High Rise

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You know the feeling; you’ve read a damn-good book and then the film comes out. What do you do? Do you watch some chump mash up a perfect story or do you give it a chance?

That’s how I’m feeling about ‘High Rise.’ I love JGB’s book, and yes, I’ve bought the film on Blu ray. But, I haven’t watched it yet.

The story is compelling in the sense that the characters choose the hell they end up living in – Ballard’s ‘elective psychopathy’.

Maybe we all choose our own hell and rationalise it by claiming it is paradise. Whether we will to Certainty, to Negation, to Despair or to Sensation, those tentacles are wrapped around our ankles pulling us into the Sarlac’s pit.

All I know is that we can choose otherwise. And there is help there if we ask for it. The opposite of negation is mercy and mourning, the opposite of sensation is peace and a healthy heart, the opposite of despair is humility and trust, the opposite of certainty is doing what were supposed to do and not stopping when we take a beating for our troubles.

Evil is a poison, a disease, infectious and spreading.

I recommend the serum of the Mount.

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Connection?

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So another shooter shoots up a shopping mall. You can call him a stupid teenage prick, you can call him a soldier of whatever, you can call him another brainwashed victim of the curse of Religion… but in fact he was a human being who made a connection.

To negation.

So what is your connection? Coz if you don’t chose you will get chosen.

Jesus talked about ‘blessed are the spiritually poor, blessed are the humble.’ Nietzsche hated that shit, he thought Christianity was a Roman slave cult. What’s my connection? Is it to fucking, is it drugs, is it to my idea of my country, my village? Is it to God?

Tillich talked about the God above Religion. God is above Religion. We are above Religion, this earthly organisation is there to support us, to act as an enabler, as a protagonist. Once we connect to Religion, once we worship Religion we start worshipping an idol.

But that makes things harder for us. We have to think for ourselves. We have to grow our own legs, get up and stop being lame, thinking we are lame. That’s where the teaching on the mountain comes in… blessed are the spiritually poor, the unproud, the people who can honestly say ‘I don’t know. But this is my best guess…’

Once we say we do know, once we have certainty, once we are right and everyone else is wrong and an unbeliever, then we have hell on earth.

So what’s your connection? Your family, your job, your website, your football shirt, your big F Faith; or is to something else, something unseen, unproven, something this fucked up world needs to hear about.

The fightback starts at the micro-level: every thought, word and deed builds the human being. The individual human being builds society around themselves . What you and I do changes the world.

If you want to change this, then don’t hate, connect to the Will to Love.

And I promise that I will try as well.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HNCG2H2

 

On Hatred

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We’ve had days, weeks, years, centuries, millennia of hatred. You can dress it up in whatever disguise you like: religion, nationalism, football teams, whatever, its so damn easy to hate, particularly if you feel you are the victim.

Hate goes down real easy, it feels good, but the hangover hurts like hell. The obvious solution? Hair of the dog – more hate.

Forgiveness? Impossible surely. How can you forgive someone who kills, who hurts, who causes pain to another.

The problem is we just pass the pain on.

That’s when we turn around and say ‘Fuck you, God.’ Usually we follow that up with a prayer.

But in the words of Saint Paul of Tallaght, ‘Daddy’s Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car.’ And he does and he has.

That’s the unique selling point.

 

Living on Borrowed Time

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… without a thought for tomorrow. We live, breathe, shop, play football, watch football, eat, sleep, make love, with either the faraway concept that one day we die and that is it, or the faraway concept that one day we die and there is so much more.

Each of us has to choose our own ludicrous.

Despair is a process, the eating away of belief in a meta-meaning until all that is left is us as kings and queens of a ruined kingdom of one. Maybe we are right to reject the possibility of life after death because hell, there is no proof! At death, we simply cease to be in the same way as before our birth we did not exist.

Belief and Faith are oft derided concepts, these days. Just because we believe something to be true does not make it so. People talk about the ‘leap of faith.’ But I don’t believe it is a leap; it is more of a step, a decision to set out on the road from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.

Who knows, we could be wrong. We might fall into a ditch along the way. The people who guide us could be charlatans.

But what is the alternative? A planet of reason consumed by consumerism, a world of warring certainties?

No thanks. I’ll make my choice, I’ll take my chances, I’ll fall over, curse my own stupidity and try again. But always believing in grace and mercy.

That’s my ludicrous.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HNCG2H2

 

 

The Proof for God

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I was reading ‘The God Delusion’ as RD sets up and systematically demolishes every claimed proof for the existence of the Big Man in the sky.  Richard Dawkins states in the Preface that ‘if this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down. What presumptuous optimism! Of course, dyed -in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument.’

In Norman Maclean’s book ‘A River Runs Through It’ the first line states ‘In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.’ Nowhere is this more beautifully expressed than in the description of Norman’s last fishing trip with his brother, Paul. Norman watches as his brother fishes for the ‘big fish.’ Norman asks Paul how he figured out where to cast. ‘All there is to thinking,’ Paul says, ‘is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren’t noticing which makes you see something that isn’t even visible.’

I was walking through York with my family and I saw one of those Hell-fire preachers with the placard around his neck calling all people to repentance – the kind of idiot that persuades the undecided that dyed-in-the-wool faith-heads are immune to argument. Two boys were kneeling before him – taking the piss – laughing and asking him to show God to them. It was all thoroughly depressing.

I walked back to my car thinking – show me God, prove you to me. Then I walked past Clifford’s Tower. For those of you unfamiliar with York, England, Clifford’s Tower is a tourist attraction and the site of one this nation’s greatest crimes – namely the 1190 massacre of the town’s Jewish population. There it was, a reminder of the will to power, of all the dark shit that hides inside the heart, soul, cerebral cortex of every man, woman and child. Don’t tell me times have changed, they haven’t. Were still capable of this – just look at newspapers around the world this very day.

I saw the Will 2 Power, and as I saw the Will to Power I willed for the Will to Love. I saw something noticeable which made me see something I previously hadn’t noticed which drew my attention to something I cannot see.’

Is this a proof that would be acceptable to the dyed-in-the-wool fact-heads? What presumptuous optimism.

The Will to Power is real. The Will to Love is real. Each of us, me included, has to choose , minute by minute, hour by hour, which one of these defines our life. Science has nothing to do with it. Religion has nothing to do with it. It is a personal decision; the courage to be … as Tillich would describe it.

I don’t think Jesus was a big C Christian. When he said I am the way, the truth, the life, and no-one gets to the Father except through me, I think he was telling it straight. I loath toxic Christians, in the same way as I loath any form of certainty. I admire those people of all Faiths and Nations whose will to love is central to their lives. They know the way to the Noun is through the Verb.

That’s how we stop the Clifford’s Towers springing up across this dangerous planet of ours, by not building them first within our own hearts.

That’s how we prove God.

 

 

Peaky Blindness

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Lewis’s ‘Screwtape’, Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and the Book of Job all take the point of view of Satan, the Enemy, and use it to reflect the point the author is looking to make.

The great difficulty with staring into the abyss is the point that Nietzsche makes, namely that the abyss can stare right back into us.

But then that is reality, we live that every day, choosing the Will to Love or the Will to Power. We choose to become a cancer cell, or one that is alive.

But existential prevarications are meaningless in the face of life’s stresses and strains aren’t they? Human beings evolved to become nature’s greatest killers because we faced down starvation and fearsome predators and took the Earth and all that is in it. Without the Will to Power we would have become extinct in the Rift Valley. Evil is our greatest good. Would we stand back and let our loved ones die, turn the other cheek,  or would we fight back?

Where is God in all the suffering and pain?

And yet, what is our purpose amidst all of this? Is it to die fighting, to win the world like Thomas Shelby, or is it to die alive and loving?

Enough questions. For all is vanity and striving after the wind.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HNCG2H2

 

Land of Shame

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I remember train journeys. For some reason they stick in my mind. I remember going to Southport as a child and losing my bear. I remember travelling to Scotland and the land was under a blanket of snow (I was visiting a university and had ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ by The Waterboys on my Walkman).

Other times I look through train windows and see a despoiled land that doesn’t seem to give a shit. Other times I look through my car window at motorway verges and roundabouts and see the trash that people have thrown there.

I take the dog for a walk and have to lead her feet around the smashed beer bottle and the Maccie D’s boxes thrown from the passenger seat of a speeding Ford Fiesta.

I walk through London’s parks and see two things: a sign saying don’t leave food for the birds because you’ll attract rats and a homeless man sleeping in the sun.

So what is to be done? Say ‘fuck it’ and throw our own garbage into the hedgerow? Leave our towns and cities a wasteland of industry and consumerism? Accept that those less fortunate than us live like human garbage wrapped in cardboard and plastic in the doorway of Matalan?

I admire those that volunteer, those who tidy up, who plant flowers and crops, those who help those in need. Those that do something instead of blogging and reading blogs.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HNCG2H2