‘The better is the enemy of the good’
(14th Century Italian proverb)

 

“Look! (He throws his hands up in exasperation) Look!… I’m not saying that you’re going to have a problem… necessarily … just because it appears to me that you will keep insisting upon stapling yourself to every trendy, fashionable … ‘ spiritual fad’ … that happens to come your way …

Particularly as I will be the first to admit that one or two of these ideas may actually turn out to be of some real ‘temporal use-value’ for you … If only to show you that you’re still going in the wrong direction here! (He pauses again, looking down at his palms, before gesturing).

But if one of these ideas somehow manages to become permanent.. (He Pauses) … Such that you now believe you’ve finally ‘discovered’ a ‘rock’ of your very own that you can safely stand upon, as it were … A rock that constitutes some form or other of ‘imperishable’, or (He stops gesturing, but his head is still bend downwards slightly) – let’s use one or two of those other words that you seem to be really impressed with – such as  ‘eternal’, ‘immortal’, absolute’ (He is smiling now)…. And that now constitutes … then … some form or other of  ‘foundation’ for you? …

Well …  you can’t really blame someone else; or start complaining that you were ‘mislead’, when this edifice of yours suddenly begins to disintegrate … to disappear …(He looks up quickly and suddenly stops smiling)… Can you now? “

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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“No! … I’m in charge!!”

The acceptance of some form of ‘authority’; ‘authoritative figure’; or ‘ideology’; or the imposition of some form of ‘authority’; ‘authoritative figure’; or ‘ideology’…. What’s all that about?

Well … ‘Authority’ can be ‘Imposed’ on you; or you can be ‘Seduced’ by it; or you can ‘Surrender’ to it; or you can ‘Sacrifice’ yourself to it; or you can ‘Decide’ to subject yourself to it, etc. etc.

Contemplating the endless variety of ways in which ‘Authority’ functions – in both my subjective experience of ‘my’ ideas, concepts, emotional states, etc; together with the way any external authority ‘out there’ seeks to determine how I interact with the objective world, has provided me with a great deal of information about any number of (for me at least) crucial questions. Notably “What do I mean by my choice; or when I say that I just exercised my ‘free will’?”

This post consists, in the main, of my take on both the personification, and also the experiential nature of, ‘Authority’… … Also included here is material that I believe to be connected with this concept of ‘Authority’ – such as the subject of ‘inertia’ … plus various other personally relevant snippets. And although perhaps, initially, the connections that I make here might not seem that obvious or particularly useful .. I would say that these sections are by far the most interesting here … 🙂

NOTE: Re my frequent use of single parenthesis (‘…’) or of upper-case lettering for the first letter of a word (which is more often than not a noun) in this blog. This is a device I often use when representing an ‘active word’ of mine… It more often than not indicates that the particular word in question is a non-substantive… That is, what it signifies is functionally real, but is not necessarily a ‘thing’ per se… It is by no means an exact way of doing so, but I have found that it works well enough for me…

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Examining the relationship of your-self to ‘Authority’, in any of the ways in which it presents itself to you, is one of the most straightforward ways of getting at ‘who’ it is that you really are…

What it is that has power over you, or that you have power over, is indicated by – in the main – all the members of that set of those ‘others’ that you might be in relation with. And, incidentally, I believe that you can also come to truly know yourself – or at least learn a great deal about yourself – by examining the set of all those things that you despise. (However this is another subject .. although, funnily enough, not entirely).

It is the place then where, for me, that ‘mirror of being’ can be found … Where I can see the essence of what, and who, it is that I am here – at least for most of the time. And where the root of those questions that begin with the word, “Why ……?”can be illuminated. Particularly where it concerns both my relationships with other beings, and the material world; and (more importantly) “Who, or what, is calling the shots here?”

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Ever wonder why some people (many of them ‘famous celebrities’) remain in one form of psychotherapy or another (particularly the New Age, or amateur, variety) for years? … Here’s one reason, and in my opinion its a really good one. It concerns the view that some people have about what they fancy is, their ‘inner child’

Dependency in psychotherapy is generally understood as a father or mother transference and is viewed as a regression. Unfortunately the child/parent regression fantasy in psychotherapy can be damaging.

More often than not a client’s dependency reflects not the child but the invalid. Sometimes clients remain dependent upon their therapists for years – the child seems never to grow up. How can it? For we are not dealing with a child, but with an invalid – and his or her corresponding need to be dependent! …

One fails to realize that the absence of growth and healing points to the invalid, not to the child.

The child, we note … grows, and requires help only for a time.

From ‘The Emptied Soul’: On the Nature of the Psychopath (page 16)
by Guggenbruhl-Craig
Spring Publications 1980
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An authentic life is one in which you don’t flee from your destiny, but one in which you shape it, as far as you can.
 Rick Roderick, The Self Under Siege.
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(He continues on, his voice beginning to rise. Although by now he is clearly in a far more agitated state.) And by the way!!.. That ‘Commandment’ you were given … ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ … It doesn’t mean anything like .. say .. for instance …You’re dying of thirst, but you shouldn’t take water from that well there, because some asshole just told you that it belongs to him or her … (He is almost shouting now) Because that would obviously just be ***** ridiculous! … Wouldn’t it! (He pauses, and begins pacing from stage left to right before coming to rest, front center-stage – where he looks up into the lights for a second or two, before continuing on in a relatively normal voice)

No! … What that Commandment really means is actually … very .. simple. (He suddenly stands perfectly still and lowers his head, so that he is now looking directly at the audience, before continuing on in a somewhat animated and assertive manner) It just means … ‘You are not to appropriate the ‘Work’ of others … in order to then pass it off as belonging to … your … Self’!… (He looks down and continues on quietly – talking to himself) … Which could also actually have a great deal to do with your understanding of, or your breaking of, that First Commandment as well… Now that I come to think of it. (He smiles as he pauses, and then adds – almost in a whisper) And also all the rest of them …really(He relaxes visibly, looking up once more at his audience, and we hear him finally muttering through his teeth) Although it wouldn’t do to mention that to this lot though… (He chuckles – his face slowly breaking into a wide grin).

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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Humanity, along with all other creatures, is the work of God. But humanity is also called to be the workman of God.

Hildergard of Bingen – Vita (II, 35)

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At some point in the past I realized that, at every moment, I was being presented with the opportunity to freely chose to Work… And my continuing belief in this realization has never been a problem for me since.

But how it is that I now go about seeking some justification or other for not doing so? …Well, that is a problem for me … In fact – and in a very real sense – it’s probably my only real problem.

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Over the years, I’ve observed any number of people attempting to slavishly copy others in the ‘How to behave spiritually’ game’.

Which leads me to the conclusion that they have far more faith in who it is that they are trying to imitate, rather than in what it is they are supposed to do – that is, to engage in some form or other of praxis. But (and of crucial importance here) a praxis that they could at least attempt to originate in and from themselves.

They seem to find it extremely difficult to derive any sense of certitude from anything that has roots in themselves. Manifesting an overwhelming sense of insecurity the moment that they attempt to stand on their own two feet.

Forever trying then, to be what others ‘in the know’ tell them that they should be or what they are …

And so ending up only really ever having known themselves by hearsay.

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That ‘Christ within’ idea? …Well it certainly doesn’t mean that somehow there’s ‘someone else here in the building with me’ or there’s ‘a little voice in my head’… Someone who is somehow playing a spiritual game of ‘hide and seek’ with me, as it were….

Would that things were that easy!

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My attempts at ‘Involving the Will’ are actually attempts by me to exclude chance from my life… Or – to put it another way – it’s making use of any power that I might possess in order to exercise some control over my otherwise inevitable fate.

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That hostility you experience towards others is hardly ever grounded in your dislike, or even in your hatred of them, but is almost always rooted in your particular devotion to, or in your worship of, or (more likely) your mindless adherence to, some external authority or other – be that authority a person; an ideology; or a ‘religious’ text.

Once you have subjected yourself to any external authority whatsoever, it then becomes a relatively simply matter for that authority to incite you. Usually by the simple process of feeding you a few carefully chosen words at the opportune moment; or (and far more mysteriously) by the simple process of you, yourself, feeding the same carefully chosen words to yourself at the opportune moment!

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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The way I go about things here almost invariably involves what others might view as far more than its fair share of what could be called, an ‘energetic-confrontational-approach’…  In fact, this is a technique of mine that you may have already noticed me using if you’re a regular reader of this blog … … It is, by and large, an intuitive method.

So then (initially at least) I don’t deliberately engage in ‘thinking’, or in any ‘ritualistic physical activity’… (However, perhaps I might begin to, say, ‘pace up and down’, but this is not a ‘deliberate’ act on my part – although I suppose it could be viewed as ritualist to some degree) … I simply ‘throw myself at things’, and allow myself to react here. And then attempt to observe my emotional reactions as they unfold (rise to the surface) – without identifying with them if I possibly can… (And good luck with that 🙂 ..).

If I can manage to do this, I will immediately experience an increase in all that ‘internal energy’ that has now (hopefully) begun to whiz around inside me… And if all now goes well, this will very quickly be converted by me into some form or other of intense internal discourse. One that I can (again hopefully) subsequently externalize in the form of a text (spoken or otherwise)… If, on the other hand,  it all goes ‘tits up’, then I will usually just get angry and frustrated – and will probably end up by throwing my dinner at the wall, or doing something equally as pointless.

By the way, this process is always accompanied by this increase in adrenalin, so it can be quite … exhilarating … (particularly if all goes well). But there is always the ever present danger of me now becoming addicted to this process (via this ‘adrenalin high’) – with all the attendant problems that this habit would then involve me in, etc . etc. …

There was a ‘procedure’ that I used to engage in – from sometime around the age of twenty-five up until I was in my early sixties – when, in order to ‘wake up’ in the morning, I would drink caffeine whilst listening to the morning news on the radio. This ritual would invariably succeed in irritating the hell out of me, and so make me aggressive – but I would also now be wide awake and full of energy. The problem now though, was that of separating out this energy and ditching the aggressive component or – to put it another way – attempting to break my continued identification with this overwhelming reactive response of mine, because I quite enjoyed it. And in the beginning this identification dominated my efforts so much that I was prevented from Working far more frequently than I succeeded in doing so.

But I did eventually became reasonably successful here, because I deliberately spent some time each day reminding myself of what it was that I was actually trying to accomplish!

So in my little world at least, all energy that is ‘called up’ is ‘tainted’ one way or another, and this is one of the pitfalls that I had to look out for when I began attempting to Work… And I had to try to develop the technique of ‘un-tainting’ this energy as it were, in order to involve it in what I ‘Will to do’ (which is, hopefully, to Work with it).

The negative quality of this energy (this ‘tainting’ or ‘adulteration’) is such that it will actually oppose me, seeking to impose its own authority on the process by flowing along all those previously established (by me and my ancestors) pleasure-orientated inertic patterns of reaction … And aren’t there loads of metaphors and allegories about that in popular culture, vis-a-vis  all those ‘good intentions’ that somehow never seem to make it to the light of day!

But – on the bright side – as I grew older, as I said, I learnt to be much more controlling of this process, even if initially, in the main, it was only because I was becoming more and more aware that this ‘adrenaline rush’  I was experiencing was now beginning to present me with any number of troubling ‘side-effects’, such that I now usually had to ‘go and have a little lie-down’ afterwards because I would begin to ‘feel a bit limp’  🙂 …)

It is of course possible to be just as reactive whilst appearing to be providing a measured, considered response… A type of inertic behavior that you will very frequently meet in many politicians and ‘gurus’… Beware! This response is just as mechanical. It’s merely more seductive, as you feel you’ve been ‘personally responded to’. You haven’t. The person providing this response has simply become very good at acting out this particular part.. And these are the beings you should really be on your guard against… ‘Slime-ball’ is the generic term for them – and you will become aware of a great deal of ‘slithering and sliding’ on their part as you manage to develop further here… It’s the common image of the ‘holy man’ that most people have (probably because it fits that stupid ‘benevolent big-daddy in the sky’ image that they’re so desperate for).. Focusing on the persona of John the Baptist  will help here… (Focusing on John the Baptist with a bad hang-over is even better).

If you are interested in all this, Eugene Halliday had much of interest to say about the negative aspect of this ‘rush’ … But I’m afraid that you’ll have to find this in his material for yourself.

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In my world at least then, all states experienced as overpowering are the direct result of a bio-chemical process – so none of those nine chakras, with ‘special energy’ flowing up and down the spine for me I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong, I think ideas like this are quite picturesque in their own way – as are any number of other exotically, culturally based, metaphors and allegories… But I find that the overwhelming majority of them are hopelessly outdated and needlessly obscure. And I believe that if you are serious about moving forward here, then they will simply confuse matters for you – although you will probably be superbly entertained in the process… And others could very easily come to view you as a bit of a guru or a witchy-poo if you spoke about all this, and they didn’t have a clue… But this particular social situation – and I know that it is one you can now easily land yourself in – is simply yet another one of the (actually rather minor, or ‘beginner’) obstacles here in all this… The fact is, that there are any number of people out there who will attempt to convince you that there is far more relevance to culturally outmoded forms of ritualistic behavior than there actually is, and their talking about it with those who are fortunate enough to be ignorant about these matters can occasionally make them sound a lot more trendy and ‘with it’ than they actually are.

Where it concerns any information here then, for most of the time I’m only ever interested in its eventual ‘use value’.

So let me just say that I prefer a bio-chemical approach, or a more rigorous scientific one, to matters like this… But, and most important of all here, I would also add that I also fully appreciate that these preferred approaches of mine are however, in the end, simply yet another culturally-based metaphor. But they are ones that I find I can Work with far more efficiently than those involving, for example, lotus leaves; beings with elephant heads and human bodies; females with thousands of hands and arms; and blue faced youths riding around on chariots … or burning bushes, and ‘angels of death’ for that matter… etc. etc.

That is not to say that the study of say Astrology, or Tarot cards, doesn’t have it’s place here. But my overwhelming impression of those who do engage in these sorts of enquiries is that it produces in them an irresistible urge to ‘play the pseudo-mystic’.  And I can’t help strongly suspecting that this was the whole idea in the first place – to make themselves ‘more interesting’.

Regrettably this also goes for many with an interest in depth psychology (and even some with an interest in modern physics). But in these fields there are, thankfully, many who do not and who still project a profound (and for me far more agreeable) sense of wonder at it all.

And I should also add here that parables are another matter entirely for me – always providing, of course that I’m comfortable with their particular mise-en-scene.

So, in my case then, I always try bear in mind that, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’… a contemporary (but now slightly out-of-date) metaphor created by Eugene Halliday – along with his particular perspective on accompanying contemporary terms such as, for example, ‘energy’; ‘field’; ‘force’; ‘consciousness’, etc. etc. Because I find that they are far easier for me to deal with … and so far more efficient, and so far more profitable for me in the end  …  🙂 … But just as magical..

Anyway, this is what I do in order to – as quickly as possible – get to the ‘location’ of that ‘limit of the application’ (that ‘frontier’ or ‘border’) of any term that I am attempting to incorporate into my active language  …A technique of mine then, that metaphorically I could say I experience as me being a bit ‘short sighted’ and – as a consequence – requiring me to get up as close as I can to any ‘matter of concern’, as quickly as possible…

So this doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with ‘making my point’ or ‘proving I’m right’ or anything like that, because I have absolutely no problem at all in ‘giving ground’ either – if I believe that in doing so I will move on. Because that’s the the whole point of this exercise anyway, the only reason i’m involved in this way in all this. And it is something that, thankfully, I manage to almost never to lose sight of for most of the time.

And so this is all very much part of my ‘system’ then; of what it is that I am actually attempting to do… But – to repeat – I certainly wouldn’t necessarily recommend this approach to anyone else.

All of which (as I mentioned above) will, I hope, explain why much of what I have posted below about ‘authority’, might (on first glance at least) appear to some to be far too acrimonious…

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“This … You … that you were actually born as? … At what point in the game did you decide that it wasn’t really the ‘you’ that you wanted to be.. But rather … it dawned on you that in fact, with a little bit of effort you could just pretend to be whoever you wanted to be …

And so you decided to present yourself to the world as ‘someone else’ then… As someone … particularly … that you  ‘liked better’? … that you felt was ‘more deserving’..?

So then, instead of working for the development of your own potential, you decided that … as you were going to be  this ‘someone else’ – you were going to ‘work for the development of their potential’ instead (He pauses)

Look, it’s really not for me to say here… I mean, our motto is, after all, ‘Never try to educate a mug’ … But – and I know what I’m going to say now won’t really do any good … and that I’m probably wasting my breath here as usual … Can you not see that any decision of yours you decide to make here might have something really essential to do with all that ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ business, and also with  ‘Don’t be going round worshiping idols’  (He pauses again) .. And further, that all that ‘Sins of the father’ business might not in fact be a condemnation of your present state –  experienced by you as a rather unfair or unjust burden –  but rather, might be far more like a helpful… a useful … piece of advice? (He smiles) One that might provide you with a  ‘little clue’ as to who it is – in part at least – that you really are …  if you Will …

Or do you think that these particular rules … these ‘Commandments’ … that you claim you received, were just ‘suggestions’ … Or that, in the case of these particular two, they simply mean something like, “You should always try to be nice to your mum and dad'” and that, “You shouldn’t have a statue of Baal parked on top of the fireplace in your living-room.” …

(He pauses again, before adding assertively) But don’t let me put words in your mouth! …(He pauses again) Tell me… Please… What do you think these particular …. ‘Commandments’ (He grins broadly) might mean? … 

(His grin quickly fades as he pauses, and looks up again directly.  Then, once again, he grins broadly, before speaking) … I’ll just leave that with you for the moment… If I may.”

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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It is common for very infantile people to have a mystical, religious feeling. They enjoy this atmosphere, in which they can admire their beautiful feelings. But they are simply indulging their auto-eroticism. ~ C G Jung, ETH Lecture 11 Jan 1935, Pages 171.

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One positive consequence of my belief that Work is only taking place when I allow my essential authentic nature the ‘freedom to be’, is that it has allowed me to see very clearly that there must – and very obviously so – be any number of other ways of going about all this, if only because all beings have their own unique ‘essential authentic natures’ and might come from entirely different cultural backgrounds . … Which might mean that I could eventually come to view some of them as ‘traveling in the opposite direction to me’ so to speak, in order for them to engage in their own particular Working…

And, from time to time I can really appreciate that this is in fact how they are experiencing their ‘being here’, a realization on my part that is, incidentally, really good when it does happen.

And so for me if Working is, in the end, for the most part all about ‘who is doing what’ here, then this account of mine (such as it is) should be seen by you as merely an attempt on my part to document – as well as I am able – how it is that I do it; how I go about all this ….  …

And although I think that Eugene Halliday wasn’t particularly clear about this aspect of Working, he was the first person that I came across who was demonstrating that working could be done – and through my attempts to understand his talks and essays, that ideally Working was the only thing that should be done … That Working is what we are all really here to do … But that you can only freely will to engage in it … And also that you must arrive at that point in your life (that ‘gate’ as I metaphorically experienced it) where you can clearly see that you have been presented with the choice to do so.. And that – at this crucial point – this is a decision that only you ‘alone’ can make … … or not..

So then, ‘suggested methods’ from others are, as I see it, very often pretty much useless here in the end, if what you do is simply decide to take their suggestions on board ‘lock, stock, and barrel’. Because a crucial part of all this is that you have to arrive at the start of your own ‘journey’ (at that ‘gate’ of mine, in my case) by yourself, and under your own steam.  And even though you might ‘hear this call’ reflected off others in some form or other, it is only you who can then decide to provide some level of appropriate response to it…

Even if (like any good Buddhist) you soon after come to realize that this particular beginning of yours (that ‘gate’ of mine) wasn’t really there in the first place! 🙂

Here’s one of my favorite gates…

The Gate
Photo by Bob Hardy

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But if you do happen to come to some account or other of this ‘illusory nature of things’ ‘in the literature’ and not come to see see it for yourself?…. Well, sadly perhaps, it’s not some idea that you can simply ‘lift’ from one or other translation of some Buddhist text that you’ve been skimming over; or that you’ve heard about from some species or other of ‘enlightened Western guru’, or gleaned from some talk or other that you attended for an hour or so when you had nothing better to do, and that you now fancy you ‘understand’. …And it isn’t like some kind of fancy conjuring trick that you can ‘just figure out’ either… It has to be ‘realized’ by you (it has to be real – ized’ might be better)… That is, you have to have fallen for it first, and then know that you have … And that even though you have realized it, at some point (perhaps only a moment later) you have fallen for it again… So it’s an ‘illusion proper’ and not just a ‘trick’ that you have worked out and so doesn’t ever ‘work on you’ again.. To put it another way – you must have experienced the realization that the nature of the world is an illusion, but that before the cock crowed three times you were right back in it again.. And that this will keep on happening, no matter how long you beaver away at those yoga exercises… And you have to be totally OK with that..

So the idea here then, is that you have to actively search for your own ‘gate’ (or whatever); and having found it, you have to then realize that it wasn’t really there.

This is why, if I am seriously questioned about my own methods here, before I venture to provide any reply, my natural ‘energetic confrontational nature’ will initially require at least a brief account of how it is that the questioner actually goes about all of this for themselves; and not what it is that they have to say about the way in which they ‘think about’ how it is that I do so.

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But first!..

Investigating the creative output of others is – I believe – an excellent way of going about attempting to understand (or at least appreciate) one aspect of  ‘Authority’.. In this case, what it is (ideas, etc), or who it is (individuals, schools, etc.), that individual beings ‘Will’ to place themselves under in order to ‘be creative’ (another aspect here then of that ‘Governing Concept’ of Eugene Halliday’s) …

Although – if you get the general idea of my take on the ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ aspects of being – you’ll understand why I would also maintain that this ‘investigating’ on your part is no guarantee that any benefit here will see you subsequently ‘striking off in the right direction’ ..

Be that as it may … in my opinion, an excellent example of this creative output is the book, ‘Shakespeare King Educator’.

Authored by both Eugene Halliday and David Mahlowe – it presents an interpretation of Shakespeare’s plays from the point of view of Eugene Halliday’s ‘metaphysics’.

Here’s a pdf copy: Shakespeare King Educator – Eugene Halliday and David Mahlowe

David Mahlowe also gave a number of talks on both the ‘The Baird’, and also the theater (subjects very close to his heart). So here’s a selection of these that you might like to listen to as well:

Commentary on ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – by David Mahlowe

Theater and the Cosmic Drama – by David Mahlowe

Three Talks on Shakespeare – by David Mahlowe

The Incarnate Word – by David Mahlowe

I met up with David Mahlowe on a fairly regular weekly basis at Parklands (whenever I could make it) – between the late 1970’s and late 1983 – as a member of a group there. I also saw him somewhat infrequently after that whenever I was in the country, and I also exchanged a number of letters with him after Eugene Halliday died.

His wife, Zero Mahlowe, became both a friend and confidant of mine for a number of years during the period beginning some ten years or so after David’s death when I worked regularly with her for two (sometimes three) whole days per week at her home, on the production of audio versions of some of Eugene’s written work.

I also interviewed her extensively during this time about her life both before, and after, she met Eugene Halliday, and of course while she was married to David. I recorded much of this material, but there was also a great deal of it that she would only allow me to write down (and I have obviously never shown or discussed this material with others, as it was of a confidential nature). Zero did however allow me to pass on her approved edited recorded material that I collected from her for an ethnographic study that I was doing.

I mention all this here because a great deal of that first-hand material Zero Mahlowe so generously provided me with, served to endorse my own attempts at Working with those two terms, ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’. Terms that – even back then – I had already intuited were perhaps being far too heavily influenced by my understanding of the Jungian terms ‘persona’; ‘ego’; ‘shadow’, and ‘Self’, and so didn’t quite ‘gel’ (were proving somewhat unsatisfactory) when it came to illuminating, or accounting for, my own experience(s) of myself.

I would just also like to add here, that I have no doubt both David and Zero Mahlowe were two of the very few people I have personally ever met who I would say had actually attempted to ‘Work’ with Eugene Halliday’s material – at least in the sense that I use that term. And also that Zero had used this term ‘Working’ (and had done so for decades) in exactly the same way that I had found myself doing, which was something of a relief for me – particularly as she went on to tell me she was absolutely certain that this was the sense in which Eugene also used the term… And finally, she also told me she had no doubt at all that – among those who claimed to be his ‘followers’, or whatever –  Eugene Halliday was well aware of who was, and who was not, Working,

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Alan Roberts gave a series of talks on ‘Shakespeare King Educator’ some eight years ago that you might also find useful here. Video clips of these can be found on his YouTube site. So here’s a link to the first one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03kHF1Wd49s . The rest of these talks will show up as links, down the right-hand side of this youtube page of Alan’s.

NOTE: Alan very recently sent me a great book (‘History In English Words’ by Owen Barfield. Published by Lindisfarne Press) that has a small piece in it about how Barfield sees words ‘coming to be’ …

The example Barfield uses is the word ‘quality’ – a word that he claims ‘is used by most educated people every day of their lives’ . He goes on:

…(Y)et in order that we should have this word, Plato had to make the tremendous effort (it is one of the most exhausting which man is called on to exert) of turning a vague feeling into a clear thought. He invented the new word ‘poiotēs’, ‘what-ness’, as we might say, or ‘of-what-kind-ness’, and Cicero translated it by the Latin ‘qualitas’..

If you realize just how pivotal to me this ‘bringing-into-being’ of a word is in all of this, and can get at least some sense of just how difficult it is to do in practice, then you can understand why it is that I believe that this particular example of this process by Owen Barfield  illuminates what the essence of Working on one’s ‘active’ language is actually about.

I would put it this way. It was necessary here for Plato to ‘bring to be’, or to create, this particular component of his ‘active language’ by creating this new word. Out of what Barfield describes as, ‘a vague feeling’ – but which I would claim was actually far more like a ‘definite state of being’; a state which, at least up until that moment in the history of the West, had not been ‘trapped in language’.

This is a process that has nothing whatsoever to do with the production of ‘verbal labels’. Those attempts by various groups, such as the media, or the entertainment, or the automobile industries; or New-Age gurus etc. – to coin new words, or to simply debase existing ones (try ‘awesome’, or – for a really puke-provoking example, how about ‘conscious uncoupling’… A clue as to what’s going on here? … The use of that word ‘coin’, in the phrase ‘coin a new word’) …

All of which means that turning a passive component of your already existing language into an activate one should be a far less demanding effort for you, than creating an active word from scratch. If only because others will have done the Work for you… But of course you still have  learn to know how, and where, to look  🙂 …

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It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives.—Francis Bacon

‘Confirmation Bias’ refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.”—Robert Todd Carroll, The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

I have lost count of the number of those I have met who imagine that they are ‘onto something’ or are ‘understanding it all’, or are even claiming to be ‘getting messages from beyond’, but who seem to be completely unaware that, until they develop an ‘active language’ (in the sense that I believe the example immediately above by Owen Barfield clearly provides) such that they can articulate clearly to other interested parties what it is that they claim they are experiencing – then their claims to be really ‘informed’ are of no more value here than those accusations they often go on to make about those people who don’t understand what they are saying; or claim that they are ‘being blocked somehow’ from seeing all these ‘obvious facts’ of theirs’:  or believe that they are ‘being deliberately ignored’ …

And I believe the reason why they behave like this is blatantly obvious: they conflate the degree of discomfort that they have experienced, and the magnitude of this past experience (and may still to some extent be experiencing) with the clarity of what it is that they imagine they (as a consequence of this experience) have now come to ‘know’..

So even though they are unable to express themselves clearly – not having developed the necessary ‘active components’ of their language here (to describe as accurately and succinctly as possible what it is that they have actually experienced) – they will still insist (for whatever excuse they imagine they have) that they ‘know’ something… Confusing this ‘knowing’ then with ‘experiencing’… As in their answer to the question, “What the hell happened to you then?” which always seems to be some variety or other of, “I don’t know, but it was great (or scary; or spiritual, etc) ..!”

Knowing that something happened is not the same thing at all as knowing about what happened, or why it happened – and it is certainly not the same thing as being able to express this experience clearly to others.

To get anywhere here, there are three states that you must go through, and then reflect upon:

1). The state you were in when you had this experience(s).
2). The state you were in later, that was very largely a consequence of your negativity. Due in large measure to the frustration at your inability to clearly conceptualize this experience, such that it could be clearly understood – either to yourself, or to others.
3). The state you were in when you finally managed to do so.

And here’s the really interesting thing about all this for me (because I probably won’t really care all that much about your ‘experiences’). How do you know when you’ve experienced ‘State 3)’ here? …Well, that will be when you discover that you have now significantly modified your remembered experience of ‘State 1)’ …! In other words, when you come to realize (by reflecting upon these three contingent states of yours) that you have succeeded in actually changing your past, by the simple (but by no means easy) process of articulating your previous experiences here satisfactorily to yourself  … …

Real magic then! 🙂

And … before I forget. What you should really do now – having experienced this ‘State 3’ – is immediately Work on understanding a little more about what it is that you now mean by that word ‘time’  … 🙂 …  Tie this word up then, so that it also now becomes a far more active component of your vocabulary. And if you still find that ‘time’ means the same thing to you that it always did, then I would claim that you haven’t in fact really experienced ‘State 3’ at all… You only imagine that you have..

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So anyway… ‘Authority’ then …. What are the questions here? … ….Well – and among many others – these would be: What is ‘authority’?; From whence does it emanate (what – as it were – is its archetypal nature)?; How, and by whom, is it assumed?; How is it experienced by those who ‘come under’ it?; How is it symbolically represented? .. etc. etc…

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By the way, Eugene Halliday had a great deal to say about the concept of – what he referred to as – ‘control’ – or (as he rather neatly puts it) ‘rotation about a common center’.

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ROUGH DRAFTS (No stage or scenic directions yet. Unedited speech only) 

“…In order for you to do what it is that you do (or have done), what is it that other beings in the world have to do (or have done)? … Because these particular relationships of yours – the ones that I’m betting you very rarely (if ever) think about (or even want to think about) – are among those that make up most of your real connection(s) to the world.. 

All those possessions of yours (some of which you might even claim you have had to ‘save up’ for; ‘sacrificed’ for; or ‘gone without’ for)  … …. What was it that was demanded of others (those that produced these ‘things’) in order for these possessions of yours to ‘come to be’…. That is, so that they could even exist – for there to even be the possibility then that you might, at some future time, own them … In order to enjoy them? …

Who was it paid that price for you?

If you don’t really want to look at things like this too closely … or for too long … (“What can I do about it? … This is just the way that it is.”) … Then I would say that you have very little possibility of understanding who it is – in the main – that you really are; or how far it is that you still have to go; and how little it is – in the end – that you have actually done, or are ever going to do here …

Try subtracting all these things from your life, … All your possessions; all your ‘qualifications’; all your family ties, and then tell me what’s left.. … Do you believe that there would still be a you… then?

And who might that ‘you’ be? … Can you tell me anything about this you? (He smiles) … The important stuff only will do (He pauses)

If you’re having trouble here providing an answer to this question … Try imagining these scenarios..

If you’d suffered some form of immense personal disaster… If you had to flee your home … lost all your possessions … all your relatives were killed (and you certainly know that this is actually happening to many people down here as we speak) who is it that would .. remain? …

Or.. further…. if, when you die, you actually do believe that ‘you can’t take any of this with you’.” … What at that point thenare you? … That moment after you take that ‘last breath’ of yours? …(He pauses for a slightly longer period, and begins to look quizzical)  

Do you believe that you might then be .. ‘free at last’ … of all this? …

And if you do …. That involvement with others that you indulged in…(He pauses again) How do you see the price that they had to pay in order for this ‘you’  to come to be? … This ‘you’, that ‘came to be’ as a direct consequence – in part at least – of ‘your’ relationships with ‘them’… Relationships that wove together that life of yours … that you then claim you felt somehow trapped in … But that – if you bother to think about – you had to have experienced… if only to have then experienced becoming free of it when your life ..was over ….

Or do you believe that essentially you are no-one, a sort of ‘unattached pureness’?… Some sort of ‘essence’ then? (He pauses before exclaiming) .. …In which case … In that final analysis … What the hell was the point of  your time down here then; what was all that really about ?.. Then?”

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“Where exactly does your breakfast come from?… Under what conditions are those who produce the roughage contained in that vegan diet of yours laboring? …

Those electronic devices that you like to play with… How do you feel about the child labor that was pressed into service in order for them to be manufactured?

Who … and just how many … had to suffer anonymously  in order for you to enjoy those material objects that you claim you ‘own’…. And that you – in your attempts to self-justify’ your ownership here –  claim that you, “Worked for,” or even, “Went without for.”  …

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“In the light of your efforts here then, Would you maintain that.. to you … all this is simply a manifestation of … ‘cosmic justice at work’?  For you?… And so that, in the end then this is all ‘quite fair’? ….  

That power… that ‘Authority’ … which the view you subsequently come to have of yourself here has placed  over ‘you’ – this ‘you’ that you have constructed … How would you begin to explain this power to yourself? … How did it come to determine you?  … What sorts of things would you have to do here in order to free yourself from it?(He is clearly beginning to have more and more difficulty proceeding here) …Because, if you were ever called to account for your being here… just exactly what sorts of … things … do you believe you … would be held accountable for?  …(He is now massaging his brow with his fingers almost continually – clearly searching for inspiration).

What would that mirror placed in front of you actually show you about your time here? How could it represent any ‘Authority’ here … at this judgement? … Do you see yourself being dragged reluctantly in front of some sort of Judge? …. Some agency or other, forcing you to consider all those things that have gone on in your life; of showing you with undeniable clarity just how much you ‘went along with it all’?

Whatever it is that can do that to you; that can do that for you… surely this would be this ‘authority’ you’re so fond of going on about!…(He has stopped pacing before turning to the audience. His voice returning to normal).

Or could it be far worse… Could it all ‘drop away’ and you ‘just see’ with blinding clarity exactly how you created all of this … By yourself… With yourself… For yourself.. 

But then of course, if you ponder on all this for too long, you’ll be able to claim that you’re simply another victim down here… Because …Look! … Doesn’t thinking about all this make you suffer already? .. Fill you with your very own existential angst … with your very own ’bouts of depression’?… …”

Fragments (Working On) from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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To learn who rules over you, simply find out who it is that you are not allowed to criticize.
Voltare

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(B)eing both intelligent and working class was usually a recipe for trouble.

In the lower orders – lacking academic aspirations – genuine intelligence manifested itself as a kind of cunning…

From ‘Jerusalem’ by Alan Moore  (Page 719)
Published by Liveright – 2016

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‘BUT THE LADY SAID!’

How to manipulate that clerk who works behind the counter at your local civic office… Particularly if you’re ‘getting on’ a bit.

Wear slightly ill-fitting clothes… It makes those in charge here (who are usually only ever junior clerks) nervous… You might also try wearing a tie. But position it badly – the knot of the tie should be a half-an-inch or so to one side of the top shirt button and maybe on the front of the collar on that side – but don’t overdo it too much.

A button-up cardigan, with either, buttons missing, or buttoned-up incorrectly, will also assist you here to look not only ‘mentally fragile’, but also – and more importantly – someone who is at least still attempting to stick to the rules.

Being, in-the-main, clean shaven – but with one or two small areas of your face that you have obviously ‘missed’ – works well here; as does wearing light colored trousers with vaguely suspicious stains on them (but don’t overdo this).

Be sure to be also clutching, what appears to be an impressive sheaf of documents or correspondence – slightly crumpled is OK… Dropping one or two now and again also adds to this picture that you’re trying to create..

When called by that clerk, immediately approach the desk, sit down, and simply keep repeating what it is you are trying to get them to do, no matter what is said to you. It also helps if you start in with this request of yours immediately upon your arrival at the desk…. And it’s even better if you can manage to start talking before the clerk here has acknowledged your existence…

If you can also manage it, act as if you might possibly start shouting, or crying, at any moment . The latter is best – but is far more difficult to pull off.

If, subsequently, it seems to you that you might be cornered by questions that are probing your situation far too thoroughly for your liking, then simply switch to repeating the following Mantra at every available opportunity, “Last week when I was in here, ‘the lady said’…,”  quickly followed by –  “She told me that I could … (adding that original request of yours) …” If questioned about the identity of this ‘lady’, be as general, and as vague. as you possibly can.

Very important here though – resist the temptation to ‘ham it up’.

This technique (or variations of it) can be astonishingly effective in all sorts of quite different scenarios.

A great way of gaining the upper hand here then… Of taking charge without appearing to … Or, if you prefer it, off assuming (of becoming) the ‘real’ authority in this situation – in that it is you who is actually dictating the subject here – the direction of that ‘script’ you have authored .. Although most of those who are watching you in action here would never realize that this is what is really happening.… (Situations like this also represent one of the really, really, important interpretations of that tarot card – ‘The Emperor’ – the one that most self-proclaimed experts in this field seem to believe represents some relation or other of the King of Denmark)… …

It is simply a mistake on your part to believe that someone who ‘speaks with authority’ is necessarily superior to anyone else in any way whatsoever… (But getting the rank-and-file to react as if they are is one of the oldest con-tricks in the world).

In many situations and relationships that we find ourselves in, who it is that is actually ‘writing that script’ is not always as obvious as it might at first seem – not even to those who are mouthing the words … and certainly not to outsiders.

So it is crucial to bear in mind here – when you find yourself listening to someone who everyone else is behaving towards as if they were in a position of authority, that this does not mean – in some way – what is being said has anything to necessarily recommend it …

What is imperative here, is that you pay particular attention to yourself when presented with the trappings of this assumed authority (by, for example, being aware that the person speaking is doing so from a specially constructed stage; or is continually making use of the ‘royal we’; or is surrounded by fawning sycophants; etc. etc.) …

And be sure that you understand this attempt by you to focus on yourself in situations such as this is actually an extremely difficult thing to do – at least when you first ‘give it a go’; and certainly when you are surrounded by others who are all ‘going along with it all’ here… A situation where you can, more often than not, find yourself losing confidence in yourself … (However, if you do happen to find yourself thinking, “Surely they can’t all be crazy?,” in situations like this … try picturing a ‘Nuremberg Rally’).

Most people you will meet are merely ‘players’, who are automatically haphazardly thinking through the same old patterns (or fragments) of ideas (hence ‘half-baked’), that tend to continually rise up in them  – usually as a consequence of their inability to resist dabbling in ‘that juicy part’ that they have either selected for themselves (and so cannot now stop identifying completely with); or have been seduced into playing; or – through the passive acceptance of social conventions are now ‘stuck’ with – and have subsequently come to realize in themselves.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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So who is, and who is not, in charge down here?

‘Authority’ … What is it? Where does it come from?… (Leaving aside obvious answers here such as ‘brute force’)…

Can you ‘do it on your own?’ That is, does the existence of any ‘authority’ at all always imply that there is more than one being hanging around somewhere? ..

Does it make sense to ‘claim authority over ones-self’ (not the same thing at all as ‘claiming sovereignty over oneself’ by the way).

And who, or what exactly, is it that finally gets to decide here; who actually gets to sort the hierarchy out; or is it a sort of natural thing, an ‘implicit order’? .. And is there, in fact, an ‘Ultimate authority’?

How does anyone arrive at a position to be able to say, “I am telling YOU that this is ‘the way it is’ ?” Or (if they’re really smart) “Perhaps you will allow me to make the following suggestion? … This is ‘the way it is’.” …

Or – even odder (and far more interesting as far as I am concerned) – how do these ‘authoritative figures’ often ‘come to be’, because others were intent on placing them in this particular position of authority – whether they liked it or not 🙂 

And – strangest of all perhaps – that these ‘authority figures’ are saddled with this position of authority,  even if it is central to their ‘message’, that those who claim any understanding here (their ‘flock’, as it were), can only make this claim to have arrived at this understand by becoming the sole authorities in their own lives!

And how do other factors at play here – those that contribute to the ‘geographically localized ascension’ of this ‘authoritative figure’ for instance, actually influence the formation of any subsequent hierarchy?

How do these factors actually ‘work’? That is, is there some causal chain of events here that can be documented?

How do we grasp this ‘coming-to-be’ – the eventual formation of this ‘group’ then?

A group complete with its own pecking order…

What, as it were, would constitute a reasonable account of the dynamic evolution of the social and cultural mores that are at play here?

And how does this ‘group’ then evolve further (if ‘evolve’ is the correct word here)? ..

How exactly is it that others are ‘taken into’ the fold? … And what, at this point, is the relationship between that original ‘founder’ (that ‘authoritative figure’) and the subsequent ‘carryings-on’ of those who are making some claim or other to be engaged in this ‘carrying on’?

Does it all come about (for all practical purposes at least) by, for example, the input of cash from an interested philanthropist? Cash that provides the necessary means of implementing some form of ‘structure’ here in all this (the acquisition of ‘premises’ perhaps). A benefactor who then – willingly or unwillingly – finds themselves assuming some sort of ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’ position here. Such that – like it or not – they find that they now have a ‘say in things’; and even, perhaps, begin to ‘take a hand’ in the running of affairs here – such that they are now, to some degree or other, in a position to be able to ‘direct the course of events’, and so influence the contents of any subsequent ‘Mission Statement’? … (Or was that the whole idea on their part in the first place 🙂 …).

And although our authoritative figure is -as it were – still the ‘head honcho’, somehow the clarity of their position is now conveniently ‘muddied’. Such that any event here that subsequently appears to the rank-and-file, to have gone slightly askew, can now always be conveniently explained by pointing out the reasonable multiplication of all those various ‘at-odds’ ambitions; misunderstood handed-down instructions; or incorrect ‘personal’ interpretations of ‘messages’; etc. etc.  

And interestingly (and in the same way) who, and how, does any actual ‘second-in’ command’ (the ‘heir apparent’) come to be selected? … And how does the ‘next level’ after that – the ‘inner-circle’ that everyone involved here is so desperate to be members of – come to be? …

Who ‘inherits’ the various mantles of power here then? … And by what process is that achieved? .. Is it, say, by making attempts to demonstrate some degree of understanding re our authoritative figure’s various utterances etc; or is it by some quasi-legal process of  claiming subsequent ownership of them?

And what does any of this have to do with the actual meaning contained in those various utterances and writings of our ‘Authoritative Figure’? What, that is, does it have to do with any ‘Message’ that might be present here? … … 

If those who have chosen to involve themselves here go on to claim to then ‘know the same things’ as our ‘Authoritative figure’. How could this claim of ‘knowing the same things’ actually be possible if it were understood that there is an essential ‘experiential dimension’ to any ‘knowing’ of this sort? – And that, in fact, absent this essential experiential dimension – all that any claimant here can do is to learn (to memorize by rote) those scattered fragments of material here that have momentarily ‘taken their fancy’…

Would it rather not just simply ‘be the case’ that any attempt to propagate these concepts would have to necessarily begin with some form of personal account of their initial acquisition, their subsequent understanding, and their consequent embodying; an embodying that would in fact – to other interested parties – be clearly, and obviously, grounded in this experiential understanding.

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How, in short, do any gathering of sycophants ever come to ‘sort themselves out’ into some form of intelligible hierarchy here? … Or are their perceived self-appointed ‘rankings’ actually something else entirely perhaps?

Could it be that they have simply fallen under some sort of mechanical deterministic ‘cosmic law’? …. And that really, in the end – because they have not actually been doing anything – because they have never exercised their Will in order to do any Work – their imagined positions are no more that illusions. Similar to those patterns we imagine that we see when we stare for too long at clouds, or into a fire? Something then that we would like to see (products of our own imagination then) but that do not really exist? 

Well actually – and in a certain very definite sense – that is exactly what I do believe happens! .. And this, indeed, is a state of affairs that goes a very long way to revealing to me just how everything down here comes to be so perfectly the way that it is …  A combination of selfishly motivated aims, together with blind mechanical determinism.

How else would you explain how we got from Jesus of Nazareth, to: The Pope; the UK monarch’s position as ‘Defender of the Faith’; the modern state of Israel; your local bishop blessing an aircraft carrier; the Vatican library; the burning of witches; the Latin Mass; the ‘Virgin Mary’ up there in heaven with God; ‘Fundamentalism’; ‘Creationism’; modern banking practices; heaven, hell, purgatory, etc. etc – all of which are central to our, so-to-say, ‘Christian Culture’ here in the West (and I say that it’s even more **** up in the Middle and Far East). A culture that has – it is claimed – come about as a direct consequence of ‘His Message’… A current state of affairs then, about which He presumably would then say something like, “Well yes! Of course! Well done! How could it all have turned out any other way?… Carry on chaps!!”

But then, if you’re one of those who have already come to the conclusion that something appears to have gone horribly wrong down here, just how is it that you are now dealing with this revelation of yours? … And what exactly is it that now determines any subsequent decisions, or courses of action, on your part? What, in short, are you actually going to do about it?…

Perhaps you have discovered that, although this is all ‘very interesting’ and probably very important – even crucial in some essential way… Actually you’re far too busy at the moment to attend to it. Or, to tell the truth, you discover that, in the end, you don’t really care? 🙂

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But if there are those who are sufficiently impressed, sufficiently convinced by ‘authority’ (of whatever kind) to ‘spread this word’ themselves, in far-off exotic places such as Australia, or Portugal – absent any clear remit from whoever it was that originally authored this stuff – what has gone on here? … Has this come about simply as a consequence of these newly self-appointed experts, that next generation of ‘the keepers of this flame’ being dazzled  by the power, and then intuiting cunningly that presenting themselves as also ‘in the know’ will illicit a smile or two from the ladies ; of being somehow overcome by the appeal of certain ideas – of becoming victims then?… And if so, what is it in these people that these ideas actually initially appeal to? … Is it their desire, their hunger, their basic need, to know? … Or is it that they are chasing after the status that their subsequent propagation of these ideas appears (to them) to eventually confer… … Which, sad to say, is how I normally only ever tend to see them …

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How does that original ‘authoritative figure’ now come to be presented to any new public, by these ‘heir apparents’? …

For example, do actual concrete events, such as profound social changes have to take place that, it is believed, have been (it is claimed) in some way predicted; or have arisen somehow as a direct consequence of these ideas. Ideas that originated with these ‘Authoritative figures’… Because, for example, it is claimed by these ‘heir apparents’ that these ideas are somehow ‘fundamental to’ (are determining in some way) what it is that is going on down here; and thus serve to demonstrate the ‘truth value’ of our Authoritative figure’s pronouncements ..

NOTE: Re any ability to ‘peer into the future’…

I would say that, up until his death in 1986, Eugene Halliday had next to nothing to say about computers and ‘artificial intelligence’ et al., primarily because he knew next to nothing about the subject – as indeed (it seemed to me) was the case with the overwhelming majority of those who attended his talks…

Eugene Halliday certainly didn’t see this ‘internet – social networking etc. thing’ coming then – at least from all the available evidence that I’ve examined… In other words, he missed the single most profound change in the world at large that was taking place right under his nose…

(Even so, I would love to know what he would have to say about the subject today 🙂 …)

He did seem to me however, to be telling others (pre 1984) that WWIII was imminent or, at the very least, did not seem to me to assuage this belief in his (what shall we call them) ‘prominent’ followers. But what a wonderful way to bind like-minded people together into a ‘community’. Let’s face it, it certainly worked in Jonestown.

Actually it is always very interesting to me to witness just how often there is a complete absence of any prediction here, where it concerns really significant major events.  One obvious world-changing event that was ‘unforeseen’ by absolutely everyone, including all those astrologers; those in the know at various Institutes for Consciousness Studies: assorted ‘magician folk’ – ‘New Age’ and old; academics; economists; political theorists; military strategists; etc – was the collapse of the old Soviet Union… And as someone who was actually in Berlin at the time (and had already been there for a few days when it happened) I can tell you that absolutely no-one was predicting the imminent ‘Fall of the Berlin Wall’ either – not even those living in its shadow, so to speak… In fact, when I actually went to the wall on the day the guards left to see for myself what was going on, and talk to a few of the people there, it was blatantly obvious that the West Berliners etc. had been taken completely by surprise.

So I don’t believe that anyone can ‘see into the future’. In fact I believe that it’s a particularly imbecilic idea, and that what various folk are doing when they speak (there’s that language thing again 🙂 …), when they claim to be able to ‘predict’ (and I will admit that sometimes a number do appear to get things ‘sort of’ right’) has nothing to do with ‘seeing anything’, but that something else entirely is going on, and has more to do with speculation based on the collection of available data, or personal past experience (“I’ve been in this situation a couple of times and in my experience this ALWAYS happened next.”) …  And that would go for every single one of these claims for me by the way – except for one… The one where I say, “At some time in the future I will certainly be dead.”

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I should, perhaps, also take the opportunity here to mention that a very fashionable idea (particularly with young folk) during the 1960’s and ’70’s  was ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’.

In case you don’t know, Aquarius is a fixed air sign, with the obvious implication then that – as we moved into it during the twenty-first century – we would all, as a consequence, be ‘taking up residence in our heads’ – the place where we store all the information that we need – so to speak. And, as a consequence, things will then get so much cooler, because we won’t be getting so over-emotional about everything and getting hot and sticky, all the time 🙂 

Eugene Halliday did have a number of interesting things to say about this subject, although his focus seems, to me, to be that ‘The Aquarian Age’ will be – for all intents and purposes – the same thing as ‘The Scientific Age’, which isn’t my position here at all (see next para) In fact, my view re this ‘Scientific Age’ is that we’ve already almost completed it, and are actually in the process of leaving it behind. I would say that we are moving into, what could be labelled, more of  a ‘hyper-real scientific-age simulacrum’  – which you probably think is a bit weird ….

If you’re interested, you can download the audio-file of Eugene Halliday’s talk ‘The Aquarian Age’ from here http://eugenehallidayarchive.info/ You can also get a transcript of that same talk at Josh Hennessy’s site, here http://www.eugene-halliday.net/ 

I don’t see ‘The Dawning of The Age of Aquarius’ then, influencing our existence in the way that Eugene Halliday describes it. Or to put that another way – although I do agree in principal with much of what he does say, I don’t give his viewpoint the same degree of prominence in the unfolding of future events.

I don’t want to go into my position here in any detail. But I will just mention (as just one example of my perspective here) I believe it is far more important to realize that, where it does concern ‘matters of the mind’, we have already moved to a situation where the overwhelming majority of folk here can no longer perceive (can no longer distinguish between) ) what we used to refer to (roughly up until the mid-1960’s’) as accounts of ‘The News’ – that is, those events that went on ‘out there in the world’, and that we were led to believe had some bearing on our daily lives – from the avalanche of ‘information’ that we are all now continually being bombarded with, and that now constitutes not only a major part of our entertainment, but also functions to pattern our social behaviour… So you are now liable to be asked by anyone, at any moment, about any incident that you have been told is taking place on that ‘Word Stage’ ‘out there’, and about which you are required to have either a ‘succinct’ (a word I am using here instead of ‘suitable car bumper-sticker’) fashionable reply for, or a radical opposition to (complete with either as much ‘wailing, rending of garments, and gnashing of teeth’, or ‘hysterical proclamations of joy’, that you can muster). You are also expected to ditch most of these ‘responses’ of yours (usually) in a matter of weeks, in order to ‘take up a sea of positive or negative arms’ for or against the next fashionable event ‘ that is about to collide with you from ‘out there’ … …

So, in my world, ‘News’ no longer exists … However, I would go on to then claim that I believe most of you out there are all so busy reacting to this barrage of ‘information’, that you have failed to notice its disappearance…. And that you will still insist on attempting to discuss what you believe to be this ‘News’. Particularly – at least as far as you’re concerned – those ‘important world events’ that you have been  suckered into believing ‘matter’ to you ..

A situation that, I will confess, I still find – to varying degrees – somewhat irritating… and in my darker moments, highly amusing … 🙂

And, in fact, I wouldn’t mind betting that the overwhelming number of ‘world events’ that you are so intent on maintaining are ‘crucially important’ to you – from the ‘death of the bumble-bee’ to the latest fashionable ‘disaster’ are no such thing at all…. In fact I would go so far as to say that if I claimed most of them were actually figments of the imagination of newspaper hacks, you would have no real way of demonstrating to my satisfaction that they were in fact definitely ‘true’, that they were ‘accurate accounts’. At very least where it might demonstrate anything in your life that you have actually experienced and that demonstrates this truth for you – other than the ‘thrill’ of entertaining yourself with these accounts … I wouldn’t go as far as to claim that we might all be living in a ‘Matrix-like’ simulation, but ‘Disneyland’ would be a far more accurate description for me – and a cheap run-down version of that would be an even better  one.

No exciting ‘Aquarian Dawning’ in my world then… simply the same old ‘same old’ …with a different hat on 🙂 …

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But to continue … …

Or is it perhaps that the various viewpoints that were originally expressed by this authoritative figure here are not so much ‘predictions’, but attempts at ‘Universal Explanations’ that appear to answer – in some way – certain troubling questions that are being asked of society in general. For example, “Why have things changed the way that they have, such that things have now become as they are?”

Because, obviously, if everyone was always OK with the way things are all the time. That is, that their reactions to life in general remained roughly the same – because they have somehow come to believe that they are living in, say, some sort of idyllic neo-conservative paradise (a kind of ‘yogic stupor’) – then as a consequence, nobody would bother paying any real attention to this ‘Authority’ figure at all (other than for their entertainment value) because there would be no real need too.

So, does our Authoritative Figure then put ‘ideas into the head of these people’ such that they come to be believe that things are actually not ‘quite right’ down here. And that, as a consequence of having these ideas planted in their heads, they now find themselves traveling down a road where they never seem to actually arrive at any satisfactory destination.

And thus – because these people experience themselves as now being almost completely ineffective here – they are continuously troubled by varying degrees by ‘guilt’, and so are now in need of ‘regular therapy’, or ‘reassurance’, from their ‘Authority Figure’?

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I really do get so fed-up with saying, “I suppose I could be wrong.” … Especially when, most of the time, I don’t happen to believe that I am… … …

Why do I do that!!!!

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This ‘authority’ that I see others placing themselves under… That realm (another great word) of dominance; sovereignty; supremacy – the place where we find the expert; the specialist; the aficionado; the guru; the sage… Where exactly is it?

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Do those in authority simply present those who come within their sphere of influence with some version or other of a fairy tale … Some meta-narrative that their listeners find satisfying – provided that they don’t actually think about it too much?  Such as … “God made Adam and Eve. But Eve was very naughty, and so we’ve all been screwed up ever since… And because of this, what we now have to do (because it’s ‘The Law’) among lots and lots of other things – is make sure that we don’t shake hands with menstruating females; that we cut off the end of our dicks; and that we don’t eat pigs…”

I would have to admit though that this approach seems to succeed in doing the trick here far more often than it fails…

For some beings it would appear that these accounts come to be viewed as ‘obvious’; to have somehow – by some process or other – become ‘self-evidently true’. Particularly when they are dressed up in an archaic language (which I always think is a particularly stupid viewpoint – as obviously this language was not archaic at the time of it’s original use) ….

‘Precious’, ‘sacred’, ‘holy’, (and the ultimate – ‘actual word of God’) accounts then …

Regrettably perhaps, they aren’t anything of the sort for me. In fact I find almost all of them overwhelmingly obsolete in today’s Western world. That is, although I endorse the value of the ‘cargo’ (as it were) the vehicle being used to transport it is falling to pieces (another cheesy metaphor of mine there 🙂 ) … But I can easily understand why they were the best available at the time… And that also – in their continuing ‘relevance today’, I will say that they do provide a wonderful example of Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘Inertia’ – which is a far, far, far, more complex concept of his than it at first might appear to be, but perhaps only in my opinion … 

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Now might be a good time to share my musings re whether there might actually be some form of ‘natural hierarchy ‘down here. Because, for me hierarchies form an integral part of my concept of ‘Authority’ – and so I find it useful to ‘think hierarchically’ from time to time.

So, from a hierarchical point of view, here’s how I saw Eugene Halliday using a ‘natural hierarchy’ when handling his attempts to Work with ‘others’ who might be present at the time… Or how it was that he ‘sorted them out into some sort of order, with regard to himself ‘ might be another way of putting this..

I believe that, in order to Work, Eugene Halliday had a system in place for filtering (sorting out) the scores of people that were attempting to avail themselves of his time, in such a way that these relationships subsequently required little or no excess, or wasteful, ‘tending to’ on his part. And that it also made practical use of one of his favorite assertions – ‘Simple does not mean easy’… It was grounded in his insistence that all attempts to gain understanding here must arise out of one’s own actual experiences. (What it is then, that you can actually demonstrate; or have demonstrated in the past; or were required by him to demonstrate in the future; and that you can also provide some sort of cohesive, and coherent,  account of).

Thus, if you were one of those people who were desperate for a sign of recognition from him, and so spent some time putting together one of those (what you imagined were) ‘interesting’ (esoteric/spiritual) questions that would serve to present you in a ‘good light’. You would be very efficiently deflected with a short answer – usually one that involved some form of ‘mystical esoteric’ mumbo-jumbo – such as the ‘mystical meaning’ of various letters of the alphabet (which Eugene Halliday expertly morphed into whatever it was that he wanted any particular letter to mean at this particular time) followed by his advice to ‘do something to demonstrate to yourself that you understand this’ – which in the overwhelming majority of cases here of course the person seeking to involve themselves here never actually got around to doing. He would then finish off here by saying something like, “And do let me know how you got on here please.’ …

Of course the querent here would alway inevitably not realize that this had happened 🙂 .. (That Eugene Halliday had simply given them something – usually extremely straightforward – to actually do, and that their attempts to engage him in further conversation were now contingent upon the fact that had done it!) … which I thought was brilliant!! …

And although this was not the case with those who employed his services ‘by the hour’ so to speak… And in that particular scenario, more complicated events were taking place anyway – notably that (after talking to many of them personally and listening to audio-tapes of these session) in my opinion he not only offered advice to his ‘clients’, but also used these ‘therapy’ situations to Work on himself … An extremely efficient state of affairs then..

I will add here that I never spoke directly with Eugene Halliday at length … ever … … And I only ever asked him one direct question – his answer to which was, “That question was answered 2,000 years ago.”.. (!) .. This was because he seemed to be answering, or have already answered, the ones that I was really interested in during one or other of his previously recorded talks or  essays…I never felt inclined to attempt to engage him in unnecessary social chatter then – particularly as he always seemed to have his hands full as it was; neither did I feel any particular resonance with the overwhelming majority of those who regularly attended ISHVAL either – because most of them just seemed to be involved in playing some form of elaborate social game to me. …

I would add here though that, ten years or so after his death, I did discover one or two people who appeared to me to be grappling with his material, but not nearly as many as I would have expected – at least considering the number of years that many of them spent coming to his talks etc.

Anyway, observing Eugene Halliday employing, what I saw as, his technique of ‘screening’, and coming to realize just how successful it was, I thought it would be a great idea if I attempted to appropriate it for myself 🙂 …

So I did go on to make use of it, but in an entirely different field…

And so i would claim that this particular technique of his now has a very definite experiential component for me. And I must say that – as with other techniques that I believed I observed Eugene Halliday making use of – as soon as I’d tried it for myself for a short time, it seemed a very useful and rather obvious thing to do.

I found that this technique of his was very straightforward – always provided that you could manage to keep focussed on what you were aiming at. But, I repeat, any realization here that you are after will only ever come about after you take the trouble to apply techniques of his like this for yourself, and then reflect upon your experiences with them…

I’ll now try to describe my own particular experience here with this technique, as briefly as I can then. So you can see what I mean

I was always being asked to ‘give piano lessons’.. And although it was very easy money for me, luckily I didn’t need it… And anyway, I actually didn’t like ‘teaching piano’ … at all.

However, I always seemed to have one or two pupils that I would end up seeing ever fortnight or so – which sort of  served to ‘kept me in the market-place’ if you like (I found it paid for my petrol 🙂 …). And as a consequence (because I in fact was ‘out there’) I would be asked now and again by others if I would also give them lessons.

So I realized that I had to devise some way of ‘filtering’ would-be pupils (that most of the other ‘teachers’ in this area would then take on anyway, if only for the money) without offending anyone – if I could possibly manage it.

I should quickly add here that I was always prepared to help someone out if I thought that they were really interested in what I did , and that I thought had what it takes to be any good – but that was not my experience in the main…

My rules here were simple. I would always go to their place. I always had somewhere to go no later than one and a quarter hours after I arrived. And here’s the ‘Halliday bit’ … I would ‘give them a ‘lesson’, and tell them that they would be required to practically demonstrate that they had ‘got it’ the next time that I came… If they hadn’t ‘got it’ then they would receive exactly the same lesson from me again, but would still pay me in full… However, if they wished, they could audio-tape, or video, this ‘second-time through’  so that they would have no excuse for, “not having remembered this, or that, other bit.”…

In order to receive a third lesson though, they would now have to phone me to let me know that they had absorbed that previous one.

Most ‘pupils’ didn’t make it past two lessons – almost invariably because they simply would not put the necessary practice time in; or would claim that they ‘knew it’ but hadn’t quite got round to ‘doing it’ yet; or spent most of their time looking for short-cuts; or were more concerned with devising elaborate motives as to why it was that they, ‘couldn’t ‘do it’…just now.” – usually because they were embarrassed because when they saw me do it, “It looked (relatively) easy.”; or they just told me that, “This is the way I do it.” – in which case I would always reply, “Well obviously you don’t need me to help you then .. do you?”

Or they would be able to do sections of the material that I gave them in the lesson, but not others. In which case they would spend almost all their time on the piano going over and over these bits that they could already do…

In the case of one particular instruction that I always gave them, many had convinced themselves that it was of minor importance – which fascinated me because, although I always went to great pains to explain to them just how important, just how fundamental, it was, they somehow never managed to grasp this fact. And – it seemed to me – to have subsequently programmed themselves to be oblivious (in the absence of someone like me pointing it out – which tended to profoundly irritate them) to what it was that they were (not) doing.. A bit like Eugene Halliday’s rule that interested parties who wanted to ‘do what he was doing’ must ‘activate’ their ‘passive’ language then.

This single instruction from me was very simple – I told them that no matter what they were playing, they had to tap their foot ‘rhythmically in time’ while they did so.

What is even more mysterious here is that, even if I taped what it was they were playing and explained to them, or demonstrated to them, exactly how they were, at the moment, ‘rhythmically all over the place’ they simply refused to ‘have it’ – even if they agreed with me at the time!… But then you might be astonished at just how many so-called ‘professional musicians’ cannot play rhythmically either – and, even more mysteriously perhaps, have been able to get away with it for the whole of their careers!

Most beginners here really believed that they ‘wanted to do something’, but would nearly always convince themselves that what it was that they were doing – after the minimum amount of effort on their part – was ‘near enough’ (“Sounds fine to me, mate!”) And what it was that they couldn’t do, “didn’t really matter.” … They had constructed their own ‘hierarchy’ then, of ‘the relative importance of things that must be done here’…

But playing ‘Rhythm and Blues’ keyboards is, unfortunately for them, not at all simple. (Although the fact that you can program machines to organize sound in this way today has seriously complicated, or obscured, this basic fact… Something I refer to, by the way, as the ‘blow-up doll’ version, if you’re interested).

There is a great deal of preparation that needs to be done, and – as they had requested advice from me – I required them to actually practice what it was that I gave them to do …Being beginners though, they obviously often found it difficult. So most of them quickly gave up on what it was that I required of them, but even so, somehow went on to convince themselves that they were getting somewhere … somehow … And of course, in the privacy of their own heads (where they could exercise their own autonomy – could be their own authority) … they were! 🙂 …

And then, having clobbered together the ability together to perform some bizarre rendition or other here, they ‘moved on’ and joined together (or only ever ‘hung-out’} with others who didn’t know what they were doing either. Who then all went on to re-define the necessary techniques required here, such that – voilà! – they were now ‘recognized experts in the field’.. Which is how I see exactly what Western popular culture has done with Black American Blues music; Brazilian guitar music; and ‘Oriental Martial Arts’, etc., by the way… And also of course any number of non-Western – so to say – ‘esoteric practices’ 🙂  with, of course, the connivence of any number of self-styled non-Western ‘gurus’ and ‘senseis’ who are only intent on traveling geographically in the other direction – usually because they quite fancy having their own little group of European followers (invariably with a pronounced female contingent); owning a BMW; and going to discos … 🙂

Which suited me fine 🙂 …

To provide the briefest of explanations here. People like me who are viscerally affected by music (in my case predominately Black American, or Cuban, or Latin American, music), and that incorporates an essential, pronounced rhythmical component, are first made aware of this pleasurable experience via a pronounced positive feeling towards it in their physical bodies.. (Watch a baby that can’t yet walk, but has learnt to stand move up by using the table or some other piece of furniture, and play them some music from a popular music station on your radio, and you will see exactly what I mean… Music will also effect many domestic animals in this visceral way, by the way – particularly birds)… This pleasurable experience can obviously be re-enforced (you can work out how exactly you would go about doing this for yourself I hope). But, far more importantly here, it can also, at some point, be reproduced by the (originally ‘passive’) being who is having this experience. And acquiring this ability subsequently provides this being with a potentially ‘autonomous’ (interesting word) experience. However, in order to possess this autonomy, the means of doing so has to be acquired by Working, in order to gain that necessary ‘active’ technique(s)…

The only component of this technique that is present in the beginning here though is that ‘physical response’ I mentioned – which is always in the form of a repetitive physical movement (clue)… The student therefore must ‘work backwards’ as it were, from this already present physical ability (this innate response if you like) until they can ‘organize sound’ cognitively… At which point this ‘organizing ability , can now be used to ‘move outwards’ again, back into the body. The being can now, as it were, do two things at once! To put it simply, it can now ‘perform for its own enjoyment’… The cognitive component (the understanding of what it is they are doing); the emotional component (that ‘guide’, which gives them that rational aesthetic experience necessary to the inputting of more ‘feeling’ – of ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and the physical component (that response of their own bodies to their own efforts) are now co-ordinated – are now balanced – such that the being can now truly claim to be ‘rhythmical’, and not simply ‘know what rhythmical music is when they hear it’ or just be able to maintain that ‘they quite like it’…

So my instructions to beginners was never about me wanting to get them to just ‘tap their feet’, but to actually ‘involve their feet’ …. rhythmically!  – But I could never tell them that in the beginning because they wouldn’t ‘get it’ at all! Or even worse they might think they did!..

I will just add here that the overwhelming majority of males (at least the one’s that I know) don’t think it’s odd that, if they ask a girl to dance, then she can just sort of ‘fit in’ with what they were doing.. I, on the other hand, have always thought this ability was quite magical, and believed that I would really be getting somewhere if I could do something like that.. (Now you’ll either see the earth-shattering importance of my Working on this, or you won’t 🙂 ..) 

I would just add that the number of those who claimed to be ‘musical’ (you can substitute ‘yoga experts’ here) that attended Eugene Halliday’s meetings who were clearly ‘not rhythmical’, was extra-ordinary!! … And I will also add that I can tell if someone is rhythmical or not immediately – which some of you might find a bit spooky…

Why is all this so very important as far as I’m concerned, you might ask? Well, other than to say it is pertinent to all this (to say the least) I’m not going to tell you. Because if you can’t work out why for yourself (and relatively quickly), then- for the moment at least – you will never understand any of all this really anyway… Which isn’t to say that you might not ‘know’ a lot about ‘all this’ though – but that’s not the same thing at all… is it?  🙂

Had, though, I been ‘touting for business’; or I needed to ‘make a few bob’; or if I’d ‘wanted a reputation’; or if I was after ‘my own little gang of followers’, I would – of course – have gone about things in an entirely different manner. And would probably have started my ‘pupils’ (aKa ‘my flock’) off, by getting them to ‘playing the scale of C with one hand in one octave’ or something equally as useless, and then gone on for over 50 lessons or so, to ‘teach’ them lots of other irrelevant stuff – and eventually… Who knows? They may be able to remember so much of this stuff that they could even go on to become ‘teachers’ themselves… … … A bit like being one of those ‘yoga teachers’ then; or ‘Martial Artists’ who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet Echo …   🙂

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Back to the concept of ‘inertia’ for a moment …

To get a real hold on what Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘inertia’ is about, I believe you must ground this word in your own experiences.

And, in attempting to throw some light on your own … ‘intertic tendencies’, I would advise you to beware of ‘amateur therapists’

Because if you do indulge in this form of relationship, understand clearly that it will be that ‘therapist’ who controls and oversees the ‘active’ component of this aspect of it, of this aspect your life. And it is they who will have been allowed by you to assume real ‘authority’ here. Because they will now be in charge of dictating that script that you both subsequently engage in, in the process of acting out this relationship – and in which you will always play the role of the ‘passive’ partner ..(Try and unpack the phrase, “I’m in therapy,” in terms of it’s hierarchy, and then ask yourself the question, “Will there ever be a time when I will assume the ‘active role’ here, or does a successful ‘course of therapy’ automatically assume that any relationship here (which by its very nature is ‘intimate’) will be terminated . And your analyst and you will then both move on with your ‘proper lives’?)

Your enjoyment of these ‘sessions’ will almost certainly be, in the main, because you imagine that this person is taking a’real’ interested in you, and so you feel yourself to be the center of attention (if only for a very short time, and for which you do pay for, one way or another) … Regrettably though they are far more likely to be indulging in their desire for power in relationships, and ‘you’ could just as easily be ‘anyone’… Although – and this I do find fascinating – they actually probably imagine that they are doing something else entirely!

How it is that you do put that story of your past together (and not someone else for you – although it’s possible for you to receive help here) is crucial to this understanding of inertia for you, by the way…. And if you do happen to come to any understanding here of this ‘past’, you then need to do what it was that Eugene Halliday insists you do, which is to change it … Not the events themselves, but whether you experience them ‘in the now’ as  ‘actively’ and not ‘passively’, and in my opinion this is really very hard Work.

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When Eugene Halliday was formulating ideas and promoting his concepts to groups of interested listeners (such that many even came to view him as almost infallible) – what, back then, was actually going on? … What changes were taking place in those who were subsequently turned into ‘subjects’ here? What is it that they ‘relinquished’ (or ‘appropriated’) – if anything? …

Or did he plant these ideas of his in ‘virgin ground’? …. That is, was a seductive picture of reality painted by Eugene Halliday for those who didn’t already have one of their own; or who didn’t like (or didn’t feel satisfied) with the the one that they already had, or the one that was imposed on them as children?…

Was it, in the end then, only ever really about satisfying appetites? … Some form of processed ‘mental food’, so to speak and (here’s a thought) possible (like the ingestion of mercury or lead in small does over a long period) highly toxic?

Was this all because he was so convincing (so seductive)? … But if he was, why is it that almost nobody that claims to have a ‘special’ connection to him can give a substantial, coherent, account of what it was that he was forever going on about? … And even if they ‘sort-of’ can, why is it that these people seem unable to suggest any method of proceeding with this account of his, such that it demonstrates that these accounts were, indeed, ‘Authoritative’ – rather than them simply being ‘transfixed in the moment’ by his rhetorical skill – hypnotized almost – and thus unable to provide an explanation as to why it was that the overwhelming majority who went to hear him speak for years on end, only appear to have the vaguest of ideas about the substance of what it was that he actually said … Any possible aid for them (if any) contained in his many talks having evaporated almost completely (and often almost immediately) after he had finished speaking… Sort of like seeds falling on the ground, sprouting far too early, growing too quickly and then being killed by the sun and lack of water? .. If, that is, you quite like the idea of referring to his creative output as ‘containing seeds’ … 🙂

Is this a common phenomena? … This inability to retain something seen and heard that – at the time – produced a significant affect (gasps of mutual admiration and agreement)… I would argue that it’s a lot more common than you might think….

Here’s an example of this inability to remember fairly succinct ideas from another area of peoples lives, that I would claim almost everyone is familiar with…. Although it’s not very ‘witchy-poo’ I’m afraid.

That comedian on TV the other night you laughed at almost continually until you were crying so hard that you could hardly breath – because the jokes were so very, very, funny… … All those marvelous jokes that you couldn’t remember the next day … !

Notice that you are liable to have slightly better recall though if you were watching a funny sit-com   .. Because, even though you were still passively watching here, you can still find it relatively easy to recall a ‘direction’ to the situation(s) presented to you (the particular ‘story-line’ in that particular episode last night) to the extent that is necessary here… And that you can subsequently, therefore, still ‘identify with ‘ – or ‘take part in’… That story (that fantasy) containing those events portrayed, such that you can re-run them the next day for yourself ‘in your mind’ if you wish .. These events – because they are in the form of a narrative – that you can, with far more ease, dredge up from your memory, along with the recall of that pleasurable state you experienced… It’s humorous aspect then …

And particularly so if you are relating this episode next day to someone else, say a friend, (“And then what happened was … Oh! It was really funny! …”) …

So, although these events did not constitute an actual lived (experiential) situation for you, this sit-com – in an imaginative sense at least – was still somehow ‘real’ for you … You ‘took part’ in it in such a way that it was memorized as an ‘experience’ of sorts… In the same way that you identify with that image you have created for yourself and others – only in this case you do believe it.

… I see all this as evidence for my view of beings possessing both ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ aspects of this being etc. … And which I believe I have provided ample information about in previous posts here … So I won’t be repeating myself on that subject here yet again – you’ll be glad to hear 🙂

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In my own case I was always acutely aware that I did not wholeheartedly totally accept Eugene Halliday’s particular perception of reality… But what his public expressions of this perception of his (both verbal and written) certainly did for me, was to make me realize that it was possible for any individual to construct their own view here (as he had done) by the process of attempting to embody some major concept(s) or other that they had adopted, and then Working through the consequences of doing so…. For example, by maintaining that – “If I have come to the conclusion that this is the way things came to be; then why is this now happening?” …(Because, say, if my view was correct, then it shouldn’t be happening) …

So then, I don’t believe that this attempt by Eugene Halliday to ‘make sense of it all’ was in any way ‘magical’ or ‘occult’ – as his own material appears to me to proceed directly from the particular overview he gained as a result of his various studies, particularly in the areas of pre-1900’s philosophy; science; and also his interpretations of various religious texts.

The most obvious concepts here would include those of field forces; energy; and consciousness.. Thus I don’t accept that Eugene Halliday was carrying on the tradition of keeping some ‘Perennial Philosophy’ going (an idea that I find, frankly, ridiculous), Rather, and far more importantly for me, I believe – for me at least – that he was demonstrating, in act (‘before my very eyes’ that is) – a perennial truth – which is that we can create our own world. And that this might, or might not, involve any particular philosophy, or set of beliefs, whatsoever..

Which is a far more magical thing to demonstrate than merely just the trotting out of mechanical, second-hand ideas… And which also explains to me why it is that I believe so many down here seem to have only ever succeeded in getting themselves stuck ‘right in it’.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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(We see him sitting at his desk, his jacket is over the back of his chair, his tie has been loosened and the top button of his shirt is open. He is speaking into an old-fashioned dictaphone, and he looks somewhat tired)

“The proof that there must be some hidden ‘secret truth’ in all this, seems to be based entirely on their readiness to admit that they have not – as yet – been able to find any evidence of its existence!

“This tool, this ‘language’ that they all possess… That they create their texts from … Many of them seem to believe – and spend much of their life looking for – particularly in the case of those ‘Sacred Texts’ that so many of them are so fond of … something … some hidden message …. that someone, or some thing, or some agency .. has left behind …

And so much effort is then expended by them in tasks such as – for example – re-combining various fragments of these texts, or substituting different vowels to the words in these texts – in order to discover this ‘secret message’ …

This pursuit of theirs is referred to by them in many ways …. (He pauses).. ‘Occult interpretation’, for example .. or ‘Divine Revelation’. …. But of course they aren’t uncovering any such message at all… What they are actually doing, is creating entirely new texts, with entirely new meanings here, that were very often obviously not even implied in the original text…  (He pauses) … An act of creation then!!

And so it is obviously always possible for them to experience that joy which any creative act induces … (He carries on immediately, his voice rising).. But of course, in almost all cases here, that’s not what happens to them at all!

They instead become obsessed with the idea that they have found a ‘hidden, or secret, truth’ within this text, and will often spend the remainder of their time here attempting to prove this to others (He pauses and stares at the floor before continuing very softly)As if that was what really mattered in all this…(His voice rises)… At all!!”

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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I have never been much of a fan of the, “I am weak but thou art strong,” view-point at least when it comes to understanding ‘Authority’… But I do fully appreciate that if one is really in need at various times in one’s life – when say, really dreadful personal things are happening – then crying out for guidance etc. seems to me to be a very normal, and very human, thing to do. … But not for every second of your existence!

Do we really have to ask for help from Jesus to decide what clothes to wear; what washing powder to buy; or whether or not ‘to take the car to the shops, or just walk instead’? …. 

So why not take some time out to realize just what it is that you are actually capable of  being responsible for…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Someone stands up on a box in the middle of Times Square, or Piccadilly Circus, and proclaims to anyone unlucky to be within earshot that they are ‘Representing The Supreme Authority’… But no one takes any notice of them…

What sorts of things would have to subsequently take place here for these ‘self-proclaimers’  to – as a direct consequence – be believed? …

A demonstration of ‘supernatural powers’ perhaps? (Always guaranteed to grab the attention of the ‘Great Unwashed’) …

In your case though, this demonstration of ‘supernatural powers’ would have to be witnessed by you first-hand; or delivered to you in an account that was relayed to you by: a) Someone you ‘trust’; or b) Your favorite news outlet; etc. etc. before you believed it … surely?

(I believe that formulating questions like this are a very important aid in ‘getting to know one’s self’)..

It’s far easier to answer the following question though, “How does it come about that ‘the police’ have authority?” … And that’s part of the trouble here… The answer that you would give to this question, in practical terms at least explains every other instance (excluding the ‘brute force’ one) where it concerns anyone else’s particular attempt to claim, or to assume, power… It crucially requires an investment on the part of you and others here – that you all agree to ‘recognize’ this position of power.

To repeat… How does it come to be that one person comes to have authority over another; or that one person comes to have authority over many; or that one group of people have authority over another group of people? … Lots of questions here then, that can lead to the investigation of all sorts of useful words to Work on (in that attempt of yours to acquire an ‘active language’) – such as, for example, ‘subject’; ‘subjective’, and so on; and thus: ‘object’; ‘objective’ etc..

I’ll just mention here once again that in the past I did spend a considerable amount of time Working with the words ‘authentic’ (which shares the same root as ‘authority”; and also ‘genuine’ (which shares the same root as General (in the military sense)… Because I was interesting in discovering what sorts of things contribute to the creation of what ultimately becomes both: a) ‘An Authoritative Text’  and b) – where it concerns a person – ‘An Authority’. But, in this latter case, not in the collective social sense (as in the case of say, a member of the judiciary) but rather in the ‘single-person sense’ (if I can put it that way).

Thus – in this sense at least – I would claim that Eugene Halliday ‘possessed authority’ … He, for example, made use of the ‘royal ‘We’..’ when referring to activities of the collective membership of Ishval – the most innocent use of this ‘We’ then, might be that everyone there was being reinforced with the notion that – where it concerned be particular little snippet that was being mentioned at that particular time – everybody was ‘on the same page’. And so no need to ‘ponder that particular snippet’ then … So an ‘authodoxy’ then … (Same root as ‘authority, by the way 🙂 …)

NOTE: A great exercise here, is for you to first of all explore how ‘accepting authority’ has been responsible – even if it is only in part – for you engaging in any number of activities that has been formulated by others… And when you’ve done that (so that, hopefully, you now appreciate how this happens in your own case) why not then try a much harder exercise, and try to recall if there has ever been any activity on your part that you can confidently claim was not a consequence of you engaging in activity that had not – in part at least – been formulated by others… And if you manage that one, then why not try going on to the really hard exercise here –  Imagining what engaging in activity that has not been formulated – in part at least – by others could actually mean .. 

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“And the real value of empathic relationships – as opposed to those self-congratulatory bouts of compassion that they’re so fond of wallowing in? .. Well of course there is always that possibility that these empathic relationships can be reciprocated … and also, that not only can they be with the ‘other’ in the way that the ‘other’ is experiencing the world; but the relationship can be such that it allows them to imagine what the ‘other’ would do if they were faced with the same situation that they were in… … That is, they can use empathy … the ‘other’ … to help free themselves from their own particular problem … But very, very, few of them ever manage to realize this..(He pauses) … And usually these abilities … ’empathy’ and ‘compassion’ … are only ever brought up by them in order to demonstrate to themselves and others just how … how … understanding … and thus clever … they are.. Which of course they imagine now places them further up that ‘spiritual pecking order’ of theirs… gives them more ‘authority’ (He pauses and grins) … But really all that’s going on here is that they are addicted to thinking of themselves as … caring deeply …. Whenever they can … Hence their addiction to what they like to call, ‘The News’ by the way…

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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Briefly – Of the less than half-dozen or so concepts of Eugene Halliday’s that I have actually seriously Worked with (something that I quickly came to appreciate takes, for me at least, a very long time to get into) the following two have probably been the most important for me, with the exception of a number of  concepts that are contained in his ‘Tacit Conspiracy’ essay that is 🙂 … (But the elaboration by me of these particular concepts would, I believe, require me to write at least another half-a-dozen or so posts. And, for the moment at least, that constitutes a big ‘no-no’, I’m afraid) …

So just the two here then:

 1: ‘Working’ – as a way to activate your language.

If you have read my previous posts you will hopefully already appreciate that, in my experience at least, the approach that I originally took in order to tackle the problem of Working was not nearly as straightforward as I first thought it was going to be. Because I soon discovered that if I was ever going to get anything to ‘stick’ here – notably in order to be able to ‘develop that potential in being’ (Which, thankfully, didn’t necessarily require me to be nice to everybody all the time, or anything even remotely like that) – I had to subsequently involve what I believed were the various ‘fruits of my labors here’ into appropriate, customized, forms of praxis  … So ‘Walking the walk’, I quickly realized, was essential here then; as opposed to merely ‘Talking the talk’ … you might say.

As a positive consequence of this approach though, I would add that – if my experiences here are anything to go by at least – you can reasonably expect to be able to ditch at least 99% of those you come across who claim to be involved, or interested, in ‘Matters Halliday ‘ here – as the overwhelming majority of them are ‘into’ these matters for entirely different motives. This hard-line approach by you might – in the short term at least –  prove to be somewhat disappointing, but does have an extremely positive aspect, in that it illuminates just how difficult this view of Working’ of mine, is, and it also helps to keep you at it when the going gets tough’

Incidentally (if you’re interested in these sorts of things) this active/passive language concept of Eugene Halliday’s is, in my opinion, something very like Gurdjieff’s ‘Law of Three’. The third part of which (Gurdjieff’s ‘Neutralizing Force’) I came to see as very similar to my own way of looking at this (or so I like to think). That is – in my case – Gurdjieff’s term here – ‘neutralizing’ – was experienced by me, as my having ‘achieved a state of temporary balance that now enabled me to move forward’… So I don’t actually experience the results of Working as ‘Neutralizing’ anything: instead I experience a momentary state of ‘dynamic balance’ – which is, rather obviously I suppose, why I came to use the term ‘balance’ here.

NOTE – ‘Eugene Halliday – Lesson 101’: Changing a function (think of this as what it or what you actually do) changes a form.. Which – as a consequence – now requires those of us who are Working to provide a different label/word that we can then subsequently use in order to express more clearly the differentiated personal meanings/experiences that have arisen here .. So again, not ‘neutralizing’ for me then, but rather ‘balancing’. ..

So, in my case then, immediately upon a successful attempt at Working to transform something ‘passive’ (experienced as resistance to change, or inertia, or to engramic dispositions, or whatever term you like to use here)  into ‘active’ (assertive – now able to be used to push here), this instantaneously brings into being a state of balance that requires a movement ‘forward’ (at the very moment ‘the penny drops’ here, as it were); or you might like to say that it occasions a movement ‘upward’ – if you’re a fan of Gurdjieff’s metaphor here.

Or, to put this yet another way, more ‘power’ is now available to you – or more means  of ‘screwing things up’ are now at your disposal  🙂

This new situation that you see yourself in – which, you like to believe is as a direct consequence of your efforts here – enables you to (we might say for the time being) ‘now see things with a bit more clarity’… And you begin to notice that ‘being presented with a new experience’ is something that only ever happens to the overwhelming majority of people when they barge into something that was directly in their path; that they failed to see right under their very noses, even though it came complete with a great big flashing neon sign attached to it that was notifying them of the fact… And which is then, as a consequence, almost invariably – in their eyes at least – experienced as something that is ‘definitely not required’: or – if they like to imagine themselves as being more ‘refined’ – as ‘rather inconvenient at the moment’…. Because of course it might wake them up!

This ‘new’ situation (And by ‘new’ here I don’t mean something like ‘original’ or ‘unique’ by the way… I use ‘new situation” here to simply mean the ‘most recent situation’… So it could be one – in fact it probably will be – that has happened to you many times before – only you just didn’t notice the last twenty-five or so times that it did, because you were probably too busy fiddling with yourself)… Anyway this ‘new’ situation is one that you find will now immediately present you with yet more of your very own passive stuff. That you – once again – are required to Work on, by shoving actively against it with more of your active stuff; until once again you achieve a state of balance that impels you to, once again, move forward …

That, by the way, is what the ‘Time Process’ is all about for me. And why I experience many other people as somehow ‘being stuck’ here… Because even though they might be ‘changing’ – that is, growing more wrinkly by the day almost –  they’re not ‘transforming’… A different word again, do you see? With a different form then, and so it possesses a different function… etc. etc.

And what do you go on to do next? … “What’s the aim here of all this?” …Or, “Get to the point will you, I’m very busy!” you might say. Well, essentially, you keep on repeating this process until you die … That’s really what it’s all about down here for me… And the endlessly pursuit of ‘enjoyment’ or whatever it is that most people get up to? …. I’d prefer to leave that to our cat, ‘Juke’ because, to me, that’s all he ever seems to want to do – no ‘post-industrial 20th-century existential angst, as a consequence of living through the present phase of free-market capitalism’, or ‘gender confusion’ for him!!! …

NOTE: I’ve mentioned Gurdjieff here, because I think it’s about time that I ‘came out’ and made it clear that there were any number of beings about in the 20th century that I found very helpful to me. And I am not, and have never been, simply a ‘follower’ or a ‘pupil’ of any one particular person. I have rather (very deliberately) tried to take only what I believed that I needed – no more or no less – from wherever I happened to find it, in order to continue Working. And look – many of Gurdjieff’s ideas – such as ‘The Enneagram’; or his stuff about ‘rays’ and  ’emanations’; or ‘feeding the moon’; or ‘hydrogens’, were not really up to much in my opinion. But in the end all this really means is I didn’t find them useful to me… I have also found a great deal of material that was produced by Idries Shah to be useful to me  – but again, by no means all of it.

FURTHER NOTE: You might also find the following of relevance here: Of all the people that I interviewed extensively re Eugene Halliday, the person that had known him the longest by far (from the very early 1940’s in fact) was Donald Lord. And one of the things that interested me greatly in this account to me of his, was his insistence that “Eugene Halliday was NOT a teacher.”  … !
I had spent ten years of my life as a qualified lecturer (I mention this here only so that you can appreciate that I believed I knew what ‘teaching’ and ‘being a teacher’ was all about), and I found myself agreeing with Donald Lord’s, comments here. But as I’d never really thought about Eugene Halliday’s talks in this way until he mentioned this – I had never really ‘formulated’ what it was that Eugene Halliday was doing and, if he wasn’t teaching .. then what was he doing?”
Very soon after, I was discussing this with close friend of mine, and he immediately gave me a copy of this document below. And a great deal of what it was that Eugene Halliday was doing immediately became very much clearer….
You might like to read it – it’s not that long at all… It was put together by someone from a completely different culture almost 700 years ago, and it contained exactly what I needed here, because it very succinctly nails for me much (but by no means all) of what I had already intuited that ‘teachers’ and ‘teaching’ is really about.
Here it is: The Counsels of Bahaudin Naqshband ….. and it served to re-enforce my belief that those who were listening to Eugene Halliday giving his talks in the ‘right way’, were able to observe him ‘in the act’ of Working, as it were; and also why it’s an almost complete waste of time to just try and ‘learn’ or ‘remember’ these talks – particularly so if you have no real intention of Working yourself – but are simply trying to copy him.
If you like, it’s more the case that he’s demonstrating what it is that he ‘does’ (so you know then that something like this can actually be done) in order to encourage you to put together a system of your own so that you will be able to do it… for yourself .. So imitating Eugene Halliday’s hair-style hasn’t really got anything to do with it… Has it?

Incidentally, that concept of Gurdjieff’s (his ‘Law of Three’) was around long before Eugene Halliday’s ideas re Working to activate one’s language. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Eugene Halliday used this law to kick-start his own particular experiential approach to this subject of Working… Involving Gurdjieff’s methods into his own ideas re language then, which was a mode of praxis here that immediately appealed far more to me in that I felt I was far more able to involve myself in Eugene Halliday’s method, than involve myself in what I took to be Gurdjieff’s methods here – which often seemed to involve physically doing something – like deciding to remain standing all day, and then watching ‘what came up as a consequence’.

And this is actually what I eventually did with Eugene Halliday’s suggestion that we develop our own active language  … I customized what I took to be his way of doing things here and went on to construct a system that worked for me. And it seems to me that anyone who does actually do any Work automatically has to go on – from the ‘hand-up’ that they have been freely given here from other beings – and develop their own particular method(s)… Understand here that I’m not talking about ‘principles’ – although to others, you might seem to be expressing these in such a completely different way to the one that they’ve become passively used to hearing, that you appear to be talking about something else entirely. I’m talking about the fact that you will never know any of this unless you do it yourself, unless it is you. If you persist otherwise, you will simply jump from one thing to another as it takes your fancy. So, in short then, I believe that we must all write our own accounts here based on our own experiences.

So re ‘passive and active’ language then – ‘In the beginning was the Word’ – and after that, it seems to me, there was then a whole lot more ‘words’. So many of them in fact that we’ve been drowning in them ever since…

And what is it that you will be required to do when you’ve ‘heard’ these ‘words’? … Well … Work!

And the good news here is that we can already – every single one of us – actually ‘hear’ the words that we need to hear in order to progress at every moment of our lives – should we chose to stop for a moment and listen…But then we would have to go on to spend some of our time (initially at least) figuring out the consequences of what it is that our own unique particular ‘message’ requires us to do down here. Which will certainly be – we already suspect – something ‘real’ … and very possibly extremely inconvenient..

A dangerous situation to put yourself in that – at least according to Jacob Boehme… Because if you come to see, with any clarity, what it is that you need do..  And then you don’t do it… Well! …. That’s a whole different ball-game now isn’t it? … Because you’ve run out of excuses, and can’t claim any more that you, “Didn’t really know,” or that you, “Made a mistake, and you’re sorry.” etc… A situation that explains for me why it is that so many of those I have seen ‘searching for the truth’ sooner (rather than later) went on to engage in all sorts of fashionable ‘irrational behavior’ – which invariably seemed to involve (for us Westerners – at least at the present stage of the current zeitgeist) the attempt to emulate one form or other of dimly understood – and hence ‘seductive’ (“It’s all about the make-up and stage lighting folks!”) – exotic ‘Oriental’ practice or other.

So if you do start to Work – be careful, because you will end up getting exactly what you asked for, which will almost certainly be something that – in the moment – you’re not going to particularly ‘enjoy’… One reason for this by the way, might be that, at the moment, you have no real idea what the word ‘enjoy’ actually means. In fact I would be prepared to wager that you will almost certainly have conflated this word with the word ‘pleasure’ …And I would also guess then, that you have never Worked on either of these words … So … If you’d like to start Working … right now … then simply form a sentence about one of your previous experiences with some form of the word ‘enjoy’ in it, and then substitute some form of the word ‘pleasure’ for it – and then ask yourself if these two sentences really mean anything different to you. If they don’t, then obviously you don’t really know what either of these words mean… Do you? .. … And by the way I did just use the world ‘simply’ here, and not ‘easy’… …. … … And that’s all the help you’re going to get from me here 🙂

And I know that I probably doesn’t need to make this point – but I suspect that I haven’t actually put it as straightforwardly as this so I’ll like to take the opportunity to do so now … … To be passive to someone else’s active language is not the same thing at all as being receptive to it… I know – it’s obvious, if you bother to think about it at all.. You’d be surprised though how many folks I’ve met who pretend they’re being receptive when actually they’re being passive – but that’s probably due to the company I keep 🙂

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Most of the people I have spoken with directly about Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘Active and Passive language’ – particularly when I first began here in 2004 (and this would be mostly those who liked to think of themselves as one of his ‘Friends’) do not seem to have ever heard of it. Or if they had, then they clearly though that it was only of minor importance; or that his advice re acquiring this ‘Active’ language of theirs was merely a ‘polite suggestion’.

The majority of those who did present themselves as being somehow familiar with this concept of his appeared to me to be very confused as to what the point of it was; and that ‘looking up the definition’ or ‘researching the etymology’ of a word, and then attempting to commit this information to memory, was pretty much it – rather like a superior form of that Reader’s Digest’ page – ‘Increase Your Word-Power’ then… Or – by far the commonest form of this confusion here – mistaking the acquiring an ‘Active’ language for that of acquiring an ‘Effective’ language – of acquiring a skill then (something like ‘being a better bridge player’) – so that one will now be a more effective member of that debating team; or will be able to ‘slither’ far more effectively by becoming an even more effective ‘smart-assed ale-house lawyer’ …

‘Effective’ language is not the same thing at all as ‘Active’ language.. ‘Effective’ language though, does have many very positive applications, as when, for instance, it is used by a decent teacher  – one you remember from your time at school as being ‘good’; negatively, it is used by any number of fashionable New-Age ‘gurus’ and ‘spiritual superstars’; by rabble-rousing politicians, and various other slime-balls – who invariably always seem to have a way of saying things that you ‘like’ – just before you are encouraged to endorse them, or to part with your money and buy something – such as a car bumper-sticker – replete with that asinine. pithy, witty ‘saying’ that you ‘quite like’; or the latest, fashionable ‘Mediation DVD’; or even to just get you to ‘spend your vote wisely’ …!…

By the way, if you experience moments, whilst you were, say, listening to your favorite speaker, when they appeared to have answered a question that was ‘just at that moment on your mind’, then this is almost certainly because they are using ‘effective Language’ and (I know you’re going to be disappointed now) they are certainly not ‘telepathically and sensitively ‘tuning in’ to you’ .. It’s just another example of ‘Cold Reading’ (a technique that was employed in the past by music-hall magicians, and is still being used today in a far more clearly understood and sophisticated form by all those ‘TV Psychics’ and the like, if you want to look it up)…

In my experience, the sign of being in the presence of a real ‘active-language speaker’ is to make me feel vaguely uncomfortable – rather as if I’ve just been caught in the beam of a headlamp taking a pee at the side of the road . …

I believe that Eugene Halliday could affectively make use of both modes of address – which has always been something of a problem for me… One that is usually mediated by reflecting on his essay ‘Defense of the Devil’… but not always… And I would say that this was due to his ‘Mercurial nature’, if you were insisting on me being polite about this, that is…

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THAT WORD ‘SEX’ 
All you ever wanted to know about it, but were too afraid to ask

Conflating, or confusing the function of two separate (although not perhaps entirely independent) terms is one of the more interesting ways in which commonly understood meanings can be manipulated by both secular and religious authorities. in order to control the discourse.

The following example is interesting because there is a strong sense in which it is possible to view this conflating and confusing (over the past two thousand years or so – at least up until the latter part of the twentieth century, when it does become pretty much indefensible) as ‘understandable’, or at least ‘non-deliberate’ … I believe that it is now necessary for all you folks out there to separate out these two terms – always assuming of course that you haven’t already done so 🙂

Here you are then – ‘Sexual activity’ and ‘Genital activity’.  

The conflating and confusing of these two terms has, I believe, been directly responsible for, or underlies, the appearance of a large number of – possibly more than any other single human activity – many of those social and cultural mores that have been put into place during the previous couple of thousand years in order to keep ‘the great unwashed’ in-line; and consequently then for all sorts of weird and wonderful patterns of behavior (‘customs’) that have been practiced down here ever since, at least in the ‘West, ‘and much of the Middle East, that is.

These would include (but not be restricted to) for example, your common-or-garden genital mutilation – by which I mean circumcision. That is: the removal of the female clitoris, or the male foreskin  (the latter being a practice that is, even today, claimed by some to be ‘hygienic’ – though not the former); together with the Pauline attitude (shoved down our throats of many of us from about the age of seven) regarding the whole business of guys ‘spilling their seed on the ground’ (or if you don’t know what that means, for a more contemporary way of putting this, try ‘chucking one over the wrist’ ), of ‘fiddling about with yourself down there’ and as a direct consequence, very quickly becoming blind, or at very least extremely short-sighted, or growing hairy palms… ‘Tipping the velvet’ was not so much disapproved of in our mainly patriarchal societies here in the West though, perhaps because the guys in charge were never quite sure what the girls were up to in general, and anyway they quite enjoyed watching.

I’ve often wondered just how many post-pubescent boys and girls would agree to ‘have it done’ today … I can just imagine the scene (Teenage boy or girl on computer video link to pal), “Sorry, I can’t go to the disco with you on Saturday because I’m having the end of my dick cut off (or my clitoris sandpapered away)… I know – it’s a bit of a bummer – but my mum and dad would be upset if I didn’t get it done!” …

By the way, there was a far more severe form of this that was practiced by a significant number of the so-called ‘early church fathers’  … That of self-castration… And let’s not forget the present day form of this – that of (a largely pretend, or alas often tragic) ‘celibacy’ – which is claimed to be practiced by officials of some of the same organizations… 

Simply put, ‘Sexual Activity’ (where it concerns human beings (as opposed to say all those trillions of little creatures – viruses, bacteria, and single-celled things etc – that are hanging around inside your body, who don’t engage in this activity because they can’t, and so are ‘asexual’ – which means ‘non-sexual’) is the combination of genetic material from two donors  – one ‘male’ and one ‘female’ – in order to introduce a new member of the species to this wonderful world. (NOTE: ‘Asexual Activity’ is strictly a ‘go it alone, do-it-yourself’ affair then).

And I think it’s obvious in this ‘sexual’ arrangement that most females were (and are) far more acutely aware of this state of affairs than men – who, even if they insist that what they’re really doing when ‘having sex’ is ‘reproducing’ (as opposed to say, having a great time) would not be believed by anyone (even themselves)…

But then along came ‘the pill’ .. which was then followed by even more interesting developments here! One result of which was that females can now do all this reproducing without the ‘help’ of men or, to be more precise, without any of that old-fashioned bonking taking place – by simply submitting to an IVF procedure at their local IVF clinic. In fact I can remember when, as a result of this procedure, hysterical lesbians were out there proclaiming that ‘woman no longer needed nasty horrible men’…

Unfortunately for the lesbians however, I’m afraid that further advances in science are also now threatening the ‘exclusive’ role of the female here. Because eggs can now be fertilized outside of the womb… And just how long do you think it will be before we can conduct this whole messy reproduction process, this ‘sexual activity’ some place else entirely’? … (You can actually see a move towards the acceptance of this way of couples combining their genetic material with the present day use by those who can afford it, and have left it a bit late perhaps, of surrogate mums).

‘Genital Activity’ – on the other hand – need have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with ‘Sexual Activity’ at all! … Which – although it was always was the case – was never quite clear, due to its ‘reproductive’ aspect. 

‘Genital Activity’ always involves an erotic charge. So if any idea, or any suggested activity, doesn’t turn you on, then (for the guys say) there’s no hope of ‘the little soldier standing to attention’.. and thus no possibility of any ‘Genital Activity’ taking place.

‘Sexual activity’ and ‘genital activity’ are for me, two very obviously different activities, primarily because they are obviously two completely different terms… In fact I would call one of them largely ‘active’ and the other largely ‘passive’ or ‘receptive’. However, exactly in what circumstances I did so, would depend entirely upon what mood you happened to catch me in at the time 🙂

Exactly where all this concerns the edicts of all those ‘World Religions’ and ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing political ideologies is at the moment extremely ‘muddled’ … Basically because those involved are stupid.

But when the dust settles, where (and why) will all this leave the subjects of reproductive rights and gay rights in a hundred or so years?  … I for one would love to know 🙂

Expanded from a number of entries contained in ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

 

2: ‘Reflexive Self-Consciousness’.

A concept that is – at least in my experience of speaking about it with others –  invariably conflated with something like ‘Heightened Self-Awareness’… … Not the same thing… at all! … But it does go a long way to explain why it is that so many I initially met here ‘went on’ to engage in one version or another of fashionable  ‘non-Occidental’ practice or other (the more exotic the better); or indulge in some form or other of what they claim is a ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ activity, and so still ‘failed to get it’. Because if you can’t see that there very could easily be an army of ‘ordinary housewives’ out there who, even though they’ve never heard of Mr Halliday or ever done ‘yoga’, are far more reflexively self-conscious than anyone you could ever imagine – then you’ve missed the point of all this entirely…Thinking of smelly fishermen, tax-collectors, and ladies of the night, might help you though – if you’re having a problem here.

On the other hand, I do fully appreciate that engaging in these practices can be beneficial, at least in helping to keeping the lid on one variety or other of rather common Western neurotic condition – such as ‘Post-Industrial Existential Angst’, or ‘An Irrational Middle-Class Fear of the Great Unwashed’ for example. However, all that these activities seem to be to me, are merely yet another form of (‘natural’) self-medication… And although engaging in them is something that, I will freely admit, is a far better method of controlling these conditions than random ‘pill-popping’, I would say that they are – none the less – still only yet another ‘prop’ to be used in order to manage (but not banish) a situation which I believe Eugene Halliday would maintain the overwhelming majority here have brought upon themselves. By spending most of their energy on realizing their ‘worldly ambitions’ – be these ambitions social, or artistic, or ‘spiritual’, or cultural (even to the extent of, say, joining the Armed Forces, or the Peace Corps); or economic; or the consequences of what I might call ‘their natural appetites’; or simply because they have, by and large, judged themselves to have lead a somewhat sedentary and largely pointless existence to date, and are now suffering from the consequences of doing so at some later stage in their lives.

But (luckily for me) I also happen to believe that this position most of us have placed ourselves in rather early on in our lives is exactly the one that is needed in order to begin to Work. (Eugene Halliday often referred to these various adopted life-styles as examples of behaving ‘prodigally’). Because, as all of these consequences stem from either the way in which we have chosen to live our lives; or that we maintain we have ‘just’ found ourselves to be situated in ‘innocently’ (“None of this is really my fault officer.”)…’, they still constitute overwhelmingly – and certainly, initially at least – the actual ‘concrete matter’, or the ‘stuff’, or the ‘prima materia’,  of our own particular real ‘situation’. A state of affairs that somehow must be faced if there is ever going to be even the remotest possibility of us ever making any real progress down here; of – that is – instituting any real change in order to ultimately initiate some (even minor) transformation; or – if you prefer – to go on to realize a real profit of any sort here, no matter how insignificant it might seem to us at the time.

Indeed, I would say that we must all, without exception (and here I would include Eugene Halliday) ‘come here to this gate, or entrance’ if we really want to have any chance at all of at least beginning to move forward here.

However, in order to do any of this really. That is, in order to move forward here, it has to be done reflexively. If, on the other hand you merely wish to throw that dart of yours in that treble-twenty slot on your dart-board nearly every time;  or desire to pursue a handsomely paid career in one form of questionable activity or other (“How’s that lad of yours doing?” Very nicely thanks!”); or (if you’re really sneaky) ‘devote’ yourself to ‘helping others’ – then you will almost certainly need to develop a great deal of ‘heightened self-awareness’, and you’ll also probably need to cart a lot of ‘information’ around with you as well.

And also – and probably more importantly here at least – from this perspective of mine, Eugene Halliday – as far as the rest of us are concerned –  can only ever offer you the fruits of his own Work in the form of an example here – which you may or may not be able to hear, and even if you do, you may or may not decide to act upon.  That is, he cannot, indeed he could not – in principle – do any of this Work for you. All that he can, or could do, is point you in the right direction (if you freely allow him to do so, that is). Which is why I believe – and have ranted on in this blog about at some length – that any attempt to simply appropriate Eugene Halliday’s material (even if one is deluded enough to believe that one is doing so in order to ‘pass it on’ to others) is an endeavor I believe to be based primarily on the acquisition of power – and so is essentially a manifestation of ‘greed’ – that is, its only positive aspect here, is that it provides a perfect example (for those who have the ‘eyes to see’) of ‘the inability to realize a profit, from what was initially imagined was going to be an apparent gain’. So it is then, regrettably, just one of the more obvious negative consequences  – one of the real dangers that is – of choosing to ‘be involved’ here. (See Jacob Boehme for more info re these dangers if you’re interested further).

Eugene Halliday did not practice Yoga, nor did he ever recommend it particularly, at least as far as I have ever been able to discover – and I spent a long time attempting to find out if he ever did – and this would include research by me on this matter that involved asking direct questions on this particular subject (“To your knowledge did Eugene Halliday ever practice anything that any reasonably-minded person would refer to as ‘yoga’?”) to many who knew him personally for decades – including someone who lived with him for over 25 years… And look, if he ever did actually ‘practice yoga’, don’t you think that those to whom this would have been ‘extremely important’ would have mentioned the fact at every available opportunity, as it would have automatically gone a long way to validate their own assumed positions in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ (all that ‘I sat at the feet of’ nonsense)  … “Eugene told me that, when he was doing this particular exercise that I am showing you now, etc ….” for example? ..

He did, however, speak about the particular subject of yoga on numerous occasions (a state of affairs that I believe confused a lot people). But then he also spoke at length, on many occasions, about other ‘esoteric’ subjects, including, for example, ‘Astrology’ and ‘Tarot’. And – where it concerns these two particular subjects – I can tell you that I have also never been able to uncover one single instance, or heard anyone who maintained that they were ‘close to him’ claim, that he ever ‘prepared a natal chart for them’, or the he ‘informed them about the future appearance of a tall dark stranger in their lives’ after gazing theatrically at a couple of  randomly selected cards for a few moments, either…

What he did do however – both publicly and in print – was to recommend any number of contemplative exercises though… But, during the intervening 35-plus years since I came across his material, I have to tell you that (apart from Ken Ratcliffe) I have never really heard anyone earnestly recommend these particular exercises because they found them to be so very useful to themselves – although a couple of those who do claim to be involved here have mentioned them in passing to others. However they have not, at least as far as I’m aware, appeared to have applied themselves to the same task… More significantly for me, no one that I have spoken with this has ever been willing to provide any form of personal account concerning the ‘fruits’ arising from engaging in these particular exercises where it directly concerns their own experiences with them. A situation that I view as distinctly fishy …..I will just add here, that I would be more than happy to share how it was that I found these exercises to be – but only with those who are prepared to do the same.

And just a further note here about my experiential understanding of the function of ‘reflexive self-consciousness’… I have never been able to shake the conviction (for most of the people I have discussed this with anyway) that they imagine ‘reflexive self-consciousness’ is not a perfectly normal attribute that we all possess but that most of the time we freely chose not to use, but rather that it is instead, some weird form of ‘super-power’… And that this completely mistaken view here is, in my opinion, reinforced by Eugene Halliday’s drawing – at the beginning of the ‘hard-copy’ of his essay – of a very nice looking young man with a third eye stuck in the middle of his forehead… Now I think that he probably drew this picture in an attempt to ‘use a sprat to catch a mackerel’; that is, this ‘illustration’ fitted in very nicely with the held commonly views of ‘consciousness’ at the time. But I believe it was a mistake, because it was also a commonly held view at the time (and regrettably still is) that somehow you can have ‘more’ consciousness, or develop a ‘higher form’ of consciousness – which I think is a really dreadful metaphor, and frankly a ridiculous idea.

Reflexive self-consciousness is a tool – so think of it like this if it helps… You have decided to stop using all your hand-saws, chisels, hammers, and hand-drills, and have decided instead that you are going to use your electric ones instead – you always ‘sort of’ knew you had these by the way, but you could never somehow manage to put your hands on them at the right time and then get them out of their boxes… … And although that particular task of your very own is still before you (and is still exactly the same one that it always was) you can now apply yourself far more efficiently to either tackling it (or avoiding it 🙂 …) with your ‘shiny new, and far more efficient tools’ … But if you happen to be traveling in the wrong direction? … Well you now just get to go even further, quicker… and deeper, into the shit… So ‘developing’ your ability here doesn’t mean say that, if you have a damaged leg, you can now magically somehow just ‘fix it’….  Becoming aware of your ability to respond self-reflexively to the situation that you find yourself in from moment to moment will not provide you with a short-cut here at all then, but only with an even greater response-ability.

So reflexive self-consciousness isn’t something that you can learn to do, like ‘meditating’ or ‘waving your arms and legs about, pretending to hit somebody’ – it’s something that all of us can chose to do at every moment – and that some of us (like me) believe has to be ‘done’, as often as possible… So it isn’t something you just are then – with no effort then; it’s something that you have to – by freely choosing to do so – consciously ‘bring to be’ … You can’t ‘learn to do it’ and then ‘it just happens’ because you’ve now ‘expanded your consciousness’ (or some such tripe) and have become a ‘superior and more-evolved being’ or when it happens it’s a ‘peak experience’ – it’s the form of praxis… And all that it really does is inform you correctly…

Thus – in my experience – being reflexively self-conscious ‘in the moment’ is actually a simple thing that really everyone can do, and that requires no special training, or information, or diet, or membership of any particular group or other … It just isn’t very easy… at all!! … Why? … Well … Because you will keep taking your eye off the ball.. 🙂 …

So, like Eugene Halliday then (apparently), you can claim that you never ‘lose’ reflexive self-consciousness even when you’re ill, and you can look the person you’re talking to square in the eye while you’re telling them so – knowing full well how they will take that statement… On the other hand I’m positive that no-one can do it while they’re asleep..

And as for merely reacting? Well I can certainly hear Eugene Halliday doing just that from time to time during his talks…

What actually beggars belief here is that others were quite prepared to make these sorts of claims for him, such as, “Eugene Halliday was completely self-reflexive.” – without having the faintest idea of what it is that they’re talking about.. Like some bizarre ‘out-take’ from Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian’..

Finally for this bit. A few questions for you …
1). This world that you find yourself in .. What’s it like for you? …
2). Could the behavior of two people in identical circumstance be observed by a third-party (this might be you) as ‘behaving the same way for all intents and purposes’, even though one of them was reflexively self-consciousness at the time, and the other one wasn’t? … How would you go about justifying your answer here? …
3). Is the Devil reflexively self-conscious? … Why? …

I would say that the answers that provide to these questions will tell you a lot about the subject of that book you might write one day, ‘Me and My Reflexive Self-Consciousness’ … Especially that first question :-)…

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 When you’ve been down one rabbit hole, you’ve been down them all.

Who’s really in control here? .. Who’s doing all this? … None of this could possibly be my fault! … I’m not responsible for any of it!

One of the weirder (and frankly hilarious) beliefs that any number of New Ageists hold is that ‘we mere earthlings’ are all the victims of some particular group of malevolent super-beings (usually one with some outlandish comic-book name or other). And that these ‘super-beings’ are intent on bringing things down here to one form of apocryphal conclusion or other by means of some particular variety of ‘fiendish plan’. A ‘plan’ that is – even as we sleep – in the process of ‘being hatched’.

Further (and here I would argue that we see can a neat demonstration of why it is that these ‘super-being’ couldn’t be all that bright, but seem to be just as dumb as the cranks who are intent on propagating these notions) that this ‘plot’ invariably seems to have been recorded on some version or other of ‘ancient manuscript’.

This ‘evidence’ etc. is then ‘explained’ by a veritable plague of contemporary interpreters, who claim, for one reason or another (and these include having been the victim of an alien abduction – invariably replete with details of a good old-fashioned anal probing; or have visited various other dimensions and nether regions while astral traveling etc) to be ‘in the know’…

Or that this evidence is, more remarkably perhaps, ‘readily available for public viewing’ – always provided that one applies the ‘correct’ interpretation that is…

This ‘evidence’ is very often located at one or more of those carefully manicured ‘archeological sites’ (maintained by either the government of the day, or the local tourist industry) scattered all around the globe, where on payment of the required entrance fee, holiday-makers can gorp at any number of numerous gigantic ancient monuments … For example: the pyramids; ancient temples in the Cambodian jungle; crumbing ‘sacred sites’ on picturesque remote Aegean islands; old-world, and new-world megaliths.

Or – if you’re not into all that old stuff because you like to believe that you’re ‘more up to date’ – the more contemporary ‘crop circle’, ‘ufo’ stuff, or ‘computer simulation’. 

As a consequence of this scenario – and rather obviously, I would claim – we can see that those ‘super-villains’ of theirs (who, it is claimed, have been running things ‘behind the scenes’ for millennia and smart though they are) have never been quite smart enough to get rid of this mountain of damning evidence; although we mere ‘victims’ here seem to have no problem at all in burning down whole libraries of those ‘secret manuscripts’; or of blowing up many of those monuments and sites; or submerging them in order to make ourselves a new reservoir; or covering them over with concrete in order to provide ourselves with a nice new car park – should we decide, on the spur of the moment that is, to do so.

And I will readily admit here that these ‘enlightened’ people are, to a major extent, all reasonably consistent – in that they all seem to be coming from the same place (but then so do STD’s I suppose) – by maintaining that none of these ‘super-visitors’ have ever come here to ‘do any of us any favors’. Their motives apparently were, and still are, always to the profound disadvantage of ‘us hapless earthlings’ who happen to live here – apart from that (inevitable) bunch of slimy collaborators and traitors, who have usually entrenched themselves in one or other of our governments, or are members of the board of some bank, or ‘multi-national’, or other, and that are so necessary in all this in order to assist in (so to speak) ‘moving this plot along’ here.

And if that all sounds like the outline of a possible script for the next Dr Who season? … Well, where exactly do you believe that these ideas originally come from if not ‘folk tales’.

In it’s contemporary version then, these ‘beings’ are inevitably members of that army of ‘Global Multi-National Neo-Fascist-Capitalist Bankers’; ‘The Illuminati’; ‘Shape-Changing Lizards’; Twisted Computer Geniuses; or good old-fashioned ‘Aliens’. And further – at least as I understand it – that the various exotic members of these ‘secret groups’ (who are all somehow ‘running things’, or at least ‘intent on eventually dominating the proceedings’ here) are supposed to be able to recognize one another without any trouble, whenever and wherever they happen to ‘rendezvous’ . That is, they instantly realize – upon meeting up with each other – that they are ‘on the same page’, as it were – without the necessity for engaging in some form of mutual interrogation, or of resorting to the use of some fancy handshake, or whatever.

A group of like minded beings then at the very least you might say – and thus definitely something of an extreme rarity down here then, at least in my book… Because attempting to organize any group of ‘normal’ people exceeding a couple of dozen or so in number down here, is invariably ‘chancing your arm’ – at least as far as my limited experience here goes. Unless, that is, you confine them in some way, by making use of a ‘rule book’, like say twenty-two of them engaging in a game of soccer – but even then it’s easy to see that cheating is the order of the day if it can be got away with …

And even if you do somehow manage to clobber something together so that you do indeed now have your own little ‘band of followers’, it seems to me that one of the essential rules of this particular game, is that you also need to (simultaneously) now clobber together (or at least to point out the existence of) another group of individuals, whose sole aim (it is suggested) is to oppose yours.

This is obviously done – and I do admit that it is an excellent way of going about things here – in order to ‘keep your lot in line’… And if you lack the resources to ‘find’ one of these ‘opposition groups’ that are so necessary to keep ‘your lot’ with their noses to the grindstone here? Well, the answer to that is very simple – you can always simply just ‘make one up’ (scapegoats and infidels are excellent examples here).. An approach that should actually work very effectively for you, because you have already demonstrated that you are very good at preaching to your converted flock in such a way that they believe everything you say. (A wonderful example there of how easy it is to manipulate those who only possess a ‘passive’ language then).

Regrettably though (at least in my somewhat grubby experience) the only significantly large group of beings who appear to be able to ‘self-organize’, without constantly monitoring each other, is that legion of pornography consumers out there, who appear to have been multiplying like rabbits ( 🙂 ) and do not appear to need to cross-monitor each other in order to check if they are keeping ‘abreast’ (pardon the pun there) of that rapid ever-expanding mountain of ‘desirable material’ out there that is being made instantly available to interested parties, on the world-wide-web  ….  A quick smirk – followed by an almost immediate ‘flash’ … (pardon the pun again) … of instant recognition then, you might say.

However, when I attempt to point this out to those who believe all this ‘conspiracy theory’ junk, they either very quickly go quiet and pretend that I didn’t say anything much of relevance or importance here; or they act as if I’m ‘trying to be funny’; or they accuse me of being needlessly hostile to their ideas – by introducing these ‘questionable types’ into, what is for them, a serious subject… 

I believe that what’s going on here is actually far, far, worse than any of these clowns I’ve alluded to above are capable of imagining. And that is, that there is not, and there has never … ever … been, anyone ‘minding the store’… And that it is all, in the end, ‘down to you’…

And what do I think of it all down here? … Well I think it’s perfect! … Exactly how it should be, given the way we have all been behaving here for the past thousands of years: and that there is absolutely nothing whatsoever supernatural about any of all this – at all! … Incomprehensible – at least for the moment  – perhaps…. But ‘spooky’? Definitely not!… We are totally responsible as a species for the mess we’re in, and everyone of us is in some degree complicit in all this… And any real and effective change is – for the time being anyway – next to impossible… There will be ‘good times’ and ‘bad times’ and those who like to imagine they are ‘in charge here’ will take full credit for the former – and simply blame the opposition (‘real’ or imagined) if it’s all just gone ‘tits up’ again.

And if I had to say what it is that I believe is going on down here? .. Well that would be that we are, for the most part, really just making it all up as we go along..

And the real cosmic mystery here for me then?… I would say that this would be that – in spite of all the madness about (and I freely admit that a great deal of it is very entertaining) – I have always had a profound and unshakable belief that, whatever it is that is taking place, it is – indeed – all ‘going somewhere’… But exactly where, I have no idea… So I will confess that I have an unshakable belief in ‘purpose’ then (even if, in the end for the time being at least, it’s only mine)….

But if I were, just for the sake of argument, forced to cautiously admit that there might be some form or other of ‘cosmic purpose’ (and I will tell you right now that this particular idea actually makes no real sense to me if I attempt to deal with it on anything other than a facile level)? … Whatever it is, it will not be that we are all required to jump down yet another one of those frigging rabbit holes – because I can do that already, myself, any damn time I choose. 

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At the risk of stating the obvious – I believe that our most valuable possession is ‘life’ itself. That is – to be clear here – my life belongs to me. It does not then belong to (for example) either ‘God’ or ‘Country’ – although I can decide that it does, for one reason or another.

Everything in my life is ‘contingent upon’; that is – something prior has to happen (in the case of my birth that would obviously be that my parents ‘got together’ some nine months earlier) …Except that is, for my death, which is not ‘contingent upon’ but ‘essential’ – that is, it is ‘inevitable’.

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My experience of others here is that the overwhelming majority of them are hell-bent on living as if this life of theirs belonged to someone, or something else, entirely! .. And that this ‘someone else’ – it seems to me – is, almost invariably, one variety of persona, or mask’  or other that they spend all their time and energy in maintaining; and that they wish they actually were; and are intent on presenting it to others as who it is that they ‘really’ are; . A sort of ‘Disneyland Ideal Character’ you could call it. 

Sadly then, many of them die without ever having really lived at all: without ever having realizing just how amazing it is simply to be here as themselves – warts and all…. And perhaps then, having realized this (rather obvious) fact, to go on to and tackle the task of really becoming a better person in themselves .. to themselves… To develop their latent Self-Reflexive ability then. To nurture their real talent(s) – something that we all possess while we’re here, in one form or other, to some degree. To realize … To become … To develop the ‘promise’ that we have always possessed then.

Some who are getting older here, will confess to you that they have now come to believe that they have wasted a great of their time down here ‘play-acting’ and really intend to, from now on, do ‘something about it’. But they now invariably find that they are continually biting off more than they can chew, because they can’t come to terms with the fact that they have to start this journey on ‘Go’ like everybody else down here does …

And the ‘load’ here – that you’re required to carry?  Well that only really consists in whatever it is that you can (almost) bear – no more and no less. So if you find this burden too light, or too heavy, then ‘you’re doing it wrong’. … Because only when you’re in a state of balance can you then over-balance, and take a step forward here (which is how you actually do walk, in case you didn’t know)… And you are going to need some help, at least, here  – which is why all this other lot are in here with you, cluttering up your personal dressing-room (the one with the ‘star’ on the door).

But it doesn’t really matter when you start; it only matters the degree to which you have knowingly opposed starting to-date – usually by insisting that ‘you’re not quite ready yet, because you’re (fill in the blank)….’. 

Your death then, makes of a life that has been lived in this way, really just (yet) another example of a squandered, or simply wasted, opportunity – and sadly, you will never really have existed – because you were too mean-spirited to let your real authentic self step out of that cage you have build for it and enjoy the sunshine now and again, and so flourish a bit.

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If people knew how many of them I view as not knowing why they’re really here, I think most of them would probably be somewhat amused, because they think I’m a bit of a ‘lad’ anyway… But if, on the other hand they knew just why I thought so, I think they might be very offended… I know that I might if I were them 🙂

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Selections from ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Here’s a couple of my photos for you:

‘Genuine and Authentic’ by Bob Hardy (Diptych)

                                 

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The purpose of a mind is to produce a future

Paul Valéry

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” … (W)ell of course … to us, hallucinations are real…. But … what many of them like to refer to as ‘Schizophrenia’ down here then?  … What exactly is that? …

Well you would, from our viewpoint at least, say something along the lines that this is simply a ‘position’ … taken by certain beings – a position that commands a particular perspective … And by means of which they produce a particular type of individual.. … ‘Them’ – as it were…

(He pauses to listen)… No! … This type of ‘individual’ produces a narrative that is far more ‘hermeneutical’ in character  … A sort of ‘caricature’ of the present … And by ‘present’ here I mean ‘contemporary’ … But a narrative that is … somehow … an acceptable, mainstream, cultural, mythological one .. That manages to ‘resonate’ with other particular beings

Of course, if they manage to do this really well, what they produce can then easily catch the eye of those self-elected ‘gatekeepers’ … those arbiters of ‘good taste’ … Who could very easily ‘upgrade’ this material to a ‘mystical text’ or – at very least – to ‘a work of art’!”

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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A perfect example of woolly thinking? … Believing that ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’ means the same thing as, ‘The lamb shall lie down with the lion’.

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… That lovely story about the ‘good shepherd’ who goes out searching for a lamb that got lost… Am I the only one that thinks the really important bit of this story is missing? … That bit at the end where it … sort of … goes … “And the shepherd gave thanks!… Because now, come Sunday, he would be able to carry out his plan to string this lamb up by its hind legs; slit its throat to drain its blood; cut it up into pieces; roast it; and then eat it…”  

Or (yet again) have I got that all wrong?


From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Transforming ourselves, rather than simply changing ourselves, is really really very hard Work…

But ‘transformation’ is a state of affairs that can – at least as far as convincing others (particularly when doing so concerns the attempt to present yourself as being some sort of expert in ‘matters mysterious and spooky’) – be relatively easy to fake.

If only because most people have never Worked in their lives, and so don’t really grasp the essential difference between ‘change’ and ‘transformation’…

‘A change taking place’ is something that’s going to happen in various areas of everyone’s life (such as growing older for example) in and of itself, whether they like it or not. So conflating and confusing these two words is a relatively easy to produce in them.

Particularly if you can develop a way of presenting those ‘changes’ (that are – in the main – going to happen anyway) as somehow being ‘transformations’… And the consequence of that for you will be that you now have a little flock of your very own that really does believe that they are, in fact, Working because they have definitely experienced a result as a consequence of your ‘instructions’ here. (“We will learn to control our breathing – which is very difficult – and so become calmer.”) … “It works!!” … Hey presto!! .. Add a few Sanskrit words together with a sprinkling of New Age paraphernalia (get them to buy your books; scented candles; special colored mat; a ‘Save the Warthog’ t-shirt, etc. etc) and you’ve cracked it… You are now ‘The Authority’ here!

NOTE: Nearly all of those that I have discussed ‘transformation’ with, have a great deal of difficulty differentiating this term from ‘change’ – particularly where it concerns their own being (“I can see that I might have changed, but I wouldn’t say I’ve transformed.” is a common comment). And in my experience the most common analogy they use to illuminate ‘transformation’ (in the absence of their own experience of it) is that of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.
In many parlor games we are given clues, and ‘when the penny drops’ we ‘realize the solution. So – where it concerns these two terms ‘transformation’ and ‘change’; and anthropomorphizing the caterpillar/butterfly analogy, here’s a clue. Try (using active imagination) and verbalize the following:
What do you imagine the butterfly remembers of it’s time as a caterpillar (if anything at all). And does the caterpillar have any ‘ideas’ about its imminent transformation (what, if anything, does it imagine it will be like)?

I believe that it is essential that you come to experience the meanings of these two terms yourself by Working on them. They are two very useful terms that, for me, demonstrate the poverty of using only definitions and etymologies when investigating words, in that you will get something from these two methods but in the end this amounts to very little.

But to become other than – at the moment – who we really are: that is, to develop our real potential, we must essentially, and initially, develop an awareness of who, and what, we are/were… in the first place!

Unfortunately, most of the people that I have met who appear to be the most desperate for some form of ‘change’ in their lives appear, regrettably, to possess little ability to even attempt this essential self-reflection (which is not the same thing as reflexive self-consciousness, by the way) .

If, like me, you’re ‘getting on in years’, you might find it useful to consider why all that studying you did earlier on in your life has been forgotten. And go on to realize that through all that striving of yours to ‘get somewhere’, you have (in a very real sense) learnt either nothing or, at most, very little… … I, for one, find the experience of this particular state of affairs in myself fascinating…But it doesn’t trouble me that much at all now, if it ever did – because frankly I don’t think it’s very important. What is far more important to me is that, through it all, I still have a profound sense of continuity; that I am essentially the same being I was when I was young, but that it was layered over, and from time to time almost obscured, by my various interacting with ‘out there’.

(Incidentally, does anyone who listened to Eugene Halliday believe that, if he were still alive, he would still be ‘cracking out the wisdom’ at 104. … … Perhaps dwelling on that might get you to see what I mean).

To continue here … Many are so dissatisfied with who they are, and still have no real idea that in order to change they must start with this ‘who they are’. Beings like this are at their most vulnerable and can very easily become the prey of those who are desperate for some sort of validation – this later group however being merely another manifestation  of  ‘not knowing’ but with the added problem for others, who get caught up in their net, that they are desperate to involving anyone they can involve in their own thrashings about… However it is possible that they can turn the light on for others, who will then experience a sudden realization as to what it is that is really going on.

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Here’s a couple of my  photos that I used to helped me to actively substantiate (or ‘ground’, if you prefer) the terms ‘Change’ and ‘Transformation’.

‘Change and Transformation’ by Bob Hardy (Diptych).

                                         

There is a great deal of ‘over-lap’ for me in the use of these two terms. These two central images that I carry around though (‘ in my mind’ as it were) help to get me to the correct ‘area’, or the ‘right starting place’, in order to begin contemplating some aspect or other of one, or both, of these terms.

I begin then  … by reminding myself here, something like this,

“Change …That’s like when an actor gets made up in that whirling (not really formed, but still circumscribed) dressing room – and emerges as ‘Richard III’ on Monday, and as ‘Obone kanobe’ on Tuesday etc. … … … ‘Transformation’ … Well that’s like ‘creating a unique new emergent that rises up out of the same old stuff ‘ …”

Not Shakespeare exactly, I know, but I find that I can now move on from here with relative ease … At least to begin with 🙂 …

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The manner in which I act. How it is that I proceed … Those concepts, ideas, desires, impulses that are at the root of determining what it is that I will do next, can all be more clearly understood; can reveal more of their essential nature, when Work is done with the words  ‘authority’; ‘inertia’; ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ (a word closely connected to ‘authority’) such that they become active.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Finally – and there’s no need to read it if you don’t feel like it – here’s another poem…

WT… ? (2)
‘Mind How You Go!’

by Bob Hardy


So … Anyway
This so-called life of yours

That’s the one you imagine
You’ve really lived

You do know that it wasn’t a rehearsal
For some other life
… Later

Don’t you?

So … Anyway
Was the you
That you were
When you were born
The you
That actually went on
To live this life of yours
Then?

Or
At some point
Did you feel
That you didn’t like that one

…And so you decided
That you were going
To continue on here
By performing in another life
Instead?

Live a better one
In its place!
… As it were

And so
You acted out
The you
That you believed
You would rather be

That is…
The one you imagined
You loved better

…Instead

But

Perhaps now
You’re beginning to suspect
That actually
And as a consequence
Here
You never really did
Much living at all

In the end

So… Anyway
What’s next then?

…For whoever it is
That you’ve been here
Up to now

Well …

Actually

Nothing much at all really

At least as far as you’re concerned

You’re going to die

And that’s about it
For you

…And also
For every one of those others
Who were hanging out
In there with you

Because
That’s how it all really Works

But
You’ve always
…Somehow…
Suspected that
… Haven’t you?

Even so
You still
Went on

… Somehow coming to believe
That if you kept you’re head down
While you were here

Then
You might
…Somehow
Get away
With all this

How
Ever

Finally
It dawned on you

And You were then
Forced to realize

That you don’t ever
Really
Get away with anything
In the end. 

Because
When all is said and done
That is what any future of Yours
Was alway
Going to be
About

A place where… 
Whoever you were
When you got here 

Was always going
To be

But …
And by all means
At your disposal

Carry on anyway
If you wish

Because you are always
Naturally free

To make every effort

In order to ensure
That
In the mean-time

You do
In
Deed

Have a nice day

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Bob Hardy
Chezard, Switzerland

6th July, 2017

 

This was intended to be the final blog-post in which I would be attempting to provide information regarding my various attempts to ‘Work’ with what I believe to be one or two of the major concepts that are contained in Eugene Halliday’s various talks and writings – the majority of which are freely available for downloading from the Eugene Halliday Archiveand also here, at Eugene Halliday Texts and Transcripts 

And this is, indeed, my ‘final post’… However it has become so ridiculously long – and it has also proved to be such a lengthy process to both write and edit, that I have now decided to divide it into at least a couple of more easier to manage ‘chunks’… otherwise I’m never going to get it posted…

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The previous posts in this blog contain very little biographical information about me – indeed, many of what I like to believe are major factors here are not even mentioned. For example: by the time I was 20 years-old I had already ‘been round the world’ (as we used to say in the Merchant Navy); that my wife and I have been together now for 58 years (since we were fifteen years old). It tells you nothing about our children, or our grandchildren; or give any details of where in the world we have lived at various times – or for how long; it tells you next to nothing about what my formal qualifications are; or how it was that I made a living; … etc… etc…

And I’d say that you’d have to be really unaware, if you’ve failed to consider just how much we are all shaped by our actual ‘being in the world’ (as Heidegger might have put it). Our physicality: big; small; fat; thin; spotty; ugly; bum too big; etc. etc. etc. Our intelligence: from those impressive academic qualifications we might have earned ourselves, to the trouble we might have experienced in our attempts to master the art of ‘joined-up’ writing, etc. Our emotional make-up: Having a good cry at the end of our 10th viewing of ‘The Sound Of Music’, to being indifferent to the goings-on of others in the guise of ‘minding our own business or ‘don’t like to pry’, etc.etc. Our relationships; our geographical location(s); our day-to-day experiences etc…

In fact, after trying to deal with all the ‘day-to-day’ stuff, I would guess that the location of most folk’s (so to speak) ‘spiritual dimension’ will almost certainly be ephemeral here – at least when it comes to the actual living out of their real lives. And will, at very best, be positioned somewhere near the border of all the rest of that stuff going on in there – if they were to be really honest about themselves that is…

And here’s an easy question for you, so that you can check out if ‘this might mean you’ … : “In what areas of your life are you absolutely certain that you placed your ‘spiritual’ well-being before any other consideration?”… …  I know! … I can already hear you saying, “Well exactly how long have you got!” … and, “Where would you like me to start!” …

But, by the way..  if you imagine your answer here should necessarily contain any details at all of how it was that you went about attempting to bring some peace and order into your life… Well – from my perspective at least – you’d be dead wrong.

And my decision not to go into any in-depth autobiographical detail in this blog should be taken by you as an indication that I have deliberately chosen to present the material here (that is, the details of my interaction with Eugene Halliday’s material) in the very particular way that I, in fact, have…

However, let me stress that I am certainly of the opinion that one can far more quickly learn about the affect on the lives of people who claim that they have been profoundly influenced by some body of ideas or other (particularly if they claim that these ideas are of a strong ethical bent) by simply observing how it is that they manage their relationships; where they decided to live; the way in which they run their ‘everyday lives’; and how it is that they manage both themselves, and the person that they are intent on presenting to the world – that’s the one that they would like us all to believe they really are. 🙂 …  But, as I say, I’ve just not provided any in-depth information like this about me here in this blog unless I believed it was absolutely necessary.

And as you obviously can’t do any of this ‘observing’ of me, even if you wanted to – you might well be tempted to ask, “So what exactly is this ‘particular way’ of mine, that I mention above?” .. Well – to put it bluntly – that’s for you to figure out … But, in this particular post at least, I could claim that whatever it is, here it is concerned with the way in which I construct, and Work, with what I refer to as a ‘system(s)’.

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Eugene Halliday maintained that ‘A system is [only ever] a saviour for a time’..

Most people that I have discussed this definition of his with, appear to have focused on that word ‘Saviour’ here (for reasons that were never very clear to me) .. In my case though, it was that subordinate clause, ‘for a time’, that I very quickly came to focus upon … Initially, I suppose, because – although systems are so necessary to me – I am continuously aware of the imposition(s) that they place upon me …

But, from the valuable perspective that I did manage to gain from this definition of Eugene Halliday’s, I came to experience any particular system that I chose to interact with as being (necessarily) bounded by the time-process   … Which is to say, I became aware that there was a definite point in the future when it was possible that I would be freed from it… This being the point at which I had done enough Work with it ..

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In order to have any hope of being successful at Working with any particular system, I also believe it is important that you must commit beforehand to what Eugene Halliday refers to as a  ‘governing concept’ (such as, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power.’).. which should not be confused with a ‘motto’ or a ‘slogan’…

Why commit to a ‘governing concept’? Well you will then have a way of ‘quality controlling’ the consequences of your decisions here.. It functions rather like a compass (at least it does in my little corner of the world) and is the best way that I have discovered for sticking with the ‘correct context’. Particularly as the viewpoint I am striving to maintain there is always in danger of slipping about uncontrollably the minute that I lose concentration…

And it’s also OK to make use of different governing concepts for different systems – just as long as you stick to the one that you have chosen, once you’ve chosen it. …

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This idea of Eugene Halliday’s of a ‘Governing Concept’ … It can be a very tricky thing, and in my experience great care must be exercised in formulating them…

Take ‘God is Love.’ for example … Very nice and all that … But if this is a governing concept that you have decided to use, it is important to bear in mind (‘crucial to bear in mind’ might be better) that this short sentence has an entirely different meaning from, ‘Love is God.’  …

To believe that they are ‘the same thing’ is to misunderstand that the word ‘is’ here signifies equivalence, as opposed to it being deterministic…

So, in the case of understanding the word ‘is’ here as signifying an equivalence, it would obviously not matter then which way round you put the first and last words here, because this sentence will mean the same thing either way (‘God is love’ would mean exactly the same thing as ‘Love is God’); rather than seeing that the word ‘is’ here as a determinant – in which case ‘love’ is merely one of God’s characteristics, and thus ‘love’ and ‘God’ do not mean the same thing here…

So it is important to remember, that if you don’t take the trouble initially, to be absolutely sure as to what it is that your ‘governing concept’ means to you,  you can soon land yourself in all sorts of trouble.

As in fact can be seen here in this (surely) not very complex three-word sentence.

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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This last post of mine does ‘go on quite a bit’ though I’m afraid – even more than the others. But as it is also far more ‘fragmented’ than usual I can tell you that this is actually a lot more like the ‘real’ me. That is, it’s the one you would both ‘observe’ out there in the world, and also ‘in here’ in the privacy of ‘my mind’ – particularly when it comes to the manner in which I go about attempting to process ideas and formulate concepts …

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I have never experienced any of my attempts at formulating even a relatively simple concept that I believed, or intuited, was going to be really important to me, as merely some sort of ‘stroll in the park’ .. Actually, these attempts of mine have always seemed to me to have been far more like trying to collect together the scattered pieces of a jig-saw puzzle; intuitively deciding that I have subsequently managed to find them all (or most of them – at least to be going on with): and then attempting to construct the meaningful picture that I just knew was there in the first place…. without the help of the picture on the lid…

Regrettably though, I am often prone to picking up the same piece time after time. And as a direct consequence of doing so, I – more often than not – will eventually become far too frustrated for my own good – because I just can’t seem to figure out where it’s supposed to go! …

The relatively lengthy process of preparing all the posts for this blog has been something of a similar experience for me… But I should also quickly add, that doing so has provided me with a (yet another) valuable exercise.…

And if you also manage to get something useful out of all this? … Well, that’s entirely your affair..

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And whether others who have decided to engage in solving their own puzzle down here are doing so by for example (and making use of the same metaphor): ‘Thinking’ – that is, by examining each piece very carefully, and then deciding, after much deliberation and careful consideration, that it goes ‘there’; ‘Sensation’ this is, that this piece is, or is not, the same color as that one, or that it is, or is not, the right shape to fit in there; ‘Intuition’ – that is, “I just know that piece goes there,”  etc. etc.  is not really all that interesting to me – at least in any hierarchical sense… That is, I don’t view any particular method (or deliberated approach) as being necessarily ‘superior’ to any other here – although I am inclined to examine other methods in search of useful tips.   …So it’s ‘horses for courses’ for me then, you might say.

And thus, I don’t value one method over another then.. “If it Works, it Works” …

And how it is that you freely chose to arrive at your ‘destination’ is primarily your affair I would say… Indeed, you might find the metaphor of ‘a journey’ of absolutely no use to you here whatsoever..

The only thing I would add here is that, however you chose to go about Working, ‘Time is of the essence’ – no matter how you decide to go about things..

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Over the past couple of years I have come to privately view this blog of mine as a sort of ‘Pata-Blog’ .

“And what is that exactly?” you might ask… Well it means that this blog is an account of sorts, of some of my imaginary solutions to some of my  imaginary problems (particularly the intellectual ones).

Or – another way that I might put it – It’s my attempt to elaborate upon the metaphysics of what I believe are a number of personally experienced synchronicities.

NOTE: The founder of Pataphysics, a Frenchman by the name of Alfred Jarry, claimed that “Pataphysics is ‘The science of the particular’…(A)nd so it does not, therefore, study the rules governing the general recurrence of a periodic incident (the expected case), so much as study the games governing the special occurrence of a sporadic accident (the unexpected case)… Pataphysics is then, above all, the science of the particular – despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general.” …

And if all that hasn’t put you off entirely ….

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“The power of self deception is great in the case of all men, but I incline to think that it is greatest in the case of a popular official such as a Bishop, who never hears anything but his own voice, and the sycophantic acclamations which it evokes.”

Herbert Henry Henson
From ‘Retrospective On An  Unimportant Life”

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What did I keep on doing when I found myself face-to-face – yet again – with one of those fundamental personal problems of mine that I didn’t ever seem able to quite get a handle on?  

Well, I came to see (at the point when I realized what was going on here) that I had very carefully constructed my life such that, when this situation did arise (and I came to realize that it did so very frequently), then l was very quickly able to put myself in the position of ‘discovering’ yet ‘another’, (that is to say a ‘different’) problem – and one that was not necessarily trivial either! …

But importantly, this ‘other’ problem was one that I believed I could get a handle on …

And so I could then keep on telling myself that I was … justifiably … “Simply far too busy at the moment doing really important stuff”… but that, “I would get right onto that other big problem, the very next time that it reared its ugly head.” … … (Repeat endlessly)…

Did this realization re my fallen state mean that I was now in a position to finally, once and for all, put a stop to all this self-deception? … Of course it didn’t!!! 


From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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“What will they tell you is really going on? … ‘In the now’… Right this minute? … Well!… That would be whatever they happen to believe is going on right now.. Which of course they are liable to completely deny was going on in the very next moment… Now claiming – just as fervently – that they find that they no longer believe it! …

However! … Don’t mistake these changes in belief to be an indication that they have necessarily become more insightful…Regrettably all that this change usually means, is that they have simply discarded one dimly understood view, or fashionable facile ideology, for yet another.”

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“… Most of them here are vain to the point of absurdity….(He pauses to listen)  What is ‘vanity’? … It’s a word we use to describe their ability to live almost continually in some imaginary future or other… A future in which they picture themselves as being somehow indispensable!”

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(A)nd this ‘humanity’ of theirs, that some of them are so fond of going on about? … Well the degree to which they possess any – and most of them don’t – can of course only be gauged by their interaction with others… By their ‘relationships’, as they call them…

And the interesting part about these relationships of theirs is the way that they will, initially, spent most of their time and energy clawing their way up that ladder to make damn sure that they are ‘in the right profession’ or ‘living in the right area’… and so ‘Meeting the right people .. people like me’ then. So that they can enjoy ‘proper’ relationships …(He pauses an snorts with laughter) …  With cardboard mirror images of themselves! 

Many of those who have a desire to live, what they and interested members of the audience like to fantasize, is a ‘spiritual life’ will scurry off to some ‘retreat’ as they like to call these places, usually located in some rural backwater or other, in order to, “Live very, very, simply … somewhere nice, with others of like mind.” Often dressing up in some sort of ‘simple’ uniform or other, or entirely in white  …With the result that, in no time at all, they will be wandering around convinced that the world, “Isn’t such a bad place after all,” and that other people, “Aren’t really that bad once you get to really know them.”

But their conclusions here … their subsequent behavior here … is hardly surprising is it? (He pauses to listen).. And it can be really irritating… Particularly when it then comes to the manner in which they presume to then dish out advice to ‘needy others’ down here…. And there are literally hundreds of millions of those, who are for example, starving in East Africa; or who live in a war-zone in the Middle-East; or find themselves at the wrong end of things, simply by being born into a slave-state such as India …

But then, most ‘civilized beings’ here are brim-full with all sorts of ‘helpful advice’ for those who are ‘less fortunate’ than themselves out there… Provided of course that their toilets are still flushing; they have clean water coming out of their taps; the car is full of petrol; and there is plenty of food available in the shops…(He pauses to listen)

Well… And if it does all suddenly – for one reason or another – start to ‘Go South’, as they might put it down here? … Then almost all of them will – overnight, and almost certainly – ‘simply’ revert to type…”

Fragment(s) from “Field Notes for Armageddon” by Bob Hardy

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If you were to ask me to summarize my various attempts at engaging with specific concepts of  Eugene Halliday’s, or anyone else’s, for that matter… (An activity by the way, that I would only ever attempt to engage in if I believed that it would help me to answer those questions that seem to have been with me for as long as I can remember)… I would tell you that, in order to answer you satisfactorily, I would have to elaborate upon my various attempts at Working.. But – in my case at least – this is an activity that doesn’t really lend itself to “summarizing”.   .…

However, if you continued to press me here then I would say, that at the very least, my approach has always been most definitely, ‘heuristic’…. That is to say, I tend to sketch out a ‘course of action’ – which I then refer to as a ‘system’…

And it was only ever my subsequent belief in the practicality of any one of these particular ‘systems’ (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of the word) that would induce me to at least attempt to then go on to make use of it …

So there is no simple ‘blind-faith’ for me here, either in the construction of, or in the decision to make use of, one these systems then.

I should also add here that this somewhat pedantic and cautious approach of mine here has come about, because I believe the process of deliberating about any system that I do decide to implement is such an essential initial component of Working, that I want to be as clear as I believe I possibly can be, before I commit myself to it ..

So I certainly would never take on board a concept simply because the person relaying it to me had a reputation with others for trotting out ‘important truths’ – whoever they were, and whatever it was… As Pontius Pilate so eloquently put it, “Who gives a f**k about ‘the nature of truth’? … I’m trying to manage a particularly unruly, smelly, disgusting, backward, and relatively minor Roman province here!”

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But the fact that my initial approach to any system that I make use of is always ‘heuristic’, doesn’t really tell you anything about the ‘actual matter’ of any of these systems of mine… Like, for example, the ‘how’, or the ‘why’ here… Or anything about ‘the background’ …Does it?

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And, to further complicate matters here,  I would also have to tell you that whether it were possible for some hypothetical system or other – be that one which attempts to make practical use of Eugene Halliday’s concepts (or anyone else’s for that matter) – to function as some sort of ‘panacea’. Which is to say it would be a system that claimed it could ‘do the business’ in all instances, by maintaining  – for example, that ‘We’re all living in a Matrix-like virtual-reality simulacrum’ or ‘All you need is love’, or something else that will conveniently fit onto a car-bumper sticker, or that will make a really fetching tattoo  – is not something I’ve really given all that much serious thought to… At least not since the mid-1980’s.

Also, the research that I conducted during the latter half of the first decade of the present millennium into a number of those who claimed to have spent a major part of their lives intent on discovering such a system (one that they claimed involved Eugene Halliday’s concepts) has led me firmly to the conclusion that they clearly never managed to find it.. And that if they did claim they had, then – at least from my perspective – they were at best, merely deluding themselves… Although perhaps I should very quickly add here that a very small number of them here who did appear to be able to regurgitate a great deal of Eugene Halliday’s material with reasonable accuracy… But to what actual purpose these efforts served them, when it came to them living out their own lives, was something that I was never satisfactorily able to discover… Clue: “All the world’s a stage…”

And I would also have to add here that – importantly for me at least –  I don’t happen to believe in concepts such as ‘The philosophers stone’, or ‘The diamond body’, or even ‘My eternal soul’ – because these concepts don’t make that much sense to me at all (I have never been able to realistically ‘ground’  any of the explanations on offer here)… Although I will admit that I have found the elaboration of concepts such as these to have been intensely interesting, at various times in my life….

By the way, this view of mine also applies to important concepts of Eugene Halliday’s, such as  ‘All that there is, is sentient power’, or that ‘Love’ is ‘working for the development of the potential in all being’… Which is to say that – in my opinion – these concepts are all well and good … But only up to a point…

Thus, it is in the areas of ‘inquiry’ and ‘explanation’, rather than those of ‘definitive’ and ‘conclusive’, that I tend to situate most of Eugene Halliday’s concepts..

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So – for me at least –  it’s any system that is serving my purpose for the time being then  …. And “When it no longer ‘does the business,” you might be tempted to ask? .. Well, then I ditch it…

And if I subsequently discovered that I was going in the wrong direction as a direct result of one of my decisions here? … Well, primarily – and most importantly I believe – I’m more than happy with the idea that this would be my sole responsibility, as I was clearly the one who had initially freely chosen to take it on board…

But I would also claim the good news here is that, as a direct consequence of my behavior (as a direct consequence of my pursuit of this particular course of action, that is) I will now have in my possession a pattern of embodied experiences that could provide the substance of a really valuable lesson… One that I could now reflect upon… and one that has the real possibility of revealing something really useful about myself, to myself… Should I have the courage (or be bothered) to do so, that is…

 So I now also have to reveal to you then, that from my point of view, engaging in Work – even if it’s the ‘wrong’ Work – will always be potentially capable of producing a positive result… And thus, that any attempt to Work – at least as far as I’m concerned – is capable of producing … in actual fact … and  in reality …  a ‘win-win’ scenario! …

…. Magic!

But this perspective of mine here re Work, I would agree, could possibly – at least initially – be very confusing to others .. And this I believe, is because Work is nearly always imagined to be a process wherein one is attempting to ‘do’ something (“We ‘do’ our ‘Encounter Group’ session on Monday evenings.”; “I do my Yoga exercises every day.”; I always read a passage from the Bible before I go to sleep.”: “I practice the banjo every morning for at least half-an-hour,” etc.) – the end result (the essential motive here) nearly always seems to me to something like, “Aren’t I wonderful! … Clever me! … I know lots about this … I am doing that now!”; These activities constitute the accomplishment of tasks in my world (“Well done me!”), and are not examples of Working then, which is a process whereby one is attempting to ‘become’ something…  A different aim entirely … 🙂 …

I would say then that the only thing I’m really interested in, or the only criteria I will use here in any attempt to evaluate others re their claims to be Working (which is a situation that I have very, very, rarely ever got to with others) is just how able they are becoming at … ‘doing’ …. themselves..

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And why is it that I attempt to Work? … Well it provides a definitive proof for me that I have ‘purpose’ … Ergo, “There is ‘purpose’ in the Universe.” … … …  But, please note, I’m not claiming here that, “The Universe has (a) purpose,” because I have no idea what that might mean. Only that, “I have a purpose.” … … “Sufficient onto the day,” and all that …  🙂 ..

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But anyway, to repeat once again, “(T)he fact that my initial approach to any system that I make use of is always ‘heuristic’, doesn’t really tell you anything about the ‘actual matter’ of any of these systems of mine. Like, for example, the ‘how’, or the ‘why’ here… Or anything about ‘the background’ …Does it?

So now, here’s a something about that…. After the commercial break.

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Eugene Halliday had a very neat way of defining ‘stupid’ behavior, which was to the effect that, “For the stupid, everything is dictated to solely by  circumstance (sic).”

So he obviously isn’t claiming that everything stupid people do will necessarily appear to others as stupid. But rather that, as there is no reflexive decision-making process actually taking place here (but only ever a reaction) the perceived consequences (as far as any observer would judge them that is) could in fact ‘go either way’.

That is … then … that any behavior (together with the consequent result of that behavior) … that is itself under consideration, might come to be viewed – from the point of view of an external observer at least – as either dumb, or smart.

And although any particular consequence of behaving stupidly (from this perspective at least) might appear to some observer or other to be, in fact, ‘really’ intelligent…That judgment is only ever ‘The luck of the draw’, as it were… Which is weird when you try to get your head round it. 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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What sorts of things have to be in place before I’m satisfied that a particular system is worth using? … Do I have a definite way of going about discovering/constructing systems, that is? …  …  Well the short answer to that is, “Yes, I do.”  But even so, I do always find it a very difficult thing to do – in fact it can take me years.

It’s rather like trying to formulate that ‘right question’. A task that – no matter how long it takes – I, thankfully, seem to be relentlessly able to stick to.

And, as a consequence, I have come to believe that if I am successful in my formulation(s) here, then the answer that I seek will, quite often now, be ‘just around the corner’… Or, at very least, this question of mine that I have struggled to formulate will be experienced by me as a ‘light in the darkness’ that I can now use to move forward here, should I choose to do so.

So it isn’t so much that I go about constructing a system in order to do something; but more like clarifying to myself what it is that has to be done.

To put that a little more mysteriously perhaps. One of the major purposes of Working for me is that it will reveal to me those particular questions that have, up to now, been obscured by all my previous answers..  

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Anyway, the first bit of my system building is – I would say – relatively simple, and I could argue that it is also the most important to grasp… So if you’re remotely interested in what I maintain it is that I’m trying to accomplish, here’s something a little more concrete about that.

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Initially at least, I tend to ‘dither’ (See below) because I don’t have any hard-and-fast concrete methodology for formulating systems… I like to keep my options open, you might say..

What I definitely ‘do’ though, is to worry  away at something particular (and this could go on for years) until I get to ‘see where it is’ – that is, where it is appearing in my life. ..

I will then take the odd peep at it – sometimes by recalling one of these ‘appearances’, but more often now as time goes on, by ‘catching myself’ in one of these situations, either ‘part of the way through’ (“Hey, you’re doing that again!”), or as I ‘incline’ into it. Catching this ‘inclination’ at the moment that it arises in me now becomes the ‘tipping point’ here. That is, it is the point where it is now possible for me to experience these occurrences ‘in the now’ (that is reflexively), and so I can move onto the next stage..

Importantly though, I can become so pleased with myself at this point, that I will now fall back into a reactive state, and then attempt to move on here too quickly. And as a direct result of doing so, I am almost certain to miss, or disregard, important features… … Failed again then!

And also, at some point after this, if things are going well in that I can maintain that reflexive state a bit more frequently, I now experience a change of pace in my desire to increase the frequency of my attempts to Work here… And I will start to obsess about it, such that it will now begin to consume a great deal of my time – even interfering (and sometimes radically) with other aspects of my day-to-day life … Another trip-up that has to be avoided then.

And, as I say, I don’t experience these later stages of Working as impositions necessarily, often they make me feel like flying. But, again, this is a state in which I am also in danger of missing important features – because I’m now ‘enjoying myself’ so much.. Us musical types call this state ‘the rush’ … 🙂 .. And this is another illusion here – or another ‘temptation’ for me if you like

But here’s the important bit. At some point during this process (and I have various ways of attempting to move it along here)  I will start to realize that a particular word, or group of words, is of really major importance to me here…And I will subsequently  begin to examine this word (or these words) from every angle…

One of the ways that I do this – and I think it’s possibly the most important aspect of what I do here initially – is that I will attempt to incorporate this word(s) into my everyday speech; into my various descriptions to myself and my attitudes, my emotions, and my social behavior, etc, until I feel I have obtained a substantial meaning for this word(s) that I now experience as belonging to me… A meaning that I can now instantly – and with little effort – relate to. And if I subsequently bring up this word in consciousness, it will now have a rich ‘bank’ of associations that I can easily ‘see’ with very little effort, and that I can now use to create patterns that can potentially bring me to places that I want to go to, and that will then go on to become richer and richer in their useful detail….This is actually what a ‘spell’ is by the way…

(It’s OK if you don’t agree with me about that … but – take it from me – that’s what a ‘Spell’ actually is. And it is why, if you don’t keep on top of them, by making use of them continually, you can very quickly get rusty) …

Then I can move back to that initial ‘worry’ of mine and I can now see it from the perspective of this word(s) with a great deal more (and with an increasing) clarity.

The metaphor I use for this process is that of a ‘journey’. And my task is one of attempting to move forward… But what I’m doing isn’t really a ‘journey’ – like, say, going to the Isle of Man for my summer holidays… It’s sort of like the same way that alchemists knew that there wasn’t really a two-headed green lion; or a couple of ravens; or the odd member of royalty, etc. etc. hanging around in that old jam-jar that they were using to conduct their various experiments in. (But you might be surprised to discover just how many modern ‘New-Age’ chumps actually think there really were ‘things going on in there’) … These symbolic images (as opposed to, say, chemical signs) were simply useful metaphors, and so, regrettably perhaps, there were no real dragons etc. in there – even if you base your views here on such authoritative texts as ‘Lord of The Rings’ ‘or the ‘Harry Potter’ books: even if you’ve gone to all the trouble of having an Orc tattoo placed around your bicep … … (As an aside here though, I for one would be over the moon if there really were dragons, and all that other stuff!) … So … anyway … I have to continually bear in mind that really I’m not going anywhere, but that (ideally if I can manage it) I’m only ever ‘Here: Now’ ….

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But, to get on with it.. The ‘initial important word’ for me here – at least where it concerns the explanation that I want to present in this post concerning my approach to formulating a system, is one that I have to experience with an ‘in the now’ definitive state of a positive quality or (if it makes it easier to understand) the experiencing of a very positive state of “Yes!” ‘…

And that word is ‘invest’

I will first of all sketchily map out a dialectical base-line … Because this approach gives me a definite direction to go in; a definite experience of being orientated, that is..

And this line then, in this particular case, is bounded at one end, by the word ‘invest’ …

And I now begin to examine the degree to which I experience myself ‘investing’ here, up until the point where I begin to experience a state where I want to  ‘divest’…which first appears as a vague state of ‘No!’ that will get stronger, until it results in action on my part.

The limit of the application of the term ‘System” then (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of this term) but only from this one perspective, is bounded dialectically here by the meaning (note – not ‘the definition of’ or ‘the etymological root’ or ‘phonic definitions of the various sounds that I might claim are connected to the English spelling of these words) that I give to these two words.

And so (and I think obviously) you should now be able to see clearly that you cannot use any part of this system of mine yourself, until you do the necessary Work here.. And simply telling yourself and others that, “I understand this stuff you know,” (which is actually a misuse of the term ‘understand’) or any other such sterile clap-trap, will actually not help you here at all!..In fact it will probably prevent you from going anywhere … And not God, not Jesus, not Mohammad, not Buddha etc et al , can take this step for you … Because … well… where would the fun be in that for them? … Only you are able to initiate a process, and then subsequently involve yourself in it, such that it will give your life any meaning down here.. And no one, or no thing, can force you to do so…. Interesting though, you can appear to convincingly ‘fake it’ as far as others (and more interestingly perhaps, yourself) are concerned  .. And you might be surprised to learn that I have met a goodly few who actually do just that…. And, even more mysterious here, some of these don’t have the faintest idea that this is what they are really up to.

Anyway – having satisfied myself that I am now in the right starting place here – from this particular perspective at least – I tell myself that “I’ve managed to nail it at last!”..  and will then immediately take the next Sunday off.

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‘To dither’ (OED – To vacillate, to act indecisively, to waver between different opinions or courses of action). What a wonderfully appropriate verb to use in describing so much of what goes on down here.. ‘dithering’…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Here’s a personal metaphor of mine that I use to further understand what ‘the limits of the application of the term ‘system’ (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of that term) might mean for me….

An old fashioned treadle sewing machine can be viewed as a Dynamic System. In that you can take it all apart, and reasonably figure out how it all works. So much so, that you can even become a sewing machine repair man, and know ‘everything that there is to know about mechanical sewing machines’… Going on to confidently claim that you can totally predict their behavior; and that you’ve never been stumped by any of your repair jobs….

‘The Weather’ is also a dynamic system. However it is more properly referred to as  an Emergent System, which means that you can’t take it apart bit by bit (you can’t take a thunder-storm apart). But you can become a meteorologist and so collect data (i.e. Various dynamic parameters concerning a particular weather pattern – such as humidity, wind velocity, etc).

And even if you weren’t a meteorologist, if I pointed to an isolated cloud in an almost cloudless sky, and then asked you to point to were you think it’s going to be in ten seconds time, you could do so with reasonable accuracy.. In this case you are what is referred to as an ‘idiot’ – which is Latin for someone who is a member of ‘the rank and file’ and not really ‘in the know’ like ‘the experts’ here.. But you are capable of ‘getting a vague idea of the big picture’.

However a weather system is chaotic, which means (non-technically) that you can’t predict with anything approaching certainty what it’s going to be like in a couple of days (or even a couple of hours in many cases), no matter how much information (data) you have been able to collect…. Even though, the day after today, you could confidently tell us all with almost total certainty, why it was that we had that sudden rainstorm yesterday… A rainstorm that for some reason or other you somehow failed to predict the week before, or even the day before …

IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: By the way, for folks like me – if you’re interested – I view an academic field such as  ‘Economics’  as a particular form of emergent system. And to me it also has a great deal in common with ‘Astrology’ – which I refer to particularly as a ‘pseudo-emergent system’… So ‘Economics’ is not an emergent system like ‘The Weather’ to me then, it’s more like a ‘pseudo-emergent system’… That is, even though, as in the case of Astrology, a great deal of extremely accurate geometrical calculation is required; and in the case of Economics an in-depth understanding of both statistical analysis and calculus is required; nevertheless they are both, at best, only ever ‘sort of” good at telling us all why something turned out the way it did, after the event. And even different ‘experts” (or ‘schools’, as those who have invested a great deal here are fond of calling them)  in either field will often violently disagree as to the cause of some major feature or other (which I always thought would send a great big alarm-bell off in everyone’s head, just like it does in mine); and they also will invariably miss really big things that are going to happen in their futures – such as atomic bombs going off (in the case of Astrologers); or world financial melt-downs (in the case of Economists)… None the less, many people will still cling to their various ‘predictions’ as if they were gospel. … (And again that should tell us all something basic about people … 🙂 …) … …. Although, to make things really complicated here, rabid fans of both of these ‘disciplines’ that claim some ability to be able to predict the future, will always insist that someone in their gang did predict lots of this stuff – but that they were subsequently ignored or mis-understood… Reminding me of those soccer fans who can always explain why it was that their favorite team lost 25-nil in terms that seem to suggest that they were actually, far and away, the better team ‘really’..

FURTHER NOTE HERE: If you are unlucky though, or you persist in hanging about with the wrong crowd, you will invariably get some witchy-poo, or wizard, or other shaman type, who will claim something here along the lines of, “What about that prediction of  Nostradamus’s  where he says there will be “A great big bang over there”; or (even worse) some sacred scripture that says, “I am come! The destroyer of worlds.” … And in these cases, you will have to make your own mind up about the particular appropriateness in any particular instance of this ‘evidence’… But from my perspective, if your decision here is to ‘sit on the fence’, this is going to tell me far more about how your head works, than it does about the accuracy of what you consider to be the ‘evidence’.

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Anyway… to carry on about my decision-making process here…. As a direct consequence of the above way of viewing systems (a perspective that I don’t believe Eugene Halliday particularly appreciated by the way) I have to first of all decide what the system is for.

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So I will now – to show you what I mean here –  imagine that I have constructed two systems. One that is designed to:
a). Improve my chess skills
b). Help me to develop my musical improvisational skills….

I will now attempt to describe why viewing systems that I am imagining here (that I am going  to attempt to Work with) as ‘Dynamic’ or ‘Emergent’ provides another means to me of situating them in some sort of ‘space’. That is, not on some ‘dialectical base-line’ – as was the case with the two words Invest/Divest.

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LIVERPOOL JOKE

Punter One: “I hear you’re only losing half the money on the horses that you used to … Punter Two (enthusiastically) : “Yes! … And that’s because I’m using a new system!”

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System a)  To improve my chess skills. 

NOTE: I would also, importantly, initially refer to this system a) here, as ‘ritualistic’… A word that constitutes yet another dialectical pole of a pair of designators that I usually make use of in order to further identify – and thus give meaning to – the particular characteristics that serve to structure any system that I am in the process of constructing… Characteristics that I will almost always be attempting to clarify to myself before I attempt to begin Working here…  However, I will not be supplying any further details about this word here, because it is not really essential to this present explanation of mine.

To soldier on then… This system a) is constructed primarily of a couple of rather rigid ‘rules’ – thus making it a bounded (or constricted) system for me. Meaning that I will view it as almost completely mechanical – and therefore ‘deterministic’

To supply some particular detail here, the first thing that I would do is memorize  the ‘rules governing the game of chess’. And the second thing that I would do is study these rules ‘in act’ – by analyzing sequences of moves that have been used successfully by Chess Masters in previous major tournaments…

Nothing remarkable at all about this approach then.

But it is important for you to bear in mind here that this system is being used by me only to ‘improve’ my chess skills, and not to become, say, a future Grand Master, or anything ridiculous like that. 

This difference however, does show you that the way in which you initially ‘label’ any system you intend to use (the words that you chose to involve in the title you give it – as with my use of the word ‘improve’ here)  is also of immense importance… And you really do need to exercise a great deal of care in doing so, because if you are sloppy at this point, and you haven’t exercised enough care when laying down your foundation, you can very soon get yourself tied up in all sorts of knots, which will result in you almost certainly marching off in the wrong direction.

So this system is ‘dynamic’ for me then…  But do you see that it’s entirely possible that if I were to relate all this to someone else, they would claim that I am stretching the meaning  of ‘dynamic’ here – at least as far as they are concerned? … For instance, they might say, “Whatever you do, you will never really know what move your opponent is actually going to make next.” To which I would reply, “That is a trivial objection. My opponent will always be confined to a finite set of rules – which is the reason why any Grand Master can now be beaten by a machine that can run the appropriate computer program… And anyway, you have misunderstood the whole point of my system here – I am not trying to predict my opponents moves. Rather, I am attempting to make my ‘return move’ wholly deterministic – a different aim entirely!”   …

But however anyone else wants to view any particular system that I am making use of is normally OK with me anyway, because – in practical terms -Working has an essential major (though not entirely)  hermeneutical component… And it is so full of risks anyway, that any approach to it has to be completely the responsibility – both in its conception and the subsequent engagement in – of the person freely committing themselves to it… The level to which I would actually formulate a text to explain my choice of system to others is my own private concern – and I am not in the habit of investing any more effort in this direction than my aim warrants… If I Work with a system by, in part, using my intuition, and so not necessarily engaging in thinking, or verbalizing, then this is what I will do. And I will very rarely go ‘back to check’ because I don’t have to. My intuitive function works fine for me, and I have grown to trust it… Although it obviously does let me down from time to time – particularly if my actions are conditioned by, say, too much ambition – but these occasions are not frequent enough for me to lose faith in it.

So then, if any particular person prefers to only engage in endless debates about the merits (or perceived lack of merits) of any particular system, then that’s their business as far as I’m concerned. But it’s not an activity that I have much use for… I am only interested in the ‘use value’ of any system. Particularly as I already understand that it is always possible for some observer or other to point out the (rather obvious) limits of any deterministic system anyway. And actually I am more than capable of doing that for myself, thank you..  What is important though is why they would chose do so. And in my experience that’s usually so they can show me what a ‘smart-arse’ they are…

But – on the bright side here – if I do decide to make use of a particular system (even if I have constructed it so that it appears to be completely deterministic) … then, even so, it’s me that gets to have all the fun here.

System b). Help me to develop my musical improvisational skills….

This system I would view as an ’emergent’ ….

There are however, any number of deterministic dynamic parameters contained in it that might be worthwhile for you to ponder…. These would include, for example: The way that you twiddle your fingers when you play – that is, your ‘lousy; reasonable; or excellent technique’; Your degree of understanding re ‘Music Theory’ – “I’m extremely fluent in the use of ‘chromatic substitution’…”: Your preference for a ‘melodic’, over a strictly ‘chord/scale’ based line here; etc. etc…

However, in my book at least, there must always be a profound sense in which there will often be places when you will be ‘improvising’, where you have no idea what the next musical phrase that you play is going to be …

And also it is important to realize that any system which claims to aid improvisational technique will always contain suggestions such as, ‘play with a hard swing feel’ or ‘play with a ‘blues feel’..’ – which any competent musician will interpret in their own particular unique way.. … A way that, even to a particular listener here who is familiar with this particular musician’s ‘style’, will have no way of predicting… But very soon after our musician begins to play, our listener here will be liable to say, “Oh! That’s so-and-so … I can tell by the way that she ……..(Fill in blank)..”

If I claim that this system is ’emergent’, does that mean then that I am claiming you can, sort-of ‘improvise infinitely’ then? … Well, no I’m not, because one of the parameters of creative playing is ‘style’… That is, the better that you become at improvising, the more that you will come to ‘sound only like yourself’ …

And as you gain some skill in making use of this system, so you will be conscious that you are having definite practical results here…

You will also find that there are two dialectical poles that you will can situate yourself between in order to Work as you move forward  ..

At one end you will be bound by an approach where you are mechanically just ‘running the changes’ – the point at which you are merely playing up and down appropriate scales that you have simply memorized – usually accompanied by you pursing your lips, or wearing a rather constipated look on your face to indicate (you imagine) that you possess some sort of ‘sensitivity’ here; and at the other end you will be attempting to ‘play free’ – often accompanying this attempt of yours with diverse body twitchings, which you imagine will demonstrate that you are now ‘out of it’ and thus ‘free of it’… …  I will just mention here that ‘playing free’ demands far more self-discipline than most people (including myself) are capable of mustering, and it isn’t at all about playing just anything that you ‘like’ or ‘want to’ or ‘feel’… which any competent musician can fake for half a minute or so. Playing ‘free’ is far more complex than that, and depends on an in-depth ‘in-the-now’ …’grasp’ (notice that’s a ‘not-free’ word 🙂 … ) of what it is that you are attempting to be ‘free’ from.

So then, as regards the ‘matter’ of any emergent system…. There must be some essential characteristic to its aim that is indefinable linguistically then… And that (using this particular example of an emergent system here) can only be demonstrated musically, in ‘itself’ – in act. That is, in the doing ….. experientially …such that it is only after it is played that the attempt can be made to analyze it, or pondered over it, by others… Which then allows teachers like me to answer questions such as, “What did she do then at the beginning of that next chorus?” … And to which I might reply by saying something along the lines of, “Well, you see, if you wind the tape back to the beginning of that chorus, you can now clearly hear that she played ‘outside’ for two bars; continued on modally, up until the point that she modulated up that minor third…” etc. etc… But there was no way that I could ever have predicted, actually, what she was going to do there, even if I had been present at the actual performance… However, you should be able to appreciate that my subsequent analysis is completely ‘deterministic’ anyway (And also has something importantly to do with ‘abstracting’ – another important word in all this – but, like that word ‘ritualistic’, not one I will be going to go into here right now either 🙂 …)

NOTE: I tend to think of those techniques which might aid me in my  attempt to understand the ‘What’ of a system, as rather like weapons that aid me to ‘fight the good fight’ … That is, very handy to have around – but still only ever an aid that I must still actively engage with; and so not some sort of ‘automatic solution to everything’.

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A further analogy of mine now re Emergent Systems, that might help throw some more light on things for the non-musical buffs … That of dancing.

Although there are rules: perhaps a special way of dressing; perhaps a particular piece, or a special form of music must be played; perhaps you do (or don’t) have to dance with a partner; perhaps, initially at least, you must memorize (internalize) an intricate set of dance steps, by committing them to ‘muscle memory’….etc

Even if you do manage all of the above (and maybe even more), none of what you do is going to necessarily guarantee that you will ever turn out to be a good dancer. … Although you will probably become extremely competent.

However, in the event that you do turn out to be a good dancer, then it could be claimed of you, by others, that when you dance you are merely doing all those things that you were taught, or that you have taught yourself.

However you could also now maintain that, ” I don’t really use any of that stuff now… At least not ‘like that’ anyway.”

… And if anyone were to insist that you tell them what exactly it is you are doing by asking you’, “Just what were you doing just then?” You would certainly be justified in replying – and would also be providing them with a complete answer – if you replied, “I don’t really know… To tell you the truth… I was …  just … dancing.”

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To claim that you do make use of a system, means to me that you can at least attempt explain what it is that you might mean here by grounding any explanation you give in a number of  uniquely personal anecdotes..

Attempting to construct personal texts (written or verbal) here then, usually by making (obvious) use of ‘language’..

However, you can also do so by, for example, using some form of graphic medium – say a drawing or painting… In which case the importance of ‘interpretation’ here becomes a lot clearer… As does the question of whether or not any observer here is merely ‘reacting to’ as opposed to ‘reflecting upon’ your efforts.

Ultimately this means (at least as far as I’m concerned) that there  are no ‘Universal meanings’; no ‘one size fits all’ then.. And so attempts at exhaustively explaining a concept such as ‘Working with this system’ are doomed to failure – because there will always (thankfully) be something left out; or some perspective illuminated by this explanation that is somehow distorted… etc. etc. … Which is the reason why poets are never satisfied with their creations… If you’re interested.

However if you are Working, and you meet someone else who is also Working .. You always instantly know.

Useful to always bear in mind here – the meaning Eugene Halliday’s gives to that term ‘stupid’…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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“So – when they’re busy telling me what they think it’s really going on down here? …What it is the substance of what they actually tell me, do you mean? …..(He pauses to listen). Well, in the main, they are attempting to describing observations that arise from a system that they’ve clobbered together from their own extremely limited experiences together with their contemplations of … their whimsical musings over … various ‘News Items’ from the popular press that have managed to take their fancy… (He pauses to listen)… Well the first question I would ask myself re these various ‘explanations’ of theirs is, “Does this person actually believe that they really know what’s going on ‘all the way down’ here.  That is, do they imagine … or sincerely believe… that they ‘have an answer for everything’… Is their system ‘dynamic’ then… Which would then of course make them materialists… Which is something that they might probably be the first to deny… And in which case – in my view – I would say that they would be deluding themselves… …  Or do they see this system of theirs as ’emergent’ – in which case what use do they think it is to them? … How do they factor the consequences of this view of theirs into their journey through life? Are they happy with this lack of absolute certainty…. Or am I, once again, listening to yet another loud-mouthed plonker.” …(He pauses to laugh).

Fragment from “Field Notes for Armageddon” by Bob Hardy

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I don’t want to complicate things in this first part unnecessarily, but I should tell you that if you are  Working with ANY system, then you are engaging in ACT OF ABSTRACTION … In that you have chosen to treat part of the emergent system that I believe we all really are (our ‘life’ if you like) as a dynamic system…You are behaving towards it as if it were composed of parts.

But I would also add that I would be sympathetic to the idea here that the situation you have chosen to Work with must be very important to you, otherwise you wouldn’t have felt the need to abstract it, in order to examine it, and to perhaps change it…

The only word of advice I would perhaps add from my own experiences here, is that you should watch out for any hubris flying about… Because it might be that this really important problem, that you obviously believe you do have is only important to you. And that someone else might view a problem like this in their lives as trivial…  …

And it’s important for your authentic self to understand that this problem you are now intent on probing here, might not be a consequence of this hurricane that you like to believe you have now innocently found yourself  to be in the middle of; but could also be the result of you simply hanging about inertically in the same place for far too long – until this problem of yours has automatically (deterministically) manifested itself… But actually it really started with that butterfly flapping its wings in China… At which point it would have been far easier for you to tackle… But you couldn’t be bothered at the time could you? … Or you will tell everyone that you have been far too busy with some other ‘important problem’ of yours.

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And by the way, that problem which is so important to you – and that you now find has to abstracted from your life and systematized by you, in order for you to properly examine it… or at least to make some attempt at dealing with it … Be sure to remember to put it back where it properly belongs when you’ve finished making use of it…. 🙂

End of Part One

 

To (hopefully) be continued… Soon  🙂

Bob Hardy

11th July 2016

Portland, Oregon, USA

 

 

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