We get up every morning and put our clothes on. For some of us it’s a major undertaking and some of us are much more casual. In some cases we are still wearing our clothes from last night and/or last week and no thought at all is going into it. Whatever the case, when we get up we are already wearing our personality. That’s the crowded mobile home we move about in here. The personality is another kind of body, just as it is another suit of clothes, just like your body is a suit of clothes that makes you visible here. If you take it off you disappear.
Inside these vehicles are various drivers with different skills looking to operate the machinery for different purposes, at different times and to different ends. All sorts of names have been given to these different characters. In some cases there’s a bit of redundancy and in other cases the naming is according to a particular world view that is only relevant in that world view. We‘ve all heard the words ‘ego’, super-ego’, ‘libido’ and ‘id’. We know about the heart and the mind. We know about the brain and the mind, or rather, we don’t know. You’ve got reason and desire. You’ve got sex and Love. You’ve got the personality and you’ve got The Self. Or have they got you? And is there a ‘you’ apart from all of these; even including The Self?
The purpose of that last paragraph was confusion. Sometimes in life the purpose may not be confusion even though the result is. Sometimes we can believe we are doing the right thing and still hurt a lot of people. People who love their country on a certain level; people who attend parades and whose hearts swell when the band goes by, who get moist in the eyes at the memory of the loss of comrades in foreign wars- comrades they may well have never met and wars they may well have never fought in- have an idea about things and for them that idea is real. There are sharper minds about who know how to play off of emotions like this. There are industries that study the human makeup and test and predict humanity and its actions according to various stimuli.
Some of these industries want to sell products and they want to know how to make that product as appealing as possible. Sometimes, depending on the product, fear will make it more appealing than putting a naked woman on the hood of a car. Some of these industries want to sell an idea because that idea will generate a fealty that allows for control that in some fashion or another confers power and money upon those representing it. The truth is not always (if ever) sufficient to the greatest possibilities of sale. Often the truth is harmful to sales. Lies become very necessary to impress upon the customer the need for the product. Consider the NRA, gun sales, political power, lies, money, fear; everything but a naked woman on the hood of a car (unless it’s hunting season and she’s tied there for display) and you see where a product and an idea come together for a variety of reasons. This is just an example- I’ve nothing more than that in mind at the moment. But you could carry the concept out, much farther out than I have.
I don’t remember the actual details but I understand that Socrates once demonstrated a complicated physics equation by asking an ignorant youth the right questions in a certain sequence.
Many of us work in industries that connect to all manner of things at a distance. Many of us would be surprised to find that something we made was used to kill somebody thousands of miles away. Many of us would be very surprised to know that money generated from a product we made was used to enslave people at a distance. We might be even more surprised to find that an ugly emotion that rose up inside of us was combined with a similar emotion in the chests of thousands of people and used to destroy a nation at a distance; was used to fuel the hate in the hearts of soldiers who were fighting for an ideal that did not, in fact, exist. Maybe you can see, by working at right angles to this, and thinking of yourself as being both Socrates and that boy and factoring in some or all of the portions of ourselves that I mentioned in the beginning (things like the personality and the ego and the rest) how the whole system of death and rebirth and Karma and Heaven and Hell and God and The Devil can get so complicated and take such a terrific long time to work out (if ever).
Maybe you can see how the fire of desire burns on forever and consumes everything it touches just like an ordinary fire turns wood into ash and is never filled and never satisfied. Maybe you might then see how conscious immortality had something to do with controlling the fire of desire- or in re-focusing the object of desire. Maybe you could then see this world as a foundry that is forever turning out products whose by-products are always sorrow and suffering. Maybe you could see that this world exists for specific reasons and that those reasons are not at all what you may have originally thought they were.
“Oh why the Hell not, after all, you only live once.” You ever hear that before? Did it ever occur to you how insane that sounds regardless of whether it is true or not? Are you trying to understand what I mean by that? Do you realize that means you are crazy?
Well now, you’ve got these desires and groups of people share some of them, nations too. The leaders of these nations whip up those desires- at the behest of those who intend to profit in the aftermath- into a war against a perceived enemy who is said to be opposed to the fulfillment of those desires. England worked this sort of a thing for hundreds and hundreds of years in India and Africa and China and, hey, they’re the good guys right? Today in the very large nations of Australia-New Zealand and Canada they have a certain fealty to the Queen. Does anyone out there have a clear idea of what that means? Do you think that America actually was the winner in the American Revolution?
It’s possible that much of what you think is wrong. Do you think that Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela had an easy time of it? Did you know that Dick Cheney fought to keep Nelson Mandela in prison? Did you know that Israel was one of the South African apartheid government’s biggest friends and torture instructors? Palestine today is in apartheid. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?
I’m not here to take sides on these issues. I’m just passing through. This place is always like this here; full of war and disorder, greed and lies- slander and murder. I’m just hoping you think. Think about it. What are you supposed to be doing here? Are you supposed to be making products; fighting in wars, wanting things that you don’t want, fighting with yourself and others for the benefit of interests of whom you are unaware?
Are you supposed to live quietly under the surface, bearing it all, fixing your attention on God and working upon your salvation? That’s not a bad one. Are you supposed to be struggling for those who are imprisoned and enslaved; being tortured and killed? Are you meant to be an example?
Do you think of God and The Devil as external forces and yourself as yet another thing and all of those who surround you as yet something else again? Whose hands are God’s hands? Whose hands are The Devils hands? What is God? Who is The Devil? Who are you? Whenever either God or The Devil wants to get something done they pick one of us. There isn’t anybody else; maybe the weather occasionally sure. It’s remarkable that most people don’t’ know what’s good and what’s bad. They only know what they are told.
So maybe all the good guys aren’t rich and famous and powerful and working to help us all night and day. Maybe all the bad guys aren’t in prison or leading insurgent armies. Maybe everyone in prison isn’t a bad guy and everybody who’s putting them there isn’t a good guy. Maybe everything good and evil is inside us at the same time as it is outside of us. It is life that poses the circumstances in which we discover the difference; if ever we do. We are the secret. We are God’s secret and God is our bank.
When we make peace with ourselves, no one in the whole world can successfully oppose us. You have seen this in the lives of the people I have mentioned. Even when it cost them their lives they lost nothing, whereas- as the Bible tells you, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul.” What we think is good is not necessarily good. What we want is not necessarily worth having. What the world is trumpeting is usually not worth hearing. Who is living inside you? Who is advising you? Where are you going? Really, just where do you think you are going right this minute, eventually- all the time, directly, indirectly... where are you going? Where are you?
A studio version of 'Where You Are' is track no. 6 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Color Ball'
Lyrics (pops up)