Monday, December 31, 2012

paul sheehan from the herald writes this interesting piece today, thought i'd share it with you seeing it's the end of the year, i think it really is a great piece of writing and nialll furgurson is right on the money, pardon the pun!

The future is accelerating. It is racing towards us faster than ever in our collective lives. How can that be known, you must ask, given that the future hasn't happened yet. It hasn't happened but a long-term pattern of accelerating life-cycles of societies is established.
''This is a deep trend of history,'' writes a futurologist, Michael Lee, in a new book, Knowing Our Future. ''It would be foolish to believe this [deep trend] can be easily reversed … Civilisations have life cycles, too, and their durations are shrinking over time.
''The lifespan of socio-political empires averaged 2000 years for a period of four millennia, but then more than halved with the next 1000 years of history. This sharp decrease in the lifespan of civilisations accelerated yet again in the following 500 years of history, dropping to a little over one-tenth of their average duration in ancient times.''
Lee's study of this deep trend was in part based on the work of Robert Samet, a civil engineer and futurologist who traced the duration of societies over history. In Long-Range Futures Research (2008), he described a striking shrinkage in the longevity of empires and cultures: ''The earliest civilisations between 3500 BC and AD 500 last for an average of 2000 years … In the period from AD 500-1500, the average duration was 500 to 1000 years … since AD 1500 … the average duration has been 200 to 500 years.''
Signs of an accelerating pattern of vulnerability and decline in our own western model of society are offered by the world's most famous economic historian, Professor Niall Ferguson. This year he used the Reith Lectures to chart the elements of decay in the Western civilisation. He gave his lecture series the gloomy and arresting title, The Great Degeneration, just released as a book.
He argues that advanced Western societies are developing sclerosis, manifest in the envelopment of life in bureaucratic and legal red tape. The most advanced economies are also becoming increasingly mendicant societies, evidenced by the unsustainable growth of social welfare spending in the European Union, the United States and, in a longer-term trend, Australia.
Among the telling low-lights offered by The Great Degeneration:
  •   The advanced nations which have created public and private debt larger than their gross domestic products confront a narrow range of options. They must raise the rate of growth above the rate of interest. If they cannot, they must default on a large proportion of public debt. Or wipe out debts via currency depreciation and inflation.
  •   The real rate of structural unemployment is concealed by the mendicant state. In the three years from June 2009 to June 2012, the world's largest economy, the US, created 2.4 million jobs but 3.3 million Americans were awarded disabled worker benefits. ''Unemployment is being concealed - and rendered permanent - in ways all too familiar to Europeans.''
  •   The financial crisis in 2007 had its origins in over-complex regulations not just misguided deregulation.
  •  ''All political systems are likely to succumb to sclerosis, mainly because of rent-seeking activities by organised interest groups.''
  •  The rule of law is increasingly being superseded and displaced by the rule of lawyers.
If this lecture series could be summed up in a single sentence it is this: when a majority of people vote for a living rather than work for a living, democracy, freedom and living standards are all in a lock-step of decline.
Ferguson is also a noted critic of casino capitalism but even his concerns about the emerging dominance of the vast financial derivatives market pale when compared with the details provided in another book published this year, Dark Pools, by a Wall Street Journal reporter, Scott Patterson.
The accelerating cycles of capitalism's creative disruption have reached a new velocity with the basic form known as stock trading. Sixty years ago, the average stock trade involved buying and holding a stock for four years. By 2000, that average holding period had shrunk to eight months. By 2008, it was two months. By 2011, it was 22 seconds. It would be even less now.
Patterson describes the global financial market as ''a worldwide matrix of dazzlingly complex algorithms, interlinked computer hubs the size of football fields, and high-octane trading robots guided by the latest advances in artificial intelligence''.
''With electronic trading, a placeless, faceless, post-modern cyber-market in which computers communicated at warp speed, that physical sense of the market's flow had vanished … Regular investors, of course, had little idea about the massive transfer of wealth that was taking place.''
The transfer of wealth upwards over the past quarter-century is well documented as a byproduct of global capitalism.
Then there is climate change, an encompassing process of accelerating change and disruption. The ideology of manic economic growth, driven by the false wisdom that technology can conquer problems caused by technology, is clearly having a global impact on the environment caused by the reality that 7 billion people now live on the planet and the average person is consuming far more than ever before in history. That this must significantly affect not just the environment but the global climate invokes the most basic and self-evident commonsense.
The world's scientific community has presented a compelling case that the acceleration of global consumption is in turn accelerating the much deeper natural pattern of climate change.
If you feel like life around you is speeding up, especially the cycle of invention to obsolescence, it's not you, it's everyone and everything

Sunday, December 30, 2012

when i was a kid i was sick and had to stay in bed for a week, my mum went to the library and brought me a pile of books to read, i always loved books and reading and this is a very early memory of one of the books that first bewitched me. i was about six or seven and the book was, the hobbit, the original version with the colour plates.
i don't know, i escaped into that book, it was the first time i think a book just opened up and swallowed me up, as i recall.
the strange characters at the beginning all invading poor bilbo's home, the mysterious wise gandalf, it was so funny and quaint and these songs they sung, landscapes just branched from this book, trees were alive, everything had conciousness and most of all it was joyous and funny, but then to gradually to really notice the serious side of the story kicks in, and suddenly bilbo is fighting trolls who are arguing about how to cook dwarfs and there's that terrifying element that creeps in of a mysterious dark force operating somewhere in the world.
i loved the book, i read all of them but stopped at the simirillion, i think i'd done my tolkien dash by then.
i did see the lord of the rings trilogy by peter jackson and i liked them a lot but i always felt the story had jumped ahead of itself and should have started with the hobbit. 
jackson has just released the hobbit, it got really bad reviews  the media said it was to long, to lingering and slow. australian reviews are always out of whack, they seem to follow some political agenda, if the film don't meet the reviewers memetic value then it's trashed. batman rises is a classic case, but i have always found australian reviewers to be way of the mark and when they trash something i usually goo and see it. the film transposition of the hobbit is nothing short of brilliant, i loved it, i absolutely loved this film, for it met all my expectations of how tolkien should be filmed. don't take my word for it, go see it in 3d and make your own mind up, i am so looking forwards to the next in the series because it appears jackson is filming the novel as a trilogy, which is fine by me, the book the hobbit was in three parts originally.

Friday, December 28, 2012

it's going to take a week before my telecommunications kick in, i have infrequent access to the net, phones and world at large, so instead i work on the garden, removing dead things, hacking back at the wild, shaping and taming it into some sort of pleasing aesthetic. this is new for me, gardens, i usually just let them do their own thing, i will find some sort of harmony point, i like the wild trees behind me, i love the knowledge that it's there but in my own garden i need to reflect something of myself.
i use tools i have never even picked up before, hacking, chopping, pruning,cutting things, blades. the garden is filled with leaves and debris, branches and strange red bark peeled away from huge tree limbs and curled up into giant shavings, they are everywhere. 
in the front garden i have to crawl around the pond and clean the pump, cutting away at some roots that are draining the water away, scooping up dead matter from the water surface, carefully making peace with the water dragons that float in the water, just their eyes above the surface peeking out at me curiously. we have an understanding that they can stay and be guardians of the pond as long as they don't bite me or my dog. my dogs not convinced and he watches from a distance. 
the huge palms have lost a number of fronds, they hang caught in the tree stuck up high, so i pull them down, it's an endless task, dragging them out. the heat kicks in, it's back breaking work, i'm covered in sweat and slowly it's beginning to take some sort of shape.
the front garden is more advanced than the back, it's going to require maintained, and the pond needs a professional clean but the back garden may take a few years, i do have a plan, i can't execute it all at once, but i've begun the process. while there are no telecommunications i may as well get a start on this. and when the rain comes again, there's always the rest of my books to put away.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

it's xmas, the rain falls non stop, my home has a leak, i spend the day attempting to stop mt floor flooding, i wonder if the river will burst and flood my home, i wonder why i spend so much time being anxious about fire, outside it just looks wet and waterlogged, the deck is like a water pastel, the skies are black, i place a bucket under the leak and crawl back to bed. i spend the whole day asleep, i get up once to skype a few people, i return to bed, outside the rain hits the pond, i hear it splash as i sink into a dream or two, xmas day is washed away.

Monday, December 24, 2012

the drive these days requires a stretch of highway, massive rocks either side of me, always changing depending on the suns movements, sometimes it's blazing red rock, sometimes white, sometimes brown or green, and there's always the water stretching out, clouds and blue skies, i love this road except for the cars and trucks, night times it's dangerous as super trucks whizz past speeding and rolling, my car gets knocked about in their vortex, i always feel slightly anxious as they zoom past. 
tonight the heat burst open the cloud and storm comes out of the dark, rain falls heavily as we clock 120ks plus, lightning flash thunder clap, it's rendered the skies open, a crack in space, the rock just a dark shadow suddenly reveals surface, portals open and close, i weave in and out of traffic, slowing down to match the rhythm of an internal clock, sometimes i have to slow down and let people overtake me, other times i am a speed freak but my concentration is unbroken, my eyes focused, my mind is everywhere and on the two parallel lines ahead, awareness and some sort of meditation, part hypnotic, i plant my own suggestion. all this rain, it will grow.
heat closed in, oppressive gravity, skin soaked in a layer of viscose slime, just like the moment we crawled from that plasmic soup at that other point on the evolutionary ladder. complex cellular entities forming new organs, for new challenges, the physical form is adaptation, this is what intelligent life does, it adapts, we are not separated from other life forms, for connection is what we are not separation.
i reach out, i stretch across time and space, i reach through meme, i reach though caste i reach through belief, i reach and my fingers p[ass through skin, touching deep into your heart, your soul, bigger, thief, criminal, fool, whore, terrorist, i don't care, you are what you are, but now is the time for letting it go, let it all go, leave your mind, leave it behind, pay no heed, it's all background noise, hope and despair, love and hate, just pinpoints on a map we can't read, it's not the territory, the territory is deed, action, now.
christ was killed by a bunch of guys who didn't know what they were doing, a bunch of kids at skool were killed by the same force, it's not evil, it's us, our desperation, our fear our ignorance. only love will save you, not that wishy washy love that we all want, but that immovable force, the one that stops tanks, the one that bends time, the love is coming.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

smooth transition into new operating systems, space control are set for the heart of the suns, we have full integrity, we have full intent, we are travelling faster than it feels, moving in directions our instruments cannot even comprehend, we are leaving this time space for something slightly more interesting, yeah peace and love baby, peace and harmony, rain forests spurt out information, oceans currents move in mysterious ways. 
we detach from this system, it has no influence, no control, no hold, no method, no guru, there are detractors who say it's not the end.
i tell you, there never was an end, it's cycles, just movement, dimensional shifts are not endings, we just left a global consciousness for a galactic one, next cycle will be universal consciousness, a few hundred years away for most humans but some will get there sooner, some already are, it's located in the heart man, not the mind, the brain or the eyes, the heart.
the thinking mans heart, beats and pumps but it also intuits information.
don't suscribe to the morons in the media cycle who pump out doomsday cult blues, don't subscribe to the idiots who party like it's the last day, don't subscribe to anything you don't feel in your heart.
and if it's closed or shut, then you ain't feeling nothing. 
logic and reason, left hand tools, for the civilisations rise from reality into illusion, we all want something pure and real, it's not just an idea made real, it's not the shape of the building or the layers of paint on canvass, the arrangement of words on paper, it has to be more than numbers, i'd say it's laying in the beauty, for that's divine. you can give a monkey a typewriter and over a million years you may get something, but it won't be driven by a need to meet the divine. but good art, that's what it is, an expression, a plea, a yearning. 
the song block by the church captures this i think, i don't know how or why but there's a power in this song, a healing, it's a strange lyric as steve sings about scenes from the city of sydney, and then the chorus kicks in, everything slows done, stripped down to the simple truth, 'if you hold still, i'll make you beautiful.'
the intent is there, it's beautiful, the song is rich with intention, the guitars have intent, as they rise up into that powerful driving force, the drumming has much intent as they just keep that beat and then with guitars made visible the beat gets louder and louder, pumping through the song and fading out back to the beat, and then we hear tim's graceful simplicity and unpredictability as he once again comes back with all power, weaving this song into form. the effects on the vocals are brilliant, a harmony, it fills the world and then back to the chorus, and again a little space rock touch and blast off we are in some new area now, guitars crash, drums roll and pound, those power chords splice through, chop and some magic lead outro, it's just a perfect song to describe a new reality.

Monday, December 17, 2012

i'm officially out of the loop, news feed gone dead, it filters through, little snippets of tragic humanity, but no political analysis, it's detox, dieta, gotta rid myself of the human condition and find my human condition. 
yeah obama, you get out there and rid the usa of guns and i'll vote for you forever. any society where children are shot at skool is terminally ill, there's no doubt about that. so mr. b, do your thing, don't just talk the talk brother, be a man and stop the fucking rotten gun people. you're the prez man!
but america is a strange place, contradictions abound, you're free to carry a gun cos that's what the second amendment says, but that was written when people were saner, there was no tv or media glamorizing death dealers. these days, it's a glamour industry, girls fall in love with violent men, write letters to mass murders, movies and tv shows pour our murder and violence, but dare to breast feed in public and your fucking controversial and indecent.
yeah i'm detuned, out the loop, the human race is run baby, it's time to grow some herbs and plant some dreams. at least for a few weeks. 

stillness greets me this morning, it hangs in the atmosphere like a blanket of fate, it fills the doors and rooms like an invisible cloud, it does nothing but linger, such is the immovability of stillness. i'm wandering through it, the zen me, each step considered for i want not to disturb its slumber. outside i can hear the morning, the birds zip around, the dog scratching its ear, the river running, the breeze blowing through the gardens. i gaze out through the windows, i gaze at the movement, and feel as though i am in a bubble, in the centre of something, the eye of the hurricane, the tooth of a tiger, something peaceful and protected. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

at the down syndrome disco i am assisting with the hundreds of extra chromosoned people as they wait to load up on beer and food, some of these people have already had far to much to drink but it's xmas and i'm not one to spoil anyone fun. there's the usual hanky panky as the guys chase the girls, the girls shriek and cavort like imps set free from entrapment, it's getting messy, and i attempt to chat up one of the other volunteers  she's got a book so i ask her what she's reading. 
'it's about the people who have near death experiences.'
'wow, i've had a few.'
'oh this author says they are related to the occult and therefore are intrinsicly evil.'
'well that's just wrong' i say feeling nervous that this crazy lady is probably a born again christian and now i'm stuck with her for the whole night. 'well maybe the author never ever had a near death experience, i would have thought that the consideration of life after death is highly scientific, after all energy can't be destroyed only changed.'
she's giving me that blank expression, the one that born again people have. i shake my head, never fails to amaze me how people can reject the idea of reincarnation, it's fucking obvious to me.
anyway's the downs syndrome people are all sitting around waiting for something to happen, they all look happy and joyous, hugging and kissing, shaking hands, it's a good atmosphere but no one is dancing. the dj plays all the classics, springsteen, prince, the rolling stones and then, at the first note of dancing queen, abba these little people are up and doing all the moves, my my, i've never seen anything like it, the place comes alive as disco lights flash and glitter-balls twirl, we are on the abba express, it's abba non stop now, and i feel very left out. why don't i feel this type of joy at the sound of 'waterloo' and 'money money money.' 
am i missing something?
i am the only soul sitting down, even the born again girl is frocking around in her pink dress looking like she's just snorted some pixie dust. i really feel outta place, it's saturday night, i should be at home writing my book, a song, or at least in a coffee shop chatting to a sexy norwegian backpacker with nice eyes and a soft unearthly voice like an angel. these downs syndrome people know how to have a good time, not like me, miserable old fool!

sun going down here, i fall into soft bliss, a remote detachment, i see only the birds, the bees, the trees and the flowers bloom. i hear only the sweet sound of running water and fish jumping, i can see the movement of invisible strings everywhere and it's all perfect, old vishnu and jehovah, old alien from planet xy, the universe itself is filled with wonders and magick and there is man. such a paradoxical entity, struggling with this and wrestling with that, building structures that touch the face of gods, creating music for them, writing works of poems and doing healing, dealing in love and all it's limitless qualities. but there's a strange glitch in the program, don't dispair, it's beyond our control for we can only be masters of our selves, no one else.
and some whacked out kid in a skool steals his mums weapons and shoots up his teachers and some little children. his mum didn't love him, his teachers told him off, his peers may have pushed him, his voices may have goaded him, his heart must have closed up, his ears tuned in to radio death, his eye must be fixed on the cross-hairs and his mind must have snapped. who knows?
all we know is some children who were in skool were killed, some brave teachers saved lives, some were shot, a lot of people died.
the gunboy even shot his mother and then the police shot him.
it's the flip side, it's the stuff of decay and anti life, it's the entropy eating away at the innocent. what does it mean?
it means nothing, it's just bad news, really bad fucking news. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

in their infinite wisdom the universe created beauty, and this is where i reside, the gentle breeze crosses through the trees straight into mission control, the sound of water running and the stillness all add to the tranquility. 
i take a drive with pan, we have to explore the area, i take a left at the x roads, head down a winding road, discover the dog cleaning place and take pan in for a clean, we buy some dog treats and i ask the vet about a place called buddha garden which i heard is someplace i would like. it turns out he owns it, plus he's a reader and reading a book we discuss. i'm impressed by how friendly everyone is up here, so very different from sydney.
the drive to the buddha garden is lovely, a country road on a beautiful day, we pass wineries and farms and when i walk into the gardens, wow, it's balinese influence is gorgeous, immediately i am at home here, i talk to the lady who runs the healing centre, i see some visionary art, i discuss music and plants and drink a perfect coffee. oh yes this is a fantastic place, i'll post pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

i'm walking pan when we get caught up in a huge rainstorm, everything gets wet, we stand by a river that looks ike a monet painting, the skies are black, rain keeps falling, down down. i see my town has it's very own happy high herbs shop, in my local shopping centre, i pop in and say high!
the next day i watch the river roll by, i watch the strange animals swoop into my garden, the sound of natural things is perfect, no humans, no machines, no noise. i moved here primarily because it was quiet and i need some peace, the old place was noisy and loud, it interfered with my thoughts, i require tranquility these days and i find it here.
the pond man comes, he looks at the pond, the big fish is ill, some sort of infection, it will kill him. this makes me sad, i like that big fish i even named him thoreau. staring at the ponds surface i notice lots of babies swimming around, that's good, and a huge water dragon slips in making a splash. 
we check one another out, i tell him he can stay, he grabs an insect that strays to close to his face. pond life is all action.

Monday, December 10, 2012

slowly things fall into place, one small step at a time becomes one giant leap, one leap crosses a lot of ground, i move fast when it comes to moving, yeah just like any time traveler i get there before i leave.
my new place is beginning to look like home, books find their way into their new places, it's slightly chaotic now, no real system anymore, random just appears to work. 
sofas are moved into a reasonable spot where they can be used, my computers are set up and i am online wi-fi enabled, tv works although i'm in new territory with all these strange new channels. the garden gets a soaking from the downpour, it's growing before my eyes, the grass is getting longer, even pan watches bemused, our garden looks good but needs work. inside things find their home, a natural place, i think by the end of the week i will have moved most of my stuff to where it needs to be.
the second book cull is massive, it's quite incredible as i fill up a hockey bag with so many books i can't actually lift them. oh well, i cull without mercy, i'm a culling books now like it was in my blood, it's painless and liberating but i doubt i'll repeat it again.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

two nights, the church play a blistering set filled with classics and obscurities, exquisite interplay between the guitars, some masterful jewels for those with discerning ears, the little bit at the end of 'appalachia' between peter and marty was beautifully executed and the bass and drums as usual with the energy that young bands would kill to possess. down the front the sound gets a little distorted, but i want to be up close, it's been a long time between drinks and i need my fill. the best band in the universe, what else can you say!

second night the band is support to devo and simple minds, they play a short and blistering set of old classics, even the devo and minds people who half fill the ent. cent. are impressed.
devo didn't work for me, i don't like them much, i don't like the devolution concept, i think it's probably to american orientated, a concept which fits the united states but not me personally, i don't like their songs that much, the drummer is a robot, mesmerizing but generally i am bored. 
simple minds, a band i do love are a dinosaur from stadiums and arenas but they drifted from art rock to showmanship and i think something is missing, even though they play a good back catalogue jim kerrs audience participation is not my cup of tea, i think i'd prefer the church as the main band and simple minds as support, that would be justice. however it's a good set list and it's splendid to hear 'love song', 'the american', 'somewhere in summer time', 'promised you a miracle' again.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

exhausted from packing, shifting boxes and driving up and down the coastline, working long hours and dealing with crisis after crises, friends let me down, but there's kindness from strangers, sydney in the middle of some weird heat wave, temperature rising, tempers fray, the mercury boiling, i'm sweating now 24/7, it's just the nature of living in this heat, it's heat that eats you up, burns you, it's more than tropical, it's post tropical, i love it, i like the way i stop eating and just drink cold water, i like the way my sweat is clear and clean, i like the way i shave my face and head, no more beard, i feel free but weighed down none the less. 
the new place is, well it's empty, soon to be full, i have to buy things i never really thought i would, a broom, a hose, a pair of gardening gloves and some fish food for my koi. 
in the blistering sun i stand upon the bridge and feed the fish, they must be hungry, a big mouth surfaces and grabs the food almost before it hits the surface. i watch the fish eat, they seem grateful, tomorrow is the big move, i sit in the empty house enjoying the space and peace, i just want to sleep for a thousand years but there's so much to do, and two church gigs to see this week. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

so much going on, time spins around in some centrifuge, i'm cought up in so many things, i can't quite keep hold. loosing my grip, stressed out to the point my body is crashing, my car is failing, my emotions are ripped apart by family dynamics, my head hurts with pressure at work, files and reports, deadlines, complex case management issues, i miss my son, i live in a house filled with boxes, my life in books, the rest of my stuff hangs in the balance, papers everywhere, am i coming or going, am i sliding of the edge of the world into an abyss, i feel more lost today than ever, stateless. i have no home, i am in-between everything, floating in forces i can't quite grip. so i let everything go, it's my default position, what else can you do, cling to being right, cling to an idea, cling to the emotion, cling to hurt and pain, cling to the relentless decline of the body, cling to money, cling to car, cling to anger, cling to constructs that just don't work, clinging will kill me, so i open my hands and surrender. i love everyone, i don't want to fight, i don't want enemies, i don't want discord but it appears this is what i find in my family, friends, politics, institutions and ideas.
this morning my landlord said to me, 'accept everything.'
but it's so hard to accept the things that want to crush you. acceptance will bring peace i guess but it hurts so deeply at the same time, accept it, accept acceptance. yeah, what can i do?
it's good advice.
they say moving is the most stressful event after divorce, i've been through worse, i can handle it but it's a lonely event, very isolating as i filter my life into various boxes i come across strange lost things, letters, photographs and postcards.
i found a love letter from a girl i loved, wow, it was beautiful, she must have loved me, her words were heartfelt.
i found a photograph of jakob, aged about three, looking so beautiful and a hand made card he made me, it was a poem about my love of books and reading. it was quite funny. a picture of my mum in her wedding dress, quite the glamorous lady. all these mementoes fill me with all kinds of strange emotions, but i have to get on with the packing.
i've culled my books again, go down to the exchange where my dealer offers me 150 bucks in credit, i pick up a big book on north american indians, three high piles of books for one single volume. that's a good cull!
records, i have so much vinyl, i should give them away but they are probably worth a fortune, and my spider man comics, what a nerd i must be, they might be worth something. 
packing up your life is weird, it's only been in the last 10 years i have had so much stuff, it all started after my divorce when i actually had nothing, my friend wayne insisted that i take a saucepan he was gifting me. i resisted, no i said, i don't really want anything, but he was insistent.
ironically the same guy now says i have to many books, and to many things, mmm, yes he's right, i will cull hard, cull harder, cull with a vengeance.

Monday, November 26, 2012

the astrologer looked more like a fashionista from berlin, she was a slick talking androgynous nectar pod oozing some sort of weird sex appeal pheromone. her gymnasts body in some ultra tight one piece latex skin hugging black sheen. she wore those sexy glasses that made her look like a librarian who had read every book in her care, she scanned her ipad and made mental notes in that vision space, the invisible screen visionary people hold somewhere.
the apartment was someplace on the northern beaches of sydney, it was almost empty except for the exotic chairs and the table, there was a cd player because she was playing 'the eels' and there was a large telescope that pointed out the window at the night sky.
'what's the prognosis?'
'tonight is the night.'
'okay well tonight it is.'
'take off your skin,' she whispers with those soft full ruby lips almost brushing mine. 
later i wake up, there's some soft indian music playing, burnt candles, half drunk wine. i feel my way around, resting my hand upon the coffee table, my fingers find a lighter. in a glow, soft flame i see a body, it's his, old captain missions, look at his face, slightly greying beard, heavy eyes, those elf ears, he snores in a deep sleep. 
i stand up straight, towering over the scene, the skin suit sticks to my body so tight and i feel so different, so much lighter as i gaze upon the double. 
he came a long way, that one, he travelled further than most can get in several lifetimes but he can't quite escape the past. it hunts him down like wild beasts, hounds at his heels. i watch him    dreaming off his grandfather, the big stick that came to him one night, floating along the corridor in that strange wind, the whispers and the presence of a powerful force. that was initiation, that was almost the point he knew what the future held. it was in his dna, the seeds were sewn many years ago, many lives.
the realization hits fast, somewhere in the future the past is being summoned. his incarnation is finished, he can comprise of many but he is one, he is master of time and space, he dreams life and lives dream, his pineal glad is the dmt conduit, it's release came well before death and never stopped, he died so many times as many deaths as dreams until they all become the same. the man dreaming he is a butterfly is not the butterfly dreaming he is a man, at some point he just became the butter man. lao tzu would have laughed at this with me, we would have been good friends, but i am to sad to laugh, i am weighed down with sadness. 
when i come around again she is gone, i'm alone, drifting in and out of a strange dream, i get showered, dressed, i grab my dog, get a coffee. change is coming, it's in my bones as i step along the hot beach, foot crunching in sand. my dog, my friend, the only friend i can rely upon leaps around my feet, frolicking as i march onwards into the ocean. it's very early, i get wet and splash around, then head back for the day will begin and there are boxes to pack.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

if you have not heard of howard bloom, go get and read he lucifer principle, it will change everything you  think you know. then read the equally brilliant sequal 'the global brain' because this will rewire your brain as you read it, life becomes a system, creatures that you may never have heard about actually become components in a much bigger picture, it's not environmental, it's ecological. he's the only man on the planet that takes the sum of information and puts it together in a way that is cohesive and elegant and perfectly assessable. for me his books changed me profoundly, and everyone i know has been deeply effected by his work.
howard's books are the types that you read over and over, they are like those russian dolls, always revealing some new information embedded within the text. 
there's a lot of stuff about him on the internet, recently he over came a disability that kept him bedridden and he's out and about now, doing interviews and conferences.
i'll post some stuff on here in the next few weeks as i am busy moving, but so i can't really write much at the moment.
i'll attempt to post in a chronological way, so you can get an insight int this guy but seriously, go read him.
let's start with this one

howard bloom

Thursday, November 22, 2012

a few years ago i went to visit my family in the uk, it was a strange visit, very strange and difficult as i had not seen them for a long time and while i have changed and grown as an individual things at home had stayed the same. i wrote about it back then and discovered that my mother fitted into this description like a glove, it explained everything that i had ever experienced in my life, all the painful emotions of being a child, all the nasty episodes of her abuse towards me. it was really strange to have it spelt out in these terms as i suddenly felt lighter as if the guilt and fear that i had experienced was lifted, it all made sense. the irrationality became clear and i saw her in a new light. however like all patterns they repeat, and after a terrible conversation my mother sunk into a tirade of abuse. it was disgusting and degrading and i hung up because as a human being you can only take so much, and my threshold for abuse is very low. so here it is again, just in case you need to know. let me say that reading this stuff was like a spiritual awakening, things became so very obvious and crystal clear for me. this is my mother, a destructive force that i have lived with all my life, and the similarities are so exact that after reading it i went from agitated and depressed to peaceful.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers 

1. Everything she does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you. 

She rarely says right out that she thinks you're inadequate. Instead, any time that you tell her you've done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself. She will carefully separate cause (your joy in your accomplishment) from effect (refusing to let you borrow the car to go to the awards ceremony) by enough time that someone who didn't live through her abuse would never believe the connection. 

Many of her putdowns are simply by comparison. She'll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you've also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you. She has let you know that you're no good without saying a word. She'll spoil your pleasure in something by simply congratulating you for it in an angry, envious voice that conveys how unhappy she is, again, completely deniably. It is impossible to confront someone over their tone of voice, their demeanor or they way they look at you, but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you're always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why. 

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her. She's also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She's very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers ("Don't wash our dirty laundry in public!") and will punish you for telling anyone else what she's done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public. She'll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding ("I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don't know what I can do for her!") As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them ("I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist's defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness ("I'm sure she didn't mean it like that!") 

2. She violates your boundaries. You feel like an extension of her. Your property is given away without your consent, sometimes in front of you. Your food is eaten off your plate or given to others off your plate. Your property may be repossessed and no reason given other than that it was never yours. Your time is committed without consulting you, and opinions purported to be yours are expressed for you. (She LOVES going to the fair! He would never want anything like that. She wouldn't like kumquats.) You are discussed in your presence as though you are not there. She keeps tabs on your bodily functions and humiliates you by divulging the information she gleans, especially when it can be used to demonstrate her devotion and highlight her martyrdom to your needs ("Mike had that problem with frequent urination too, only his was much worse. I was so worried about him!") You have never known what it is like to have privacy in the bathroom or in your bedroom, and she goes through your things regularly. She asks nosy questions, snoops into your email/letters/diary/conversations. She will want to dig into your feelings, particularly painful ones and is always looking for negative information on you which can be used against you. She does things against your expressed wishes frequently. All of this is done without seeming embarrassment or thought. 

Any attempt at autonomy on your part is strongly resisted. Normal rites of passage (learning to shave, wearing makeup, dating) are grudgingly allowed only if you insist, and you're punished for your insistence ("Since you're old enough to date, I think you're old enough to pay for your own clothes!") If you demand age-appropriate clothing, grooming, control over your own life, or rights, you are difficult and she ridicules your "independence." 

3. She favoritizes. Narcissistic mothers commonly choose one (sometimes more) child to be the golden child and one (sometimes more) to be the scapegoat. The narcissist identifies with the golden child and provides privileges to him or her as long as the golden child does just as she wants. The golden child has to be cared for assiduously by everyone in the family. The scapegoat has no needs and instead gets to do the caring. The golden child can do nothing wrong. The scapegoat is always at fault. This creates divisions between the children, one of whom has a large investment in the mother being wise and wonderful, and the other(s) who hate her. That division will be fostered by the narcissist with lies and with blatantly unfair and favoritizing behavior. The golden child will defend the mother and indirectly perpetuate the abuse by finding reasons to blame the scapegoat for the mother's actions. The golden child may also directly take on the narcissistic mother's tasks by physically abusing the scapegoat so the narcissistic mother doesn't have to do that herself. 

4. She undermines. Your accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them. Any success or accomplishment for which she cannot take credit is ignored or diminished. Any time you are to be center stage and there is no opportunity for her to be the center of attention, she will try to prevent the occasion altogether, or she doesn't come, or she leaves early, or she acts like it's no big deal, or she steals the spotlight or she slips in little wounding comments about how much better someone else did or how what you did wasn't as much as you could have done or as you think it is. She undermines you by picking fights with you or being especially unpleasant just before you have to make a major effort. She acts put out if she has to do anything to support your opportunities or will outright refuse to do even small things in support of you. She will be nasty to you about things that are peripherally connected with your successes so that you find your joy in what you've done is tarnished, without her ever saying anything directly about it. No matter what your success, she has to take you down a peg about it. 

5. She demeans, criticizes and denigrates. She lets you know in all sorts of little ways that she thinks less of you than she does of your siblings or of other people in general. If you complain about mistreatment by someone else, she will take that person's side even if she doesn't know them at all. She doesn't care about those people or the justice of your complaints. She just wants to let you know that you're never right. 

She will deliver generalized barbs that are almost impossible to rebut (always in a loving, caring tone): "You were always difficult" "You can be very difficult to love" "You never seemed to be able to finish anything" "You were very hard to live with" "You're always causing trouble" "No one could put up with the things you do." She will deliver slams in a sidelong way - for example she'll complain about how "no one" loves her, does anything for her, or cares about her, or she'll complain that "everyone" is so selfish, when you're the only person in the room. As always, this combines criticism with deniability. 

She will slip little comments into conversation that she really enjoyed something she did with someone else - something she did with you too, but didn't like as much. She'll let you know that her relationship with some other person you both know is wonderful in a way your relationship with her isn't - the carefully unspoken message being that you don't matter much to her. 

She minimizes, discounts or ignores your opinions and experiences. Your insights are met with condescension, denials and accusations ("I think you read too much!") and she will brush off your information even on subjects on which you are an acknowledged expert. Whatever you say is met with smirks and amused sounding or exaggerated exclamations ("Uh hunh!" "You don't say!" "Really!"). She'll then make it clear that she didn't listen to a word you said. 

6. She makes you look crazy. If you try to confront her about something she's done, she'll tell you that you have "a very vivid imagination" (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don't know what you're talking about, or that she has no idea what you're talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, nor will she ever acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and exceptionally infuriating tactic called "gaslighting," common to abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your intuition, your memory or your powers of reasoning. This makes you a much better victim for the abuser. 

Narcissists gaslight routinely. The narcissist will either insinuate or will tell you outright that you're unstable, otherwise you wouldn't believe such ridiculous things or be so uncooperative. You're oversensitive. You're imagining things. You're hysterical. You're completely unreasonable. You're over-reacting, like you always do. She'll talk to you when you've calmed down and aren't so irrational. She may even characterize you as being neurotic or psychotic. 

Once she's constructed these fantasies of your emotional pathologies, she'll tell others about them, as always, presenting her smears as expressions of concern and declaring her own helpless victimhood. She didn't do anything. She has no idea why you're so irrationally angry with her. You've hurt her terribly. She thinks you may need psychotherapy. She loves you very much and would do anything to make you happy, but she just doesn't know what to do. You keep pushing her away when all she wants to do is help you. 

She has simultaneously absolved herself of any responsibility for your obvious antipathy towards her, implied that it's something fundamentally wrong with you that makes you angry with her, and undermined your credibility with her listeners. She plays the role of the doting mother so perfectly that no one will believe you. 

7. She's envious. Any time you get something nice she's angry and envious and her envy will be apparent when she admires whatever it is. She'll try to get it from you, spoil it for you, or get the same or better for herself. She's always working on ways to get what other people have. The envy of narcissistic mothers often includes competing sexually with their daughters or daughters-in-law. They'll attempt to forbid their daughters to wear makeup, to groom themselves in an age-appropriate way or to date. They will criticize the appearance of their daughters and daughters-in-law. This envy extends to relationships. Narcissistic mothers infamously attempt to damage their children's marriages and interfere in the upbringing of their grandchildren. 

8. She's a liar in too many ways to count. Any time she talks about something that has emotional significance for her, it's a fair bet that she's lying. Lying is one way that she creates conflict in the relationships and lives of those around her - she'll lie to them about what other people have said, what they've done, or how they feel. She'll lie about her relationship with them, about your behavior or about your situation in order to inflate herself and to undermine your credibility. 

The narcissist is very careful about how she lies. To outsiders she'll lie thoughtfully and deliberately, always in a way that can be covered up if she's confronted with her lie. She spins what you said rather than makes something up wholesale. She puts dishonest interpretations on things you actually did. If she's recently done something particularly egregious she may engage in preventative lying: she lies in advance to discount what you might say before you even say it. Then when you talk about what she did you'll be cut off with "I already know all about it…your mother told me... (self-justifications and lies)." Because she is so careful about her deniability, it may be very hard to catch her in her lies and the more gullible of her friends may never realize how dishonest she is. 

To you, she'll lie blatantly. She will claim to be unable to remember bad things she has done, even if she did one of them recently and even if it was something very memorable. Of course, if you try to jog her memory by recounting the circumstances "You have a very vivid imagination" or "That was so long ago. Why do you have to dredge up your old grudges?" Your conversations with her are full of casual brush-offs and diversionary lies and she doesn't respect you enough to bother making it sound good. For example she'll start with a self-serving lie: "If I don't take you as a dependent on my taxes I'll lose three thousand dollars!" You refute her lie with an obvious truth: "No, three thousand dollars is the amount of the dependent exemption. You'll only lose about eight hundred dollars." Her response: "Isn't that what I said?" You are now in a game with only one rule: You can't win. 

On the rare occasions she is forced to acknowledge some bad behavior, she will couch the admission deniably. She "guesses" that "maybe" she "might have" done something wrong. The wrongdoing is always heavily spun and trimmed to make it sound better. The words "I guess," "maybe," and "might have" are in and of themselves lies because she knows exactly what she did - no guessing, no might haves, no maybes. 

9. She has to be the center of attention all the time. This need is a defining trait of narcissists and particularly of narcissistic mothers for whom their children exist to be sources of attention and adoration. Narcissistic mothers love to be waited on and often pepper their children with little requests. "While you're up…" or its equivalent is one of their favorite phrases. You couldn't just be assigned a chore at the beginning of the week or of the day, instead, you had to do it on demand, preferably at a time that was inconvenient for you, or you had to "help" her do it, fetching and carrying for her while she made up to herself for the menial work she had to do as your mother by glorying in your attentions. 

A narcissistic mother may create odd occasions at which she can be the center of attention, such as memorials for someone close to her who died long ago, or major celebrations of small personal milestones. She may love to entertain so she can be the life of her own party. She will try to steal the spotlight or will try to spoil any occasion where someone else is the center of attention, particularly the child she has cast as the scapegoat. She often invites herself along where she isn't welcome. If she visits you or you visit her, you are required to spend all your time with her. Entertaining herself is unthinkable. She has always pouted, manipulated or raged if you tried to do anything without her, didn't want to entertain her, refused to wait on her, stymied her plans for a drama or otherwise deprived her of attention. 

Older narcissistic mothers often use the natural limitations of aging to manipulate dramas, often by neglecting their health or by doing things they know will make them ill. This gives them the opportunity to cash in on the investment they made when they trained you to wait on them as a child. Then they call you (or better still, get the neighbor or the nursing home administrator to call you) demanding your immediate attendance. You are to rush to her side, pat her hand, weep over her pain and listen sympathetically to her unending complaints about how hard and awful it is. ("Never get old!") It's almost never the case that you can actually do anything useful, and the causes of her disability may have been completely avoidable, but you've been put in an extremely difficult position. If you don't provide the audience and attention she's manipulating to get, you look extremely bad to everyone else and may even have legal culpability. (Narcissistic behaviors commonly accompany Alzheimer's disease, so this behavior may also occur in perfectly normal mothers as they age.) 

10. She manipulates your emotions in order to feed on your pain. This exceptionally sick and bizarre behavior is so common among narcissistic mothers that their children often call them "emotional vampires." Some of this emotional feeding comes in the form of pure sadism. She does and says things just to be wounding or she engages in tormenting teasing or she needles you about things you're sensitive about, all the while a smile plays over her lips. She may have taken you to scary movies or told you horrifying stories, then mocked you for being a baby when you cried, She will slip a wounding comment into conversation and smile delightedly into your hurt face. You can hear the laughter in her voice as she pressures you or says distressing things to you. Later she'll gloat over how much she upset you, gaily telling other people that you're so much fun to tease, and recruiting others to share in her amusement. . She enjoys her cruelties and makes no effort to disguise that. She wants you to know that your pain entertains her. She may bring up subjects that are painful for you and probe you about them, all the while watching you carefully. This is emotional vampirism in its purest form. She's feeding emotionally off your pain. 

A peculiar form of this emotional vampirism combines attention-seeking behavior with a demand that the audience suffer. Since narcissistic mothers often play the martyr this may take the form of wrenching, self-pitying dramas which she carefully produces, and in which she is the star performer. She sobs and wails that no one loves her and everyone is so selfish, and she doesn't want to live, she wants to die! She wants to die! She will not seem to care how much the manipulation of their emotions and the self-pity repels other people. One weird behavior that is very common to narcissists: her dramas may also center around the tragedies of other people, often relating how much she suffered by association and trying to distress her listeners, as she cries over the horrible murder of someone she wouldn't recognize if they had passed her on the street. 

11. She's selfish and willful. She always makes sure she has the best of everything. She insists on having her own way all the time and she will ruthlessly, manipulatively pursue it, even if what she wants isn't worth all the effort she's putting into it and even if that effort goes far beyond normal behavior. She will make a huge effort to get something you denied her, even if it was entirely your right to do so and even if her demand was selfish and unreasonable. If you tell her she cannot bring her friends to your party she will show up with them anyway, and she will have told them that they were invited so that you either have to give in, or be the bad guy to these poor dupes on your doorstep. If you tell her she can't come over to your house tonight she'll call your spouse and try get him or her to agree that she can, and to not say anything to you about it because it's a "surprise." She has to show you that you can't tell her "no." 

One near-universal characteristic of narcissists: because they are so selfish and self-centered, they are very bad gift givers. They'll give you hand-me-downs or market things for themselves as gifts for you ("I thought I'd give you my old bicycle and buy myself a new one!" "I know how much you love Italian food, so I'm going to take you to my favorite restaurant for your birthday!") New gifts are often obviously cheap and are usually things that don't suit you or that you can't use or are a quid pro quo: if you buy her the gift she wants, she will buy you an item of your choice. She'll make it clear that it pains her to give you anything. She may buy you a gift and get the identical item for herself, or take you shopping for a gift and get herself something nice at the same time to make herself feel better. 

12. She's self-absorbed. Her feelings, needs and wants are very important; yours are insignificant to the point that her least whim takes precedence over your most basic needs. Her problems deserve your immediate and full attention; yours are brushed aside. Her wishes always take precedence; if she does something for you, she reminds you constantly of her munificence in doing so and will often try to extract some sort of payment. She will complain constantly, even though your situation may be much worse than hers. If you point that out, she will effortlessly, thoughtlessly brush it aside as of no importance (It's easy for you…/It's different for you…). 

13. She is insanely defensive and is extremely sensitive to any criticism. If you criticize her or defy her she will explode with fury, threaten, storm, rage, destroy and may become violent, beating, confining, putting her child outdoors in bad weather or otherwise engaging in classic physical abuse. 

14. She terrorized. For all abusers, fear is a powerful means of control of the victim, and your narcissistic mother used it ruthlessly to train you. Narcissists teach you to beware their wrath even when they aren't present. The only alternative is constant placation. If you give her everything she wants all the time, you might be spared. If you don't, the punishments will come. Even adult children of narcissists still feel that carefully inculcated fear. Your narcissistic mother can turn it on with a silence or a look that tells the child in you she's thinking about how she's going to get even. 

Not all narcissists abuse physically, but most do, often in subtle, deniable ways. It allows them to vent their rage at your failure to be the solution to their internal havoc and simultaneously to teach you to fear them. You may not have been beaten, but you were almost certainly left to endure physical pain when a normal mother would have made an effort to relieve your misery. This deniable form of battery allows her to store up her rage and dole out the punishment at a later time when she's worked out an airtight rationale for her abuse, so she never risks exposure. You were left hungry because "you eat too much." (Someone asked her if she was pregnant. She isn't). You always went to school with stomach flu because "you don't have a fever. You're just trying to get out of school." (She resents having to take care of you. You have a lot of nerve getting sick and adding to her burdens.) She refuses to look at your bloody heels and instead the shoes that wore those blisters on your heels are put back on your feet and you're sent to the store in them because "You wanted those shoes. Now you can wear them." (You said the ones she wanted to get you were ugly. She liked them because they were just like what she wore 30 years ago). The dentist was told not to give you Novocaine when he drilled your tooth because "he has to learn to take better care of his teeth." (She has to pay for a filling and she's furious at having to spend money on you.) 

Narcissistic mothers also abuse by loosing others on you or by failing to protect you when a normal mother would have. Sometimes the narcissist's golden child will be encouraged to abuse the scapegoat. Narcissists also abuse by exposing you to violence. If one of your siblings got beaten, she made sure you saw. She effortlessly put the fear of Mom into you, without raising a hand. 

15. She's infantile and petty. Narcissistic mothers are often simply childish. If you refuse to let her manipulate you into doing something, she will cry that you don't love her because if you loved her you would do as she wanted. If you hurt her feelings she will aggressively whine to you that you'll be sorry when she's dead that you didn't treat her better. These babyish complaints and responses may sound laughable, but the narcissist is dead serious about them. When you were a child, if you ask her to stop some bad behavior, she would justify it by pointing out something that you did that she feels is comparable, as though the childish behavior of a child is justification for the childish behavior of an adult. "Getting even" is a large part of her dealings with you. Anytime you fail to give her the deference, attention or service she feels she deserves, or you thwart her wishes, she has to show you. 

16. She's aggressive and shameless. She doesn't ask. She demands. She makes outrageous requests and she'll take anything she wants if she thinks she can get away with it. Her demands of her children are posed in a very aggressive way, as are her criticisms. She won't take no for an answer, pushing and arm-twisting and manipulating to get you to give in. 

17. She "parentifies." She shed her responsibilities to you as soon as she was able, leaving you to take care of yourself as best you could. She denied you medical care, adequate clothing, necessary transportation or basic comforts that she would never have considered giving up for herself. She never gave you a birthday party or let you have sleepovers. Your friends were never welcome in her house. She didn't like to drive you anywhere, so you turned down invitations because you had no way to get there. She wouldn't buy your school pictures even if she could easily have afforded it. You had a niggardly clothing allowance or she bought you the cheapest clothing she could without embarrassing herself. As soon as you got a job, every request for school supplies, clothing or toiletries was met with "Now that you're making money, why don't you pay for that yourself?" You studied up on colleges on your own and choose a cheap one without visiting it. You signed yourself up for the SATs, earned the money to pay for them and talked someone into driving you to the test site. You worked three jobs to pay for that cheap college and when you finally got mononucleosis she chirped at you that she was "so happy you could take care of yourself." 

She also gave you tasks that were rightfully hers and should not have been placed on a child. You may have been a primary caregiver for young siblings or an incapacitated parent. You may have had responsibility for excessive household tasks. Above all, you were always her emotional caregiver which is one reason any defection from that role caused such enormous eruptions of rage. You were never allowed to be needy or have bad feelings or problems. Those experiences were only for her, and you were responsible for making it right for her. From the time you were very young she would randomly lash out at you any time she was stressed or angry with your father or felt that life was unfair to her, because it made her feel better to hurt you. You were often punished out of the blue, for manufactured offenses. As you got older she directly placed responsibility for her welfare and her emotions on you, weeping on your shoulder and unloading on you any time something went awry for her. 

18. She's exploitative. She will manipulate to get work, money, or objects she envies out of other people for nothing. This includes her children, of course. If she set up a bank account for you, she was trustee on the account with the right to withdraw money. As you put money into it, she took it out. She may have stolen your identity. She took you as a dependent on her income taxes so you couldn't file independently without exposing her to criminal penalties. If she made an agreement with you, it was violated the minute it no longer served her needs. If you brought it up demanding she adhere to the agreement, she brushed you off and later punished you so you would know not to defy her again. 

Sometimes the narcissist will exploit a child to absorb punishment that would have been hers from an abusive partner. The husband comes home in a drunken rage, and the mother immediately complains about the child's bad behavior so the rage is vented on to the child. Sometimes the narcissistic mother simply uses the child to keep a sick marriage intact because the alternative is being divorced or having to go to work. The child is sexually molested but the mother never notices, or worse, calls the child a liar when she tells the mother about the molestation. 

19. She projects. This sounds a little like psycho-babble, but it is something that narcissists all do. Projection means that she will put her own bad behavior, character and traits on you so she can deny them in herself and punish you. This can be very difficult to see if you have traits that she can project on to. An eating-disordered woman who obsesses over her daughter's weight is projecting. The daughter may not realize it because she has probably internalized an absurdly thin vision of women's weight and so accepts her mother's projection. When the narcissist tells the daughter that she eats too much, needs to exercise more, or has to wear extra-large size clothes, the daughter believes it, even if it isn't true. However, she will sometimes project even though it makes no sense at all. This happens when she feels shamed and needs to put it on her scapegoat child and the projection therefore comes across as being an attack out of the blue. For example: She makes an outrageous request, and you casually refuse to let her have her way. She's enraged by your refusal and snarls at you that you'll talk about it when you've calmed down and are no longer hysterical. 

You aren't hysterical at all; she is, but your refusal has made her feel the shame that should have stopped her from making shameless demands in the first place. That's intolerable. She can transfer that shame to you and rationalize away your response: you only refused her because you're so unreasonable. Having done that she can reassert her shamelessness and indulge her childish willfulness by turning an unequivocal refusal into a subject for further discussion. You'll talk about it again "later" - probably when she's worn you down with histrionics, pouting and the silent treatment so you're more inclined to do what she wants. 

20. She is never wrong about anything. No matter what she's done, she won't ever genuinely apologize for anything. Instead, any time she feels she is being made to apologize she will sulk and pout, issue an insulting apology or negate the apology she has just made with justifications, qualifications or self pity: "I'm sorry you felt that I humiliated you" "I'm sorry if I made you feel bad" "If I did that it was wrong" "I'm sorry, but I there's nothing I can do about it" "I'm sorry I made you feel clumsy, stupid and disgusting" "I'm sorry but it was just a joke. You're so over-sensitive" "I'm sorry that my own child feels she has to upset me and make me feel bad." The last insulting apology is also an example of projection. 

21. She seems to have no awareness that other people even have feelings. She'll occasionally slip and say something jaw-droppingly callous because of this lack of empathy. It isn't that she doesn't care at all about other people's feelings, though she doesn't. It would simply never occur to her to think about their feelings. An absence of empathy is the defining trait of a narcissist and underlies most of the other traits I have described. Unlike psychopaths, narcissists do understand right, wrong, and consequences, so they are not ordinarily criminal. She beat you, but not to the point where you went to the hospital. She left you standing out in the cold until you were miserable, but not until you had hypothermia. She put you in the basement in the dark with no clothes on, but she only left you there for two hours. 

22. She blames. She'll blame you for everything that isn't right in her life or for what other people do or for whatever has happened. Always, she'll blame you for her abuse. You made her do it. If only you weren't so difficult. You upset her so much that she can't think straight. Things were hard for her and your backtalk pushed her over the brink. This blaming is often so subtle that all you know is that you thought you were wronged and now you feel guilty. Your brother beats you and her response is to bemoan how uncivilized children are. Your boyfriend dumped you, but she can understand - after all, she herself has seen how difficult you are to love. She'll do something egregiously exploitative to you, and when confronted will screech at you that she can't believe you were so selfish as to upset her over such a trivial thing. She'll also blame you for your reaction to her selfish, cruel and exploitative behavior. She can't believe you are so petty, so small, and so childish as to object to her giving your favorite dress to her friend. She thought you would be happy to let her do something nice for someone else. 

Narcissists are masters of multitasking as this example shows. Simultaneously your narcissistic mother is 1) Lying. She knows what she did was wrong and she knows your reaction is reasonable. 2) Manipulating. She's making you look like the bad guy for objecting to her cruelties. 3) Being selfish. She doesn't mind making you feel horrible as long as she gets her own way. 4) Blaming. She did something wrong, but it's all your fault. 5) Projecting. Her petty, small and childish behavior has become yours. 6) Putting on a self-pitying drama. She's a martyr who believed the best of you, and you've let her down. 7) Parentifying. You're responsible for her feelings, she has no responsibility for yours. 

23. She destroys your relationships. Narcissistic mothers are like tornadoes: wherever they touch down families are torn apart and wounds are inflicted. Unless the father has control over the narcissist and holds the family together, adult siblings in families with narcissistic mothers characteristically have painful relationships. Typically all communication between siblings is superficial and driven by duty, or they may never talk to each other at all. In part, these women foster dissension between their children because they enjoy the control it gives them. If those children don't communicate except through the mother, she can decide what everyone hears. Narcissists also love the excitement and drama they create by interfering in their children's lives. Watching people's lives explode is better than soap operas, especially when you don't have any empathy for their misery. 

The narcissist nurtures anger, contempt and envy - the most corrosive emotions - to drive her children apart. While her children are still living at home, any child who stands up to the narcissist guarantees punishment for the rest. In her zest for revenge, the narcissist purposefully turns the siblings' anger on the dissenter by including everyone in her retaliation. ("I can see that nobody here loves me! Well I'll just take these Christmas presents back to the store. None of you would want anything I got you anyway!") The other children, long trained by the narcissist to give in, are furious with the troublemaking child, instead of with the narcissist who actually deserves their anger. 

The narcissist also uses favoritism and gossip to poison her childrens' relationships. The scapegoat sees the mother as a creature of caprice and cruelty. As is typical of the privileged, the other children don't see her unfairness and they excuse her abuses. Indeed, they are often recruited by the narcissist to adopt her contemptuous and entitled attitude towards the scapegoat and with her tacit or explicit permission, will inflict further abuse. The scapegoat predictably responds with fury and equal contempt. After her children move on with adult lives, the narcissist makes sure to keep each apprised of the doings of the others, passing on the most discreditable and juicy gossip (as always, disguised as "concern") about the other children, again, in a way that engenders contempt rather than compassion. 

Having been raised by a narcissist, her children are predisposed to be envious, and she takes full advantage of the opportunity that presents. While she may never praise you to your face, she will likely crow about your victories to the very sibling who is not doing well. She'll tell you about the generosity she displayed towards that child, leaving you wondering why you got left out and irrationally angry at the favored child rather than at the narcissist who told you about it. 

The end result is a family in which almost all communication is triangular. The narcissist, the spider in the middle of the family web, sensitively monitors all the children for information she can use to retain her unchallenged control over the family. She then passes that on to the others, creating the resentments that prevent them from communicating directly and freely with each other. The result is that the only communication between the children is through the narcissist, exactly the way she wants it. 

24. As a last resort she goes pathetic. When she's confronted with unavoidable consequences for her own bad behavior, including your anger, she will melt into a soggy puddle of weepy helplessness. It's all her fault. She can't do anything right. She feels so bad. What she doesn't do: own the responsibility for her bad conduct and make it right. Instead, as always, it's all about her, and her helpless self-pitying weepiness dumps the responsibility for her consequences AND for her unhappiness about it on you. As so often with narcissists, it is also a manipulative behavior. If you fail to excuse her bad behavior and make her feel better, YOU are the bad person for being cold, heartless and unfeeling when your poor mother feels so awful. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

dawn, driving up the freeway at the speed of light, i'll get there in no time, that little village on the coast, just in time for coffee, watching the waves crashing, a few fishing boats bobbing up and down on the waves, its wake up time in the sleepy town, shoppers drifting in, parking cars, the swarm begins, shops open up in the rising sun, time for me to move on.
the new place, i'm measuring up stuff, checking the facts, making sure i can get my bookcases in, making sure there is room for my bed. i have a big bed and a lot of books, yeah i'm doing some field work, it's all falling into place, i have to buy a fridge and a vacuum cleaner. i have to get a mop, a bucket, a hose, some chicken wire, some gardening tools, fish food for  the koi and a broom. 
the new place has a bridge, over a large pond with a waterfall, the fish are massive, i think i'll call the big one little, and the little one big. i don't know, it passes through my mind like a flickering flame, it all does, everything, the whole process of buying this place is like being on the slip stream of a feng shui flow, i have scraped through financially, the dramas with bing lee and now australia post have resolved themselves, the stress about boxes has dissipated now i have started. the paperwork, contracts, legals, all of these things have an unreality about them, they are just things, actions, ideas, thoughts that a system believes is important, i guess maybe there's a reason for this process but it's not one i am interested in. 
all i know is i have to complete the packing and relocate, it's happening now, this is a transition period, all my stuff is preparing for motion. 
anxieties, fears, emotions, all pass like fleeting waves. 
the new home has a garden that backs onto a bushland with a river that runs through it, the wildlife makes itself known as i watch ducks sitting on the river bank, the trees are amazing, huge ancient trees around a river. the front garden is enclosed by frangipani trees, and a huge fern tree, japanese manicured, and off course the pond. the garage is large enough for me to store my stuff in, it would make a great work station.
i pull down the hatch into the loft, a collapsable ladder comes down and i clamber up, looking at the huge loft space, it needs work but it would be a great studio space. 
i drive back home, pack some more boxes, the weather is perfect, summer breaking through, i play catch with the girls downstairs and we laugh at some jokes as i clown around. when i climb up the steps i am exhausted, it's been a long day, a good day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the book packing is back breaking work, my house is filled with boxes now but there are still thousands of books to pack, no room for more boxes, it's like being stuck inside some sort of six dimensional puzzle, anxiety spilling out of my head, without my books i feel disconnected, empty. 
i have two weeks to finish the packing, i will have to focus. then there's all my music equipment, computers, etc, blah, it's such a drag. when i get to liberteria i will have to store most of the stuff and unpack slowly  a box a day, re-establishing my connections, and working out the best locations for them. 
at the moment money just flies away from me, taxes, fees for this and that, everyone wants a slice of something and my resources are depleting. it's going to take me years to get some equilibrium again. 
okay well, enough about that, no point complaining, it just has to be done. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

it's not a drug, it's a process - cronenberg

the first part of my library is packed up in boxes, all the esoteric books sealed in cardboard awaiting transportation. as i packed them i recalled some lost memories, the times i had experimented with enochian magick, the way i had invoked my hga, the strange encounter with the scarlet women, the discovery of new falcon and hyatts strange projects, my initiation with odb, tgd and the iot and my rejection of the skools, i packed up all those books and stuck them in the boxes until i stood in an empty room. i remembered keeping a notebook and went to look for it, i remembered the meditations, the beginning of yoga, the end of tantra, my head is filled with these things, so many conceptions and i thought it would burst open, it certainly ached. i had to go and lay down, the splitting sensation in my head began to get worse as if a horrible swarm of insects were eating my brain, i'd disturbed some energy and it did not like it, i lit some incense and smudged, i lit a candle and attempted a clearing rite, opened some windows, piled up the boxes, my eyes weighed down with some unfathomable tiredness. 
i should have been a little more respectful in that room, you can't dismantle a sacred space after ten years and expect the energy to go quietly, you need to take precautions. all that memory flooding back and i still know nothing.