‘When one encounters a deadly situation, be it a parasite, a disease, an emotional threat or a psychological challenge, there are two options. Look to the survivors for the right one, and forget the sages and their self-important nonsense . . .
There is a perverse insight doing the rounds lately, an overestimated, overcooked belief currently so popular and widespread, it has become the norm.
This questionable belief argues that the noble thing to do is to be simple and modest. ‘Enjoy the small things in life and be humble.’
A great, insidious, toxic folly. A misapplied and misguided, unfortunate conclusion that diminishes whatever it touches. It lingers in the air, lingers like an unwelcome odor and gags and throttles intelligent organization. It penetrates the muscles of civilization like paralysis.
Like a treacherous fog, it settles on everything that seeks to make headway. The sky darkens, the air becomes heavy and invasive. Everything inside is stifled and sunk.
The call of a skinwalker in love’s clothing. A deadly ruse with your name on it. A sweet cocktail of poison. Like the soothing sensation one feels when giving up and letting go, not caring any more, slipping away. No more worries or stress, dear Vanquished, the promise of deliverance is upon you. The urge to be satisfied with the small things in life and let go, stop coveting, stop pushing, let life take its course, it’s here, now. Embrace it. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, the Prophet, the Deities, their chosen agents on Earth, everything arranged according to some higher order you’re not expected to understand. Simple trust in it. Whatever creed you have given yourself to body and soul, it has its reasons for testing you. It pushes you around for a reason, beckons with purpose, so give in, surrender to the will of the mighty mystery to which you have dedicated your life.
‘Most sages, especially those who speak of things they never saw, or lived through, are riding shotgun on the choices of their successful predecessors, in the comfort of other people’s success, teaching the coming generations the fallacious wisdom of surrender and acquiescence . . .
The unmistakeable signature of defeat. Grand, clear, decisive. The trademark of a predator having crushed your dreams and left you rationalizing your leveled choices, your buried aspirations. It promises salvation from the stress and the woes of a fractious life with its head above the surface of the depths inside which it lurks, waiting to drown all those foolish enough to be infatuated by its call.
‘A bunch of noble-sounding malarkey, none of which has anything to do with how any crisis was overcome, how any situation was survived . . .
A siren, is what it is, waiting to snatch up its next victim.
A parasite, infecting its victims with its progeny.
Call it a overrated and underperforming retirement dream, one currently for sale — and on sale — not just to retirees but also to the young and able, replacing vigor with apprehension, vision with quaintness, all progress arrested, vibrancy arrested, development and aspiration crushed into subservience doubling up as humility.
‘Remember it well: Anyone who speaks the language of acquiescence and nothing else . . .
Call it a monastic creed fit for cloisters and retreats full of men and women isolated from the world for whatever purpose, only it has escaped these retreats, it has spread beyond their walls to the general public, to be sold en masse to the world’s activity hubs, in the chambers of commerce and innovation, to what end is hard to say. The result is a pacified intelligence, an obedient and easy-to-control mind. In the name of psychological palliation this ostensible humility-slash-blind-faith stifles ambition, throttling the pulse of vitality in those with something to offer, convincing them to shrink-wrap their lives before they’ve lived them. To retreat in the face of achievement and settle down and be average and humble and content with what is given to them.
Call this approach to life a crime against the young and able. A golden cage for the religious. A holding cell for the traditional. A new age prison constructed from the debris of old teachings. A straitjacket wrapped around a life once upon a time dedicated to curiosity and discovery, crushing every member and ligament it touches in the name of palliation.
Consider it a scattergun cure that aims to right what’s wrong in the world by shooting everyone up with preemptive reservation. A chemotherapy for the mind.
Consider it an alien that jumps out of the chests of those who parrot the teachings of sages to mouth-rape and skull-fuck the minds of the proficient and vital, the able, the aspiring, all individuals filled with dreams and aspirations, ambition, verve, it hijacks their brains with the parasite of settlement in the name of spiritual relief. In the name of new age bullshit.
It’s one of the most cunning lies ever weaved. A dangerous narcotic beyond which the truth simmers, smolders like a fire, as does a true spirit, waiting to undo its damage.
The flame of a free spirit, it simmers beyond the false assurances of the parasitic mindset, waiting, breathing, expecting someone unfazed, undazed and clear in the head and heart, and secure enough not to fall for the fancy bullcrap-a-looza, someone untainted and forever aspiring to finally tear the ohm-ing veil and all such veils from his or her brow and see with one’s own eyes that life belongs to those who risk. That intelligence mandates ambition and hubris. That the future belongs to those who dare sail out of the harbor until they lose sight of the shore, and that those unwiling to risk their way into the future had better not try and make themselves feel good about their average choices by making those who traverse the distance feel like fools for doing so.
In other words, those who wish to settle are free to do so, as long as they stop forcing others to settle, too. As long as they stop skull-fucking people into collective submission in the name of an ill-defined peace of mind.
‘Anyone who speaks the language of acquiescence and nothing else, dismissing harder approaches altogether, has no idea what he or she is talking about. Or they’re hiding something, something vicious deep inside them, waiting to unleash it when you’re not looking, so it can spread its ways.’
Sometimes harm comes in the cutest, most beguiling, embryonic forms.
Sometimes it’s the smiles you have to watch out for. The peace-and-quiet facades. The beacons in the dark. The distress signals.
The things that go bump in the light.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE