posted August 26, 2003 at 6:36 p.m. MDT
Why is 30 years more potent than 25?
A couple of weeks ago I had a profound insight into my PTSD, but didn't get it quite right: it turns out that I taint moments of success /not/ because I have come to believe myself unworthy, but rather (and, friends, incredible as it might seem, this next detail explains away my writer's block!), because that "success" was actually negative ... retrograde ... pathological ... carcinogenic, in a spiritual/psychological sense.
You see, on an afternoon in September of 1973, astonished to realize that the industrialized democracies of the north and west to which I had pledge my life, vowing to put myself in harm's way to defend their principles, were so far off track that they would orchestrate the bloody and horribly brutal overthrow of an entirely legitimate elected government in a sovereign country (Chile, headed by President Allende, by General Pinochet, with the direct aid and assistance of the CIA). Later that afternoon I lost my mind; after spending a while bashing my head against the locker in my barracks room, things got /really/ bad. The next day (vowing to show no sign of my new understanding), I got into a little discipline trouble that brought me to command's attention, and that began the process by which I extricated myself from the red-carpet carreer that lay ahead of me. But, and here's the point, before I started bashing my head to make the record skip, I had thought through the super-structures of military projection of power through to how our conventional lives are instrinsically fascistoid. Bottom line: we begin our lives dependent, and grow into independence. But unless we mature into inter-dependence (enter Buddhist psychology, complexity theory, and the actualization of authentically affectionate community) we are prone to the most sophistic of egoic compulsions, and these leave us vulnerable to manipulation.
The writer's block? easy: with great difficulty, I have managed (only just barely) to maintain the social context that I needed to check things out ... first, wealth and material success (70s), then more public success (family and politics; 80s), then a near-yogic poverty (90s). But the fact is, whenever I start to speak frankly, people draw away ... however much they may compliment me later ("damned by faint praise" I called it in conversation with a therapist friend, at which point she flew into a rage and refused to see me again!!), even those who would most rightly be my friends chose to withdraw. And so, much like a novel writer, I couldn't release the work before it was complete, could I?!
If this were a work of theory, I could have proceeded incrementally. But it isn't ... the only true resource I had was my own experience, since what happened in 1973 showed me that corporatist institutions were cunningly deceiptful (and yes, paranoia is a constant danger!), and individuals self-reports are almost impossible to de-construct (we're all of us subject to an amazing array of pressures and stresses, much like post-hypnotic suggestion in the way they operate; just think of Matrix ... it works because we truly deeply believe it works); seeing how good people slip into mind-phuckingly effective apologist bullshit has easily been the hardest thing for me to bear.
"Individualism", especially the more materialistic sort, is like drinking salt water ... it drives us mad even as it makes us thirst for more. The consummerism that is killing the planet (and making us slaves to the corporations) is a symptom of that individualism.
We must, while safe-guarding the autonomy that energizes and in-spires democracy, develope mundane interdependence beyond the market place. This will take place when we remind ourselves of the deep pleasures that arise from life in community. (Betcha your anti-social reaction kicked in just now ... am I right?!)
Now, you tell me ... should I be homeless on the street in October? or do I deserve the help I need to kick this off. (I've organized speaking events, workshops, teach-ins, protests, demonstrations ... all I'm aiming at is a network of ummmmmm Autonomous Social Centers.)
I need 1) decent footware 2) CDN$450 so I can find a room for October 3) some evidence that I'm being heard.
Watch for my re-launching of the "Green Future Foundation".