I was wrong. I hurt you, and I’m sorry. I am sorry that the things I have always most wanted to say are offensive. Sorry that my actions, so full of misunderstanding, are never innocent. The world is full of suffering; the road to hell is paved with good intentions. My ignorant intention has merely been to live, to course with desire, to experiment, to explore. Life is so short. The world was so big, so full of difference and mystery, and is now so full of hurt.
We can’t forgive each other, because you’ve excused yourself. You’re aggrieved. Why is that? Is it because you see every action as a reaction? Your ego is threatened by blame? You never studied history? I deserved it? You deserved better? Do you deserve better than your own children? No doubt you don’t let yourself think that, but do they deserve a better mother? Is that the attitude you want to teach them? I think not, but sometimes your attitude seems like the unspoken voice of an unconscious god–“bad poetry disguised as science” (Jaynes)–with the trajectory of a dodgem car.
The essence of life is not design or narrative, unconscious or conscious, but error. If an opinion fits ‘the facts’ better, it is less wrong, not more right. We have to live among people who are not listening carefully enough, and therefore make unreasonable demands of our egoistic ignorance. Four solutions to this discomfort have been embraced historically, and they are all religious. The first was identification with primal forces in conflict: asserting our chosenness. The second was the skill of tuning out: letting go, learning silence. The third was the practice of forgiveness, by force if necessary: silencing resentment. And the last was agnostic obedience, admitting that it’s safer to go with the experts: approaching the font. None has eliminated error and its discomfort, and all are alive and well today.
When we don’t know what we don’t know, it’s very tempting to clamber onto the desert island of opinion and cling to it circled by the sharks of difference. It should come as no surprise that only the deluded want to join us.
Being wrong is in the eyes of the beholder, for whom being right looks like denial. There is a long-established place where rectitude may be permanently undisturbed, where a Big Bloke who knows everything rules uncontested, even supplying an undiminishing number of virgin-dolls to males who gave their lives for the ignorant opinions of slaves to a man from a cave and never questioned the economics of eternally intact flesh-and-blood hymens.
Hastings is a relatively new cemetery which just happens to lie at the appropriate longitude to illustrate the incongruity of conjunctions in ecliptic longitude of bodies which belong in different frames of reference. Its inhabitants began dying in 1856, putting them in the generation which not only abolished slavery, but also sent about 164,000 convicts to the British colonies of Australia, and encouraged them to make comfortable their exile by assuming ownership of Aboriginal song and country. Like the bones history has scattered all over the Earth, they don’t need to make sense, as we do.
The most recent immigrants to our cemeteries and crematoria are of my generation, a coalition of supremacists, stoics, martyrs and submissives which thought to dismantle the communist experiment, give us equal rights for women and people of all ethnicities, and establish a global economy. How are they working out for you? God knows why we’re even talking about rectitude. Nobody’s right, right? But how does that go down with your kids? I guess we’ll find out soon enough, unless denial is so ingrained that we project our guilt onto their cluelessness as what we didn’t deserve.
Hunt around on that desert island surrounded by danger and evil. Somewhere you’ll find a rock, and beneath it a cave. If you go down into it you’ll find yourself in an underground fissure that goes for kilometres. It links to the Hormones Aquifer which flows not only through my heart and beneath the shark-infested sea but under every waterhole, field, workplace and home on the continent. If you crawl and swim far enough and find a way out through the twisted roots of passion, obsession and betrayal, like countless previous shamans and prophets, you will be saved. Emerging from another cave, you will have qualified to announce the prohibitions necessary to keep hormones where they belong. You will be feted as a supernatural being. AI policepersons will be entrusted to exert total control, because being programmed with your rules, they will be immune to human frailty.
One winter night, when Libra is at transit, look south at the spearing of Lupus, imagining it as I do a sheep. You might then be able to agree that the Libran scales of injustice, or trooper’s boot, epitomize the tranquility and insecurity of law in this wide brown land.
…Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred.
Down came the troopers, one, two, three.
“Whose is that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”
…Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong
“You’ll never catch me alive,” said he,
And his ghost may be heard, as you pass by that billabong:
“You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me.”… (Paterson/Macpherson)
Core of my heart, my country! (Mackellar)
Yes! It’s my country too!
I imagine your authority as the first, and perhaps last, voice of a new λóγος, of a world in which oxytocin comes in a bottle, where ‘self-help’ is a tautology and the ‘self’ in ‘self-knowledge’ is on the syllabus, where questions of eternity are settled by the ‘moment’, metaconsciousness has vanished into the graveyard, and the entire human race is corralled in latitudes greater than 40°, where one’s daemon is guaranteed to match what’s available in the marriage market, never lurking more than 30° from the horizon. Confirmation bias is a commodity, and your solipsistic submission is already before the Matrix Determination Committee. The future past is coming, because the truth is what we deserve.