Looking For Saviours

Where have all the anarchists gone?

It seems everyone is looking for a saviour these days. Donald Trump will save us from the establishment elites, Allah and Jesus from the infidels and moral bankruptcy of the modern world, Jeremy Corbyn from capitalism and the Tories and a strong leader will save the Labour Party from Jeremy Corbyn; the list goes on. Anger, disillusionment, fear and blame grow; hatred and bigotry quickly follow. The world gets more divided, everyone has an axe to grind, an argument to win and a faith to defend.

Putting our faith in saviours is always tempting, and powerful, positive movements can be set in motion as a result, but generally speaking, inspiration is more effective than direction. The obsession with ‘strong’ leaders seems to me to be a hangover from our patriarchal society, the need for a ‘father figure’ to protect and save us (though it could be a female one). Rebellion is often fuelled by the same desire, in this case as a reaction against the authority figure and the search for an idealised patriarch/matriarch to lead us all to freedom and some imagined utopia. Even the few who see through this and call themselves anarchists may easily succumb to it when an idealised leader appears.

There seems to be two aspects to anarchism, often acting together in some kind of incoherent, unruly chaos. I prefer to think of it as an unconscious force running through all societies rather than a political and philosophical movement adhered to by a small number of strongly identified individuals. It echoes the unconscious forces within the individual, Freud’s ‘id’ with its instinctive drives for survival, rebelling against the superego demands of society and the more subtle forces of love, compassion and altruism, desperately trying to find a way back to oneness. Firstly, there is an infantile, ego-obsessed reaction to authority, which demands ‘freedom’ for the individual, like the self-obsessed toddler driven by desire having a tantrum. S/he may start throwing things around and smashing things up in a desperate bid to change the system. Secondly, there is the recognition that society changes and evolves slowly, through the raising of consciousness and awareness. It has love and compassion at its core and far from exhibiting the slave morality of Nietzsche, it is strong, full of self-confidence and self-belief, because it recognises that the ‘self’ works together with many selves and not alone as a vulnerable, isolated toddler. Unfortunately, many anarchists lose this self-belief when society appears to take a step backwards as it inevitably will. Human beings have a tendency to fear change and to look backwards to the past, often imagining the world to have been a better place before. This happens because all change, whether technological, psychological, social or political, has complex layers of effects, some of which will seem to be negative. Society tends to oscillate between progressive and reactionary, reflecting aspects of our nature, such as self-preservation and compassion, or competition and cooperation. When times are tough, there is a tendency for self-preservation to gain the upper hand, but sometimes, we may surprise ourselves by becoming more compassionate, helping out those worse off than us.

One huge factor in the world taking dangerous and frightening turns for the worse, is that the great majority of people on the planet still believe in violence and military solutions, (an expectation of ‘strong’ leaders), which inevitably have far-reaching and sometimes unexpected long-term consequences. The ricochets can be felt decades later and the response is often more violence with ever-more powerful weaponry, fuelling even worse consequences. People look for saviours.

We must not lose our faith in social evolution and progress, the march of compassion, the raising of consciousness and increasing awareness of consequences for our world and our neighbours on this small and fragile planet. We do not need saviours. They will inevitably fail us. But we do need inspiration. We need people who unite us, rejecting all violent means of change whilst acknowledging the violence within us all. We must retain faith in humanity, even in the face of such violence, and when we are unsure as to whether the cup is half-empty or half-full, sometimes the best thing to do is just to smash the cup; things are always as they are and things are always changing.

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Awakening.

It is now time to flush away the little imp that has been inhabiting and assuming control of this body for so long, the creature I happily called ‘I’. For he is nothing but an imposter, the ego-consciousness, who tricks us all into a false perception of a separate, fixed, decision-making personality, using what little he knows of the past and fantasies of the future to create the illusion of a continuous identity. Now Nataraj will stamp on this fiend as he dances merrily to the sound of His thunder drum, and something else will be heard as it calls from the depths, the awakened mind, awakened existence, always there, but silenced by this aggressive imposter. Its voice is faint at first, but impossible now to ignore, and growing in volume.

This ego will fight back. For years it is all we have known, and we have grown very fond of him, strongly attached. He claims to have our best interests at heart because he is the one who strives for our continued survival. He is the manifestation of the life force and as such will fight for any opportunity to preserve it, whether through eating, sexual encounters, money-making or the grabbing of power, but in reality he has no concern for our well-being but only serves his own interests, without looking at the consequences of these actions. He has even tricked us into believing he is the very source of our compassion, outraged by injustice, ready to fight for others, when in reality his limited role in such things is merely the power he receives from belonging to the group of his extended false identity, pitted against ‘the other’, whatever that may be.

When he feels ignored or threatened in some way, he has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve; he can push us into drug-taking or drinking alcohol, ensuring the inner voice is silenced and demanding attention for himself. He can bombard the senses with massive doses of external stimulation: lights, music, visuals, pornography, food treats, even information; for another of his tools is the reasoning intellect, increasing his power when he feels clever. But today he is angry, drowned out by the drum and the awakening voice within. A deeper truth is revealed as this individual ‘I’ (we even credit it with a capital letter), moves slowly from a sense of ‘I’ to a sense of ‘we’: not the small universe of family, tribe, nation, race or opinion, the ‘us and them’ ‘we’, which strengthens the ego with its smug sense of self-righteousness, but the universal ‘we’; not the universe of humanity against other species, then seen merely as food, tools or entertainment, but the universal ‘we’; not even the universe of life against matter, the very source of all our power and creativity, but the universal ‘We’, which is also the ‘Not-we’, the unmanifested, the energy, which, through arrangement into incredibly complex patterns, gives the universe eyes and ears, by means of which it can observe itself and know itself. This is the true self, within us all, exposed when the ego is silenced, breath by breath, step by step. This very real unity and interconnectedness of all things is the true source of our compassion, empathy and love.

You may well think these are the ramblings of a madman, the ego will try to tell you so, and you can choose to ignore them, but you cannot hide from yourself. There will come a time, possibly when you are close to death, when the inner voice calls to you and the ego knows its time has come to give way, to surrender to the inevitable dissolution. Until then, you may choose to live your life in service of the ego and get on quite well with it, but if it leaves you unfulfilled and unsatisfied, frustrated, bitter or angry, then it may be time to seek out the silence and just listen for a while.

An Honest Musician

An Honest Musician

I am an honest musician. Everything I sing and write about comes straight from the heart, unfiltered by what I think you might want to hear. I am driven to write and perform. It is something I have always needed to do and it probably keeps me sane. I would love to project an image of the ego-less, wise, modest artist and free spirit, just doing what I have to do, without a care for any recognition. But in truth, all songwriters also think they write great songs. We write the songs we need to hear, the ones no-one else has written, and that no-one else can ever write, because they are projections directly from our egos, full of our emotions, our opinions and our wordplay or melody.

I express a lot of opinions in my songs and quite often they are political, but not of the old left/right variety. I am concerned with spiritual politics. There is a bigger picture out there which unites us all and all life. The struggle is against false beliefs, which are used to divide, oppress and control us, diverting us away from our great, creative potential towards a bland or even cruel or painful life, in the service of those in power. The misuses and abuses of power are all around us, not just in the governments, religious organisations, police and armed forces, but also in the worlds of entertainment, education, business, media, sport, food, medicine and in the forces of social pressure and prevalent morals and attitudes of the day; in our daily lives with people we come into contact with, in the words we use, in our humour – everywhere. There is no monopoly on oppression – left or right; there is no single group or individual with all the right answers. We all make mistakes, we can change and revise our opinions as we grow – hopefully wiser, and society grows with us.

Spiritual politics is based on the recognition that we all come from the same source, and that our experience of existing as a separate individual is largely an illusion. We are not truly separate from anything, so perhaps I can redeem myself by admitting that even though my songs are great, they are actually written by all of you too, as well as all that has gone before me, and all that surrounds me. They do not even exist until there is an audience to hear them and your perception interprets them in the light of your own experience – they are merely the sound of one hand clapping and you are the other hand. So please give them a little time and see what you think, or better still, come and see me live. We will interact, united in the world of sound in which we find ourselves, because:

Everything we say has a rhythm,

Everything we say has a melody,

Everything we say has its own dynamic.

Everything we say has a rhythm,

Everything we say has a melody,

Everything we say has its own dynamic.

Everything we say has a rhythm,

Everything we say has a melody,

Everything we say has its own dynamic.

Everything we say has a rhythm,

Everything we say has a melody,

Everything we say has its own dynamic.