Wednesday, 7 April 2010

3 endings

1) I finished writing my book on time, which felt very satisfying; and it's gone off to the publisher. So that's done (and the next project is begun).

2)There is this thing that Carlos Castaneda said (in which book I don't know): "… I have no personal history. One day I found out that it is no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it. If you have no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with your acts. And above all no one pins you down with their thoughts. It is best to erase all personal history, because this makes us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people."

I have become fascinated with this idea, which continually calls to me.

This summer I am contracted to work on a book which involves the recording of a certain amount of personal history: that will be the last shred of it. after that I am letting it float away like a balloon, or like a leaf on a river. I have no further use for my personal history now. I've noticed that in bureaucracies and institutions personal history becomes crucial, and one carries around a CV and a CRB check, two utility bills, a passport, a birth certificate and a driving license in a futile gesture of demonstration that one exists and is not dangerous. I am beginning to think I would prefer to be dangerous but not exist.

3)Do you know this poem by C.P.Cavafy? I love it. The third thing I am finishing with is socialising. I have spent too much of my life being with and talking with people whose preoccupations seem irrelevant to me, who are not at all interested in the visions and glimpses that fire my spirit, but want me there for the sakes of appearances and form - to fill an hour, a space, an event that would otherwise be empty. I am not going to do this any more.

Here is the test I shall apply:
If the occasion and the company are such that it is OK to say: "Religious faith can be very helpful and a surce of great strength" but not OK to say: "It's having a personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ and being plugged into the Holy Spirit that makes the difference" then I shouldn't be there.

The only conversations I am interested in, the only events I am interested in attending, are those that have the hallmarks of humility, simplicity and authenticity. I've seen as much posturing and snobbery as I need to in this lifetime, now.

So: the Lent book, with much struggle and essental intercession from praying friends, is complete: I am relinquishing my personal history; and I am no longer willing to socialise.


SimplyTim said...

To whom should I address my comments?

Let's see...Instead of "To Ember..."

I'll say..."To you who is presently a thought in my mind with it's accompanying history based on what you have previously written and which I experienced in such and such a way,

but who is now "you who is in an 'I am' space, such "space" or energy field which is radiating out and open to contact with other energy fields which have no agenda beyond being in their respective "I am" spaces, and radiating out with their unique purpose or expression"

I like it.

But since that's too long to repeat that each time, I'll address you as Ember as I have all along, but with a wink and a nod indicating that the longer name is more accurate.


Ember said...

Gosh! Tim, I'm very impressed!

I think what I mean is not 'Goodbye life hello amnesia', but allowing old stories that have outlived their usefulness to be laid to rest - chucking the baggage overboard.

Like in the novel 'Cold Comfort Farm' where the old aunt (and everyone else) would have been so much better off if she hadn't orientated her entire being around the fact that she once saw something nasty in the woodshed.


Ganeida said...

Um, is it ok to say hello in passing?

I have always been notorious for being *anti~social*. I find small talk almost impossible & most people get quite alarmed if you open the conversation with, " Hi Amee. Nice to meet you. Tell me your thoughts on God." See how they run!

Meanwhile congrats on finishing the book. I have some idea of how that feels. Well done! ☺ ~oh, & for introducing me to a new poet. Not as lyrical as Eliot but some of the same ideas & lovely to read.

MarilynAnn said...

How interesting, your decision about socialising. I'll be interested to hear how you get on with that one.

I too am at a stage in life when I feel able to make more choices re social obligations.

In the past when I have ventured on this road I have found that others project labels onto me such 'standoffish' 'unfriendly', and lots more. Then I don't get included in things I want to do.

It seems to be a bit of a trade off. At the moment there aren't many or any things I want to do that will be affected by other choices.

I hope we can share our experience a little further down the road.

MarilynAnn said...

PS, I have often felt that the pressure to 'join in' had more to do with others needing me to validate their own choices and needs, than a concern with my happiness or inclusion.

Social acceptance had to be on their terms and not mine.

I have been guilty of this too!

Didn't Jesus say something about 'let your yes be yes and your no be no' That is what has come to mind writing this.

Congratulations on the book
by the way.

Buzzfloyd said...

That sounds to me less like permanent truth and more like an allergic reaction to the Christian event I know you've been attending. The clash between your surroundings and your personal history are making you not want to socialise! (It is a bit more complicated than that, I'm sure.)

Socialising is great, in my opinion. If I didn't get to socialise, I'd go mad. What you're talking about is having your time wasted by fools, which is, I think, a different thing.

Also, I don't think you can ditch personal history. Choosing to detach yourself from your baggage is one thing (and I think requires a process more involved than just deciding to do it, otherwise what you get is an inability to see what is still there - like the reverse of 'the Emperor has no clothes') and excising your personal history quite another.

I appear to be all disagreement today! As my verification word says, dingstom.

Ember said...

"Dingstom" hahahahaha!!!

I like it.

I also like the people that comment on my blog.

You are all clever and funny and wise.


I will explain more what I mean anon, I think.

Maimly Buzz,I am taking about events where one is on show, acting a part, and cannot be real.

Spring Harvest was cool, I had a great time - inc much laughter with a crowd of friends from St Pixels. Now there's a community of people who know about personal struggle!