Tag Archive: Reality


That Was Then, This Is Now

Unless we make and maintain a real-life connection with people we can be basing our ideas of them from what we made of them in the past.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I read a lot, I watch a lot of videos and listen to a lot of recordings.  I think there is no adequate substitute for an on-going, face-to-face relationship, but even then you can’t know anyone completely.  You can have your ideas about them, but we even surprise ourselves about ourselves, look back at what we did, said, thought, believed, the way we saw things and wonder how we ever could have, if we were out of our minds.  We are embarrassed at ourselves sometimes.

Sometimes I can watch a video which I see in the context of a relationship that doesn’t have much offline existence.  If it is from a while ago I sometimes find that, regardless of what might have happened in between times, seeing that video now brings everything back and fixes it in the present, because nothing else is happening NOW, and for some reason they have chosen to bring it up at this time.

When I watch something on the TV or listen to something on the radio, or read something, I sometimes have to remind myself that what I am seeing or hearing is or was happening in relation to someone who is not me.  I might think they seem really nice, but what if they met ME?  I might have a different experience of them because I am not the person I saw them with.

I wrote on Krishna Das’s Facebook page once that I had a dream to sing with him.  I’ve noticed since then that other people have written similar things.  I was playing one of his albums with my mother on Monday, A Drop of the Ocean, with Sultan Khan.  It was released in 2004, about 3 years after 9/11, and I see it in relation to that these days.  But I was going off on one with her, about how I loved the way he spoke and sang on it, and how I would love to sing with him, then I said something like, ‘but that’s the way he sounds with Sultan Khan.  I love the way he sounds on this, but it isn’t an interaction with me, it is with someone else, and what I am hearing and loving on this album might not exist with me.  He feels something with him that he might not feel with me, and that is why he sounds as he does.’.  I sing back to his voice all the time when I play his music, but really it’s a bit like singing in the shower.  What I am hearing was with someone else, it isn’t with me.

I think any media presentation is something we are essentially removed from.  If it is from the past it only tells us about the way things seemed at that time to the people who made it or wrote it.  We can get an illusion of identification or understanding or that we agree, sometimes.  I often see people’s comments and agreements on Facebook.  I think it’s a really illusory platform, when it comes to following celebrity pages and things like that.  Do we really know what people meant, from their lives, by what they said, in order to agree with it?  It is, more often than not, our interpretation of what they said that we agree with or not, and I have been taught that our interpretation says more about us than it does about what we are interpreting.  I often find that I can write something and view it differently afterwards than when I first wrote it.  Within seconds, sometimes, especially if it is a Facebook reaction.  Because I don’t really know them, and I sometimes think it is inappropriate for me to be trying to interact with them at all and thinking and feeling what I do, expressing what I choose to express and holding back on other things, sometimes.  That’s the way we all are, even in real life.

But definitely, when it comes to old videos and things, I think we really need to get to grips with the truth that ‘that was then, this is now’.  Or as someone famous put it, ‘the past is another country’.  How we deal with it when it comes up in a relationship that isn’t happening in any other way is something I find a bit of a conundrum and, being me, can get all upset and guilt-trippy about.  If it’s not happening, it’s not happening.  And if it is and I’m not being let into it, for me it is still not happening.

As so often, I am already plagued with embarrassment and self-doubt about what I have written even before I publish it.  See – so lots of other people are the same.  What we write or otherwise express is not necessarily a slice of our reality.

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My uncle says Christmas is the same as any other day.  When things aren’t as you would like them to be, this is a perspective you need to keep hold of. Because of my church and family background, I believe Christmas is special.  I feel as if I am betraying myself and Christmas by writing this.  That if I made the right approaches to the right people, my Christmas could be redeemed.  But even if that were to happen once, this year, there are other Christmasses to come where I might not be so fortunate.  So the point is, you always need to make your own decisions and not run round looking for rescue remedies, even at Christmas.  The celebration of Christmas is an exterior thing.  But I still wish I was doing it and had done it in the past, and I still want my friends and family, and still feel ashamed that I haven’t invested in them and that, consequently, I will never know and experience, and neither will they, the kind of relationships we might have had.  Blah, blah, blah, whatever, whatever.  They threw my mother at me yesterday.  These media rapists.

This is a crisis time for many people, including people ‘with mental health problems’.  A lot of suicides occur at this time of year.

That isn’t because of the time of year.  It’s because of the way it is sold to us and the expectations and ideals we are taught to have of it.  It’s the way it is marketed by people who want to make money out of it and those who help them to advertise. Some people’s minds have already been so raped that it’s more than they can cope with, so they go into crisis, or commit suicide.  I think staying away from the television and radio might be the best thing for most of us at this time of year.  Truth and reality are within us, not on the tv and radio.  They are selling an illusion and a lie, and most of them know it.  It’s all about materialism and trade.  Hear me, please – that is ALL it is.

I just watched some Bulgarian television.

Within a few minutes they said something about Stara Zagora and pissed.  Just right for anglichanka ears.

I experience speech like music these days.  Especially if I don’t understand the language.  It’s quite nice and relaxing.  And if they pull a trick like that, it backfires on them, because I am not distracted by what comes afterwards, out of their mouths, because I can’t understand it anyway and it can’t dazzle or influence me.  So I can continue to watch and think my own thoughts and make my own observations, mistaken or otherwise.

Here are some thoughts and observations from this morning, mistaken or otherwise:

It was a live breakfast programme, a bit like the ones we have in the UK.  The setting is like an expensive city house.  There was a cookery slot.  The fare was economical.

My thought was that they are trying to tell Bulgarians that they are poor, when actually they are rich, in everything that matters, as long as they don’t develop a serious case of built up city-itis.  In this programme it looked a lot like the city-house surroundings were the important thing (and the unrealisable  aspiration of many, as it has been in Western Europe), and meagre fare was a price you had to pay to reach that ideal.  Or maybe villagers aren’t the target audience anyway, in which case I’m a poisonous cow.  No sorry, forget that, there is an ideal and a philosophy being pushed here, whatever the target audience is.  It is designed to be influential.  Otherwise why bother?

There is no security in this, only a continual grasping.

While people have land, they are rich beyond compare.  The people they call poor here, they are the ones who really are rich, and that is not a statement I am making for sentimental appeal.

The people they call poor, the village people, most of them have their own land around their houses.  That is wealth.   We hear about the landed gentry (or used to, have we moved on?)  But what about the landed poor?  The landed poor are richer, in real terms, than the housed rich.  They can grow what they like.  For meat eaters (which I am not) they can rear what they like.  They need never be hungry.  If those with more give to those with less, it evens out.  And also people can exchange things with each other, both goods and services, without money, and without price.  That endures when economies crash.

Without the language I’m a bit ignorant.  I don’t really know what ideology people are trying to sell and push for.

I know I’ve been in many hotels here which appear to have more staff than guests.  The Bible talks about ‘to-ing and fro-ing across the earth’.  Someone has sold us the lie that peace and contentment and security and being settled and established are boring.

I’m going to buy a house here, unless someone decides to stop me.  It’s going to be in a village.  It’s going to have land.  The wherewithal to create my own wealth.  I hope that, in the future, this country does not start bulldozing villages to make way for cities.  The villages are the foundation.  Good, real, organic life is in the villages.  Life, farming, community, shared skills and the opportunities to learn.  Kill the villages, get the youth of the villages wanting something else and despising what they have there so they want to move out, get the older people with life experience undervaluing themselves and their history and what they have to pass on, dismantle these communities, self-perpetuating, self-sustaining, with real wherewithal, make the economy dependent on something else, a selling idea, more manufacturing-based, more handing over money based, and it will eventually be disastrous for the economy.  Just as it has been for the west.

Back to the land.  It’s good.  It’s progressive, not regressive.  It’s not compensatory, it’s the healthy reality we should never have abandoned.  Test all things.  Hold fast to that which is good. 

The failure of a bad and illusory idea is not the failure of humanity.  It is not a shame for people to abandon a lie and embrace the truth.  That’s what the Bible calls repentance. The lie is ‘you can’t stop progress, you can’t turn back the clock’.  

Whether the lie is working for them materially or not, if it’s a lie, and it is working for them, materially is the only way it DOES work for them.  For the ones at the top, they are envied and despised and a cause of false shame to many who are struggling.  Maybe we can’t blame them, if they are working as honestly as they know how.  It’s what they have been sold too.

I heard a programme on Radio 4 this week, ‘In Our Time’, by Melvyn Bragg.  They were discussing the Industrial Revolution.  I hardly went to school in my teens, so if ideas were discussed (I don’t remember hearing them being discussed out of class time) it’s not something I would have felt able to be part of.  But I can remember standing in a dinner queue one day feeling really upset and isolated, because I was standing there believing with absolute conviction that the Industrial Revolution had been a bad thing, and I really wanted other people to see that and to be able to do something about it, but I thought I might be a bit of an oddity, and I didn’t know how to talk about it anyway, even if I thought there might be people who might agree with me.  I think I felt overwhelmed with differentness.

The fact is, I’m 50 now.  Most of my life is past, unless I live to be over 100.  That is a real grief to me.  What could have been and what could have been achieved?  My past feels like a blank, and my future unrealisable.  I already feel as if it is all over.  What could have been achieved should have been achieved by now.  Maybe I’m just being ageist against myself.

Edit note 10.36 am Bulgarian time.

I was apalled when I re-read this post at my own self-centredness and self-consciousness.  I was thinking about this last night, how people tell you you are self-centred or too self-consciousness, as if it is an accusation and they are pointing out a failing.  I was also thinking maybe they don’t mean it to come across that way, maybe they mean to teach.  I thought that if you want to teach with something like that, you need to dislocate the thinking.  I thought that usualy people put the emphasis in the wrong place, they talk about self-centredness instead of self-centredness, and self-consciousness instead of self-consciousness. The part that is stressed should be the part you are questioning.  It’s not the consciousness and the centredness that should be in question, but the focus of the consciousness and centredness.  If the person trying to address this in another emphsised the word ‘self’ in the communication, the other person might start asking, ‘why, what other kind of consciousness and centredness is there?’, and that is a question which enables teaching to take place.

I’m talking about redeeming my Christmas.  What about everyone else’s?

Anyway, I started this edit note because I used a tag today that was new to me, Rape of a Nation.  I looked to see if there was anything else tagged that way, and I found this film.  I feel and believe it is dealing with and showing some of the consequences of thigs I have meanderingly thought about and painfully tried to express out of my own ignorance and stupidity in my post.  So here’s the link.  If it doesn’t show as a link, in my browser you can right click on it and it says ‘go to link’.  My link buttons remain disabled.

It’s a short journalism film about how the diamond trade operates in the Congo.

http://www.mediastorm.com/publication/rape-of-a-nation

 

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