6th December 2013
Coeur de lion Nelson Mandela! All men die. Not all men truly live. But Madiba did!
Sometimes you have to take stock. You have to ask yourself why you do what you do. I have to wonder why I spend my life as a pen-pusher (as Kazantzakis would have said.) Why do I bother writing? Why do I bother with the books and the blogs, with the tweets? Why do I bother at all?
Quite apart from the creative urge, here is why: it matters to me that we as a race need a new paradigm. I should probably say, we as Westerners need a new paradigm, but there isn't much of what is not the West that has not been infiltrated. Only a few untouched outposts in the rain forest remain. But the bulldozers are on the way, and I don't just mean tractors, I mean this disease we call western civilisation which is a moving body with no heart.
But then there are the physicists in the West who live in an entirely different universe than the common person. They are working at the level of sub-atomic particles and the result is a new paradigm. Once the word gets out. I have to ask who is holding it back? Once we get it, we will not be able to view experience in the same old way, and that will change everything. Thousands of years ago, sages from all corners of the world were saying, there's not really anything there, and it doesn't matter because that's not what is important! That was the ancient paradigm. Now the physicists, those former slaves of materialism, are saying essentially the same thing.
I just don't understand why there exists this enormous gap in time from the father of quantum physics, Einstein, almost a hundred years ago, to us now walking about the streets with our staunch belief in solid space, solid time, solid politics, solid religion. We are a constipated mass of humanity lacking the fluidity that those in the rain forest might still have, those for whom the earth is still infused with the heavens. Everything for us is fixed. If you live in America, then the conservative party will play on this notion of constipated inertia by running around screaming about the dangers of new-fangled socialism, as if half the world isn't already happily socialist. Much more happily socialist than capitalist America, if you go by the surveys.
So we need a new paradigm, one that involves circles and not pyramids. The pyramid power structure belongs to the days of kings and explorers and popes sanctioning extermination of native populations and creating manifest lies like manifest destiny. We need a new paradigm where the people of the world negotiate and cooperate. We need the circle of elders, not the kings, not the presidents, not the CEO's, not the popes or the priests. And, just as a matter of historical fact, those circle of elders so romantically portrayed in Hollywood as gatherings of pipe-puffing gentlemen in feather head dresses was just as likely to be comprised of women. It was only when the male powers-that-were who conquered this land insisted on negotiating (or so they said) with men from the indigenous people, that the male "chief" arose, the one we recognise who held up his hand and said "How," who spoke uggy wuggy for Hollywood audiences - that's when the women of the native peoples lost their status.
Here's what I think, and why this all matters to me: a plane load of people on 9/11 were held hostage by two guys with box cutters. The world today is being held hostage by a bunch of powerful box cutters at the top of the pyramid. And we need a new paradigm, folks.
I don't write for the prettiness of words, though I often read for that reason. I don't come up with plots because they might be mildly amusing, because book groups might decide that I know how to put a sentence together. What I want is for people to say: I'd never thought of that before; I'd never thought how the world would look differently if we as a race hadn't bought into the pyramid scheme. We can have all the technology we want, and it would have come anyway, but we need to find a new place for the sacred circle. There is a very big reason that the circle was sacred to our far ancestors. Our entire survival might rest on our seeing that.
We need a new paradigm, because the old one simply doesn't work. Here we are on the brink of 2014 with the ice caps melting, with the deserts spreading, with the earth's clean water in serious jeopardy, with the Middle East about to implode, with rampant human rights abuse. We need to stop listening to the old paradigm, which says wealth equals happiness. We need to stop seeing ourselves as consumers and take back our humanity.
I know I harp on about loss of the sacred feminine and about Scottish independence, but really, both are about this same change in paradigm I am speaking of. My book is about holding a light to the so-called "dark ages." Dark because of what? Because it lacked the "pure light of reason?" Because it was pagan and not Christian? Look where the pure light of reason has brought us? It has divided our world into black and white, into heart and head, into a sterile atmosphere where "heart talk," or "spirit talk" or "woman talk" is thought of as inferior.
We need to stop arguing about oil, and we need to stop listening to the heart of darkness that says man lives by bread alone, by the Rolex watches and the fast cars and other icons of male prowess. I'm not letting women off the hook, because there are many women who have bought into this insanity. But it is not in our nature: we are creatures of the circle, not the pyramid, as I think my book shows. And the sequel shows even more.
Scotland - well, that's a whole rant unto itself. Tune back in next week. (Maybe.) Suffice it to say that one small voice in one corner of the world saying "Enough!" to colonialism and imperialistic greed can move mountains.
Here endeth the rant. But somebody has to take a stand. Mendela did.
This is why I bother.