we all have about life serve to create a seamless fit between the peculiarities of childhood and the objective face of a wider and untested Universe later on. Confronting your own paranoia, realising that how things were needn’t be how they are, is a huge wake up that can rob a person of their usual perceptual ability symbolised by the Prince’s blinding.

When I was a kid there was always a sense of something amiss at home that I couldn’t name until one day my father put his hand on my mother’s shoulder and she involuntarily shuddered with disgust. I was shocked. My first thought was, ‘what else is it that I cannot see.” And even though it was disorienting and painful, I grew.

because the painful thing was at least real.

‘Loosening and even fragmenting the internal psychic environment. . . is the ground for the birth and development of higher psychic structure. Disintegration is the basis of developmental thrust upward, the creation of new evolutionary dynamics and the movement of the personality to a higher level.’ Dabrowski

So the prince has to wander blindly about the  kingdom like a beggar until one day, deo concedente, by the will of the gods, he finds Rapunzel in her desert hovel. She recognizes him straight away, embraces him and her hot tears fall upon his eyes which are then restored.

Love heals all wounds.

Both Rapunzel’s parapraxis, which caused so much trouble, and the Prince’s paranoia…more trouble, ultimately serve the individuation of both and bring them together in a very human way unencumbered by the ivory towered inflation of their first encounter.

So slips of the tongue, though embarrassing, serve to bring unconscious material within reach of consciousness; and paranoia, though uncomfortable, helps to air the gap between what we think is happening and what is actually going on whilst continuously encountering the Unknown and being bent into interesting shapes by it.


The Plague Pit.

If you were to look to history for examples of how to get yourself out of a fix on a grande scale you’d think you couldn’t do much better than the miraculous swath of time that birthed the Rennaisance out of the Dark Ages. You could be forgiven for feeling that therein lay some treasure, a mystical clue to the redemptive flowering of Humanity rooted in some collective noble sentiment or sacrificial gesture.

But no..

It was done for them, or rather.. to them…

by a nasty little beast called Yersinia Pestis.

The author of this great Resurgence to our collective spirit, impossible without an affluent middle class, was not benevolent Popery or Charlegmane’s Universities, nor the art scene in Florence. It was Yersinia riding abroad on her mount, the mighty rat flea Xenopsylla, which made up for it’s teensiness by jumping far and harbouring pustule inducing chemical weapons that can kill quicker than thirst.

The Black Death killed over half of Europe. A liberating bonanza for those it left behind and so the West flourished for a while until Yersinia was wiped out…

or went back to her reservoir for a well earned rest.

”Widespread death eroded the strict hereditary class divisions that had, for centuries, bound peasants to land owned by local lords.” Louisa Woodville

Like sex, death is a great equaliser. It meant a temporary end to the stranglehold of landlords by the sudden dip in demand from surviving peasantry who, flush with inheritance, could now negotiate wages and had both the time and the means to better themselves, to fulfill personal ambition and potentials previously impossible.

Da Vinci’s mother Catarina was of peasant stock, as was Bruegel, Goya, and Titian.

Unfortunately we can’t have the fabric of society further rent by such upstarts whose contributions, whilst gratefully received, have a way of making people think that is not congruent with their governance.

And so the Deepening State must work to erode the Individuation of its citizens despite the consequences to culture, indeed, must make such a sacrifice in order to consolidate power that now depends on having people at a disadvantage.

What art came out of Nazi Germany? Or music from Stalin’s Russia? Not a lot. Stalin made musicians compose in groups so as to prevent any one individual from shining to brightly. Result? Decades of dreary band music. Shostakovitch was made to apologise to the Russian people publicly for the poor state of National musicianship….

Stalin was not just aware of his impact on Russian culture. He planned it, a deliberate, plaguing policy of dumbing people down.

Russian jokes play on the erosion of personal expression and identity. This one is a conversation between a foreman and a worker at a construction site. All its words are derived from the single obscene word khuy.

Ohuyeli! (have you gone mad?).. Nahuya (why) dohuya (so much) huyni (of stuff) nahuyarili (you have loaded up?) Rashuyarivay.. (unload it) nahuy.. (out of here).

Huli?! (What’s the problem?) Nihuya!.. (no way) Nehuy.. no need) Rashuyarivat,.. (to unload). Nehuyacheno.. (it got loaded) nehuyovo.. (quite well). Pohuyarilli.. (let’s go!)

Author S.-A. Kristofferson offers the tentative translation..

”Fuckheads! Why did you load so much of this shit? Unload it the fuck away from here.”

‘What’s the fucking problem? Fuck no! No need to unload. It got loaded right. Lets go.”

Another story tells the fate of a Ukrainian factory marked out for a special award and visit from dignitaries to bestow it with a Quality Mark. The bosses told the workers to mind their language and banned any obscenities. Production fell sharply. The bosses discovered that all the workers’ tools were known only by  their profane names, pizdulina, huynyashka, huyutina, all loosely translated as ‘thing’.

The same went for technological processes. Zayabenit, to push or force through, prihuyuachit, to connect or bond, huynut, to move slightly, zahuyarit, to throw far away or to put in deeply….

Plague is a symbol of something. It hits where there is the greatest density, the greatest sedimentation of character, entrenched identity that cannot move with the times. Its what happens when we are cut off from both ourselves and one another.

 In Camus’, ‘the Plague’, the citizens of Oran are initially indifferent to one another’s suffering because each person is selfishly convinced that his or her pain is unique compared to “common” suffering.”  S Notes.

or is the plague caused by the indifference, the omnipotent fantasy of being ‘unique’… identifying oneself with persona at the expense of authenticity?

Both physically and symbolically plague is about claustrophobic ‘no-space’. Fortunately ‘space’ is about a great deal more than the cubic yardage of your apartment. It also addresses an inner condition which has to do with being able to reflect, to tell yourself off, to value the wilderness within sufficiently to want to spend time there despite its dangers.

The problem is that getting some inner elbow room means coughing up hairballs and received wisdoms that will make you question stuff supposed to be set in stone.  The alternative is not to enquire, not to question, not to ask…which is where plague suddenly, surreptitiously, sets in.

When we are all boxed in and have no space, plague ensues one way or another, either in the spontaneous manifestation of Yersinia mounted atop faithful Xenopsylla, or the living death of stumbling towards a fate that is not your own.

Recognizing our potential, at any moment, to fall asleep and unwittingly become an agent of darkness is to become psychically immunized from falling prey to the malevolent bug of egophrenia.” ~Carl Jung- CW 10

…though many are bitten, become infected and die. The worst affected succumb to Cotard’s Delusion, the belief that they are already dead..

and it might be true.

“I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas.” Charles Bukowski.

And you can’t help wondering what it all means…and that perhaps if we do not die to our own grandiosity then, like grail kings of old, we will be made to die a different way.

Zombie Nation.

It seems there are as many prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse as there are for WW lll. What does this mean? No-one thinks its real but an awful lot of young people are pre-occupied with it. I even came across a zombie survival manual in someone’s loo recently. It was very detailed.

”your team of hunters will be out during the brightest, hottest, most excruciating part of the day. Make sure each hunter is well supplied with water and antisunstroke accessories.” Max Brooks. Zombie Survival Guide. Complete Protection.

Max put a lot of thought into that. My own seventeen year old waxes between sigma functions of differential equations and the best places to hide out in case of a zombie attack….along with millions of others, judging from the brisk sales of the bestselling survival guide…

and its contribution of a Wall St estimated 6 billion dollars to the economy..

So what is going on?

Max himself says,

”You can deal with societal breakdown, famine, disease, chaos in the streets, but as long as the catalyst for all of them is zombies, you can still sleep.” Max Brooks.

yeees, but that seems a bit thin.. self-analysis always gives you what you already think… It still keeps the zombies ‘out there’, not me and nothing to do with me.

Zombies are one of the main collective psychological fantasies of our culture, a significant contender to Porn Industry for the OCD  Heavy-Weight Championship face-off.

The Living Dead are a collective symbol. They describe an inner condition of Western Consciousness, and because it has to do with us we have a fascination for it.

We have festivals to try and give some creative expression to it. Halloween is second only to Christmas in the Collective Imagination. Yet  it has been so overladen with split off aspects of the modern psyche that it more resembles a Mexican Day of the Dead than it does the original Samhain New Year festival.

The Mexicans proptiate their departed with offerings of food, drink, music and fireworks, to stop them messing in Life’s affairs and ease them along into the next world. Its good psychological hygiene. It works because the Mexicans understand what they are doing. Its a far cry from sending your kids out in elf costumes to get wasted on sucrose.

We have lost the knack of honouring the ancestors, or facing the underbelly of their legacy to us, the planetary pillage they initiated, the theft of whole nations still ours, still exploited, today.

Collectively failing to know our own history makes the walking dead of History’s descendants. Our firm belief in our moral superiority, subjecting others for their own good, the rampant proliferation of narcissism in our culture and continued exploitation of what are now Slave Nations, gives rise to something inside us eternally hungering, devouring of Consciousness, sapping of Life.

We are naturally moral beings. People know when they are living off ill-gotten gains. It makes it difficult for them to enjoy what they’ve taken and makes them subconsciously want to fail, want to be brought down, finds them in need of enemies. Eventually the split off conscience finds some way to sink the shining hero, which is why evil always rots from within and why anything dictatorial is invariably the author of its own demise.

I too believed in my own supremacy once, in elite right to rule. I was priviledged, and suppressed people ‘for their own good’ but strange to say it filled the world with demons that only truly disappeared when I pulled my head out of my ass and reflected on the hidden fascism in policing the planet whilst feasting on its  brains and intestines.

Curiously the symbol of zombie brain-feasting was never part of the original genre. It is as recent a contribution as the Simpsons 1992 classic Treehouse of Horror. Yet, like any divinely inspired midrash, it stuck because it seems right.

But why?

Return of the Living Dead’s writer and director, Dan O’Bannon, suggested that the undead felt the need to feed on brains because it somehow made them feel better by easing their pain.

Which, by way of allegory, is precisely what makes people mess with one another’s heads. The insecure narcissist who knows he is only skin deep has to have someone be the dumbass in the equation. Even the prime Minister of Montenegro will do. Anyone with juicy brains and soft guts.

When Life gets Random..

Of course you have control issues. Life is a bitch and then you die. But worse than being short, nasty and brutish, life is terribly random. For anyone who is not the Silver Surfer and cannot ride the Quantum Fluctuation Fields of curved space, we cope instead by giving chaos a pedigree, saying it was meant to be, as if Fate simply meant being led by the hand through a single possible life.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Bilbo Baggins

Most of us need only reflect on the way we met a partner to remind ourselves how co-incidental life can be, and that everything is a billion to one. We prefer the idea of being in the right place at the right time to try and bring some semblance of order and purpose into events, forgetting what personal responsibility is lost in things that are meant to be, how much expectation then has to be shouldered by the other.

Life’s collective chaos tends to express itself in acts of war. Though we abhor the idea of war so too do we go to battle on the slightest pretext and sometimes on whim and invention. The Gulf of Tomkin debacle, which precipitated the Vietnam war, pissed quite a few people off by never having occured. The Gulf war was joined on the strength of WMD’s which turned out to be a lie. Yemen lies in ruins because the Saudi king doesn’t like their elected President. His mate wants the job.

But its how these chaotic things are sparked that grabs my attention because they are so far flung from the hushed rooms of diplomatic discussion, the fine manners, the fine wine…

and even from the undertones of opportunism, or the cut and thrust of deliberate calculation..

No better event exists than the sublime Unlikelihood of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which started the Great War, to serve as an example of how the most absurd occurence can trigger global events.

There are in fact two versions of the story. The first, less interesting, is the testimony of a fellow conspiritor to the assassin Principe, a Serb Nationalist whose account makes a cunning ambush of the killing… after an initial failed attempt and having been received by the mayor of Sarajevo Fehim Cercic …

”Potiorek, the Austrian Commander, pleaded with Franz Ferdinand to leave the city, as it was seething with rebellion. The Archduke was persuaded to drive the shortest way out of the city and go quickly.

The road to the (Austrian Military) maneuvers was shaped like the letter V, making a sharp turn at the bridge over the River Nilgacka. Franz Ferdinand’s car could go fast enough until it reached this spot but here it was forced to slow down for the turn. Here Principe had taken his stand. As the car came abreast he stepped forward from the curb, drew his automatic pistol from his coat and fired two shots.”  Borijove Jevtic (a member of the Black Hand group who later claimed he had been involved in the assassination.)

The second story, from a number of other primary sources, rings a lot better. It was a shambles. Eight assassins, mostly pneumoniacs who were in the terminal stages of illness and once arrested would not survive long to enjoy their commuted executions, lined the main street of Sarajevo every hundred yards armed with grenades, hand guns and cyanide. You’d think they could manage to take down a  glittery waving target with a great feather hat in the back of a slow moving car with the top down?

But no. The first assassin bottled out. The second threw his grenade but missed, hitting the car behind instead and injuring two of Ferdinand’s men. The royals roared off and the rest of the assassins melted away into the crowd.

And that should have been the end of it, but Chance had only just come out to play and was about to deliver up something in the assassins favour even more unlikely than the golden opportunity they had just botched.

Ferdinand insisted in visiting the two men injured in the attack once the official business at the town hall was concluded.

”In order to avoid the city centre, General Oskar Potoriek decided that the royal car should travel straight along the Appel Quay to the Sarajevo Hospital. However, Potiorek forgot to tell the driver, Franz Urban, about this decision. On the way to the hospital, Urban took a right turn into Franz Joseph Street….

where there just happens to be a cafe that sells cheap coffee… which was where Principe had gone to calm down and collect his nerves while he had a cup of Joe… His breathing had returned to normal, the crowds had dispersed, the police had gone, so he got up, paid and left…

In that moment the Archduke’s car swung round the corner..

One of the conspirators, Gavrilo Principe happened to be standing on the corner at the time. Oskar Potoriek immediately realised the driver had taken the wrong route and shouted “What is this? This is the wrong way! We’re supposed to take the Appel Quay!”.

The driver put his foot on the brake, and began to back up. In doing so he moved slowly past the waiting Gavrilo Principe. The assassin stepped forward, drew his gun, and at a distance of about five feet, fired several times into the car. (

within a month Europe was plunged into the war to end all wars.

I personally feel rather intimidated that a cup of coffee could trigger such an event. Its the kind of thing that makes you want to move more slowly and be careful where you put stuff down just in case you start world war 3. Who knows what cataclysmic events might be set in motion by popping out for a pint of milk…

or riding your bike..

Fortunately, I also laugh in the face of danger. Brazen with courage, but careful as can be, I venture out every day – knowing full well the mayhem that can ensue from saying hello, the shrapnel that can fly from tipping your hat just so. Yet I manage to brave it all none the less.

Luckily the chaos that happily ensues from the teensiest thing is also what seems to generate creativity, steepen your learning curve, and bring the soul to fruition.  DNA research shows that the further from the Alduvi gorge humanity roamed, the more complex human DNA became. The challenges, the new skills that had to be learned, the eternal encounter with the unknown and having to adapt to it… all this fed and strengthened nomadic wo/man.

Our is not a survival of the fittest. In fact Darwin only used the phrase once, rather tentatively, in his whole Origin of Species. His emphasis was actually on the survival of those best able to adapt. His phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ has been given the best of all possible make overs and emphasised by the Establishment because it implies the right of might and power as proof of its own legitimacy, useful at a time (1859) when you are busy colonising the planet.

We need unforseen change like roses need muck which it is why it is a death knell to life’s adventure to wish it were all easier, something I have to remind myself of twenty times a day. Moreover, we are not just the passive recipients of what happens to us, some canvas on which life viciously paints itself. If freedom is simply freedom from, from oppression, tyranny, tragedy, we cannot be free because all this chaos is the raging stream in which we swim. It is home as well. So better we ask, given the chaos, what am I free for…?




Thunder, Perfect Mind.

How big is the Universe?

very big..

with mobius strip blueprints.

People who think about such stuff, other than those trying to perfect techniques of delayed ejaculation and have already mastered their times tables, generally fall into one of three groups..

each one of which has its own Quantum Demon to wrestle with.

The first bunch, the Old School, like their Universe all squared away, limited in space and time. The second lot, Hawking’s Hotspurs, are a bit more mystical and have their Universe expanding. The third, mostly consisting of undergraduates in possession of their first ever quarter of skunk,

say its infinite and goes on forever, dude.

The Quantum Demons that preside over each mob have the rational mind by the hip. The First confonts the Old School with what might lie beyond their sign in the verge..

‘No Parking, Universe non-existent beyond this point”.

The second, the Big Bang Demon, feasts on the arguement that the Universe expands at such tearing speed we cannot creep up on it fast enough with a tape measure. Even the speed of light has a number and the fact that you can’t sharpen your pencil quickly enough, or live long enough to chase after all the zeros involved, doesn’t mean that the number, though unimaaaaginably big, isn’t out there and therefor the question, ‘What is supposed to lie beyond?”, still remains. Put more simply, ‘What are we supposed to be expanding into?’

The third Demon takes a large toke himself and asks, ‘If the Universe is three dimensional, twiddly warps in time and space not withstanding, how can it contain that which is infinite?


The Universe cannot go on forever and yet it must. You can appreciate why the story of a minor god, Ialdabaoth also known as Yahweh, creating it All out of pique at his Mum, who’d sent him to his luminous cloud for bad behaviour..

should become so popular.

It by-passed the paradox.

God made it.

Problem solved.

I like the idea of Autogenesis, that which makes itself. Somehow, something that comes into existence because It Wants To dwarfs the question of it’s inside leg measurement, however mighty.

At the micro cosmic end of the scale you find a similar paradox. It also has to do with time and space doing what they shouldn’t.

Matter is and is not.

Fortunately, these things are supposed to be a mystery.

‘I am the utterance of my name.” Thunder, Perfect Mind.

Hoping for redemption at some point in the future on the basis of being sorry for something you did in the past is not only designed to rip you out of the present. It gives you the idea that everything can be understood. And that’s why there is no real wonder anymore.

because you have to be able to acknowledge that you haven’t actually got a fucking clue, not even if you are awake or asleep, to find wonder in any one moment.

I knew a Professor of Comparative Religion from Oregon who approached his work in a very rational and academic way. Eventually the mysteries of all these religions began to plague him and he got really obsessed by that-which-could-not be-spoken. In particular he was tormented by the Buddhist concept of Desirelessness.

He heard there was a great Buddhist master visiting in the next state and drove all night to meet him. When question time arose he jumped up and said,

‘but how can you desire desirelessness?’

The master shrugged and said, ‘It just doesn’t bother me.’

At some point contradiction collapses into paradox and rather than confuse and agitate it soothes and nourishes.

‘We are all alone, together.’ Buddhist proverb.

Its supposed to be a mystery.

The Uninvited Guest.

Carl Jung tells the story of a man who came to see him in despair. He had just married his fourth wife and was anxious it would go the way of the other three, as though he was driven by a compulsion to destroy his intimate relationships. Jung asked about the three former wives and it turned out they were all sculptors.

Jung chuckled and said, ‘Well its simple, you have to manifest the creative part of yourself and stop getting your wives to carry such intolerable expectations.” So the man became a sculptor and managed to protect his marriage from the vengeance of a muse grown to angry destruction in the wings of life’s pageant.

What cannot come in by the door will climb in by the window. When others live out our dreams for us it ends badly but the divorce courts might prove to be the least of a person’s concerns .

After all the creative principle,

”does not take a man by the hand and lead him right up to Paradise; she puts him first into a hot cauldron where he is nicely roasted for a while.” Von Franz

..the choice not to be roasted is really a decision to be eaten up a different way… The muse becomes dark and forbidding..

you have never given her a chance of expressing herself, and therefore she has become inhuman and brutal.”ibid

but with poetic intent, for your pleasure and delight…

When inner choices are restricted some kind of compensation is bound to ensue in its concretised and less conscious outer form. We may then manage to turn our consumerism into an index of success and prosperity rather than experience it in its original form as a compulsion born out of inner hungering and unfulfillment but it will still taste like chewing gum and smell like burnt rubber.

By their nature, Single System Systems discourage the kind of errant wandering necessary for Individuation. We are free in the way captive baboons cling to the bars of their cages when released into the wild. Children are not encouraged to think, to follow their own destiny, to really choose, and so you have 68 different types of snack instead to pour all your creative energy into and, having energetically shortlisted and brainstormed, arrived at the difficult choice twixt Wispa and Mars.

”Here the Crocodile god, Inertia, presides. He invites you to share his sunny log and, as you contentedly bask in the sun, he obligingly swallows the energy that might otherwise disturb your sleep.” Frances Wickes.

Its easy to forget that the archetypal principle associated with creativity and embodied by figures like Dionysus or Loki are gods of madness as well as gods of abundance. Put clinically, emerging potential ‘de-integrates’ ego structures. One way or another it disrupts the human realm, arriving always in a great chaotic clamour that cannot help but make a mess of things..

and that’s when he’s in a good mood.

Analyst Lyn Cowan suggests masochism is a distortion of the principle of submission to higher wisdom. Perhaps sadism and what passes for ‘ordinary’ cruelty can be distortions, sometimes horrendous, of creative buds that fail to fruit when higher wisdom is not acknowledged, Dionysus, Render of Humans, grown angry and petulant.

I once new a man with a string of anti-social convictions, a text book psychopath with very little interest in what was going on around him or in any creative venture until he’d had three lines of coke and half a dozen Intergalactic Gargle Blasters whereupon he would spontaneously weave metered poetry around the evening’s events in perfect rhyme.

Next day it would all be forgotten.

It seemed that much of his anti-social meanness was about more than what he might have suffered as a child, it was the vengeance of his creative spirit that was only allowed out to play once he was massively disinhibited.

Collective inhibition, which persuades us there is nothing we do not know that is also worth our effort, is the same beguiling voice that then offers us a compensatory outer world of dazzling novelty, everything new, improved, and yours by right.

For life to be good it has to be easy. We want it easier as though the worth of life could be ascertained by how little you had to put into it….

as though there was an inverse relationship between meaning and getting your trousers on. Generally speaking our highest ideal is not to have to do anything. We work so that we can take time off from it. We do it today to be free tommorrow.

Life-as-a-journey, with its glassy, jaundiced eye perpetually upon some future goal rather than upon life as it happens, gets upgraded to life-as-vacation, at least it should be if only the lousy world would cut you some slack and let you trough through that bucket list you’ve been nursing.

as though life’s fulfillment could not take place without riding shotgun in the Paris to Dakar rally or walking the ten tors of Dartmoor. So what we want to happen next is seriously going to mess with what happens next. It’s a form of dismissive and limiting attachment that ultimately makes an old grouch of those whose creative life has been made dependent on time and money.

”People who have a creative side and do not live it out are most disagreeable. They make a mountain out of a molehill, fuss about unnecessary things, are too passionately in love with somebody who is not worth so much attention, and so on. There is a kind of floating charge of energy in them which is not attached to its right object and therefore tends to apply exaggerated dynamism to the wrong situation. M.L. von Franz

In the Samuri tradition, warriors were expected to hone their skills in calligraphy, poetry and painting. This was not just to garnish their CV, it was psychological hygiene to make sure that unlived creativity did not sour and devolve into indiscriminant pointyness.

In the West we’re busy cutting these outlets from our curriculum. They can’t be quantified and take too much effort. When would you ever need to play a bassoon? What use is a pen and ink drawing? Will making a kite put food on the table?

So we demure and go back to the T.V. where nothing is required of us….exulting quietly that our sloth is really a measure of frilly cuffed sophistication. Of course one might think of  ‘leisure’ as a well earned reward for hard work but that still somehow fails to address the truth that for many, life’s highest value can be measured in days spent comatose on a beach with nothing to do till dinnertime.