Monday, January 26, 2009

Dreams of Personal Splendor in a Chicken Coop

I saw something amusing this morning. There’s a particular individual like many another individual of his type. He’s far too intelligent to believe in any power greater than his own mind and has certain pretensions about the levels of his insight, awareness and education. He likes to throw out the names of various writers who are as famous for the boring and convoluted natures of their presentations as they are for the embarrassments of their presumptions. He thinks by dropping these names that somehow he’s a member of this group of people that no really illumined or partially illumined person would want to even be associated with.

What amuses me the most about this sort of person is the way they will reflexively dismiss things they’ve put no time into investigating, primarily because their association with ideas outside of the mainstream might make them less welcome in the company of those who hold one another in contempt and whose only purpose in life is the admiration of those who have spent their life in the attempt to make themselves seems wise and informed among similar minds whose entire focus is on their place in the pecking order. It’s like self important chickens all clucking at the same time and it doesn’t even matter if anyone is listening because they are only attuned to the sound of their own voice. If you draw a line in the sand and put their beaks down on it they won’t be able to lift their heads back up. There’s a lot to be learned from this but one of the main points is that it’s not hard to hypnotize a chicken.

Then again, when you call someone a chicken it implies cowardice and it is indeed cowardice that keeps the majority of these chickens quoting the words of dead weight academics and avoiding the real truths that these academics spent their lives obscuring with the posturing bombast of their self important whines. Truth has no place in the lives of these individuals because it tends to diminish them and that’s the one thing they avoid at all costs. It’s a known fact that the majority of people who study philosophy and dense literature do it only in order to be able to talk about it; understanding it is not important. What is important is that it makes them seem brilliant by association. So you get an entire culture of chickens clucking like fools while the farmer sharpens his ax. Anyone who doesn’t think this is so is in deep error concerning the inescapable truth of their destiny.

I once attempted to read James Joyce and it didn’t take me long to realize that I would learn more and enjoy myself more by repeatedly hitting myself in the head with a stick. It’s no surprise that the people I am referring to consider this writer to be some kind of a god. He may well be if there are deities whose primary function is boring the reader to death. Joyce had a secretary named Samuel Beckett. There’s a story told about how he admired Joyce so much that he insisted on wearing the same size of shoe although his own shoe size was larger. I consider that a fitting destiny for the sort of man who wrote a pointless play called “Waiting for Godot”. Ironically this play sums up the lives of these writers and others like Sartre and that sad collection of existentialists marching after fata morganas into an endless desert. Any child knows more about the meaning of life than they do and gains a great deal more enjoyment from it as well.

The fact is that those who have changed the world in any positive way and changed the minds of their fellows for the better have always been outcasts from these cabals of the blind, naked and clueless. One has only to witness what the Royal Society did to the true seekers after knowledge over the course of their benighted tenure on this beleaguered sphere. One has only to study the treatment of truth seekers by any and all of these self-important societies to see what I mean. Those who seek life’s deeper meaning are forever at odds with those who spend their lives building monuments to their own enduring ignorance.

It is sad to watch these men and women in their constant adjustment of poses. They convict themselves whenever they write or speak and never realize how ridiculous they look in their attempts to seem as exceptional as those they take for examples. No sane or self-respecting person would consider such a thing. Yet... on and on they go, basking in the imagined adulation of their comrades and preening before the world as they accept their awards for this and for that and giving speeches about things of no value to people with no comprehension.

Someone said some time ago that “the proper study of mankind is man”. Another said, “Know thyself.” Unless one knows who and what they are, there is no great currency in anything else that they may think they know. It is a ubiquitous characteristic of those possessing true knowledge that they are humble and quick to acknowledge how very little they know. The reverse of this is true of those who use whatever they know for the further advancement of themselves. Many of these self-deluding souls spent their lives dining in the ivory tower. They have certificates on their walls with all the authenticity of the one that was awarded to The Scarecrow by the Wizard of Oz. They have positions and they have students. They have arrived... somewhere.

Unfortunately, when death comes to call; when illness and catastrophe visits and when life leaves them bent by the hearth, cold and infirm, they are as powerless to answer their needs as they ever were to answer the needs of others. Strange madnesses afflict them. They disappear into the bottle. They take their own lives. They become ever more and more concerned about what history will make of them and are engaged in an endless fever of making sure that the world remembers and has need of them. Surely the world will remember some of them for all the good that it will do. It is not the world that you want to remember you. The world can give you nothing of lasting use and value.

These men mock the unknown. They mock the idea that there is a pervading consciousness that composes everything and is resident within all of us. “Oh this will never do.” They think themselves courageous in their personalized version of “Invictus”. They never see themselves for what they are.

We who have considered the inner route know how real that passage is. We may only understand a little of it but we know it is there. We have varying degree of faith, certitude and determination. Only a little of it will take one a good distance. Help is always present to be called upon. The way is open to all but one cannot take their personal burdens on this road. One cannot take their arrogance and self-importance. One cannot take their reputations, their stations or their pride.

Everything we think and say and do is recorded. We are all in error but some of us know forgiveness and succor are at hand. We take the opportunity to speak with our creator. We seek to be made free of that which presses down upon us. Those who seek this mercy will not find it wanting. However, those who do not seek it will not find it ...and many a hard penny will be paid as a result.

Like my fellows, I am a flawed sketch done by my own hand; a work in progress. I’ve no claim to greatness nor do I seek it... not here in any case. I know that I do not know. What I know of myself I know of others too. Without the least enjoyment of the fact, I say that I am glad I am not like those who have supplanted what is real with the false vanities of their imaginary selves. While there is still time it would be best to make awakening the single compelling pursuit of what remains of this life. It can end at any moment.

I am aware, as I am always aware, that others will laugh at what I say here. They should remember that the injury done is to themselves. It is no injury to me. This is the nature of the world. I seek a deeper illumination and forgiveness for my errors. You are welcome to everything else. It has no value or meaning for me.

Visible sings: The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible♫ Graveyards of the Heart ♫
'Graveyards of the Heart' is track no. 3 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album
'The Sacred and The Profane'

Lyrics (pops up)

The Sacred and The Profane by Les Visible


kikz said...

'While there is still time it would be best to make awakening the single compelling pursuit of what remains of this life.'

mornin les*

free range.

Visible said...

You sure do seem to show up before everyone else. That will prove to be of great importance when you're standing in the only line that matters.

free range... you bet.

The essay was based on this bit of agonizing writing located here

Anonymous said...

I came here thinking you may have a nice recipe for a 'Splendid Chicken Soup' instead I find you have been playing over at the Fray again.

Visible said...

The intended reach of the piece is a bit wider than that. I visit the bathroom occasionally too but I seldom take anything out of there with me when I go.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the Matt Taibbi essay on Friedman's book? Your essay reminded me of it!

kikz said...


yea, my weekdaZe start 04:30 CST.

thanks for the chewtoy this am.... i left the boy god an espresso, heated by a funkadelicdragonsnort
>8 === *

Visible said...

yes... I just saw that.

Going to take a look at this essay...

Ben There said...

I couldn't help but laugh when you said that line about James Joyce. About two months ago I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about and subjected myself to about 20-30 pages before coming to literally the same conclusion, although mine differed only technically in that I considered beating my head against a wall as opposed to hitting it with a stick.

Thanks for this piece. Always nice to see something here.

Anonymous said...

HPS, I hate to be a pedantic nit-picker, but the correct link is:

(I think, I'm writing from memory)

I've got a copy of Friedman's 'The World is Flat'. He makes some interesting observations about globalisation, but his prose is hard going at times. The HB cover illustration made me pick up the book; looked as though it would be interesting, but I can remember yawning a lot while I was reading it!

Les, the comments in that link you gave were quite funny, I thought, and a lot less malicious than the writer of the piece deserved, considering how much he was insulting them.

Er...I quite like Hermann Hesse. Does that mean I'm banned?

Visible said...

I like Herman Hesse too.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful that the most profound and exalted realizations are simple and available for ALL people in every mode of existence, for free. (don't cost no money, you got to pay with your heart)
The most important moment of life is the moment of death..

As Krishna said to Arjuna in the 'Gita'..

"Whatever state one remembers at the time of death he will attain it without fail."

P.S. (not a good idea to fixate on chickens, dogs, cats, James Joyce characters or James Joyce, for that matter)

Anonymous said...

Les, to forgive is god like and you are a god. To judge is not so God like and you still judge others reaction to you. Please, this piece is of the true nature of the soul and a gift for those ready to hear. Hear me, you have done nothing to forgive but question your self and your feeling about other thoughts. You can add to an idea, take over that idea, or create a new one but not forget any. Now, having said that, we must gain somthing only after it has changed not after something else is lost.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever state one remembers at the time of death he will attain it without fail."


This may not be the best thread to write on this, but from one idea can any other idea flow.

Les has shown us a window into the group think. To that groups end will most people go after death. But not to fear, in a moument can those souls find other paths, now or then. Those who seek to control wordly ideas hope to seal the deal afterwords too or fear to the untrue stories of death. One likes to find other ideas to help with the unknown but look to Les's piece and see that you and you alone create the unseen word before you.

Sven Eick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Carlos sez:

"There is an explanation which is the simplest explanation in the world. They took over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops. Therefore, their food is always available to them."


Visible said...

we'll be here brand new tomorrow like we are today.

Anonymous said...

Unless we're not.

Anonymous said...

Hi Les-Hesse, his "Steppenwolf" is one of my favorites. I find it to be, very comforting, like he is speaking out of or from another time, saying-others have noticed the same things you have. And your experiences are honored.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of a game I used to play as a child, throwing down a silver coin, "forgetting" it, then, in amazement, finding it again, over and over again.

Anonymous said...

There was a story I saw on TV, thought you might find this interesting since it kind of parallels your comments on literature, or what passes as such.
A host of some TV show was commenting about a painting by Picasso which he said looked really ugly. Of a woman painted like one might see in a nightmare. And the guy on TV said that it had just sold for a million dollars or some such inflated number. And then he held up a poster of a unicorn with a rainbow in the background and said he'd purchased it for $2.98 at a local headshop. And asked the question-which looks better, which would you rather have on your wall?
I used to wonder why people would spend big bucks on certain "modern" art until I discovered that it was a way that museums and purchasers got tax write offs. Not being an accountant I can't describe exactly how, just to say many people aren't buying and selling the stuff because it looks good.

Anonymous said...

Mr Visible, it is good to read your words again after being "away" for a bit. Thank you for keeping the door open and the fire going - it is pretty cold out there.

Some may laugh at your words. For me, it was unexpected tears.

I truly know nothing, and have frankly given up on trying to "know" anything.

Is it enough to simply be aware of and engaged with the Divine in whatever simple ways we do every day?

I hope so. I don't want to make a spectacle of myself.


Sven Eick said...

Well said :)



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