Monday, June 21, 2010

a mundane path to the great whatever

I am not spiritual. The thoughts that flow through my head would more accurately be described as mundane. It's an interesting word that, mundane. It's meaning of dull or tedious is actually brand-spanking new, dating from the 19th century. Prior to that it was a precise antonym for spiritual. Sure enough, it derives from the Latin mundus meaning world. Put it all together and I think it describes me nicely: I am worldly, without spirituality, and dull. Don't argue - you should see my dreams when I have them. They are tedious beyond all imagining.

The thought of spirituality appeals of course - I recall watching a Buddhist nun on the television describing her life of complete ascetic isolation and thinking, bravo that sounds fantastic, but mundane fellow that I am, I couldn't get past the question: how did she do it? Where did her food come from? If I wanted to do the same thing, how would I go about it? She provided no answers but I expect it's actually quite simple. She was part of an order and probably lived a couple hundred metres up the mountain at the back of the temple. Or something like that. I expect there was a person tasked with taking food to her a couple of times a day.

Anyway, whatever we call that journey, I'm doing it, albeit in a mundane fashion. For me there is no magic, there is no feel-good. I simply do without things and see if I crash and burn. So far, so good. I now drink nothing but water (and fresh fruit juice occasionally). I've pretty much ditched processed food and anything with sugar in it. And just lately I've made a rather large step and done away with bread. My stomach has been a disaster since forever and rather than try and figure out if I had coeliac disease, or irritable bowel syndrome, or wheat allergy (or any of those grab-bags of symptoms in search of a name) I just thought fuck it, I'll take the lot. Thus I no longer eat wheat or bread or gluten or yeast or any of that stuff. It's do-able and I've done it and it's fine. I haven't wigged out and nor do I sit around pining for anything. By the same token, there is no pay-off. I do it and that's all there is to it.

Is that selflessness? Perhaps we could call it training for selflessness? All I know is I can wander past shops and cafes and feel no desire. And there's no magic to this. I did it just by doing it. It's my mundane best at attempting to emulate the Buddha. Or it's just a diet, ha ha - The man who mistook his diet for spirituality.

Food is one thing, and everything else is another (Phwooar! I kick the arse of truth!). And in amongst all that, I've dispensed with an entire field of human endeavour - nightlife. Or is that social life? For many it's the same thing. Whatever it's called, I no longer have the clothes for it. Speaking of which - whilst I'd prefer not to look like shit, I've utterly ceased attempting to impress. Fashion is a thousand years ago. Now I just wear thongs (which Americans call flip-flops, and yes, I understand that this is hysterically funny but... only for you), where was I? Oh yes, thongs, Thai fisherman's pants, and whatever logo-less t-shirts I find at the charity shop (easier said than done in this bullshit corporate world). And my hair is long, not because I like long hair - I don't - but because anything else would necessitate me choosing a style and maintaining it every month.

Sure enough, in this bullshit tourist town with its beach esplanade that distinguishes itself from every other beach esplanade in no way at all, I am the fellow that isn't meant to be there. The spruikers don't even bother with me now. As I walk back from the supermarket with my granny trolley full of groceries, somehow they just know that I'm not going to come into their restaurant, or buy a time-share unit, or contribute to the fat-cat surf life saving club. I am the wrong guy and obvious with it.

It's all about sex, you know. Looks, that is. Charles Darwin, the serene and impassive avatar of life and death (as I imagine him) was right - for any entity that self-perpetuates, everything is subservient to the sex drive. He doesn't declare that to be bad - it just is. And it's this understanding that has driven a great deal of what I write here, particularly in regards to the death cult. But back to today's topic - for anyone wishing to shed desire, sex is the biggie to end all biggies. This topic too I approach in a mundane fashion.

For an unattractive fellow it's surprising how many women dig me (or dug me, at any rate). With almost no effort on my part women who fancied me seemed to keep turning up. It was never A Hard Day's Night (in spite of what I said in that Arundhati Roy thing), but it was okay. Yet sadly whatever appeal I might possess deserts me the moment the tables are turned and I attempt to pursue someone. It's a special knack I have. Thus the world of nobody's romantic entanglements divides into two groups: those who fancy me; and those I fancy - and never the twain shall meet.

Besides which, without any intent of cruelty I've broken too many hearts. It doesn't take much - honesty is all you need. They ask me if I love them and I answer no. Keeping in mind that for any number of women (and don't tell them this but...) I only went to bed with them out of politeness, ie. I didn't wish to make them unhappy by saying no. But whatever the intent, one way or another unhappiness would be the end result. And if there's one thing that kills me dead it's a woman weeping and all on account of me. As for the other way around, I don't mind getting dumped. It's nothing special.

Honestly, how many decades do you have to be crap at something before you give it up as a dead loss? Weirdly enough, in spite of my head being filled with the standard general-issue lust, I don't really miss it. I just file it in the same box as x-ray specs. Remember them? As a kid I'd see the ads for x-ray specs in the Spider-Man comics and be mesmerised - Gosh! Imagine being able to see ladies' bosoms! - but they were from some place far far away and never to be mine and that was fine. It really wasn't worth expending time or energy on, so I'd just 'file it'. In terms of dealing with desire, perhaps this is cheating? But does it matter?

Hmm... it just occurred to me that all this is the polar opposite to The Secret™. Remember that? It was huge on Oprah apparently. In the wee clip I saw, the boy who wanted a bicycle was instructed to obsess over it - cut out the ad, draw pictures of it, plaster your room in pix of the bike, and obsess, obsess, obsess. And magically you'll get the bike! God spare us - a primer for anti-buddhas. The corporations give three cheers. Was The Secret™ a psy-op? Sure, why not?

Never mind all that. For a mundane fellow, I'm doing pretty well. No spirituality, but the check-list of desires crossed off is really getting somewhere. Does it matter that the means by which I do so are so dull, so antithetical to everything in every ad ever? As the Buddha said, everything is here and now. And me paraphrasing: there's no heaven or hell. Nor gods, nor devils. The Buddha is dead and Maitreya ever in the future.

Others say otherwise of course, but people say lots of things. I'd love it if all that stuff were true, but who wouldn't? It occurs to me that a desire for magic says more about desire than it does about magic. Who am I calling? What do I want with them? What would they want with me? Besides, if one was seeking selflessness, how would that be granted? Ting! You are now selfless! Me - Yay, that's great! Just what I always wanted! Never mind the contradiction - somehow I don't think so. Somehow I think that a sheer dull slog is all that there is.

And you know what, perhaps there's not any spirituality to be arrived at, and me, I'll never find it - doomed to spend the rest of my life as a mundane toiler striving for some kind of DIY whatever. But whatever! If there's nothing in it for me and none are harmed, what's the problem?* (*Oprah Winfrey, the owners of the little ™ that comes at the end of The Secret™, along with other assorted corporate motherfuckers and death cult members are excused from answering.)

And so I continue. One foot goes in front of the other and all as unmagical as can be.


A. Peasant said...

so nobs, if you were an animal, what would you be?

su said...


have you ever considered the fucking miracle involved in putting one foot in front of the other.

nothing ordinary about that at all.
extraordinary in its ordinariness.

and never the twain shall meet - a scene i understand well.

Franz said...

Right, there's a fix for all this.

A friend of mine from my navy days. Let's call him Pablo. Still in Peru where he settled after our fleet days and 40 years on we swap notes. ALL THAT FOLLOWS IS TRUE:

This lady had colon spasm. Nearly died and a doctor (after trying all the meds in pharmaland) told her to eat nothing but boiled potatoes for a few days, see what shakes. She did. In a week she was whole and new. Stayed on nothing but boiled potatoes for years. Had the cleanest arteries in the world, was in amazing health, but her mind...

Told Pablo and he responded: Me, he says, mostly Incan. The Inca Empire invented the potato. Others helped a bit, but the Incas were the Tom Edisons of that era, sorry.

There were times when the Incans could get nothing else, had to survive on the spud. In those times they always rose to great highs of splendor, achievment, sometimes high weirdness. The Incas were and odd, happy empire, and just like their N. African counterparts, the Egyptians, most of their history has been distorted or suppressed by TPTB all over the world. If the truth ever got out... it would be the end for the Power Freaks for sure.

Pablo insists it's NOT the psychoactives in spuds that do the trick. POTATOES NOT PROZAC is a big wank, as is the "potato fast" which as a quick weight loss scam.

It's this: Potatoes are the next best thing to being fed by direct sunlight (whether or not you believe THAT's possible) and this time Pablo and I both put our heads together and figured it out.

What we humans call "food" is actually a biophotonic phenomenon. (Google up an image search on "biophotons" they might still have some of the pretty pictures up). The more LIGHT you get in what you eat, the more you become the You-of-Light, which actually allows you to live between worlds, access things not available to gross matter.

Many Incans today, Pablo tells me, live in the high passes of the Andes and stick to the old ways. The light is in them, and Pablo says they can see the end of the Dark Age we live in coming on quite soon. Pablo has been sticking to one small regular meal per day, only potatoes otherwise, the better to make a total switch when the time comes. Since the Gulf has gone to oil, I've intermittently joined in.

Sorry for the techno-shaman rant. But anyone doing a search on potato fasting, biophotons, living food or the like will find I'm not totally full of shit either. Pablo knows more, and I'm trying to get him to write some of it down.


nobody said...

Thanks Frank,

Was that woman allowed to have a little sour cream or yoghourt on her spuds? I'm pretty hardcore but just boiled spuds garnished with nothing sounds like a whole new level of intense. Actually, between roast veggies, mashed potatoes, and Irish stew, we eat a lot of spuds here. Unadulterated Irish stock, me.

AP, are you serious? I was never sure if that what animal would you be thing was for real or just a party trick. But if I had to answer I'd be a bird of course. And amongst birds I'd be a swallow - a happy little twitterer beyond any predators, food always plentiful, and snug and warm at night.

And thanks Su. Well this is true but it's easy to forget to be bedazzled, ha ha.

Otherwise I should explain that this effort here is all connected to those cryptic comments I made after the last piece about one day this blog will end etc. I've been trying to put it all together as one piece but I failed. So now it'll be in several pieces and fingers crossed they each make sense on their own. Does this one make sense on its own? I can no longer tell. Not forgetting of course that other things lob up, direct the course of matters and suddenly it's about something else altogether. (I suspect Kikz will know what I mean, he said cryptically, smiley winky thing).

Otherwise, I can always be trusted to have the focus of a laser on a mirror ball.

Anonymous said...

Some scientists think that consciousness can exist without the body.

- Aangirfan

Penny said...

the secret

I think it was nonsense.

but that is just me!

good point su, the miracle of putting one foot in front of the other.

When you watch an infant learn to do it, you realize, it really isn't that easy.

You don't just hop up one day and walk.

A. Peasant said...

yes of course i'm serious.

well i believe it was frank mccourt who said on page 1 of angela's ashes that a happy childhood is hardly worth remembering.

and he didn't say it but a miserable childhood will definitely get you in touch with your inner animal.

slozo said...

I know that feeling you describe in terms of soulmates, Nobody . . . in my late twenties and into the thirties, I travelled the earth aimlessly, not specifically looking for my lady, but certainly ready and open to the idea. Tonnes of single girls, none of them for me. Then I gave up, and she found me herself . . . so I guess I was lucky.

Maybe you just need to travel.

Seriously, the schtick about doing the same thing and expecting change being crazy . . . it is true, my friend. And in terms of fulfilling the very human want and need of a fellow soulmate and lover, it really pays to change your scene if what you're looking for isn't around. At worst, you travel around and meet lots of cool people and get in little adventures and see lots of neat new things . . . at best, well, magic happens.

Of course, I'm a bloke for whom many nagging questions has the answer, "walk the earth".
I'm lonely? - walk the earth
I can't find anyone interesting/inspiring? Walk the earth.
I feel mundane, and bored with my situation - walk the earth.
I need inspiration - ok, you get the picture.

Or maybe not.

Go walk the earth, my friend.
Then tell us about it. :)

nobody said...

Hullo Aang, and they could be right! I've just never seen it myself. And thanks Pen.

AP - Um, okay. So did I fail? Wrong critter? Wait a minute, I said that I was dull - and there you have it, I had a happy childhood. Or happy enough at any rate. Otherwise it sounds like you're making an argument for childhood ritual abuse, ha ha. Honestly, all those SRA survivors have all sorts of spooky abilities. But I'm thinking me, I'd rather have the happy childhood.

Slozo - Spooky mate! Wait for the next posting.

Destiny said...

"I now drink nothing but water - I've made a rather large step and done away with bread."

I tried to give up coffee but the headachey ( I know this word does not exist I made it up ) withdrawal just got too much for me and I don't think I could ever give up bread - so you have done exceptionally well.

"All I know is I can wander past shops and cafes and feel no desire."

You are not missing much - natural home cooking is as good if not better than cafe and restaurant food and regards the thongs - aren't they a compulsory part of the Australian National dress code ? God bare feet were all the go in Western Australia I reckon West Australians would have to have the toughest dirtiest feet in Australia lol I know I did as a kid.

"And my hair is long, not because I like long hair - I don't - but because anything else would necessitate me choosing a style and maintaining it every month."

You could shave it ??

"They ask me if I love them and I answer no."

But did you LIKE them ??

Personally I believe in the philosophy behind " The secret " - but then I believe in magical/ spiritual realms of thought - what I do not like about the secret is the concept that people " feel " or " think " it is okay to take / want more than one really needs - it's like robbing Peter to pay Paul .

The most important thing is - Are you happy / content ? Without all the superficiality in your life ?

nobody said...

Destiny, how are you? Haven't seen you for yonks. Headachy is a word, it's in the dictionary and everything. It only lasts a day or two, you know. For me giving up coffee was the easiest thing. One headachy day and then nothing, no cravings at all. Everything else sings a siren song but coffee doesn't have one.

And like them? Of course I liked them. They were lovely girls who certainly deserved better than me, ha ha. Off to the next page!

Bleeding Pom said...

Splendid post from the Antipodean sage.

A. Peasant said...

ha, well yes i remember you saying you did have a happy childhood. that's why you think my question was a party trick. anyway it's not important. i second slozo's advice.

Destiny said...

If you did not want me posting on your haiku page you just should of said ?

nobody said...

Hey Destiny, sorry for any misunderstanding. Do pop back over to the haiku blog since your haiku seems to be there, along with an explanation that should sort you out. Otherwise nice haiku mate!