Wednesday 21st of August 2019

tonight's the night...


A decomposed, mummified body of a man was recently found by forensic cleaners in a Sydney apartment. The apartment's owner is thought to have suffered from hoarding disorder, and police believe the decomposed body had been there for more than 10 years.

We occasionally read stories involving people with hoarding disorder — people whose possessions pose a serious burden. Clutter might prevent them from sitting on their sofa, taking a shower, cooking a meal, or sleeping in their bed.

Despite the lack of space, they find it impossible to part with items they don't need. Why is it so hard for them to let go of their possessions?

Loving things

As children, we use possessions to comfort ourselves when our parents are unavailable. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have abandoned our security blankets and teddy bears. We might occasionally buy something unnecessary or hang on to a few items we no longer need.

Read more:

So what are our most treasured possessions?:

Ideas. Preconceived ideas. Prejudices. 

But these often obsolete ideas are not as obvious as stacks of old milk bottles, bread crates, teddy bears or empty flagons in our apartment. These ideas are hidden deeply in our stack of beliefs and many have been used to reactively make us who we are today. Our neurones learned to connect them to our becoming fat, thin or brassy. Our mind has been made from acceptance and rejection of ideas, while being indoctrinated one way or the other, with the various social transmission methods, from gossip to the pulpit. 

As well we may accept, or appear to accept, any crummy idea in order to get fed when we are hungry. 

Should we discard these mind-creating prejudices or indoctrinations, we could end up somewhat naked. We would get conflicted, disoriented, afraid and unable to make decisions. Sometimes (often), we need to reject our old ideas in order to move forward with new better concepts that so far had appeared to conflict with our indoctrination. 

Not as easy as it looks. It’s often a case of accidental encounter and subtle persuasion, while feeling unsatisfied with indigestion — a bit like many early Christian conversions: enough with war and earthly pleasures, I need to give all my possession to become poor, hungry — and should I feel no pain, why not flagellate myself as well. Soon all this mental purpose is transformed by sharing with a group, then a church of believers becomes so rich that the original concept of poverty only applies to the dumb dummies at the bottom who pay through the nose to subsist. Churches hoards their devotees, until the devotees see through the tricks.

On a world scale this is the problem facing humanity in regard to global warming. Burning fossil fuel has been providing economic comforts (despite little wars to acquire the stuff), yet the natural balance of the planet is getting out of kilter. The churches are the sellers of petrol and coal. We need a major rethink, urgently. We do not have to become poor nor flagellate, but we need a change of attitude.

By dicing old ideas we can actually become free, but freedom is difficult to deal with, as if we were in a gravity-fed dive, trying to fly from a tall building, while in a dreamlike surreality. Meanwhile, we like to be part of the group rituals that embraced and taught us our old ideas, wrong or relatively correct, because it’s often our only way to connect and participate in the general feast. 

We thus subconsciously use the wrong ideas as shields against “different” ideas, especially those that could give us a true freedom of thought, demanding an intellectual effort beyond our comfort zone. Frightening and unknown results.

Rationality might expose our “wrongness" to the world, thus we avoid “thinking too much” rationally. And nothing is absolute. We deal in proportions of truth and wrongness, in order to make choices that will only be relative — but preferably comfortably so.

Many ideas that have been used by people over centuries have become somewhat obsolete and tired, exposed as very wrong by new analysis. They have lost their grip to a new form of motivation whether good, or not, for humanity. All this is not universal and there are a lot of variations on the themes. 

In the Western World, the development of the “Pop culture” has had a huge impact as much as new technologies. Secularisation has found its outlet in the pop voice, through the ease of communication and the fun of entertainment. Religious thoughts have become foggy, sterile and limiting. While sciences do not enter the entertaining equation in the death of god, sciences have helped the implementation of new technologies in favour of god's non-existence. 

We do not need the idea of god anymore in order to be human enjoying being human. 

Some people are still lunatic and extremists in their hoarding, to protect the religious ideas that should have vanished a long time ago from our stack. The value of religion only resides in the entrenched brainwashing designed to subdue us and other people, while restricting general freedom of thought within a narrow perimeter of hubris. It worked for the Christians, but they had to reinvent the wheel a few times in order to regenerate the spiel. The proliferation of evangelicals in the USA is nothing but astounding and bizarre — and they all have the “pass-the-hat (collection plate) technique” to fund their beliefs.

Christian influence has waned in some countries, France for example where church attendance has dramatically plummeted in recent years, because of broader education and freedom of thought which in some ways has exposed the tricks of deception contained in the religious faith. People could not care less about hell…

The Islamic imprint is still strong, contained in its language that enforces powerful indoctrination with restriction of general education and mono-cultural traditions. Breaking away from these are painfully institutionalised with strong temporal victimisation. The only music allowed is the chant from the Imams at the top of the minarets… Acceptance of these ideas in our freedom seeking western world, will change the cultural landscape as well as change the country cities and meadows: churches are being replaced by Mosques… It’s an uneasy feeling in our freedom-seeking spacial reality.

Thus comes a contradiction, that while trying to suppress restrictive ideas, one might be placed in the same boat of “restrictions”. But like in sport, there are rules that have come into force and are managed by a referee. Some biffo is not allowed on the football field.

Some Muslim preachers punch below the belt by demonising what the western culture has tried to create over the last century: freedom, secularisation and equality… Still a long way to go as we indulge in hidden hypocrisy in too many cases, but the Muslim position cannot be allowed to overtake our attempt for a progressive liberal world. This is why they are expelled from the main game in Austria and our soft-headed media moans and groans about freedom, while secretly approving. We are entering the world of “populism” right wing extremists, which in itself is contradicting our own psyche.

Commerce is not an idea. Capitalism isn’t an idea. Capitalism is only a process of valuing what could be rubbish or gold. Not knowing which is which in regard to many products, but conning people to believe into the value. Our only management is like that of a spider and its web.  There is a dynamic of how many insects we catch for survival. Religion is like herding sheep. Commerce is more like fishing with a bait or like catching people with a web, but they have something in common: making cash.
Ideas are more valuable because they are worthless. The influence of Pop Culture cannot be denied. The vacuous and the songs of Eurovision have replaced the preachers… Skills and fake emotions have been delinked from intellectualism. This has been the downfall of art. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was hope that art would give a new intellectualism/ anti-intellectualism dynamic, but by now we plod in “pop” culture and navel gazing down to our toenails. Is this good or bad?

The Royals were in need of a dusting in order not to become irrelevant which they are anyway, religiously and as representative of the “ruling class". But the perception is maintained and the latest wedding was one of these occasion to maintain the illusion of sharing the goonery. One memorable moment that stunned a lot of people was the sermon by the black pastor, Rev Michael Curry,. This was a first in an very High Anglican set up at the top of the ladder considering her maj is the grand doodah-in-chief of the Anglican Church. But the good pastor did not just stop there, he is stirring American crowds with a liberalism — embracing feminism, LGBTi and other issues — that does not fit too well with the more conservative evangelicals. 

A lot of our old ideas have misunderstood nature and its forces, as if we were independent of nature’s constraints when were are actually part of its random evolution/devolution changes. We interact with nature while being part of it.

Some ideas are insufficient. Believing that if I behave good I will go to heaven is insufficient or should be. Believing in Jesus is insufficient. Believing in killing infidels to go to  banquet is insufficient. All these ideas contain an enormous amount of hypocrisy and danger as we accept the idea but behave contrarily to the ideas. These are limiting and limits are what the preachers preach, because should you be free to be, you don’t need the preachers, thus you would be making them obsolete. They need the flocks to justify their limiting existence.

So the western civilisation greatest achievement isn’t the atom bomb, but pop music, fashion and vacuous trends that we can buy. Pop music may have started with the sonnets of love-lost poets, such as Shakespeare, be music-added during the French revolution with "La Marseillaise” and by the 19th century, the “populism” of music had mixed with the slave-tunes to emerge in the USA as jazz and now pop. In the 1960s, often, songs were soul searching and exposition of the torments of real pains. These days, most of pop music is as plastic as a stack of milk crates. This is our new hoarding as we accept the terminability of our existence, with less and less pain as we drug ourselves with aspirin, coffee, booze and cocaine — all in moderation of course.

We enter the world of sub-culture rituals where the pangs are not as painful as the schisms of the past, but are a continuum of changes of stars, not those in the sky that science tells us about, but those who sing with fake skilled passion for cash. 

As the possibly best poem by the other William, the boring rightwing Wordsworth, tells us:

A Slumber did my Spirit Seal

A slumber did my spirit seal; 

I had no human fears: 

She seemed a thing that could not feel 

The touch of earthly years. 

No motion has she now, no force; 

She neither hears nor sees; 

Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, 

With rocks, and stones, and trees. 

Gus Leonisky
Dead or asleep, are we?

a fever...

My love is as a fever, longing still


My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, 
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care, 
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed:
    For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
    Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

the easy way...

Some people argue against the piece at top, claiming that religion cannot be compared to "pop" music. Yes, the piece is somewhat written tongue-in-cheek, but true, though in some way they are right. Religion is too hard to get motivated with, unless one is flogged to participate these days. Pop music is the easy way out and it's everywhere from your iPhone to "easy listening" radio. Philosophy is much harder. Sciences are even harder to comprehend. 

Light entertainment is more palatable than obscure rituals and "everyone can sing" — except Gus, of course. 

In conclusion, the present path of least resistance in Western Culture is pop music. It's the easy way. Some evangelical churches like Hillsong have blended pop music with their gospel (while fostering the desire for cash). It works to a point but this can reach saturation quickly with a feel-good atmosphere (which demands cash as well), that is often contradicted by the reality of everyday life. Pop music does not need a structure of philosophy with bonus points for good behaviour that needs to be observed. All pop music needs is catchy tunes... Simple, simplistic, easy... Happy...